This topic contains 18 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  RedCube 6 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #50200
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    Hi all,
    I just wandered if it’s me, or whether anyone else feels like surviving abuse for so many years has left them disabled?
    When my now husband met me I was a physically strong, mostly happy, but extremely shy teenager. After 3 decades of doing physical jobs but also All the house work, decorating, most of the gardening and childcare I have both (detail removed by moderator) plus I have been treated for depression, stress, anxiety and insomnia, as well as (detail removed by moderator) Maybe I really am paranoid like he’s been saying for years, but I feel that both my mental health issues and physical ones are a direct result of his behaviour. He would just give me excuses why he couldn’t help. Time after time until I gave up and did it myself. He always used the cycle that everyone talks about or too busy building up his rep as a pillar of the community, to help. Of course it was my fault for being impatient and not waiting- I’m not talking minutes, hours or even days here. I’m talking about weeks, months and years. In one case it was a decade! The whole time we were married he alternately was charming and telling me how sexy and beautiful I was(usually adding some remarks about my weight or some improvement I should make)to telling me I was hopeless in the beginning last year it had deteriorated to an F ice queen who’d ruined his F life. Last year I’d given up completely. I was a size 24, 18 stone, a chain smoker and just awaiting a heart attack or stroke to end my misery. The house was a disaster, broken windows he said we couldn’t replace because he only earned £x a year we were broke and I couldn’t work many hours. Yet he found the money to by himself a sports car (as well as the other 4cars on the drive. I was doing ‘creative writing ‘ in between house work and part-time work. Stories based on my life but with a happy ending. I started remembering all the things he had done over the past 3decades. I don’t know if I was more angry with him or myself for letting him get away with it. I made a new year resolution to start looking after myself, get myself fit, mentally and financially independent and leave him. I’m now 12st 11, a size 16, cut down my smoking, opened my own bank account and got my wages transferred to it and was starting to look for somewhere to rent, after more than doubling my hours at work. Unfortunately I found out he was lying about his income. He earned twice as much as he told me. When I asked him about it he said he’d had a pay rise, but he didn’t know where the rest of the money goes. He told my son he’s paying extra into a pension, but denies this to me. I had planned to go quietly while he and my sons were off skiing in the new year. I hated the secrecy and deception, so told him I was fed up with his lies, spending our money however he pleased without even asking my views, the way he spoke to me. Either he started being honest and treated me with a bit of respect or I was leaving. Of course he denies everything and is trying to convince one of our sons that I’m totally paranoid and lost the plot. He has however ordered the replacement windows, but that’s it. My counsellor mentioned abuse, so I started searching on line and found you guys. Totally freaked me out. He isn’t just a cruel, lying, cheating husband, but an abuser!!! Knocked me flat on my back! Then I had a major panic attack because I’d told him what I was planning. Luckily I’ve kept reading and writing the odd message of support. This morning I had a good day. Took my other son to work and decided to treat myself to a latte and text my sister to tell her I’m leaving him. She tried to sound supportive but was obviously doubting it was the right decision. She laughed when I mentioned it in the summer. She the total opposite to me very confident and outspoken. I calmly texted her back telling her not to worry I’ll be fine, but I had to leave Ihad no choice. Suddenly I felt more myself again. Still wandering what he’s up to, still looking at him and struggling to believe this is all happening, but when I feel wobbly I ask myself if that’s really My doubts or him. Usually it’s him. Just got to keep going forward with my plans. Solicitors next and housing department
    My son is coming with me so I can’t go to a women’s refuge. But at least I won’t have to worry about him. We’ll get there. Just need to keep it together, keep reading your posts and asking for advice and help. I’m finding that the hardest, always muddled through by myself.

  • #50203
     keepmovingfoward 
    Participant

    The impact of abuse can have very physical and mental responses in our bodies. I was constantly exhausted, i never managed to get anything productive done as his demands took priority, this included things like cleaning, and washing things. i lost my confidence and self-esteem again. i was depressed, felt like i was constantly treading on eggshells and trying my hardest to please him all the time, i was hospitalised 3 times due to headaches from a condition i was diagnosed with whilst with him and possibly caused by the stress of being with him. so its possible that some of your health issues have been contributed to by the abuse. Well done on the weightloss though, its an amazing amount of weight to loose, you must feel so much healthier for it.

    i too didnt realise i was in an abusive relationship until another factor interfered from his past. which resulted in an investigation which meant he could not stay in the house with the children. it was then i began the realise the impact of our relationship and i grieved for that for weeks, before i had the guts to leave him for good.
    you dont mention the age of your son but refuges can support children up to a certain age, its worth calling to check.

