7th May 2022 at 8:53 pm #143301
I’ve recently had some closure (provided by myself) and came to the realisation that I am no longer ‘in-love’ with my ex. I feel nothing in particular towards him. I have accepted that I was abused, I mean really accepted. I’m not longer challenging it in my mind, or trying to find a reason why. I’ve accepted he is a n********t, and he is just a bad person.
I used to pray for the day to come where I would no longer love him or feel connected to him. I used to cry hysterically wishing the trauma bond to break, wanting to die because of how powerful and trapped I felt in it, and now it has broken and I no longer have feelings for him – I feel so many mixed emotions. Grief for the younger version of me that was manipulated and abused. Compassion and forgiveness for the younger me who didn’t know better who towards the end, responded to the abuse with reactive abuse. A lot of saddness, but also a sense of empowerment and freedom that I’ve survived and got away from him and been able to see beyond the mask he portrayed as himself for so many years.
I’ve never not been someone’s girlfriend, I’ve never not be in-love with someone. I know this is the opportunity to now give myself the love inwards that I gave my ex and love myself. I’m living my life for me – I’ve gone back to dance, I’ve got new friends, re-connected with hobbies, I’m taking care of myself and staying sober.
We’ve been separated since (removed by moderator) and I’ve over him, yet I still can not imagine a day I’ll be ready to date again (due to shock / breech of trust) and that makes me really sad as I now know I deserve a loving healthy relationship (I never thought I’d be saying these words). I am young, I want to date, I want to experience love again, and intimacy with another human but it just feels so far in the future almost impossible.
I now surround myself with healthier people, I have many examples of healthy relationships and love around me so I believe it is possible. I believe there are kind, aware, gentle men / women out there. I just can never see myself in a relationship again, and that makes me so sad.
I’m still not working, and in recovery. I moved back home to my parents after the break-up as I experienced a mental breakdown. I’m slowly building up my life and taking steps to be independent but I am still unable to work, or go back to studies at Masters level (if I want too). I still can overwhelmed at times and am riding the waves that recovery takes me on.
I guess I feel like while I’m in recovery, I can’t date which I know is healthy to an extent but at the same time I’m worried I’m avoiding moving on in a romantic sense all together. How have people dated after abuse? Have people gone back to work after abuse? How have you managed during the dating period? How do you know when you’re ready? It’s always going to be scary, and scary trusting again I know that.
I guess if I go on a date, and someone asks me what I’m doing – I don’t really know how to answer? “I left an abusive relationship a couple years ago and on a recovery journey” doesn’t feel comfortable. One it feels like it exposes my vulnerability, and two who wants to explain they’re a survivor on their first date with a stranger?
Aside of the abuse, I’ve never been a one-night stand kind of girl. I couldn’t go up to someone I fancied and tell them. I couldn’t just casual date a few people, or have sex with someone causually that’s just not who I am aside from the abusive relationship I was in. I’ve only slept with partners I’ve been in long term relationships with.
Any support, guidance is welcome. I’ve tried speaking to my friends about this, and they say they understand and relate then will call me / tell me they’ve kissed a girl they’ve fancied in the pub or been on multiple dates etc. I couldn’t ever imagine that in my life right now or ever. I am over him, so I just don’t get it.
Is anyone in my position?
Will these feelings ever shift?
P.S. I am already in talking therapy etc.
7th May 2022 at 8:59 pm #143302
I don’t know anyone who is unable to work, unable to date, healing from abuse I guess???
7th May 2022 at 8:59 pm #143303
Sorry it’s so long winded!!!!!
8th May 2022 at 11:13 am #143333LisaMain Moderator
Thank you for posting, I just wanted to show you some support. I am so glad you feel some closure after everything you have been through. I hope you are enjoying your hobbies again and concentrating on doing some self care.
It’s understandable that you feel unable to work, study or date just yet. You can’t rush your recovery journey and I am sure you will know when the time is right for you.
Take care and please keep posting,
8th May 2022 at 12:25 pm #143336RedStrawberryParticipant
Hi healingbutterflybabe, I’m in sort of the same position as you in regards to wanting to date again in the future but I’m nowhere near ready yet, I do hope one day I will be. I also need to find a job but as my confidence has been shattered and being out of work for so long looking after children I don’t know where to start. I think I’m going to find it hard to trust someone as the abuse didn’t start (or I can’t recall any before) until after we had children, which was a long while into the relationship. I’m not sure what I’d say in regards to a new potential partner about the abuse but I don’t think I’d bring it up unless things got serious. My ex took great advantage of the fact that I’d told him I’d had trouble in the past with friends actions not matching words but I didn’t notice his actions not matching words. I think I might get my friends to grill anyone who I do find as it seems they had my ex sussed to some degree and they seem to be better judges of character than me.
