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    • #118197
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Can’t wait to get out.

      Its been devastating realising the extent of what I’ve been through for the past decade and not all of it I’ve come to terms with yet.
      I’ve always thought he was there to protect me, that no one else could look after me the way he could, that he was the best person I could ever be with. I thought he was concerned for my wellbeing, which is so ridiculous because he clearly wasn’t.
      It’s so hard finally allowing myself to think about all of the times he raped me and did things that scared me and made me uncomfortable.
      All of the things he has done clash with the image I had made of him in my head. He’s not who I thought he was, or who I wanted him to be.
      I feel so stupid. I should have got out sooner. I cant believe I’ve been with him this long and wasted my (detail removed by Moderator) being treated this way. Being slowly isolated from everyone. Having no social life.

      The past couple of days have been tense in our house. He stonewalled me (detail removed by Moderator) and then questioned me on me wanting to see my mum. He insisted on taking over all the kids bedtimes.
      When we went to bed, he aggressively shoved my clothes out of the way, as I was trying to pick them up.
      Today, he is sometimes slightly friendly and the next minute harsh and cutting in response to things I say. I feel nervous and stressed.

      I didnt want my life to be like this. I didnt want this for my kids.

    • #118199
      Hetty
      Participant

      Hi pea, it’s a really awful place to still be living in the abuse and seeing the reality of the situation. I felt like I was living two lives – going to my local domestic abuse organisation while going home to my ex.
      Is there anyway you could go now? Just leave and go to your mum’s with the kids? Get somewhere safe and say this stops now.
      I know it’s not what you wanted for your kids or you. I envisaged being happily married with a white picket fence. What we learn being in these relationships is what really matters in life. I walked away from a beautiful house. The sad reality was that it was never a home. I lived through my most unhappiest times there, as did my son. Nothing is worth you living like this. It’s not your fault. Life isn’t always fair. You can be happy again. Think short term pain for long term gain. I’ve done this twice now. My son’s dad is an alcoholic. I entered my second marriage vulnerable and ripe for the picking. The guilt I felt for what I’d put my son through was immense. However, I’ve had to be kind to myself. This is not your fault, Pea. You’ve been put into this situation by your partner. We can say we don’t want this and that but we have to be strong and accept things are as they are. We only hurt ourselves. It’s so, so hard. But you have choices and you can choose to end this. Teach your kids how to say no to abuse, how to have boundaries etc. You’re a strong woman and you’ll get through this. You’re strong to be living like this for so long. Think of leaving Luke ripping that plaster off an old wound that needs air to heal. It’ll sting in the short term.
      When I left I remember waking up thinking not another day like this. I left. The end. Stay strong ❤️

    • #118200
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      Of course you diďnt want this. And you dont deserve it. You entered your relationship with an open heart, believing you had met someone who loved you and who shared your hopes and dreams for the future. He made sure you believed that. It is not your fault that you were targeted by a predator who only ever had had his own agenda in mind. It is because you are a kind and giving person that you were targeted. These are beautiful qualities, the very best in fact, but they were taken advantage of. His fault, not yours. His actions, not yours.

      You couldn’t have gotten out any sooner as you didnt know what was happening. You were lost in the fog of his abuse. Again; his doing, not yours.

      There is a life free of him and his abuse waiting for you. With new friends,old friends, new experiences and a vibrant social life if that’s what you want. Whatever you want, it’s there for you. The possibilities are endless.

      You cant get the time back but you dont have to give him any more. There is no time sooner than now. You are not obliged to give him another minute of your one wild beautiful life.
      Speak to your support worker and plan your exit ASAP. Or just tell him your going for walk, take your children and go to your mums. You don’t have to go back. You have the power. Tell him nothing and be the very best actress. Stay safe above all else.

      Sending love and light xx

    • #118203
      Eggshells
      Participant

      Hi pea2020, I just wanted to second what the two wonderful ladies above have said.