    • #50310
       brokenangel 
      Participant

      I was a healthy, slim attractive and reasonably confident women (detail removed by moderator) when I met my partner who constantly abused me. I now have PTSD, high blood pressure, a heart abnormality, depression and gastric problems all not present prior to the abuse. I’m now overweight, have serious dental issues after becoming afraid to go out and tending to his constant unreasonable demands, feeling ugly and worthless due to many assaults and severe mental abuse and I now feel quite weak and unwell. I feel for you and can so relate to your post.

    • #61442
       RedCube 
      Participant

      My father was abusive and my mother was neglectful. Although I can’t prove the link, I experienced a period of severe mental illness which lasted several years before it was diagnosed. I was psychiatrically disabled.

      My sister has been to numerous counsellors and psychologists for her issues over the years and was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder which was directly related to my fathers behavior.

      My mother developed insomnia after my father used to bang on her bedroom door each night (which she locked) when he was drunk and she had had enough for the evening. That was (Detail removed by Moderator) years ago and she still can’t sleep properly despite treatment…

      I cant judge your situation exactly, but I know from experience that abuse can take a great toll on your physical and mental health.

  • #50204
     Dragonfly 
    Participant

    I think a lot of us are shocked when realisation hits us, we didn’t realise we were being abused for such a long time. We become conditioned and somehow just accept this behaviour as normality. Now we know what it is we have to somehow deal with it.

    As far as illness is concerned I had a very serious illness twice in my life. It’s basically an over production of cortisol, the stress hormone. I’ve had operations to ‘cure’ me and attend yearly hospital check ups. Each year approx 3-4 weeks prior to my appointment he would ensure he got me really stressed out (in many different ways). When I get to the hospital my cortisol would be through the roof with none of the other symptoms i.e a false positive result. However this would mean I’d need to go through more invasive tests to make sure my illness hadn’t come back.

    This was one of his cycles, ensuring I was a quivering wreck just before my appointment.

    So yes, I do believe they can cause or agitate illnesses.

  • #50208
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    Thanks ladies,
    He’s just always telling me I’m paranoid and delusional, has been for years ( I don’t really think I am now by the way) but I’ve been conditioned for so long now that I still catch myself doubting. I know it’s just him really, but it’s kept me from saying anything to anyone for decades. Now that I’m having to fess up to people a little bit of my brain is half expecting him to find out and start telling people how worried he is about my mental health stability again. He’s done it a few times before, including telling our GP who called me in to the surgery. I was too afraid to tell him since I didn’t know what my husband had told him. I fear no-one will believe me he’s so convincing and has been laying the ground work for years. I have 2 grown up sons still living with us. My younger son has suffered at his father and grandfathers hands, but he’s very tall. I’m pretty sure survivors wouldn’t want him any where near them. He’s a lovely gentle giant, very respectful to women, well to everyone. But any woman or children have suffered abuse might find him extremely intimidating being so tall.
    We’re both doing our best to work extra hours to prove we can pay a rent and I have a small amount saved up, just need to tell more people and find out what help might be available. I can’t face it all in one go. Just trying to tackle a problem each week step by step. Local women aid tomorrow and more counselling then there’s just housing and a lawyer to face. Have to go alone. It’s hard enough saying to one stranger but I couldn’t say it in front of my family or friends. So it’s solo, hence bit by bit. Otherwise I start to panic and can’t look at him. I’m worried he’ll start telling everyone I’m having another break down, have me hospitalised to shut me up. Maybe paranoid, maybe not. All I know is everytime I start getting stronger and fight back he finds ways to trample me back down nice or nasty, increases the pressure each time. No way can I press charges he’d crush me and then my son. I won’t let that happen. I’ve been through far too much for far too long.
    Thanks for your support ladies. I appreciate you taking the time to chat and reassure me I haven’t lost the plot…yet!!!
    Wishing you both happiness and hugs x

    • #57122
       Melanie 
      Participant

      I totally agree on stress trama pain worse mental health worse hand in hand I belive now !I’m not hypercondriac as bullied into decisions I had no choice.years after the traumatic violent torctcher and more I’m house bound and even though I’m in hell waiting on (Detail removed by moderator)yrs just over I am PHYICALLY mentally confused about the victim contact servise new woman had no clue about the conditions.on the real ease.i can’t Even have the date .im same I’m getting pain things in body not right ,total abdominal hysterectomy hpv16/51.so yes some case definately.

