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I'm In A Very Dark Place Right Now

by Valentine
(Boston, MA, United States)

Hi Dr. DeFoore

I met my girlfriend in 2010. We began dating Nov 7, 2011. We met in high school. She and I were 17 at the time.

During the relationship I was controlling and manipulative, verbally and at times physically abusive. At the time I did not realize what I was doing to our relationship and her as a person.

I didn’t start seeing clearly until April 2017. I saw that she was unmotivated, had no desire to do anything. I was concerned and I asked her what was wrong. And at that moment she told me all the pain she been holding inside.

She was afraid to tell me. She didn't know how to say she was fed up because I had disappointed her too many times before. She felt hopeless. Her dreams of us getting married and having kids is non-existent. She feels like this relationship has drained her and she does not want to be in it anymore.

I totally understand her pain. Now I am overwhelmed with guilt for killing a person’s spirits the way I did to her. She said I was her only person she told all her problems to, so she don't feel comfortable telling her family and friends what she is going through.

I know I should give her space to heal but I am torn apart. I can't see her suffer and go through this alone. Fixing this relationship is not my concern. I just want the best for her. How can I help her heal? I apologized a million times. I begged for forgiveness.

She was an aspiring broadcast journalist. But she said that this relationship has taken away her drive to do anything. She has no energy to do anything. She just wants to cry and sleep and she has a hard time forgiving herself for allowing the unhealthy relationship to continue for 6.5 years.

I can't live with myself knowing that I ruined someone's life. I just want to help her please. How can I?

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May 07, 2017
You Can Only Help Her By Healing Yourself
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello Valentine, and thanks for telling your story here.

Your girlfriend has to go through her own healing process, and there are a couple of reasons you cannot help her with that in a direct way.

One reason is that you are a part of what she is dealing with, and it will only be confusing to her for you to be trying to help her while she heals.

The other reason is that healing is always an internal, personal process, that can best be facilitated by a professional counselor.

Focus on your own healing. The damage you caused to this relationship reflects some deep problems within you, and I strongly encourage you to address those in your own healing process, with a professional counselor.

So, Valentine, the best thing you can do for your girlfriend is to heal yourself, so that you do not hurt her or anyone else in your future.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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