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    • #40620

      It’s been a few months and he has made no attempt to contact me after stringing me along and abandoning me in the most brutal way. People keep asking me if I have heard from him since. I have to say no and then I feel a weird sense of shame that I haven’t. Like it is embarrassing that he still hasn’t contacted me.

      If he was the abusive one, then I am supposed to be the better one yet it makes me feel like a piece of s**t on his shoe that he isn’t the one chasing me still. I’m so embarrassed that I bombarded him with messages at the end of the relationship and he never replied.

      Does it make me rubbish that he hasn’t bothered to try to contact me? Will he ever?

      I don’t want to be with him but I want him to want me as pathetic as that sounds.

    • #40621

      Hey there, no way does it reflect badly on you. I know how you feel like you do. That’s how abusers work. After any non abusive relationship ends we accept it and move on. Abusers groom us and play awful mind games. It’s like an internal anxiety won’t go until we hear from them. At the very least we want to hear from them so that we know there will be no repercussions. These feelings will pass. Keep your guard up. It’s easier for an abuser to hoover up an old victim than break in a new one. It might not feel like it just now but please realise how lucky you are not to be the target of such monsters. Next time someone asks if you’ve heard from him just reply, no, thank goodness.

      • #40684

        Thank you 🙂 Exactly, if he had done it to my face or given me any kind of reason I would have just accepted it. But he was never clear with me he kept stringing me along. WHen do the feelings go completely? I feel so embarrassed and humiliated and still like I have to defend him. I’m scared if I badmouth him that i’ll get reprucussions from him. So I cant even be honest.

        Your reply helped a lot x

    • #40623

      Hi pasta,

      When my abusive husband left me several years ago for another woman and didn’t look back I felt totally worthless. Maybe you could read up on the narcissistic technique of “idealising, devaluing and discarding”. That is what they do- I felt like I had been chucked away like a piece of rubbish. He did eventually come crawling back but by then I had done the Freedom Programme and realised that the misery I had endured was abuse. Now and then he occasionally tries to get closer to me through the kids but I can see him for who he is so I just dismiss him before he even gets the chance to speak.
      Even though you feel the lowest of the low, it is a good thing that you are not being abused on a daily basis anymore. You will come to see his no contact as a blessing in disguise. Keep your guard up like KIP says because he may come and check out whether you are still available for him to control- either when he gets into a rage or when he starts to get bored of whoever he has moved onto now. Maybe you could block his number so you have no idea if he has tried to contact you or not?
      The pain you feel is the aftermath of abuse and is no indiation of your value or worth. You are a special person and the rest of your life is ahead of you, peaceful and free Xxxx

      • #40683

        Well done you! That’s great.

        I know I would never have let go of him properly if he was still contacting me as I didn’t know he was abusive. I have deleted his number so I am not tempted to contact him. I am worried if I have his number in my phone I will use to to contact him.

        Thank you. Its messed up how lonely I am. I started thinking of stupid things like how he bought me a huge easter egg last year and how it was so sweet – but I cant keep the nice memories it messes with my head.

        I feel like I should be fine now but i’m just not,

    • #40641

      It sounds like you are still in the trauma bond and attention from him makes you feel validated. I can totally relate, they set us up to feel like that on purpose as they want us to feel dependent on them. Basically like Stockholm Syndrome.

      I read somewhere that is is better to think of these people as predators that see you as prey, they have no regard for our feelings whatsoever so when they do contact us it is not because they care, only because they want to feel in control of someone. The fact that you haven’t heard from him is really, really positive – it means you are doing something right and he has got bored and moved on leaving you in peace finally. The less contact with these people means the easier it is for us to heal and move on with our lives.

      Beware though that they often get back in touch months or even years down the line and try to ‘hoover’ us back up so if he does get in touch be ready and stick to 100% no contact unless you have children together then use the grey rock method where you only minimally engage so that he sees you as a boring rock rather than a shiny toy.

      Could you use your peaceful time to do things you enjoy, fill your life with positive things so that you build your self esteem? I am trying to do this myself because I realise I was vulnerable when I met him because I was lonely and feeling bad about my life. If we can build up good support networks and build our self esteem through positive friendships, work, independence, hobbies etc it will help us in two key ways – by making us happier and therefore more resilient to these dreadful men. 🙂

      • #40682

        How do I break this bond? I’m so frustrated with myself. I was totally dependent on him.

