4th May 2022 at 4:15 pm #143131Yellow1234Participant
So long story short, he is now in prison for what he did to me. But I can’t help but feel bad sometimes and imagine him in there all alone as if it’s my fault? I know it’s not my fault but the guilt is awful, I don’t know if it’s because I love him (the person I thought he was anyway) and feelings don’t just go away when the person goes away? I just want someone to tell me I’m not crazy for wanting to speak to him or see him considering we went from being together 24/7 to nothing at all and now a restraining order on him. Him being put away is the right thing but the love won’t go and it’s awful, it’s dragging me down everyday. I just don’t know if life is going to get any easier or if the guilt will go. I miss him but not the him that hurt me. Just wish I could hate him 24/7, not half hate and half love.
4th May 2022 at 7:15 pm #143142Grey RockParticipant
This IS kind of crazy. BUT, it’s also pretty normal as well.
There are lots of reasons that we cone out of these relationships feeling this way. However, the feelings are kinda dangerous, because if we act on them we may not get away again, and one thing that’s certain is that abusers don’t change how they treat us. Things may get better very briefly, but the cycle of abuse soon kicks off again, and generally gets worse more quickly each time we return.
I found the book Out of the FOG very useful. I also found it helpful to learn more about cognitive dissonance and the cycle of abuse.
Life seemed very quiet and nothing-like when I first got away. I suppose after spending so much time second guessing and treading on eggshells I wasn’t used to having headspace free for my own thoughts. I didn’t know what I wanted to watch on the TV. Or read. Or eat for dinner. Or what my routine was. It was a long time since those things had really been a choice I could make. And although I wanted to reconnect with friends, it was hard t to do that as I knew there would be questions that would be uncomfortable to answer, and I didn’t want to a downer to anyone’s mood on a night out. So even when I had reestablished contact with people, I was very hesitant to make plans with them.
The good news is that this did all gradually get better. It just took time, along with lots of reading and watching YouTube videos to educate myself about abuse and recovery. The Freedom Program and contact with Women’s Aid really helped to, as did posting and reading here.
11th May 2022 at 9:56 am #143523cakepopsParticipant
I can totally relate to GR’s reply. I didn’t know who I was after my long abusive marriage. I am still working it out now, and some things have come as a surprise. As a random example, I discovered I enjoy hillwalking. When I was with my ex he would drag me up huge hills, walk much faster than me, get annoyed at me being too slow, and there was always some sort of entirely unnecessary drama or explosive outbursts about parking/forgetting something minor/timings/me being tired etc. So I thought I hated hillwalking, but actually I’ve joined a women’s group and I really enjoy it now as its friendly and supportive.
I think as you rediscover who you are, and who you want to be in future, this will help put perspective on how you feel about your ex. Read up about trauma bonding, as this will be helpful. I found CBT and also counselling via Women’s Aid helpful too. Although I think my counselling was too early on in the healing process and I’m on a waiting list again. It takes a long time to process everything and realise how bad things were.
Be careful with the guilt, and try not to rush in to any major decisions. You situation is different as my ex wasn’t charged, but I made bad decisions about how much contact with our kids to offer. I felt so guilty about ending the relationship and this clouded everything. The guilt will go over time. These days I am able to see exactly who is the one who should feel guilty – it isn’t me 🙂
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