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    • #136606

      Hi, haven’t posted in a while. Happy New Year, hope you’re all ok and getting through. Not an easy time of year.
      I’ve been getting lower and lower lately, end of last year wiped me out. The legal side all done now but instead of feeling euphoric that its over I just feel very flat. I thought it was an out of energy thing but its been getting worse over the festive period. I used to love Christmas and still do in a way but I was so lonely this one, not the first since I’ve been out but somehow I felt it more.

      I don’t know how to unpack it all. I’m not sure what’s getting me down the most, and if this is normal. My ex’s life is going from strength to strength, he’s even got himself a new woman. Which I don’t care about at all (in terms of him, good riddance to bad rubbish) but my kids like her and her kids and they’ve had a really good time with them over Christmas (no rules in their house, stay up late, eat whatever, gaming all night etc). Not sure if its even jealously its more that I’m feel so deficient that I haven’t got my life together and up and running and a new partner and a new ready made family already. Not that I want it as I don’t feel ready, but I’d love a normal life, friends and family for my kids and for it not to have to be me and them every time we’re together.

      Its been a while but mentally I seem to be much worse than this time last year. Totally out of energy and any get up and go to sort things out. As time has gone on he’s weaselled his way into the lives of school families so a lot of the school mums now ignore me because he’s hanging out with their husbands. Its like he’s won the lottery too as he’s driving a top of the range very very expensive car and buying the kids all sorts of extravagant presents and taking them to do loads of stuff all the time, and loads of places and always eating out. I use the food bank and had to charity Christmas. The kids are pointing out the comparison, I don’t think meanly but they can see it and they prefer to be there with Disney Dad than at home with mum making them eat vegetables and going to bed at a normal time. I’m just SO.FKN.TIRED of having to compensate all the time for his irresponsible behaviour and I hate seeing what he’s turning the children into.

      I’m also feeling so messed up and so not me. I’m trying to find counselling/therapy but can’t find anywhere, and can’t afford private. I’m doing CBT on the NHS but isn’t really helping, it is a bit but I feel like I need to talk about stuff too. About what has happened, and what is still happening. I’m not even putting on a face anymore and I always put on a face!

      Not sure what Im asking for and doing here now, maybe just splurging it out, not sure. Is this normal after so long. After feeling ok, after thinking you’d processed and moved on and were getting back on track? I spent time learning about abuse, I understand I think what it is where it came from, my childhood and everything like that, I could do with more talking but why am I back much worse? I’m also experiencing grief from the death of someone very close to me who died just after I met him. All I feel like is my life sort of stopped when I met him, like I went into a prison, everything got smaller, my friends disappeared, my life disappeared, I disappeared and even the death of this very significant person was ignored and I was forced to not grieve, not even mention it or ever talk about it. I feel like Ive been in a prison. Does anyone else feel like that afterwards? There was something on TV like that about a woman who got out and everything was different. I feel like that, like I’ve lost a big chunk of my life and instead of tapes everyone is streaming on Spotify. My head is somewhere else, I am somewhere else, in the past.
      Am I going crazy? Is there something wrong with me do you think? Do other people feel like this? I have to rebuild my life and I don’t know where or how to start. I want to move away from where I live, to scrub him from every memory and place but thats not possible with children unfortunately.
      That’s it. Anyone make sense of this? x

    • #136608

      When i first came here you were amazing so lovley so helpful always a kind word of support for everyone now its your turn.
      I cant give you any advise at all but I want you to know that to someone like me someone still here still struggling with life with a nasty man you are an incredable strength.
      Your story your advice is amazing and often holds me up when i cant hold myself up.
      I can imagine leaving takes so much out of you and its gotta be so scarey you have got to re find that woman you were b4 the abusive and how do you do that whilst still fighting him?
      I think you do need to talk you do need to let it all out to shout scream cry about all the things youve been through could you maybe ask your dr or womans aid? You need to concentrate on you now and finding that woman you deserve to be again.
      Maybe try a club the gym or a class make new friends now you can if the old ones have ditched you then they werent friends at all sweetie.
      He can give your kids whatever but you give them what they truely need a happy safe secure mum who loves them unconditionally they will see that they will. This is now your time to re write your story re find that woman youve always known was there deep down be kind to you i guess this is still gonna be a long rocky road but you are incredable and you can do this.
      Im sorry im not much help but just wanted to reach out and give you support and a hug xxxxx

