4th February 2019 at 6:09 pm #71869Anonymous
It’s been going round and round in my head. I’ve told two of my closest friends how bad things have got. I have made my decision. But I’m so bl**dy scared. I don’t know how to make the words come. Today I thought I would find the strength to call WA. It never quite happened. I wasn’t alone long enough. I just need to know I’m doing the right thing. I don’t know what to do. He has robbed me of everything. My friend said yesterday, if I don’t get out, it will kill me. She has seen first hand, what I have become. I don’t even recognise myself.
4th February 2019 at 6:22 pm #71870
You’re absolutely doing the right thing. The fact that youre scared and confused is a sure sign of abuse. Ring the helpline. They won’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. They will simply discuss your options. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain x
4th February 2019 at 7:36 pm #71879Anonymous
My mental health has suffered because of him. I’m on antidepressants and due to start another round of CBT after they admitted they weren’t qualified to deal with what was going on in my life. I don’t want my MH to be used against me, further down the line. So I battle alone. He hasn’t got a clue what’s going on!
4th February 2019 at 7:51 pm #71880
My mental health has never been used against me by anyone but my abuser. It’s a very common tactic for them to use your mental health, which is actually mental injuries cause by him. Please don’t battle alone. Gather people around you to support you and get you strong again. Don’t let him know you’re seeking help. Stay safe x
4th February 2019 at 7:54 pm #71881Anonymous
He would use it against me. He would say I’m an unfit mother.
4th February 2019 at 9:58 pm #71889
Hi SS, he will be the only one to use it against you. No-one else will. Can you put an appointment on to see your doctor again. Tell them your worries, tell them he’s threatening to use mh issues against you. Opening up to your doctor, gives solicitors(if ever needed) an outside verification that abuse has gone on in the relationship. Have you managed to get in touch with WA yet? Try your local one if you can’t get through. Abusers are all talk, they’ll say anything to you and about you, so long as they are seen in a good light. You know the truth, you have friends who know what you are going through too. Good luck and remember we’re here any time to help you through this, give advice if possible. We’re here 100%.
4th February 2019 at 10:33 pm #71890Anonymous
He doesn’t even know the extent of my mental health, because he has caused it. I don’t share anything with him. I wasn’t brave enough to call them today. I will try tomorrow. GP is aware of the stresses at home. He is extremely clever. No one would even know. Except us.
4th February 2019 at 11:56 pm #71892
Hi SS, I hope you can make that call. I’ll be thinking of you and willing you to call them. X
5th February 2019 at 12:13 pm #71904MimosaParticipant
This is all going to be a bit rambly as I’m a few (detail removed by moderator) out, but I hope it helps you to find some courage to carry on your journey.
It is difficult – it took me ages to call the helpline, then when I called they were busy helping other women so I finally left a message saying when they could safely call me back and they phoned back within 2 hours. Then I couldn’t find the words to say why I was calling and the lady on the other end was so kind and reassuring, asking me questions to help me find a way to open up about what was happening to me. It felt so much better to know that the ridiculous and horrible things he did and the way I felt was real and that he was doing it on purpose and that people were there to listen and help.
We know MH is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just like physical health – one in four people will have a mental health problem in any year, and although society is slowly shifting on attitudes to MH, it’s still a weapon for the archaic thinking of the abuser who latches on to the idea of MH stigma to attack. Perlease! I was told by him for years that I needed sectioning and that he would get custody of our children if I ever decided to leave him – so I didn’t, until now. And guess what? Neither were true! Just another way to get power and control over me. My confidence and self esteem have undoubtedly suffered and I expect I have some MH matters I’m not aware of yet as I am still exhausted and unravelling. Also where I was being resilient in my head I thought, my body was only able to tolerate so much stress and I had some serious physical health issues come and go. But I’m feeling so much better in body and mind now I am beginning to get ‘me’ back and getting the necessary support for myself and my children.
Support has been key all through my journey to freedom! Since phoning the helpline, I have done the 12 week Freedom Programme which highlighted areas of abuse in my relationship that I wasn’t even aware of, I’ve read a lot (the freedom programme book, Lundy Bancroft and others). I have talked to my family, my friends, my boss, my colleagues, paramedics, the police, hospital Dr, my GP, an outreach support worker at a refuge, Children’s Social Services, Domestic abuse services and the helpline and the lovely ladies on this forum. When I feel low about something in the middle of the night, I search on here and read all the kindness and know I am not alone even when everyone is asleep! It is so hard to talk about this and it sounds so ridiculous sometimes but you will be believed.
