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    • #12061
      Doglover99
      Participant

      I’ve had so much time to think lately. My son is out a lot of the time, staying with friends overnight too often so it’s just me with my thoughts at the new flat.

      I’m missing my dogs so much which then makes me wonder how they are, is he taking care of them, is he taking them for walks which then leads to thinking about him. I’ve been having CBT counselling lately which encourages you to acknowledge how you’re feeling and why. I caught myself this morning thinking about all the nice things we’d done, holidays together, the good times. I had to stop myself by reminding myself of all the horrible things he did to me and to my son. I actually found myself having a little talk to myself (I was actually talking in the car on the way to work), remembering various incidents in an instant and saying how that wasn’t normal, or that, or that… the list went on. That made me realise once again that I had made the right choice, done the right thing for both me and my son. A lot of his behaviour just wasn’t the behaviour of a normal person, how anyone could do or say some of the things he did. Reminding me of all that made me feel so much better.

      I don’t know why it is still that I wish that I had been able to explain that we were leaving before we went. It’s crazy, I know in my head that we couldn’t have done that but I still feel bad about it. Maybe when I know that he’s getting on with his life, maybe even realising that it’s better this way, then I can let go of the guilty feeling.

      I realised last night that I need to do something for myself. I am going from day to day just existing really. I need to find something pleasurable to do, something to give me personal purpose. There is a women’s crafts evening nearby and I was supposed to go last night to check it out but I just didn’t feel like it and ended up staying at home on my own. It was ok, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t let my life go by without actually living it. If my finances weren’t so dire I could do more but I’m going to have to stop procrastinating and do something every day. I realised also that because I don’t have the dogs any more, I’m not going for my usual daily walks so I’m not getting any exercise. I still feel so tired in the afternoons but maybe I just need a bit of fresh air, something to do, to pull myself out of that rut.

      I started a little mini project yesterday with a little mirror I bought from a jumble sale for Β£1. I started prepping it for painting and found that I really enjoyed that little activity. It totally absorbed me and took me to a different world for a little while.

      Small steps forward and I’ll get there in the end. πŸ™‚

    • #12063
      Suntree
      Participant

      Doglover99 Glad you have found a project that you can absorb yourself in.
      When you are ready, do find a group to join. It might take a few groups to find the one that suits you. It will be worth it.
      Then slowly you will rediscover you and that is a journey very worth while.
      I discovered I like colouring in. Hated it as a child now as a adult it has been a great way to not turn on the TV or the computer and allow my head to settle far better way.

    • #12064
      betterdays
      Participant

      Hi doglover99 I’m kind of the same I keep going over it the good times wanted to be a family as iv (detail removed by moderator) autistic sons so it’s difficult but then I remember what he’s done all the physical in the beginning then the emotional all the swearing making me on edge never could take me out for a drink as he had talked about me. I’m doing freedom programme it’s been a life saver. My boys are mainly isolated I desperately want the whole family thing but sadly he were the wrong guy. He wernt who I thought he were that kills me xx

    • #12065
      missgiddypants
      Participant

      sorry that you miss your dogs ,reverse for me I took them .told him he wasn’t having them ,he saw them after he left ,came round to walk them and control and bully me ,oh and whinge about her ,after the house was sold and I moved he asked if he could have the dogs for the weekend so I said no ,not after what you did to me ,he says oh going back to that are you I said yes why did you threaten me you weren’t going to pay the mortgage ,I was always going to pay the mortgage says he why threaten me or was that his way of making me tow the line just like I had to when I was married to him ,he had to have the last word I havent spoken to him since then ,and X years ago bought myself a little camper so we can go away ,gives me something to focus on ,planning where I am going ,what I am going to eat ,
      enjoy the crafts ,will be nice making little things for yourself x

    • #12067
      mixed-up mum
      Participant

      Hi Doglover – nice to hear how you are doing. πŸ™‚

      I don’t know how I would cope if I was on my own every night. I’m lucky that I have both my teenagers at home still, and they are with me most nights. My son goes to see his dad once a week and my daughter occasionally goes out with friends, but that’s not often.

      My son is on Xbox or his tablet all night, every night and my daughter and me just sit and watch TV every night, but I dont mind really, my daughter and me are so close and I enjoy spending time with her.

      I never have been a person who had much of a social life – I’ve never been in any clubs or organisations – I’m no use in a group situation – I just am so quiet and shy and just can’t join in.

