12th August 2021 at 10:31 pm #130007
This is my first post and I’ll try and keep it brief!
In a nutshell – I’m living with my partner and for some years I’ve become more and more unhappy.
We have a young child we care for (not ours, a long story).
I’ve been in violent relationships before, and he isn’t violent (not physically at least). He says I’m tarnishing him with the same brush as my ex”s and he’s nothing like them. But his behaviour feels the same to me.
I’m treading on eggshells, afraid to say anything that will set him off. When he’s angry he doesn’t speak to me for days and days and he packs his bags and threatens to leave and says I’ve driven him to it because of my temper / I’m out of control. Except I’m not – I never raise my voice ( he does, he shouts all the time) I never swear – he tells me to f-off all the time, along with other things – calls me nasty, manipulative, horrible and evil. Eventually I c***k and cry / beg, sob. Its embarrassing, I’m a mess. Sometimes I’ve been so distraught I’ve hit myself – I don’t mean to and I don’t see it coming, something in me snaps, and then he says it proves how mad / crazy / out of control I am. But I’ve never done anything like that before – it feels like he’s trying to drive me mad and to break me and he seems to enjoy it. I asked him once- why don’t you feel anything when you hurt me ? He smiled and said (removed by moderator). He sneers at me and says I’m weird and no-one except him would put up with me.
Believe it or not I have a professional job – in work people like and respect me and have no idea of the desperation I feel in my relationship. I’m so unhappy I want him to leave but he won’t and I’m too scared to make him leave because I think he’d make sure I lost the child I look after, and I love her and can’t bear the thought of losing her.
13th August 2021 at 10:23 am #130026LisaMain Moderator
First welcome to the forum and sharing your experience. I’m sure you’ll soon find many others here very much understand the dynamics of the abuse you are experiencing. Pleases do not hold on to any shame; it is clear his behaviour is unacceptable. It is emotionally coercive and manipulative, so no wonder you feel confused.
His abuse is also designed to chip away at your self-confidence, so do listen to your gut on how you are feeling and prioritise your needs in all this.
Any concerns you have regarding the child, you can talk to a local domestic abuse service who can give advice and perhaps link you to any other relevant services. Rights of Women give specialist, free legal advice around any issues around domestic abuse and child contact, as do Coram.
I hope this is helpful.
Take good care and keep posting.
13th August 2021 at 10:58 am #130029nbumblebeeParticipant
@Mime hey I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone. Im sitting here recovering from a (removed by moderator) 2nd time around i did this to myself in sheer temper frustration dissapointment I often hit myself so pkease dont feel alone.
This is what they do to us and my god its hard right? You have been so brave to reach out here so now reach out some more get some help seek a dr appointment or womans aid or go talk to someone you can trust you nust not face this alone. Sending you hugs x
13th August 2021 at 11:07 am #130030EyesopeningParticipant
Hi, sorry to hear your going through this.
I understand the part especially where you said:
Sometimes I’ve been so distraught I’ve hit myself – I don’t mean to and I don’t see it coming, something in me snaps, and then he says it proves how mad / crazy / out of control I am.
I have done the same, it didn’t happen that often, but it would be bad and i would rock back and forth in such pain and dispair(never before in my life i have done any of this). Hit myself & things, scream, shout, and Dig my nails into myself wanting to feel pain.
If you read ‘Why does he do that’ by Lundy Buncroft. He talks about ‘waterboarding’, it was a lightbulb moment for me. They tear at you until you get to this point, its done deliberately, so they can then look at you like your the one with the problem.
14th August 2021 at 10:48 pm #130077
Thank you Lisa, nbumblebee and eyeopening for your kind words. They mean alot. Im finding it hard to accept this is abuse but I know healthy relationships don’t feel like this. Thank you for taking the time to reply to me xx
20th August 2021 at 1:37 pm #130364ISOPeaceParticipant
Hi Mime, I’m really sorry to hear you’re going through this. When I got to the part of the your post where you say “He says I’m tarnishing him with the same brush as my ex’s and he’s nothing like them. But his behaviour feels the same to me.” I thought “yes! You are trusting your instincts, he hasn’t totally brainwashed you!” and the reason that was a real lift for me was that abusers brainwash us into accepting their behaviour, they invalidate our thoughts and feelings so that we don’t trust our own judgement. But you are trusting yours. Also, it’s pretty much universal that survivors of abuse question whether it is abuse. I love that you’re saying “it doesn’t matter whether someone tells you they’re not doing the same things as someone else, if it feels like abuse, it’s not ok”. Whatever the details of the behaviour are, abuse is always about not respecting your rights as a separate human being and trying to crush you into submission. There are many ways to do that.
He sounds incredibly cruel and sadistic. Sadly abusers always have a justification for their abuse, which they believe, however crazy it might be. That’s why they are so unlikely to change. I remember feeling pushed to hurting myself. I think it was partly desperation and hoping that if I went that far he might realise how bad what he was doing was. I probably also hoped that he would come to my rescue and be the ‘nice’ him again. I think it was also desperation for something, anything, to just shock him into stopping. But, like your partner, he used it as ‘proof’ that I was the one with the problem. Abusers commonly bait their partners into situations that they can then turn against them. It was also something I’ve never done before, or since. It’s not surprising. Abuse messes with our heads and feelings in an extreme way. It makes complete sense that we might do things only in response to such abuse, because there are no other situations where we feel so desperate.
Like others say, please do read up on abuse. His behaviour will make sense when you see it in the context of how an abuser thinks. He does want to break you. He wants you to feel so weak and helpless that he has complete control over you. I always recommend Why does he do that? By Lundy Bancroft.
Btw I am not surprised at all that you have a professional job. I do to and one of my best friends who experienced years of abuse does as well. Looking back I don’t know I always kept it together at work. Abuse affects all sorts of people. In fact isn’t it incredible that women with any job, or even without a job, are able to carry on with life so that most people are completely unaware of the abuse they’re suffering? I know survivors don’t feel strong while they’re still with their abuser, and often for a long time after leaving, but surviving abuse takes incredible strength. Being able to keep the abuse a secret is one sign of that strength.
Do get legal advice about your child. Most solicitors offer an hour of free advice. Sending lots of love xxxx
31st August 2021 at 11:04 pm #130819
Thank you to everyone for replying to my posts – I really do mean that, I read every reply several times over and everything that is written I appreciate and think about. I find it hard to believe that people who have never met me could be so kind as to write such thoughtful and kind things, and this keeps me going through the dark times. Thank you.
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