  • #50209
     Borntobefree 
    Participant

    I know
    My mental health has suffered badly due to my ex

    I have ptsd

    And on cholesterol tablets because the adrenaline in my body was high

    I am getting better..but the impact on my body due to his abuse has taking it’s toll on me

  • #50210
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    We will all survive though I’m sure of it. Reaching out to each other like this is wonderful. Complete strangers united together and stronger with each other’s support and understanding. I think that’s probably what scared me about saying anything, either people wouldn’t believe me or they would ask me why I didn’t just leave. I mentioned some of the control behaviour once and the lies and suspicion of affairs another time. People make it sound so easy, but when they fill your mind with doubt all the time, chip away at your confidence constantly, turn up the charm and tell you your being silly (in the beginning) escalating to angry verbal abuse later on, it’s not so easy. You ladies have been amazing. Not just because you have s survived/ surviving but also willing to reach out to others like me. I guess I’m doing it a bit differently to most, but as long as we all get out safely that’s what matters. Thanks

  • #50232
     Ayanna 
    Participant

    The abuse itself, the rapes and beatings and mental abuse caused me to develop a disability already during my marriage.
    After fleeing I was abused by the British system, punished for fleeing and fighting for a divorce, refused a place in a refuge because of my ethnicity. That caused me so much stress that I have been sick ever since and now I have an auto immune disease which nobody ever had in my entire family and which I did not have a disposition of initially.

  • #50240
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    So sorry to hear that Ayanna. Hope you’re getting help now. Sometimes I feel like it’s never ending. I manage to clamber over one obstacle only to be faced by another even bigger one the other side. I guess you must have felt like that too. I hope you feel better soon. Stay strong

  • #50242
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    Glad to hear you are getting better Borntobefree Dragonfly, sorry to hear you have suffered repeated procedures on top of the abuse. So cruel of him to wind you up before appointments. They all seem to have that cruel streak making us suffer not just once but over and over. I feel like they’re totally heartless these men and seem to choose gentle, loving women to torture with their cruelty. My husband says God will forgive his sins. I’m not so sure, I believe he doesn’t see his cruelty,his abuse as a sin, but his right as my husband. I used to worry he’d go to Hell. I don’t worry about it anymore. I recently tried again to convince him he’s wrong but he just denies everything. Denies he lies, deceived and manipulated me. It’s his choice, but I can’t stay I feel like he’s taken so much from me already I want to keep what’s left intact. Stay strong ladies and thanks again

  • #50311
     SunshineRainflower 
    Participant

    I had been diagnosed with OCD before I met him and, having faith in humanity, just assumed he would be kind and understanding about it. He appeared to be at first but then to my horror I realised he was using it to against me. He would say and do awful cruel things to me then tell me I had imagined it ‘due to my OCD’ (gaslighting). Luckily for me what he didn’t realise was that OCD doesn’t make me delusional or have hallucinations so it was the thing that caught him out in the end and helped me to twig that something was wrong. After typing in what had been happening into google it was then that I realised I was in an abusive relationship and I immediately ended things (much to his irritation which still gives me satisfaction!!)

    I am lucky in that I wasn’t with him for long at all, I feel like google and all the wonderful people who write about abuse saved my life because without the articles, helpline etc I would have kept blaming myself and believing him. But in the short time I was with him, my abdomen used to swell up painfully, I was crying a lot and so anxious I had to sleep with a bucket by my bed as I used to wake up retching and I had no idea why. I also lost a stone in weight and became underweight as I just couldn’t eat due to anxiety. I was also constantly exhausted and even once layed down at his feet, I always felt so inexplicably tired and sleepy in his presence and have since read this is common, that they drain your emotional energy like a vampire. Since leaving all these mystery illnesses have gone. I now have to deal with some PTSD symptoms and still manage my mental health daily but I am lucky I got away quickly and my health has recovered to more or less the same as when I met him. I think the longer we are with these toxic creatures the more damage they do, but it’s good to also know that our minds and bodies start to heal once we get away from them, that there is always strength and resilience within us and we can always have a second chance at life.

    • #50775
       godschild 
      Participant

      Freedom fighter, my husband always says God has forgiven him, but God only forgives where true repentance is found, these Men live in total denial of doing anything wrong so no way are they repentant, ive tried to tell mine over and over that he will go to hell if he does not really seek God and repent but its like he defies God himself, or is totally delusional over it all.

      Ive go to the point where I feel its a waste of tine trying to speak the truth to him re God , its like utter defiance in him.

      I have read and learned a lot of how God views abusers and scripture to back it up.

