24th February 2016 at 9:50 pm #10362
Hi all, I’m new to the forums.
How do other ‘survivors’ cope after an abusive relationship?!! (NOTE: Apostrophes around survivors as i still feel a victim)
I find myself really struggling, and the relationship ended over (detail removed by moderator)years ago.
He physically abused me, emotionally abused me, was extremely controlling and manipulative and also isolated me.
I didn’t get any help when we split up in regards to counselling or speaking to anyone, (with exception of my family) because i didn’t know anyone who had been through it and a relative of his worked at Womens aid so didn’t feel like i could even speak to them in case it got back to him or i put myself in anymore danger (and i guess that i had too much pride which made me convince myself that i was strong enough to deal with it on my own)..and now years later, i still have nightmares, i’ve developed anxiety, i feel uptight at least once (if not more) a day and by nighttime when I’m lay in bed i just feel like bursting into tears because all i can think about is him and what he did to me.
I feel like I’m still broken sometimes, i have no self esteem, i often put myself down and compare myself to others (I guess that was a habit learnt from him). I don’t feel as though I can speak to my family or friends about it anymore because i always seem to be mentioning his name or the past and i just feel awkward speaking to them, especially as its been two years now.
I honestly don’t know what to do from here. I feel that if i don’t do anything now, i’ll feel even worse in the future, as i was half expecting the way i feel to disappear over time but evidently it hasn’t.
I guess that i’m just writing in the hopes that others will share how they overcame the aftermath of being in an abusive relationship so that i cant hopefully take note and try and move forward and get back to being more like myself, like before it all began.
24th February 2016 at 10:08 pm #10370Jelly beanParticipant
Hi chick and welcome
Your post relates to me so much that I could actually have wrote it myself. I wasn’t physically abused though, but I can only imagine how hard it must of been for you.
I too have the nightmares, the anxiety, the bursting into tears, constantly thinking about it over and over again torturing myself with past events. Have you tried writing things down? I started writing things down a few months ago, it helps me slightly to clear some of the thousands of thoughts running around my head. You could also try to get in for some counselling, I thought it was a load of rubbish before I started up but when I went it was completely different to how I imagined and it really does help!
Don’t feel like you have to pressure yourself into feeling ‘normal’ again. There isn’t a time scale on these things, in time it will get better but you just have to take things one step at a time and don’t feel so hard on yourself when you have bad days. You have been through serious abuse, it’s not something that’s easily pushed to once side and forgotten about.
So far I’ve found it really helpful to speak to women on here that know exactly how I’m feeling, so keep posting. We will get through it together x
24th February 2016 at 10:18 pm #10373
Thanks for your reply Jellybean.
I feel so annoyed with myself that I’m letting it still bother me. I just can’t seem to get it out my head. Even the smallest of things trigger it and sometimes when I look at our child, it all just comes flooding back. I’m trying to be strong as I know that my little one knows when something’s wrongs and they’re too young for me to explain why I’m upset.
I wouldn’t even know how to go about getting help. I’ve never had counselling before and I’m scared that they’ll judge me because it’s been years since the abuse 🙁
24th February 2016 at 10:56 pm #10376Jelly beanParticipant
Oh chick. Please don’t be annoyed with yourself. You have been through a really traumatic time, it’s no wonder that your still feeling how you are! Altho, I do know how your feeling because I quite often get annoyed and angry at myself for this same reason.
You could see your GP who would refer you. If you didn’t feel comfortable talking to the GP you can also self refer online/phone through your areas local mental health services. Honestly I really wasn’t going to go when I got referred the first time, I thought it was complete rubbish but I’m so glad I went. I cried after my first session because for the first time ever I felt like I’d spoken out and been listened to without being judged.
As a mum myself I know how much pressure we put on ourselves to do right by our children and the awful feelings we get when we don’t get things exactly right – The main thing you need to remember is that you recognised what was happening and you have taken yourself and your child/children away from that
Ps it doesn’t matter if it happened yesterday, last month, last year, 2 years ago 😘 x
24th February 2016 at 11:20 pm #10384AyannaParticipant
Fighting against PTSD ….
Trying to perform well at work …
Trying to forget ….
Withdrawn from all socialising events …
Suffering from low self esteem …
Binge eating ….
Getting overwhelmed by flashbacks and painful memories almost every day ….
GP refuses to help…
Mental health service is abusive …
I am also away from him for a while. You are not alone.
25th February 2016 at 7:33 am #10390Falling SkysParticipant
Hugs xx and you are a survivor. You had the strength to post on here.
It’s all a day or a moment at a time. I have some great moments and others not. I praise myself when I do anything I do that was an issue. At first I couldn’t choose where to sit in a cafe or what to eat. How sad is that but I can now with out panicking.