      You said that you can’t wait to get out and you really don’t have to wait. I know it’s Christmas but it really doesn’t matter. There will always be something that stops you from going, it’s best just to leave now – your Christmas gift to yourself and your children. a whole new life for you all. However good a father he might seem to be, I’m confident that he is damaging them just like he’s damaging you; you won’t see the extent of it until you are out of there.

      You don’t deserve to be feeling like this. xx

    • #118211
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Thank you all for your lovely messages. I really appreciate them.

      He’s now temporarily gone back to being “normal” but he did just say to me “(detail removed by Moderator)”

      I literally did not know what to say to that.

      We will go sooner rather than later i think.
      I know everyone keeps saying I can go now… I dont know why it feels impossible to go today or tomorrow. I keep thinking I have to wait until Xmas is over!

    • #118212
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      Well done for saying nothing, that is the best response. His comment says plenty. He is reducing you to an object, a sex toy available for his pleasure. The implication is also that even if you were to leave he still has ownership of you and your body.

      This is lies and a cunning manipulation designed to chip away at your identity as an independent individual who can manage perfectly well without him. He sees your growing strength and will use every tool in his box of tricks to pull you back into the submissive role.

      Continue planning. If not today or tomorrow then why not the next day? Go to your mums as planned and dont go back. You perhaps feel you need to stay until after Christmas because that’s what you told him. You owe him nothing remember. Lie until your blue in the face if it keeps you and your children safe. Needs must.

      Only you can decide when it’s the right time to leave, so please dont feel I’m pressuring you. As one of the ladies said above, there’s never a “right” time. We’re all here for you whatever you decide, we all of us here know how hard it is to leave xx

    • #118215
      Hetty
      Participant

      It’s a very difficult decision to make, pea. It took me 15 months to finally get out and years previous to ‘wake up’. You have to do what is right and none of us would pressure you. We each have/had our own considerations before we could make that final step. I have battered my head thinking through every possible scenario and option. I had to uproot my child and knew that wasn’t going to easy (the truth is it was actually easier than I imagined and he’s adapted really well). I was lucky that my opportunity came sooner than I expected and because I’d taken a long time preparing I could take the leap of faith as most of my ducks were in a row.
      Christmas puts such pressure on families.l making it a very hard time to leave. It’s true that there’s never a good time though. We are here for you x

    • #118220
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Thank you for all your messages.
      I’m finding this evening very hard.

      I’ve gone back to feeling terrible and guilty and feel so bad for him.

      I know I’m going back on myself. I’m still going to leave but honestly it hurts a lot. I dont like seeing him hurting… and I think I’m going to miss a lot of our things we did together. It really wasn’t bad all of the time. We could be good companions sometimes.

    • #118223
      Hetty
      Participant

      I know, Pea, I know that heartache. My ex was hilariously funny and could be very kind and thoughtful. That was all on his terms though. He could also flip the mood in the house over a minor issue. I’ve been called the worst names ever in front of my son. My son has seen me with blood pouring down my face after something was thrown at me (granted it was something he probably didn’t think would cut and bruise me, but that’s besides the point). It was all part of the cycle.
      In my view, these men are incapable of feeling anything for anyone but themselves. Nothing ever changes. Did my ex think of the damage he was causing me, my child or his kids? Nope. They are master manipulators and use their tactics to keep us hooked into their drama. Keep reading and educating yourself. I found excellent YouTube videos. It helped me stay in the reality.
      I remember a few years ago we were due to go on holiday and I said I didn’t want to go. I felt so sad and sorry for him as I was watching him pack his suitcase. I thought what I saw was a vulnerable little boy abd I felt like a horrible person. I went on the holiday. I was on edge the whole time. As far as our holidays went it wasn’t the worst with only one day of being stonewalled and a couple of strops. I took my eye off the most important people – myself and my child.
      Save your care and concern for you and your children.
      I thought I’d miss a lot more about my ex than I do. The price I had to pay for the good bits was too much. I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt, it does, but the way I saw it was I’m d****d if I do and I d****d if I don’t. As my child was getting older I could see the trajectory for him wasn’t good. I mostly got out for him xx

    • #118226
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      Oh Pea it is so hard.

