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    • #116585

      How to handle the shock of sudden split from abuser?

      Would really appreciate others advice on how to handle the shock of a sudden split from my psychologically abusive husband, especially helping our young children . We’ve been married (detail removed by moderator) and I became aware of the abuse about two years ago. Our kids are (detail removed by moderator). I left him (detail removed by moderator) and moved near family, (detail removed by moderator) away from our family home. We tried again from (detail removed by moderator) but it’s just so difficult to get real change in the relationship. He has never accepted he has abused me, despite coercing me into something illegal.

      Yesterday I sought advice from Women’s Aid and a local DA charity. Their assessment was 100% certain that I have been experiencing abuse, despite my husband’s claim that as a (detail removed by moderator) he knows what he is talking about and that he is not abusing me.

      I finished my second assessment call yesterday, with a plan to find out what I needed to do and to work toward it, balancing the various other strains and demands I and the children are facing.

      Come (detail removed by moderator) there was a knock on the door from the police who separated my husband and I and quizzed me about why I felt unsafe. They asked me question after question about elements of his abuse but never seemed satisfied or seemed to understand the risks I felt. I eventually caved and gave them the biggest example of what he has done – which was the illegal thing he coerced me into which I referred to above.

      If it was just about me I would have held my nerve and not been so worried about convincing them but I’m terrified for my kids. He’s been exposing them to all sorts of risks like (detail removed by moderator) at ground level, button (detail removed by moderator) leaving them in the car (he says within sight) losing them when out and about, locking them in their room at night and often in the day (while watching them on the camera). I am worried about what will happen to them if and when he has access to them.

      I now feel that the tiny bit of control that I had over my life has gone and I am firefighting what to do now. Does anyone have any advice? Especially around what to do to help my kids. How should I broach Daddy’s absence from the house and uncertainty about if and when he will be back? (I want a divorce but there are practicalities to arrange in the meantime).

      I felt massive regret this morning when I got up, doubt myself and am aghast at how this has played out. But I have also been making a (very very long) list of why I’m leaving and all the things he has done over time to strengthen my resolve. Is there a module on The Freedom Course for managing your emotions and the inevitable guilt trips post split? I am due to start the course in Jan.

      Thanks everyone.

    • #116613

      A wise woman once said to me if you don’t know what to do then do nothing, because it’s not the right time, you are in the information gathering stage, only when you are ready will the answer and the way forwards present itself to you. This was so true, I have tested it out now numerous times. The only one exception to this rule I have found is, that doing nothing when living with abuse is not best, we need to act here and take back the control of our lives.

      Your emotions will be all over the place, I suggest you try to sit and be with these, process what’s happened and how you feel about things. This is never time wasted.

      And pull in as much support as you can for you and the children, practical and emotional. Your GP would be one good person to talk to, victim support and WA helpline too. They’re not just there to assess, they are there for all maner of questions and to offer whatever support they can and sign post you to other organisations when needed.

      It’s a tough one re what to say to the kids, but I would go with the truth in an age appropriate way, so not too much detail and no blame. It’s ok to say you are unsure what is happening, that you will let them know as soon as you do, and in the meantime, if this not knowing starts to feel tough, always know that you can come and talk to me about this – or something like. You could reassure them that one thing that will never change is that you both love them very much and that you are going nowhere, you will always be here for them.

      If you have to speak about him refer to ‘his behaviour’, children can understand this, that some behaviour is wrong, some is best. It also protects their feelings, saying dad is this and that can be hurtful. You could say grown ups make mistakes too sometimes.

      If they present any opportunities to discuss what dad should have done instead of what he did with them etc, I would say they need to know what is ok and what is not, that they should have been safe and protected and were not and this was right, that you will ensure this won’t happen again.

      Try to write these incidents down with dates, so that you can discuss these with the appropriate professionals when the time is right, this will help you to go for supervised visits only eventually, which sounds needed and sensible. He simply can’t be trusted with them can he, so can not be left alone with them again from here on in. I would call the NSPCC and talk through these things with them, see what they say and if they can offer the children any support. You need professionals to help and to gain their support – because you all need this yes, but also because if he tries to take them on his own, these agencies will support ‘supervised access only’.

      Try to remember to go easy on yourself, this has been a dreadful time and it sounds like you’ve lived it for a while. Hang in there, it feels scary as the change came very quickly in the end didn’t it; but it absolutley needed to happen.

      Keep posting. We are all here for you and we will all try to help as much as we can x

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