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she only sees me as someone who can hurt her
January 5, 2000
6:29 pm
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dav
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i don't really know where to start on something like this, but i really don't know where to go to find support or the strength to cope with the situation i am in. i suppose an overview is the best starting point though. i met my girlfriend when we were in a shared house together, we had both come out of relationships which had hurt us and i found it very difficult to have any confidence in this one. in fact i was expecting it not to work oiut from the very beginning. my self esteem was very low. i was afraied of arguing or putting myself in a position where i could be hurt but i really knew that this was the girl for me, certainly for the foreseeable future. things started off well and the more i got to know her i was able top open up and reveal a lot about my past and how i had been hurt and she seemed to be able to do this do. gradually my confidence was being restored and i was beginning to realise that i could be in a relationship with someone else, it didn't have to end badly. as the months went on though i found that my girlfriend (karen) was becominh very mistrusting. she wanted me to behave a certain way, only see certain people and found it very difficult to come to places where she could accidently bump into an old grielfriend. i tried to reassure her that i only wanted her and tried to accept her jealousy as normal as im sure i would have felt the same if i had been put in similar situations. the problem was that she made me feel bad for it, i felt like she was blaming me for having a history. she didnt feel that she could measure uo to the past and if an old girlfriend came along i would jump at the chance to get back with her. all this could not possibly be further from the truth. i wish she could get inside my head and just see for herslef how much i love her and that i would never do anything to hurt her. anyway this pattern has got progressively worse and we have split up a couple of times, i feel due to my own anger at the whole situation, feeling completely mistutsed and therefore having to get away to clear my head but we have got back together ans karen has been able(at least short term) to see her own problems. things a bout her though didnt add up - she got scared in the dark, she would become frightened by sex especially if she couldnt see me clearly (bad eyesight) and constany nightmares. all these things worried me but through talking about she was able to reveal a few fears about something that she thought had happened to her when young, something the family didnt talk about but involving a man. reading about it led me to believe she had been abused. we were able to muddle through these bad times and i felt she would feel better for having shared things with me but things havent got better, she has progressively shut hereslef off from many things but mainly me. intimacy on her part is none existent, somethinf i could cope with, but she seems cold as if she has shut herself off from situations where she could be hurt. the main turning point i thought cmae during one of her panic attacks where she lay beside me frozen with fear for about half an hour and i tried to reassure her anf ofr her to tell me what was up. i told her that it didnt matter what it was and that it couldnt possibly change my opionon of her and she had to tell someone. in fact i was very frightened. she was able to whisper that she had been raped when she was 16. i felt this could healp her move on, in that she could now trust me, she said her greatest fear was that i would leave he and think she was a slag! i couldnt believe she could actually think that about me, that i would possibly view her in any different way. i encouraged her to see someone and talk about her problems, the past and try to get over it but reassured her that i would be there for her. the real problem here is that i cant be there for her, not because of what happened but that she is totally shut off form me, her eyes dont express love only fear, as if she is expecting me to finish with her, which i think is what she belives she desrves, i try to be there for her, but she is cold. there is no warmth or affection, she tries to change me, wants me to be a certain way something which i cant do. she has a grass is greener attitude , wnat smy support but gives nothing back. sees me as the problem. sometimes she seems so together but the way she talks!, she talks to me as if i need help that i shouldnt be solely dependent on her for happiness, that i am smothering her. i cant be expcted to care for her and not take anything on board can i? she talks of being more responsible for herslf but all i see is her shutting everbody who cares for her out - so that she cant be hurt. the proble has got a lot worse over new year though. i thought we had made a breakthrough, we were in london wenjoying the celebrations and for the first time in ages we were having a good time - together - . but she stormed off with her friend at about 1pm not telling that we were leaving and got lost in the crowds. i knew there was a problem and i was very angry, i jhad done something and she had thought so litle of me that she didnt care that i didnt know my way around, so i was left not knowing how to get back to where i was staying which seh did because it was her friends house. somehow i did find my way back and amazingly before her, i was still angry but she showed no concern for me. whatever i had done had really upset her but i had done nothing wrong. i told her that i couldnt carry on with her in this jeckyll and hyde relationship that i needed more. i couldnt be there for her if she wasnt going to be there for me. then the tears followed and her anger came out, she was angry for something i had said - a crude joke - . i got very angry and said that i had had enough,especialyy if she couldnt tell me these things and was going to treat me like this. at this point she froze and told me to leave her alone and not to do this, the arms went up to protect herslef. she actually thought i was going to beat her (something an ex boyriend had done to her). i was in tears i told her she couldnt do this to me, i would never hurt her. i knew it had become hopeless. i left and went to stay at my dads house and have not contacted her since. i really dont know what to do now. i am still worried about her, but i cant cope with the situation, especially as i get very little in return. if she sees me as someone who can hurt her then that is not down to me, she is not seeing me she is seeing the past. i love her and still want it to work out but i really feel i cant do anymore, i dont know whether to leave he r alone write to her or just forget it. to be honest i have felt fine and can resign myslef to it not working out bcause it is not anything i have done,i am not to blame for rape abuse or violent boyfriends. there have been so many downs in this relationship that i cant see any future in it, but it doesnt stop me worrying about her. should i let it go. help!! i need another perspective on this

January 5, 2000
7:12 pm
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VRJ
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What does your heart tell you to do.
And the best thing you can do for her is make yourself into the best person YOU can be. Read info on codependency, control issues, etc.

January 6, 2000
10:52 am
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Cici
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All I can say is taht when someone has a severe problem like that, it is impossible to force them to get better. they have to realize they have a problem or issue, admit that they have an issue and take steps to deal with it themselves. All this usually occurs when the person is ready to take steps to get better, not before.

I sympathize with you because I had issues similar to your girlfriend...molested at 5, sexually assualted at 12, but I chose to deal with it at a young age, maybe because my family was open, maybe because I'm a strong person, I don't know. I recognize some of her reactions to things, though.

the thing that you have to consider is that this is an unequal partnership. You love her, yes, but can you love enough for tow people? Of course not. Have you tried talking to her when she is rational? If she keeps pushing you away, you can't just sit there stoically and take abuse and not have it affect you as well as her.

It might be ehalthy for you to step back. Maybe try to take her to couples therapy or something?

January 6, 2000
4:31 pm
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dav
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i have read about codependency. thanks vrj. all seems to make sense including traits i know i have but am attempting to work through, unfortunately my heart doesnt seem to be giving many answers at the moment! i suppose i am struggling with the thought of losing her and that she will feel that i dont care because i haven't contacted her but then i suppose that has been the problem - i have always come running and never given her the chance to truly find her own feelings. But should i tell her i'm stepping back, that it isn't working, but i do love her. i worry that she will feel it is all she desrves and that it proves what she 'knew all along' - that ultimately i would hurt her. I suppose i have to let her see what she is missing and let her come to me if she really wants it, to take what is obviously a very difficult step - recognising her needs and seeing me as an ally and not someone to fear. Thanks cici, it is reassuring to know that there are others out there! its difficult to get advice when people around have expeienced nothing like this before. i guess i'll have to decide whether i need to show my face or leave her alone and let her force the issue, if she really wants me she knows where i am and she should know how much i care if she can bring herself to look more closely at our relationship. in the meantime i will have to look out for me and not lose myself in guilt or regret. Thanks to both of you for responding. i think i will be back!

January 6, 2000
6:33 pm
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VRJ
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Let me know how it goes. You sound a lot like me and she sounds a lot like my man

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