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    • #143067
      Carmilla
      Participant

      It’s been a few years for me since they essentially got bored and decided to leave. Sadly there was no big moment like in media where I stepped away from my abuser, they essentially realised they’d broken me and couldn’t “have fun” anymore.

      Things ended when I was just about to turn (detail removed by Moderator). While I did manage to get some good counselling during the pandemic and did previously have a friend I felt I could talk to about what happened, I now have neither of those things. The advice of the counsellor was to try and build a support network so that in the long-term I’d be supported.

      And sadly, I’ve failed in that goal. While I do have a group of friends, I don’t feel close enough to any of them to bring up what happened. It also doesn’t help that in the past I opened up to the wrong people, making it even harder to talk about this stuff.

      I don’t really have anyone in my corner who could understand and there sadly aren’t any local support groups I could access. I have tried some other online spaces but found they weren’t friendly. I remember, for instance being in a survivor’s chatroom where someone attempted to set off an episode (PTSD).

      But, at the same time I feel as though I cannot be the first person to have to endure this without support from others. I’m just wondering how as there doesn’t seem to be much advice for this online. The first things people tell you to do is to build a network or seek out support, neither of which I can do sadly as a result of poor circumstances.

      I need to believe I can be okay in spite of having to carry this by myself.

    • #143098
      Twisted Sister
      Participant

      Hi Camilla

      welcome here, and its brave of you to reach out after your experiences of previously reaching out being harmful.

      You’re right, it does take having the right people around. I can confidently say that the women on here will completely and utterly understand your experiences, and how important support is, and you reached out for it here, you are in good company, there is support for you here, without judgement, unconditional.

      I hopeyou will no longer feel alone now you are amongst us. You can share your burdens here whilst you also may find other outside sources of reliable safe support.

      Has anyone recommended the Freedom Programme to you, as I know they will be a great source of understanding and support also.

      Its not unusual for others to not understand this complex toxicity that is an abusive partner, and that can feel so isolating, but here we do know. Hell, many ofus didn’t understand it, and it can take time to work through.

      Please keep posting and checking out other posts, which I’m sure will help you to feel like part of the forum and realise how alike our experiences have been, and the affects on us are. You are not alone in this. x

      warmest wishes

      ts

      • #143122
        Carmilla
        Participant

        Has anyone recommended the Freedom Programme to you, as I know they will be a great source of understanding and support also.

        Sadly I couldn’t get on the Freedom Program or really access any support from my local branch of Women’s Aid. They were not willing to help me and sadly did not signpost me towards anything useful either.

        I’ve struggled to find anything since. As of recently I gave up on finding that network after looking for something since my counselling finished a while back. Sadly, due to a cooldown period and waiting lists I am unable to go back to that organisation for at least a year, possibly two years so I can’t even really approach them for support. They recommended trying my GP but my GP is also very unhelpful.

        I understand their position as they are trying to help everyone and what they deal with is tragically common.

      • #143126
        Twisted Sister
        Participant

        I am sorry to hear your local agency has not been supportive, and prevented you from accessing the freedom programme. Its not a programme that should be gate-kept by other agencies, and it might help to speak direct to them to find out what your options are, as my experience has been that even when other agencies fail women the freedom programme are very pro working with women and supporting the flourishing groups that come with them. Click HERE so you can talk to them yourself to see what they can offer for you, where and when because they know where all courses are running, and can direct you to any one of them, or how to join a group zoom and either show yourself in the group, or hide.

        Do you have any other groups in your area, not necessarily domestic abuse related? I mean groups that align with any hobbies of yours? Book groups/gardening/walking/cycling…these things won’t be necessarily a great resource for your DA experiences, but they will get you out and offer up opportunities for connecting and building friendships.

        Do any of those sounds possibilities for you?

        As for your GP, change it. Book yourself in with another GP and ask them what they can help you with and either stay with that one or move on. With your set of circumstances its vital to have a GP you can connect with and who feels supportive and helpful for your future growth.

        Do keep talking to us here aswell. Your experience is not the only one, many other women also experience this.

        warmest wishes

        ts

      • #143127
        Carmilla
        Participant

        It does not appear as though the Freedom Program is on offer in my region at all. I believe the thing that Women’s Aid was talking about was something called “Journey to Freedom” which in of itself is a different program (detail removed by Moderator)

        I do already have friends, just not anyone would could understand what happened. Like I said, in the past I opened up to very much the wrong people so I choose not to do it anymore within my friend circles. It’s never ended well. Even if my current friends were to take it well, they’d still treat me differently. Like I was made of glass.

        Branching out socially is sadly not going to change that.

        I’ve jumped between different GPs for the past four years now. I’m yet to find a good one that would ever listen to me and it appears as though I’ve registered with every healthcare practice within my postcode lottery area.
        I’m not counting on the NHS helping me out with anything anytime soon. They plain don’t want to help me out it seems.

