19th January 2021 at 4:58 pm #120046DropsOfHopeParticipant
So it’s been a good few months since I left my ex and I haven’t looked at posts in this forum for quite some time.
My life has stabilised a lot and I am living with really caring and loving new friends now. The initial shock has worn off and I am stronger. I had thought about him less and less for a few months and focused my mental energy on self care and finally getting my career back on track.
It seems that all of that safety has caused a shift inside of me. All of a sudden this grief is just washing over me. I have been crying a lot these past few days, over all that love I had and all that tenderness and hope for our common future back then. It feels like I am now finally ‘losing’ everything that was lovely in the relationship, and perhaps everything I desperately wanted to be lovely. I had read about what kind of grief to expect but I am still surprised at what is happening now. Just felt like sharing. Is anybody else going through that right now?
I find it quite hard to mention this to friends and family. They seem very comfortable with me being angry or talking about how awful things were, but they cannot seem to wrap their heads around the idea that I still miss and grieve parts of the relationship, that I am not just despising him non-stop.
I wonder how long it’s gonna take to come to terms with the whole picture and all of the complicated emotions.
19th January 2021 at 6:51 pm #120049OceanParticipant
I went through this too. And I felt like I was grieving his death, but he was still alive. Not only did I lose those good memories, but I realised he wasn’t that ‘good’ person. So I grieved the person who never existed.
There is a lot people who never went through an abusive relationship don’t understand.
I’m not sure how long it takes. It’s probably different for everyone.
I still struggle with cognitive dissonance after almost (detail removed by moderator), and after reading numerous books which expose the abuser’s tactics. Also, after all the bad I’ve seen and experienced at his hands.
You are on your journey to recovery. And I’m sure you have grown so much since you got out of that relationship.
Best wishes! Xx
19th January 2021 at 9:23 pm #120053EmpoweredhealingParticipant
This was the most painful part for me too. And like you, it’s something that I was afraid to talk to friends and family about. So I think this grief is really normal and actually very necessary. I found that until I fully experienced and accepted it, I wasn’t able to move forward.
You won’t always cry or feel desperately sad. Give it some time and continue to surround yourself with positive people as you are doing. Continue to educate yourself about the nature of abuse. More understanding will prevent you from believing in a fantasy of a future that wasn’t possible with this person any way.
22nd January 2021 at 10:37 am #120213Dolly2019Participant
I am also going through this and it is by far the hardest part. Even though your rational mind knows you have done the right thing and you can (to an extent) remind yourself of the ugliness of their abuse, you still have searingly painful jolts of nostalgia for the soft, kind, tender moments with them. They weren’t all bad, otherwise we wouldn’t have fallen for them.
It is grief. I still have some of my ex’s clothes stored in a bag in my room. They smell of him. It makes me feel almost physically ill, at the thought of him putting his skin and smell next to another woman, which he is now doing. My mind cannot stay focused because all I can think about is him being intimate with her and making her feel like the most amazing creature on the planet.
It is a grief, because all along you have fallen in love with one part of them, but the other abusive side means there is always a glass wall between you. The abuse prevents true intimacy or hopes for a future. It is stop start stop start and you are in many ways cheated of the very loving parts about them that you miss.
I miss his insistence that we could make it, him showing up day after day, calling and just being here. His presence was constant. He used to say “you’ll miss me when I let go” and he was right. The phone doesn’t ring any more. The door doesn’t knock. He has let go and it is crucifyingly painful. My chest hurts the whole time. I can’t stand to go to the High Street because I will be searching for him and he is no longer searching for me, because he is with another woman now.
There is no grief quite like it. We walk, we end it, but good god does it hurt. Just because we want to be away from the abuse doesn’t stop us loving or desiring those parts of them that can be loving and kind.
The cognitive dissonance is horrendous and most people don’t understand it, you are right.
Have you spoken to anyone at Woman’s Aid? Are you seeing a counsellor at all? CBT might help to change your thought patters.
Keep posting. It does help, both you and others who are in the same boat. XX
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