4th December 2020 at 8:29 pm #117321
As we are nearing Christmas, I’m certain that I’m not alone in my feelings of sadness. It’s such an emotive time of year with loads of good, strong memories which makes things hard. However, in an attempt to spread a little festive positivity, I thought I would post here the things I’ve learnt to be true since I “got out” earlier this year. I hope that my words may help some ladies who read them. Plus, I think it might do me some good to vent!! 🙂
1. The good memories flood back quicker than the bad ones
This is the HARDEST PART! Especially right now at Christmas. So many memories, traditions, photos, Christmas tree decorations that we bought together, routine things that we will never do again. One of the first things I was told (on this forum, actually) is that the good memories always leap forwards and the bad memories get pushed back. Try to hold on to the bad memories. It isn’t a Christmas fairy tale is it? Otherwise you wouldn’t be on here reading this forum. Get your journal out. Read it. And if you haven’t read “why does he do that” by Lundy Bancroft, then buy it and read it. Knowledge is power.
2. Yes, it is abuse
My abusive partner was manipulative, controlling and verbally abusive (but also a TOTAL CHARMER!!!!!)
Just because he wasn’t physical did not make him any less intimidating and frightening. If your best friend behaved the way your partner does, would you still be friends with them? Chances are, No. Words and actions leave scars. Trust your gut. After leaving my husband, a friend confided in me that if her husband spoke to her the way that my husband spoke to me, she would cry every day. This was very hard to hear. But it was clear as day. At that point I was so relieved that I was out.
3. It does get better
I can’t stress this enough. I’m not over it yet, but life is SO MUCH better now that I am out.
My recovery cycle was relief, followed by anger, followed by immense sadness, and now I’ve found contentment (of sorts). That low level of anxiety that you have all the time when you live with your abusive partner – it will go away and the feeling is actually really nice. Feeling calm? Lovely. Being free to behave how you please? Wonderful! But it does take time. For me it took counselling, the confidence of good friends, my own space, and time. And I’m far from over it. I burst into tears yesterday just looking as a specific Christmas bauble. BUT – life is still better now, and will continue to get better. It was never going to get better in my abusive relationship. Another thing is; I realised that I can “do life” perfectly well on my own. I’m not codependent. I’m not an idiot after all (don’t tell him that, his world will shatter) and I am more than capable of taking care of my self and my life quite well, thank you very much 🙂
4. He probably won’t ever change (sorry)
I’ve had reason to see my husband quite a lot since moving out. Mainly for “admin” reasons, and for collecting things from the house. He hasn’t changed a jot. He’s still condescending, rude, belittling, even now. Even after what’s happened his tone with me is that of utter superiority. Seeing these little glimpses reminds me of the transparent fact that he will not change. It isn’t in his DNA. In fact, I think he’s sore about the fact that I saw him for what he truly was, and called him out on it.
5. Some people won’t understand
This is really hard. I hope that other people don’t experience this like I have. Some very close friends and family members simply don’t get it. I’ve had other women say things like “every couple argues” and “you should have stayed and tried to work it out” and “You’re chasing rainbows”.
Don’t. Waste. Your. Energy.
These people can turn a positive day in to a crash-and-burn-horrible day. It takes strength and courage to come to the realisation that you are being abused, and to remove yourself from it. Don’t allow anyone to bring you down. If they don’t get it – don’t keep trying to persuade them. You don’t owe anyone any justification. There is one particular “doubter” in my life, whose own husband treats her appallingly. My theory is that some people are happy as they are. My decision to leave an unhealthy, destructive, abusive relationship was my decision and other people may be comfortable to stay. I wasn’t. My decision. Don’t let other people’s insecurities about their own relationships ruin your day. Having said that, I have a friend who recently told me that my decision to leave has prompted her to ask questions about unhealthy behaviour in her own relationship. To clarify: I’m not going around telling my friends to leave their partners!!!! 🙂
Sometimes it takes the action of one person to give other people confidence to ask, and challenge, and find their own voices and speak up.
6. Most people DO understand
I’m quite comfortable telling my story now, to friends, or colleagues. I still can’t quite get used to their positive reactions. I’m not a hero. I can’t take a compliment very well. When I’m alone and feeling contemplative (like now) I do think back to the positive comments that people have said and I do start to believe them. I should get better at saying it. Leaving is hard. It takes guts and strength. It takes determination to push down the voice inside that tells you to go back! The people who build you up and say these nice things are the people you should surround yourself with because they speak the truth.
Anyway, that’s all I can think of. These 6 things are the things that I have learnt to be true since I got out.
