22nd July 2019 at 10:18 pm #83938FulmarParticipant
Today I nearly had a panic attack in (detail removed by moderator) in the supermarket because a friend’s boyfriend came up to me and said hi and the first thing I thought, before I realised who it was, was ‘oh god he’s found me’. That’s not normal is it?
My relationship fell apart a little while ago but its all still a bit raw, because not only am I dealing with all the break up rubbish, I am dealing with the fairly frightening realisation that so much of this long term relationship I’d been pouring everything in to was not okay. I don’t even know if it was abuse or if I’m just overreacting. I remember being so happy and secure but there were little things that niggled, like being pressured into sex and his complete inability to ever say sorry or accept responsibility…for the whole time I don’t think he ever apologised to me for anything, it was always my fault because I was selfish and heartless and useless. Things got worse over the years, I guess because he knew he had control. I was too scared to end it, and too scared and ashamed to talk to anyone, I didn’t think I had any right to ask for help, because I didn’t think it was bad enough, I felt a bit of a fraud I suppose, because he never hurt me physically and really it would probably have been okay if I wasn’t so selfish.
But the most scared I rememberer being though was sitting trapped in his car for (detail removed by moderator) on a drive while he yelled awful things at me…I was a heartless monster and an emotionless rock and I was destroying his life (yes, the irony gets me now) because I didn’t know how to talk to him. But I was scared to talk to him because he always just turned it back on me and made me feel that what I was feeling was invalid or unjustified. By the end I was panicking over tiny decisions unless I had his total approval, and even then, because whatever decision I made would get thrown back in my face maybe a day later, a week, months, a year..but it always did get used against me. It felt like I was on eggshells all the time. Going out with my friends, talking to other guys, wanting to spend time with my family and not answer my phone would end in a big fight…which meant him yelling at me and me dissolving in to tears and apologising and apologising whilst he told me that wasn’t good enough and he didn’t know what I could do to fix it. It sounds crazy now to say it out loud. And I know it wasn’t okay but I was too anxious to tell anyone because I knew they’d say ‘leave him’ and I couldn’t. Once I considered taking my own life because it felt like that was going to be the only way out.
In the end he walked away, which was kind of a relief more than anything because I wasn’t strong enough to end it. I feel like I can breathe for the first time in years. I can hang out with my friends without panicking or feeling guilty. But I’m feeling so many things its just overwhelming, there are days I want to stay under the bedcovers and never come out again. I’ve asked for help but there are long waiting lists. And the GP just says “we could try antidepressants”. I’m anxious all the time, and panicking when my phone buzzes. But I feel guilty too, like what if it is all my fault and I am a heartless monster who just wasn’t trying hard enough? I don’t sleep well because I have bad dreams. And I am isolated. I moved a long way away from home for him. I know he knows where I am, though hopefully I’m moving soon, I don’t think he’d hurt me but he’s unpredictable. I feel very alone and very confused and no one really understands.
Sorry…long stream of consciousness
22nd July 2019 at 11:49 pm #83945BeautyMarkedParticipant
I just want to reassure you that what you describe from your first paragraph to your last sounds absolutely normal to me.
These people hurt us so deeply that they do make us jittery (I can remember looking over my shoulder constantly when walking where he might be – and even where he might not be). They’ve subjected us to such harm and caused us to be so downtrodden that it’s natural to feel ‘on edge’.
You’re not overreacting. It’s not right to pressure anyone to do anything, least of all something so intimate as sex. His inability to apologise and take responsibility is typical. If he could you wouldn’t be here. They want us to feel responsible. It’s part of the gaslighting. They want you to doubt and wonder if it is you when you KNOW for a fact that it’s not. We make excuses for them and think it’s not that bad. They minimise us so we end up minimising ourselves. The more I think about these common abuse tactics the more sick I think it is. I don’t know how these types of people know to use these tactics. I have no idea if it’s conscious. All that I know is that there is a pattern with certain types of people that all the ladies on this board are sadly witness too. It’s no overreaction when you are sharing in a common experience in many ways. So I hope you know you don’t have to feel alone. Nothing that you have described about the way you felt or acted sounds crazy at all. They make us all feel this way. It is only when you come to a community such as this that you realise you are not crazy. Anyone who makes you feel you are does not understand. Sometimes you can make people understand and sometimes you can’t. But here you will always be understood.
It’s understandable that you are feeling anxious and wanting to shut yourself away at times. Keep going to the GP for help. Try to access some counselling if you can (Women’s Aid might be able to signpost you to some organisations that don’t have such long waiting lists). Keep asking for help. There’s no shame in it.
Guilt is a very common thing to feel it seems, but you are NOT at fault. You put up with so much. More than this person deserved. It’s awful when you don’t feel safe – even in your sleep. Perhaps you could even be suffering from PTSD? Just keep seeking the support from your GP. I’ve had to go back and back and back. I even apologised to the doctor but he was great and said that was what he was there for. Once you find a good GP, they will give you the support you need I’m sure. I hope you can move away soon, and get back to being with your friends and family. People in my experience don’t always understand. We have to be educators too on top of everything else! Sometimes you can succeed and sometimes not. My best friend who was very supportive got to the stage where she was exasperated with me. Things really came to a head as it was isolating and maddening that no one around me understood. Now she does, but they will never fully know. Before abuse I would be able to sympathise but I never KNEW. It’s only now that I can truly empathise in a way that I never hoped to have to.
This is a good place to be. I’ve made a fool of myself of this board but everyone is so kind and non-judgemental. Everyone really cares and just wants to to get through it and come out better and stronger x
23rd July 2019 at 12:57 am #83952FudgecakeParticipant
Hi and welcome to the forum 🙂
What you describe in your post is par for the course I’m afraid. Even though I’ve been gone a while now I still spend most of my time in my bed. It’s like my safe place. I have started eating again and I’m even watching a bit of tv now too. I was like a zombie in the early months.
Eventually the extremes of emotions will ease off but I’m afraid you’re going to be up and down for a few months. Then it will settle but triggers will set you back so take care of yourself a nd take things slow.
If you do move out of the area it will give you some piece of mind but keep no contact as it’s the only way to truly break free.
23rd July 2019 at 7:37 am #83956BrighterdaysaheadParticipant
So much of your message could have been written by me. As BeautyMarked alludes to, it’s pretty weird that these kinds of people seem to have all read the same script.
Please know that you are not alone. We are all here for you and we understand. We are your new soul sisters!
It breaks my heart that you contemplated suicide as a way to escape, but I understand. Do you think you would have felt that way in a happy, healthy relationship where you felt loved and safe?
Please keep trying to access counselling with a practitioner who has experience with domestic abuse survivors. You are not being troublesome or a burden by asking for this. I know it’s hard to have to keep pushing when you feel you have no strength left but I really feel it would be an important part of your future and you are worthy and deserving of help.
You sound like a beautiful, kind and caring person. Keep posting. We are here for you x*x
24th July 2019 at 8:40 pm #84140FulmarParticipant
Thank you all for your kind words, it means so much to read these, to know that there are others who get it. It’s been a wobbly couple of days but I do feel relieved to have spoken about it and to know that you understand. I know just have to keep on asking for help and trust that it will eventually get better and I will eventually be able to stop obsessively checking car number plates…
That feels a long way away right now x
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