      I’m OK on a one to one situation and I can chat away then, but put me in a group of 2,3 or more and I’m just ‘lost in the crowd’ everyone else takes over and monopolizes the conversation and I may as well not be there, for all I take part in the conversation.

      When I was in my late teens and early 20s I went out with friends, to pubs etc, then I met and married my ex and in the beginning we were happy and all we wanted and needed was each other and we stopped going out – then along came the two kids and I was so devoted to them – I didn’t want to be away from them – and then as they got older – and my exes controlling behaviour became worse I just couldn’t go out and leave him alone with the kids – as if I do by the time I got back he’d have said or done something to make one or both of them cry, and they’d be in there rooms in tears by the time I got home.

      So for the last (detail removed by moderator)+ years I have had no social life whatsoever, and its very hard to start going out now, especially seeing as how I’m so quiet and shy. Unless you are quiet and shy too you wouldn’t understand this. People who are outgoing and confident can never understand how hard it is to mix in social situations.

      I’m not sporty (I can’t swim, no good at any team or individual sport), or arty (can’t draw or paint) or musical, can’t sing, act or dance – don’t have a brain to join evening classes and so what is there for me? Plus I live in a rural area with not much on, and so miles to go to the nearest town where everything is going on.

      You were saying how you started to think of all the good times with your ex – well that wouldn’t bother me – I can’t remember any good times…
      Every holiday we ever had was spoilt with his moods, temper and miserable attitude.
      Even a trip to town for the shopping would end in a row – I vividly remember two occasions where he threw the car keys at me and walked off and left me in the supermarkets – he’d have road rage and shout at other drivers – wind his window down and yell at people – be nasty and ill-mannered to shop assistants, oh yeah even a day in town was an experience with him!!! It very rarely went off without anything happening!!!
      You see HE won’t remember ANY of this – for as far as HE was concerned he was doing nothing wrong!!!
      As you say there behaviour was not that of a normal person – but they themselves could not and will never see THEY did anything wrong……. sad but true…..

      You said how you wish you could have explained to him why you had to leave – but as I say the will never understand for in THEIR eyes THEY did nothing wrong – and so they will never see it from our point of view – abusive, controlling men don’t think they are abusive or controlling – and they will never admit they did wrong…..

      I totally get what you are saying about living day to day and just existing – that’s me too – I never go anywhere or do anything for myself. I just got used to putting the kid’s first always, they have been, and are my life…..but the time will come one day when they will have flown the nest, and I will be alone….

      As you say, I feel my life is passing me by too – I’m not that old yet!! I should be out and about enjoying my new found freedom – and making a life for my self – but I don’t really know where to start – I’ve spent so many years NOT thinking about me, and putting my wants and needs last, that now I don’t know where to begin……

      It’s not easy to find the courage to go out and socialise again after so many years of having NO social life.

      All my friends have smaller kids, and its not easy for them to get out in the evenings with homework to do, and kids to get to bed – so I can’t rely on them for moral support, if I wanted company and a companion to go out with.

      Plus as you say, with money being so tight I really can’t afford to be spending ANYTHING on going out of an evening.

      I too am stuck in a rut, unable to get myself out, I need a confidence boost to get me motivated to do something to help myself…..

      Having said that I’m not actually craving a night out, or yerning to get in to groups or activities – I’m really quite happy watching TV with my daughter every night – but I do know it would be good for me to get out of the house and mix and socialise with other people.

      Oh to have the confidence and the courage to do something for me…..

    • #12076
      Serenity
      Participant

      Mixed-Up Mum,

      Just wanted to say, I was the quietest of three children and my mother is very theatrical, and I think I spent my whole childhood and many adult years thinking I had failed by not being as outgoing as them and that I should change.

      But I was offered an opportunity to use my quieter skills ( can’t say what as too identifiable, but just to say it was in a supportive role to people ) in a role which I now see that other females I. My family might not have the patience for.

      Whilst they might to good at certain things I am not, I now realise that I possess skills they don’t.

      We are all born with different personalities, and though our confidence can be badly damaged by abusive bullies and we need help to overcome this, I don’t think we can all have being loud extraverts as our goal. Imagine the clash in the world!

      Some traits that I felt I should have when growing up, I actually now see as domineering and even abusive. My family has a few female bullies in it.

      I was reading an article once which said that introverts actually make the best managers!

      I think when we find something which really makes us feel alive and ourselves, we can grow in confidence, then we don’t even want to be like anyone else. We are happy with us.

