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    • #132073
      Whyohwhy
      Participant

      I left a controlling, manipulative relationship  (detail removed by moderator). I still have contact because of our daughter, I refuse to let him have her on his own. He’s been ok with this so far as he was pretty sure I would eventually change my mind. He isn’t really interested in our daughter, just uses her to see me. I think it’s finally dawning on him that I am not going to go back so now he’s mentioned seeing her on his own. I think it’s just a threat to see how I’d react or he thinks he could get information from her (I would make him go to court before I’d let him see her alone). The thing is it has taken me a long time to really accept that what he has been doing all these years is domestic abuse. I still feel a bit of a fraud that what happened to me wasn’t bad enough to have that title. My friends and family however think otherwise. I have always been certain that he would never be violent towards me but now I am starting to question myself. Now his world is unraveling and he has lost all control could he change for the worse?
      Has anyone else been certain that their partner would never be violent and then been wrong? I have been with him for many years but I was always under his control then?
      Anyway I would love some feedback. It can be hard talking about it all with people who don’t really understand. Thanks

    • #132074
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi whyohwhy,

      I also felt a fraud when I left my abuser. I felt so guilty about taking up a space at refuge when I’d ‘only’ ever received minor injuries. The truth is, the majority of my abusive relationship was coercive control with the odd bit of force thrown in to enforce his control when necessary, and especially when I stood up to him. He only left marks on me once, and that was the moment it took for me to leave. I never thought he would do that, but looking back, the more he felt he was losing control of me the worse he got. I was never severely beaten up, never almost killed, and for that reason I do not consider myself a ‘survivor’ when other people have literally survived almost deadly assaults. I do now accept I was in an abusive relationship though.

      The thing is, we can never tell if they will turn violent or not. Certain abuser types wouldn’t dream of starting a fight in public and would probably consider themselves ‘none violent’ people. In their minds, they are only violent because we provoked them! I learned to never underestimate what my ex could or would do to win.

      The terminology never really helped. For years it was called Domestic Violence and many of us have grown up believing that there had to be violence for a relationship to be abusive. The mental, emotional, financial and sexual abuse just seemed to be a part of a ‘c****y relationship’ that we accepted and thought everyone went through. Thankfully, the information that is out there now and that is being delivered in some schools will make the younger generation more aware of what abuse does consist of.

      Continue to do what you think is best for both you and your daughter, you know him better than anyone. He may well have a right to see her unsupervised and he may go ahead with the court procedures to do so, therefore, you need to be prepared for this.

      Just go with your gut feeling too. If you feel he is becoming worse or unpredictable then you will be right.

    • #132076
      Eggshells
      Participant

      You need to talk to KIP about this.

      As long as he has hope that you are going back and as long as he has access to you through visits, he will still feel that he is able to control you without violence. If he is beginning to realise that you’re not going back and that he is no longer able to control you through manipulation, coercion and intimidation, then I would say that there is definitely the possibility of violence and you could be at serious risk.

      This is a very dangerous time for you now and I would strongly advise you not to see him and don’t let him see your child unsupervised.

      I’ve heard the ladies talking about contact centres in the past which would be a very good idea.

      You are still getting used to the idea that you have been abused and you are still minimising what he has done (cognitive dissonance). The more distance you get from him, the more the FOG of abuse will clear and you’ll start to see just how bad it really was and still is.

      If in doubt, play it safe and assume the worst.

    • #132081
      SingleMomSurvivor
      Participant

      I was absolutely certain my ex would never be physically violent towards me. There was a ton of emotional abuse and it got progressively worse but I just never thought he would escalate to physical abuse. And then he did. I think it was his way of trying to regain power because I had started secretly making plans to leave & I think he could sense that I was withdrawing.

    • #132086
      Whyohwhy
      Participant

      Thanks for your replies. I suppose the fact that I am asking these questions tells me something. The day we left he used himself as a physical barrier (I didn’t think he would do that) me and my daughter had to run out the door when he moved to get something, he then went to block the drive with his car but we were too quick. At our last visit he started to get quite angry with me in front of my daughter. When he left the room I told my daughter we should go home but she didn’t want to go (she is quite young) I told her that if he isn’t nice again then we would go. I explained to her on the way home that if he isn’t nice again then we will leave. She said that we could get used to it! I said no, we don’t get used to people not being nice, we are kind to visit him so he should be nice to us. He also told her (detail removed by moderator) (no way in this world is she (detail removed by moderator), she’s perfectly healthy!) It’s not the first time (and she is far too young to be thinking about body image) I just tell her not to listen she is absolutely beautiful and he is very silly and must have something wrong with his eyes. Why am I still finding it so hard to stop contact? I think it’s because I still have some of my stuff there, (detail removed by moderator). I also think my daughter might be upset even though he hardly ever plays with her.

    • #132087
      Eggshells
      Participant

      This doesn’t sound good at all Whyohwhy.

      I know it will be hard but for your daughters sake, I don’t think he should have access to her. Comments about her weight and her body at, at any age, can store up real problems for the future.

      Please keep a diary of all these events, the angry displays, blocking your way, the comments to your daughter.

      If he wants access to your daughter, he can explain his behaviour to a family court but tbh, from what you are saying, I doubt he’ll want to spend the time and money fighting for a daughter who is nothing to him but a vice to enable contact with you.

      This may be difficult for your daughter to begin with but in the long term, you’ll be doing her a favour.

      Please read my thread at this link to understand the impact abuse can have on children. https://survivorsforum.womensaid.org.uk/forums/topic/staying-for-your-kids/

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