      I found noticing how my moods cycled was helpful, like if I felt angry with him for afew hours, I would feel frightened for a bit afterwards, and vice versa. Or if I was sad for myself remembering all the time I’d spent loving a ghost I’d created, I’d later feel like I missed him so much, did I b**w it out of proportion, feeling sorry for him etc…

      It’s all part of the brainwashing. I was conditioned to be scared of him, and to think of him before myself. It’s where my list came in.

      I also missed alot less about him than I thought I would. And the fog cleared much quicker once I got myself away from him.

      Watching videos about abuse on YouTube helped me to keep sane in the early days. Validation of the experience of abuse is so vital because you’ve been conditioned to doubt yourself. Dr. Ramani has a whole series on n**********c abuse and she’s very reassuring. Take care x

    • #118229
      Camel
      Participant

      Hi Pea

      Sorry you’re having such a c**p day. There’s no need to apologise to anyone for your feelings flipping – desperate to leave one minute, sorry for him the next. You’re a normal human being, compassionate, thoughtful, forgiving. These men aren’t monsters all the time and are never monsters from day one. They put on a mask. They pretend to be the kind of man we crave. Loving, dependable, amusing, supportive. It’s all an act, impossible to sustain. Besides, they don’t need to bother once they have us on the hook. We can’t make sense of it. We believe other people are just like us, operate the way we do. Maybe he’s had a traumatic past. Maybe it’s our fault. We want to understand, to help, to get back the version we fell in love with. So we put him at the centre of everything. We come to believe that the version we get depends entirely on what we do. We feel fearful and anxious when he’s unhappy, but this is outweighed by the relief and joy we feel when he’s happy. I’m being absolutely honest – when I look back I don’t see any genuine happy times. Only times that weren’t as bad as they could have been.

    • #118231
      Empoweredhealing
      Participant

      Hi Pea, one of the elements that finally enable many survivors to leave is a growing sense of self love. One day, you’ll find that this self love over ride your love for him. And that you’ll act to protect the living spirit that’s within you. The road there can be agonizing but it will give you back some of what was taken by abuse.

    • #118240
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Thank you all so much for your replies.
      It’s mad how abuse makes us all feel so similar- the guilt, confusion, fear, love… it makes its so difficult and my brain is in overdrive at the moment, I think.

      I actually had to contact the helpline last night, just so someone could be extra blunt with me.

      I told her some things that were confusing me and she was very straight with me. She was like “that’s rape” that’s oral rape” etc and I was like ok… I’m having to process that he’s raped me more times than I can count and the last time it happened was (detail removed by Moderator) months ago, when I was heavily pregnant!! It’s a lot to take in. I know I keep repeating myself.

      She also thought I was under reacting to things, because I’m in the middle of it all still and think I still love him. I know it will become even more clear once we have left the house.

      Thank you all again for your supportive words and for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me. I’m sorry that you’ve been through similar x*x

    • #118241
      Eggshells
      Participant

      Don’t apologise that you keep repeating yourself; that’s just a part of how you’re dealing with it. This is huge for you and I hadn’t realised you just had a baby. I suspect your hormones are still all over the place. This is hard enough to deal with in normal circumstances, add a new baby and all those hormones into the mix and it just my makes me realise what a truly incredible woman you are to be facing up to this.

      Sending you a great big virtual hug. xx

    • #118280
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Thank you so much. I’m very overwhelmed at the moment. I just can’t go back to the fantasy I was in before, I need to get my own place ASAP.

      Sending you a big hug too xx

    • #118282
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Ok now the anger has kicked in. I’m sure I’ll be feeling sorry for him before long, but right now I feel angry about everything he has done to me and my children.
      Literally everything he has made himself out to be is a lie!
      Why do I keep worrying about his feelings when he hasn’t given a moments thought about mine? Had no regard for my safety and put my life at risk, no respect for my body and my consent, not cared if he scared me or the kids?
      I’m definitely feeling the rage now.
      Going to go and breathe it out and maybe journal it.