I had a couple of decades of this – things escalated and the frequency that had been months, weeks, days apart became everyday, then several times a day and he got more unpredictable and what he did got worse and worse, then he did several things that meant I could no longer tolerate being with him. But while he was getting worse to bring me down, I was getting stronger, and although they often get worse as we try to leave apparently, I had got to the point that although I played the game he had me in, I could keep my inner strength and build on it despite the power and control tactics he tried. I also had things on place he had no idea about, like doing the freedom programme, and I had a red flag on the house with the Police (who were amazing) which meant that when I called them, they knew there were some serious issues and came asap. Because of what he did he was removed and things are pending. But Children’s Social Services consider I am a good mother and can keep my children safe and well, so all the rubbish he said about me was just his vileness!
These professionals are trained and should know what they are looking for and however charming he can be, people trained in this stuff can see through the charade (in my experience any how). I have heard ‘oh they all do and say that’, ‘yes we’d expect to hear that’, ‘of course he’d say that, but I can see it’s not true’. Unfortunately this is a phenomenon that is widespread, but this means it is also fairly well researched and documented, so much so that theories and patterns can be applied to most circumstances.
I do hope you can find the space and courage to call the helpline. Sometimes we have to say the words out loud and get them validated by another kind soul to acknowledge it’s real. This is your life, not his.
6th February 2019 at 6:55 am #71931Anonymous
Thank you. For taking the time to read and reply. Your response explains so much. The anxiety I feel. I feel like I’m fighting so many battles. Most of them alone, because I’ve shut myself off from everyone, including him. I know, finding the strength will be the hardest part for me. Just to utter the words. Anxiety plagues my life, again, much of that is down to him. Constantly living on the edge, walking on eggshells. I know it has to stop. Because I can’t do it any more.
6th February 2019 at 7:35 am #71932maddogParticipant
You are so not alone ShatteredSoul. I am still not out of the woods but so much has changed since I made contact with Women’s Aid. The first time I did was back in the mists of time when I didn’t see what was under my nose. It took a very long time for me to realise the extent of what had been happening to me, and yes, it’s terrifying.
I realised, eventually that my MH issues were to do with things I had experienced, witnessed; things over which I had no control. It is a huge burden lifted. For anyone to blame you for having MH problems is akin to saying your shoe size or your birthday is your fault.
I have never in my life experienced the fear and anxiety brought on by my ex’s behaviour. It is truly awful. Drugs relieve some of the symptoms.
You are doing well to post here. The Samaritans are always available. I have phoned them more often than I care to think in recent times, often in blind terror and not knowing what else to do, as a gibbering wreck.
Victim Support is also brilliant and may be able to start making plans. You probably have a local WA helpline. It’s so difficult getting started. Admitting it to ourselves is a massive step. Your experience of life has been stripped bare and negated by your abuser. It is not your fault and it is nothing you have done. It is hard to begin to take back our experience and learn what belongs to us, and firmly dump the abuser’s rubbish where it belongs instead of carrying it around with us. It’s such a heavy load.
I admire that you have started by posting here. Keep at it. Keep a diary and record everything you can in whatever way is possible. Baby steps. You are on your way. It’s a horrible journey and not one any of us would choose. However, there is so much help and support and so many people to hold your back on your travels. Keep breathing and hold yourself high if only for a moment for reaching out.
Depression is a terrible thing. I hope your gp is helpful. Please let them know the situation at home if you can.
8th February 2019 at 8:54 pm #72042Anonymous
I am trying to be brave. Each day, trying to summon up the strength to call. Finding the time and the safety to do so. Each day, someone or something has prevented me from doing so. I tried several times today, but each time, the lines were busy. I’m fighting hard, but it doesn’t seem enough.
