• This topic has 8 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by Anonymous.
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    • #122180

      It’s been quite a long time since I got out of a long-term abusive relationship – I was the one to end it, though I don’t know how I did it really. I didn’t feel believed by many friends and he told people I was nuts. I started suffering from depression and anxiety when we were together, which he used against me. He was clever and rarely left visible marks on me. So I mainly just kept quiet and didn’t really talk about it or seek any formal help.I felt like I would have been more supported if he had beaten me up.

      Recently I have been having issues around it, a lot has come flooding back and I have been diagnosed with PTSD (though GP suspects it has been an ongoing issue since I was with him).

      I still question myself, years later. I still wonder if maybe it was as bad as I remember, or if I imagined things, or was somehow partly to blame. I wrote everything down, and some of it seems so obviously abusive. Our ages at the time, and the age gap, feels really predatory in hindsight. Yet I cannot help doubting myself and really have to fight those thoughts. Does this self-doubt and blame ever go away? Or is it something we just have to learn to live with? I wonder if I will ever accept it wasn’t me.

    • #122196

      Hi my beautiful angel… Lifeinterrupted
      Well done for leaving, I think how you are feeling is normal
      Once you leave an abuser it is a journey a process of unravelling things, who you were, who he was… so many questions
      I’m (detail removed by Moderator) years on and still working hard on myself!
      I would certainly recommend for you to keep a journal, I have found this really helpful… write down how you are feeling, sometimes you start with nothing and then the words just flow. Write down as well ‘your story’ as if you were telling it to someone, this will put things into perspective
      If while you are doing this the tears come … cry
      If the anger comes … shout ..whatever you feel you need
      Also I would advise some selflove work, get to know you and what you really need. What does your heart need to heal, send yourself some love and care.
      Be kind to yourself, you have been through a lot and it will take time, but look how far you have come already… don’t ever underestimate that and how amazingly strong you are.
      Sending you love and support
      Darcy xx

    • #122204

      Try reading the history of your abuse like it was happening to someone else. A friend or family member. You would be totally appalled. I’ve been free several years and I still have times when I think about how bad was it really? My mental health speaks volumes. What kind of abuse leaves such long lasting mental injuries years later. We minimise abuse as a coping mechanism and that adds to the confusion. Plus years of these idiots who gaslighted us. Good riddance to bad rubbish x

    • #122222

      Just wanted to echo that absolutely, even many years later I ask myself why I couldn’t at least fight for what I deserved and what was best for me after I left. I still go back and read what I wrote years ago to remind myself how bad it was.
      I survived the best way I could and that was to cut all ties and stop engaging at all with him, never mind trying to fight him.

      Counselling, journalling, educate yourself about abuse, anything you can do to take care of yourself and put yourself first, will help you see it wasn’t your fault. If you didn’t have support at the time you can still access it years later. I’ve recently been in touch with a local WA many, many years after leaving the abuser and it’s been a help to me.

      Best wishes


    • #122283

      Thanks everyone for your replies, and your kindness.I am sorry for my slowness I have not logged on for a few days.

      I guess it will always stay with me, the only reason I was numb about it for so long was because I completely dissociated as a coping mechanism. You can’t go through something like this without it changing you as a person. I am going to try writing my story and also a letter of forgiveness to my younger self (my counsellor suggested this). She also suggested I write one to him (not to send) but I am not sure I can do that yet.

      I am starting to feel anger, which she said was a good thing and empowering, but I need to deal with that in a healthy way. I’ve been snappy this week and irritated by everything 🙂


    • #122443

      Thank you for writing this, I’m sorry to hear that it is still troubling you after all these years. I am still struggling to finish it and I find I am questioning.. is it that bad? He hasn’t been physically or financially abusive. He professes his love, I’m his best friend etc but I’m still uneasy. It’s difficult to separate his controlling behaviour from his generosity. You don’t say how many years have passed but reading other posts, it seems you have been successful in leaving and staying away as these seem the most difficult phases of the journey. I applaud your strength and only hope I can find mine.
      Best wishes xx

    • #122481

      Hi lifeinterrupted im feeling the same .I’m only (detail removed by Moderator) months in and feel like I’ve lost everything so was it bad enough compared to what’s left now ! I only have 3 family members left , no friends remained .They’ve all been manipulated by my abuser to cover his abuse and divert it onto me . My work and my work colleagues have kept me sane and my 3 family members but I feel a burden on them so avoid talking about things anymore.I know I’m starting again after decades of abuse and long term my life will improve but stuck in a rut now missing people even if they’ve clearly since shown they are no good , they once were , 2 being my own children x

    • #122642

      I think it’s healthy to keep questioning. Recovery can seem to take forever. That’s because abuse creeps up on us and we spend far too much time wondering what we did to deserve it and not enough time wondering why we think we deserved any of it. Asking whether it was ‘that bad’ is a sign that we don’t value ourselves enough. When did we learn this? That’s the question I always come back to. Not whether it was ‘abusive enough’ but why wasn’t it ‘loving enough’?

      Personally I found peace once I stopped thinking about what had been done to me and though instead about why I’d allowed it to happen. There haven’t been quick fixes and easy answers but I try to remember this – I can’t change my past but I can affect my future. I can’t change HIM but I can protect myself from people like him.

    • #122666

      Hi Lifeinterrupted,

      Yes, I feel that way years after too. I asked me counsellor how long it would take for me to recover, and she asked ‘how long were you conditioned?’. My response was many years. And she explained that it would take a long time to undo.
      I recently read something about how the brainwashing in cults is something people can quickly recover from, but the brainwashing in an intimate relationship is different.
      Best wishes xx

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