  • #50329
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    I’m glad to hear that Sunshine, gives me hope for both my son and myself. I was hoping we’d get stronger and healthier once we left. I just have to keep taking my baby steps and pray someone out there can help us. I have a meetings with the local WA group on Friday. Hope they can point us in the right direction and recommend a lawyer . Thanks ladies. Stay strong

  • #50777
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    Hi gods child,
    Thanks for your post. I’m so glad you feel the same way. For years he kept quoting lines at me from the Bible. Telling me I didn’t understand Christianity, that I was a false Christian, that I was going straight to hell and that if I divorced him I would be going against God’s wishes, if I saw or married anyone else I’d be the one committing adultery
    I used to try to read the Bible, but found it so hard going on my own I’d give up
    AJehovah’s witness started calling around. He always sent her away, but if I was alone I’d always talk to her. She started leaving me leaflets which gave suggestions where to find the answers to questions. I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness, but that lady has opened my eyes to the fact that I am not only married to an abuser but a false prophet as the Bible says. He would take part in the service at church and preach from the pulpit in Gods house, using the Bible to justify his actions. It’s my fault for not reading it myself, but I just found the fact he twisted the Bible’s words to justify his abuse and guilt me into doing things, staying with him etc so .. I can’t even begin to describe it. He would remind me that I’d vowed to obey him if I questioned him or refused to do something. Thankfully the vicar who married us told me that agree to obey him didn’t mean i should just do everything he said. I still had to obey both man’s law and God s. If it feels wrong don’t do it, was what he told me and I stuck to that. Another reason my husband told me I’d go straight to hell.
    I’m so glad you replied. I’ve been worried I might be wrong. I’m 99% sure he’s had affairs, which would mean God would forgive me for leaving him, but if you’ve found passages about abuse too then I need to google that and get reading
    Thanks godschild

  • #50800
     godschild 
    Participant

    Hi Freedomfighter, even if he has not had affairs there are scriptures about desertion etc which is what abuse is, they break the covenant of marriage when they abuse us.

    There is NO WAY God would want you to stay and be abused,so many Ministers and abusers misquote scripture, if you look at Lesley Vernicks posts so many Women say that God told them to leave and made it possible, also posts on a cry for justice that is excellant,so have no guilt about God at all abusers will say anything to stop you leaving, it him that needs to fear God not you.

    I chose not to obey in my wedding vows not that at that time I knew what was to come but obey is not even the correct word, in scripture it is to submit and it says submit to loving leadership, like me you have no loving leadership and it does not mean to obey and do as you are told, its supposed to be protection husbands are to have for their wifes ,scriptures are misqouted and twisted, look at those two sites you will learn a lot, don’t let him intimidate you using God, its ridiculous, he has no place to be Gods spokesmen

  • #50806
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    Thank you Godschild, I will
    I know it’s stupid, putting up with abuse because you’re abuser tells you to. It sounds so absurd put like that, but that’s basically what I’ve done for decades. He would show me lines from the Bible saying I had to obey him, that women are more susceptible to being seduced by evil etc. I never had much confidence to start with, after years of his psychological abuse and the odd bit of physical abuse which he’d then convince me never happened, just in my head. I felt I couldn’t trust myself, my own judgement. Even when I knew he’d done bad things I would blame myself and make excuses for him.
    It’s crazy and just made me afraid I really was paranoid. Even when I knew he was telling me lies and coercing me into doing things I felt I had little choice- I went against everyone’s advice and married him. I felt trapped
    I really believed God didn’t want me to suffer like that, but until that lovely lady pointed me in the right direction, where to look for answers I was lost.
    So thanks again. I’m going to look those sites up when he goes to bed. God bless you and keep you safe

  • #60144
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    My mental health has suffered too, I diagnosed myself with chronic ptsd (there were no specialist services available and I didn’t want to be referred to a psychiatrist as I had had such bad experinces wit doctors et.c

    I have fought hard for my condition to be recongised as a disabiltiy in recent years, took myself back to uni where I still am and managed to get a mentor who comes to my house with disabled students support. I’m mentioning this is case it is useful to anyone.

    The symptoms come and go in waves. Today not such a brilliant day, but I kind of manage it better. I personally don’t agree with the NHS etc who say it can be treated, as it is affected by context and I know it gets worse when I have to see him and do handovers.

    So I’m still working on all I can possibly do to help myself. Decided to see private GP who is reviewing things.

    I would encourage anyone else to fight for their rights having a disabilty or condition that has existed for more than two years. I wish I had found this forum before, having felt as if I had struggled alone for such a long time, not even knowing that what I was feeling had a name and was a disabilty.

    all best
    ftc
    x

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

EXIT SITE

© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

Terms & conditionsPrivacy & cookie policySite mapProtect yourself onlineMedia │ Jobs

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account