9th March 2020 at 3:03 pm #98989YellowflowerParticipant
I’ve left while ago now but still in the lengthy legal process. I’m living with family currently however I am moving into my own place. My family have recently started talking about moving areas. What’s upsetting is they are talking about moving very close to where my abuser lives. At first I thought they weren’t serious but they are and i felt daft for feeling upset by this. I finally plucked up the courage to talk to them about it. I explained how that area makes me feel and how I wouldn’t feel comfortable being there. They don’t understand at all and said I’m being too sensitive and that I shouldn’t tell them where to live. Am I being selfish in telling them how I feel? It’s been a while and I’m still finding it very hard. I loved this man more than words can describe but he was emotionally, physically and sexually abusive to me and is still continuing his abuse through the courts. I don’t want to be anywhere near him it’s so painful to think this person wasn’t who I thought he was it was all a lie. I’m still on a waiting list for counselling and I think my family feel I should just be over this by now. I don’t know maybe I do just need to snap myself out of it and move on but I don’t know how to.
9th March 2020 at 5:13 pm #99002KIP.Participant
No you’re absolutely not being selfish. You have moved on from him but not from the trauma he has left you with. It’s that trauma that will cause triggers when your family talk of moving nearer to him. Can you explain that it’s the trauma from the abuse that’s making you ill? The thought of being anywhere near him is upsetting. It’s not you, it’s the mental injuries he’s left you with. Sadly, if your family can’t see this then you need to step back from them until you’re able to re engage under these circumstances. My ex moved extremely close to my mums. Like 3 streets away. It was horrific. Now he lives a couple of miles from me. Being that close will hold back your recovery and if you’re safe away from him then that’s where I’d stay x
19th March 2020 at 6:56 pm #99553CamelParticipant
It’s been a while since you posted so I hope you’re feeling a bit happier now.
Your post struck a chord with me. Not long after I split from my abuser he would turn up unannounced at the pub where me and friends went. He lived a couple of hundred miles away. The first time he did it I found myself being civil and taking it while he wrapped me in a bear hug and told me how good I looked. I was dying inside and wondered why he was there. After that my friends would message me if he turned up and I wouldn’t go out. Years later I thought I saw him in town and I felt sick. I had to go home in case it was actually him. I was angry with myself because I should have been ‘over it’ by then.
But the reality is there is little chance of ‘getting over it’ when the hard work to get where we are is totally one-sided. I never had a satisfactory discussion with my abuser where he said sorry or acknowledged what he’d put me through. So, what happens when we bump into these men? For them, nothing’s changed. For us, everything’s changed. BUT only after a massive amount of introspection, self analysis and maybe counselling.
It only takes a chance meeting to throw us back into being the victim and triggering all those suppressed and buried feelings.
Yellowflower, you’re not at all selfish for putting your own well-being first. But unfortunately your family won’t appreciate the trauma you went through. Nor will they understand triggers, PTSD, background anxiety, depression, self-blame or anything else you experience every day. This doesn’t make them uncaring, just thoughtless perhaps.
Know as fact that you are absolutely entitled to your opinion. If you will feel uncomfortable visiting them when they move then make arrangements to meet somewhere else. If you decide to meet there, always have an exit plan and leave whenever you like. And without apology.
I do find it very troubling that people who should have your back are telling you that you’re ‘too sensitive.’ When you think about it, what the hell does that actually mean? You’ve probably spent long enough being told what to think by your abuser and don’t need it now. Be vigilant to it and remind yourself that your opinions and feelings are more relevant to your happiness than anyone else’s.
19th March 2020 at 7:30 pm #99555fizzylemParticipant
No it’s not selfish to express how you feel with your family, in fact this is very much needed and the best thing to do – always – so that they can take your thoughts and feelings into consideration.
It sounds to me like they really just do not understand, see this more as a dispute and not DV where two people are equally responsible for the failure of a relationship – a typical false assumption many make – which of course is simply not the case in DA; agree with KIP, they don’t understand this has been traumatic – minimising your feelings here, saying you’re being overly sensitive leaves me feeling, ‘ouch’. Yes you are sensitive, and have good cause and need support.
It’s great you’ve expressed your feelings here, sadly they have not responded how you need. Are they aware this will make visits to them in this area less frequent? That there may even be long periods where you feel unable to visit? That you feel it could potentially limit support for you and for them?
I would say you can’t ask them not to move, but you can ask them to consider how you feel and the implications in their decision, that you are simlply making them aware so that they have all the information. Up to them, but obs means they’ll see you much less.
I would revisit this with them when you feel able, and follow up saying it feels like you don’t understand me or what DV is, which is common for people who have never experienced this; it would be good for us all if you could maybe do a bit of research here – to better understand the effects and the trauma I feel. Please never try to minimise my feelings again, as it’s hurtful x
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