    • #118286
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      Journal it and try to capture the feeling. The rage and indignation at how he has treated you and your children. How dare he. There is power in anger. Keep it for yourself. Dont waste it venting at him- channel it into your escape.

      You got this xx

    • #118296
      Pea2020
      Participant

      He has ignored the baby for (detail removed by Moderator) days now. Won’t talk to him or feed him or cuddle him. Just ignores him.
      I feel like he is doing it to punish me somehow. I could be wrong though.

    • #118299
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      You are feeling punished. So that is your truth. You are not wrong. Another manipulation by him.

      Journal it, it will serve both as evidence and a reminder to you when he turns on the devoted dad routine again. Abusers are selfish to their core. They dont care about their children; children either serve as an extension of themselves or as a tool to manipulate their partners. They only care about themselves.

      Notice the differences between his words and actions. He says he loves you and the children, says he cant live without you all…but he’s not acting like that, is he? Abusers trap us with their words, their webs of lies. Watch what he does, not what he says.x

    • #118301
      Pea2020
      Participant

      You are right.

      I’m seeing through his behaviour more and more. His actions often don’t match his words at all.
      It is starting to become clearer. X*x

    • #118305
      Pea2020
      Participant

      You know, he’s giving a lot of attention to our two eldest children.

      I wonder if he is trying to be the favourite, because they can speak and will more vocal about their preferences in terms of who they live with.

      He is ignoring the baby because he seems him as a useless tool at the moment. He can’t manipulate the baby and knows he will end up with me anyway, so is discarding him.

      I feel like this could be happening too, as well as an intent to punish me.

      All speculation of course, but I’ve been reading Living With The Dominator and its making me wonder.

    • #118306
      Pea2020
      Participant

      I could have worded the above better, sorry!

    • #118312
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      You worded it very well. And I would think you’re spot on. Keep documenting everything regarding his behaviour and keep reporting to your case worker, GP etc. He is doing his best to manipulate your children. This is such an unhealthy environment for you all.

      You’re doing so well. Gaining such clarity. Keep reading and educating yourself but know while you are with him he still maintains immense control. You have just started studying him and analysing his behaviour.

      He has been studying you for years and is a skilled manipulator and abuser. Tread very carefully xx

    • #118317
      Eggshells
      Participant

      You know your partner better than anyone so your speculation and gut instincts are very probably right.

      He will be incredibly manipulative with the kids. It would be worth you doing a search for a solicitor who specialises in domestic abuse. Once you have left he will try to use the kids as a weapon against you and a tool to control you. He is showing you that already.

      You are experiencing a whole range of emotions. This is very usual. I’m so glad that you are using the forum rather than discussing your feelings with him, he will only use it all against you. You are a very wise woman.

    • #118324
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Thank you all for your great advice.

      Its keeping me as strong as I can be right now.

      I’m at my mums for a quick visit and he’s now messaging me saying (detail removed by Moderator).

      This is so painful and hard. I cant take the constant changing moods.

    • #118325
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Also, I can’t get hold of my support worker. At all. So I’m getting no help there.

    • #118335
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Ended up ringing a helpline again because I don’t trust my judgement at all, whilst at my mums.

      I explained about his sudden change towards the baby… the helpline worker was very concerned. She gave me the same advice as everyone on here. That I shouldn’t tell him when we go and I can get a non molestation order put in place of necessary.

      I then get home, he picks up my eldest whose asleep in the car and looks at him with such love. The house is spotless.
      He offers to feed the baby. I ask him if he’s sure (because he hasn’t wanted to go near him for days). He tells me not to worry about it and he understanding, because he is really up and down at the moment because of me wanting to leave… he said he’s currently going through serious trauma.

      I’m now wondering if he wasnt being manipulative by neglecting the baby at all and is finding it hard to be with him because he knows he might miss out on so much with him or something?

