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Growing Past Your Past Abusive Behavior

Unread postPosted: 30 November 2020, 17:31
by BloopDoop
I don't really know how to start this without it being incomprehensible word vomit, but I am having a lot of trouble processing this and GTF and GFO were always a place I went to get advice on these things in the past. I'm gonna preface this by saying I know that my behavior throughout this was terrible; I just want to figure out a way to work through what I am feeling without hurting anyone.


So I guess this all starts back when I was 16. I went to a boarding school but for a number of reasons, primarily academic stress and isolation, I tried to kill myself and was sent home for several months until they could confirm my mental health was where it needed to be to return. It was an incredibly vulnerable and weird period of my life, and being sent home with my parents who pretty clearly resented the attention of the whole affair only made me feel more isolated. I became much more active on the forum to get some sense of community during a really weird time, and it is around then that I met a guy. We were both 16 or so at the time and on different ends of the country, so even though the possibility of anything romantic working out was effectively nil we started a long distance relationship. I wasn't even out at school fully at this point so this was the first time I had actually gotten any kind of sexual and romantic attention from a guy, and especially during such a vulnerable hopeless time it gave me something to latch onto and ground myself during a tough time. Shortly after we started dating he saw the writing on the wall and ended things. He was an absolute sweetheart about it and said we could try to remain friends afterwards, which I initially thought I would be cool with. I wanted to keep him in my life, even if in retrospect it was more as a crutch than as a friend. I thought I needed that sense of constancy his presence in my life provided. But I quickly started to resent him for not reciprocating my romantic feelings though, and that kicked off about three years of an intensely abusive one-sided friendship wherein I would gaslight him for emotional support and threaten suicide if he did not let me monopolize his time. Infatuation on my part turned to outright obsession; I would try to monitor his online activity and chastise him for spending time with people other than me. I blamed him for wanting to have any social life independent of me and guilt trip him pretty much every day for the three years we stayed in contact. There were numerous other things, but for the sake of brevity let me just say it was unquestionably shitty abusive behavior. He stuck around out of pity and tried to comfort my unstable ass whenever I called on him for help. Eventually he rightfully said he was done with it, and after a few temper tantrums on my part I told him to block me on every platform so I couldn't reach out to him again. On some level I knew I was being toxic then, but in retrospect my apologies were insincere and more like calculated attempts to save face and shift blame onto him.

Fast forward four years. I haven't tried to contact him at all since then. Quarantine gave me more time for self-reflection than I have had in ages, and I ultimately realized how negative an impact my behavior probably had on him. A perfectly nice guy probably experienced long-term trauma and pain because of my actions, and the thought made me sick to my stomach. I drafted up an actual apology and found somewhere I could send it to him, and ended it with a note saying I would not independently message him again and that he did not have to respond if it was too painful or required too much emotional labor. I sincerely don't want him to suffer any more because of what I've done to him; however, after I sent that a lot of feelings of codependency that I haven't felt in years started to bubble back up and it's becoming really hard not to act on them. 99% of my brain is telling me to keep good on my promise not to send follow up correspondence but that 1% is eating me alive at this point. I know I can't reach out to him, I don't want to be the type of person who reneges on my word and forces someone else to prop me up emotionally, but I don't know how to make this feeling go away. I guess more than anything what I want to know is if you guys have any advice or experience with growing past your toxic behavior and/or not talking to someone you know you're bad for.

I know this is all over the place and I can offer any clarifications I need to. Bottom line is really need some advice on how to stop myself from falling back into bad habits that could hurt someone.

Re: Growing Past Your Past Abusive Behavior

Unread postPosted: 30 November 2020, 17:44
by René
I went through something similar but it's been so long, I don't really remember how I got past it... (That relationship was like 14-17 years ago.)

But, :hug:

Re: Growing Past Your Past Abusive Behavior

Unread postPosted: 30 November 2020, 17:57
by erti
Sometimes relationships in general are toxic. Sometimes relationships click and some don't. At least you recognize the toxic behavior and move on and learn from.