I’m currently sitting on the sofa in trakkie bottoms, on my own (except for my needy dog) and feeling pretty good. Today has been very hard, but I feel okay. Tomorrow is another day to feel even better. I’m going to focus on how Christmas used to feel before I met my husband. I used to think it was pretty rocking, actually!! I knew how to have fun then, and I still do now. So, I might just put some Shakin’ Stevens on and dance around the kitchen for a bit. Goodnight x
4th December 2020 at 10:08 pm #117331WalkingonsunshineParticipant
Love this 💖
Here’s to a new start for you with many many better christmases ahead x
5th December 2020 at 10:34 am #117353
Thanks Lottie. Yes, here’s to some fabulous Christmases and lots of new traditions with great people! x
4th December 2020 at 10:11 pm #117332LottieblueParticipant
Thank you Blue! I needed all of that. X*x
5th December 2020 at 10:36 am #117354
Thank you Lottie!! 🙂
It makes such a huge difference getting things off your chest with people who have experienced the same. Friends are wonderful but people won’t truly know what it’s like unless they’ve experienced it. We need to stick together! 🙂
5th December 2020 at 1:02 am #117336Same-againParticipant
Love this post. Thank you so much for sharing it. Mine said so many vile criticisms and put downs that sometimes it’s hard to block his voice out of my head. Your post made me smile and feel hopeful. Thank you 🙂
5th December 2020 at 10:39 am #117355
Hi Same-Again, I know exactly what you mean. The longer I spend time away from him, I realise just how totally unacceptable it is to speak to another human being like that. Let alone someone you’re supposed to “love”. If only I was brave enough to say, “I’m sorry, who do you think you’re talking to???” [accompanied with a sassy head movement] the very first time he spoke to me like that – sadly I let it go on for years, and years, and yeeeaaaarrrrs. x
5th December 2020 at 6:07 pm #117361gettingtiredParticipant
Love this post, thank you for sharing 👏🙌🙂 gives me some hope for when I hopefully do leave x
6th December 2020 at 5:03 pm #117390LosingbattleParticipant
Love this. Me and my husband have separated several times this year. And even though I know its abuse and hell never change I have found myself thinking about the good and pushing the bad to the back of my mind. I just remind myself of how it’s made my daughter feel and it helps me stay strong and stick to my guns. Wishing you well x
16th December 2020 at 12:55 am #117873cheeseramenParticipant
Great post 🙂
I just had my first experience of a ‘friend’ criticising my choice to have no further contact. I was shocked at how awful it made me feel – almost as bad as day one again!
Thank you for your thoughtful words about your progress, it makes me feel hopeful.
Well done you x
16th December 2020 at 7:09 am #117874HettyParticipant
Yes I’ve had family say “you’ll have to talk to him properly”. They don’t understand that this isn’t possible. For a split second I felt cruel and sorry for him, but then I remember how he used to speak to me week in week out, all the hideous names he’d call me. He doesn’t deserve any more of my time. I got all the begging when I left but now I’ve raised finances via messages his mask is slipping again x
9th January 2021 at 12:48 am #119420
Hi ladies, I’ve had a really tough day today. I wanted to post on this thread as a reminder if just hiw quickly things can swing from positive to negative. I’ve cried all day. Ex called me and told me that he misses me, he is heartbroken, and he will regret letting me go until the day he dies. I’m not letting this set me back. Read my journal and reminded myself who he really is. Its still sad though. He might be heartbroken but I was for years, with every cruel word. Onwards and upwards.
9th January 2021 at 5:34 am #119422EmpoweredhealingParticipant
Good for you for keeping up with the good habits that was helping you to recover. Remaining clear and strong will keep you from going back to abuse. Don’t let him sacrifice your happiness in order for him to feel better. His manipulation is of course part of the abuse. He’s dealing with the pain of loneliness which he’s hoping you would fix for him (as you have done in the past at the expense of your own). He’s still looking for someone else to make him feel better instead of looking inward. And that was of course, always the problem. He’s heartbroken but only for himself. My ex used to tell me his sobs story all the time and I would cry over his “suffering”. Until I realized he never thought about my suffering, my pain. This pathologic selfishness and lack of empathy is why the abuse doesn’t stop or get better.
9th January 2021 at 7:12 am #119423GreenSapphireParticipant
Well done for staying strong.
Again, it’s always about them. Their feelings. Their needs. Their loss. Notice how intense his words are. Notice the drama in them. Notice how he still believes he is in control ‘he will regret letting me go until the day he dies’. He wrongly believes you had no say in leaving which we know is incorrect. It’s a red flag!
They use us as human sticking plasters for their damaged minds, but like you said, he refuses to do the inner work to see himself clearly and is on the hunt for another human sticking plaster to make himself feel better, which never works nor lasts.
They don’t change. They are the eternally spoiled brat.
9th January 2021 at 8:41 am #119426HettyParticipant
Stay strong. Well done for reaching out. I’ve not taken a single call since I left months ago. I know he’ll want to pull me back in.
You’re right, where was his concern for your broken heart? He’s only sorry you grew strength to get out. Well done for being so brave. Honestly I’m in awe of the women on here, either living in the abuse or those of us out. It takes so much strength to endure abs survive. Keep posting and educating yourself. You’ve come so far. Don’t let his words manipulate you. He hasn’t changed. Words are just that, meaningless.
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