    • #118336
      Hetty
      Participant

      I’m sorry pea, but if I was a betting woman I’d put my money on that he’s been concerned about what you might say to your mum and/or leave so he’s now in full on mr nice guy act. He has to start the cycle again so you’ll stay hooked. Watch for the change because it will come. Take care and stay safe. Mind games and lies are these men’s two favourite hobbies xx

    • #118337
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      It’s the push and pull of abuse I’m afraid. Ignore, then “nurture”. Just like he does to you. He can turn his emotions on and off like a tap, because it’s all an act. Another manipulation.I know how hard that is to believe. I know you want me to be wrong and I wish I was. With an outsiders perspective it’s very clear but when you’re in it it’s so different. I’m so sorry you’re being subjected to this.

      Where is his concern for your trauma? He has abused you in every way possible and your children into the bargain. You have done nothing apart from mention his abusive behaviour and that you are thinking of leaving and yet he’s the one with serious trauma?? He has abused and traumatized you, not the other way around.

      At every interaction he will twist things and make himself the victim. He has victimized you. Not you him.

      None of this is your fault and you dont deserve any of it. Really well done for phoning the helpline, remember the advice there. Try not to let him suck you back in with his lies. I know it’s so hard, so lonely. But you are not alone.

      The night before I left I remember feeling I was at a fork in the road of my life. Down one path, if I stayed, there was only darkness. I knew nothing would change, that he couldn’t change. The other path, though I couldn’t see where it led, there was a very small glimmer of hope. I followed that glimmer and it lights my life now.

      Whatever you decide to do we are here for you. Sending light xx

    • #118338
      Pea2020
      Participant

      @hawthorn and @hetty

      I had a feeling you would both say that! I think because deep down I know it’s true.
      I find him so convincing though! I wish I didn’t.

      I just need to remember, I literally told him only a week ago how I want to leave because of the rapes and public humiliation and coercive control and everything else! The abuse towards the kids.
      (I know I shouldn’t have engaged in this conversation with him, but it all kind of spiralled) And after crying about it on the day and apologising countless times, he hasn’t even given it a second thought. It’s like he can’t comprehend how he could have traumatised me.
      But yet, he is now traumatised, because I’m unhappy and want to leave.

      Thank you for keeping me in reality.

    • #118339
      Pea2020
      Participant

      Ps the mind games have been full swing.
      Before we left for my (detail removed by moderator), we were both jn the kitchen and he kept (detail removed by moderator).
      In between making me jump with all of the sudden noises, he would talk to me normally.
      I was so tense and didn’t know what was going on.

    • #118340
      Pea2020
      Participant

      @hawthorn I also wanted to say that I loved what you wrote about feeling like you were at a fork in the road, the night before you left and how your life is better for following that glimmer of hope.

      I feel like I’m at that fork. I know my life is about to go in a new direction and for the better. Its so scary though. He’s all I’ve ever known and the attachment I have to him is deep. I don’t want to be with him and when I imagine the next part of my life beginning I do feel a bit excited and hopeful… but this bit before I take the leap is so messy and emotionally draining. I’m exhausted.

    • #118342
      Hetty
      Participant

      I remember feeling that emotional exhaustion. It does feel like a massive upheaval and messy. In my experience taking that leap of faith wasn’t as bad as I thought in terms of getting me and my son settled. It’s still very early days for me and in many ways I’m still exhausted but at least it feels the emotional energy I am using up is on my road to recovery and not because I’m my ex’s emotional punchbag and being drawn into his pointless drama because of same made up thing I may or may not have done, or because I wanted an opinion, or I’d left a mess. You get the gist.
      Your partner will be raging for what you’ve said, that you’re on to him and he will be trying to claw back control, back to the status quo. My ex used to fantastically re construct everything in his head so that he would be the one suffering. You could be mother Theresa and you’d still the bad guy. Eventually the record gets tired.
      Stay safe, lie through your back teeth, be the best actress. Don’t let him know of your plans. Xx

    • #118348
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      The emotional exhaustion is horrendous Pea, and dont beat yourself up about having told him your plans to leave. You were just learning about the abuse then and it’s natural have wanted to have it out with him, to let him know how he had hurt you, and to maybe even give him the chance to rectify it. Remember now that you have told him everything and he has done nothing, and will do nothing concrete to address his behaviour. He is still cycling through the abuse, messing with your emotions and the children’s emotions, only concerned with himself and how he is being affected by this. These men are only capable of caring about themselves. He cares nothing for your feelings or those of your children.

