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    • #14583

      I ended my abusive relationship but feel so lonely and empty, how do you cope with this?

    • #14586
      Falling Skys

      Hi HA

      I felt totally lost, after years of being controlled I was unable to make decisions. I was already going to the gym and swimming so for a long time I carried on my routine as before.

      In time I started to go out with friends for coffee. Sad to say at first I wouldn’t be able to choose where to sit. I would google where we were going so I could make a choice of what to eat/drink before I got there.

      Now a way down the line I do things on the spear of the moment without explaining my actions to any one.

      I would say don’t be hard on yourself. You need to heal and find out who you are. Having to be on alert all time because you waiting for the abuse is consuming so when you don’t have it all the time it is a lonely empty place but you can now feel that with fun for you and your children.

      FS xx

    • #14590
      Falling Skys

      I am still on my own by choice. I don’t want to make the same mistakes.

      Well done for seeing the cycle.

      Your doing so well as doing no contact it must be like going cold turkey.

      Till the house sales I’m in the same property as my abuser. I leave early return late so I don’t have to see him. Not ideal but I see some wonderful sunrises 😁

      FS xx

    • #14599

      Lonely. I remembered how lonely I was when I was with him.
      Then I did the same thing as you and started talking on dating sites, feeling stupidly grateful for anyone who took interest in me.
      At the same time I was talking to Women’s Aid and I also discovered the online Freedom Program.
      I took up a hobby that I thought I might like and be able to do that involved getting out and meeting people and found I loved it.
      I stayed a friends every now and then.
      I pretended that I was in a new town and used that to allow me to give me permission to search out new things and to know that it takes time.
      I also had to learn to be in the house by myself, that it was okay.
      I now enjoy the odd quiet time I get by myself listening to the radio.
      At first it was the hardest thing to do.

    • #14619
      Escaped not free

      I know how u feel. I’m desperately lonely. Kids are army their dads this weekend and it’s like staring into a black abyss. I know my ex partner will have a host of things lined up to occupy him and his mind, prob involving the girl he kept dangling in the background through our whole relationship who he appears now to have had staying at our house and where he did off to last weekend. He’s moving on to his next source of emotional fuel. I wish also I knew where to begin finding a life again. Most of my friends are married so their weekends are taken up. I mistly worked the weekends my kids were at their dads but as I’m signed off suck just now I can’t do that. I’m trying to get this house ready for sale but it’s not easy. It’s all just too much. i get the huge void thing. Wish I could just invite everyone on here to my house for the weekend! X

    • #14627

      Time to move on to Project Radical Self Care!

      Instead of missing the kids dreadfully ( I go through it every two weeks), engage in radical self care and the things you love.

      Time then goes, plus you are building yourself up.

      For example, my way of doing this is:

      Looking up healthy eating plans
      Going and buying fresh fruit and veg
      Cutting out carbs
      Making home-made facials
      Having coffee with friends
      Aromatherapy bath
      Cuddling my cats
      Tending to plants
      Going thrift shopping – and finding lovely clothes for barely nothing
      Baking a cake for the kids for when they return
      Planning healthy meals for me and kids for the week ahead
      Spoiling myself to a coffee out
      Watching programmes I love on catch-up- preferably with a cup of tea in bed!

      I have recently moved on to Stage 2 of Project Self-Care and have joined some therapeutic local classes.


    • #14642

      This is a lovely list, Serenity! Thank you


    • #14659

      I love your Radical Self Care, Serenity! 🙂

    • #14710
      Escaped not free

      That is a good list serenity. Think everything has just got too much. GP agreed today and started me on antidepressants. Apparently they will make me worse before I get better. Gonna look at your list though and see what I can do positively. I’m gonna sign up for a ten week gym program my local gym is doing, get in shape for summer thing. I need to improve my fitness because I’ve been so unwell the last few months with chest infections it’ll be a challenge but it’s something I used to do…part of the old me. I’m just gonna have to make sure I eat more. Finding that soooo hard. Lost a ridiculous amount of weight. Was down to 7st at its worst. its gotten a bit better but not up to 8st yet. Thanks for the inspiration. X*x

    • #14729

      He was faking. You weren’t.

