21st November 2020 at 1:06 pm #116627
Good afternoon everyone,
I’ve been with my partner (first and only relationship) (detail removed by Moderator) years now and have only known it’s been abusive for the last 2/3 months.
Is it ok that I’m not immediately making plans to leave?
I’m trying to learn as much as I can and the trauma bond is so strong which makes the thought of leaving him feel unbearable at times.
We also have a pet together which stresses me out as I’m not sure who would have ‘custody’ of pet or if I’d be able to take the pet because I’d have to move back to parents who also have a pet. I’d also feel horrible taking our pet from him but also would feel bad leaving it with him as he doesn’t take care of it as well as me. I couldnt bare the thought of rehoming pet either, we took the responsibility on so I dont feel this is fair on pet.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, is it bad that I’m prolonging it by trying to come to terms with everything? I’ve got other stuff going on with work etc and some days it’s just easier to carry on as normally as I can.
I was supposed to call up a local charity to try and get counselling or a support worker but I’ve just put it off this week. (It’s also hard finding the time away from him to make these phone calls especially with lockdown meaning it’s always just me and him together in the house).
I am struggling a bit with knowing the ‘best’ way to act around him. I’m trying very hard to not take the bait and snap angry things back at him as this is then used as his defence/ammunition because ive done just as bad as him.
Honestly I get muddled up in or after some arguments of who said what or even why the argument started yet he seems to remember every detail of who said what and what I did/said that was wrong! It’s so annoying as then I feel I can’t defend myself.
Can anyone suggest any ways they found it best to be whilst still with abusive partner? I tried really detaching myself from him (and am still a bit now) but he just goes on and on about how I’ve shown noaffection for x amount of time. He always exaggerates time to suit him as well. If in reality it’s been a week, it will be two in his mind.
Another question I had is what are your rights in terms of if you leave but need to go back for belongings?
I’ve no idea when I’m going to actually leave, it could be months or even years but I’m still wondering how it works. He’s threatened to throw my belongings/our pet out before so I have no doubt this would be used.
On top of all this I do have that stress/anxiety that I’m wasting my life spending time trying to break the trauma bond whilst still with him. That time is ticking and I’m missing out on things because of this and should just leave ASAP. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face!
21st November 2020 at 4:29 pm #116636
It’s absolutely okay to go at your own pace and nobody can force you to do otherwise. You’ve had (detail removed by Moderator) years of brainwashing and programming from him and it’s going to take a long time to unpick that. Just keep building a support network when you have the strength then go full steam ahead with the charity. I’d slowly move important documents to a safe place so if you do decide to leave you have what you need elsewhere. Passport, bank statements etc and some clothes too. It’s normal to worry about pets and that’s often why abusers get pets. Another tie to them and another hook in us. Don’t overthink. If you take your pet it can stay in your room if you move out until you find somewhere new to stay. Sometimes overthinking can make things worse and more complicated. You will know when you’ve had enough. Your mental health is already being damaged because of him but at least you understand that it’s not your fault. He chooses to abuse you and you deserve so much more x
21st November 2020 at 4:57 pm #116641
Thanks KIP, that’s made me feel a lot better.
I suppose I chose my bed so am going to have to lie in it for now..
It’s only ok still being here when he’s being ok/nice, it’s when things get nasty it’s hard. I guess there isn’t a ‘best’ way to deal with it because you’re always d****d if you do and d****d if you don’t with these men by the sounds of it..
What’s worrying me the most is having to go along with the plan of finding a flat and moving. What if I’m not ready to leave but he’s found us a flat and they buy it?
I also keep thinking it will be better to leave once he’s settled and ok else it’s not fair leaving him to sort things in his life out alone because he’s so used to me being there.
It’s the guilt and responsibility I can’t seem to drop. I listen to podcasts and read books on the issue/read other posts on here but that guilt is so very difficult to let go of.
