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    • #138453


      I’m over 50 and lived my life a certain way for many years I have known I’d need to leave this psychological financially abusive relationship for a long time and it’s only the past year I’ve tried to get the mental strength to do it / I’ve read these boards and well untill I go in a refuge I won’t really know but because it’s my brain health that is done in i have little things I do at home to stop me wanting to …. explode / so my kids are older … I’d be going in alone a an older female , no job, no money / what do I do all day ?

      How do I not sit and ruminate ? How do I keep strong and keep busy?

      Sounds daft but I see myself just sat staring at a blank wall no stimulation like I’ve transferred from one open prison to another – it’s a huge fear / and I’m so messed up I think my shadow ? Is blocking everything… but if I don’t change my life there’s a good chance I’ll make it so I’m so Ill I’ll take that choice away / my thinking is warped

      I can’t type on this phone and the page is too big for it! Ignore typos
      Thanks hope it makes sense –

      What do single ( I mean no kids with me ) females do to fill there time in in a refuge

    • #138454
      Twisted Sister

      Hi Thesoundofrain

      If you have found yourself left with no motivation for any interests of your own, this is something to raise with your key worker, or trauma therapist, to help you access some enjoyable and distracting, absorbing activities. If you are able to read, there’s no better way of escaping reality for long stretches of time.

      As a mother who is suddenly without resposibility and free to do anything they want with their time that can be quite overwhelming, as its such an unfamiliar, even strange, place to find yourself, and can take a lot of adjusting to. Its good though that you’ve identified this ahead of time and can have time to prepare. There will also likely be activities you can get involved in, and meet with the other women to suggest activities?

      Also, arriving in an unfamiliar area can give rise to many possibilities for discovering local facilities, shops and walks?

      Its sad isn’t it, that all the times/years you’ve needed to have time free and be ‘allowed’ to use it as you wish, its such a daunting prospect when its finally yours to take!

      Keep putting thought to this as time goes by things will present themselves to you that may appeal. Local churches often run coffee mornings with activities. Run a list of all the things anyone could possibly do past yourself and see what grabs your attention? Join a local library, download films, crafts, self-pamper, invest time and effort into some lovely cooking for yourself, getting out in the fresh air, cycling, walking… anything you fancy at all.

      warmest wishes


      • #138457

        Hi TS

        Thank you for replying as I read your words I felt very weepy/ trying to work out why…maybe I see what I’ve become by actually seeing it in writing and seeing someone see it in writing ..I’m not me, I’m a shell of me … and this echo chamber in my head is mortifying – that rabbit in the head lights – ( my brain straight away said to me ‘ how much road kill do you see?) hmmmm..

        I’m not sure what i have interests in – I like history, castles , museum , I like to read but hardly read anything this past year ( brain can’t take it in feel like I’ve got brain issues with memory)

        And I’ve piled on so much weight / I’m bloated and seriously unfit …. hmm so a women’s gym sounds maybe a possible thing?

        I suppose I’d have to see where I end up – and the kind of support …

        My weight and other things have affected my walking – I really do need to address that ..

        I’ll have to see what benefits I can get as I have no income at all – he controls everything..

        Think I’d like to learn to cross stitch ! If I develop some patience … but I love handling colour…

        You got me thinking ! Thanks

    • #138456
      Wants To Help

      Hi thesoundofrain,

      So pleased to see you are back on the forum and still looking for your way out 🙂

      Please don’t think of refuge as a prison, it is actually freedom. The only restrictions are that you can’t invite people there (but my ex didn’t like people coming to our house anyway) and you can’t give the address to anyone, they usually have a PO Box address for mail to go to.

      Twisted Sister has already posted most of what I’m going to suggest.

      (detail removed by Moderator) I was in refuge for (detail removed by Moderator) weeks. My refuge had a church very close by and the church affiliated itself with the refuge to offer help and support, so in return, I was able to do some voluntary work at the church weekly and this created a great friendship group (and I’m not religious in the slightest.) I took part in the refuge group counselling sessions every week and had some one-to-one counselling too. I visited local attractions. I went to the library and used the computers there to check my emails, research stuff, take books out to read of an evening. I made friends with some of the ladies there and we’d take it in turns to have each other over for a coffee and share our stories/compare our situations. I joined their social programme which involved guest speakers coming each week to give input on finances, healthy living, self care, budgeting, health and fitness and various other things that help us in life. I’d go to the local shopping centre some days and just quietly sit with a coffee, window shop, generally enjoy some ‘me’ time. I joined a lunch time club at a local sports venue.

      You will have plenty of time for you. You will be able to look for jobs, create a CV, book appointments to speak to or visit solicitors to get legal advice. How about contacting a local college that runs beauty courses/hairdressing courses and book yourself in for the students to practice on for manicures or facials, wash and blow dry and give yourself a bit of pampering?

