This topic contains 20 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Wiseafter 14 hours, 42 minutes ago.

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  • #107594

    Really hard day and I just need to offload as been crying my eyes out and feeling so sad. I found an old notebook I had not looked at for many years. In it I had made notes, stuffed letters, poems, photos, cards and tokens from my partner (now ex). The letters are passionate, beautiful, soulful and romantic. I remembered how besotted we were – and then – bang – I had transcribed a whole barrage of verbal abuse in small black letters with a date and that was the end of my notes. It hit me so hard. I remembered him shouting those words at me and how it made me feel. I saved the florist card from after as well with ‘I’m so sorry. Sorry Sorry sorry. I love you’. I would always forgive him because I was ignorant. I didn’t know this kind of abuse existed and I never considered leaving. I just thought we had a relationship when he flipped out, felt bad, then we were madly in love again. But after a while, he no longer expressed feeling bad, the flowers stopped. He didn’t bother saying sorry and there was no passionate making up. He gave me the silent treatment, smirked at me or just ignored me. He stayed out all night and didn’t support me when I was in crisis. I could have saved myself so much time by leaving the first time, or the second time, or the hundredth time but I wanted him like an addict craves their fix. The highs and lows are what I’m used to. I have demeaned myself so much that crumbs of attention from him are better than none. So, like an addict I am in recovery, pouring out my feelings to you so that I don’t message him and do something I regret. I know tomorrow will be better and I am getting there but sometimes it is overwhelmingly hard.

  • #107598

    Your experience sounds exactly like mine. Right down to the letterS I kept. He didn’t bother keeping my letters or cards or cinema receipts. It just shows even back then how deep the bond was. It’s great you now understand that cycle of abuse. Healing From Hidden Abuse. A good book to read. You’re absolutely right about the addict in recovery but I’ve been that addict. With zero contact and time you can have a great life where he is just a distant memory. Someone once said to me why don’t you just move on. Well I told them I moved in from him very quickly but moving on from trauma and abuse is much more difficult x keep going, take baby steps and be very kind to yourself. Be your own best friend x

  • #107619


    Wise choice and a really insightful post, thank you for sharing.

    I think it is important to reflect, even though it is painful so that we can see how far we’ve travelled.

    Look what you just did? You felt all of this and then you went- you know what? No more. You put it out there, called it out.

    Others can share and learn from your experiences.

    We are united on here in our journey- as it says on the tin ‘until women and children are safe’


  • #107633

    Dear Wiseafter
    I hope you are a bit better now.

    I want to say thank you for sharing as I am trying to leave this for the hundredth time and the “I’m sorry. I love you” is all I get.
    Maintaining no contact is so hard and reading your experience and so many others I can only pray I’m strong enough since every post is how we wish we left earlier.

    It is such a strong attitude you showed us by coming here instead of looking for your ex. The more I read about it (if you want a suggestion Shahida Arabi books are changing my life!) more I see that the brain effects of the emotional roller coaster are like drug. It keeps you on your toes. You try to earn their love by being good enough. The fight and make up makes us stay because the make up is all we ever want and we believe in that.

    You are so strong and worth a thousand flowers. Not because someone is sorry but because they know it makes you smile.
    Make yourself smile and count on us in this difficult day

  • #107635
     Wants To Help 

    It’s great to off load WiseAfter (love your user name by the way – aren’t we all!)

    Treat yourself this weekend, buy yourself some flowers, buy the ones you like and put them somewhere that will brighten your mood every time you see them. We don’t need these guys to buy us flowers, we are capable of buying our own. So turn this around, get some flowers that are there because of a positive reason to prove how far you have come, not some flowers that are there for yet another ‘sorry’ that he didn’t really mean.

