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    • #134012
      Scared and sad

      Hi, after a weekend of silent treatment, interspersed with gaslighting and generally made to feel not valued in any way, I ended the relationship and took my last few things from the house and left. I’m full of mixed emotions. I feel sad, guilt but also relieved. I just hope I can stay strong this time. I know by tomorrow the pangs and desire to see him will be there, even though he makes me feel so unhappy. He has a way of making me feel so sorry for him even though he shows me zero compassion for anything. I just hope I have made the right decision and I can finally move on.

    • #134014

      Hi Scared & Sad. I’m glad you posted and I want to let you know that you are so brave for leaving. It’s not an easy step to take but you did it! You chose yourself and your peace of mind and you made your survival the priority. That is tremendous. You are tremendous. I know you may be feeling some doubts now, but please know that is normal. These abusive men are so good at getting us to doubt our own thoughts & feelings, even when we are making healthy decisions for ourselves. I left my abusive ex & whenever I started to feel sad or miss him, I would read some entries from my journal & that would help remind me of how awful & abusive he was and how much I suffered when I was with him. That helped me to stop romanticizing our relationship. I also gave myself permission to miss him & told myself that it was a normal feeling, BUT that I could miss him & still know that he was not good for me & I could never go back. That helped as well. Also, the missing them gets better and lessens as time goes on. When I first left the whole thing barely felt survivable. Now, I experience genuine peace in my life. You’ve done a wonderful thing for yourself. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel, but also remind yourself that you were not safe in that relationship and you had to leave to save yourself. You can do this!

    • #134015
      Scared and sad

      Thank you @SingleMomSurvivor, great advice. I know I have a tough journey ahead. I just hope I can stay strong.

    • #134046
      Scared and sad

      Hi, I know it’s early days or hours even since I left… but the pain is starting to kick in. The questions of did I exaggerate what was happening to me, was he even abusive, was it my fault are going through my head. I feel sick and want to contact him or and find myself thinking of excuses to go round to see him. I have been here before so many times. I really want this to be the final time.

    • #134051
      We can do this

      Hi scared and Sad.
      Well done you for getting out. I made the same leap a few days ago. I’m not going to lie I have felt exactly the same as you are feeling pretty much everyday. However I had a moment 2 days ago and I thought to myself, I can do this. You will have days where things will feel bad. If you can download why does he do that by Lundy Bancroft it may help you. Not all will be relevant to your situation but it has helped me on the nights where I have woken up panicking and doubting myself. Shall keep everything crossed for you. However if you do go back don’t beat yourself up about it. One day you will have the strength to say enough is enough. Take care x*x

    • #134052

      I just want to say well done for leaving. It’s such a big thing to make that step. I’ve had a few ‘chances’ to go (including this weekend actually) but I haven’t quite had the courage to go through with it yet.
      I don’t feel like I can advise you regarding keeping to no contact as I’m not there yet but I’d recommend listening to some Dr Ramani videos on YouTube. She really is great. I think she recommends writing an ‘ick’ list of all the bad things this person has said and done to you to refer to when the pangs of desire to contact them kick in. She has a great video on ‘euphoric recall’, like only remembering the good parts of that person and the relationship. X

    • #134054

      Well done.
      I left months ago.
      Know that it’s going to be extremely tough at times. Keep yourself as busy as possible. When you start tou doubt read up on abuse, post here, reach out to WA and your local DA services. Get that support, you will need it.
      Once you get through the first couple tough months you will be ok. Then the healing really starts. Remember its the trauma bond your breaking. It actually is like breaking a drug habit. I never could really believe that, but after going through it, the highs and lows, the extreme cravings for them, its so true. Remember aswell this is all proof of how unhealthy the relationship was for you. Keep posting and stay strong

    • #134055
      Scared and sad

      Thank you so much We can do this, I am having a really low moment, but I’m so thankful for your reply. It is so comforting to know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I hope I can mirror your strength to at least last a few days. You are doing so well, we must be mindful of all the pain we’ve been through and be kind to ourselves. Thank you again, stay strong x

    • #134056
      Scared and sad

      Thank you all, really appreciate your support and advice. I am starting realise that I need some patience with all of this and the pain and hurt are here for a while yet.

    • #134057
      We can do this

      This forum really has helped me to stay stronger. Reach out whenever you are having these moments. I’m lucky I have some really good people around me to strengthen my resolve when I wobble. Writing it down is a good idea. I keep getting things pop into my head so I’m trying to write them down when they do. It’s not easy, but it’s nice to be able to do my own thing. I’ve been going out for a walk to clear my head when it gets a bit too much. You take care and look after yourself xx

    • #134058

      Hey I just wanted to say a well done for finding that courage that bravery to get out that is amazing. Maybe reach out and get a little help on how now to move foward to heal. Womans aid could maybe help you with someone to talk too about your worries and fears dont stop now this is just the beginning to a new stronger free you but im certain you dont have to do this alone. Take your time and look after you now xxxx

    • #134059

      Hi Scared and Sad,

      Well done for getting out. The early days can be a real rollercoaster.

