Does that make me abusive, too?

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For those who have read my stories, especially my last few after leaving my ex, I have a serious question..

Am I abusive for slapping my boyfriend (ex) out of self defense make me abusive, too? I need to know..

I just wanted to be left alone to calm my nerves down, but he kept provoking me, bullied me into a corner in the bedroom, getting in my face, yelling…So, does that make me abusive at all like he’s claiming? I need to know…

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  1. tayestlack Volunteer

    Hello love, it seems as if you were acting out of self defense. In my eyes that does not make you abusive. it takes a lot to stand up for yourself and i’m glad you did, but even if your ex is manipulating you to think you’re abusive, you are not. Thank you for coming back to us and please return if you’d like. Keep your head high and stay strong

  2. Jess Volunteer

    It sounds to me like you were scared and felt the need to defend yourself. When defending ourselves, hitting someone or lashing out in some way does not make us inherently abusive in any manner. Protecting yourself does not make you abusive. I’m sorry that he’s using your actions to attempt to manipulate you into allowing him to not take responsibility for his actions.

    Thank you for updating us and trusting us with this question. If you need anything else at all, we are always here. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3

  3. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi Jamie Marie,

    Thanks for coming to us with your question. I don’t think that makes you abusive at all. If someone approached me on the street and tried to steal my purse and I hit them, I wouldn’t be at fault. He provoked you and made you feel threatened – you had every right to protect yourself. It sounds like he’s just trying to do anything to keep you around and have control over you. If you have any other questions or doubts, please let us know. We’re here to help!


  4. Samantha Harris Volunteer

    Hi Jamie Marie,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I’m sorry that you had to experience this. If he was making you feel scared and was yelling in your face, it’s reasonable for you to feel like you had to defend yourself. It sounds like he is attempting to push the blame onto you and avoid taking accountability for his own actions. If you ever need anything, let us know. We are always here for you.

  5. Ashley Day Captain

    You mentioned that you felt scared and threatened by him. With that in mind, it’s reasonable you had the desire to protect yourself. Wanting to keep yourself safe doesn’t make you an abusive person.

    Hang in there, Jamie.


  6. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hey there Jamie Marie,

    I don’t think that this situation makes you abusive. I think that, in that moment, your brain went into defense-mode, and that was the way it processed prioritizing your safety. From this story and some of your others, it seems that your ex might be trying to invalidate your feelings about him by gaslighting you and trying to become “the victim” in the story. Trusting your gut is important, and you know your truth. You deserve to be safe in any relationship, and it sounds like you made the right choice in leaving. Be patient and kind to yourself.

  7. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Jamie,
    I don’t think you were being abusive. You felt provoked, and your brain responded in the best way it knew how in that moment. From what you’ve described, it was a split second response. Since it was a threatening situation, your brain had to respond quickly.
    I think he is trying to put the blame on you without taking accountability for his actions, and I’m really sorry he’s doing this. We believe you and your story, and you did nothing wrong. Please feel free to come back if you need anything. We’re always here for you, and continue to stay strong.

  8. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Jamie Marie,
    When we are in a threatening situation and our brain feels like out body is in danger, it drops everything down to the most primitive area of the brain that is all about survival. When you are in this area of the brain, survival is the goal and the tools your body has access to are limited to fight, flight, freeze, and shut down. You aren’t even able to access the language area of your brain to try and talk your way through it. Slapping someone who backed you into a corner and caused you to feel threatened is the fight mechanism. You logical brain doesn’t get the opportunity to decide which tactic is best to use for the situation, the body takes over and does what feels it needs to do.
    You are not abusive for slapping him in that moment.
    Sending you love and strength,

  9. Kayla Volunteer

    Jamie Marie,

    From what I’ve read, you acted out of self defense when backed into a stressful situation that was brewing for months. It sounds like he is continuing to try to manipulate you by calling your actions abusive. Stay strong.

  10. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi Jamie Marie,
    I don’t believe just because you slapped him makes you an abuser. It sounds like you were only protecting yourself. To me, it appears as if he is trying to manipulate you to cause you to feel weak, or put blame on you.The way he treated you was on him not you! I think that’s a good question! No question is too dumb. I hope by sharing, you can find peace that you need regarding this. Take care.

  11. musicislove

    Hi Jamie,

    I don’t believe you were at fault at all, you were just protecting yourself. If your ex is trying to tell you it was abuse, it sounds like he’s trying to make you feel bad so that he can be the victim. You did nothing wrong, thank you for reaching out and we’re here for you.


  12. Marcus Aurelius Volunteer

    Hi Jamie,

    I haven’t had the chance to answer or really get the time to read the other posts you have put on the internet. So this is the first contact I have with you. Hmm, I love your question. It is to the point, very concrete and straight-forward. I’ll try to do my best to answer it in the same way.


    I do not believe you are being abusive in the situation you just described.

    I will give you 2 reasons why I do not think you fit the behavior an abusive person would have.

    #1) You literally say it was self-defense. You also describe in detail the situation where this incident would have occured.