8th February 2019 at 11:17 pm #72060
Hi SS, just want to let you know that we’re all here thinking of you and willing you on. You have been very brave so far, each day IS another baby step away from his abuse. How? Because you are posting on here, we’re your secret weapon. You can get great advice from Everyone of us, you get to choose what suits your own needs. To live in such a high state of anxiety is awful for us, but we do it. Day by day, hour by hour. To get breathing space of any small amount of time is so welcomed. Have you started planning an exit plan yet. Do you know what you need to take with you, have you someone you trust that you can leave a bag with personal paperwork, some clothes, medicine, money in it. Do you share a bank account, have you a mortgage together or rent a place. I keep a diary on my phone which he doesnt have access to. You could put down in it your list of things to take. IF things are really dangerous, you’re in fear for your life of him, you can leave without anything. Personal paperwork can always be recopied. One lady on here, she left in the back of a friends car with her child. Leaving is doable, we just need to be ready for every eventuality.
As to phoning WA, I’ve heard it’s so busy but you can leave a message with specific times to call back on, if you think that would be safe to do so. Do you know if you have a local WA organisation in your area, a local one has solicitors they deal with. They can help untangle any joint finances, they can help get an interim exclusion order. You need two witness statements, yours and one other to the abuse and a letter say from your doctor, that his behaviour is affecting you in a bad way. This is given from a judge which gets him out of the family home, you’ll be informed when it’s being served, so you can be elsewhere when it is served. There’s so much to take in, in the beginning, especially when we’re coming to terms with accepting our partner is an abuser. Best wishes, i hope you get peace of mind soon, the more knowledge you get, the stronger you’ll become, and believe it or not you will start to stand up to him in little ways. Mine was putting the toilet roll on the wrong way(according to him), now I refuse to continually get up every 20-30 mins to make a cup of coffee or tea or get him his snacks. He wants them, he can get them. You can do this, no matter how long it takes. A day, a week, a month, a year, 5 years, one day, you will be free of him.
10th February 2019 at 8:20 am #72126Anonymous
Yesterday it was because I forgot to buy bread. Today, I know it will be because I refused his advances in the middle of the night. And because I made arrangements to meet a friend for coffee. I had to ask permission, despite him going out 4 times in the last week (every week). I haven’t been out 4 times in the last year. I think he knows what’s coming. He’s scared because he’s losing control.
10th February 2019 at 8:42 am #72129
It’s not because you forgot to buy bread or turned down his advances. Abuser simply change the goal posts. Even if you were the most perfect partner ever, bought the right bread and had sex every day. He would simply find something else to abuse you over. And if there is nothing obvious he will simply make something up to continue his abuse. He enjoys abusing you. He enjoys the feeling of power he gets when he sees you frightened and upset. That’s how he maintains his feeling of power and control. Abusers feel big by making us feel small and destroying our self esteem and confidence making us even more dependent on them.
10th February 2019 at 12:59 pm #72148[email protected]Participant
have you written down what youve been through and what youd like to ask? you could do this on a device with a password. then you could take your time working out what you want to say to WA. i remember being a shivering wreck dealing with my ex, i was in complete desperation and i didnt feel that i could tell anyone. I worried they wouldnt believe me and the fear of him held me back. i wish now i hadnt followed my sense of fear because that wasnt reality. i was believed, the police protected me so did the courts. you do need professional backing we all did. theres no shame in any of this this isnt your doing xx
10th February 2019 at 4:38 pm #72153she-raParticipant
Hello lovely, I completely agree with KIP. This happens to me to, nothing and I mean absolutely nothing I do is ever right. And the goal posts move continually and frequently. I read somewhere that as everything we do is wrong we may as well just please ourselves and do it the way we want as we’ll never be right where they’re concerned. Definitely helped me get a bit of perspective! It’s so true, it’s all about them, not us, they are choosing to abuse us and to hurt us. I read the Pat Craven book and it really helped me. I am still in my relationship but the book has helped me feel stronger and more ready to leave. It was my xmas present to myself! It is a choice, he chooses to hurt you because he wants to. I looked at that and thought wow! When other people upset him does he go round hitting them? No! It’s not about losing control, it’s not about us pushing them to do it, they want to hurt us so they find an excuse to hit us. Getting the wrong bread is just the excuse, not the real reason. They do it because they want to. Keep posting hun, you’re doing brilliantly. It took me a long time to ring the help line, in the end I did the call back when I was at work and was really good. It’s so hard to start talking, because if we don’t talk about it it isn’t real is it?! Small steps sweetie good luck xxxx
10th February 2019 at 9:17 pm #72166Anonymous
I honestly don’t think he knows he’s doing it. My mum was herself a victim of domestic violence. My husband knows this, yet still thinks it’s acceptable to shout and scream at any of us. A therapist asked me the other day, what I do, when he’s like that. I said, I take the youngest two and go for a walk. I hate confrontation. Anything for an easy life.