        The thing is is I tried and tired to get him to be back with me and he didn’t want me. So I don’t feel like I have done anything right at all. I feel like I have humiliated myself completely and he still doesn’t want me. I feel like I should have healed by now but I am still feeling down.

        Sorry to be so utterly depressing! I’m not normally like this but i’m having a real down.

        Yeah I will stick to NC and tell him to get lost.

        The thing I am struggling with is the lack of friends and companionship – at least when I was with him he was constantly there. I was very vulnerable when I met him too. Thanks! I do plan stuff but there’s never enough to fill all my time. I’ve got time off work now and I am really struggling to fill the time. ANd when I have no plas is when I get down, like now.

        Thanks for your help

    • #40667

      No it does not reflect badly on you quite the opposite
      The ones that circle back do so to ones they thinks are a soft touch including me . It is not a compliment it’s a hoover .they don’t love only see an opportunity to do some more abusing .
      So you in fact are very strong.
      Big hugs xx

      • #40681

        Thanks. The thing is I literally begged ad grovelled to be with him so he should see me as a soft touch? But then I was insistant that he apologise to me for the silent treatment which he didn’t want to do.

        Thanks. I just feel so lonely at the moment almost like I’d rather put up with the s**t and still have him.

      • #40726

        I am just learning about it myself but I did some reading of articles online and it suggests things like journaling each day to get in touch with your thoughts, living each day at a time, making sure you’re living in reality rather than denial about someone’s abusive behaviour, connecting and reconnecting with others who we have healthy relationships with, focusing on and being committed to self care, writing a list of all the abuse to remind you during doubtful times, and write a list of all behaviours you will not tolerate in future relationships. Maybe do a google search for ‘breaking the trauma bond’ and that should give you more ideas. I am doing the same thing myself. I think the idea is that in time, as long as we commit to healthy healing and recovery, and put ourselves first rather than others, the bond will lessen and dissolve as we replace old unhealthy toxic patterns with healthy ones.

      • #40827

        Thanks, I like the idea of journaling. And reconnecting with good people (keeping the bad ones away).

        Maybe it is just the time that makes the big difference. I think maybe I am being too hard on myself for expecting to be completely okay already.

        Thanks, good look getting rid of the bond. At least we know we are not alone in this x

    • #40686

      Hi pasta, hang in there. Time and no contact are great healers. It’s a real rollercoaster but well worth the wait for freedom x I promise it will get better…..

      • #40688

        thanks 🙂

    • #40693

      Don’t forget you have been abused into feeling dependent on him and it will take time to recover. I look at how far I have come since my first abuser abandoned me. I once lay on the floor and held onto his ankles to stop him leaving. I look back and can’t imagine having any feelings for him at all- the spell will break eventually and you will see him for who he is. I realise how low my self esteem must have been to have been so dependent on him.
      An access course and a degree have me greater feelings of self esteem. I did fall in with another abuser but I have just dumped him for being abusive so I made some progress and am starting to stick up for me! No more ankle grabbing 🙂
      These painful feelings are part of your healing. Take deep abdominal breaths and see that you are recovering from mind bending trauma.
      Be kind to yourself pasta, I have definitely been where you are and I can assure you that it gets better in time.

      • #40708

        Thanks. It’s like I still need the validation. It’s like I see him for who he is but then I remember something nice that he’s done and then my brain gets all tangled, almost like i’m sorting out a puzzle?

        Like this morning I was remembering a nice event we went to and I was thinking how great it was but I had to keep reminding myself of all the horrible things he did that day and not paying me attention. And then my brain’s like why didn’t he want to be more attentive as though it as my fault instead of him just being lacking in emotion.

        Well done you for getting out twice. That’s very encouraging. xx

    • #40694

      Hi Pasta no you’re not bad at all, it shows that you are the loyal one, He’s already moved on & is playing mind games, I had years of abuse & I managed to get away from him, He had been on dating websites 2 years before I left, that’s how they work, he wants you to feel bad but please don’t You are worth so much more than that. I was mentally tortured years & still miss the small percent of his good side, but his bad side has left me a nervous wreck. Be true to yourself, I know how hard that is to do because I’m struggling with it myself x

      • #40709

        Thanks 🙂 I was loyal to the end and still willing to work it out or at least talk like a normal human being!