      • #137020

        Thank you @nbumblebee for your kind words, I’m sorry its taken so long to reply, I do regularly check in and I read and absorb but am struggling to function at the moment. Your comments have been really really helpful. I saw something about re-writing your story – guided by a famous author – you write every week – directed by them, have been looking into it. So, you just never know, you said that meant I then noticed the article, and now Im thinking of doing it. Or at least writing in a diary/journal every day at the very least as not sure I can take on a whole writing a book about ME write now. Thank you xx

      • #137029

        No need for thanks sweetie.
        I hope you find your strength again soon be kind to yourself you are an amazing lady dont ever doubt that. Take care xx

    • #136610

      Iliketea, you have been an amazing help and support to me too. Thank you.
      I really feel I will be writing the exact same content this time next year. He is already doing the Disney Dad thing, my eldest is suspicious of everything I do and told me he doesnt think I am entitled to any money from the house, its all his Dads!!! But yes, it appears that there is a new extravagant purchase in his name on the way……
      Everyone tells me the kids will see through it, but the world is so materialistic these days, I genuinely have my doubts.
      Do you feel angry? I feel completely overcome with anger (mainly at him but also myself) that I have wasted so many years of my precious life at his hands, and that due to the trauma he has put me through, it will be a good few years before I can really move on with mine. I can recall who I was beforehand, someone who appeared strong, confident and independant, but underneath, I really lacked self confidence. Part of the reason I completely ignored the red flags, let go of the things that were important to me and honestly thought I would never find anyone else that would want to be with me.
      It sounds like you have done alot of soul dearching too. And alot of healing. You have changed and grown in strength. He hasnt I presume, he may have the glossy shiney insta-worthy life but behind it all, he is the same abusive guy you dealt with Trust in this and thst ultimately, he will show his true colours again. And the time will come when you do find domeone who treats you right and is worthy of you by their side. You will be happy again. I tell myself this daily. It may not be today, this week ir even this year.. but happiness is coming.

      • #137021

        Hi @Bestchance07 You know what, I read your reply and it made me laugh (in a grim wry sort of way if you know what I mean) That’s exactly what my child said too, and it could not be further from the truth!!! And angry, I’ve been thinking about that a lot as I never think of myself as an angry person but YES, YES I do feel b****y angry, really really angry, and Im just getting more angry by the minute tbh and so Ive been thinking about doing Kickboxing Classes, always wanted to but never got round to it. So, thank you, thank you for your support when you’re going through s***e too. xx

    • #136611
      Wants To Help

      Hi iliketea,

      Your feelings are not unusual at all and I felt like this for some years after I left. Christmas and New Year is still a time of year that I don’t like for various reasons and I’m glad they are both over and done with for another 12 months!

      The only thing I can offer with hindsight and being a long time out of my relationship is this… don’t think you are in competition with your children’s dad as to who can provide the most fun, the biggest gifts, the best day out etc. Children are children and have no real understanding of the ‘adult’ world (thank God) and they are quite shallow when it comes to these sorts of things. Of course they are going to get excited and probably ‘prefer’ to be with the parent who can offer these things, but that is because they are materialistic little things and don’t understand what is more important in life. Trust me, as they get older (and this may not be until around 16 or 17) they will then start to understand.

      What we need to provide for our children is a safe home, a healthy diet, love, security, our time, boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and for them to know that they can talk to us about anything that is worrying to them. They don’t care what car we drive really. OK, a flash car may be impressive, but as long as we can get them to where they want or need to be that’s the main thing. When we become ‘Mum’s Taxi’ they couldn’t care less.

      My ex married a woman with children very quickly after we split up for good. He took our son shopping to look for an engagement ring, knowing very well that my son would come home and tell me something. So as a young toddler, my son came home one weekend telling me “we went shopping looking for pretty rings today for Daddy to buy (insert her name here) because he wants to marry her.” His new woman also had a (removed by moderator), so my son’s weekends (removed by moderator). He loved going there because of things they all did – all things I couldn’t afford to provide for. I thought it was all done to have a dig at me and I felt resentment, but looking back, my son was cared for (she was very good to him and he liked her) and he was having a happy life. Meanwhile, I was living off donations (including food banks), in a DV safe house, with increasing legal bills. Ultimately, that marriage ended as the domestic abuse unfolded and she had it worse than I did. Her children hated him and her one child has not forgiven her for marrying him and bringing him in to their lives! She reached out to me for help after a few years and we are now friends! Who’d have thought it!!

