Earlier this year I had my first relationship, and it went terribly. The person I dated violated my physical and emotional boundaries in order to “experiment” and said they’d hurt themselves if I left. It was difficult to leave, but I did a few months ago. We still attend the same small school, and I’m civil, but a self-destructive part of me misses them, so I’m trying to stay away.
This academic year I’ve befriended a new, younger student, and I’m trying to look after her. But now she’s befriended my ex, and they spend all their time together. When we’ve all been together, I’ve recognized the same behaviors the ex used on me, and I’m increasingly concerned. I’m really worried the ex will trap her the way they trapped me. But I’m having trouble telling whether my concerns are legitimate or they’re out of jealousy or irrational fear. I feel scared, and I don’t know what to do.