I could use some help working out painful memories of a relationship. It was a long time ago...but I never talked about it and I think it having a profound effect on me (I have not attempted dating, romance etc. since).
Was this just a normal 18yr olds relationship with the ups and downs? i.e. the issues are caused by me not talking about the experience
Or was I being abusive? Was my girlfriend being abusive?
My memory isn't great but...
The relationship lasted a year and a half
It was very intense and full of emotion
I had just decided to ignore/move away from a group of friends at school because it felt like they were bullying me (the girl in question knew this)
The girl stated her interest in me first
The girl often commented on my dress style during the relationship...suggesting that I should change it
I would sometimes get grumpy/annoyed that I didn't feel that she was 'close enough to me'...so I would withdraw communication and closeness
She would often expect me to call at a certain time...and get very angry if I forgot
She would sometimes get upset with me and I wouldn't understand why...I would apologize, but make no effort to change what I was doing
She once called me "patronizing" and another time called me "selfish"
She would sometimes get me alone and scratch my arms until they bled....my mum saw this and looked concerned...she was very annoyed when she found out about this
She would sometimes get me alone, go to hug me and then pinch my lower back very hard
She would sometimes pretend to cry and then laugh when I went to comfort her
She would say that I was over-sensitive...”you are a bit of a girl really”
She wanted constant text contact...and would get angry if I didn't reply quickly
I would sometimes act like a victim when she hurt me
I would try and 'emotionally stimulate' her or a get a reaction if it felt like she wasn't close enough to me...imply that I have other options i.e. “if you don't like I will leave”
She made a list of things that she wanted to change about me
I often felt like I was just being normal. Like I didn't have to put THAT much effort into the relationship...and I often felt that I couldnt understand/empathize with what she wanted from me/wanted me to change about myself
She would talk about ex boyfriends and people she likes...to make me jealous. She would get very angry when I tried to mirror this
She implied that she would kill herself once when I attempted to break up with her
She kissed two other guys when I was with her...she admitted it to me straight after...and wanted appreciation for her honesty. Then encouraged me to 'touch her up' to stop me feeling upset
I would sometimes act/feel very big and braggy...when we were together with friends. Sometimes I would crack a few jokes at her expense which upset her a lot
She suffered a serious family bereavement...I tried to support her...but she didn't seem to feel it was enough
I told her that she “doesn't love me as much as I love her” and that she “doesn't understand how much I love her”
Friends would often comment that she had me 'whipped'
I remember feeling irritated that I wasn't getting what I needed from the relationship...even though she was grieving
I later heard from a friend that she had told mutual friends (while drunk) that I hadn't supported her properly during the bereavement...I felt awful and very guilty and apologized by text
After missing her for a few months...I called her and said that I was about to sleep with a new woman...she called back very upset and distraught so I tried to comfort her (it didn't work)...and I regretted the decision immediately.
Now I think about it. The relationship was always on a knife edge. Sometimes it was on, sometimes it was off. I would switch between acting like a loving victim...to get care and sympathy...who just wants her to love me as much as I love her. To uncaring...”I will go and leave you then” and indifferent. She would do the same.
If I sound like a horrible person. Please tell me. I just want to understand what happened.