Whenever I was younger, I engaged quite actively with online story writing communities. I would join message boards with a personal favorite character of mine, plot out ideas with strangers on the internet, and then proceed to write, piece-by-piece a story with all the strangers. We would sometimes talk over instant messenger (this was the days before Myspace, Facebook, etc.). Through my years of doing this (I have been quite active in this until the last year or so), I have picked up lifelong friends, many of whom are like my brother/sister/best-friend.
When I was around twelve years old, I had picked up a best friend who was like an older brother to me. They were in their late teens/early 20s. He knew I was young, but we kept everything strictly platonic. I had no real concept of “real love” anyway. I was just having fun writing stories with other people. He was involved with the military and wrote during his down-time.
Anyway, sometimes our characters would become very close. However, he had a girlfriend who was an extremely jealous type. I don’t think she ever knew my “real age”, simply because she acted like I was trying to somehow steal him away from her.
I would often be the ear for him to rant to as well. Long story short: he had been kicked out of his own home by her at least twice (due to disagreements they’ve gotten into), whenever their child was born with a birth defect, she screamed at him and blamed him, and she hated it when he talked to other women (online and/or real life).
Now, being the naive little kid I was, I did my best to offer advice in the best way I could. I didn’t know what it was like to be in a relationship at the time (too young), but I did have a feeling that what he was going through was just not right (in retrospect, he was being horribly abused by her).
He had turned into a beat dog with a tail between his legs.
Fast-forward to when I was around fourteen years old. I had a very simplistic cell phone as well that could send only text messages (couldn’t receive picture messages). He ended up exchanging numbers because we were still very good friends (I saw him like an older brother and was never interested in him romantically and/or sexually, the thought never crossed my mind).
We still did write stories with each other as I aged as well. Our characters had become lovers (my character was in their mid 20s, theirs in their late 20s). Since I had grown, I had a better understanding of romantic relationships and sexual relationships. If we ever did write sexual with the characters, it was done strictly as authors. I didn’t feel any kind of sexual excitement, arousal, etc. I just saw it as script writing for two characters in love and wanting to express it through their sexuality. I know he felt the same way. He was not in love with me, nor did he want to do sexual things to me. It was just script writing for this realm that we have crafted.
Somehow, his jealous girlfriend got ahold of my phone number. She started sending me messages riddled in curse words. It got to the point where she started cursing me out in Spainish for some strange reasons. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. We were friends, absolutely nothing more (which we both agreed on).
As time went on, his troubles got worse with her. Since I had a better understanding of relationships at this point, I warned him that he was in an abusive relationship. I told him that if he continued down this path, it was only going to get worse. I cautioned him that this was only going to end with him hurting. He was still a beaten dog, sadly.
I ended up losing my childhood best friend. I tried sending him an instant message one day (I believe I was fourteen or fifteen at the time). I got a message from his girlfriend saying “He is forbidden from speaking to any woman online. I don’t know when he will be back, but I am not allowing him online besides for work purposes”. My jaw had dropped and I stared, mouth agape.
Since then, I had tried sending him an occasional message (his number ended up getting changed so I lost contact with him that way) through instant message. Every time there was either no response, or an obsessive girlfriend asking who I was. I would tell her that I was an old friend trying to get in contact with them. They claimed to relay my message onwards, but I never heard back from them.
This whole situation has been on my mind since it’s happened. It has been nearly ten years since that message. I am still worked up about it, because I lost my childhood best friend, for essentially no fucking reason.
Would I be absolutely thrilled if they sent a message to me one day? Ab-so-fucking-lutely. I would wanna know what has been going on with them for nearly a decade. I would wanna know how life is treating them in general. If I recall, his child Halo, should be around 10 years old at this point. I miss my best friend, but I lost him due to a girlfriend who had turned him into a beaten animal.
I am pleading with you: if you would question if a relationship has abuse in it because your friend is in the same situation, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP. I know it is scary, especially if you have been with the person for a long time. However, it is for your own safety and sanity. Many people have died and/or been seriously injured because of an abusive domestic partner. www.loveisrespect.org is a fantastic website for those who are in abusive relationships. If you are questioning your sanity everyday for what the person says to you, you are a victim of gaslighting. If they blame you for everything and take no blame, they are being narcissistic and scapegoating you. If you are the butt of every joke they make, then they have no respect for you. If they threaten to break up with you every time something goes wrong, then they have no respect for the relationship.
You have power over your own destiny. Nothing will change until you make the brave decision to make a change. You can turn your life around and regain control of your life (I know because I have escaped abusive relationships in the past).