Hi Foggy,

I agree with Confused that, at this pivotal stage in your healing, it is imperative that you only offload to people that understand abuse. It can be soul-destroying to confide in people who either don’t understand or even try to make out you are responsible.

Your experience reflects mine a lot, so I can empathise. Just because we weren’t given a black eye or broken arm by our abuser, we question whether it was abuse.

What happens is, when we are in an abusive relationship, abuse in its many guises becomes our normal. And because our abuser makes us think any problems are our fault, by inference we judge that our abuser must be normal, that his behaviour isn’t that bad, that all people must be like that, that his behaviour is excusable, that it is us who is at fault ( we must be horrible or difficult, unloveable, or we must be making the abuse out to be worse than it is).

No one is perfect, but there are many people out there who would never feel entitled to treat a other human being like our abusers have treated us, and how yours treated you. Why you find it so hard to accept it is abuse is because, like my ex, your ex sounds like he is a covert abuser. Physical abuse is not his main weapon: it seems mental, emotional and financial is. Such abusers think they are being clever, that they can claim we are mad to suggest abuse, because they have never hit us ( well, mine did, but made out he was play fighting- you see? Abuse dressed up as play- covert).

Your ex’s treatment of you follows so much the pattern of a n********t- idealisation, devaluing and sudden discard. Whilst with you, they try to control every aspect of your life- your thoughts, your movements, your earning power, etc. Like you are theirs. When they suddenly discard you, they think you can pick yourself up and become financially independent overnight, when it is they who probably prevented you from going out and training and studying and working all these years. They disempower and immobilise you, and then expect you to have the resources and wherewithal to become independent overnight.

The emotional pain you have experienced echoes my experience- typical of someone who has been part of such an abusive relationship for do long.

The questions you have about the reality of it all are due to his playing mind games, feigning innocence, laying blame with you, gas lighting ( saying you are imagining or exaggerating abuse).

Abusers won’t admit they have treated you wrongly. This us because, at the end if the day, they want to continue using and playing people. Admitting fault would be admitting their game plan of manipulation,aging people to get what they want in life. It doesn’t help that these abusers view others as objects, to serve their needs, not individuals in their own right. This s why they react with rage who they don’t get what they want.

Your ex, like mine, is a bully. They feel entitled to discard people without a backward glance, and to expect people to all dance to their tune.

My ex expected me to move out immediately, uproot the kids, put the house in the market and give him 50% of everything, even though he’d been stashing money away for years and taken my money too. In reality, the judge told him that he had an appalling attitude, an awarded me both houses, and my ex was made to feel terrified as I had proved his lies.

An abuser’s version of reality and what he is entitled to is very different to other, rational people’s! Your abuser sounds typically very selfish, lacking in empathy and has a huge sense of entitlement. A court wouldn’t Derek it reasonable that you sell up and move out overnight. More likely, they will see that either you should remain in your home until your daughter is of age, or that you be given time to move, find dork, retrain, etc. It isn’t an overnight thing. For example, the judge will be concerned that you can obtain a mortgage, before telling you to move out. There are many prongs to this.

It sounds like you are going to have to put on your steely armour and be a brave warrior and fight to the death for your rights here, as your abuser is self-interested and doesn’t much care for anyone else, like my ex. Put in your battle garments, emotions are your enemy at the moment, they will steer you off course- you need to fight for what is yours.

We don’t realise how much our emotions and mental health is affected by an undercurrent and threat of having to leave our hind sad being worried about finwnces no security on that level. It is hard to get into that mindset if you aren’t interested in money, as I never was. But you need to step up and fight for your and your daughter’s security now.

Part of you feeling that you are entitled to what is yours, and deserve it, is to recognise that your ex’s view if the works is skewed. He magnifies other’s faults, he minimises his own. What he tells you about yourself comes from his own messed-up interior view of the world. He rounds n**********c, in that he probably idealiseds people at first, thinking the honeymoon period will last forever, thinks people are the answer to his inner demons, and then he begins to think less if people when he realises they are ordinary human beings with limited resources, and that they can’t get rid of his inner demons. Of course, in reality, only he can do that. But abusers seem to think their partners should do it all fir them, and are angry when they cannot!

You are a good person, a normal person with normal limits and resources. You could have been the best woman in the world- he wouldn’t have been happy, because the problem is in inside him, he has a huge hole, and negative things such as anger, resentment, envy, a childish need for attention.these abusers want us to be the answer to all their problems. These abusers are takers, emotional vampires. They bleed us dry, then dump us when we are exhausted.

What we signed up for, and what us still possible for us, is a healthy relationship built in mutual respect and equality, give and take. But it won’t be with our abusers. X

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