17th August 2021 at 9:37 am #130186recovering22Participant
Apologies if this is muddled, I find it hard to keep my thoughts straight at the moment.
After (detail removed by moderator) of psychological abuse I have got him out of my house. I notice I am really bad at making decisions now, I keep changing what I want to do. He called the police and accused me of DV and pushed me into a corner that meant I had to do things I didn’t want to. I left the house, came back he got worse and eventually the police believed me and got him to leave. He’s still in the area and walks past the house at night.
Now I am in the house I find it so difficult, it’s far from family and friends (he chose the area), with little support and my neighbours are not very nice. No-one ever comes to visit because of his attitude and now I don’t have many friends left. I have (detail removed by moderator) I’m scared of throwing things out in case I need to buy them again. I regret do much buying this house. I want to sell, pay off the debts and move into a rented place and he can’t find me. I’m scared of doing that. I don’t go for walks in case I bump into him and stay in the house or use the car.
I notice I am only making choices when I have to. The car was on it’s last legs and got got replaced because it stopped working, I had no choice.
I can’t decide what to do about anything. Every time I make a decision I go into panic mode and get anxious.
People are telling me to do this or that, everyone says get a lawyer, The costs will put me more into debt, I won’t qualify for legal aid. He will stretch everything out as much as he can, blame me for everything.
I’m still scared, and can’t shake that off. Sometimes it feels like I am in the house with him and he’s giving me the silent treatment again. I couldn’t handle the weeks of that, it would send me into a spiral and all I could do was to distract myself with food, or TV all the while my mind was in panic mode internally. I realise that I didn’t let people see what’s really going on inside all these years. I am fine as far as everyone can see but inside I am not. Inside I am in constant panic mode worrying about everything, trying to find some peace and never getting it. I just want to stay in bed and not come out.
I find it difficult to look inside myself and find answers, it hurts to see what I have become and how much I have lost. Everything I wanted to do no longer really matters and I want to run away.
Has anyone gone through anything like this? What did you do? How did you get out of this?
17th August 2021 at 11:28 am #130191ScapegoatParticipant
Hi, I’m not sure I can help you (as still with my oh) but I’ve started having counselling,which is helping me to think about things and myself more clearly so am happy to share.
Unlike your situation my oh refuses to leave which means I must go but I cannot make that step YET as cannot make decisions ( I am (detail removed by moderator)).
I think the decision making probably relates to our relationships and the fact we try to keep others happy but like as in any abusive relationship whatever we try doesn’t seem to work and we are confused about the right decisions and which one to make. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them not being punished for them and I feel that this impacts on decision making whether knowing what we are doing is right or wrong.
My counsellor suggested that I am too self reliant, in that I only rely on myself for help as those closest to me have let me down or invalidated my feelings and boundaries so it is the safest thing to do. In doing so though we end up blaming ourselves, feel obligated and like a burden to others. She suggested that people saying ” You are so strong, for dealing with all of this” (just an example) is not helpful as it gives you this ideal to live up to and when you don’t feel actually feel strong, it can end up leaving you feeling less than good enough, a failure, etc.
You also sound hyper vigilant still from your experiences -waiting for something to happen, then in that if something goes wrong, you will blame yourself, therefore you avoid doing it.
I admire what you have done so far. You have achieved loads, even though you don’t feel like you have but you’ve got yourself out of a situation. My counsellor suggested taking gradual steps for short periods of doing little things for myself. Self care is not selfish. It’s about improving your self esteem and making your life more worthwhile.
I feel a little hypocritical in writing this as cannot do it for myself but hope that maybe you can take small steps in making those decisions for you and nobody else.
Sending love, take care x*x
17th August 2021 at 6:27 pm #130214AnonymousInactive
Welcome to the forum.
Yes I do know what you mean. I totally empathise. I have lost the ability to make decisions. I panic I will be wrong and freeze. I need someone to make the decision for me or I seek advice from people asking what I should do and asking if I am right. In my case it stems from an extremely controlling coercive relationship where I was unable to make decisions without adverse consequences. I sense you also become overwhelmed and freeze like a deer in headlights. My house is also a problem, like yours as I cannot motivate myself to do anything, but become overwhelmed by it.
These issues are due to crushing loss of confidence and self esteem. We no longer have confidence in our abilities.
I would suggest talking to your GP. You may be offered antidepressants to regulate your mood. Also you may be referred for counselling for anxiety etc. The NHS waiting lists are long, but there may be therapists available in your area. If you pay privately then you will be seen quickly, but sessions can be quite expensive. Again see what is in your area.
