• This topic has 9 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Lyng.
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    • #41432
      Lyng
      Participant

      My name is [detail removed by moderator]. I feel more comfortable writing about my life with my abuser in the third person. This is the thing I feel the worst about in my [detail removed by moderator] years with my ex. Thank you for reading.

      She put it away for a long time. Now she feels she has to write some of it down again. There is one time in particular, in her past relationship, of which she is most ashamed. There were the many, many fights. The times that her ex has now convinced her children were equally her fault. The times he broke the doors, and smashed holes in the walls. The times he had her naked, crying, and whimpering on the floor. The kids should have never seen or heard any of that. But for some reason, most of it they don’t remember clearly, and have come to accept his re-telling of events as fact. For now, there isn’t much she can do about that, because, they are too young. Instead, she mostly just says things didn’t happen quite that way. Except when she is angry, and she still tries her best not to break down and let it all out. There is no right way to deal with this mess, she has discovered, but there certainly are some ways that are better than others.

      The memory that has been bothering her is the one time she let her ex bully her into mistreating her eldest daughter. The youngest was very young at the time — less than two years. The eldest was sick, and throwing up at home. She was taking care of her.

      Her husband was pacing. “I have to go to [detail removed by moderator] to get some medicine.”

      She bristled instantly. Pot. Her whole life was ruled by it. Her husband’s incessant need. “Can’t you see she’s sick? We can’t take her in the car. Why don’t you walk?”

      Her husband ignored her. Instead, he got down on his knees and talked directly to their daughter. “Don’t you want to go for a car ride baby?” Trying to sucker her in. Of course, their daughter wanted to please daddy. She nodded.

      Against her better judgment, but afraid to start a fight, she fought back tears as she packed up the two kids to go on a drug run, while her husband belittled her.

      “It’ll be good for her, fresh air,” he said.

      There was nothing good about that car ride. It was cold. She herself was nauseous and angry. Her poor daughter began throwing up in a bag. Her younger daughter was crying. She pleaded with her husband to just go home. But he was determined. He needed pot and didn’t have a driver’s licence. She did not have the strength to say no to him. She was deeply ashamed. She felt like the most incompetent mother in the world. She hated herself more than her husband in that moment.

      Did her husband feel guilty? Who knows? She came to believe he was a psychopath, so likely not. When they got back to the house, and her daughter was safely tucked in bed, she vowed never to do anything like that again. And she never did, despite the fact that it took almost [detail removed by moderator] years past that incident to finally end her miserable marriage. From that point on, every time things got bad, she whisked the girls away and took them to dinner, to her mom’s, to the library, to the park. Anywhere but with him. Later, he would twist those defensive behaviours into something sinister. Her plot to destroy their perfect family.

      She need only think back to that car ride to know she was doing the right thing in keeping the kids sheltered from his endless sickness, mood swings, and irrational, irresponsible drug addict behaviour.

      “Please baby, you’re okay, daddy won’t be long …”

      Till death do us part? F**k that. Till you manipulate me into doing something I would never do in a million years, just for your selfish needs

    • #41441
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hi Lyng

      Welcome to the Forum, thank you for sharing your story.

      You have done so well to get yourself and your children away from your ex, and now you are safe it is very normal to reflect on the abuse. The incident you describe may bring you shame but to look at it another way, you knew what would happen if you did not do what he wanted that night, so as many women and mothers do, you risk assess, and at that time taking the children in the car was probably the safest thing for you to do so his behaviour did not escalate. I know it is easy to say but try not to feel shame over these times, because you sound like a great mother and you have done the best thing for your children by taking them out of that abusive environment.

      It is good to talk about these experiences, and this is a safe place to do that.

      Take care and keep posting

      Lisa

    • #41466
      Suntree
      Participant

      I have some situations where he hurt the children and managed to turn it around as though it was my fault or they were okay and I was causing issues where there where none.
      When we split up the abuse on the kids became worse and I was powerless because I had to do what the professionals thought was best.
      I would beat myself up because I could protect them even less.
      I knew if I had left when I first wanted to they wouldn’t have gone through the pain they did.
      There is a long way to go, but we are all slowly healing from him. Though I am sure that he will be like a bad penny when he needs to hurt someone else again or look like a wonderful person to someone who doesn’t know who he is yet.
      I am slowly forgiving myself and I am grateful I did get out when I did for not to would have been even worse.

      The one thing I have worked hard on is staying in the house for we too would have to leave a lot and spend hours in the park or the car to keep away from the house and not to upset him.Now our house is a safe home.

      • #41501
        Lyng
        Participant

        Thanks to everyone. My counselor tells me not to feel guilty. It’s tough. I suppose it will get better.

    • #41476
      lover of no contact
      Participant

      Welcome Lyng to the Forum,

      I can relate to your experience and its true what Lisa says we do the best we can in a very difficult situation. We do the best we can at the time to keep ourselves and our children safe from a dangerous person-our intimate partner.

      I had this mistaken belief that I shouldn’t go against my husband (an abuser,but I didn’t know it at the time) in front of the children that it would undermine our parenting. This noble belief if I had a normal partner would be good but not when you’re married to an abuser. But I didn’t know he was an abuser then.

      So many incidents where I kept quiet and I should have stood up for my young child. But I was confused and thought him shouting at her not to come into our bed when she was frightened and only (detail removed by moderator) years of age (even though every fibre of my being wanted her to come into our bed) was because he had a short fuse. I didn’t want to go against him.