    • #14730

      My ex told me he never imagined he would find so much in one person.

      Of course,in hindsight he realise he meant not that he appreciated me for who I was, but he appreciated what I could potentially do for him.

      It’s not you. These abusers fake it every day, with everyone. He was probably like that with his previous girlfriend, and will be like that in the future, too.mits just how they operate. They wake up in the morning, energised by the thought of what they can get our of people. They don’t wake up saying ‘What can I do for others today?’

      They laugh at kind people. They think they are fools. They think it’s far more clever to manipulate people and get what they can from them. They put winning above anything else.

      Pity them. They will never know true intimacy with anyone. It must be exhausting pretending to be normal when underneath you are not.

    • #14750
      Escaped not free

      I’ve read all this, I know my ex fits the pattern and I know I’m being very niave but I just can’t get my head around a relationship that was as intense as it was for all those years, is just gone now and I’m left with this gaping empty hole inside me. I know reading everyone’s account that he said all the same things as everyone else’s partner. You are my soulmate, I’ve never had a connection like this with anyone, we were made to be together, feel like all the years before we met were a waste. I LOVED this man with my entire heart, I realise now, horrifically I still do. But I know how his words and atmospheres made me feel and it wasn’t good. But we had so many amazing, wonderful times together. We would be in contact all through the day before things went bad, we would find the same things funny. Then it just became like nothing I did was right, literally nothing. The more depressed I became about it the more annoyed he got that I wasn’t giving him what he needed. Ive got another day ahead of me that just feels overwhelming. I still can’t work out what to go and buy for dinner for the kids or where to begin to get this house on the market. The house that was supposed to be our forever home, they place we grew old together. Anything other than no contact isn’t an option anyway due to bail restrictions…he didn’t beat me, that’s for other things. I just wish I could sit and talk to him. Explain I never wanted any of this. It’s a roller coaster that’s just run out of control. But I was left with no option. My family couldn’t go back while he was here and we couldn’t get another home whilst I was paying the bills here. It’s just a complete mess. People say be kind to yourself and I actually don’t know, literally how to do that. My whole life at home, when I was at work, when I was growing up I looked after other people. I don’t know what being kind to myself means. All I feel is unimaginable painful loss and no way forward. X

    • #14757
      Escaped not free

      Yes, I’ve read the hug Tudor books. Yes, can def identify with the cycle of love bombing. Two months before I got out he bought me an engagement ring, I allowed myself to believe in him again, then was vile to me on Christmas Day when I git it but put on a show for his family. My family were given the cold shoulder entirely. The thought of the engagement was too much for my younger son who admitted after therapy how much he disliked him. My ex would do the same thing to the kids, not his. Be nice to them, then if he didn’t get the response he wanted would act like a petulant child. I’ve heard through the grape venue that he’s gone down to (detail removed by moderator), staying with a “friend” a girl I know he’s kept dangling in the background for years. It’s killing me. He knows it will be killing me. He had an ice edible ability to make people, woman in particular think he’s damaged deep down in some way and only they can fix it. I can only describe my life right now as a gaping empty living hell. Yet u have three children I love to the ends of the earth and I knew I needed to get them away from the toxic environment. Don’t understand why I can’t just be happy to be out. Every single little thing overwhelms me. X

