20th June 2021 at 11:14 pm #127464
I’m really struggling right now. I’m feeling tearful all of the time and having to try hard not to cry due to work/not wanting to cry around him. I feel so anxious and confused, I’m avoiding speaking to family and the few friends I have.
Does anyone have any recommendations on how to stop getting upset over the ‘nice’ him?
When I’m not concentrating on something, I’m thinking back to all the fun we’ve had, the laughs, the great conversations, memories shared interests etc and just crumble inside.
How do I accept reality? How do I accept that I’ve been living a fake life (partly my own fault for burying my head in the sand and choosing to ignore the awful things he’s said or done) for years?
It is so upsetting and I feel like I’m being petulant for not just doing what I know needs to be done (leaving him) and facing the mess I’ve made of my life so far! Everyone has to go through some form of pain in life but I don’t seem to be able to cope with facing up to that.
On top of this, I can’t shake feeling so sorry for him. I mean, he can’t even cope with life being with me, so how is he going to cope without me? I know he’s not my responsibility but I can’t just not care.
Sorry for negative rant but I’m struggling and feel so alone. I’ve no idea how I’m going to move forward.
21st June 2021 at 10:22 am #127479HawthornParticipant
Im so sorry things are so difficult for you GT. It takes so much energy to push down our feelings. It’s exhausting, and depressing our emotions makes us feel so depressed and hopeless. Can you find some space to have a good cry? To really connect with your own grief and trauma? It’s very healing to just allow yourself to feel the pain you’re holding back, the only way to feel different is to allow the feeling to flow through you. Could you get away for afew days, or even afew hours to get a break from the stresses of him and work?
While you blame yourself for enduring the abuse, you are taking on your abusers responsibility for perpetrating it. You are the victim here, not him. If he had not been abusive you would not want to escape the relationship. But he IS abusive. While it’s not helpful to live our lives as a victim, it is helpful to take on that label, at least for a time. The abuse has been done to you. It is not your fault you didn’t recognize it, or now, after years of abuse and having your self esteem and sense of self eroded, are struggling to escape.
Rather than feeling sorry for him, try to connect with feeling sorry for yourself, for all you have endured. He chose to abuse you, you did not choose to be abused. Self compassion is acknowledging all you have suffered, and are suffering. No one could, or should, take your good memories away, but try to ground yourself in the present. The past is the past, and we can’t predict the future, but right now, in this moment, you are so miserable you are struggling to hold back the tears to get through your day. You do not deserve to live like that. No one does.
Choose yourself. You don’t need to accept everything that he has done or what the nature of your relationship has been over the years. Simply accepting that right now you are sad and anxious, and that it is because of him and this relationship, is enough. It is his voice in your head that’s telling you his wellbeing and need for you is more important than your wellbeing and mental health. It is not. This relationship is having a terribly effect on your mental health, your quality of life and your wellbeing. You can’t save or fix him, but you can save yourself. Reach out for support; here, your GP, your friends. You need and deserve it xx
21st June 2021 at 2:06 pm #127497foxsbiscuitsParticipant
I’d like to add on to Hawthorn’s response.
First with regards to this bit:
“How do I accept reality? How do I accept that I’ve been living a fake life (partly my own fault for burying my head in the sand and choosing to ignore the awful things he’s said or done) for years?
It is so upsetting and I feel like I’m being petulant for not just doing what I know needs to be done (leaving him) and facing the mess I’ve made of my life so far!”
Why do you think this is your fault? It is not. I don’t have the details of your abuse but I can say this: none of it is your fault, you only feel this way because you are a victim. It is not your fault, but the person you are right now, is certainly your responsibility. It is not your fault what your life have become, but it is your responsibility.
The reality you need to accept it that you are a victim.
It is also something that you’ll truly be able to realise once you’re out of this relationship and with some time (without him!!).
Second, don’t apologise for needing and seeking help!!! It is really brave of you and you can be proud of yourself (at least I am). Thank you for coming on here and sharing your story. Similarly, don’t be scared to reach out to your friends (the real ones that are supportive, don’t sabotage yourself going to emotionally unavailable people).
Additionally, you say you have no idea how you’re going to move forward but you do. You say in your post that you know you must leave him. You know where you have to go, It’s not easy but you have a direction. See, you’re a smart cookie, it’s just really tough, but try to trust in yourself!
Lastly, you’re not his mother. My advice would be to educate yourself on feminism (that should feel empowering), and more specifically on the part that says women are independent human beings that should not be raised to take care of incapable baby men. You’re not more of a rehabilitation center than you are his mom.
All the best.
21st June 2021 at 3:00 pm #127500nbumblebeeParticipant
Hi, I am not sure how much help this will be im not doing so well myself and the other ladies really do have so much more advice to give than I ever could. I know and understand how you feel i feel it too. I self harm as I blame myself especially when things are good and i cant be happy as im always on egg shells like many of us waiting for him to tip. I am seeing a counsellor its very early days but she is teaching me that this is his problem not mine. He is the bad guy so to speak not me. I cant see myself leaving either and that makes me angry as I know I should. My advice is to reach out ask for some help someone you can talk to who can help you see how this is not your fault its not easy babe its really not but it isnt any harder than living this life and if theres a small chance it can help make this life better make you stronger then you owe it to yourself to grab that. Reach out theres help out there.