      The new life we crave away from our abuser does not just come to us, we do have to work at it and make it happen, and this is what is so wonderful about our new found freedom, we can seek out whatever we want and do it.

      I’m sure you can do this, I have every confidence you can do this 🙂


      • #138458

        Hi Wants to Help

        You are so helpful I appreciate it very much . I’m getting closer to making that call I can’t stand this life much longer I’m so depressed- it’s been nearly (detail removed by Moderator) months since he has refused to acknowledge my existence not a word – I’m so quiet I just live in my bedroom and listen to them laughing and planning things… it’s not nice and I can’t go on ..

        It’s like my mind is trying to reset itself / from ( this is just my self punishment self talking) oh you’ll be ok you’ll get a job he’ll talk to you eventually, maybe if you do this or try that!!

        Oh my god I want to punch myself in the face when that starts ! He’s called me an idiot many times and that c**p is definitely my idiot speaking !!

        Then my other side says / this is what you can do , this is what you may do , think of those possibilities!! And I do get a fluttery feeling then bump / so that’s cyclical at the moment- but I need to try to hold that cycle a bit longer each time ..

        The church idea sounds good I have a deep spiritual side but not religious and maybe an alpha group would help me deepen my connection ..

        I have a phone and a cheap laptop – do refuges have wifi so I can watch programmes ..

        Hopefully soon – I do feel sick when I think about picking up the phone

        The person who risks nothing has nothing does nothing – omg Judy Dench just spoke to me through my tv 🙈

    • #138460
      Wants To Help

      These situations institutionalise us and we become so used to the conditions we live in we fear anything different. I remember someone telling me once about a dog that had been locked in a cage for all of its life. When the cage door was opened it didn’t leave and could not be enticed out. It was scared of what was outside of the cage even though it hated being in it.

      Following my time in refuge I then went to a community house for (detail removed by Moderator) months. Due to my unique situation at the time I had all of my bills funded for the rent and living costs, relied on food banks and donations from the church. I literally had no money of my own and could not get benefits due to certain conditions, my ex had all of my money in his account and I could not get legal access to it. Despite all of this, I managed to create a life for myself based on donations.

      When finances got sorted and I had money again it was scary having to deal with this. I had to give up the community house and look for a rental property. I had to find money for a deposit and be financially responsible for my own life again. All of the support and help I’d got used to and had started to depend on started to disappear. I’d got used to living in this supportive ‘bubble’, so I do understand how it can be difficult to move away from a life we are used to, even if it’s not a ‘normal’ life.

      I should imagine that your confidence and sense of self worth is so low at the moment due to being ignored by him for so long. What he has done to you is so cruel and despicable, but please do not think that because he is treating you as if you do not exist and are not important that you are these things. You are not invisible and you are important. Even behind typed words, we SEE you, we support you and we know you are valued, here we listen to you and speak to you.

      You have so much to offer, you are capable of many things, you are an asset to the community that you will live in. You are a giving person, abusers are takers. I’d love to know how many abusive men do voluntary work. My ex wouldn’t do anything for anyone unless it benefitted him in some way, he’d mock me for wanting to help other people and couldn’t understand why I’d want to get shopping for our neighbour after they had come out of hospital from an operation!!

      Listen to Judy, she’s just sent you a message at the right time for a reason, strange how things happen just when we need it.


      • #138462

        Hi wants to help

        I’m looking at baby steps – bit by bit – the big picture does take my breath away … but I’m sure once I’m out and some confidence inches back in my steps will get bigger –

        And I definitely will post on here !

        I have volunteered in the past too – I did a volunteering course years ago and that set me up to study something – but unfortunate I think when I get so far – I fall back down – and lose all faith in my capabilities..

        Maybe it was because I was undermined all the time ….

        Thanks for seeing me 😊

    • #163877

      I found activities to do after a while that I liked. Places to visit, social things.

      Refuges are only for a short time to move you out of bad situation.

      I took up a lot of hobbies and things to do. When you are not so exhausted from the ex it is light and plenty of time to see things and experience things.

      Hope that helps.

    • #165046

      When I went into refuge I was on my own .although I had 2 (detail removed by moderator) daughters. I didn’t have the time to wonder what to d o with my time .I was too buisy trying to come to terms with what had happened leading me to come to refuge in the 1st place.i don’t remember a lot of the early days other than the support I received in trying to realise who I was , what had happened and trying to rebuild my life.i think I spent a lot of time sleeping, rebuilding me .even the simple things. I’d forgotten what I liked to eat, just being able to take a walk and feel free.use this time as a way to find who you are .your likes, you .

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