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Not sure if this abuse

Feb 3, 2021
When I was in middle school, I dated this guy. The first 4 months we dated, it just your average middle school relationship. Eventually, I asked him how he would feel if I stopped talking to a close friend of mine (he never liked her because she was really affectionate), and he said he would like that very much. He then added “I don’t want you hanging out with your friends. I can’t talk to you at school because you’re always surrounded by them and they give me weird looks. I want you all to myself”. I stopped out talking to all of my friends, and spent all of my time with him. My routine would be wake up at 6:15 am, get ready for the day, walk to school with him, go to class, have lunch with him, back to class, walk home with him, and then email him from 4 pm-8:30 pm. All the time I spent on my phone was spent talking to him. I didn’t text my friends or anything, and I had this rule where I had to put my phone away at 8:45, so I never really had an opportunity to play a game or anything.

I then told him I wouldn’t join any clubs so he would happy, but as time went on I began to long for my friends. All of my friends were in band and I wasn’t half bad at clarinet, so I decided it would be a good idea to join. One problem though, I would have to ask him permission to join. That night when we were emailing, I brought it up. He immediately said no because it would have been “too much time away from [him]”, which got me a little mad. I’ve always been one to stay calm during an argument, though, so I tried to just state my case and beg to join band. After 3 days of arguing, I got a little sick of it. I was cleaning the bathroom, because it was Saturday and I do that every Saturday. I ended up just telling him we were done, and I was joining band. He then proceeded to send me dozens of emails begging me to take him back. They ranged from “please, I love you, you know no one will love you as much as I do”, to “Please, I don’t want to go back feeling that empty all the time. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Please, please, please, I never meant for this to happen. I never meant to hurt you”. It was until I saw the “please, take me back. I have a knife on deck, and I’m prepared to use it. Please, if you don’t take me back, I’m going to kill myself”, of course, this was alarming, and I loved him very much, so I took him back. He let me join band, but on one condition. I don’t get close to my friends, as he doesn’t like them. A few weeks passed, and he was trying to persuade me to quit band. “I don’t like your friends. They are scary, and not worth you. You should only hang out with me, only talk to me. I’m the only one you need”. I decided I had enough, and I was going to break up with him. One day, as we were walking home, I said the whole “I think we should break up” line, to which he responded with “Are you sick of me? Do you hate me? Oh god, You hate me”. I said “no, I don’t hate you”, and he started scratching his arm as hard as he could, as a form of self harm. He said “Then why do we have to break up!? I can’t live without you. I love you so much. I’ll do anything for you. I’ll kill all your friends so I can be the only one in your life. I’ll kill them and then myself”, obviously I said I had made up my mind, and I was going to leave him, but then he did that thing where he hugs me from behind as tight as possible, and then said “You can’t do this to me. I won’t let you go until you say you’re not going to leave me. Say you won’t leave me and I’ll let go of you”, I froze in place, as I couldn’t breathe. I then agreed to take him back, and then he had a complete melt down? Going on about how “It’s them isn’t it. They’re convincing you to leave me. Don’t be stupid enough to fall for them. We’re soulmates. No one will take you away from me. I don’t care what I have to do, just don’t leave”. I took him to my house for him to calm down. I still remember which spot on the couch he sat on. Sometimes I still see him there.

After a year of dating, I broke up with him. I said we’re not good for each other, and he proceeded to cry to me. He then started scratching his arm again, and I tried to stop him, but then he yelled “don’t touch me! I’m doing this because of you”. He has a scar on his arm from that.

Ever since then, we haven’t spoken much. He occasionally emails me, saying how much he misses me, but I try to dismiss him as lightly as possible. I don't have the heart to block him.

I feel like i was too young for this to qualify as abuse, if it makes sense. Maybe I'm just being dramatic and it isn't that bad.


here an there
Jul 30, 2009
idk, middle school is kids aged 10-13, im having a hard time seeing a child that young as a perpetrator of domestic violence.

isolating the victim from friends/family IS a red flag for dv, but thats because that makes the vic dependent on the perp and unable to leave the relationship, because leaving requires support from family/friends (e.g. a place they can crash at for a few nights till they rent their own place, money they can borrow, help finding a job, etc), so without this support the vic ends up stuck with the perp, feeling like they cant leave. however, when we talk of 10-13yo kids - you were staying with your parents at the time, did not depend on that boy, your parents were the ones providing all of your necessities, not him.

threatening suicide, homicide, self-injury, etc - yeah, also a red flag for DV, because among adults this is manipulative behavior, visiting your problems on other people. when i feel like hurting myself - i reach out for help, with mental health professionals, rather than threaten my loved ones, you know. however, a 10-13yo child cant be expected to regulate their emotions as well as adults do. kids sometimes harm themselves, attempt or even commit suicide - over their school relationships with their peers. because they are bullied, or have no friends, or the boy/girl they like rejected them, etc. its very unfortunate, but yeah, kids dont regulate as well as adults, and these things do happen. cuz rejection stings, no matter how old you are. so yeah, i have a hard time viewing a 10-13yo boy as an abuser because he doesnt want the girl he likes to hang out with other people, and/or because he threatens suicide and self-injures when she leaves him.

that said - i can absolutely see how this experience would negatively affect you. when your boyfriend acts so needy/clingy, and when you're concerned for his safety, feeling like its your responsibility, like you have to stay with him in order to save his life and whatnot - of course it can be traumatic.

normally theres supposed to be a balance in relationships, people dont put all of their eggs in one basket. like youre supposed to have a romantic partner - and friends, and family, and colleagues, and neighbors you sometimes say hi to - youre supposed to have all of these relationships, at once. some people struggle forming/maintaining relationships, so when they finally get someone (doesnt matter who, a gf, or a friend, or their mom, anyone) - they cling to that one person, trying to fulfill all of their needs through this one relationship. and of course they feel uncomfortable when that person has other relationships too. cuz they themselves dont have anyone else, this person is their entire life - but they arent this persons entire life, this person has other people they like and interact with. thats an imbalance, and of course it hurts. thing is - you dont solve it by demanding that this person should cut off all of their friends/family and focus solely on you. you solve it by forming more relationships yourself, making friends with other people. i hope that boy you dated in middle school figures these things out and starts making more friends, so that he wouldnt be intimated by the fact that his next gf has friends. cuz its normal to have friends and family, he should do it as well....

ps: pardon my curiosity, but im puzzled by your choice of nick. does it have anything to do with the issue that brought you here, that middle school relationship? or is that just a random piece of trivia about you that you felt like sharing? how do you wish to be addressed?