Also it’s never to late to get help, talking out and being told it was in my head or my fault was liberating.
Keep posting here the ladies are great font of information.
25th February 2016 at 9:58 am #10399missgiddypantsParticipant
first of all don’t be hard on yourself ,my abuse although wasn’t violent was mental and I think that too stays with you a long time I’m (detail removed by moderator)years out as he left me for another ,but it’s still there in my head all the time ,I never had any counselling as my gp at that time said you had to wait months for it ,I was depressed at the time ,she not given me any pills as she said not work and not sign me off work as she said when your depressed you should go to work ,so slowly bit by bit have built myself a life on my own as we not have kids ,moved out of the marital home as He wanted it sold to buy a place with her ,changed jobs a couple of times as I do part time work ,and (detail removed by moderator) years ago bought myself a small camper ,so go off in that when I can ,it’s still hard as I often think I’m deluding myself I am ok ,even last year I was away in a B&B and cried as I was all alone ,everyone says it’s baby steps ,but I was thinking only the other day will I ever get over what he did to me ,a guy at work said to me move on or your dragging it around like a ball and chain ,but he can’t say that doesn’t know what I went through as some things I can’t talk about
keep your chin up,x
25th February 2016 at 10:47 am #10409newlife2015Participant
Like you I found the mental side much harder to cope with but it is getting better over time but the emotional abuse is hard to explain to people so you end up keeping i9t all to yourself – in the end though my anxiety got so bad and I was suffering from panic attacks, nightmares, racing heart, lack of concentration, unable to make a decision drinking lots, eating lots, not performing very well at work etc – I am not saying it is the answer but I am now taking anti anxiety medication and I am so much calmer, my concentration has improved and as a result other areas of my life are slowly improving. I also have brought and read SO many books about control which has helped me make sense of everything. Before I left I also saw a counsellor – I was cynical but it did help me make sense of everything and made me realise that I was not responsible for what happened to me and that I could not be responsible for another persons actions. It is a long process but I am sure that you, and everyone else in our, position will get there in time and there will be good and not so good days. xx
25th February 2016 at 1:30 pm #10436HerindoorsParticipant
Hi singlemumofone. I would recommend counselling even if your relationship ended years ago. I am currently having counselling and actually she is going back right into my childhood, so time is not a factor. Going that far back, for me, is helping me understand what I was taught as a child and how it has effected my choices as an adult and I am working on learning how to not make the same mistakes again. For example the logical part of me knows that I am not to blame for the abuse but my subconcious doesn’t agree….so she is helping me unravel that and learn about setting boundaries, not blaming myself for everything etc… Its a long slow process but I can already see the benefits and I am only a couple of months in.
I posted this week about him still being in my head and if not him, then other thoughts that I want rid of. My brain is used to a way of thinking after being with an abuser and so my subconcious is filling in the gaps now I am apart from him. But I am learning ways to cope with this and it will eventually stop. I do believe that.
Get counselling if you can – you won’t regret it x*x
25th February 2016 at 1:36 pm #10437SilkyHalideParticipant
I’m with Herindoors
Counselling, reading, alternative therapies, therapy groups. Anything to help you learn about yourself and how to love yourself and to see how to protect yourself without disconnecting with life through fear.
25th February 2016 at 3:15 pm #10447SaharaDParticipant
It’s been over (detail removed by moderator) years for me too. My life is still messed up in terms of no group of friends, no close family support, no stable home and no career. I struggle on a daily basis mentally. I find it hard to complete daily tasks through a combination of lack of motivation and difficulty focusing. I struggle to sleep and I struggle to get out of bed.
Just this week I burst into tears at the fact that my life is no further along since leaving him in terms of stability and recovery and once again I’m homeless.
But there are good things. I’m technically financially stable. No debt and I have some savings. It’s just that I still need to rely on housing benefit for my rent which can be hard finding a good housing benefit private landlord.
Physical health wise I’m not doing too bad and I have a job which keeps me going. In fact my job is the only thing that is stable in my life. I believe that If I didn’t have that things would go down hill quite quickly for me.
I know I need more therapy but at the moment it’s very hard to get it on the NHS or find a therapist willing to take me on. (I have been diagnosed with BPD/EUPD which can result in therapist burn out)
When I can’t do anymore I just do the bare minimum and just try to get through it day by day, hour by hour or minute by minute. I try to stay in the present moment and not dwell on the past or the future for the moment.
25th February 2016 at 6:39 pm #10456
Thank you everyone for sharing your stories and coping methods and sending support!
