I moved to another country for a guy who turned out to be abusive.

by Serenity

So when I was 19, I was living in basically hell with my abusive drunk Dad and my disabled brother and dog who he would constantly abuse too. I was jaded and desensitized by this time because I'd dealt with it all my life, and no one ever noticed (not even the police who'd often come to our house because of my violent mentally ill mother who is now passed.)I was also in an abusive relationship with my boyfriend of that time.

Then I found this other guy online, at a time when I was really depressed and lonely when my boyfriend was out of the country on vacation. We talked. A LOT. Almost non-stop for a long time. My boyfriend didn't notice that I was preoccupied talking to another guy online. We started talking for most of the day. I was so caught up thinking I found a nice guy that could help me, that I ignored all the red flags he mentioned about himself, and the fact that he was online pretty much all day from the morning until when we went to bed. We basically both spilled our guts to each other, like everything. I have terrible boundary issues and so does he apparently.

After he got to know me, he started asking me to do some things that made me uncomfortable, such as taking nude photos and sending it to him. I just said no, but not once. Over and over and over again. He wouldn't let it go. I thought I had found a nice guy, but he was sooo manipulative, and still is extremely so.

He finally somehow got me to send him one, (beyond my belief now.) I did it just so he would stop asking and obsessing. He got me to send one to him by tricking me into thinking it was exposure therapy, because I told him before I was very insecure. It became a routine of me sending one and then us discussing how it made me feel. He convinced me that he was a professional by telling me that he went to college for psychology. (In reality he'd taken one course on psychology and failed it and then dropped out.) It lead to more and more.

Eventually he talked me into dumping my current boyfriend and going to another country to live with him. I accepted, and I now severely regret it. (Don't misunderstand, it took him months to convince me about these things... he is an expert in manipulation.)

So here I am, in a very abusive controlling relationship, and we are now engaged, even though he treats me like an annoying roommate that doesn't deserve respect. He constantly attacks me verbally and calls me names whenever we have an argument, which is
often. He puts me down and makes me feel like I'm crazy. He does incredibly rude inconsiderate things and then lashes out verbally when I complain. Today he lashed out at me after I complained to him for waking me up by abruptly talking to me about how his day went. He doesn't think about what I'm doing or how I feel about things. It's like he just can't put himself in my shoes. It's like he just started thinking about how his day went and just started talking to me about it, even though I was laying in bed with my eyes closed. It just seems so strange to me... Like, just say sorry if I say I was sleeping and you woke me up, don't just continue talking and start yelling at me for complaining about something like that.

I want to leave, but I've spent a LOT of money getting here. And my Dad's side of the family won't have anything to do with me now that I've left. Not because they know about my fiance, but because I left. They have problems but that's a whole other story. I'm currently waiting for my permanent residency. Which I should be getting within weeks. He is my sponsor.

I don't know what to do. I have severe social anxiety, so I have no close connections here. I'm currently going to college here. I can't go back to my home, to that abuse, living with my dad, nor can I talk to him about this. If I go back to my hometown and live by myself, I don't know how I'd be able to go to school and work to survive. On top of that, I need help with my social anxiety because I am very isolated and depressed in my current way of living.

Please help! Please.... I've dug this hole pretty deep and it will be hard getting out and continuing to survive. I've never lived alone before and don't really know how to. My dad never showed me how to be independent because he never wanted me to leave that house...ever. I was isolated for so long there and now I'm here trapped again.

Dear Serenity.... Obviously you've gone from the frying pan into the fire. From one abusive situation to another. If you stay in this relationship in which he not only manipulates you but actually has control over your legal status in this country, you may be stuck here for life.

I would suggest that you talk to someone at a social services agency for women and see what can be done to help you. If you want to return home and have no money, visit your local embassy or consulate; they usually have funds to help people get home.


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Eugene Kayser, MA, MFT's profile on the Gottman Referral Network