    • #14869
      Escaped not free

      I k ow how complicated this is. I feel like I am literally dealing with two entirely different people and my head is all over the place. I absolutely crave the man I had what I thought was a great intimacy and bond with and I can’t reconcile in my head that none of that is real. Then on the other hand there’s this other man who has done everything he can to torture me because I asked for space. Because I walked away. He lies to authorities, he threatens me with alsorts but in my head it’s not the same man I was in love with. My emotions are literally all over the place and the last few days after living off adrenaline to get me through the torture he has put myself and my children through I’ve crashed and realised also what I’ve lost. The more I read on here and in books the more rational confirmation I have that he was manipulating me but the intensity of our relationship makes it so hard for my emotional side to believe that. I can’t explain it any other way than there are two men in my life, one I’d describe as a monster for what he has put my children through and the other my one and only soulmate I’ve lost forever. When I was fighting for my kids it was easier, now they are more settled its my feelings that are left. I’m reading a book just’s my life now. Involves a lot of reflection and looking back at the good times but comparing them with the list of abusive traits you have ticked off that applied later in the relationship. I’m trying to focus on the negative. If I don’t, if I keep going over and over the good times I’ll never smile again and mean it. X*x

    • #14870
      Escaped not free

      I also started antidepressants today. It’s not pleasant feeling in the start but I’m hoping it will get me to a place I can be more rational. I also NEED to get back to work. I’m sorry if I’ve sent out mixed messages, I can’t explain it any better than I have. Feel like I’ve lost my entire future because a monster took over my wonderful man. I also feel guilt for not being able to stop it from happening. For not being stronger. X*x

    • #14871
      Escaped not free

      Do you think there will ever be a time in the future where you would be able to sit down with him and explain rationally what he did and gain his understanding. Or write it? No contact gave me a bit of control at first but I don’t know about you but I have so many questions now I’d like honest answers to. X

    • #14881

      I think it might help to realise that how they behave is their coping mechanism.

      Whether they are just born controlling or are that way due to past experiences, they find life too stressful if they are not in control of others, by manipulating them, subjugating them, cleverly getting them to do what they want, etc.

      When I was in a sense of shock and disbelief after my separation, I couldn’t work out why he was behaving like he was, I just couldn’t get my head around it. Then, when I was offered the Freedom/ Pattern Changing course, they started to talk about the Power and Control Wheel- the different aspects of abuse within a relationship.

      I was flummoxed. Power hadn’t entered my mind during my marriage. I didn’t think about who was ‘in charge’: to me, we were both adults and were equal, and had got married to love and care for eachother and grow and journey together.

      But those was my ( healthy and normal ) hopes and expectations. When the group began talking about how abusers need power and control, it took ages to sink in. I couldn’t believe my ex had power and control of the mind all the time. But now it all fits, like the missing piece of the jigsaw. Power and control is what made him say and do all the things he did.

      I think there are two types of abusers:

      1) Abusers who are born with a noxious personality and who learn very early on that, to get on in life, they need to cover up and mask their unattractive true personality and instead manipulate and trick people to get what they want. ( Here, you might have an abuser who showed signs of a noxious personality from an early age- like a child who horrifies his parents by pulling legs off insects, etc. The book ‘The Sociopath Next Door’ by Martha Stout explains this brilliantly.)

      2) Abusers who are that way because of experiences, who learned early on to cope by controlling others and abusing. Or they had abusive role models, and mimic them and reenact childhood abuse because they have a need to do to others what was done to them. For example, a man who was bullied by an over-authoritarian father might have finally fled home and promised himself that he would never let anyone in his life tell him what to do, so any relationship he has will need to involve him being top dog and her being subservient, because here he is not the victim but the controller- however, in order to purge himself of padt experiences of abuse, he will inflict the exact same abuse on his partner, so that he is moved out of the victim role to the role if the abuser. Others will use covert abuse and manipulation to exert more cunning control.

      Their psychology is too messed up or abnormal for them to ever operate on a normal, giving level. Even if they appear normal, their mind is ticking away with unhealthy thoughts, which they don’t even analyse as being healthy or unhealthy, they just experience their own unhealthy thoughts and act upon them.

      One thing which helped me come to terms with the confusing dichotomy between how ‘nice’ they could appear and the horrible ugly behaviour, lies and attempt to destroy myself and my kids that I was witnessing , was the image of the beautifully wrapped present, that once you open it, there is either a very poor present inside, or it is empty. This is like our abusers. They might appear normal and even nice at times. They have learned to say the right things. But underneath, there is either not much there at all ( they are selfish, weak etc) or what is there is pretty ugly ( they are cruel, sadistic, abusive ).