    #2) An abusive person typically does not him or herself the following question: I am being abusive? The reason I say this is because an abusive person typically does not care.

    There you have it.

    I hope we as a team have helped shed a bit of light on your very legitimate and pertinent question.

    Thank-you for your continued posts, it is encouraging for me to see that a good dialogue seems to be happening between AVFTI and you.

    Take care,

  13. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    Thank you for reaching out to us. If you felt threatened and cornered by an abusive person, you had every right to protect yourself. This does not make you abusive. You did nothing wrong. Stay strong <3

  14. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi Jamie Marie,

    I am very sorry that you were put in this situation and now feel this way. You are not at fault!! You did nothing wrong. He was at fault and you were just acting in self defense. That does not make you abusive. I know it can be very hard to hear someone saying those things about you, but remember they are not true. You are so strong and you can make it through this! You are not a fault in anyway.

    Stay strong,

  15. sam Volunteer

    Jamie Marie,
    Slapping someone out of self-defense is not abusive. If he’s claiming that it is, it’s because he is trying to reverse the narrative and make himself look like the victim. It sounds like deep down he knows he harmed you, but is trying to make himself feel better by crafting a totally different story. No matter how he tries to manipulate you, we believe you.

  16. Amysue43 Volunteer

    I’m sorry that this happened to you. It can be confusing and frustrating to hear someone you trusted tell you these things and put you in a situation like this. What you did was in self-defense, therefore, it is not abusive. Your ex-boyfriend is attempting to portray a different story to put himself in the victim chair rather than take responsibility for his own actions. It’s not like you slapped him out of no where.
    I’m glad you have separated yourself from someone like this as it was obviously unhealthy. If he continues to belittle you in this way, you can simply ignore him or block him. The likelihood of him knowing what he did and says to you are wrong is very high.

    Stay strong <3

  17. Megan Volunteer

    Hey Jamie Marie,

    No, slapping him in self-defense is not abusive. That’s why it is called self-defense, because it’s a whole separate thing and you did what you needed to do to get out of a scary situation. He should have never put you in that situation in the first place. The blame is still fully on him, he is just trying to manipulate you to make you think you had some fault in it when you don’t. Don’t believe him. You are 110% entitled to protect yourself when being threatened.

    As always, we are here for you,

  18. Lizzi

    Hey Jamie Marie,
    No, slapping someone in self defense is not abusive. He put you in a scary situation and you needed a way to protect yourself and get away. It definitely seems like a sign that the relationship wasn’t healthy, as fights like this aren’t healthy. But I’m glad that you’ve left him and gotten away from someone that would do this to you and then claim that you were the abusive one.

  19. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Protecting yourself in self-defense does not make you abusive.You are an amazing human being and if you believed he as going to hurt you it’s your right to defend yourself.We are here for you my friend.

  20. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Hi Jamie,

    When partners are manipulative and abusive, they will often gaslight and say that the people they are actually harming are the ones who are abusive. From what you’ve told us, you genuinely believed he was going to hurt you. And no one who claims to care about you should ever make you feel that way, and you did what you had to do. Again, remind me, have you started seeing a therapist? They may help be able to work through all of these feelings. You can also text our crisis line, VOICE to 741 741. We are here for you.


  21. colton95 Volunteer

    No, slapping your ex in self defense does NOT make you abusive. Anyone who says so is stupid. You were simply just defending yourself and preventing your ex from doing any more damage to you. It’s not like you did the same horrible things to him that he did to you. I hope that he will realize the horrible things he has done, leave you alone, and that you will continue to be a strong, Amazing person.

  22. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi Jamie Marie,

    Thank you for updating us. I’m so sorry that he has been treating you like this. You have nothing to feel bad about. He chose to get in your face and yell at you. You know that you were just defending yourself in the intensity of the moment. Please let us know how else we can help and feel free to update us whenever you’re comfortable. Stay strong.

  23. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Jamie Marie,
    I’m sorry he was acting like this and treating you like this. Don’t feel bad for what you did. He provoked you and he was bothering you. If you feel like what you did was out of self defense, then it was. Don’t feel bad.
    Thank you for updating us. I’m sorry you are feeling like this.

  24. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Jamie Marie,

    Things like this can be very confusing and very conflicting. You made the best choice with the tools and abilities that you had at that moment. Sometimes there aren’t any other viable options aside from fighting back. You did your best. You also know yourself best. Please don’t feel that what your ex is saying about you in anyway relates to who you really are. Do you have a counselor you can speak to about this? They can help explain it better than I can. As always don’t hesitate to reach out to the Crisis Text Line if you need an immediate response. Text VOICE to 741741 if you need to. We’re here for you. We support you though every step of this transition in your life.

    All the best,

  25. Jamie Marie Volunteer

    We’ve had a rocky relationship from the beginning due to our history of trauma/PTSD, and when an episode occurs, I just get so scared of myself at times..
    I didn’t mean to slap him and I deeply regret it…I just felt so scared and threatened by him (again)..