      • #143129
        Twisted Sister
        Participant

        I’m really sorry to hear this Camilla.

        The freedom programme is open to women anywhere, but I do know they don’t run in every region.

        I can understand why you wouldn’t want to open up again after it going wrong for you before. Every woman has this battle to face sadly, and many they come to see will not react well to it, or understand it, but its important to have places to go with this, even if thats only here for some. There will be groups in your area though I’m sure, and a freedom programme if you are able to travel to wherever is the closest, but that of course may be too far, in which case maybe the online would work better for you?

        You cannot possibly have been to every GP as there are many within each practice surely? I know none of us are overwhelmed with help and support, but the NHS will have to support you, and I’m sure there will be womens groups somewhere around.

        Have you looked at the ‘local services’ link on the forum, and investigated from there? Some regions are support poor. Lisa, or the helpline once they know your area may be able to get better access for you? We’re a bit stuck because you can’t say here where you are, to protect your identity.

        Your local womens aid will be able to point you in the direction of women’s drop in groups because I do think their refuge services will have links to them also. I really hope you can find something suitable to make a start on building relationships with others.

        warmest wishes

        ts

      • #143161
        Carmilla
        Participant

        its important to have places to go with this, even if thats only here for some. There will be groups in your area though I’m sure, and a freedom programme if you are able to travel to wherever is the closest, but that of course may be too far, in which case maybe the online would work better for you?

        There aren’t any groups in my area. I’ve asked around for a while and there aren’t any freedom programs in my entire region of the UK. I’ve turned over every stone and there aren’t any groups.

        It’s just me.

        You cannot possibly have been to every GP as there are many within each practice surely? I know none of us are overwhelmed with help and support, but the NHS will have to support you, and I’m sure there will be womens groups somewhere around.

        While I haven’t been to every GP individually, I have registered with every practice. Sadly one thing that happened was that I did find a helpful GP, but she was new to the job and so the older GPs overruled her decisions in helping me. My current GP even tried to stop me from getting counselling via a charity (same I mentioned in my initial post) for a reason they never actually explained.

        And like I said, there are no groups. None locally. The local branch of Women’s Aid did not want to help and when I have contacted other organisations in search of support groups for women, they keep redirecting me back to Women’s Aid.
        Who, like I said rejected me locally.

        Have you looked at the ‘local services’ link on the forum, and investigated from there? Some regions are support poor. Lisa, or the helpline once they know your area may be able to get better access for you? We’re a bit stuck because you can’t say here where you are, to protect your identity.

        Your local womens aid will be able to point you in the direction of women’s drop in groups because I do think their refuge services will have links to them also. I really hope you can find something suitable to make a start on building relationships with others.

        The point is, that the local branch turned me away and is unwilling to help. Aside from that, I’m on my own. They would not point me towards anything useful whatsoever, let alone drop in groups. They turned me away and I wasn’t welcomed. There’s nothing I can do about that.

      • #143173
        Twisted Sister
        Participant

        sorry Camilla, have they explained why? Can you write to the Manager of the service to alert them to how difficult this is and that you need to understand, and need help?

        I was thinking, in terms of groups, of things like churches will often have drop in groups on certain days, village halls, WI, those less formal kind of things, where you just turn up and there is also help on hand.

        Sorry bit of a rush, but will come back later and check in.

        warmest wishes

        ts

      • #143179
        Carmilla
        Participant

        sorry Camilla, have they explained why? Can you write to the Manager of the service to alert them to how difficult this is and that you need to understand, and need help?

        They just said I “wasn’t a good fit.” And didn’t elaborate really beyond that. It was not till later on that I found out what I meant by that.

        By luck, I got speaking to someone on the local Domestic and Sexual Violence helpline who had worked with that local WA branch in the past.

        It’s sadly due to my differences why I was turned away. Nothing can be done to change that.

        I was thinking, in terms of groups, of things like churches will often have drop in groups on certain days, village halls, WI, those less formal kind of things, where you just turn up and there is also help on hand.

        Not for support unless you’re talking about something like loneliness or parent groups. And I’m not religious at all. Nothing local is running support for what happened.

        At least nothing I can access. That’s the way things are and will always be.

      • #143184
        Twisted Sister
        Participant

        Hi Camilla

        You don’t have to be religious and yes they do offer support, try contacting your local church, or anywhere, and see what they offer, or can recommend.

        I am sorry, but I don’t get what you mean by ‘not a good fit’ or whatever, perhaps you could explain, because it doesn’t make sense to me, but you said it does to you? Please do share, then I can see what else presents.

        WI would help, and have loads of links to other resources in the area. They look after women!

