26th March 2021 at 4:04 pm #123827
I’m new here and recently posted in the newbie section of the forum.
I see here that there are lots of women who have children with their abusers, and are still having to have contact with their ex’s. I’m not sure how you cope.
I am in the ‘privileged’ position of not having any children with my ex. In fact I don’t have any children at all. My ex never hit me. I’ve not heard from him since the police arrested him and bailed him with conditions not to contact me. That restraining order lapsed when the abuse case was dropped, so in theory he could contact me again, but never has, thank goodness. So you’d think that I could just get on with my life and be happy, wouldn’t you? Lucky me … a clean break. That’s not the case though.
Many years down the line, I still have nightmares with him in. I still have flashbacks triggered by all sorts of daily events. Could be a place, something someone says, a smell, a TV program, a song that’s played, anything can be a trigger. It’s having a knock on effect with my current relationship. I don’t fully trust my husband, I internally question his actions and wonder if it’s the start of another abusive relationship. I have no reason to question him, but it’s a case of once bitten, twice shy.
I think about my ex, and I feel a mixture of emotions. I have disbelief still that he was really THAT bad. Did the police over react when they arrested him against my wishes? Did I say something that might have made them think the situation was worse than it was? I feel guilt for things ending the way they did. I wonder if he really deserved to go through what I put him through with the legal action and divorce. Then the other part of me says ‘of course he deserved it, look what he put you through over the years’. I’m so muddled. I can’t resolve it in my head. He haunts me.
Is there ever a point that it goes away and you heal? How do you get to that place?
My husband tells me I live too much in the past and don’t look to the positives and the future. He says I dwell too much. He’s probably right, but I can’t help the way I am.
I’m currently suffering a bout of depression that’s lasted over a year. I’m on medication, and receiving therapy for that which ends soon. I still feel in a hole though with all this unresolved stuff whizzing around in my head. I self harm sometimes as a way to cope, to punish myself. I also comfort eat which has meant my weight has ballooned out of control. So I feel revolting and ashamed of myself.
I just want to be happy, but it seems so unattainable. Wherever I go I always seem to be bullied or taken advantage on. I live my life treading on egg shells trying to keep the peace and to please everyone else. I’ve got lost somewhere in all of that. I don’t have time for me. I don’t seem to be able to speak up and stand my ground. I just put up and shut up. It makes me wonder if the way I am just attracts people who will take advantage of me and so I’ll always be unhappy.
26th March 2021 at 4:45 pm #123828
I am sorry that you are still having problems getting over your relationship. The first part of your story sounds very much like my situation. And I was told that I needed to go through a grieving process, to acknowledge what I had and what I had lost, after my ex was arrested and we went through the sale of our property I have not had any contact with him at all, I do not even know where he is now, so the loss of everything I knew is like a death, and I need to go through the same sort of emotions. I have bad days and like you say anything can set me off, and I also feel guilty that he was arrested.
But now I have choices the same as he does, and I now choose to make time and find me, it can be difficult, but as with the loss of someone, time is a healer, and you now need to find the time for you. Learn to trust yourself and talk about your feelings. Things will get better.
Take care of you, beachhutXx
26th March 2021 at 6:32 pm #123832
Hi Beachhut, and thanks for your response. I feel a little less like I don’t belong here now because of your comments. I’ve often felt that what I went through is nothing compared to what some women suffer. I was offered counselling via a police liaison but turned it down at the time because a) I thought other women needed it more than I did and b) because there was a 6-7 month waiting list and I just wanted to forget everything and not dig it all back up again months down the line.
I don’t think I’ve had time to find myself and take care of me. I had a very short gap between my ex being arrested and the restraining order placed on him, and starting a new relationship. I guess at the time I saw this knight in shining armour coming to my rescue and I didn’t want to be on my own. My ex had convinced me to move away from my family, so I was quite isolated. Trouble is, the new man has come with his own ‘baggage’, he has two children from his previous relationship. I’m having issues with the youngest of them. They blank me when their dad is not about, leave things for me to clear up, and generally just rude and passive aggressive. I’m not sure if it’s because they hate me or if it’s just a teenager thing. Either way I dread them coming here to visit.