Sorry I’ve got no real advice I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone and hopefully we’ll both find someone who treats us the right way
17th May 2022 at 2:03 pm #143817
Hi Red Strawberry,
Thank you for the solidarity. It’s really alienating being alone with my beliefs – so many of my friends just go on dates, have casual sex, masterbate and I feel like this weird alien that just doesn’t relate or feel capable.
I just don’t know how to respond to – “What do you do?” “Why don’t you work?”. I don’t know how to say I’m not working at the moment to focus on my mental and physical health. It’s off-putting isn’t it? Can attract another abusive person (I know I’d spot the signs right away but still, it’s terrifying being vulnerable again).
I feel like I’ve never been seen by a man, apart from my ex and he chose me for the reason he thought I’d make a great mother one day, a great wife – he saw my empathy and compassion then used it to abuse me, control me and groom me until I was able to leave and see beyond his mask. Other than him, I’ve felt so unseen by men. So alien with my traditional beliefs.
I hope we are both able to date one day again.
Sending hugs xx
8th May 2022 at 4:44 pm #143351MellowParticipant
Hi I guess all this is an individual thing and people heal differently I’m still in an abusive relationship but in my head I’m done I’ve found a job still here I’m looking for a house still here and I’m on a few dating sites however they mean nothing it’s getting easier for me to spot no gooders we all heal and deal with it differently I don’t do one night stands either but I can see why people would after being abused for me it’s use and abuse motto like I have
13th May 2022 at 1:16 pm #143612Living WarriorParticipant
Hi, I am longer along in my process, i am now in a very healthy and stable relationship after my abuse. so it can be done, i still have court dealings with me ex over contact. so im living proof men do take on other peoples children, and the chaos these men leave behind. People do heal differently, and work through things differently too..i got to the point in my head where i thought i was avoiding dating, so i forced myself to go on dates… i signed up to a dating site and went on a couple, i didnt tell people bout the abuse, but gave just enough info so they knew the dates where just to broaden my social pool. you can instantly get rid of men who arnt into that…. those that are after s*x for example, dont tell people about the abuse too early on as you can weed out that type of men..
i was open and honest without stating everything, and yes the dates werent always good lol i had some terrible ones lol where we didnt click or whatever. just rememeber to put your safety rules in place.
i found my partner on a dating site lol and we been together a few years now. you just have to do whats best for you, and keep yourself safe there are no rules.
17th May 2022 at 1:58 pm #143816
Hey Living Warrier,
Thank you for sharing your story and providing me with an example of a healthy and stable relationship.
I’m also at the point in my mind where I’m thinking, I’m over my ex so why am I still avoiding dating / sexual activity or anything with in that relm. The answer is, despite loving myself I still feel like an alien and not good enough to date while I’m unemployed / recovery journey (which may last the duration of my life).
I don’t even know if I could go on a date, I mean physically yes, and you’ve said you gave them enough info without giving them too much – what kind of things did you say? If you’d feel happy sharing I’d love to know. You’re right it’s important to remember I have the power to say no to a second date if a man is into just sex which I am absolutely not. I am terried of dating applications as right away it’s judgement on appearance and I want a man to see me for my intelligence, conversation etc.
What are safety rules?
I’m really happy for you, to move on and find happiness. That’s beautiful and you’re so deserving. Thank you for sharing your story 🙂
15th May 2022 at 3:48 pm #143706RedStrawberryParticipant
Hi living warrior. You have given me hope. I’m sure that one day I might dare date again but the thought of dating apps terrify me. I’ve been conditioned to think I’m not good enough so I guess I’m going to have to learn to love myself first.
18th May 2022 at 1:41 pm #143859Living WarriorParticipant
No I don’t mind sharing,
I was honest in saying I was new to dating and was working through some personal stuff.. Yeh some asked for details but most did not..I would say i wasn’t comfortable sharing that information at this point in the relationship but of things were to progress and I changed my mind I would let him know. I laid that out with truthfully… All intentions of making men run for the hills lol
Some did… And that was ok… Some didn’t and those that wud push, I would state it’s private and I’m not comfortable talking about it..
You must remember it’s upto you what you share and don’t share and when you do it.. you will know if it’s right of now just always trust your gut.
My safety advice is things like don’t give personal information.. apps are fine I didn’t give my number out until many months into talking, dates I went on were in public places, if I used taxis I’d take photos of licence plate with name of firm. Or photo of the license card in cab n text it to friend or relative with a date and time of when the date was and I’d always msg to say I was home safe afterwards.
Just be yourself, and remember that things move at your pace. I have even said this to guys I have dated, some don’t like it n I stopped talking to them explaining that we wanted different things, others were very understanding.
I hope this helps
Good luck for the future
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