        Its so disappointing to hear that Womens Aid would turn a woman away as ‘not fitting what they required’?! its nonsensical to me.

        Do keep looking, I know it seems hopeless but there will be a group somewhere that you are not aware of yet.

        warmest wishes

        ts

      • #143187
        Carmilla
        Participant

        Church groups do not offer support groups for domestic and sexual violence. As I said, there would be groups for loneliness or parent groups but certainly nothing in terms of DV and SV.

        There’s nothing. As I said, I was turned away essentially for being different. There’s nothing I can do and I have been trying to find support for a very long time.

        There’s nothing else out there. Nothing at all. I had accepted that when I made this thread so I find that further discussion about finding something that does not exist is honestly a bit upsetting.

        False hope over nonexistent support isn’t going to help me in the long run. Only advice on how to do this on my own because that’s my only choice.

      • #143195
        Twisted Sister
        Participant

        I am sorry for causing you upset, I will step away.

        my last offer is to let you know that you would be surprised, and as you haven’t been to these groups you wouldn’t know. I wish you luck with your future journey and hope that he (the ex) has completely left your life for good.

        warmest wishes

        ts

      • #143212
        Carmilla
        Participant

        I’m saying that they literally do not offer support groups for SV/DV in churches. That is just not something a church does.
        If the churches in your area offer such things, that’s great! But no such churches nearby to me offer such things at all.

        My ex was a woman. I think the idea of that was one of the reasons why the local WA branch rejected me. On top of another thing that makes me different.

    • #143099
      Grey Rock
      Participant

      Hi. Welcome. Hopefully you’ll find this a supportive space. I know that this forum has really helped me Along the way on my own journey.

      I also benefitted from the Freedom Program. I completed this online via Zoom. After that I joined the same ladies and a few more on the Freedom Forever sessions. It really helped me to be able to talk openly about my experiences and feelings with others who understood and weren’t shocked, upset, or judgemental.

      A support network (if it’s a good one) really can make such a difference. I hope you find one (or a few) that work for you.

      GR xx

      • #143123
        Carmilla
        Participant

        Sadly I couldn’t get on the program, so I’m not even really sure what I can do. I’ve heard about the Freedom Program in passing but it wasn’t something that could be offered to me.

        Sadly, I don’t think there are any networks for me. I’m caught in what feels like a limbo because the local branch was unwilling to help but aside from that, there wasn’t anything else localised. And I’ve tried contacting non-local organisations who were unable to signpost or support me because they only assisted people from their region. For instance there were some organisations based in other parts of the UK or (detail removed by Moderator). I even tried organisations based in the USA.

        All of them said no.

        Trying to find such a thing, again following the advice of my counsellor has been nothing short of exhausting. And that’s why I had to stop looking. The non-stop searching and finding nothing but disappointment was starting to affect my mental health.

        So now it’s less a case of how I find a network and more, how I do things on my own. Because I’m never going to be able to find a network.

    • #143150
      Tea-and-biscuits
      Participant

      Hi I did the Freedom programme all on line. I did have to pay a fee and I never got the social aspect but it helped me understand more about what is happening. If was useful. Just logged on at home. Googled in myself. Was defiantly worth the time spent.

    • #143200
      gettingtired
      Participant

      I’ve also unfortunately not had any luck with local services or my GP. It seems to be a postcode lottery. I don’t really have any friends and the one who knows a bit about my situation doesn’t really understand and just kind of dismisses his behaviour as ‘ridiculous’.
      I thought that maybe not getting any support would mean I’d have some sort of awakening and realise only I can save myself but that sadly hasn’t come either. It really does make you feel so alone. The one positive thing is I found a good therapist (I do have to pay) but it does help validate my feelings. So if private counselling is an option for you I’d recommend trying that. Sorry if this has already been discussed, I haven’t quite read all of the comments xx

      • #143211
        Carmilla
        Participant

        Sadly I can’t afford such things on top of other costs. Because of the postcode lottery I basically have to pay for all of my own healthcare and cannot get a good GP.

        It’ll literally just be me for the rest of my life.

    • #143164
      Carmilla
      Participant

      I get this too. My part of the UK is one of the smallest and the resources on offer are few and far between. Aside from that organisation that I did counselling with and Women’s Aid, as well as an organisation for male survivors there’s nothing else, unless you are really lucky and happen to get a good GP.

      Even with that though, the mental health services are practically non-existent though due to years of underfunding so unless you can afford private or happen to find a group, that’s pretty much just you if you end up in a similar position to myself (the local branch being unwilling to help).

      In another life, they might have wanted to help me out. But I didn’t fit what they required.

      Much like you, I have my means of distracting myself but I find that this only seems to work temporarily. Eventually, say in the later hours or during certain occasions the negative thoughts about what happened and how it has impacted me return.

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