This forum is very supportive. Ladies here understand and have been through similar experiences. Women’s Aid chat are also supportive.
I know that being told to see a solicitor has upset you but I think the advice is good. If your property is in joint names or you have both contributed to its acquisition, then it will need to be sorted out legally. (I am assuming you are not married) Otherwise it will hang over you. You may find it helpful to sort it out to be able to move on.
Rights of Women have a helpline number and can give you some free initial legal advice. Many solicitors offer an initial short appointment free of charge. If you go to one of these, write a list of things you need to know and want to discuss. Then you won’t waste the time you have.
17th August 2021 at 7:30 pm #130217EggshellsParticipant
Try to think back to any important decision that you tried to make during your relationship with him.
My suspicion is that if it wasn’t a decision he agreed with, he’d have done everything he could to put you off; tell you all the worst case scenarios that could result from your decision, go through cost implications, possible implications for your family, problems associated with the decision e.g If you get a pet, we won’t be able to go on holiday and that will impact all of our lives.
So you handed over the decision to him in the belief that if it all goes wrong, he’ll sort it out, when in actual fact, you were the one who picked up the pieces.
No wonder you find it so scarey to make decisions.
For me, the way through was just to forge ahead and do what I wanted to do. The more I did this the more confident I became. You just have to try and overcome the nerves and do it.
My suggestion; if you want to sell, then sell. If you want to move close to your family, then move. If you need to get rid of stuff, get rid of it. If you need something in future – my experience is that you can furnish a house from free cycle.
Free yourself and live for today. I’m also over 50 and I have no idea how many tomorrow’s I have left so I’m trying to live my life as best I can and as far as I can – I’m trying to live how I want to.
You have freedom now. Try to work out what you want, have a stiff drink and follow your heart. xx
29th August 2021 at 3:01 pm #130711recovering22Participant
Thank you for your replies I wasn’t able to log on for a while. It given me some insight in a few areas which have been blind before.
I can see why I can’t make decisions now. He would constantly be making out that the decisions would end in horror stories. And keep repeating them slightly differently every time. His favourite saying was “(removed by moderator)” learned from his mother. I still find it difficult, one day at a time I suppose. Also punishment – I never looked at this from this angle, it seems that every decision whilst with him and not something he wanted to do, was tagged with a form of punishment. We would go and he would be moody, behave badly or find away of ruining it because it was done his way. I can really see how that has happened. I do blame myself for so much of it. The red flags were scattered throughout the relationship and I failed to act.
Yes I am self reliant, people have let me down and I get very frustrated that I have to reply on others.
Mormot – the house is totally mine legally and I paid for it and everything in it. He was smart bills on his name paid by his credit and reimbursed by me. I totally screwed up on understanding why it was this way.
I’m scared to sell in case he uses this against me in court. My heart says sell, buy a camper and travel. That’s all I have ever wanted to do. Near enough impossible now.
29th August 2021 at 5:18 pm #130715LisaMain Moderator
Reading through your last post, I can’t help but think it may be worth your time speaking to a specialist financial support services as it may be that you have been (and still are) experiencing economic/financial abuse by your ex-partner on some level.
Financial abuse is an aspect of ‘coercive control’ – a pattern of controlling, threatening and degrading behaviour that restricts a survivors’ freedom. Financial abuse involves a perpetrator using or misusing money which limits and controls their partner’s current and future actions and their freedom of choice. It can include using credit cards without permission, putting contractual obligations in their partner’s name, and gambling with family assets. There seems to be quite an imbalance in the way you shared financial responsibilities while together and you have expressed being scared to sell your own home in order to move forward with your life.
It’s better that you are given the option of trying to speak to these services as you may find them useful.
Economic abuse is wider in its definition than ‘financial abuse’, as it can also include restricting access to essential resources such as food, clothing or transport, and denying the means to improve a person’s economic status (for example, through employment, education or training). Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) is an organisation sharing knowledge, resources and information on best practice and research and raise awareness around domestic abuse. Their website includes lots of resources and guides for women experiencing financial abuse. https://survivingeconomicabuse.org/
The Financial Support Line is a service specialising in the financial side of domestic abuse. Anyone who has experienced domestic abuse can call for one-off advice regarding debts, benefits and budgeting from the Financial Support Line on 0808 196 8845 (Mon to Thurs 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 12.30pm).
Also, StepChange are a debt charity. They provide free, confidential and expert debt advice and money guidance, recommend the best solution or service for your circumstances, support you while you deal with your money worries for as long as you need their help, and campaign on your behalf to reduce the risk of debt problems and the harm it causes https://www.stepchange.org/
I hope these services can be of some use to you.
All the best,
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