    • #107644

      Hi Wiseafter, I just wanted to let you know it really helped me to read your post. I get the same feelings, and I keep thinking about how in love I thought we were. It is so hard to separate those two seemingly polar opposite people. Anyway, just wanted to thank you for sharing, it helps to know it seems common. X

  • #107707
     Scottish Thistle 

    Wiseafter – I can relate to all you have said. I still have the cards from flowers saying sorry, the text messages pleading for forgiveness. It does hurt but you will get through it one day at a time

  • #107743

    Hi All Thank you so much for your words of strength. I’m so glad I didn’t call him. I had several no caller ID calls that I didn’t answer too. This forum is saving my life. Yesterday I was on a call at work and had to turn the camera and mic off so that I could bawl for about the 8th time that day! It came out of nowhere with me feeling utterly abandoned and desolate. This is harder than I ever thought it would be. It just d**n well hurts. End of. Then my son came in and hugged me and told me how well I am doing, how much calmer I am and more peaceful. That I am hurting now but it will get better and that my ex was a p***k to me at a time when I was low which says how weak he is! And that we should definitely get that puppy we have been talking about. Very true. I blew my nose and got back on the call then hung up and went for a long walk which is like meditation to help me think and recover. I have been buying flowers for myself Wantstohelp – It really works doesn’t it? Little things like letting the cat on the bed to have a cuddle in the mornings is a big deal to me as he never allowed her in the bedroom.
    This is my truth – what I think and why it is so hard.
    If someone tells us they love us, have never felt this way before, that we are special, ‘the one’, are overwhelmingly romantic, loving and passionate, lovely to our mum and kids and as a result we fall deeply in love with them and trust them with our secrets, only for them to turn on us in the most vile ways, it is very difficult place to be. But we, and no-one else, lived through that. We experienced that intense love and those intimate moments with that person and it was real. We were there. We were present with them in that moment. Those moments are our reality and we have to acknowledge they happened to move on because it is just too painful to think we were being manipulated to that degree. It was powerful enough to create a strong bond that kept us with the abuser and still keeps us there in our hearts and minds, despite being physically away. They are in our heads 24/7, even in our dreams! This is the thing. You don’t just ‘get over’ that. It is incredibly hard for anyone that hasn’t experienced ‘our’ reality to grasp why we are not jumping for joy having got out. We would never have known when we fell so deeply in love that the passionate messages, attention, sexual intimacy, promises of a perfect future together, the mirroring of our wants and desires (which we have freely shared), our insecurities and inner most private thoughts, gifts, the little acts of loving kindness would one day be replaced with overt verbal abuse, put downs, physical threats and intimidation, not just once but over and over again. Those secrets we shared in the good times WILL BE exposed and used against us, they will use what they have learned about our emotional fears, insecurities, weaknesses (and strengths) to prod and provoke us, to deliberately upset and hurt us without remorse. They will manipulate us to react in ways that breach our own boundaries for acceptable behaviour and damage our own integrity. We may lash out, slam doors, swear, yell or fight them because, in that moment our bodies and minds feel we are being attacked, which we are. We may leave for a while (I left in my pyjamas and slept in a carpark), find ourselves shaking, crying or unable to process or remember what exactly happened. We will be in shock. Feeling guilty and ashamed of our own behaviour because we are normal people who have reacted and behaved in ways that we are sorry for. When we react, they will tell us we are crazy and focus on OUR terrible behaviour which will be forensically analysed and we will have to justify for everything we said and did accurately, like being in court. They may tell authorities that WE have harmed THEM and they are afraid of us! They will be believed. They will then switch to calm and controlling, gas lighting us and minimising or denying their part in the argument then transition to kind and caring. They will tell us about the psychological problems we have that we should get help for. They say that our behaviour is unacceptable to them! They may tell others that they are supporting us and get sympathy themselves for ‘putting up’ with us! They may even say we have been abusing them! They will screenshot our ‘crazy’ texts and film us having a meltdown. They tell us we don’t remember the incident right or change the story to suit them, even lying to our face. We become confused and doubt our own memories and sometimes sanity. We apologise to get it over with and get the love high back. We are relieved that it is all forgotten and we are sucked back in, until the next time. But in between it all, we get depressed, anxious and sick. Our concentration suffers, our cognitive function suffers, we feel underlying guilt and shame. We may have mood swings, or experience uncontrollable rage. We may be told by our GP that we are living with abuse. We will ignore it. We will walk on eggshells, we will allow ourselves to be controlled to keep the peace. We will turn a blind eye to accusations and outbursts that before, would have had us retaliating. Because we have our defences so low now the abuse can escalate. He has us exactly where he wants us. He can go out without explanation, behave without challenge, spend with impunity, not talk to us or even look at us for days on end. He can ghost us, turn his back on us, push us, yell at us or lie to us. At the same time, he will intermittently shower us with sex, love or affection, compliments, buy us gifts and treat us telling us we are special, the only one, the love of his life. He may even tell us he doesn’t know why he hurts us, he doesn’t mean it – we know that don’t we? We will take it all and think it is OK. He will tell us in a kind and loving way that our friends don’t have our best interests at heart, that they flirted with him and we will drop them. It is an utter mindf**k. For years we have been with a man who tells us he loves us and has our best interests at heart, but who’s actions is that of an intruder and abuser who you would never let breach your home, let alone your soul or heart – it is a very difficult place to be and is going to take some work to get over.
    I’m off to buy flowers – literally – then some online puppy shopping!! x

