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Abuse in College

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Peggy 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #303485

    Nikki
    Participant

    I was in an abusive relationship in college. I was so blinded and manipulated that I let him move into my one bedroom apartment to save money. I then spend two years of my college life living with a man who manipulated me, abused me, cheated on me, and eventually went to jail.

    I am so ashamed of not leaving sooner. Ashamed of not living with friends and living with my boyfriend at such a young age. I feel like it is common sense to not move in someone, especially someone who is treating you poorly.

    I then was in a very healthy relationship with someone very kind, but I broke up with him.

    I am not sure if I love him, or if I am just afraid to admit that I love him. That I am too afraid to let someone in. But i cannot tell the difference. I am ashamed of who I used to be, and cannot find peace.

    I missed out on a college experience for not breaking up with a boy sooner. and now I might be missing out on love because I am so damaged.

    Has anyone else experience an abusive relationship and struggled loving and being loved afterwords?

    Any advice?

     

    #303551

    anita
    Participant

    Dear ndcooper22:

    “I missed out on a college experience” and so did I and a lot of people,  missing out on what the college experience is supposed to be, what we see in movies and what we hear people share about when they are in a good mood, the parties, I suppose, getting drunk, that is always in the mix of college stories, isn’t it?

    But even the people telling these happy experiences, were not so happy when those experiences were actually happening- lots of retroactive-good-times that weren’t so good when happening.

    “and now I might be missing out on love because I am so damaged”-

    – lots of healing is available for damaged people, just as it is available for other damaged animals and plants, life finds a way. As humans we have a say about finding that way, finding alternative ways, experimenting with this way or that way.

    Tell me about the shame, when did that begin to be your experience, how long before college?

    anita

    #303569

    Nikki
    Participant

    I think I am consumed in missing out on the friendships. The roommates, the support and the going through it with someone/ other people.

    But you are right, many people do not experience it, and what it is is probably not what I imagine anyway.

    The shame, I remember it mostly when I started becoming friends with my ex.

    We were friends for years before we dated, but I recognize never feeling like it was a good friendship now that I look back.

    My shame came from not fitting in, for being awkward. I was his friend but he did not want people to know I was his friend because I was not apart of the cool crowd.

    I think shame for not being more confident in myself and not expecting more. Shame for forgetting my goals and chasing a boy instead. I was very studious and had lofty goals in life, and then they turned into trying to be better for him.

    I am ashamed of forgetting who I was and what I needed for the sake of love, that was not really love.

    It started when I was so young and I think I look back and wish I had known better to be more dedicated and keep my sights where they needed to be.

    #303579

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nikki:

    It hurts a person to not be “a part of the cool crowd”, to be considered not good enough to be a part of the popular group of people, and it is so not only for a young person, but at any age. I think the pain is raw when it happens at a young age.

    “My shame came from not fitting in… not a part of the cool crowd… for not being more confident in myself.. for forgetting my goals and chasing a boy instead… forgetting who I was”-

    – as the social animals that we are, our inborn goal is to be a part of the cool crowd, that is, to be accepted as a valuable member in a social group that we value. We are born to seek acceptance in a group with the intensity of survival because an animal alone, rejected by the group often dies.

    I hope you forgive yourself for having a natural goal, or need to belong to a social group or to a social group of two, the one with your former boyfriend.

    anita

     

    #303777

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Nikki,

    I’m sure that you do not need me to tell you that this person was ‘bad news’.  If he was part of a ‘cool gang’ then you were well out of it.  You cannot change what has happened so there is very little point in thinking “if only……..”.  You have done nothing to be ashamed of.  You cannot change the two years spent with him.  You cannot ‘leave sooner’.  You were with him and you have regrets.  Shame on him, not you.  He’s the one that should be ashamed of himself – not you.  Unless you grew up with abuse, nothing prepares you for being in this kind of relationship.  I am sorry this happened to you.

    The truth is this “shame” does not belong to you but as long as you carry it around with you it will continue to “damage” you.  You have a choice here:  You can choose to carry this heavy load around with you or you can put it down now and move on.

    Two years is a short space of time in your life.  You may have been distracted from your studies for a short time but you can still focus on achieving your goals.  You can still make good friendships and meet new people.  You can find love and be loved.

    Peggy

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