      “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

      Ralph Waldo Emerson x

      • #12164
        Doglover99
        Participant

        It has been interesting reading your replies.

        To you M.U.M., you seem so much like me, it’s uncanny. The difference is I have always worked so maybe that’s why I feel more confident in some ways. I am the same in group situations, I tend to be the quiet one but one to one, I talk and talk. I am sometimes too open about myself, maybe that’s why people have found me an easy target. I had a discussion about this with my counsellor and it is very clear that me (and you M.U.M.) suffer from low self esteem. I am starting to work through this issue which hopefully will help me in the future. She gave me some very interesting information about low self-esteem, a real eye opener to why I act in certain situations.

        I tend to put things off and one of the things that I am conscious of is that sometimes when I’m with people I don’t know, meeting new people, etc. my mind goes completely blank and I can’t think of anything to say. There have been many awkward situations in the past where this has happened. However, now that I’m aware this is due to low self esteem I can work on this and become better. I am an introvert by nature, quite happy in my own company a lot of the time but now that I really am alone, I need to get out there to make some friends so that if I want it, I can have a social life of some sort.

        The good times I had were mostly when it was just him and me. Whenever the kids, esp. my son, was there, something would always annoy him and in the end it just wasn’t worth the hassle going anywhere together. I would go off with the kids and do our own thing, days out and such, and we would have a good time but with him there, no way, he would always spoil it and my son would be the one to be upset.

        I am conscious that my son is nearly an adult and I will soon be on my own so I need to carve a new life for myself. If money was no issue, there’s lots of things I’d like to do, places to see but with my finances so tight I need to think outside the box and settle (for now) for smaller things. I will go to that craft group I didn’t go to earlier this week. It’s a start and you never know, I might even make some new friends. πŸ™‚

        M.U.M. you sell yourself short though, everyone is good at something and it sounds like you’re a brilliant mum for starters. You can find something that you enjoy. You don’t need to be good at it as long as you enjoy it. I’ve got lots of ideas for myself – cookery, relearn a language, sewing and crafts, upholstery, the list goes on. Have a look for yourself and you might find something that looks really interesting to you.

        Now all I need to work on is those conversational skills with strangers. I think the trick is to ask questions and get the conversation going. Strange how I am feeling so positive after everything. Just shows leaving must have been the right thing to do!

        Happy Easter everyone!

    • #12083
      mixed-up mum
      Participant

      Hi Serenity – thanks for your message – I just don’t know how to think of my own wants or needs – I have never put ME first – for years I have been a wife – a devoted mother – a loyal friend and never thought of me – even my work and my clients come before me ,(eg keeping my appointments even when ill) and so I have never put myself first.
      I’ve never wanted to do anything but be a loving mam and be there for my kids – I still do everything for them (most likely way too much!!) but they are my life – and I love them so much.

      But I never knew who I am – I went from being someone’s daughter – to someone’s wife, to someone’s mother – I’ve never actually known who I am…..

      Its just that i feel everybody has more confidence than me – thats part of the reason I stayed with him as long as I did – I didn’t think I could be a single parent.

      Im just not at all comfortable in new situations, and trying new things.

      No one has ever told me I was good at anything – and I don’t think I am I have no talents whatsoever. I don’t possess any worthwhile skills.
      If you knew me you’d know I have accomplished NOTHING in my life…..sad but true….

      Me mam is not as quiet as me – she will speak her mind – but like me she is often the quieter one in a group – my kids are both quiet and lacking confidence too – I had hoped they would be more outgoing than me – but I don’t think they are or will be unfortunately.

      But as you say I am me and that’s who I am – and I doubt if I’ll ever change now…..

    • #12104
      Ayanna
      Participant

      I find this discussion very interesting. I also sit at home when I do not work. Recently I joined a gym and I try to go there once a week. But due to the nature of my job that does not work out yet. I prefer sitting at home after sunset. I am still very anxious about getting attacked.
      Since I fled I have never felt lonely. I feel content when I lock myself into my place and ignore the world outside.
      I can keep myself busy at home with reading books, doing online research or crocheting.
      I have changed a lot since that abusive relationship.

    • #12197
      mixed-up mum
      Participant

      Hi Doglover – thanks for your reply. πŸ™‚

      I worked for and employer up until I had my kids then I became self-employed – so with my clients I can be with a new person for 2-3 hours and I can chat away and find something to say no problem.

