17th June 2020 at 6:29 am #106566journeyupwardsParticipant
I posted on here last year reaching out for help, and some of you suggested that I might end up with a CPTSD diagnosis – which I did in the end! It’s been a battle and a half – I completely lost my mind for a year and had to leave work. However, medication helped me a lot and I’m finally receiving some therapy. Thanks so much to those of you who helped me through some dark times.
Recently my abuser’s new girlfriend followed me and my new partner on social media. Since she reached out in this sense, and posted something on her profile alluding to a bad relationship, I sent her the message (detail removed by moderator). I should have known not to get involved with another person’s relationship, but as I would go on to explain to her, I had wished that I could have spoken to one of my ex’s girlfriends about his abuse when I was with him. I feel like it would have helped me.
I didn’t intend to disclose anything, but she went onto ask a lot of questions and said she wants to know more as she’s been in an abusive relationship before, which resulted in criminal conviction. So I gradually disclosed some info, first hinting at the fact that he can be violent, and then some more details of his violence which I prefaced with (detail removed by moderator).
After a civil convo that I thought would help, she went away for (detail removed by moderator) or so, and came back with a massive attack at me – much of which included false info that my ex had fed to her. For example, she started saying that she doesn’t believe me, and then said that I’m crazy and I’ve accused all men I’ve been with of violence, when they’re actually innocent. (Fact: my only violent relationship was with that particular ex, although I have experienced abuse from other men.)
This was obviously distressing as it was a form of gaslighting. My ex was speaking through her, in the sense that he fed her lies so that she would attack me, and so she would deny my abuse like he did whilst he abused me. As a result, it felt like the abuse all over again.
She also added in personal comments about me gaining weight, which my ex would know would make me feel bad since I have struggled with weight a lot. However, luckily I’m now a little more secure in myself that I was in terms of my weight.
She also told me that it was (detail removed by moderator) for me to say that I have “PTSD” (which she put in quotation marks, to signal she doesn’t believe me). I assume she thinks it’s offensive because she doesn’t believe I have PTSD. She also said that the fact I said that the relationship was (detail removed by moderator) at some points is extremely offensive, because I think she thought I’m making fun of abusive relationships and PTSD. In fact, I was trying to say to her that abusive people are Often very nice to you some of the time, and the abusive behaviour is in between this niceness. This was in an effort to communicate that, although I’m sure you’re having good fun with him, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t going to be abusive.
She also asked why I didn’t leave (detail removed by moderator) the relationship, since I said that the abuse gradually started then. Obviously I didn’t expect the “why didn’t you leave?” question from a fellow survivor, but at the same time I understand why this confuses some people.
Overall, I replied in a civil way, essentially saying (detail removed by moderator).
The fact that she denied my abuse really played with my mind and made me question myself again. I am also worried because I told her that I had reported him to the police, but asked her not to tell him. Obviously, I’m certain she told him everything. I showed some of the messages to my friends and new partner, and they all supported me loads. I’m very lucky to have built up a good support system now. However, my partner was unsure why I couldn’t just brush the “bullying” messages off, and I explained that it’s like being abused again by my ex. He understood and apologised.
I just wanted to share this because I appreciate any input or support, and maybe some of you have a similar experience. I know this girl has essentially been brainwashed by him, but that doesn’t mean I can ex cause her for her behaviour towards me, because there is no excuse for abuse. I know that being in an abusive relationship can make you do some bad things, but I know that I wouldn’t never treat anyone this badly before, during or after my abuse. And also I believe survivors, so I would not deny their experience.
Also, I just want to note that I know my ex would not have forced her to send such messages, because they truly did seem from her and he never forced control over things like this with me. I know that the messages are coming from her, but obviously with his input as I assume he saw them too.
Thanks everyone xx
17th June 2020 at 6:59 am #106570KIP.Participant
Assume she’s totally brainwashed already by him and has absolutely told him everything. Remember those early days when you wouldn’t have believed a word against him either? He knows how to play this game and may well report you to the police for harrassment so please please no more communication with her or him. Block them on everything and tighten your security on social media or come off all together for a while as no doubt it will be triggering now to see a potential message. It’s also incredibly triggering to be drawn back into that toxic environment. It will set your recovery back. No experience is wasted if we learn from it so please take this as a positive lesson As to why absolutely zero contact is needed. And that includes anyone in his circle x
23rd June 2020 at 12:00 pm #107344SingingintherainParticipant
I know how you feel. My ex and his gf both gang up all the time. He’s won residency battle recently because he denied abuse I suffered and claimed I was only saving it to alienate him from our daughter. He was believed with no proof and even though I had proof, no-one would look at it and said I was being over anxious. Since daughter moved to live with him, he’s stopped me having any contact at all, even though order says I should see her every two weeks and both ex and gf sit in on every video call I have with my daughter, so I can’t talk to her properly. They distract her on every call with other conversations and games and take her away so I’m just sitting on call for ages waiting for her to come back. I tried to say something about it and he and gf have denied it, saying it’s made up by me again. Not sure if your ex’s gf is being controlled by your ex or not, it’s sometimes hard to say. The circle of abuse does start with charm, so she may be completely brainwashed by him. On other hand, in my case, I feel like my ex and his gf are so similar that they are both thriving on abuse. I think only time will tell if you ex has his new gf in his abusive cycle. Either way, you don’t need that in your life, so I’d agree, block them on messenger. Good luck. x
27th June 2020 at 12:11 am #107711CamelParticipant
If at all possible there should be no way for a girlfriend of your ex to know who you are and to ‘follow’ you. The same goes for anyone in his circle – his family and friends. You have a new life that’s none of their business. Change your Facebook settings to friends (not friends of friends) and block/delete anyone who isn’t someone you’re happy to meet in real space.
It sounds like you made the first move in communicating with this woman which was without doubt a mistake. You don’t know what your ex has told her about you and frankly you shouldn’t want to know. Surely you know it will all be lies anyway, used to manipulate his next partner/victim? I can understand that you believed you would be forewarning and protecting her and no one can blame you for that. But you should also know that by getting involved you’ve only succeeded in miring yourself in the past. You did your best to be honest with her but the second she made you question your reality is the second you should have cut contact. Does it really matter whether all the messages were her thoughts or if she was made to ask them by your ex? What should matter is how you were made to feel.
It sounds like your new partner is understanding but I would consider how all this is affecting him. Is it fair to expect him to stay passive? Could he be worried about what your ex and his new partner might do but unable to say? Being sensitive to your past trauma doesn’t mean he has to be dragged into the nitty-gritty of it. (Sorry if that sounds harsh.)
In your favour you told the new girlfriend in confidence that you’d reported the ex to the police. No doubt he’ll now know which can’t be a bad thing.
Many of us will appreciate how difficult it is to fully cut ties with an abuser. But we must.
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