      Try Googling natural ways to increase Dopamine as this may help relieve the symptoms of trauma bonding over the coming weeks.

      You’re right, it does take patience and time so don’t be afraid to lean on your support network whilst you are working through this.

      Hang on in there my lovely. xx

    • #134062
      Wants To Help

      Hi scared and sad,

      Well done for getting out and for recognising what you are experiencing. You have identified the behaviours as abuse and you have decided you deserve better. But like anything else we want to make changes to in our lives, it can be hard. The desire is there, but the will can wane very quickly.

      All the ‘do gooders’ out there who don’t understand DA and often quote “if it’s that bad why don’t you just leave!” seem to think that once you have ‘just left’ then everything miraculously gets better. Those of us who have been through it or are going through it know this isn’t the case. In my case, it was at least two years before my life was my own again. Giving something up, or ‘someone’ up is not easy and it takes wilful effort. That effort requires us to think deep and hard about what we really want. As you are now aware of trauma bonding this will hopefully help you understand there is a recognised psychological process that you need to get through. Just as drug users may know there is ‘cold turkey’ to get through when they give up a drug, they don’t actually know what it feels like until they experience it, and the same will apply for women who leave abusive men.

      I can give an example in my life of another time when I really wanted to do something and then talked myself out of it before I was serious about it. Losing weight. Bear with me and let me ramble on…

      One day I looked in the mirror and wasn’t happy with my reflection and I knew I needed to go on a diet so I did. Compare this with one day (last night) you realised your relationship is abusive and you needed to do something so you left.

      The following day, I went to the shop and bought a whole load of healthy food and mentally prepared the meals for the next few days that would help with my weight loss. But by the end of the day after two healthy meals I was still feeling hungry and by evening I was a bit bored with nothing to occupy me and I had another look in the mirror and thought to myself “I’m not that fat really, perhaps I don’t actually need to diet, just watch what I eat a bit better.” Only a day or so in to what I knew to be the right thing for me I was already reconsidering it because to continue with the process was going to take some effort and the effects weren’t going to be noticeable straight away. So I went on a ‘half diet’ instead and decided to just replace one meal with a healthier one and kidded myself that I’d get slimmer by making a bit of an effort to make some changes. Compare this with your thoughts of the abuse and you now considering if it was really that bad, and perhaps if you speak to him you could try and negotiate some changes by him understanding your needs, and maybe, the abuse won’t continue if a few adaptions can be made?! For me, I was justifying a reason not to diet. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t lose any weight.

      A few weeks later, I looked in the mirror and wasn’t happy with my reflection and knew I needed to go on a diet. The will was there immediately, but again, the next day a healthy meal wasn’t that appealing. This time, I knew I couldn’t do it by myself so I joined a slimming club. I knew that by being supported with a group of people who were in the same situation as me was going to help me achieve what I wanted for a ‘better me’. Compare this to reaching out to your local DA services and being on this forum. A support group of like minded people who share the same experiences and can give you the benefits of their experiences and knowledge makes all the difference to our progress and end goal.

      My slimming group was just once a week. I had to find a way to stay on track to achieve what I wanted. This took commitment and effort. I downloaded the Couch To 5K app and committed myself to a 30 minute run every other day. I had to plan this in to the day and make time for it. Within a few weeks I started to see a positive difference. I was losing a few pounds, I was getting fitter and mentally I was feeling a lot better. These feelings made me want to continue on my journey as I could now see the benefits. My habits were changing. My old way of doing things were being replaced with a new way of doing things. In an evening, if I got hungry and felt like picking at something for the sake of it I’d got for a walk instead and listen to my music. Upon my return home I was no longer hungry and I felt better for resisting the urge to eat c**p and do something more beneficial to me instead.

      This same process applies to leaving an abuser. Our mindset has to be in the right place. We can never be rescued from an abusive relationship. Imagine someone picking you up in a car and taking you to the most luxurious refuge in the world and telling you you can live there rent free forever. If you don’t want to leave your partner then you won’t stay there, you’ll make your way home again once they have dropped you off.

      I read a great quote recently that says “You may not have had a choice in being abused, but you do have a choice how you can heal.”

      Please stay strong, remember the abuse, remember why you have left, understand your feelings are a part of the psychological process and try your best to fight these urges and don’t make contact. Remember you have left him for a better life for you – a better you. Understand that there are times when you will get bored and lonely and try and find a distraction for this to put your spare time to better use that will be a positive outcome for you. Maybe try the Couch To 5K app and take yourself out in the air for some fitness. Improving our physical fitness also improves our mental health, and it’s so important that we take care of this. Abuse impacts all of us by affecting our mental health, often leading to depression, anxiety, stress and PTSD to name but a few. This is very early days for you, but I promise you, if you can follow this through you will notice the positives within a few weeks.


