26th December 2020 at 9:37 pm #118445
I’m starting to realise how constant and insidious the coercive control I’ve been experiencing, for my whole adult life, is.
He would monitor how much I ate for lunch, what I ordered in restaurants, how much i exercised.
How long i spoke to my mum on the phone.
How long i spent on the toilet. He would keep me awake until (detail removed by moderator) every night to watch TV. If I fell asleep, he would wake me up.
He would constantly give me advice on how to look after our first child, when he was a newborn. He wouldn’t let me drive anywhere with the baby without him, for (detail removed by moderator) after the baby was born.
He would text me constantly when I was out without him.
Would insist on going to playgroup with me and accompanying me to meet ups with new mum friends.
Would tell me it was in my best interests to never see any of my family ever again. Would moan about them every week.
He put a location tracker on my phone, when I was pregnant with our firstborn.
For about (detail removed by moderator), he had a surveillance camera in our (detail removed by moderator) room and would watch me at home with our kids, when he was out at work. Sometimes he would suddenly talk to me via the camera. I felt constantly watched.
He would threaten to murder hypothetical men who I was having hypothetical affairs with.
Talk violently about others and those he thought were bad or who had wronged him.
He knew best about everything, would make huge decisons on my behalf, like telling my mum I wouldn’t be going to her house for (detail removed by moderator).
In my head, he wasn’t controlling me anymore, that this year I had become more assertive and confident. But he is still controlling me.
I’ve been making myself have sex with him, because he told me that (detail removed by moderator) and when he’s angry, he shouts at the kids a lot.
I’m scared to leave him, because he had told me he will kill himself. I’m scared to ever have a new partner, because I’m worried he won’t be able to handle it.
(Detail removed by moderator).Its only occurred to me this evening that what happened that day wasn’t normal. Just an example of one of the small things in my day to day life that he takes control over. Makes me think he knows best and I know nothing.
I’m realising, in this moment of clarity, that I feel like I’ve been held hostage all these years. I’ve been held on a leash by him. Sometimes the leash is shorter and sometimes it is longer, making me think he isn’t controlling me any more and that I’m independent and have free will. But its a trick, the leash is still there.
26th December 2020 at 10:07 pm #118449HawthornParticipant
What horrendous abuse he has subjected you to Pea. You are a truly remarkable woman to be coping with these sorts of revelations while you are still with him. I was out for months before I realized the extent of the coercive control I was subjected to. It’s so insidious. The analogy of the frog in hot water. The frog goes into the cold water. If it was hot to start off with the frog would jump out. So the heat is turned up slowly and before long you’re boiling alive.
Such horrendous behaviour designed to degrade and disempower us. When it begins to become clear that these men cant love us, never have. Control and abuse is not love. It is the very opposite.
Journal all these insights and hold onto them for dear life. You have such strength. You will escape him xx
27th December 2020 at 5:40 pm #118494
Thank you. I think I will be able to process even more,once I’m not in the same house as him anymore. I am struggling being around him now.
I had a weird comfort in him before and would have told myself that I enjoyed his company, but now I’m finding it difficult being around him.
Plus when I am near him and I see him looking pained or sad, I start to feel bad and guilty again and start wondering whether it was all really so bad. Whether he meant any of it. I’d got into a rhythm with our life together and was used to the routine. Xx
26th December 2020 at 11:03 pm #118452RockandrolldreamscomethroughParticipant
Pea, that sounds absolutely horrendous. I’m so sorry you’ve been subjected to this awful abuse. It is so so so controlling! What I’ve learnt is that abusers crave control and when they don’t have it they very quickly lose their heads. When they have control they can play mind games etc but when they lose that control even for a second that’s when they start to b**w and try new tactics to tighten the grip on us. My ex would regularly say he was going to kill himself when I’d say I was leaving him. He’s faked taking tablets, faked cuts on himself, even pretended he was going to hang himself before. (Detail removed by moderator). It got so regular that his family even said to me that he does it for sympathy. It ramped up even more when I left him. By this point though I knew it was just another desperate tactic to try and gain back control. You’re definitely recognising what he’s doing is totally wrong and not normal! Slowly more and more stuff that was very “normal” to you will become apparent that it’s not and soon you will be able to look in from an outside perspective and see his abusive patterns for what they truly are!! When we are in the situation we become so normalised to it all that we don’t see it as very bad. The only time I really saw his behaviour as wrong was when major incidents would happen but as far as everyday life went him calling me names, getting angry over small things, accusing me of cheating etc etc was all just an everyday occurrence to me. Well done, keep going, you can do this x
27th December 2020 at 5:47 pm #118495
Yes I think that in time more things will pop into my head, that I will realise weren’t normal behaviours or situations!
