Dear Dr. Romance:
I need desperate help. I’m on the verge of a total breakdown. I need immediate help, so I searched the Internet and saw your email ad. Here is my problem. Help, please … please.
I’m twenty years old, and I live in another country. I moved out of my parents’ place one year ago. My parents were abusive. They tormented me for six years before I decided to move out. So I stayed with my boyfriend of one year for seven months, before deciding to move here with him. Before I was here, I had lots of hopes and dreams. I know exactly what I’m going to do and all, but now I’m caught in the middle of a destructive whirlpool. My boyfriend took all the money that I have; he controls me. I can’t go to any place that I want to. I have no friends but I have to stay in his house the whole day. He monitors me from work as well. He checks all my activities online, and denies me access to most things on the Internet except Internet and email. I feel like I’ve made a HORRIBLE mistake. I’ve been crying for days now. I have absolutely nothing in my life anymore. I gave up my education, my friends, my life, my money, and most of all, my freedom.
Please say something to me because I really can’t go on another day anymore. Please help me. Please. I beg you. Please say something to me … please.
I’m so sorry to hear you’re in trouble. It is very common for people who grew up in abusive homes to immediately get into abusive relationships. I don’t know what resources exist where you live, but you should find yourself a woman’s shelter immediately and get away from that boyfriend before you get injured. You are in danger because he knows you are dependent on him, and you must get help. Call the police or a local hotline, and ask if there’s a shelter you can go to. Leave while your boyfriend is at work, and don’t go back. Take what belongings you can with you, and leave the rest.
Once you get to a shelter, they will help you with both legal help and therapy. You need to heal your Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the past, so you will be able to recognize whether a boyfriend loves you or not. This one doesn’t love you; he just loves having power over you. Please get help immediately. Talking to me won’t do you much good, because I’m so far away. Call a woman’s hotline, or a shelter now. “How to Keep Yourself Out of a Violent Relationship” will give you some information that will help. You might also find It Ends With You will help you work through your PTSD from the past.
Dear Dr. Romance: