28th March 2018 at 2:17 pm #56455
I know that it is very difficult maintaining hobbies whilst in a relationship with an abuser, I remember my ex putting on a violent computer game and glaring at me before shouting angrily when I dared to get one of my hobbies out at his house which communicated to me that I was to give him my full attention. He also hated it if I sang and gave me an angry sideways glare rather than saying I had a nice voice like most people tell me. As a result I stopped singing and greatly reduced the amount of time spent on any hobbies which used to bring me a lot of joy.
Since ending things I have been slowly picking my hobbies back up. I was looking for some local groups to try and found one that was for knitting and crochet. I don’t know how to knit but years ago learnt basic crochet. The night before the group I went on youtube and relearnt the basic granny square technique and proudly brought it along to the group! They were all experts but it felt good to join in and since then I have been crocheting every day and have just got myself some pretty coloured yarn from the local market to make a blanket. I am calling it my Hope Blanket and it is going to represent my growth away from my ex towards myself and a better life.
I also love gardening and last week sowed sunflowers, tomatoes, chammomile, honesty, sage and courgettes. It will be tricky growing them without a greenhouse but I am having a go and love the idea of a beautiful flower and vegetable filled yard this summer (if I can keep the slugs at bay).
My ex was a very boring man, I often wondered what he had done with his life as all he seemed to have done was work and do a couple of boring sports. He didn’t have any friends connected to these hobbies and he never said anything much about them, and he had never volunteered in his whole life either. I am pretty sure now that his main hobby is going online trolling women and looking for new victims. I remember thinking that I couldn’t learn anything from him, and felt disappointed about that.
Anyway I thought I’d start a thread where we could share which hobbies we find helpful in dealing with and healing from abuse in a non-identifying way. I find that whenever I garden or crochet, it gives my brain a chance to take a rest and slow down, they have been really helpful in dealing with PTSD symptoms so wanted to share this with others as I know how awful it can be having those thoughts going round and round your head.
28th March 2018 at 4:20 pm #56457AyannaParticipant
I bought colouring books and pencils.
When I find the time I will colour away with fairy and unicorn themes, lol.
I have a garden, but I do not feel like doing anything there. I do not know why.
29th March 2018 at 5:51 pm #56494
Hi Ayanna thanks for your reply, I forget about colouring books, yes they can be so helpful and meditative. You can never have enough fairies and unicorns! Anything that helps our brains heal is always good and these simple often repetetive creative tasks seem to be excellent at doing that. I am looking forward to doing some of my creative hobbies this evening, and have been carrying my crochet and yarn around with me which has been great to do some when I am out and about.
Just go with how you feel about your garden, I’m sure if you wanted to garden you would start getting the vibe to do it again.
29th March 2018 at 7:24 pm #56495maddogParticipant
I am learning a musical instrument. I find often that although it is a wind instrument that I can’t breathe. I love my lessons and I love playing in the band. It’s very hard with all the other stuff going on. I need to make a noise! I have remained silent for so long.
7th April 2018 at 12:25 pm #56837
This sounds great Maddog especially as I understand you are still living with your husband. Keep making noise!
30th March 2018 at 12:25 pm #56515cupofcoffeeParticipant
Love this post, my ex was also really boring, did not have any hobbies or sports and when I did something I enjoyed, like painting or crochet he complained so it was easier to not to do it around him, like it was a big secret to keep a hobby! I think it was because I was not spending time cleaning the house instead.
Now I spend time on my hobbies and don’t feel guilty, it calms me and is good for my mental health, but your post has inspired me to do more, learn more, so thanks for that!
7th April 2018 at 12:28 pm #56838
I can relate to that Cupofcoffee, I wasn’t living with my abuser but he had started to ‘joke’ about how he would like it if I did all of his washing and cleaning, and was clearly irritable when I suggested we cook a meal together – apparently I was expected to cook for him while he sat on my sofa texting other women! (Still makes me angry thinking about it, I am SO glad I gave him the boot, how dare he think he can treat ANYONE like that).
So glad you have rediscovered your hobbies and they are helping.
30th March 2018 at 1:37 pm #56518iwillbeokParticipant
Thanks for this inspiring post! I often get a pull to do my hobbies but it’s like there is a wall there, where I just can’t bring myself to bring all the equipment out. This could be as simple as pulling out my knitting bag – hardly what you’d call much in the way of equipment. My sewing machine hasn’t seen the light of day for years! I think this comes from never feeling like I could start a project for fear of suddenly being told we were going out. If we didn’t go out for the day on a weekend it was very rare. And when we did, if was working on the car for example, I had to be ready and waiting, to be at his beck and call to fetch and carry tools or whatever other random item he needed. I remember one time he got very irate that I didn’t own a hairdryer!