    • #107861

      Hi Wiseafter, thank you for this post it really summed up for me how things were and I found it very helpful to read it written so well. So, thank you x

    • #107868

      @wiseafter wow! You just summed it all up right there! The truth of it all. In a nutshell. Xx

  • #107748

    Wiseafter – your last post was one of the most accurate descriptions of inside an emotionally abusive relationship I have ever read. Every single word was my life – right down to your son recognising the abuse and the cat!!
    I can’t add to anything you have said as it is all so on point and accurate.
    What I can add is that I have been exactly where you are now – wanting to stay strong but feeling moments of weakness. Worried you may go back, worried he may catch you at a moment of weakness and lull his way back in.
    I split for just over a month last year and gave him a second (hundredth probably!) chance. It was no better – in fact it quickly got worse because he had to punish me for the month separation(!)
    It ended again earlier this year. It was not easy. I had initial euphoria followed by deep slumps in my emotions. This continued – my moods would be erratic, i would occasionally crash. I had tears on work calls more than once! That’s all normal. I occasionally started to forget the actual abusive incidents and I’m glad I wrote them down as a quick reflection would give me my strength back. I prioritised my relationship with my kids who had also been impacted.

    I was lucky to have a great support network and there was always a friend of colleague who would listen. And over time it gets easier.

    Yes – months later I still get the odd trigger if a happy memory pops into my mind and I’m still sad I couldn’t have the life I thought I would have. And like you I choose to believe the happy moments were genuine. And they are part of me I can keep. They are mine and they are special to me. In some ways I feel sorry for him because it’s his behaviour that has stopped him forming a sustainable rewarding relationship that could have continued enrich his life. Had he controlled it we would still have had it – and I find that hard.

    But I have hope that one day I will be in another relationship that will nourish me, excite ne, make me feel special. And won’t scare me or make me compromise on who I am again. Right now, that relationship is with me! I will learn and grow from this and I will know the red flags I hope For when mr possibility comes along.

    My ex will continue the cycle with someone else And probably never achieve what we all truly want. He won’t spontaneously change.

    Now go buy that pup!!!!! X*x

  • #107750
     Wants To Help 

    Wiseafter – WOW! You have nailed it with that last post. I agree with Headspinning.

    Buy yourself the biggest bouquet today as your reward for such an awesome post, along with the cutest puppy you see 🙂

    PS Your son is pretty awesome too, he’s switched on isn’t he!

