Am I doing the right thing by ending this relationship?
okay well, I have a lot to say and I really need some advice because I've never tried to fully explain this to anyone. I'm at the end of my rope, I need help.
I've been involved with a man, I'll refer to him as C, since about september of last year. I was seventeen when we met, I'm eighteen now. the whole situation began because I ran away from home. I ended up in a city a province away from my hometown and I had absolutely no one and nothing. I went through some really trying times in the first month or so of being there, I was taken advantage of and lied to and stomped all over. and then I met C, and he helped me and took care of me. it truly wasn't romantic at all at first, for one thing he is twice my age (34), I didn't want a romantic relationship, I was trying to get out of the city and really I didn't even want anything to do with men at that point. but we got along very well, and he was an enormous support to me and treated me very well. as things progressed, I did kind of start to fall for him and he fell for me too. we became intimate soon enough, and we made plans to find a place to live (we were both on the street) and be together. I was going to go back to school, he would find work, we'd figure it out.
the problem was that I was seventeen. I ran away from my family's home because I didn't know what I wanted out of life, I was seeking purpose and understanding and even adventure. and I fell for this man and of course I did want to be happy but it became quite obvious to me that I was not prepared for the kind of commitment that I was facing. he was a grown man, ready to settle down, I mean for christs sake he already has three daughters and an ex wife he left behind. I wasn't ready to take that place, I was trying to find myself, not dedicate myself to someone else. we endured a lot of conflict and misunderstanding but eventually, by december, it became clear that I needed to go home and leave him behind. it was my best bet.
I don't know if it ever really got through his head that my decision was based on my wish not to be with him, and the reasons why. all that became very clouded with the fact that I loved him, and I wasn't prepared to lose him, he was all I had. going home was extremely difficult but I couldn't be in that situation. toward the end of it we both just agreed that returning home was what was best for me, and it was. I had no bad blood with my family, and my grandmother was sick, I was missing them all like hell. and in those eight months as a homeless runaway I learned enough about life that I could cope with the depression that led me to seek escape in the first place. so I came home to attempt a fresh start, but I kept in touch with C.
for the first while we mutually decided to be just close friends. to try long distance was stupid, but we had a strong bond and it would've been hard for either of us to lose the other. but things did not stay very "friendly," it became more than that again and he reminded me often how "special our love is" and how "rare something like this happened." and I believed that to be true, and I missed him quite a lot. we talked on the phone every day, he helped me deal with the overwhelming return home; I was enduring a lot of flashbacks, disassociation and very high levels of stress, anxiety and depression. he never quite understood what I was going through, but he made me feel less alone and I needed that. he loved me, he wanted the best for me.
eventually, I don't quite remember when, he decided it would be nice for me to come see him in the summer. I agreed, I missed him, I wanted to see him again. but he became sort of controlling. he wanted that visit with me in an intimate way I guess. he didn't want me to see other boys; even before the idea to go see him came up he was very unnerved by the thought of me with other people. I did hook up with other guys, but I didn't tell him. I didn't want to lose him, I didn't want to make him angry. he's good at making me feel like shit when he's angry and I felt that truly, I love him, so I was in the wrong for doing what I did with other men and I thought it was best to just brush it under the rug and not do it again.
over time, and with the discussions about our relationship that I had with my friends and family, I started to wonder if it would be better for me to just move on and cut contact with C. but I didn't do it, he was really looking forward to the visit. he kept saying things along the lines of "just come for two weeks and after that, things will be different. I just want to be with you for this time and then you can leave and be with who you want, if you ever find someone else. but I don't want to lose you as a friend, I want to be close with you forever." I didn't think this sounded so bad. but I started to realize that I felt I was being kind of manipulated. he made me feel stupid, often. he always made it apparent that he was always right, and honestly, most of the time he is. but I was not content with this person always knowing what's best for me, more than I do. he'd play games, test me, make sure I was loyal and honest and whatever. and I ended up lying to him often, I felt he had more control over my life than I was comfortable with but I never had an easy time voicing how I felt. it seemed like he always shut me down, and even if I tried to make it clear that I was unhappy he'd make it seem like I was being ridiculous. even when I was dealing with psychosis and disassociation and I tried to explain it to him, he made it seem like such a small thing and just said, "I know you aren't crazy. you know you aren't crazy. it's okay." I didn't see the point in trying to convince him otherwise, I believed him. I still haven't gotten help. I'm still depersonalized and very mentally unstable but I keep it all inside.
basically, the relationship got rocky. and about a month ago I met someone else, I'll call him B. we started spending lots of time together, and he started to like me and I felt the same. I vaguely told C about it and this greatly upset him. I told B about C so he was upset too. both of these men were encouraging me, adamantly, to get rid of the other. I wound up very caught in the middle.
I realized lately that I don't want to be with C at all any more. I've had my doubts for a while but it is clear in my heart; I don't want a life with him, and I would appreciate his friendship but it seems like that is not possible without him having control over me, or at least a say in what I do. he wants to be involved in my life and I'm not so sure I want that. I do love him, I do. he means a lot to me, he helped me through so much, in many ways he understands me better than I understand myself. but I haven't been able to help but feel that I would be better off without him in my life. and this new relationship with B kind of solidified that, because he refuses to start anything with me so long as I still have this involvement with C. this isn't upsetting to me just because I want to try things with B, though I do, but more so the whole idea of the matter. I'm not in a committed relationship with C, I don't want to be. but the fact that I meet someone else and it causes so much conflict that both B and C and me lose absolute emotional control.. that's bullsh*t.