10th February 2019 at 9:33 pm #72167torpefyParticipant
I can relate to all of what you say.
The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying. The only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.
I left years ago and am still subjected to harassment although this is at least limited now. It took a very dangerous situation, much like you describe with your friends for me to take that jump, and as awful as it was, I will never regret it. I am sure you won’t either but be smart, plan your escape with the support of very few you trust. Thinking of you.
12th February 2019 at 12:29 am #72227SparklegoneParticipant
I can completely relate to what you are saying SS x
The positive is that you have made your decision now. I believe it’s important to plan your exit so it’s as safe as possible for you. I would really encourage you to speak to resources for help with this if you are struggling darlin. It’s hard.
These types of relationships are completely exhausting in every way. I remember thinking if I don’t die of stress I could end up doing something to myself to stop it all.
You may not recognise yourself at the moment but once you leave you will be able start finding yourself again, healing and recovering from this awful situation. It’s really hard and it’s not going to get better overnight but trust me you will be happy at the end of it. There’s a better life out there for you.
Stay strong and I hope you find the strength already within you to reach out for help. You can do this.
Thanks for sharing with us all
12th February 2019 at 7:39 pm #72259Anonymous
I did manage to make a call. I rang during my lunch break and asked for a callback between 3.30-4.30 when I knew I would be free in work. I was on the phone for about 45 minutes. She was lovely. She talked me through lots of stuff and gave me the number of a local domestic violence helpline, that might be easier to get through to and seek support and advice from. I will keep you updated. Now I just need to summon up to courage to call the next number. The lady said it was coercive control, and named the types of abuse (some I hadn’t even thought of). So much to take in.
12th February 2019 at 11:47 pm #72267
That’s great news SS , I’m so proud of you and pleased you managed to call. Having someone more local to call is better. Hopefully you’ll be able to see more clearly talking with them. Best of luck. It definately takes so much courage just even doing something as simple as making a phonecall.
I hope you find the strength to cut out your oh from your life. I read everybody’s posts, hoping to find a way that’ll show me how to leave mine, preferably a way that doesn’t involve me having to see him, tell him or deal with him afterwards. Thinking I’m hoping for too much. Having financial commitments ties us, though I know it isn’t completely binding. Your post has made me smile though, that was a huge step you took today, so again well done😊
14th February 2019 at 9:10 pm #72408Anonymous
We too have financial ties. Being married for so long, creates no end of mess to untangle. I am lucky that I should be able to support the children and I, although difficult, not impossible. I will also have to raise a mortgage and buy him out of the house. He has previously said, that he would never leave if that was my intention to make his life unbearable. He has recently been made redundant and will be unable to raise a mortgage for himself. I just need to know where to begin. It’s a minefield. I am planning on ringing the local number tomorrow.
14th February 2019 at 10:04 pm #72417StarandlittlestarParticipant
I have no words of wisdom, SS. There are ladies on here who are much wiser than me. But I have words of support. You come across in your posts as strong and determined, despite everything you are going thru. Every tiny step you take is a step towards freedom. Never give up.
The fact that you can financially support yourself and your kids is great – be proud. I am in the same situation and when my lawyer told me I was in the stronger financial position I felt a tiny glimmer of pride. Whatever he may have done he hasn’t taken my ability to support my family.
So pat yourself on the back for that. We all do whatever we can for our kids, whether it is to care for them ourselves, earn the money, maybe a bit of both. We must be proud of whatever we achieve.
Keep going. Small steps. You will get there.
Luv Star xx
15th February 2019 at 5:33 pm #72464Anonymous
I tried several times to call the helpline. Thought I had a wrong number, but the lady assured me I didn’t. I couldn’t get my words out. I couldn’t get a good phone signal in work and I kept losing connection. The lady tried to call me back, but she still couldn’t hear me. By which time I was in bits and cried. I feel like I let myself down 😔
15th February 2019 at 6:43 pm #72475
Don’t feel bad. You’ve reached out. You’ve held this in for so long that’s why you’re overwhelmed. Someone will get back in touch but I think you’ll have to get in touch again to arrange another time to call back safely. Keep going, you can do this 💚💜
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