I think I’m going to have to take the plunge and phone the doctors to be referred to a therapist, it’s just plucking up the courage to actually book and appointment.
It’s so sad that we have all had to go through some sort of abuse and we’re still experiencing the repercussions of it months/weeks later and the perpetrators have a normal life like nothing ever happened :/
25th February 2016 at 7:58 pm #10458SerenityParticipant
DV counselling and support services ( Women’s Aid found me the contact details) ; local support groups; the forum….
You need people who understand the cunning actions of a perpetrator, predators who prey on vulnerability… You do to need to be around those who judge. Those who have never been unfortunate enough to be in an abusive relationship don’t understand how abusers monopolise and disempower you on all levels
25th February 2016 at 8:02 pm #10461LisaMain Moderator
I just wanted to say Welcome to the forum! Thank you for your brave post. I am so pleased to see that you have had lots of supportive replies and I hope that they have helped to reassure you that how you are feeling is very normal. Sadly recovery is a marathon and not a sprint and it sounds like you are doing brilliantly. Please do phone the doctors and also click the ‘Finding help locally’ link to the right of this page to access support from your local Women’s Aid. If you are still nervous about accessing support from your local group due to the link to him you could always find one that is not in your town but a town nearby?
We are all here for you so please keep posting.
14th March 2016 at 2:41 am #11463determined survivorParticipant
I was also emotionally abused, and am struggling to cope. I have no self-confidence and I feel broken all the time. I struggle trusting those around me. After months of convincing, I began journaling. I have found this helpful because it allows me to define my own reality while sorting through some of the things that happened. I think I have found journaling to be the most helpful at night when I am trying to sleep. My mind tends to race, and then I can’t sleep. If I journal about what is on my mind, then it makes it a bit easier for me to sleep. Sometimes I can’t make sense of it the next day, but at least I was able to get some sleep. I was hesitant to start journaling, but I am so glad I did. I also am trying to understand the why, which I believe will not only help me cope but will also help me heal. I am hoping that talking with people who understand what I have been through will help me cope as well.
14th March 2016 at 8:03 pm #11512nayukiParticipant
It’s a bit hard to say if I cope but.. I guess my daughter helps me a lot. She’s so sweet and when she hugs me it is so strong.. she can’t talk yet, but I just don’t need any words. I know she loves me even if I’m such a bad mum. I have low self esteem and all of this .. I feel like I’m no good at all. But on the other hand I am both mum and dad right now. Can’t be perfect. I think I am doing the job well. But after a while I feel like I am the worst parent. It feels so bad to look at my neighbours . They are parents as well. They are so perfect. I can’t afford anything special, we won’t go to the pool because I lack money and confidence. We won’t have a garden unless I will earn enough for us to move .. my parents are a lot better. But there was always two of them. But still I get strength when I look at her and I know I have to fight through this life. I’m trying to be stronger.
15th March 2016 at 9:29 am #11536Confused123Participant
Time is a healer hun, but with time u also need support to help u heal, i think without support it must be even harder to actually recover . I read loads of books on abuse, i talk to my friends about relationship and how he made me feel, i do counselling which really helps me think loads about how it happen and why and most amazing things is answers r within me but counselor helps me open those doors to find answers which i just couldnt. MY kids like others r motivation for me , to teach them this cycle must end , i must go forward most importantly for myself but them too, i am re discover myself again and learning to love myself.. take small baby steps, never feel shamed to talk or get support, i thought once i was out after a year i shouldn’t get no support, recovery can take years to get over abuse , and i think as time pass we do still need support as accepting it happen is hard and all the feelings that relate to the trauma we experience
15th March 2016 at 9:38 pm #11580AnonymousInactive
Have you considered getting a pot plant. It’s not the same as having a garden, but having things growing on your windowsill is lovely and its nice for lo’s to see things grow.
It has taken me a long time to build up my confidence having lost everything, but I have found learning new things really useful. I can now crochet and have more or less mastered the sewing machine. I have also forced myself to be sociable, which I appreciate can be hard. I go to church most weeks and help out at the café there and I have joined a ladies group, the SI, where I can go and pretend that I am normal…
It took me months and months to get the confidence to be around ordinary people, so if you find this hard right now, that’s fine.
Good luck to everyone.
16th March 2016 at 3:43 pm #11633nayukiParticipant
Oh it is a great idea, I’m sure a little bit of nature in a flat will make it a bit nicer 🙂 we also go to local park a lot, my daughter loves it 🙂
I grew on the countryside so I miss all of it in the city. It’s a point in my life when many things changed, I moved away from family and friends and I had a first child .. and all the problems that led to a breakup.
I love these forums, everyone is so kind
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