I’m sorry your ex behaved that way with you, my husband seems so much more in control these days, until he realised I wanted to leave (detail removed by moderator) and then he threatened suicide (detail removed by moderator)!
Its confusing because so much has improved this year. He doesn’t critique me as much (or as obviously), he doesn’t call me names anymore or break things because he is angry with me (although he started doing those behaviours towards the kids instead), he seemed to want to listen and be supportive of me and be the best dad and husband he could be. He seemed to take great pride in it all.
But I do realise his controlling of me is still there, I still modify my behaviour because of him, even if on the surface things seems as though he has improved a lot.
27th December 2020 at 5:12 am #118455KIP.Participant
Intimate terrorism. Yes appalling abuse which we normalise. That’s how we cope and make it through another day and yes it creeps up on us x it’s also shocking and beyond devastating when we accept that the person we love and thought loved us in return was actually deliberately destroying us. Hang in there. And keep that post to read when you feel unsure x
27th December 2020 at 10:57 am #118472
I really have normalised it all and just accepted it, even if I’ve had moments where I just want to end it all because I have felt so trapped.
I’ve ignored how I’ve been feeling for so long, choosing to focus on the good bits.
It really is devastating when you realise that the person you thought you could depend on, who tells you they love you and want to protect you, doesn’t actually care and is the one who is actively hurting you.
Its hard. I will keep rereading this post. X
27th December 2020 at 11:02 am #118474KIP.Participant
Yes it’s really hard. We have been brainwashed and programmed for years, sometimes decades. It’s a lot to take on board. The trust that has been lost. The reality of it all and how we could have got it all so wrong. That’s what abusers do. That’s why they resort to such drastic actions when they’re about to be exposed so be very careful. A new kind of hell began when I exposed his abuse so take your time. Get all your ducks in a row then take plenty time to heal. I was decades with my abuser and I’m only now beginning to get my life and my sanity back x if it was easy to walk away none of us would leave so badly scarred x stay safe and keep posting and be very kind to yourself.
28th December 2020 at 4:47 pm #118551OvercomeParticipant
I believe this phenomenon is whats known as “the fog is lifting” Congratulations for being able to assess your situation and see that it is certainly not normal! Such a huge step in freeing yourself!
I found this part the hardest to deal with as you face an internal battle, its almost like a push and pull, where your rational mind tells you this isn’t right! But the addiction we get to the abuser tries to explain it all away and keep you in your ‘safe place’ much like any other addict.
Then there’s the matter of trying to live like everything is normal so he doesn’t suspect, and it just doesn’t come naturally to many of us on this forum who are honest and true.
Im so sorry to read what you went through, my experience was very similar, I even had to keep receipts of all my spending and an accounts book and send it him monthly, he would dock my allowance if he felt I did something wrong and I had to earn every penny. It was horrendous! On the outside of course it looked like I had it made, I was a kept woman how lucky that I had a credit card to do what I liked. The reality was very different and would only just get by each month trying to make sure kids had food and nappies and clothing.
Please be kind to yourself right now, it can take a long time to finally break free so don’t feel like you must do everything straight away, get a plan in place and definitely look back at this post when you have weak moments. I hope this helps a little x
Overcome x x x
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