    • #134068
      Scared and sad

      Thank you Wants to help. That is such a great way of making it clearer to me that it is going to be a difficult process and that there are no short cuts. That is where I gone wrong so many times before. I thought that adjustments to the relationship would invoke change but it never did. I am so grateful to have this forum and all the incredible support I’m receiving. Thank you x

    • #134082

      Hey, I hope your ok today,
      I remember the first days and how important it was for support. I went through something terrible, and if my experience can help others I am glad of it, if we all stand together we are stronger. I could not have done it alone. So I am happy to help.
      Also a few other things that helped me, when your mind is just reeling, when your really upset, get out of your head and into your body, do any exercise that you enjoy, I did hoola hooping if it was late at night as I didn’t need to go anywhere. Anything to use your body, burn off that adrenaline, it will also help you sleep. Anything in nature is great, go to the forest(or whatever nature you have) for long relaxing walks. Be mindful, what can you see, hear, feel, touch? Get back in touch with your body. You are reconnecting with yourself.
      Yoga was essential to me, it was life saving, my body was in pain, exhausted, stiff, i couldn’t sleep. Yoga was like a retreat to go to be calm and at peace, to find myself again. If you don’t do yoga, you can just lie on the floor and meditate, it will still be great for you. I tried to do 1 hr a night at first, now I am feeling better I don’t do so much as I don’t need it so much, that was the first months where it was essential.
      Also journal lots, discover and learn through your writing, anything that really catches your eye on here or in books, right down and make the connection on paper to your own experience. Sometimes I found this really upsetting but you can then just rip out the pages and rip them up, bin them, its very healing. I was doing this especially before bed because I was having nightmares, getting everything out before bed was great. It definitely helped.
      Months later I still miss him and sometimes I forget how bad things were, I have to still remind myself of the truth. It’s the minimization, trauma bond, cognitive dissonance, we are up against so much, we were doing it for so long, its like a habit we need to get out of, train yourself, everytime you think of him, read and remember the bad parts. It will become the new normal.
      I wrote down all my hobbies and interests and immersed myself in them. Where focus goes, energy flows.
      Treat yourself like a princess, lots of long hot baths, good food and early nights etc. Do all the things you love to do.
      Know you have done a brave and amazing thing, you are free. Be proud of yourself. You stood up for yourself in the biggest way possible, you are on the journey to a new a bight independent future.

      Do you have a outreach support worker from your local DA? It was really important for me to talk to someone on the phone. It makes it all a bit more real to speak in person. They can offer ongoing support, literally if I was feeling bad I could call her and talk and she would calm me down and tell me the truth. They signed me up for counselling which was really really essential for me. I only told my brother the whole truth, he was another person i was in contact with if I was having a bad day. Otherwise people in my life didn’t know the whole truth, I know people only try their best but when they do not know about DA, it can be upsetting hearing the wrong advice. But if you have someone you trust, someone who may even do a bit of research to support you, that can be amazing for your journey.

    • #134083

      And ofcourse no contact, even mutual friends I also had to cut off.

    • #134102
      Scared and sad

      Hey Eyesopening, thank you for thinking of me. I did have a tough night, although I managed to sleep. I made the mistake of checking social media last night. He has already changed our status. I’m trying to see this ad a positive. I’m the last irs done thing I’ve been sensitive about. I think he was so quick to do thus because for the first time ever I didn’t contact him last night. He days this to hurt me, which it did but he can only do it once I guess.
      Thank you for all you advice, I love to exercise so I will take your advice and use my diary tine doing that. I confided in my work colleagues and they have been very kind. I do feel sad but I still feel like I want to seat away from him so that’s posit e I guess. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your support xx

    • #134103
      Scared and sad

      Too many typos re written.. Hey Eyesopening, thank you for thinking of me. I did have a tough night, although I managed to sleep. I made the mistake of checking social media last night. He has already changed our status. I’m trying to see this as a positive. In the past it’s something that I’ve been sensitive about. I think he was so quick to do this because for the first time ever I didn’t contact him last night. He did this to hurt me, which it did, but he can only do it once I guess.
      Thank you for all your advice, I love to exercise so I will take your advice and use my spare tine doing that. I confided in my work colleagues and they have been very kind. I do feel sad but I still feel like I want to stay away from him so that is positive I guess. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your support xx

      • #134104

        That’s great news, well done you.
        I deleted all social media to protect myself. Or you can just delete the apps for a while. As I know the pain it will give me to see anything upsetting.
        I feel like in the past, if someone left a relationship it must have been so much easier. Maybe there were letters. But you can easily not open a letter, now there are emails, social media, mobiles, it’s all too much. I want to be totally cut off, it really is healing to be cut off. Then I can start to move on.

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