I’ve not had breathing space or time to collect myself. I’ve just got lost in this abnormal family dynamic. I realise I sound like a horrible uncaring stepmom at this point, but I’m not use to kids and although they’ve been in my life now for years and years, I find it harder and harder to cope each time they come.
Like you, I have not heard from my ex since his arrest and bail. I knew he was living with family. I have no idea where he is now though. Could be anywhere. I used to be afraid to go out when I visited my parents in case I bumped into my ex somewhere. I’m not sure if it’s worse or better now I have no idea where he is.
26th March 2021 at 7:37 pm #123834
You in no way sound like an uncaring stepmom, but as you say you need “you” time, I found it very difficult to adjust to being away from my ex and used to get jumpy if I saw a car the same as his just in case it was him, and you are right, I think he is hundreds of miles away from where I am but the not knowing leaves an uneasy feeling and keeps you alert.
Do try to take time for you, and if you feel that you need some help then please talk to your GP who should be able to find you some counselling, just to put your thoughts into prospective.
27th March 2021 at 7:47 am #123857
Oh yes, I absolutely used to get really jumpy if I saw a car like his. That’s eased a bit, but it still triggers memories if I see a car like that. I was just terrified of bumping into him again.
I’ve already been to my GP and was diagnosed with depression quite some time ago. I’ve been through a course of CBT and IPT so far on the NHS but don’t really feel much better. I’m also on my 4th antidepressant. My last therapist believes that amongst other things I may have PTSD from my past relationship. I’ll be back on the waiting list soon for more therapy. I just feel rather lost and beyond help.
27th March 2021 at 8:03 am #123858
I have sent you a PM
28th March 2021 at 7:54 pm #123917CookiegirlParticipant
I’m also new here ,posted in the newbie forum a couple of days ago .. Just read your story and it sounds similar to mine . I left my relationship years ago while I was pregnant and he chose to never have contact with his child. Even now years later I’m still struggling with things , flashbacks , anger issues , triggered by little things at times and I can’t trust anyone . I do have a partner who I’ve been with for a while but due to my past we have had some major problems,and we’re going through some stuff right now due to getting some news (detail removed by moderator) that my ex had passed away . It caused me to have a major meltdown due to being triggered and the memories rushing back and I took it out on my partner which didn’t end well. I just want to be able to get on with my life but the past just keeps coming back to haunt me …
28th March 2021 at 8:41 pm #123920NeueranfangParticipant
I absolutely understand that you felt lonely and isolated after leaving your Ex but it does sound like you didn’t give yourself enough time to get over your last relationship or even to start the healing process.I’ve often come across posts on here saying ‘we should start loving ourselves again before being able to love someone else’.It sounds like you never really closed the chapter with your Ex.You really need to focus on yourself and try to build up your self esteem.I know it’s easier said than done xx
28th March 2021 at 9:12 pm #123922
neueranfang, I could wait a life time trying to ‘love myself’. I hate myself and have done for as far back as I can remember. I don’t think I’ve ever had much self esteem.
I was bullied in junior school and then all though secondary school. Then had a brief period where I wasn’t picked on before becoming involved with the man who would become my abuser. I married him, even when I knew I wasn’t happy with him. I believed I couldn’t do any better and that I’d wasn’t married before 30 I’d be too old and left on the ‘unwanted’ heap. Took me years and years in that awful marriage to see what he was doing and even when he was arrested I still couldn’t see the abuse. I panicked when the decision was taken out of my hands and the police arrested him anyway, against my wishes.
Perhaps I did get into this new relationship too fast. I’m married now though, and stuck in another relationship that I don’t feel in control of. He has teenage kids and I feel so unwanted, overlooked and taken for granted when they are here. I know every parent loves their kids, and they are the world to them, but it’d be nice not to feel like a second class citizen compared to them.
He doesn’t see why I would have an issue with them and fails to see the youngests attitude and treatment towards me.
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