28th March 2016 at 6:47 am #12387
It’s very early but I’ve just thought. Me having the house in divorce was meaningless if I couldn’t keep it. I’ve been feeling so terrible about that , disappointed, worried, scared for future, beating myself up, why did I sell, why didn’t I stall. But I couldn’t. I was still suffering his abuse even though he’d left. I’d only just begun to accept it was abuse and to find out about all the different ways he had abused me even though he only did one actually physical violent one thing to me once quite early on in our 2 decade long relationship.
Anyway, it’s taken years, but what I’ve realised is that now I can acknowledge that I could do nothing other than what I did then because I still couldn’t stand up to him, was still being abused by him even though he’s moved out, didn’t know it was abuse and was doing it all on my own, without being able to say ‘this was domestic abuse’. And that proper, actual knowing of that is a sign of how far I’ve come in my recovery.
Ive written this down for myself as well. I hope it makes some sense. It really does feel like an epiphany, I’ve been beating myself up recently about having no financial security. I did what I could at the time. I was so ground down. I freed myself and the children from a life that revolved around him and his oppression and meanness.
I felt a moment of pride in myself then. I hope I can hold on to that feeling
28th March 2016 at 8:45 am #12390lover of no contactParticipant
Yes, we are amazing to have survived such a traumatic experience. Nothing prepared us for this. Our mind set is so different to the mind set of an abuser. How could we have known that a person who claimed to love us had ulterior motives in their relationship with us?
The one violent episode early in your 2 decade relationship with him was intentionally carried out to instill fear in you, probably after that violence it only took a word or a look or a tone of voice to cause you to alter your behaviour to cater to his needs and do what he wanted and to ‘put you in your place’ in your relationship with him. How could we have known we were being deceived by them in our relationship with them?.
I would say each one of us on here has financial insecurity. Financial insecurity has to be part of the abuse because they abuse us (not only emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually) but they abuse us financially as well. So us being ‘financially in a bad way’ is not our fault but the effect of being in an abusive relationship. When we are in an abusive relationship we made poor financial decisions either to keep them happy, or due to their influence or in my case he was always irresponsible financially, so I always picked up the pieces, paying off his debts, working and extending myself and depriving myself and the children to keep our financial boat afloat and to cater to his expensive, selfish financial needs.
Also I made financial decisions thinking he would be ‘fair’ and we were both ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’. but how could I have known ‘he was ripping me off in our finances’?. I thought he took his marriage vows seriously. Like you, it was not my fault.
I was just unlucky to get into a relationship with an abuser.
No we shouldn’t beat ourselves up, like you say we should be so proud of ourselves to free ourselves (or like some of the ladies on here, be trying to free ourselves) and our children from a life that revolved around his oppression and meanness.
28th March 2016 at 9:10 am #12392SerenityParticipant
You’ve given yourself a greater gift than bricks and mortar and even financial security: self-compassion and kindness to yourself!
The only way I managed to keep my house was because I had my mum behind me who is very business minded and also lent me the money, plus I had an injunction and no contact with him at the time, and I was lucky to get legal aid.
Without all those things, I would haven’t been able to fight for the house at all.
And my scenario isn’t perfect: my mum ( somewhat abusive ) was and may still try to control me due to helping me- so I am keen to sell and repay her ASAP, so I am free.
I think you are very rich, in the gift of acceptance and compassion you have shown yourself! x*x
28th March 2016 at 8:24 pm #12440
Thank you both. I’ve been on a lovely trip with my daughter today and on the journey it made me smile to think of your post, Serenity. That’s exactly what it feels like, kindness and compassion to myself. Happiest day I’ve had for a while.
29th March 2016 at 3:44 pm #12478SurethingParticipant
reading this helps – i didnt end my relationship and i feel ashamed at that, he ended it, took the company we started together , my income and my social life – i thought i did what he wanted and if i did he would keep me. He didn’t and now i feel, just as he told me i was and am worthless. I can’t find any answers and feel like i made it all up. I need to know that this feeling goes away?
29th March 2016 at 4:22 pm #12480
I’m so glad to be part of a post that helps you.
What you’re feeling is normal. Your abuser relies on your self worth being low so he can metro control. I think whether we left them out they left us, the outcome of still the same. Much grief and self doubt for us. Have you had any counselling? It’s helped me. Also reading the Lundy Bancroft book, ‘ Why does he do that’. Anything like that validates your feelings is a big help. Posting on here is invaluable also.
And just knowing that it takes time and how much varies from person to person.
You are a survivor and as such, an amazing woman.
29th March 2016 at 11:15 pm #12513SerenityParticipant
Yes, the feeling will go. There will always be hurt, but it will be more like an irritating scab, rather than a gaping wound.
If you go all out and get all the support and expert advice you can, I promise that you will come out stronger than ever, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
A friend told me this. I didn’t believe her. Two years later, I believe her. I was in such horrendous pain. Now I am starting to feel like that Phoenix. You will too.
The scab analogy I read somewhere a few months back. That’s true, too. X
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