      So tell him nothing else. Hold tightly to that glimmer of hope. It will power you out. Of course the thought of leaving is scary, but excitement and anxiety manifest physically very similarly. Try to reframe it as excitement. A life where you live in peace, can make your own choices, and mistakes, and not be berated for them is a very exciting prospect! A life full of freedom and possibilities. A life free of abuse. So close now x

    • #118351
      Pea2020
      Participant

      I know you are right. Thank you all so much for your continuing support. Honestly I think I would have told myself I was making it all up by now, without your support. I definitely would have changed my mind about leaving.

      This week, I have been so careful to not engage with him and discuss his behaviour… but today he started going on again about how he is going to be lonely and its not fair because I’m going to have family on tap for the kids to visit at Xmas and other times of the year. And it made me so made because he has been invited so many times to these things and he has said no.
      The amount of times I’ve gone to weddings on my own, parties on my own, family gatherings on my own.
      We don’t celebrate (detail removed by moderator), because that’s what he wants. We didn’t (detail removed by moderator) before kids because that’s what he wanted.
      I ended up listing loads of stuff to him again and then told him I’m fed up of feeling sorry for him.
      Hes now saying he totally understands and gets it. He didn’t retaliate, he just apologised and said I was a good person.

      I know he is probably just saying it and doesn’t actually really get it… I don’t think he understands how traumatic so much of it has been for me… he doesn’t see himself as that kind of man at all.

      I know I’ve probably given him another opportunity to confuse me… and its worked. At least I can talk it out on here.

      • #118352
        gettingtired
        Participant

        Hey Pea, I’ve been to almost every family event on my own too. Even my own birthday he bailed out on once then proceeded to send me texts about how I don’t understand his anxiety blah blah blah. I felt so on edge all day having to keep checking my phone and walk off to answer his calls.
        He also completely ruined Christmas a few years ago sending me horrible abuse all day long because he had ended up spending the day somewhere he didn’t want to be (none of it was my fault). I was a nervous wreck all day with my phone blowing up.

        Yes your partner is just saying all of that. How predictable. If he wanted to go to those family events with you he would have. It sounds like he’s trying to take you on a guilt trip.
        I’d be very careful telling him too much. I understand why you would. I wanted to give my partner a chance to understand where he was going wrong but it backfired and I ended up being called the n********t amongst many other things.
        They will also use everything they can as ammunition against us x

    • #118353
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      Keep talking it out here, you need and deserve the support.

      I know its difficult to grasp but he knows very well how much he has upset and traumatised you. Remember the smirk? He just doesnt care. It makes him feel powerful. He is not blind. He has seen the fear in your eyes and in the eyes of your children. The tears. If you treated a dog badly you would know it, are you to believe he doesnt know how his behaviour has impacted the humans around him?

      You are right that he doesn’t think of himself as that sort of man. He will say anything. His words mean nothing. He cannot accept that he is wrong as it would mean taking responsibility for his brutality. And he will never do that.

      What a miserable sod he is. No birthdays or Christmas? God forbid he might have to buy you a present or make you feel special. You’re only his partner and the mother of his children after all!

    • #118359
      Pea2020
      Participant

      @gettingtired @hawthorn thank you for your messages.
      You are both right, I’m sure.
      He’s now being very amicable about me leaving and has been talking practicalities all day.

      Who knows what he’ll be like in a few days time though.
      And no, I still haven’t left yet. It’s so hard!

      I have now snuck all important documents, as well as clothes out of the house, just in case.

      I’m trying not to underestimate him, even though today he made me feel hopeful that it will be safe to leave, with him knowing in advance. He seems so genuine.

    • #118362
      Hetty
      Participant

      Well done for not being sucked in and keeping a safety plan in place (getting important things out). I remember doing this then thinking I was completely overreacting. Stay one step ahead and don’t underestimate him. Stay safe xx

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