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Hi all.

I am currently working towards recovery with agoraphobia and panic disorder which I have experienced for around 14 years. During counselling, at the onset developing agoraphobia, I discovered codependent traits in myself. Over the years, I worked on my own codependent traits, developed assertiveness, etc. and thought I had a handle on it, until recently and over the last year or so. It seemed my old ways of codependency slipped 'under the radar' during a recent relationship I was in.

I became involved with a woman from the USA (I am from the UK), after being friends for nearly two years. I met her online and from our friendship, a more intimate relationship evolved, albeit online through messages and phone calls. We seemed to share similar interests and values. She seemed like a wonderful and good person.

We both decided I would come over to America, I would stay/live with her for three months (visa limit). Initially, the plan was for me to visit around summer of 2014. She had moved into a new place and said she was confident she would find a job. I agreed to pay the rent for her new home, while she found work and I would come over. As it happened, she couldn't find work, which meant I had to delay my visit to see her until early December. In the meantime, I am still paying her rent and paying for my own living expenses while living at home in the UK. I sold possessions to make up for her not working and sending extra money to her to cover her own living expenses and bills. I thought we were both working toward a future for the both of us, so thought the sacrifices were in our best interests.

Early December arrived and I flew out to America, where she picked me up from the airport and took me to her house where we would stay. On Christmas day, we became engaged. I felt we knew each other well enough to become engaged.

After we became engaged, she gave her engagement ring back to me twice, saying that she thought I was having second thoughts. I have no idea why she would think this and I took it as a rejection from her. Over the course of time, she would have mood swings and would appear to be irritated with me. She would give me the 'silent treatment' quite frequently and on one occassion the silent treatment from her lasted for three days. When we would get around to talking about this, she would say she thought I was giving her the silent treatment, which I wouldn't do and have never behaved this way with anybody else. I am starting to doubt my own behaviour, but I am hoping we can work through this. She would also criticise me about lots of things, like not doing things 'right' or the 'right' way. I would do things, thinking it would help out - household chores, etc, but this was wrong in her eyes. The opposite would be true also, she would complain if I hadn't done something. I felt I couldn't win.

Anyway, I spent the three months with her and it was up and down pretty much all the way through. During this time, I borrowed money to pay her bills and continued to pay the rent. I racked up a very large debt - around 4000. Because this money was soon spent, she wanted to know where all of the money had gone and criticised me with the money I had acquired of which most went to her. She did find a job just before I came out and she used some of her money to buy food, etc. I had put a lot of money into her and what I thought was 'us', but it didn't seem to register with her. She said I was eating too much of her food and even said I was using too much toothpaste which she couldn't afford.

In March, I flew back to the UK after my visa had expired. We both have plans to see each other again and make a life together. When I am at home, I have limited contact with her, my phone dies and can only send a few messages via a friend's phone each day. I have no fixed abode and my health is not in good shape due to experiencing high-anxiety due to agoraphobia, panic disorder, etc.

To cut a long story short, things become tense between us and there is a communication breakdown, she unfriends me from her ******** page and I take this as a sign that it is all over. She says she cannot believe I think that it's all over just because she unfriended me from her FB page. I get fed up with the drama and tell her, as far as I am concerned it is all over and I am not going to put myself through this as life is too short. I will not allow her to reject me again and I tell her that is the last time she will ever do that. I stop sending her money to pay the rent.

She responds and says I am a bad person and she cannot believe that I could possibly abandon her and leave her with her rent to pay which she cannot aford. She calls me spineless and lots of nasty things. Prior to breaking up, and 'unfriending' me, I said I would appreciate a bit of support while I was experiencing high-levels of anxiety, but 12 hours later this is when she had unfriended me on FB.

She sent me many emails saying what an awful and terrible person I was. I told her I felt disrespected, hurt and used by her.

The emails continued until I decided not to respond any more. After 5 days, she sent me an email for closure and I did the same thing.

I can't believe I fell into this relationship with her and I couldn't believe, after thinking I knew her, after nearly a few years of talking that somebody could be so different in 'real' life. I realise I had made some very poor choices and it was a very poor choice to become involved with her from the start without meeting her and making plans together which sensible people would make after a long time of being together. I got myself into financial debt and certianly got my fingers burnt.

Like I said from the beginning, I thought I had resolved my own codependency, but it came back with a vengeance, until I had to stop. Very painful lesson and I certianly will be very mindful for the future. The positive to come out of this situation, for me, is that I will be working on myself, improving myself, working towards recovery with my agoraphobia and making myself happy.

Sorry, if this post is a bit scattered, but I hope the point comes through. There are many other things I could talk about with this situation, but I think this thread is turning into a book, so will leave it there. Haha!!

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