      Another time he was goading her when she was a pre-teen and she reacted and he put her out of the car on a lonely road in a foreign country and drove away (with myself and the other children in the car with him) and left her there crying on her own. I was so angry and annoyed but I stayed silent, did nothing until we got back to the place we were staying then immediately drove to collect her. I beat myself up about that for a long time.

      Another time he was shouting at my daughter when she was a teenager, screaming at her and I rationalized it to myself that it would be better not to get involved, that it would make a bad situation worse, so I stayed silent out of fear and watched her leave the house in tears on her own after being shouted and screamed at. I didn’t even go to comfort HER because I thought that would undermine him and be disloyal to him.

      It was only as I came further out of my denial that I was able to let go of that misguided loyalty for my then husband (who was really my and my children’s abuser).

      When I was a teenager my abuser-mother was screaming and ranting and raving at my father. My brother joined her. I felt so angry and wanted to scream and shout at them to stop. to leave him alone. But I stood there, I stayed silent out of fear. I knew it would have made the situation escalate. But I regret it to this day that I didn’t stand up for my father. But then he too didn’t stand up for himself. He stayed silent, hoping they would stop and things wouldn’t escalate.

      Lisa’s response is very helpful, I too will take it on board. We risk assessed at the time and then did the safest thing.

    • #41477
      Serenity
      Participant

      Hi Lyng,

      It’s easy to look back in hindsight and say that you wish you hadn’t done certain things.

      The truth is that when we are in the midst of an abusive relationship, we have become so mentally and emotionally exhausted that we are in survival mode. We can’t see the bigger picture: all we can do is live moment by moment, trying to placate the abuser for fear of worse things happening. Fear is what rules us, plus we are in a way being protective, because we know that if we say ‘no’ to the abuser he could do worse to us and our children.

      Add to this the fact that abusers gaslight us. Over time, they have managed to confuse and impair our judgement by denying fault and projecting blame onto us, plus they are very skilful at manipulating and coercing people to do things their way.

      It’s only when we look back, when we are out of the relationship, that we can see it for what it was. Then we feel tremendous guilt, because everything that happens is brought into sharp focus in a series of flashbacks, and we hate ourselves for allowing certain things to happen.

      But the fact is, at the time, we didn’t have that clarity. We were told our judgement was wrong, that we were wrong, delusional, and we were desperately trying to keep some semblance of normality for the children. The alternative, to us, seemed worse.

      Every day in the papers you hear about victims of domestic abuse. Even if he didn’t overtly threaten to injure or kill you, I know that like with me, the psychological threat was always there of him getting tipped over the edge. And pot can make people even more temperamental, so I can imagine your inherent fear.

      Before I had children with my ex, I worked in a job which sometimes involved transporting children. My ex even by then had made me feel that she was in charge and that I had to ask his permission for anything. The warm air/ heating in my car was broken, and – probably because it wasn’t the car he normally used- he would allow us to spend money fixing it ( he kept saying his mate was going to fix it, bit that never happened- he just didn’t wasn’t to pay). One night, I was called out to transport a young baby. It was an unusually cold and icy night, and the car was freezing. I will never forget my guilt at transporting his little baby in such a cold car. But at the time, my going against him and getting the car fixed would have meentvthwt he would have exploded into a destructive rage. I know this now, because when I stood up to him in later years, often about the children, he was explosive. He went from smashing plates and punching doors in the early days to a much more complex and calculatedly meted out reign of terror, to punish me for all the times I had stood up to him, I am sure.

      The important thing is that you show yourself compassion. I am sure, like me, all your energy was being spent on trying to keep the peace as much as possible and to minimise the potential damage. You did your best in those moments. There were other threats and potential risks at play.

      The fact you feel such shame shows what a good person you are. I have lain awake at times in the past couple of years, filled with such intense shame for allowing certain things to happen. My kids saw me in a desperate state too- weeping and shaking. These abusers don’t get kept awake at night by feelings of guilt, because they haven’t got a conscience.

      My ex uses pot too, and it increased in the last years; becore that, it was cigarettes, and the temper that he’d have when he had a craving was awful. I can well imagine how it must have been for you.

      • #41503
        Lyng
        Participant

        Thanks for your kindness

    • #41502
      Lyng
      Participant

      Thank you for your words.

    • #41529
      Confused123
      Participant

      hey hun

      think serentiy has worded perfectly what i would of said , when we are with them they make us feel helpless and dillued , its only when we are out we can reflect on the danger they put us and our children in. Alot of us when we leave feel guilt for what our kids suffered and witness, sad truth is we did everything we possiblt could to protect our kids and ourselves without putting our lives at risk. This is what ate me up too the guilt of what the children went through too, u have to live with someone who has an addiciton to achohol or drugs to know how they can flip b4 and after . You are out now, take small baby steps to recover

    • #41587
      Lyng
      Participant

      Thank you so much. Like many I have my ups and downs. Worried about my kids and how they are with me. Very hurtful. My daughter admitted she purposely says mean things to hurt. Unlike many who worry their kids will be abused, I often think my girls will abuse their partners. They use many of the phrases and tactics on me that he did, the fallout of a system that believes no matter how a spouse acts he should have full access to his kids. We are all enrolled in counseling. I hope it helps.

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