I think this also comes from the guilt of ‘how could I possibly sit down to do something for me when there is so much other stuff to do – housework, paperwork, etc’.
Decades ago, I liked the idea of learning an instrument. He put me off. Saying I’d left it too late to learn (I was a very young adult!!). I am now inspired to have a look into it – have even looked up tutors in my area and what the cost of a used instrument might be! So thanks for this!!
30th March 2018 at 8:26 pm #56526AnabelaParticipant
Reading. I used to love it but then stopped being able to concentrate. Around the time i moved out of his place while still carried on with relationship i picked that hobby up again.
Going to the movies. There is a movie festival and i already seen 5 movies 😊 i used to love going to the cinema but havent been there for those years while i lived in uk.
Dance classes. Just around the time we broke up i started belly dance and solo latino. I always used to love to dance.
I used to love baking but i havent picked this one up yet.. i hope i will at some point.
2nd April 2018 at 1:21 pm #56620HopeLifeJoyParticipant
Traveling. Discovering new places, I find it very exiting. Cooking. He used to criticize what I cooked. Which at the beginning he used to compliment for. Doing outdoors things. Swimming. Hmm..I don’t do much anymore. I can’t believe that I am free to do whatever I want. I am a little scared to enjoy myself. Just for me, not for someone else. It’s new. Now I am day dreaming of which places I’d like to visit, isn’t that great haha!! Freedooommmm!!!!
3rd April 2018 at 12:19 am #56651SunshineParticipant
I think it’s great we are managing to rediscover what we once loved (something for us) although mine isn’t a hobby. I love the fact I can now buy and have nice items around my home that wouldn’t be smashed. Whether it’s a photo frame or vase my house is finally filling up with items that mean something to me 🙂
6th April 2018 at 9:58 pm #56823indunnParticipant
Thank you for posting this, it’s encouraged me to start my long abandoned hobbies, I too abandoned my interests as any joy was sucked out by criticism followed up by intimidation. Actually, it was the ‘lecture’ on my spending more time at the weekend making our grand-daughter’s (Detail removed by moderator) than I had spent with him, watching him watch tv that signalled the beginning of the end. Anyway – looking forward – I hadn’t given that a thought so thank you I’m off to the loft to rummaged through boxes 🙂
6th April 2018 at 10:52 pm #56827
This was lovely to read Indunn, rummage away and let us know what goodies you find! I have been crocheting and gardening and painting too. I plan to get out my sewing machine again too and alter some clothes and maybe make some simple pieces which is always so enjoyable knowing you’ve created something yourself.
What you said about ‘watching him watch tv’ struck a chord with me, it was the exact same with my ex. He would send me these ‘sweet’ messages saying he couldn’t wait to see me, so I’d get dressed up and go round to his and he would be really blasé when I got there, sat on the sofa watching some rubbish tv programme whilst eating a pizza! I used to spend my evenings on my hobby and I remember thinking it was depressing that I was now just sat at his watching him eat pizza and watch tv. When I said that I wasn’t keen on the programme he always watched he glared at me, silently, with absolute rage so I knew never to say anything about it again and always had to watch this awful programme. I haven’t watched it since, in fact I don’t even own a tv now which is much more peaceful, more time for hobbies.
7th April 2018 at 8:33 am #56833AirBlueParticipant
What a lovely post.
My ex was exactly the same. He would tell me that he liked that I had hobbies and that he wanted me to enjoy them, but, whenever I would try picking one up, he would hover over me or demand my attention.
Reading has been a big hobby that I’ve been able to get back into. I couldn’t just sit and enjoy a book with my ex. We always had to discuss what I was reading and he would always put my opinions down and make me feel incredibly stupid. As the relationship got worse, I found it harder and harder to focus on anything, so my only hobby then was sleeping. I’ve been so grateful to get back into my books.
I’ve found socialising to be incredibly liberating too. I never really got the chance to see my friends while I was with him, so being able to go out for drinks or for coffee and just be with people has been incredible.
I’m loving the creative hobbies people have. I’ve considered taking up cross-stitch. I used to do it when I was younger and really enjoyed it.
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