22nd April 2016 at 8:14 am #14883
I’m X years out now and struggling with confidence, struggling with making a new life – feeling powerless to change…..
Lat night I wanted to go to see the bonfire and fireworks near me, for the Queens birthday.
My son wasn’t interested in going, and my daughter was too tired after work, and so I didn’t go.
I really wanted to go, but wouldn’t go alone.
I remember as a child going to one for the Queens Silver Jubilee, and I loved it, it was a fantastic night, lovely memories, a real sense of community.
And do I wanted to go this time too, and make memories with MY kids…..but they didn’t want to go.
I’m going to have to get used with this, they are growing up and don’t want to go to things with me anymore.
But I just don’t have the courage to go to things on my own
I spent half of my life with one man, and now I’m middle aged and alone, and struggling with doing things, and going to things on my own.
I went last night. Drove there, sat in the car and watched it from the distance.
So all you ladies out there like me, on your own after spending half your life as a couple, now with teenage kids who don’t want to go out with you…….what do you do…..???
Im timid, and shy, and have zero confidience, thats not something you can change overnight.
So how do YOU get the courage to go to things alone?
I just can’t walk in to a crowd of people where they are all couples or families, and I will stick out like a sore thumb.
I’m scared nobody will speak to me, nobody will notice me, and I’ll stand there looking stupid, like a pathetic loner, Billy no mates…..
22nd April 2016 at 9:05 am #14884SerenityParticipant
Letting your kids go and develop on their own is difficult at the best of times. It’s even harder when you’ve left a marriage.
I look at someone in my family who is in an unhappy marriage, and I can see how she is being a helicopter mother, circling around her children and leaning too much on her younger one, and I vow that I won’t be like that. This relative was a very independent teenager when she was young, and hated parental interference, and yet she is being quite suffocating with her own children. I can see that she is trying to fill a gap, but it’s not fair on her children, who should be spreading their own wings.
I think our kids will live us for giving them space. They will love us for letting them be without too much pressure. We will find that if they feel accepted by us, they will search us out and have relaxed chats with us when they need us.
As for ourselves, sometimes you just need to forge ahead and face the fear to do things.as Winston Churchill said, just put your head down and go forward. Think of how you managed to go to that fundraiser. You are here to tell the tale. Next time, you might find you end up having a lovely chat with someone new. A journey starts with a small step. All these little victories will build you up and make you less fearful and help you to discover the real you.
Do you know, a lot of these entrepreneurs and billionaire businessmen and women say they are naturally shy? That when they started out, they were terrified, but did it anyway? Even some actors say they got into acting to conquer their chronic shyness.
Sometimes, it just takes a brave leap.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
There is nothing to fear more than fear. Once you face the fear, there is not much else to worry about.
A lot of people are lacking in confidence, but hide it well. You are in an especially hard place, because abusers take our confidence and isolate us, making us feel even more frightened of the world. But don’t let the abuse define you. Become more than he would ever allow you to be. X*x
22nd April 2016 at 9:53 am #14891Eve1Participant
Hi M.U.M. but you did go. That’s a start.
Someone on here said once, don’t focus too much on the results or the outcome. That had worked for me in the past. Maybe it can work for us now.
22nd April 2016 at 1:24 pm #14904HerindoorsParticipant
I found myself in the same position. While married I bascially had one good friend because making new ones was too difficult living with an abuser. I also struggle with confidence, after years of being told I was stupid and boring. Since the split this is what I have done;
Volunteerd as a charity trustee
Become part of a group that is organisising a local branch of a community project that I was interested in.
Both these these things mean that I am immediatly part of an inclusive group of people all working towards the same thing. So I don’t have to make an effort to connect – we are already connected by our shared interest and have to work together to make it happen. And I don’t have to make small talk (I don’t actually know how to do smalltalk!) because we already are there to talk about something specific.
I am still lacking in confidence but i now know that I have activities in my life that I can talk to about with people, and so far they find it interesting! Its not been an instant process. The two things I have joined, we meet up on average once a month, but I am slowly building new friendships through them.
You can find groups with the same interests as you (detail removed by Moderator) most of the people who sign up are just like us. They find themselves in middle age not knowing how to reach out and make new friends. So the groups are very aware of this and very welcoming to new members.
Good luck x*x
23rd April 2016 at 2:26 am #14998
Hi ladies, and thank you all for taking the time to reply to me.
Serenity – you are so right, even if ‘all of this’ hadn’t happened, I’d imagine it’s still hard to ‘let go’ of your kids and let them grow up and fly the nest.
But the thought of them leaving me is terrifying – they have been/are my life.
I guess my kids did fill the gap in my life – where I should have had love and affection from my husband, but to end up with I couldn’t look at him, or talk to him let alone show him any affection.
I was always a cuddly mam anyway, he was the fun dad (once upon a time!!) and I was the cuddly mam, who they came to for cuddles and to make everything better.
So when our marriage went so bad, and I couldn’t stand him near me, the kids were the only ones who showed me any love and affection.
I know the day will com come when they will spread their wings and fly, I know the saying “if you love someone, set them free, if they love you they will come back”.
I know that’s what I have to do – but it’s going to be so hard.
Everything you say makes perfect sense……its just me who cant do it..,..
“Face my fears and do it anyway”
I need to just “take the leap”
I need to “not let the abuse define me”……..all brilliant advice – but what I lack is the courage to take that leap, if someone could just give me a shot in the arm, and I’d have instant courage that’s the answer!!!!
Hi Eve – well yes I did go, but sat miles away watching it – so I ‘went’, but not really.
