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Was I emotionally abused? / healing advice - September 2nd 2013, 05:05 AM

I broke up with my ex in April. I know, one would think I'd be over it by now, and for the most part I really am. I'm really happy he's not in my life anymore, and my new boyfriend is the best. But I just have one question, and I still need a little help getting over it. Because it really bothers me sometimes.
My ex, B. constantly told me what to do. I wanted to get body piercings and tattoos and dye my hair unnatural colors. B. was very opposed to it. He never said no, but he would throw legitimate temper tantrums about it. He would gush about how much he loved my 'natural' self, and how he didn't want my 'physical perfection' to be 'tainted'. And then after gushing for a half hour or so, he'd tell me how hard he was crying because he was 'controlling' me, and how he was acting like an asshole. The outcome was always me deciding it just wasn't worth it to get piercings, tattoos, ect. because he wouldn't stop belittling himself until I told him I wouldn't get them. There were times I expressed a want to cut my hair short, and he would do the same thing as above. Once I told him how excited I was about plans to go to a music festival (warped tour) with one of my friends, and he instantly got the same way when he realized my plans didn't include him. I wanted to be a musician, and he claimed me being on the road all the time would be more than what he could handle. I wanted to be a model and he said he didn't want to 'share' me with the men of the world, talking to me like modeling was going to make me a slut. I wanted to wear a lot of 'gothic' type makeup, and he would do the same thing he did with me getting body mods. He even convinced me to ditch all of my male friends and a few other friends I had. When I wanted to break up, he dragged it out for two weeks. He backed me into a corner (figuratively speaking), and wouldn't let me go. Even when I compromised in taking a break for a week before I made my 'final decision', he still kept an eye on me on my mibba.com and deviantart.com accounts; he had made himself an account on both sites so he could 'keep up' with my latest 'works/projects'.
I finally got rid of him on April 1. He insisted we'd get back together in 4, 5, 10 years. When we were 'closer in distance and older in heart'.
I'm just so mad I let him take advantage of me like he did. I changed myself and let go of my friends that only cared about me and tried to warn me about him, how was I so stupid? Was he emotionally abusive with me? The reason I ask is because if he was, I can go look at articles online about getting help in trying to forget what he did. If I can place a label to what he was doing to me, maybe I can get back on track with my life. I keep catching myself thinking about how much I hate me for letting him treat me like I was his doll, and to a certain point his plaything.
   
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Re: Was I emotionally abused? / healing advice - September 2nd 2013, 05:16 AM

From Wikipedia:

Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.[1][2][3] Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying, and abuse in the workplace.[2][3]

It sounds like your partner was very controlling, using manipulation and guilt trips to corral you into making the choices he wanted you to make. From your hair and body, to your aspiring career choices, to your social life and your friendships- it sounds like he really tried to run it. So, yes, I would say your ex emotionally abused you. I am sorry you had to go through such a thing- emotional abuse is very painful.

What's important for you to know is that it is not your fault, in anyway. You did nothing wrong to warrant his behavior, and on top of that, there's nothing wrong with you for letting him push you into those decisions. It's fine to regret that, but don't beat yourself up about it. Someone YOU cared about was using YOUR feelings as a weapon against you in that relationship. And nothing about that is your fault.

PM me if you need anything else. I hope, both here and elsewhere, you find some things that can help you on a path to healing.


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