        Do you think he is with someone else or you mean just moved on from me? He used to tell me it would take him months to get over me and he’d never be able to leave unless I cheated or something. I guess not.

        Thank you. It’s comforting to hear that I am not the only one.

        Wish you all the best you seem to know what you are doing. It is hard. x

    • #40707

      It doesn’t reflect badly on you, Pasta.

      Many women are so trauma-bonded that even if they hate being with their abuser and the pain he causes, they find it hard to relinquish the relationship.

      Because these abusers don’t take responsibility for their own issues and project blame, they’ve made us feel, over time, responsible for their problems and even that we are the cause; they’ve eaten away at our confidence and made us feel that ‘saving’ them is our life’s purpose, so that when they suddenly leave, we feel that the rug has bee pulled from under our feet and our life’s purpose ( as it was told to us) has been taken away, and we blame ourselves for everything.

      You can’t see the objective truth so clearly now- that he’s a nasty person with no self-responsibility and who feels entitled to impose his issues upon others and project blame- that he is weak, selfish and unprincipled- because you’re in the midst of feeling traumatised, and to you he seems like a powerful force. What he is thinking about how you begged is important to you. You feel almost ashamed of it, but you should not feel shame. You were genuine and warm in your relationship. You had real feelings. He deliberately caused you to feel more dependent upon him than you would have otherwise done: these abusers see it as a challenge to make the most independent person dependent upon them, gradually knocking down their confidence and independent spirit, trying to monopolise them totally. That’s the dynamics of a controlling relationship, of which you were the victim.

      Be proud that you are a good person and that you have what it takes to have a genuine relationship and that you were unselfish enough to share your emotions with someone else. There’s a lot of callous predators out there who are incapable of being so genuine and are too selfish to share anything. You will, I promise, of you reach out for help, get to the point where you don’t care what he or anyone else thinks anymore, and your priority is your own happiness levels and what direction your own life is going in. He will just be someone that you want to shake off and stop living rent-free in your head. You’ll get to the point where you won’t want anyone to dictate the direction of your life ever again, or limit your possibilities. The abuse will have made you even more strong and determined. It just takes time to get to that point.

      • #40710

        Thank you so much for this message it will really help me.

        Exactly! I’s so hard to let go, especially when he was the one that tried to make it so intense. Not me.

        I feel like I tired so hard to make him better that it sucked the life out of me and made me worse He is like a parasite. I mean the relationship was in tatters at the end but I was still in so much shock. Yes he made me feel like it was fault that e didn’t care or for his awful behaviours.

        I’ve been so focused on trying to get past the affects on him that I didn’t see it like that : that I am still in the midst of the trauma. I feel like I should be passed it but maybe its okay to accept that i’m not even though there are no feelings left for him. That’s sp nice that you flipped it so I can see it as a strength of mine to care that much. It’s like I don’t want to put that much feeling into a relationship ever again after what he has done but maybe it’s not a ad thing that I did. I was very independent and spirited copared to him and he knew that and even sed to make ‘jokes’ about how he was going to make me dependent on him. WHy do people like him aim to do that though? What is the goal? Does he even know he is doing it?

        I have trouble believing that he consciously knew exactly what he was doing. I think with him it is learnt behaviour from seeing abusive relationships. Or is that me still making excuses for him.

        Thanks so much. Maybe this can be a positive experience from now on and make me stronger than I was before. I do want to shae him off so much, I wish he would just go completely!! Thanks I want to get back to how I was before him. I don’t want to feel like I will be damaged forever. He robbed me of my spirit and my autonomy which is far worst for me than any physical abuse. He is stil affected my head. Will it ever go completely?

        I can’t tell you how helpful this post has been.

    • #40734

      I’m determined for there to not be a ‘before’ and ‘after’ me.

      Of course I’ve been changed by my experience, but I don’t want my life to become a monument to his importance or to be a victim for the rest of my days. I don’t want people to say ‘She never recovered..’

      I want to rediscover the me that he tried to squash and eradicate.

      Yes, it helps when you realise that they are in fact the needy ones- not you. I am sure, like me, your ideal relationship is one where each partner has freedom to be themselves and to grow. I never tried to limit my ex: I encouraged his freedom, because he picture of having had a terrible childhood where he had nothing. It was he who tried to limit me. Yet he said he was loving his freedom when he left.