I just so badly wanted to be there, and be part of it, part of something…..
Hi Herindoors – but YOU must have had the courage in the first place to go and take that first big step, THAT’S the difficult part for me…..
It’s actually the getting myself out of the house, and going to the place and walking in…..to a room full of strangers….. That’s my problem….
I’ve NEVER EVER felt accept ALL of my life – from my school days, at college, at mums and toddlers, at school sports days etc, right up to now, I’ve ALWAYS felt like an outsider. Felt people weren’t interested in getting to know me, I’ve never felt part of anything, ever……
Did you feel the same??
I looked up one of those groups you mentioned and my nearest one was over 300 miles away. But thanks for the suggestion.
Hi Heaalthyarchive – its a nice idea, but unfortunately I’m not in a position to afford any holidays, not even a weekend away.
There is a local walking group that meets in my village once a week, but it’s the thing of walking up to a group of people, who don’t know me at all, and have never met me before.
I have always felt ‘judged’ by people, the look at me and decide not to bother getting to know me – just on first impressions.
I have always felt inferior, and not good enough.
Do you feel the same?
Right time I got some sleep, goodnight, and thank you all.
23rd April 2016 at 7:15 am #15002Falling SkysParticipant
I think you are doing really well. Sometimes I find it hard to be in crowd in wouldn’t have entertained going to the bonfire night so even though you stayed in the car you did better than me.
Having an abusive partner stops you from mixing and making friends. So it’s hard to get back out there and do it.
I have made friends through exercise and now through a photography group I’m in.
It’s not easy at first but it gets easier. A smile and a hello is enough at first then it grows.
I would looking back on it say that I have also had issues with being inadequate. Still part of me feels that. But I know I might not be the best but I’m a good person and deserve alot more than what I got.
Baby steps and I think you are already doing that you will get there.
24th April 2016 at 1:14 am #15129
Hi Falling Skys – nice to hear from you and thanks for your encouraging words, and your support.
I went out today to do the beach clean – and it was ME who made the effort to talk, I did try…..
Some I already knew, and we had a bit of conversation, but there were others I’d never met before, and I did say hello and smile, and that was all I got back, hello and a smile….so I DID try…..
I always always try and be nice, and pleasant and friendly to all I meet, so why can’t folk see how hard it is to be a single person on your own at things, why can’t THEY approach ME for a change….
23rd April 2016 at 3:39 pm #15075onlyloveParticipant
Hi Mixed-up mum,
I totally relate to a lot of what you’ve said about how you are feeling. I’m new here (registered just a few days ago) and I have yet to post anything but, reading one of your responses to the various advice others have posted was a ‘lightbulb’ moment for me. When you said “Hi Herindoors – but YOU must have had the courage in the first place to go and take that first big step, THAT’S the difficult part for me…..
It’s actually the getting myself out of the house, and going to the place and walking in…..to a room full of strangers….. That’s my problem….” I’ve recently found a local befriending service with the help and subsequent referral by one of my support workers. The service I’ve accessed is local to me. I don’t know where you are (nor am I suggesting you reveal your location for obvious security reasons) but I have Googled and found a website that might be a good starting point for you, assuming we are permitted to post website links here goes: http://www.befriending.co.uk/befriendingdirectory.php that shows a UK map where you can start your search. I don’t think you’ve mentioned any friends who might help you get out there and start interacting socially with others, so I immediately thought of a befriending service. I really hope this brings some hope to you and is the start of something fulfilling for you, as you truly deserve something good after all you’ve endured! Love and best wishes to you, OL xx
24th April 2016 at 1:31 am #15130
Hi Only Love – hello and nice to meet you – thank you for commenting on my post, and for your words of encouragement and your advice. 🙂
You have hit the nail on the head!!! That’s EXACTLY what I need – someone to do things with me, to get me started, so I don’t feel so alone walking in to a room full of strangers.
I hope if I was to get started someone might get to know me, and might get to like me, and I might make a friend.
I do have friends, but they all have husbands/partners and younger children than mine, they are all busy and have their own lives – and its not their fault I have no life of my own…..and so I can’t ask them for help…..
Your idea is certainly worth a try, I’d never have thought of that.
Thank you so much for that advice – I will look in to it.
Love and best wishes to you too.
24th April 2016 at 7:08 am #15131Falling SkysParticipant
It’s a shame that for our safety we have have to keep our addresses secret. I bet some of us are near each other… When I go to the gym, I wonder if any of the other women are being abused and hiding out of the way.
So pleased you went to the beach clean. When I started swimming no one really talk while we were waiting for the pool to open. At first no one spoke, then as they realise I was going regularly it became hello, now we have really good chats. And the have been very good to me through this part of my life.
You will get there. Look how far you have come.
25th April 2016 at 12:11 pm #15237
Hi Falling Skys – I know just what you mean – I wish I just had someone who knows how it feels to have been through what I went through – friends can be ‘supportive’ – but they don’t REALLY know how it feels – the only ones who really know, are the ladies on here……
My neighbours haven’t a clue what I’ve been through and am going through still, my customers haven’t a clue of the daily struggles I feel – I go to the shop – chat to people there and Im bright and breezy as if everything is OK – and yet they don’t know the real me behind the smile…….
I just feel I need more support than I got – I got 6mth support from women’s aid after I left him – but it doesn’t just stop then and suddenly everything is OK…..in fact when DOES it stop – when IS everything OK ….. Im waiting for it to happen……
I really don’t feel Ive come on any in X years…….
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