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TW: Difficult breakup, low self esteem, sexual abuse, self harm

I’m 17 (female) and have been in relationships with guys since i was about 14. my first proper boyfriend used me for sexual favours and broke up with me when i didn’t want to have sex with him. since then i’ve had a tough time with trusting boyfriends, and every time i’ve been let down; used, lied to or cheated on. 


I was in a relationship for about a year with a guy who was so loving and caring and good to me, i trusted him so much and he knew me better than i knew myself. he was my absolute best friend. When he broke up with me i was able to understand as he said it was because he needed to focus on his studies and himself. but it’s been 3 months and he’s already got another girlfriend and been to Europe with her for 6 weeks, something we were meant to do together. I’m having the most difficult time handling it because there was so much lying and gaslighting involved and i feel so worthless and unloved. He was the reason i believed good men were out there and he’s broken me into so many pieces. I’ve never self harmed, but i am really considering it because i want to feel somethinf other than the hurt and pain and betrayal. 


He has treated me like we were nothing and he never cared and no mattter how many people tell me it’s because he’s going through his own stuff (which he is) it hurts so much. I just want to feel better. I also have really bad anxiety and it’s coming back so badly recently. i wake up in panic attacks and i’ve had to take medication every day for 4 days. 


If anyone can understand or give advice it would mean so much. I’m talking to family and a counsellor about it but nightime is the hardest for me to cope, when i just have to lie in bed and try not to think about him with the new girl. 


thank you

Re: Difficult breakup, low self esteem, sexual abuse, self harm

Hi @rosefairy89, welcome to the forums!

It sounds like you've been through so much over the last few years...


I have self harmed in the past. It's not a coping method I'd recommend, and it can become like an addiction, though I can totally understand the feeling of wanting to...

We do have a thread specifically on alternatives to self harm, here:

Do you think any of those ideas might help?


A friend of mine used to really struggle at night, especially since there aren't as many 24 hour services...

A few people, myself included, tend to be online at weird times in the night, so if there are times when you just need someone to hang out with or need to talk at night it's worth posting here.

Just be aware that the RO staff aren't online 24/7 though, and there aren't always people online.

If no one's online or you need more help than we can give, I'd suggest looking at kids helpline.

They have 24 hour phone and webchat counselling, so they might be worth contacting.


I hope that you find the forums helpful! Take care. 

Re: TW: Difficult breakup, low self esteem, sexual abuse, self harm

Hey @rosefairy89 


Welcome to ReachOut forums and thank you for coming here to share what you've been going through. It sounds like it's been a really rough time for you - break ups are so hard. I'm sorry that you lost someone who was so important to you Heart 


Everyone deals with break ups differently - What I've found helps is doing things only you like to do, treating yourself, catching up with old friends or spending time with family. You can read some more here about some ways to cope with a break up. 


Thank you for telling us that you have been thinking about self harm. I'm glad to hear you've gained the support of your family and a counsellor during this difficult time. I'm just wondering if you've spoken to them about your first boyfriend and the sexual favours? 


I also just wanted to let you know that we have edited some of your post. We included a trigger warning to the title, this is so we can keep the community safe and encourage users to avoid posts that mightn't be helpful to read. We also had to edit your description of medication as it conflicts with our community guidelines - you can read them here if you like. 


Re: Difficult breakup, low self esteem, sexual abuse, self harm

Hi @Tiny_leaf 


Thanks so much for the alternative suggestions to self harm, it was very helpful to read through. 


Thanks also for introducing me to the forums, so far they have been very helpful 

Smiley Happy

Re: TW: Difficult breakup, low self esteem, sexual abuse, self harm

Hey @Bre-RO 


It really helps just to feel heard and understood so thank you for that, and for the link to ways to focus on myself. I have had great support from friends and family, which usually is enough but i guess this time it hurts more than all the previous breakups. 


I have spoken to my therapist about the sexual favours and we’re working through all that. It’s definitely not easy to cope with break ups now because of how that person made me feel. 


Thanks for editing my post to make it more safe and helpful to other people on the forum, and also thanks for acknowledging my post Smiley Happy 

Re: TW: Difficult breakup, low self esteem, sexual abuse, self harm

@rosefairy89 no problem, I'm glad it was helpful!

How are you going today?

Re: TW: Difficult breakup, low self esteem, sexual abuse, self harm

Hey @rosefairy89 
Its really good you have opened up to your therapist about that stuff, it cant have been easy. You are very brave Heart Break ups can be so much harder to cope with when the relationship itself was abusive. Have you found any other ways of coping with the anxiety at night? I am glad you are well supported and have some medication which works for you.