      None of this is because you are who you are. They act because of what is already inside them.

      You were just the unfortunate victim who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    • #14906
      Escaped not free

      HA. Met with my WA outreach worker this morning and she has just been reiterating the fact that this man was willing to make myself and my children homeless, that for the last couple of months he’s made four of us share my parents spare single room. Then the lies he’s told to the authorities to fight me being able to be home without him here.
      It does sound very similar, I became involved with him romantically way too soon as I was getting out of my marriage and he was his. We leaned on each other, looking back though really it was me that did all the giving. He was always in control. He ended up pretty much living at mine with no contribution although we did have a lot of great times together. There was a definite cycle of me getting to the end of my tether with the way he treated me, trying to end it followed by love bombing. The closest I came to leaving him was early last year. After another of his dark emotional places that sucked everything from me he told me he didn’t know what he wanted…I knew I had to walk away and did. For a few weeks managed no contact then he started coming to my house begging and pleading, crying, his friends would tell me how utterly devastated he was and how he gets it and he needs me. Then my mum was told she had cancer, I was going through a tough time and he managed to get back in to my life, his mother also begged me to give him another chance, but to be tough with him. She is very very controlling to the point where his father can’t eat anything unless he phones her first to ask if he should…at the time they would laugh about it but I remember thinking it was very odd. I think this is where he gets the idea this is ok. Apparently he used to “run away” reg to friends when he was a kid, she would give him the silent treatment, he would come back, he’d learn his lesson.
      Then in his marriage I was aware of him leaving and going back several times, he described her as a controlling bully…to be fair I think they were both the same and fed off each other’s dramas. They used their son as a trophy and access to him as a weapon against each other which I feel very strongly is very wrong. I do everything I can to encourage my kids relationship with their father regardless of my personal feelings.
      Anyway once he got back in he was lovely, would have meals ready and bubble baths when I finished work, was interested in my kids, wanted to do things with all our kids including a holiday…this wasn’t perfect but I put that down to teething difficulties blending families. By this time he had gone on a total campaign to get me to sell my house and buy a place together. This was gonna make everything perfect apparently, it would be a fresh start, our own place, he wouldn’t consider moving in with me and e tending my house…which could have been done. He convinced me to move me and my kids away from a lovely house they’d grown up in, where the younger two loved to a much bigger house. We put in equal deposits but the mortgage was granted on my salary. I realised after we moved in that there was always large bundles of cash which is why his accounts look so bad…..something he then used against me in court, the fact I earn more on paper than him. I did EVERYTHING for him, cooked, cleaned, his invoices as he’s self employed, he used my car that he contributed to in no way because all he had was a (detail removed by Moderator). He liked being seen to have the big house and the nice car but really non if it was because of what he brought into the partnership. After we moved in the cycles became shorter and shorter. Just before Christmas I said what a mistake it had been, explained rationally what my issues were and he agreed that he had been at fault, again said all the right things. The stress of living like this was making me seriously unwell though, I had glandular fever and every time I started to get s bit better he would create another drama and I’d end up with another chest infection….just finished my 8th set of antibiotics. His grand gesture this time was an engagement ring for (detail removed by Moderator) but the day he gave it to me he was just horrible. He became more and more controlling and I was walking on eggshells the whole time. He belittled me contantky then I realised actually he belittles everyone all the time, often it is funny when it’s in groups but he can’t take any of it back. I became emotionally numb, couldn’t really understand what was wrong with me but new something was and thought it was me. Then I opened up to family then friends whom I’d been pretty much cut off from. The hassle of doing anything without him wasn’t worth it. He’d go mad if I did anything that was just myself and my children even if I’d invited him and his son and they said no. He tried a couple of weeks of being nice again but this time with a more sinister