      It angered and confused me when he said this. But the fact is, they will never admit their own weaknesses. Instead, they will try to make you feel the uncomfortable feelings that they don’t want to feel which lie deep inside them hidden away. Deep inside, they feel insecure and unworthy, but they can’t face such pain, so they mask it by telling themselves that they are wonderful and superior, and everyone else is inferior and wrong to not recognise how superior they are. They can short-circuit having to experience bad feelings about themselves by making someone else feel those feelings instead- as if purging themselves of such negative feelings by proxy.

      Return to being yourself- the kind of person who recognises others’ individuality and independence, and cherish your own too. He did a good job of trying to make you needy. He did this so he had control over you.

      • #40828

        I know what you mean, I don’t want to continue to see everything in my life in relation to him and continue to elevate his importance which is kind of what has been happening. I need to have other things that are more important; although at the same time I recognise that it is a very human reaction to still care about what happened and have time to grieve and process it.

        I used to see him as the needy one but he made me the needy one. I can relate to this so much: I encouraged his freedom and progression in life and he restricted mine.

        Do you think they are even aware of their weaknesses? He told me I stomped down on him to make myself feel better – which I never did, that was him. He actually tricked me into thinking I was in the wrong and the bad one.

        I find it interesting that my ex could not face even the slightest teasing or criticism – I wonder if all abusers are like this and that they can’t face their weaknesses as it is too painful for them.

        Thank you. I wish the control/power over me would just go know.

        Thanks for your messages I have found them to be really insightful x

    • #40747
      older lady

      Hi. If he feels he has something to gain he may well turn up, like the proverbial bad penny. x

      • #40826

        Have you got any advice as to what I should do to turn him away if he does turn up? I don’t even know what I would say to him x

      • #40859
        older lady

        Hi. I don’t have advice because it’s not a scenario I would want to recommend getting into. If an abusive ex partner turns up its usually with their own agenda and even if you are civil, if you aren’t agreeing to their agenda then no matter how you frame it, you are still saying ‘no’ and an abusive person doesn’t take kindly to that, and can become threatening or aggressive, or it leads to harassment or stalking type behaviour. I’ve experienced all of this so my only suggestion is to avoid contact. You can benefit from having no contact with him now, as the ladies have said. You can read up about no contact, and grey rock, and why its helpful to stop or minimise contact, as well as ‘hoovering’. You could also see about finding out more about domestic abuse through a Freedom programme. Any conversation is pointless with a person who isn’t listening to it from the point of view of wanting to create an equal relationship, and an abusive person isn’t. They listen to find a way to manipulate what’s being said to get an intended outcome. Someone who made you feel like a piece of dirt on his shoe isn’t really entitled to a conversation with you, is he? If he is ever threatening or aggressive because you don’t want contact with him, then call the police. In my experience there never is a neatly finished conversation that ends the relationship satisfactorily, because that isn’t what abuse is about. He’s not going to give you the answers you want because that would be giving away his power and abusers don’t do that, they only ever make a pretence of it in order to GAIN something back. xx

      • #40883

        Thank you. So I should just try and say as little as possible and move on quickly. I feel frustrated like he needs to know what he did and accept his actions but I accept that he never will so it is pointless. I guess it just still feels lie he is silencing me. But then it is in my best interests that he cant twist things around anymore and mess with my head. I’m likely to bump into him sometimes although I have managed to avoid it so far. It stresses me out because I don’t want to do the wrong thing.

    • #40879

      That is good advice Older Lady. Beware them trying to create a “charm” door way through which you choose to walk voluntarily. Through the door is a load more abuse, but if the door had “abuse” written over it you would choose not to walk through. So they sometimes pitch up with sob stories, suicidal pleas, charm offensives, love bombing, they might have had an epiphany and “realised” the errors of their ways. These are just tactics aimed at regaining control. Once they have you back through that door they switch quite quickly- it happened to me on several occasions… I would find myself thinking “where did all the remorse go??”once the abuse started again. But by then you are a little bit weaker.
      If you find yourself in a face to face situation with this guy you can deliver a one liner- “I have nothing to say to you” and then remove yourself from the situation safely. If you feel in danger phone 999. It’s the hardest thing to do as for a while a part of you still doesn’t understand where the nice guy went.
      Stay strong- you are much better off out of that situation- you will realise that in time xxxxxx

      • #40884

        thanks that is a good line to use. thanks for your advice xxxx

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