      Please try not to focus on how he has moved on and you feel like you haven’t. YOU have moved on leaps and bounds, he is more than likely repeating his life pattern. His new woman will be you in a few years time. There are more things I could tell you about how my son reacted as he got a little bit older but they would be removed from here for identifying reasons. However, they hurt me like hell at the time, but he didn’t understand how this affected me and in reality, I shouldn’t have expected him to. Kids think the grass is greener on the other side too.

      I have not been in any long standing, stable relationship since I left my ex but I have had a fulfilling life and on the whole, I am happy. Sometimes I do think it would be nice to meet a man and settle down, but I do not want to share a home or finances with anyone ever again and put my security at risk. My ex may look at me and smugly think that he was right, that I’d never meet anyone else and that no one else would put up with me, but the truth is, I haven’t yet met anyone who is worthy of me! 🙂

      This is still early days for you and you are still finding your feet, finding yourself and what you want from life. You could actually move away from the area and move your children’s schools, especially if you are the resident parent. Your reasons (if he objects and it goes to court) is that you need to move away from the area in order to get away from him and the past and the joint associations, as long as you can still ensure he gets his time with the children. It would mean more inconvenience for you with regards to traveling times for contact etc, but it’s not impossible to move away and have your children start in new schools. You may find a job elsewhere, which would mean you moving away to improve your financial situation. As long as you do not move countries (including to Scotland, Wales or NI) you can move within your country (which I presume is England) without his permission.

      There is a brighter future ahead for you I promise you


      • #137022

        @Wantstohelp, sorry for the delay in replying, hardly functioning at the moment, lack of sleep has taken over. I did read when you wrote though and have been thinking a lot about my own Christmases as a child and I can’t remember one present, I mean, I probably got presents but I mean I genuinely can’t remember, apart from (detail removed by moderator) Its interesting, when you think about it. Yes, I know I shouldn’t compare, I’ve been thinking about that too, I think its more about he’s suddenly living his best life so for other people – and to be honest I’m not even sure what I mean by “other people” as I don’t really give a flying f what people think usually but I’m a wreck, the years of abuse have suddenly caught up with me lately and I am looking and feeling it much more than a year ago. So people see that, and then they see him all happy with a new women – which I think is making me feel that he is legitimised somehow, that as he’s found a new woman then he must be ok, in the eyes of the world and society…and that clearly I was the n****r… I don’t know, its complicated, I need to get therapy. I really need to talk it out. Thanks a lot for your great insight and sharing your experiences.xx

    • #136640

      Hey hun, I know exactly how you feel. Last 2 months have probably been the hardest since when I first left and Xmas this year was much harder than last.

      Don’t look at your ex’s new life and feel like yours pales in comparison. You know what’s coming for that poor woman. There is no happy families or happy ever after with that man. Mine is exactly the same. Moved on really quickly. They need someone to feed on. We don’t. And the showing off financially. Don’t get me started…..!

      People say to me oh your child will see through him in the end and karma’s a b-“!* but I don’t know if that’s true. Why waste the energy worrying about it though I’m now saying to myself? You’re doing your best and that’s enough. What I do know for me is it’s me that my child turns to when they have a problem. I’m always here, like you I bet, reliable, steady, boring probably but utterly dependable (not saying your boring but you get what I mean).

      You really do sound like you need counselling just to talk it out and get it off your chest once and for all. I wish I could tell you where to find it but I only know WA. It would make all the difference I think in changing your mindset and helping you to move forward. We must try and see if there is anywhere you can access it.

      Keeping busy has been really important for me too. Have you thought of any new hobbies? I’ve rediscovered I love arts and crafts and I do it really cheaply. Exercise? Perhaps thinking about a side hustle if you’re not working/ready for work.

      I don’t want to be brutal but I’m being brutal to myself too. Maybe we’re setting our expectations too high for where we’re at right now? There is a huge period of adjustment when any long term relationship breaks down never mind an abusive one. We’ve been fighting fires for so long, we expect that once we stop it’s all going to be hunky dory and I don’t think it is. And then we give ourselves a hard time about it. I remember reading a post here not long ago about this very thing so I think it must be common.

