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I was fourteen. Barely even a “young woman” when I met him. We used to say it was fate we met, because circumstances lined up just right for us to meet, and that was what I based our entire relationship on. He was four years older than me, and I didn’t know it at the time, but that would be a huge problem in our relationship.
The time he told me he liked me was important to me. We started talking over Messenger when I added him as a friend when we had first met in person. For whatever reason, he told me he wanted to video chat. Something to do with how much he hated texting. What soon turned into an eight hour call, brought this spark of relationship together. During that call, he told me his life story of ridicule, dealing with mental disorders, all because he “felt comfortable” with me.
Little did I know, this was a tactic known as Grooming. Grooming is commonly done when pedophiles trick their victims into lowering their guard by telling the victim personal things about their lives in the first meeting. Now, I know I had known him beforehand, but it wasn’t anything personal. I messaged maybe a total of four times, all short conversation, nothing too long or important.
This was our first real conversation, and for a fourteen-year-old, this was a big deal. Especially when he made me feel so important to him that he admitted to liking me and asked me out on a date.
Now, at first it didn’t seem like much. I really liked him, and I can’t lie and say I wasn’t happy with him. But after a while things got...weird. I was in love with him as much as a fourteen-year-old can love someone. He loved me too, and we told each other this. A lot. One scenario that is fresh in mind is him telling me he loved me so much he would kill himself without me, something that deeply bothered me in the near future, but didn’t affect me at that time.
I had no experience in dating at all. I dated guys (and girls) when I was younger, but nothing was serious. I had never actually hung out with them on dates, I didn’t feel as serious about them as I did him. This was because I was “mature” and “acted older than my age” and couldn’t get along with people my age. Right? That had to be the reason.
We talked about a lot of adult stuff. Not sex, but living together and children. I was under this impression that I was meant to be with this man because I could accept him for his flaws like no one else could. He made me feel unique in that sense, but I soon started to feel...less..unique. He would tell me lies, things I would believe at first that hurt.
He would practically brag about all the women he had slept with and would tell me different variations of the same story three times. He kept some of his issues a secret from me, his first seizure he had at my house I had no idea was a seizure. Because he told me he was just “scared from a nightmare” and was shaking a lot. He didn’t tell me til months later that he was epileptic.
There were many times he left me on read, during really important times. I suffered from horrible depression, and I remember telling him I was so depressed I wanted to rot my brain out, and he just left me on read and got mad when I was upset. He would tell me that “I didn’t tell him I wanted to talk” that “he wasn’t a mind reader” and later in the future when I told him this, he even said “I’m not obligated to respond back to you."
I may not be an expert in relationships. But I know enough to understand that if your suicidal spouse messages you saying they’re depressed, you don’t leave them by themselves. That just isn’t a thing you do, and he did that. A lot.
This bothered me so much that I would vent to friends about it, and this was when the words “mentally abusive” were first circulated. I had a friend who was so dedicated to get me to break up with him, that they left when I couldn’t do it.
I remember him and I fighting a lot. They weren’t ever really fights, I would just find myself feeling incredibly insulted and feeling so small. He once told me I wasn’t “a real native” because I let people walk all over me. And this was a huge insult to me because I am very proud of my heritage.
This was also brought back up another time, when he kept saying rude things to me and I told him to “f*ck off.” I remember he just laughed, and said “that’s more like it!” And I knew then that my words had no impact on him.
I had trouble believing him. He lied a lot, and would tell my family one thing, and then me another. This hurt us in a lot of fights because his story would change and I wouldn’t know what to believe. When we broke up for the very first time, it was horrible. He accused me of not believing in him and told me I was a horrible person and that I was abusive towards him. He told me he hated me, and I got scared. I told him if he hated me so much and since I was so awful to him, we shouldn’t be together. What he said next was a huge red flag. “You’re not allowed to leave me.”
I left anyway, and he told me he just had another “attack” and felt horrible. He told me he wanted to get better mentally, and started an “outpatient retreat.” He told me he wouldn’t date me until he got better, and I believed he was better. We wouldn’t argue, he didn’t show me the bad side of him. He told me how much he loved me, how much he missed me, and how he just couldn’t wait until he was better so we could be together again.
This was something he would do a lot in the future, flatter and woo me while we were on break, and then revert back to his old self once we got back together. This first break was different because while he told me how much he loved and missed me, he told another girl, who we will call Ella, that he liked her.
The difference between Ella and I was that she was his roommate, and saw him every single day. So the day when I got a message from Ella, that started out with “so, from what I understand...you and ex aren’t together...?” My world shattered. As it turned out, my ex had made out with, and tried to have sex with, Ella. She came to tell me that she still wanted to be my friend, and was happy that my ex had already told me about it before she did.