edge. He was frustrated that I didn’t just melt at his feet and give him all the emotions he was looking for. I felt on edge around him, he sensed it and it frustrates him and made him angry. Blamed me for dwelling in the past…after two weeks of him “being nice” he exoected everything to go back to fine again. By this time my son was in therapy for stress and anxiety and opened up to me about how much he disliked him. He created the most awful atmospheres if EVERYTHING wasn’t exactly how he wanted it. He was ver obsessive compulsive, self admittedly. If anyone left a glad or anything out there was a shouting about it. Not him though, he did pretty much nothing in the house, just mianed if my boys and I didn’t do a good enough job. After my son had told me how he felt and then j found myself crying in the car if the supermarket car park because I had to do a shopping and the thought of getting it right was overwhelming I knew things had to change. I spent a couple of nights away at my mums…made an excuse, no arguments or anything although he did his usual making me feel guilty. I went back while all kids were away to try and gave a real talk about how his behaviour was effecting everyone. I’d hoped I could get him to understand and get some help to deal with his anger issues. He’d promised me in the past he would. When I arrived though he was in a foul mood, had been drinking and long story short became frighteningly aggressive. I got back in the car and left after he eventually let me out. We’d agreed I thought that the relationship was over. I tried going back with kids to try and end things nicely, work together, begged him to try and get through it together. Didn’t work though, he wasn’t accepting, he thought the threat of loosing the house would make me back down to his control but i was serious, I knew for my kids I had to get out. His behaviour became more erratic, creating scenes I front of kids. He’d beg me to give him a chance then in a split second become nasty and threatening, offered to go to anger management, then told me I had to go to therapy to teach me to compromise. I grabbed bags and took kids to my mums to give him a chance to calm down. He didn’t. I since realised through an apple email alert he had been tracking and following me with my phone. He kept calling, texting, I tried at fist to reason but after seeing a solicitor friend of my parents went no contact. This made him worse, he was following me and a couple of scary incidents happened that I can’t go into. But what I did realise after s but if time away was that ALL his communications were ALL about him. All about his feelings, without any feedback from me he managed to go through his own cycles of emotional abuse in the space of a day. It was constant. Eventually and reluctantly I involved the police as I was scared to go out with kids in car. That’s when things got out of hand totally. Despite my expressing concerns this would escalate his behaviour they arrested and charged him and against the arresting officers recommendations he was released on bail to our home. The police effectively gave us the choice of returning to an abuser or being homeless with no access to accommodation…I earn too much to qualify for benefits and all bills for the house came from my account so I couldn’t pay for anywhere else. He used his bail conditions as an excuse to deny us access to the house and my son nearly didn’t get on holiday with his friend because I couldn’t get his passport. The police refused to help, said it was a civil matter. Then I complained to everyone in a fit of total injustice I spent an entire night emailing complaints to my coy lilies, my mp, the crown office conplaints department, social services and I got a solicitor that specialised in this sort of thing. Long story short…eventually granted an (detail removed by Moderator). I also have a panic alarm now in the house as I’m seemed high risk as he has already breeches bail conditions. That’s the story. That’s the story of the monster. The man I fell I love with, or had an intensity of feeling with…interesting point u made there I need to explore further…I could write screeds more about why we were made for each other. I still totally doubt myself despite being told repeatedly by friends and family I’ve done nothing wrong, I’ve tried to defend his actions, I’ve looked for the reasons behind them, assuming it wasn’t just badness. I’ve driven myself CRAZY trying to work out how to help him, how I could have made it work, how we could have had the life we planned in the good times. Like the Tudor books talk if though, he’s been denied contact with me so it would appear goes moving on to his next “soulmate”. The hurt I feel about this is indescribable but what he did and the subsequent lies he has told to try and make us go back to his control I know are unforgivable. Conflicted doesn’t even scratch the surface of how I feel. I don’t know if hearing the story helps, no doubt it’s familiar, it’s scary how alike all these stories are. Xxxxxx

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