14th March 2020 at 2:38 pm #99252
This morning my children and I were going out, and after my eldest’s refusal to get dressed and my youngest needing the toilet after I’d got us all ready, coats, shoes, cycle helmet, push chair etc., the chain came off my eldest’s bike. I got a screwdriver and managed to get the chain back on. In the last month I’ve also driven four hours to a friend’s house and assembled a chest of drawers for my children’s room. (Detail removed by moderator), before I left, I was afraid to drive on main roads and the thought of roundabouts terrified me. After being an independent woman before I met him, my abuser had convinced me I was weak and helpless, and needed him. I’m proud of how capable I am, how far I’ve come, and what I can achieve when I don’t have someone telling me I can’t do something. I love that I don’t need a man, and that I’m a good role model for my children.
We’re stronger than we think x
14th March 2020 at 6:15 pm #99256KIP.Participant
Sounds wonderful that you have found that wonderful independent woman again and a superb role model for your kids. The anxiety from abuse affects all parts of our lives. The world closed in around me and left me afraid to go out the front door. It’s a long struggle to find that confidence again so power to you. The best revenge is just to live a fruitful happy life. Good riddance to bad rubbish x
14th March 2020 at 7:01 pm #99260
Thank you KIP. One of your posts a month or so ago really inspired me (I love reading all your posts). Recently I started chatting with a single dad in the village who I kept bumping into. There was something about him that made me feel a little uncomfortable, but when he asked for my number to arrange a playdate I gave it to him, even though I instinctively didn’t want to. To cut a long story short I suddenly started bumping into him really frequently and within the space of less than a week he asked me out for a coffee four times, despite me being very clear each time that I didn’t want to, and that I had been through an awful time and wasn’t looking for a relationship. It made me realise that this is how it works; as women we’re socially conditioned to feel guilty, responsible, and not make a fuss. A 20 something me would’ve given in to avoid making a fuss or causing offence, and I realised that this is how some men work, putting pressure on you and wearing you down until you give in. It also helped me to realise how I’d found myself trapped in a relationship with my abuser, who in addition was older and in a position of power. Anyway, your post was about an alternative way of living, instead of finding a man you talked about women supporting each other as we grow older, and taking solo holidays. It really helped me to shift my way of thinking from feeling I had to get over what had happened to me to be ready for another relationship, to realising that I can be okay on my own for the rest of my life if I want to. And that thought is really freeing, if the end goal isn’t about finding a life mate we can think about other things. When my children are older I can totally see myself doing yoga, joining book groups, volunteering, being active in the community, learning to dance and taking solo holidays. It is lovely to think there is another way. Thank you for opening my eyes x
14th March 2020 at 7:17 pm #99262KIP.Participant
There absolutely is another way. Society puts pressure on us too for this happy ever after. Nobody tells us Prince Charming turns out to be a nasty abuser. I like to date myself and treat myself like my own best friend. After years of being second best it’s good to feel top dog lol. Don’t wait for the kids to be older, do yoga with them, dance with them. You will only get stronger now. Build your own community. What adventures we can have when we are free 💕
14th March 2020 at 7:43 pm #99265
Thank you KIP. When I was growing up I thought that romantic love was supposed to be all-consuming, that you’d have butterflies in your stomach, lose sleep, wonder if they were going to call, that you’d put them first and be prepared to give up everything for them, if you had to, and I think love songs and romantic films perpetuate this. I can see now that love should be about balance, equality and consistency. I’m loving my own company, being able to do what I want and sleep on my own (well, with my toddler most nights!), eat what I want and being able to make my own decisions. It would take a lot now to even consider giving that up x
14th March 2020 at 8:06 pm #99266HeadspinningParticipant
I totally get this! My ex has been out of the house for a number of weeks now and I can’t imagine ever wanting him back in it telling me what to do. That doesn’t mean I am not still sad at the breakdown and wish it had been different – but now having my own space it will take a heck of a lot for me to give that up again.
I find it hard to even imagine dating again never mind live with someone. I’d be terrified of making the same mistakes again. How long would it take to develop trust? I thought I was a good judge of character but that’s clearly not been the case here. Do I want to be on my own forever? Probably not, but I can’t wait to get to know myself again and start taking control of my own life.
Yes I will have bad spots (today has been particularly tough) but I am blessed with a very supportive network of friends and am never short of someone who will pick me back up.
Even this forum is amazing for finding empathy.
I think us ladies need to prioritise getting to know ourselves. I am reading a very good book by Lundy Bankroft – Should I stay or should I go – and that is very much focused on that.
Good luck to all – who’s for a girls holiday after the corona madness!!
14th March 2020 at 9:09 pm #99267
Thanks for your message headspinning, and I’m so glad you’ve managed to get your abuser out of your home. I remember the early days after leaving; I was an empty shell and felt as though I’d left a cult and had to reintegrate into normal society, so please try not to be too hard on yourself on the tough days. Also, it felt lovely to me to forget about the idea of meeting someone, of course it may happen but it feels good to take the pressure off, perhaps this might work for you too? I’m happy (and excited!) to face the future solo, but a part of me feels upset that I don’t want a relationship because of what he’s done to me, and I hate the idea he’ll be my last relationship, that nobody’s come along since to wipe him out, if that makes sense? x
14th March 2020 at 10:42 pm #99269HeadspinningParticipant
Yes I can relate to the empty shell feeling. Shell shocked too.
I think these experiences wreck out trust in others. Instead of hoping for the best we look for the worst. I think it’s right to learn caution but we shouldn’t tarnish everyone with the same brush.
I read to give yourself at least 6 months to get to know yourself before even considering another relationship. I think it will take me at least that, maybe longer.
Tbh, whilst affection is nice I have no s*x drive any more Anyway – don’t know if that’s because of the relationship or the menopause. I’d like it to return one day though!
It would be nice to have a relationship based on mutual trust and respect, not dysfunctional based on control and dependency. But coming out of a challenging one it’s hard to believe such a thing exists.
15th March 2020 at 9:40 am #99287
I know it’s a cliche but time is supposed to be a great healer! I know there are good men out there – my dad, brother, brother in law, my friend’s husband, but it scares me how many are ‘bad’. I’ve been reading some amazing books about women’s rights and feminism and the statistics are shocking – the amount of women who have suffered domestic abuse or sexual violence, and the amount of male perpetrators. I think the trick is to get on with having a full, fulfilling life without the idea of finding a man being the end goal. I’m also doing the MODA programme in a couple of months so hoping that will help x
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