      But put me in a group of 3-4 FRIENDS and I’m lost – I hardly utter a word – and these are people I know well – but if THEY are more confident and outgoing then they soon take over the conversation – and I then feel I have nothing worth contributing to the conversation.

      Do you really think anything can be done for you and me that will REALLY change us and boost our self-esteem, and make us more confident??
      I just feel at my age now this is me – this is who I am – and can any counseling really make us change the habits of a lifetime – I think it’s just in my DNA – this is me who I am …..

      I would LOVE to be proved wrong and become an outgoing, confident person – I want that – I really do – but how do you turn a tiny squeaky mouse into a big brave lion…..

      I just do what other people want me to do, or expect me to do, not what I want to do – I don’t like to hurt or offend people – so I just go along with what they want.

      I’m just a nice person and its not in my nature to speak up or say anything that might hurt/offend people. I like to do nice things for people and make them happy and help them if I can – I don’t like trouble – don’t like rows or ill-feeling – but the ting is if you don’t speak up for yourself – nice people get trampled all over and get taken advantage of…….

      That’s why I was open to abuse – he could most likely spot that right away – and he soon took advantage and took control – and I was the good little wifie – and complied with his wishes and did what I was told – I just got to know the things I HAD TO do and the things I knew I COULDN’T do……and that’s how we lived our lives…..for WAY too long…..

      As with you in the end I would try my best to get away on my own without him – that way we could have a nice day out wil no stresses and no tears …..

      So long as my kids are here with me I will be fine fine – but as we both know the time will come when we will be alone and we do need to make a life for ourselves before its too late…..but I just don’t know where or how to begin…..

      I’ve never had a life – not since I married – I’ve never gone out and had fun – or done things with my life – done things for ME – I just don’t know what I want from life……

      I don’t even know what I’m interested in – for I have never ever had any hobbies or interests in my life. I just could never do what you are doing and walk into a craft group – I just always feel like I’m not good enough….

      Its like I know I need to lose weight – but I won’t go to a gym for they are full of fit, toned, trim people (and they’d look and stare, they’d be disgusted at me) – I’m fat and flabby and I’d feel so embarrassed at what I couldn’t do, when they can do everything – I’d just feel dirty, and like I was a second class citizen compared to them – if only gym’s were full of normal people like me – totally unfit!!!

      I’m just scared of messing up – I’m scared of failure – and so I do nothing…….

      I’m not too bad at conversation – I ask questions – lots of questions and I listen – but I just can’t talk.

      I can talk on here cos I’m not actually TALKING – I’m not actually looking at you and having to SAY words – it took me 3 years of emailing my WA support worker before I finally felt able to meet her and talk to her in person – THREE YEARS – that’s how pathetic I am at talking and saying how I feel!!!!!

      Courage that’s what I lack – that and confidence….. you must have a bit more confidence than me before you can walk in to a crafts class knowing no one….. I couldn’t do that…..

      I just can’t handle being pushed from my comfort zone…..

      I wish I had your positive attitude – I just think can’t do that, can’t do this – and so I don’t try – that’s how I’ve lived my life…

      I need confidence, courage, self-belief and a big dose of P.M.A!!!!!

      Good night

      x*x

      • #12203
        mixed-up mum
        Participant

        P.S. Good morning Doglover.

        I’ve just been sat here thinking, and it just feels wrong to be thinking of my own wants/needs – its something I’ve never done before and I just feel guilty about it. – I just feel selfish for wanting to do something for me – its not something I’ve done and it feels wrong……

    • #12201
      Serenity
      Participant

      Dog-lover,

      Just wanted to say that I am amazed how far you have come.

      Yes, any activity that you enjoy that means you get ‘lost in the process’ and stop thinking about the abuse is pure therapy x

    • #12326
      mixed-up mum
      Participant

      Hi Doglover – how you doing?

      I’m been thinking about you this weekend – wondering what you have been doing? Hope you had some company?
      Did your son spend any time with you?

      I’m fighting a loosing battle here trying to get my son to sped more time with me and hid sister – but he’s just not interested.

      His sister is working this weekend, and as I predicted I’ve hardly seen him – in his room headphones on – oblivious to the world going on around him…..

      OK so I know he’s a teenage lad and hes not the least bit interested in spending any time with me – but o just want HIM to WANT to spend time with me – tonight somthing came on TV I thought he’d be interested in – shouted through to him – but he never came – I get so tired of fighting this battle over and over again – I don’t want to force him to spend time with me – I shouldn’t have to MAKE him come through, he should want to.
      I don’t expect him to spend all night, every night with me – but even an hour would be a start – I could enforce this – but that’s defeating the purpose – I want him to choose to be with me.