But he didn’t tell me. He lied to her, and when he found out... he ran away. Something he did often when he had his “attacks.” I was out of state, but Ella looked everywhere for him. But I was so angry. I told her what I knew was true, he would come back home, which he did. But he was upset about this. He was upset about this situation of me knowing.
I felt betrayed. Because he told me he loved me, he told me he didn’t like her at all, and he refused to talk about this with me. The only explanation I got from him was that “he was lonely” and I remember being so angry. It was HIM who told me he wouldn’t date me. It was HIM who wanted to wait. Then he betrayed me because of the loneliness he caused? And that was supposed to be okay?
When I told him this, he yelled at me. Told me I was abusive and manipulative. I was mean and a messed up person. He threatened to leave me if I ever tried to talk about Ella with him ever again. But the situation really hurt me.
I didn’t trust him around other females, I already had issues because of “all the woman” he had relations with (which he admitted to lying about), and because of him telling me his old best friend told him she would have sex with him if he didn’t have a girlfriend...and he continued to hang out with her and listen to her tell him how much she wanted to do that with him. I didn’t trust him around other females at all, which should of been a red flag.
I tried to ignore the fact I didn’t trust him. I didn’t want to seem controlling by telling him I didn’t trust him to be friends with girls. So I just let the anger and sadness of all of this fester inside of me. We got in a lot of fights because of it, I would accuse him of liking other girls, and accuse him of wanting to be with them, and he would get mad. We would break up and get back together. It was normally me who would break up with him and beg him back.
The thing about being in a relationship, especially one like this, is you don’t want to leave. At this point, we had been together for almost two years, and I wanted to be dedicated. We both became unhealthy for each other.
We were rarely ever happy, and we hated being with each other. But at the same time we loved each other, and didn’t want to leave. What tore us apart was something I could never forget.
I had a kitten that I had since it was born. It was a slower kitten, we didn’t think he would make it because he would scream all the time and couldn’t walk forwards. I raised him the best I could, because mama cat didn’t want him and his siblings were too rough. I loved this cat, and had practically raised it.
We moved to a place closer to the road, and when we couldn’t stop him from getting out...we couldn’t keep him away from the road...I was devastated when I found out what had happened to my kitten. At this point he was about half a year old, and I had completely fallen in love with him. I remember sobbing and texting my ex to tell him what had happened to my little baby, and his response? “That’s fucked up.”
I was livid. I screamed at him and cried because of how insensitive he had been. I was so angry, but he got mad at me. He was mad that I got angry at him, and it made me feel bad. I felt bad that he was insensitive to my kitten dying. And I apologized for yelling at him. And I begged him to forgive me. And told him that I just saw it differently than he did because we had different perspectives.
He yelled at me, told me I was a messed up person. Told me I was horrible, all because I told him we had different views and different perspectives on the situation. He broke up with me. Very angrily broke up with me because of this. Everything fell apart after this, he grew extremely posessive over me. I remember we weren’t dating, and my male friend told me he wanted to make out with me and my ex was livid.
He told me I was his, and even though we weren’t dating that I belonged to him and even said “I don’t have to ask you out to be in a relationship with you. Because we are talking like we are together it means we are together” which made no sense to me!
How come we were only together when he said we were? If that were true, then why were we not “together” when he told me he loved me every day while he was trying to get in his roommates pants? I never told him that, because I was scared he would leave me. I was too scared to talk about that situation (which severely messed me up in the long run) because I didn’t want him out of my life. We would unhappily be together. The smallest thing would trigger us to fight and argue.
What really made us fall apart was the day he told me I had ruined his life. Those were his exact words “you ruined my life” and I remember crying and saying he never ruined mine and I was happy with him. But I told him we shouldn’t be together if he really hated me that much. He didn’t disagree, he just said okay. Then suddenly we weren’t together anymore.
This is when I realized how bad our relationship truly was, and I did something stupid. I vented on social media and he saw it. I talked about the Ella situation, the times he left me on read when I needed him, the times he lied to me. He told me he didn’t want to be with me because I had made myself the victim. He couldn’t talk to me. I cried on the phone and he told me he didn’t care that I was crying.
We stopped talking, and I told him I didn’t want to be friends. I didn’t want to be boyfriend and girlfriend, I barely wanted to be acquaintances, and he just said he agreed and we haven’t talked since. He blocked me on snap once I started dating someone else (and if you want to know how that went, read my piece How To Get Over A Breakup) and I occasionally see a post of his on social media or see he is active. But that’s all we have to do with each other now.