I didn’t do anything just for me…

He was in the same class as me in high school and we were assigned to do a project together. He was really sweet, charming, caring, I honestly thought I’d found the one because we were such a perfect fit. Eventually, he started to become really jealous. Especially when it came to my grades. He used to tell me was really jealous that I was so smart, that I had parents that supported me especially that my English (my second language) was so good. At first, he just mentioned it and I felt bad, tried to comfort him etcetera, but quite quickly he started to get mad whenever I’d get a good grade or whenever I listened to English music and I started to hide my grades/screwing up tests on purpose. I stopped listening to music, didn’t talk to my parents anymore so he wouldn’t feel like they supported me and all that.
Then he also got physical with me, so whenever he got jealous he’d hit me, punch me or whatever. He would throw stuff at me, yell at me and even call me names. He isolated me from my friends and family, told them I was crazy, overdramatic, annoying, abusive, to the point where even my best friend told me I should be nicer to my boyfriend because he was having such a hard time with me. He stalked me when I had a different class than he did, he would stand in front of the window checking on me, he would ask teachers about my grades so he would know exactly when to get mad at me, and he even threatened me a couple of times that he would kill himself if I wouldn’t stop “being so smart”. Eventually he cheated on me with my best friend, kinda broke up with me, but not before he made sure I’d drop out of high school, and began dating my so called best friend. I ended up severely depressed, in therapy and needing 3 more years to finish high school when normally I’d have one more year to go.
I always felt like he was just having a hard time, that I had to help him, like if was my fault that he would get so jealous all the time and most of all I was scared. I was constantly walking on eggshells, to the point where I didn’t do anything just for me. I quit all my hobbies, spent the time he was spending with friends anxiously waiting at home for him to return, because I wasn’t allowed to come.
Today, I feel stronger, like I learned from it and am a stronger person because of what I endured, but I often feel like I’m being overdramatic because that’s what he always told me. I still feel like it’s partly my fault and I’m reminded of that every day because I’m a few years behind all my friends in college now because it took me so long to finish high school. I also still struggle with depression, separation anxiety and fear of commitment all at the same time and I haven’t been in a relationship since.
To anyone experiencing abuse… It’s never your fault. Never. You’re doing what you think is best at that moment and that’s all you could’ve done. Try to speak up, but I know that can be so difficult.
Eva M.