Sending you big hugs x*x
21st June 2021 at 6:23 pm #127510CatjamParticipant
Hi, I totally relate to all you have said. I didn’t leave because of the good times, he was being so nice and I knew the responsibility of taking him would fall on my 2 oldest girls. But I left and I still question if I was right especially given the impact on my relationship with my kids. But I come to my new home and I feel ok. Its not great, insomnia and panic attacks are still occurring as are the feelings of guilt.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, its going to be the hardest thing you will ever do but it’s so worth it. I’m now learning who I am. I met him so young and my entire life has been about taking care of him and for the first time in decades its just about me. I don’t wait for the slam of the door to know what mood he is in, or worry when he starts doing his sigh, leg punching thing, a sign he was annoyed about something. Sometimes I found out others he would just does this for days.
I miss him and the life we had but it was a life built on lies and falseness. I don’t know whether I did certain things because I genuinely wanted to or because he twisted and manipulated me to do them.
I’m scared for the future as I haven’t told him yet I’m not ever going back but I’m also planning my first ever weekend away with my big sister. Abroad!! Something I would never have dreamed would happen at the beginning of the year.
You will get there and with the help and support from this forum I’m sure one day you will find the strength to finally put you first. Take care xx
22nd June 2021 at 1:57 pm #127544ISOPeaceParticipant
Hey Catjam, I’ve read a lot of your posts and I know you’ve found it hard being away from your ex. It’s really lovely to hear the upside of you having left and your new found freedom! Thank you for sharing and well done for staying strong. Someone on here said we should all pat ourselves on the back every day for having left. I agree. I also think those who haven’t left yet should pat themselves on the back for getting through each day. xxxx
22nd June 2021 at 6:50 pm #127554CatjamParticipant
I totally agree, we all need to be kind to ourselves. No-one really understands what we go through on a daily basis. I think once I started learning I was living in an emotionally abusive relationship life became so much harder because I started to question the good times as well as the bad.
We all need to be proud of our strength, we are not weak for staying. We are fighting every day to survive and I honestly think we are so much stronger than our abuser. We see the goodness in people. We don’t let them completely wipe out our core beliefs, we might think they do but if you did deep it’s still there.
I always try to see the best in people and I would like to think I treat people fairly. I also believe that for every act of kindness we receive we should pay it forward to the next person in crisis or down on their luck.
We all need to be proud of the tiny steps we take to regaining control, even if it’s just taking 5 minutes on your own to remind yourself you are worth fighting for.
Take care xx
26th June 2021 at 11:11 am #127755
Thank you everyone for the kind responses, it really does mean the world x*x
26th June 2021 at 1:19 pm #127757KIP.Participant
It might just happen that reality one day shines a bright light right in your face like a big light bulb. It took police and courts to keep me from going back but your day will come when you reach rock bottom and realise there’s only one way to go……
26th June 2021 at 8:03 pm #127762
I’ve got the ball rolling with reaching out to private therapists as I’ve realised I’m not going to get any support from local DA service or NHS talking therapies. The GP has also prescribed me some meds to help with anxiety. The countdown to the move is what’s stressing me out so much because it feels like I’m approaching a huge crossroads in my life. I need to remind myself that even if I’ve not built up enough strength to go before the move then I will still be able to get out after. I’m hoping a therapist might help me see the light x
26th June 2021 at 8:22 pm #127763KIP.Participant
I hope you find a good one. At the end of the day you have to be ready. You need to break the trauma bond. The very thing that is causing your anxiety is what you’re holding on to x try to keep picturing a good safe life without him. Visualisation. And practice mindfulness for the anxiety.
30th June 2021 at 2:12 pm #127997CamelParticipant
You’ll probably think this is an odd thing to do but I looked up the definition of ‘feeling guilty.’
“a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offence, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.”
I expect you spend most of the time feeling guilty for something or other. That’s the norm for victims of abuse. Feeling guilty paralyses us, keeps us stuck. But there’s something weird about feeling guilty. It’s the only feeling we completely make up in our own heads. We feel angry, sad, happy, annoyed or whatever at REAL things. We feel guilty for absolutely no reason at all.
30th June 2021 at 2:34 pm #128001CamelParticipant
Ever felt guilty for feeling unhappy?
2nd July 2021 at 6:09 am #128138GazeboParticipant
I’ve no advice but I feel exactly like you – the guilt of leaving and how they will feel even though they are not our problem but I have two more children at an age I feel will break their hearts if I break the family and the guilt is horrendous so I just keep sticking it out 🙁 sending you all lots of hugs and strength xx
11th July 2021 at 3:37 pm #128639
Thank you for your comment Gazebo. Sorry to hear you’re struggling with guilt too, it must be very hard with children as well. The reality is you and the children will be much better off without him but I understand why women feel so terrible like they’d be breaking up the family. You can only leave when you’re ready to though and in the meantime please don’t take the blame yourself. The only person who should be carrying that guilt is your abuser. Sending you a hug xx
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