      Hes seeing his dad tomorrow, going there for lunch, gong to town (to buy a new Xbox game), and then back to dads for tea so be with his father 8-10hrs tomorrow – I’ll be lucky if he spends 3hrs with me IN A WEEK…..

      WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG…..

      It’s me who makes all his meals, washes all his clothes, tidies up his mess, and I get no thanks.

      All I ask for is a bit of love and respect…..

      I hope that you have had a better weekend than me….

      Take care.

      Best wishes.

      M.U.M

      x*x

    • #12361
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Hello and Happy Easter. Serenity, thank you for your kind words. I have surprised myself at how quickly I seem to have settled into my new life.

      M.U.M. It sounds to me that you have been out of the social situations for so long, being at home with your husband and kids, that you have just forgotten how to be you. Our abusers grind us down until our self confidence is gone and we are no longer the person we were. We have been pleasing someone else for so long, always doing something for others, having to behave in a certain way to avoid arguments, putting our kids first that we no longer know how to do things for us. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to do something for yourself!

      I am not naturally outgoing at all. I will never be the life and soul of the party and I wouldn’t want to. I just want to be confident enough to try new things and meet new people. My social circle is so small, I don’t have people locally I can go out with so if I don’t do something about it, I will be on my own. I need to get out there and meet like minded people. You do need to get out of your comfort zone but once you’ve done it once, it gets easier. It’s quite good to think, what is the worst that can happen. I used to get so embarrassed about the silliest things but one thing my husband taught me is not to care what other people think about me. He used to embarrass me in public so many times, nothing can be as bad as that.

      I also try to avoid conflict at all costs. I spent years pleasing other people, I’m a nice, kind person who always puts other people first. That’s what the abusers look for maybe, someone they can control and who better than someone who doesn’t argue back. I certainly changed from a confident woman to a little mouse who couldn’t think for herself any more. It’s only my son’s problems last year with the self-harming that gave me a reality check and made me look at my life.

      The counselling has made me question some of the things I do and why I think in a certain way. I’ve had to really look at myself differently, in a more positive way. I don’t know what I want out of life but I do want to live my life and not let it slip past. I wasted too many years with my abuser when I could have been living a better life.

      I wouldn’t worry about your son too much. At least he is at home! He’s obviously very comfortable at home and that’s a good thing. Mine goes out so much. BUT, an interesting observation from a friend the other day, she said that it looks like me and my son have a very good relationship from the way we were interacting. He may come and go but he knows I’m here for him. It’s the little moments of gratitude and love that make it all worthwhile. He still tells he loves me every day and I do treasure that.

      My son needs his friends at the moment. He’s refused counselling but he talks to his friends about his feelings. It’s an outlet for him. He too doesn’t really want to do things with me that much but that’s a teenage thing. Did you do things with your parents at that age? I know I didn’t.

      I’ve had a good weekend so far. My son was here for some of it. A friend came over the other day and another one is coming tomorrow. I’ve done bits and pieces in the flat. I even forced myself to go out for a walk earlier and actually felt quite pleased with myself afterwards. Another night on my own, son has decided to stay at his friend’s again, but that’s ok. Thank goodness for recordable TV, that’s all I can say. I’ve watched so many films over the last few weeks and strangely the romantic comedies have been a real tonic. I still feel hopeful for the future.

      In fact, I don’t quite know why and how I am feeling so positive about the future. Money is worrying but even that doesn’t seem to dampen my spirit. All I can say is that there most definitely is life after abuse! πŸ™‚

    • #12366
      mixed-up mum
      Participant

      Hi Doglover – and thank you so much for your reply – great to hear from you.

      You are doing so well, you seem so happy, and settled, and in control of your own life. You actually seem really confident at the moment and you seem ‘at peace’ with things – I’m SO PLEASED for you. πŸ™‚

      My ex and me had no social life – he had no friends – I had friends but he didn’t like my friends, and the husbands/partners of my friends didn’t like my ex – so there was never any going out with other couples – we lived 5mins walk from the pub for more than two decades – and not once did my ex and me ever go for a drink or a meal together or with friends.

      And yes you are quite right, I am not the person I was when I met and married my ex. He took away that person I once was and I’m not sure if I can find her again.

      Sorry I have to go just now – but I’ll be back later – good to chat to you – and thanks again, πŸ™‚

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