      Not sure if I’ve been any help but wanted to show solidarity. You are certainly not alone in how you feel. I don’t know why but I’ve got a good feeling about 2022 though. For the both of us. ❤️💪 xx

      And hope someone comes along with some ideas for getting some proper counselling xx

      • #137023

        @Lifebegins, how you going? Thanks so much for your reply, sorry for the delay, not been a great week but its nearly done so “and breathe”….
        You got me thinking too and I have dug out some things I used to love doing from the depths of the old me…I haven’t started them again but I have remembered them so that’s a start! You’re right, I do really need to talk it out, Ive got back on to places and applied again and am seeing GP soon too. You’re so right in terms of recovery too, I think its probably a much longer journey than I fully realised as I was feeling ok this time last year, positive and even happy, but maybe a little bit too “superwomany” than I should have been. Ive decided to take it slow, calm down a bit on the sorting life out and getting a new life. I am grateful he’s not here anymore and I am grateful I never have to see him again. So that is a good start. Ive decided to hibernate a bit and not worry about the world passing me by. So thank you, your wise words did really help too. Couldn’t do without the support of this forum. Thank you and hope you’re getting through too. Wise strong woman. xx

    • #136688

      Thank you so much for your wise words and support. Going to reply properly tomorrow but just wanted to jump in and say thank you. This forum and you amazing women have always been here, thank you for the ongoing non-judgemental and always spot on, support. Wise women, each and every one. 🙏

    • #137025

      I’ve decided to hibernate – this book has been my inspiration – “Wintering” by Katherine May. Its really beautiful and a lot of what she says resonates with how I’m feeling. Worth a read or listen. Thanks again, amazing women on here. xx

    • #137028

      Hi lovely,

      It is really normal to feel like this. Unfortunately, it takes time and help to get through this.

      I’m not sure that CBT is necessarily the right therapy for your situation. Can you request that you go on the list for trauma counselling?

      Please also consider that many people struggle at this time of the year. A light box for SAD could help. It might be worth putting a “Wanted” add on Freecycle, Freegle and Trash Nothing incase someone has an unused one kicking around.

      It does take a while to get back on your feet but slowly, you will get there. I’m not sure if you’ve had any financial advice from CAB? If not, please do call them as there may well be some benefits that you are entitled to that you don’t know about.

      I think you know when I left my ex and this far down the line, I’m still homeless and working as a temp. I just don’t feel ready to apply for a permanent job yet. I’m just not emotionally strong enough. But there are women on the forum who have pulled through – with bells on. It took time for them too but they got there and you will too.

      It is so hard when their Dad is playing Mr Nice Guy. I’ve had a lot of experience with kids and you can bet your bottom dollar, when they’re ill or upset, they’ll still want Mum. You are their rock and that can’t be replaced by any amount of money. As you’re children get older, they’ll see through the scam of their father’s false affection. Until then, have you looked into family counselling? You’re local DV charity might be able to help you.

      It might also be worth looking into The Womens Trust to see if they cam help you.

      You have been feeling like this for a very long time now. Is your GP any help?

    • #137085

      Hi iliketea I just wanted to pop in and respond to you. Your story is so familiar to me. I am out but still working through the trauma of it all. Trying to get my head around something that will never make sense is exhausting.
      Counselling does sound like a route to follow. I sometimes think that we women have been isolated and suppressed for so long, that we need someone to hear our story. I have tried counselling – so expensive – and the person I tried didn’t quite understand the complexity of life after an abusive marriage. For me (and everyone is different) writing is my solace. I have kept notebooks throughout my life, writing down all the things that happened because there was no one there to talk to about it. I still write. Even just for 10 minutes. I write all the frustrations, the confusion, the anger, the grief. To me I have to get it out, becauseI don’t want to keep carrying it around. The added benefit , that on those really bad days I can look back and remember exactly why I left. It reminds me that even though in the space of 2 weeks when I left and lost my home, my belongs, my job and even had access to my children limited, even when I am at my lowest point and rebuilding my life seems insurmountable, I remember where I am now and that I will never go back.

      I don’t know your back story, but it sounds like you have come such a long way. Enjoy your hibernation and celebrate your strength!

    • #137099

      Hi Iliketea so sad to read that you have been so low and drained. It sounds like you need some nurturing to restore your batteries. I experienced similar moods over the new year myself and the cold stormy weather made it worse. I go for small “wins” in relation to self nurturing… a bar of chocolate or a radix bath, a walk on my own. Every day I do,at least one small thing to elevate my mood. I also find writing, self counselling, invaluable. It is almost as good as talking to a friend and I have kept up a journal since I planned to leave him. I wouldn’t have got out without doing this. It helped me to express my feelings, and make lists and plans. I also use it to evaluate my progress and pat myself on the back as when you are low it’s easy to be unaware of the successes you have created. It’s so important that you keep posting here for support. It’s like having lots of nice mummies to turn to when things are tough, and the advice and support is amazing.

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