My Relationship Experience

01 November, 2018

Hello, Hola, Bonjour, *insert hello in other assorted languages here*.

You may be wondering 'Bea, what has prompted you to discuss this topic?'. Good question. I think relationships can be very complicated. Sometimes they're amazing and wonderful, but sometimes they're scary and uncomfortable. I have only had a couple of experiences in my still very short life, but I feel it's important to talk about things because you never know who is looking for someone to relate to. When I was 18, I was in a really horrible relationship. I was really sad and I felt really trapped. I remember google searching 'am I too young to feel trapped/isolated in a relationship? - I even wondered if I was overthinking it and perhaps I was too young to feel hurt or controlled. I would think that people would just laugh at me if I told them I was in an unhappy relationship I felt I couldn't escape and that they'd just say 'You're 18! You don't know what you're talking about!'. You're never too young, or too old to experience physical or mental abuse, and so here I am, talking about something that happened to me a while ago that has taken me a long time to feel comfortable discussing.

Before you read on, there is some mention of somewhat sensitive subjects, so please be mindful and discretion advised.

My track record with relationships is not something to get excited about. I mean, let's start with the fact that I'm only (just about) 20 years old. Give a girl some time to live her life before telling her she needs someone else to live it with! Jeez. Throughout the short time that I have been alive, however, I have had one or two (potentially three or four...) actual relationships. Two of these relationships where 'serious' (or as serious as they can be aged 17 - 19). One of the serious ones was okay at the start and during, but horrible at the end. The other was just horrible all around. I've had some pretty negative experiences when it comes to emotional (and sometimes physical) unpleasantness, most of which I feel too uncomfortable to discuss, but I think it's important that people realise that emotional/physical abuse in relationships (be it friendships, dating, or other kinds of relationship too) is much more common than it may seem.

My last 'serious' relationship was horrible, as mentioned above. I have never spoken about it publicly before because, well, it's uncomfortable and sometimes even scary to discuss negative things that have happened to us, especially when they are at the hand of others. I decided now was a good time to talk about it because I feel safe and I know that I am no longer in that situation, and will do everything in my power to ensure I never am again. Plus, I think it's important for people to know that they are not alone.

My last relationship was with a guy who was struggling with depression and anxiety, which is fine, I do too. Only, he would almost blame everyone else for how he was feeling and often take it out on me. He could be very nasty towards me when he wanted to and he was very, very controlling. He didn't like it when I spent time with other people, especially my friends. He didn't like it if I said I couldn't come over because I was content creating, or if I didn't want to go to certain places because they made me uncomfortable. He was very manipulative, and would threaten me with harming himself if I broke up with him or told anybody else about things he did. He would also take my hands or arm, and dig his nails into them if I didn't do what he had asked, or expressed that I wasn't happy to do it, leaving very obvious indents in my skin. I won't go into any further detail than that, but all I'll say is, it was really tough.

I felt completely trapped in a relationship I absolutely hated and felt like I would be ignored, or even laughed at if I told anyone how I felt. At the time I had a lot going on in my own life too. Studies, my own mental health issues, my gender related things, among many others. All of this, plus feeling like every move I made was watched and judged, every conversation I had with anyone was overseen, every place I visited I was told to disclose. It was honestly crippling. As I said before, I don't want to go into too much detail. This all went on for about seven months, before I disclosed (in a very emotional conversation) everything to my mum. She obviously supported me, told me it was okay, and helped me to deal with the situation, and now it's no longer something I have to deal with but I do feel like once you've experienced it, you find it very hard to be trusting in others.

It has left me somewhat afraid of relationships. I find it really hard to trust others, and ever since, any time anyone has told me they 'like' me, it's just scared me off. I don't mean to be scared off, especially not when they're genuinely nice people, but I feel as though something just clicks in my mind and I go into total panic mode and think 'Oh gosh, they like me? RUN!'. It's hard because I just don't want to be in that situation again, I enter panic mode just thinking about it.

It is worth nothing, that despite some pretty hefty trust issues I, unlike so many people out there, am no longer in that situation. I am safe, and comfortable and okay. Some people out there are trapped in much worse situations and have been for years and years and may even continue to be for good. I pray that anyone who is currently experiencing domestic abuse gets ANY help they need to get out of the situations they're trapped in. As I said, there are no restrictions. You can be any age, gender, whatever. Anyone can be subject to emotional or physical abuse.

If you (or someone you know) is experiencing abuse of any kind, please do speak to someone you trust. If you would like addition support, you can visit the National Domestic Violence helpline website for more details.

Thank you for reading my ramblings, as usual. It's been a long time now since I was in that situation, I've just never felt comfortable discussing it outside of my close friends. Hopefully it gives you a reminder that sometimes people aren't okay, and it's not wrong to inquire as to why if someone appears to need help. Please always tell the people in your life that you love them and you are there for them. My experiences were nothing compared to some, so bear that in mind. Though, it does feel quite nice to finally talk about it.

I hope you all have a great day as usual. Take care of yourselves and make someone smile today (if you can)!

Bea x

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