I basically furnished our home with all the nice pieces of furniture you need (if it wasn’t for me we would probably be living out of boxes still) and some pieces of furniture are special and I would want to take them as they’re mine. But I don’t know how that will be possible. xx
21st November 2020 at 4:54 pm #116640CamelParticipant
You should take as much time as you need. You may find that one day you’ve just had enough and walk. Or it could take months. However, if you’re at risk of the abuse escalating you really must plan a safe exit.
I also got dragged into daily ‘arguments’ that started from nowhere, went nowhere, ended up back where they started. It was impossible to hold on to what they were about so they were never resolved. I never started them. They didn’t have a point. Without fail it was a case of he attacked and I defended. I always stood up for myself, thought I could get him to see my point of view.
It’s only since I left that I’ve come to understand that these weren’t normal arguments. They weren’t disagreements about something specific. They were simply an abusers tool to keep me off kilter. Abusers find immense satisfaction in deciding what kind of day we’re going to have. Read up on strategies such as Grey Rock but don’t let him see anything of your newfound strength.
Worrying about your pet and belongings is understandable but don’t allow these to become barriers to action. Concentrate on the bigger issue – getting support. They will help you make plans.
21st November 2020 at 5:13 pm #116643
Thanks Camel, I really hope I do just reach my limit one day but my mind is very good at forgiving him and downplaying the abuse. I write it down to make myself remember but I still put up with it.
In a few years I’ll be in my (detail removed by Moderator) and I’m just thinking if I don’t sort myself out soon I could miss out on meeting someone nice one day who I could start a family with (not sure I even want children but I’d prefer the option rather than missing out because I get too old).
Which adds to the pressure of getting out sooner.
That’s interesting you said they take great pleasure in deciding what kind of day we’re going to have. That’s so true! If he’s in a good, cheerful mood the day can be great, if he’s in a foul mood, I’m on edge and feel anxious and who knows how the day will be.
I’ve tried what I assume is the grey rock method (not giving him any physical affection, staying quiet, quite monotone) but he’s very good at detecting any changes in my behaviour. Then I just get him going on at me about how I haven’t hugged him in ‘x’ amount of weeks (always exaggerated amount of time to suit his argument) or havent done this or that so it’s more stress x
21st November 2020 at 6:37 pm #116647CamelParticipant
I never used Grey Rock during the relationship as I only heard about it later so I’m not exactly sure how it works. But I think strategies like these are only good for buying time. Turning ourselves into unresponsive, dull, voiceless women isn’t a healthy option in the long-term.
It sounds to me as if you already have one tentative foot out the door. It’s a good start x
21st November 2020 at 7:42 pm #116654
They grey rock only really works once you’ve left as it can provoke him if you basically ignore him. Try to get your important documents out and some clothes. Why don’t you leave the next time he has an outburst. Leave and go to your parents. You will then already Have documents and clothes there if you choose not to go back. He may well try to stop you but you can leave when it’s safe. Get out before he starts his pathetic apologising or blaming you. If you do this each time he’s abusive you may well begin to see what’s happening to you. Also have a mantra, when you wake ‘today I choose to be happy’. ‘Today I choose……’
21st November 2020 at 7:44 pm #116655
If he tries to prevent you from leaving you can ring 999. Put 999 on speed dial so you can get to it quick on your phone x
21st November 2020 at 7:46 pm #116656
Have a code word or phrase with a close friends or family member. Mine was ‘remember the dog I used to have called…….’. That’s their alert to ring the police for you x in case he won’t let you x
22nd November 2020 at 2:55 am #116671HettyParticipant
It’s really fine to take your time. I have spent years trying to figure out how to get away. I basically knew as soon as we moved in together it wasn’t going to work, but it took longer for me to accept I was in an abusive relationship. I’ve been on this site for a long time, reading stories and sharing. I’ve spent a very long time considering all options – renting, buying, moving in with friends. All were never feasible options then I got an opportunity to get out. Not an ideal one, but it was a case of ‘now or never’. You’ve started the process by coming on here. Your time will come. I’ve got a pet and a child who are both happily sleeping next to me.
I went to see a domestic abuse charity a long time ago and they really helped me think things through without ever pushing me.
You’ll get there ❤️
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