I decided that I need to remove C from my life. he causes more stress and more pain than he does goodness. I don't even want to spend a nice vacation with him, even as a friend. I fear him in a strange way because he has power over me and I am tired of that. I feel like I am not free, and for all this time, when I left home a year ago, freedom was what I wanted. I realize I don't want this any more, and it isn't because I want to be with B (I'm not even sure I do) it's because I want to be happy with who I am. C makes me feel like I belong to him, and I do not want to be possessed by anyone, so I tried to break things off.
this morning I talked to him on the phone. I tried to explain, "I don't think I should come up there. I don't think my feelings for you are true. I am doubting what I want, I know I said I wanted this but I was wrong." it was along those lines. he blew up, completely. he did not understand. "do you love me?" he asked. I said yes. and I do, and I care deeply for him. so he says "if you love me, don't do this. if I mean anything to you then just come up here and see me and don't leave me like this, not even saying it to my face. don't you even want to be my friend? you could come and we could be friends. if you don't come I'm not in your life at all anymore." well, painful as it was, that seemed like the most reasonable route. so I said "I guess I don't love you and I guess I'm not your friend. I don't want to come."
this is where things got really ugly. "you heartless, selfish c*nt after all I did for you, you can't even give me two weeks of your time. if you don't love me, don't want to be with me, fine. but to not care enough to even come here as my friend when I said I need this, I need you, I need to see you again. you are -a whole bunch of terrible insults- and I'm going to come there and I'm going to beat B to a pulp and I'd beat you to a pulp if I could but instead I'll just come to your house and tell your family all the awful things you are and tell everyone in your town that you have herpes (I do actually have herpes) and I'll ruin your life."
that was the jist of it. so I tried to appease him. "well I do care about you. I don't want to cause you this pain. if you want me to come up there, just as a friend, then I will and we can work this out but I want to move on and after I leave I will move on." and we kind of compromised. but he insists that we will be friends, that we will be in touch, that I can always tell him what's going on with my life and we will support each other. I'm all he has. he needs me.
but I just cant do it. and the last thing I said to him was that I'd come see him, for sure, I promise and we'll work this out. but I realize that isn't what I want. I feel like if I want to do the right thing for myself, I need to just cut all contact with him. there's no point in going there, it won't change things, it will just prolong them and make them harder. and I don't know what he'll do when I try to be honest with him like this do his face. so I haven't answered his calls since, my phone has been off since that *SIX HOUR ARGUMENT*, this whole day spent trying to break things off and him making me feel like the worst possible human being on earth for doing so.
I can't take it. I think I'm going to change my number, refund the ticket, send him the money and never speak to him again. I think he will truly do what's in his power to make my life hell for that, but at this point I don't care. I am sorry that this hurts him, I'm sorry that he needs me but I don't want to be needed by him. but I don't know what else to do. I tried explaining and he refuses to take it gracefully, he either hates me viciously or he gets what he wants.
I can't win. is it wrong, what I plan to do? am I a bad person if I refuse to speak to him again? most of me tells me this is what's best for me but I can't help but feel I may be wrong. there's no way I can remove him from my life without hurting him. but there's no way I can keep him in my life without compromising my own happiness. I really do think he will try to ruin me for this, but I feel like this escape is my best bet.
I guess I should stop trying to explain now, this post is already very long and I've done the best I could. I just really need some advice, any advice. please help if you can, if more information is needed I'm happy to add to this, or if someone wants to talk about this I would truly appreciate it. I just don't know what to do and I have no one to turn to.
You've got to stop letting men run your life.
You told him goodbye - that's it. No need to explain or apologize. BE firm. Be kind. Be sincere. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Since you are not in his area, it will be easy to cut off contact. Do this. Stop responding to him and his verbal abuse.
Try living on your own for a while - without a guy in your life. You have a lot of maturing to do. Spend time on yourself, your career, your own health.
If I seem harsh, that's what i meant to do. A girl who runs away from home to learn life lessons should be ready to face things by herself.
Don't feel sorry for him. He is 34 years old and messing with a 17 year old. He knew where this would go. You don't get to 34 with out some life experience and at that age he would know that a 17 year old girl who ran away from home would be looking for adventure and some life experience of her own, would be vulnerable to others and needing a person to lean on. You were each at different places in your lives and he knew and knows that.
Believe me he knows. Don't feel sorry for him. He also has enough experience to know the right words to say to you to make you feel guilty. You need to go live life and get away from that guy.
In my opinion, you can't handle this alone and I suggest, you tell this to someone, an adult because if things got out of hand, at the very least, there is someone who can back you up. You can't really just change your number and all and all because you know, that's just the same as running away from your problem. He might just leave you alone since you dissapeared but he also might just hunt you down. How you feel about all this, isn't really something you should explain on the phone, don't you think? You can just firmly tell him that you are leaving him without an explanation but don't you think he deserves one?
My advice is to:
Meet him in person but bring an adult too that can help you if things got out of hand. Bring him in a quiet but public place and explain it to him carefully. Make sure you pick the right words to explain it to him and before you explain and tell him the truth, you need to compliment and make him feel better first.
for example; "You know, you've done such great things for me, you made me more mature, you made me learn about commitment and blablabla but...."
And then at the end of your explanation, tell him this is the last (maybe, your choice) that he'll ever hear from you. Whether he understands or not, doesn't matter, just leave and don't look back. What matter is you made your point clear. If he doesn't understand, he will, probably, because he's an adult, he should understand.
And another advice if you choose to go with my advice is to never lose your temper or raise your voice as it will do no good.
Best of luck.