  • #107889

    Thanks for your supportive and amazing posts you guys – you have given me so much motivation after the worst few days I have had yet. Last night I didn’t sleep with the crying and felt like my heart was being ripped out but you have given me the hope that this stage will pass. Thank you. Headspinning – you are so accurate in what you say, the frustration and hopelessness that he couldn’t see his behaviour for what it was and that is what I am mourning. The ‘if only’ possible future and sheer waste of it all. I too will hang onto the moments that were some of the happiest of my life and in time be able to appreciate them without the sadness and regrets. Son is awesome, he had his own tragedy in the last couple of years, his long term girlfriend’s abusive and deceitful behaviour left him destroyed mentally, me in debt and her in prison – that is also why what has happened is so hard to deal with. Right when I needed my partner by my side to support us and be strong, he escalated the abuse and got the hell out of dodge! I bought a beautiful big tub of coral pale pink geraniums because they will sit on my windowsill and remind me of the strength and support of this post and the sisterhood. Puppy shopping going well (some dispute over breed!) and we started saving cos Pups ain’t cheap!!

  • #108354

    Wiseafter, just to say that I completely agree with Headspinning. I still struggle to describe it all but basically I could just refer to your post there.

    I love that you got coral pale pink geraniums to remind you of the Sisterhood- that’s a great idea.

  • #108391

    I think we should all make a pact to get ourselves some flowers whenever we can and have them visible as a sign of the support and strength we give each other. I for one would rather look at the flowers I bought than look at him!! X

    • #108393

      @headspinning I love the idea of buying flowers for ourselves… I had looked at subscriptions for flowers but they were so expensive I think I will pick some up every now and again from the supermarket!

  • #108392

    I can relate to this! I have the card that came with the flowers with the im sorry, song lyrics (which had softened me up) and the (broken) promises of it won’t happen again! Like you the flowers stopped and so did the apologies… I bought it up once and got (detail removed by moderator) (by this point I had already caught onto him and his ways).



  • #108405

    Ladies – let’s buy our own flowers! I pick up a cheap bunch at the supermarket every couple of weeks and it brightens up my hall (newly painted in a colour of my choice by me!) and it’s my little world and it brightens up my day!!

  • #108410

    This post is amazing – it has really helped me put it all back into perspective, pick myself up and carry on.

  • #108516

    Thank you for this post

    The ending has been so difficult for me as my ex keeps emailing me. Even from different addresses since he knows it’s blocked

    I have disconnected from friends in common as I am afraid they will talk to him about me and vice versa. I feel a terrible person by doing this as they shouldn’t have anything to do with this, but I can’t cope with having his presence even if it’s by chance and my friends don’t mean to hurt me.

    The love bombing phase is the hardest one to forget. The long conversations and promises of a perfect future. The idea that I have found someone that shared so many dreams and goals
    To know that it was all acting on his side and he is not capable of feeling anything but his own ego it’s really hard

    Cause I saw so much good in him.

    I just wish I could understand why do I miss something that made me cry every single day

    Seeing this post made me realize how common that is. We are real people with empathy and feelings and I’m so proud of all the stories I saw here of people that are surviving. Cause is so difficult sometimes

    I am so glad for your kids and their caring for you. As I am happy to have a few close friends getting me through this

    I wish flowers to everyone here. For one more day of surviving

  • #108550

    Hi ineedsomeadviceplease – there is so much validation out there for the way we are feeling. I have just finished reading Psychopath Free by Jackson Mackenzie and it really helped me. None of us on this forum are alone. We are a tribe. Some will feel nothing but relief, some will be so full of rage they want to bust the place up, some will be devastated and not be able to get off the floor and some will be cowering in fear. Some will be all of the above. We will get through it. We mustn’t give these toxic men our energy, power and light anymore. Keep going. Your friends sound so kind and surviving one day at a time is good enough for me right now! Going out for a long walk now – its a beautiful evening and instead of brooding about HIM I am going to put on my trainers and get out into the sunshine, come home, pour a glass of wine, make myself something I like to eat that I haven’t had for years because he didn’t like it and watch a history documentary that he would have hated with the cat on my lap that he never allowed in the living room, looking at flowers I bought for myself!! 🙂

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