Sit down cuz this will be a long one.
For context: I (29m) come from an extended history of abuse. Because of that I have developed ptsd and bpd as well, which makes it a little harder now for me to know if someone is being actually abusive or I am just being oversensitive.
A year and a half ago, i met my boyfriend (24m) and we hit it off. Right off the bat, I told him about my mental health situation and explained what that entailed (the memory losses, the over sensitive thing, the anger episodes, all of it) We had so many issues in the begging, he was really abusive (this is without question bc I have witnesses for most of it, so I know it’s not my mind playing tricks on me), he would partake in “pick up” techniques to keep me interested and gaslight me, etc, as well as berating me and making me feel like less of a human bc I had a… Colorful past. He even felt like I had to tell him about the abuse an ex put me through, in details, and if I didn’t give all the details or didn’t want to share all of it (talking about it in person still makes me ill), he would accuse me of lying. We talked about these and he stopped this behavior, becoming a great boyfriend after that. Because of that, despite the changes he made, it took me a while to trust that he wouldn’t abuse or leave me over nothing and in that insecurity, I lost my job in April and, in desperation because I thought he would leave me or berate me for being laid off, I sold some nudes to a colleague in hopes to make my own money. He calls this “the time you cheated on me” and considers this, rightfully so, as me downright cheating, to him it’s the same as me going to bed with someone else. He found out in july that I did this and got mad, but said he forgave me. However, since then, he alternates between making me cry and being a super nice guy. I never sold nudes again, and I cut off my colleague.
I swear I am really trying, every criticism he has I listen and change. He complained I played videogame too much and didn’t spend time with him when he had free time, so I stopped and now only play videogames when he is at work, because of that I stopped playing online since the time zone here is different and most games are more active during what would be “night time”. He complained that I don’t remember certain things (I have adhd and I also have dissociative episodes too) so I started working with mechanisms to remember everything he says. He complained I am too literal and don’t understand jokes, so I started to try and learn humor and nuance. He complains that I talk to him while he is doing home office and that it bothers him and that his work is important so I shouldn’t make it difficult for him, so I stopped (however I must note here that he does use his phone to watch YouTube and talk to his friends, what bothers him is really me talking in person). He complains about the youtube videos I watch so I stopped watching them when he is with me (which is all the time since we live together) He complained that I walk and talk too slow, so I now think everything I need to say to him and plan how to say it fast enough. He complained that I look at other people when we are outside, so I stopped looking at anyone but him (it’s very hard but I managed to do it). I am at a point where I changed almost everything for him, I have like one friend now and I don’t talk to her so much bc she thinks my bf is abusive so I avoid her bc I think I am the abusive one and it hurts me to hear her speak of him like that.
The other day, however, we were at his house (he still keeps his own place despite us living together) and he made a joke about me being a cheater using one of those “5 signs your so is cheating” buzzfeed articles. I pointed out, not understanding that it was humor, that he showed many more signs than me. Like I had 2 out of 5 and he had 5 out of 5. He then lost it and began to yell at me and say that he showed these signs bc I cheated on him and he wasn’t just gonna sit there ànd be a cuckold. He yelled for hours. I just cried, really. I tried in the start to defend myself but it didn’t work, he just kept yelling and yelling, and I just cried bc I was a little scared, and maybe he is right. I cheated so I should take anything from him now and also, I think some times I exaggerate and think he is being abusive when he isn’t, I am. So, fast forward a few more days, and we were back at the place we share and everything was fine. Then, he needed to download a program for his work and asked me to look it up on my pc. I did but I didn’t find anything, I told him I only found the program available for mobile, and asked if we could do it on his phone. He said fine, he would do it and then was silent for a few moments. In the mean time, I was reading the news and asked a friend if she knew of this program. She directed me to another website and I finally found the PC version. I was gonna dl it, but he said he was already finished so I let it go and went back to looking at my FB feed. In there I saw a meme about a YouTuber and asked him about the YouTuber, if he knew who he was. I asked “who is x?” He answered “a YouTuber”. I ask “ok, but what does he do?” Him: “youtube videos”. Me: “what kind of videos?” him “videos for youtube”. After that I just gave up and began to research on my own. I didn’t hear him, but he swears he asked “why?”. He then asks again “why?” And I said “someone is comparing him to y*” (*y being another YouTuber that he likes). He asks “comparing how?” And i, because it was the truth “I don’t know, it’s a meme” and I thought he was looking over my shoulder on my phone (he usually does that and so do I) so I didn’t elaborate. He then, started to literally yell at me. He began to call me names and shake, spit flew from his mouth bc he was really mad, he said I wasn’t a team player, that he was the one doing everything in the relationship, that I was unworthy. He just went on and on and on. He even broke up with me. I was like terrified of him, specially because he began to gesticulate in front of me while yelling then he started mumbling “not for him, not for this guy, he isn’t worth it”. I was legit scared, I just cried and tried to understand what I did wrong. I tried to reason with him but he was so mad. But it eventually died down, and to be completely honest, I did yell at him back at the ending of the discussion, though it was nothing like him. My sister came to visit us that weekend and was in the next room and recorded everything, otherwise I would think I was abusive to him somehow and was forgetting it. I heard the recording, he just yells and yells and calls me names and I just cry and cry and at some point it really sounds like he is about to hit me. Very at the end I yell back but all I say is about my mental disorder and that I expected he knew how to handle it since I told him from the get go what he was getting himself into. Regardless, I know it was wrong of me to yell back.
Anyways , days and weeks passed since then and we are “fine”. However, I am now scared of him. I stopped defending myself, I stopped trying to have my own opinions because I am scared. I don’t want to be, I think he won’t hurt me and I know I am to blame too. But I am scared and I can’t shake this feeling. Everytime I see he is about to get upset I stop and immediately agree with him even if I don’t, because I am afraid he will yell again or maybe worse. I don’t know how to handle this. I can’t go to therapy bc my therapist is only doing online counseling for now and I am afraid to tell this by video to my therapist and he hears it and yells again. Or gets hurt.
I feel immense guilt, because he is wonderful and helps me and makes me feel so loved. Then suddenly he changes and gets mad at me and yells. I don’t know if this is borderline or ptsd playing tricks on me, I can only be sure of the times where I have witnesses or evidence because I can’t trust my own memory.
- I don’t want to be abusive, I wanted to make him happy, but I am scared. I don’t know what to do. How do I stop being abusive to him? Is there any chance for us to be together and work on our problems?