Post # 31
made2comment : I retracted the suggestion that he be the one to move labs, and said it initially because he was contacting her through the student network re-initiating to tell her he would be in her lab section. Yes, this is someone who clearly has boundary issues and difficulty removing herself from interactions with him. But it is more complex than “ew, get him away from me, I’m acting with immaturity and I want him gone!”
The advice is to reach out to the academic support chain to shift her schedule because she has a lab with her abuser. Yes, she keeps going back to him and debasing herself. Yes, that is 80% her own fault. But there is a long history here that has created her situation that even she doesn’t seem to understand yet. She needs to be removed from a situation that involves interacting with him. Each of her interactions with him keep escalating.
In all other relationships, I too would side with you and anev and say that she needs to be mature and just get on with it and practice being an adult. Lots of people who have dated and broken up have to take courses together and it would be juvenile and extremely disruptive and unfair to try to separate them all. In this case, contact with OP’s ex leads her to self destructive behaviors (high risk sex in dirty public bathrooms) and self harm (seeing him flirt with another lab mate could send her into a tailspin of suicidal ideation – see previous posts). I would personally 100% not want her in a lab environment with her emotional trigger (him) when she needs to be focused on lab safety, and has access to classware and various chemicals.
To me this is enough of a concern to at least suggest taking it up with the staff to see if something can be done before she puts herself into the situation. As past posts seem to indicate though, it’s unlikely that she will do anything and will remain in the class to be near him and we will hear the fallout from that later.
Post # 32
OP- I think this is a great opportunity for you to change some of your past bad habits and really learn to advocate for yourself. PPs have given you some great suggestions for things you can do with your class and waitlist and getting a lab partner who IS NOT your ex.
I think you also need to completely ignore your ex. If he comes over to you to speak or tries to message you again, send or give him ONE message “Do not contact me or speak to me at all during this semester. I don’t want anything to do with you.” that’s it. If he contacts you again, he has been warned and you should absolutely notify your professor, the TA, and anyone else you can. At this point, you know you have shit boundaries with people so you need to put some external boundaries in place that protect you while you build up the fortitude to enforce your own internally set boundaries.
Don’t let some dirtbag derail your forward momentum toward a major life goal. You deserve better than that. If you need to tell your friends to create additional external boundaries (and to shame yourself into remaining accountable) then do that. Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself from sabotaging yourself here.
You can also promise yourself some kind of reward if you are able to stick with it for the entire semester- something you really really really want- more than some dick and attention from an abusive asshole.
Post # 33
My advisor helped me get on the waitlist; I’m the only one on it, so most likely I’ll get in. I just told him I wanted to switch into that class. It does get out at the same time as the previous lab as the class I’m in now, but it’ll reduce contact.
Also, I don’t feel threatened by him. I really thought about it, and i just feel it’s unhealthy to be near him and that’s why it bothers me. Last time we spoke, i had a long convo with him about how I didn’t want to talk to him anymore (like a month ago), so the message surprised me. He was also in a completely different lab, and he must have had to really fight to get Monday’s off. (His job rarely gave it to him, and that day is their busiest). I’m kind of annoyed now even though I was anxious prior, because he definitely did it on purpose. I wouldn’t consider it stalking, I think he’s panicking because I pulled back (usually happens) and trying to get me to talk to him again.
I didn’t reply to the message. I’m genuinely trying, even though it is hard. Also, I go to a Community College, so I don’t think they’d really care if I said anything; i don’t think I’ll get stuck in the lab, but if I do, I’ll just deal with it alone.
He can be persistent, so he’ll probably try to approach me if he sees me on campus, but i know the room number/floor of the lab he’s in, so I’ll try to not have him see me
Post # 34
He has this d*mb*ss idea that he’s meant to “marry me” and that he’s just not healthy enough and needs to work on himself. So basically that’s why he starts trying to win me back until he knows I’m waiting for him.
And yes, it’s 100% genuine and he’s not just trying to sleep with me. His religion (it’s a Hispanic thing that worships “la Santa Muerte) is based around a lot of ‘fortune telling’ (i don’t know the proper name for it in English, but they believe in getting your fortune read by ‘witches’) and he had a really ‘credible’ and popular ‘witch’ read that he’s meant to be with the girl he just fell out with. Apparently she described me too, and my ex hadn’t told her anything about his life. Honestly I wasn’t impressed; I’m the only Hispanic girl he’s dated, him and the witch are also Hispanic; my features are quite typical for a Latina.
Anyways, point being that my ex does stuff like this. And no, I don’t believe in any of this; im an atheist, but i never judge people for their religious beliefs. Just explaining this so the situation makes more sense.
Its been harder to pull away from him too for this reason; it makes the stupid part of my brain be happy that we have a chance at being happy. But realistically, I know he’ll never be someone who isn’t toxic for me. He has a lot of mental issues, and an explosive temper. Any time he has an issue elsewhere in his life, he’d just be a dick to me since i was a pushover. Last time we dated (I dated him after the break up for two months), he was happy and in a great place. He wasn’t an asshole at all, but he’s depressive again and last time we spoke, he sounded a lot like he did while we were together (pessimistic about his family (which he deeply cares about), work, and life). Also lots of toxic coping habits I thought he had grown from, but which he apparently hasn’t. All of which is why I’m genuinely trying to move on.
Post # 35
notmeeither : i appreciate you explaining it like that!! It seemed crazy unfair at first, but honestly it makes more sense now. Hopefully OP can get into her waitlisted lab this semester : P
Post # 36
At both universities I was at multiple labs for the same course ran at the same time (lectures can have 100s of students, individual labs would fit in the 20s). If the school you go to runs the same way, can you speak with the lab coordinator (verify you 2 are together) and get swapped with someone else? I wasn’t even able to pick the specific lab group I was in, so getting swapped before it started would be NBD.