25th June 2022 at 8:41 pm #145972soconfused2Participant
I’m having a bad few days. Feel like I’ve fallen into a black hole and I’ll never get out of it.
I’m in the process of divorcing. I’ve had some support from Women’s aid locally and a couple’s counsellor we saw (once) has also suggested my husband may have been emotionally abusive. My own therapist also thinks that (although obviously has only heard my side of things).
I was starting to feel a bit stronger, but now I feel like I’m back to square one. Doubting myself, thinking I should have tried harder, thinking about all the things I did wrong…
I feel so guilty, especially for our children. We could have been planning things for a nice summer holiday but because I ended things (rashly I think now after a period of the silent treatment) that’s not going to happen.
I feel like I want to go back in time and make a different decision. I want to stay but now its too late. He hates me and won’t talk to me at all (I get that I should think that’s a good thing but it doesn’t feel like it).
I know it doesn’t really matter but I think I’ll be on my own forever now (I have children and one of them has complex needs which means they’ll never be able to live independently) so its not like people would be queuing up…
I feel so so sad. I didn’t feel like this before I left. Yes, I feel frustrated and sad and unworthy sometimes, but not all the time. I feel so much worse now.
I’m not sure what I’m looking for from this post, just to vent my frustration with myself about how I’ve messed our lives up I suppose..
Thanks for reading.
25th June 2022 at 9:41 pm #145975BananaboatParticipant
I’m sorry you’re feeling this. One question that springs into my mind reading this is whether you would actually be planning/doing fun things for the kids as you think, or, would you have tried to and your partner either wouldn’t let you or somehow spoilt them?
Trauma bonding and cognitive dissonance play tricks with our minds, make us remember the good / excuse the bad times. Not to mention FOG when leaving (fear, obligation & guilt), we’ve spent so long doing as we’re told at our own detriment it’s hard to break. Being told no one else will want you is his negativity talking, not reality.
I guess a question to ask yourself is what does good look like for you right now and then how can you achieve that, if the picture involve him ask yourself how likely he is to be that person. xx
25th June 2022 at 10:30 pm #145977soconfused2Participant
Thanks Bananaboat. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.
I guess what I’m struggling with is figuring out if my mind is playing tricks on me. There definitely were good times, but also bad times. So for example (trying to keep this vague) when we last went on holiday there were fun days out with the kids, but there were also periods where I got the silent treatment.
At the moment I feel like the bad times would be worth it for the good times because now I just feel awful all the time.
I will think about what is good to me right now. Thank you for the suggestion.
26th June 2022 at 11:37 am #145992BananaboatParticipant
Oh yes I totally get this, and I always tried to shield the kids and make sure they were having fun but they also live in fear/wonder if when he’ll do something so never fully relax. My eldest’s memories of some holidays are only the bad time, it overruled all the good. On your own you could enjoy a whole holiday of happiness with the kids without any silent treatment.
I know how hard this stage is, you’re flip flopping back and forth a million times a day trying to decide, it’s exhausting for you, but neither you or the kids can change him or deserve the bad times. Dr Ramani’s videos really helped me – look up rumination, leaving etc xx
25th June 2022 at 11:31 pm #145978longjourneylifeParticipant
Dear soconfused2 , you’ve not messed anything up, you’re being very brave and actually getting out of an unhappy relationship ( not to mention also abusive)
You sound like I was many years ago, and I kept trying and giving and covering up over the bad times, until it became too much and I just nearly gave up on life altogether. All these years later, I only recently got out and it’s not been easy and all those bad experiences I buried, came out at once, and I felt awful and still have downs…but I know I did the right thing.
Allow yourself to feel sad, it’s a process, but know you will step through it onto the next and next and next phase, like stepping stones over water. Most of all, remember it will pass, give it a couple of days and you’ll see it change.
25th June 2022 at 11:44 pm #145979EggshellsParticipant
Hi my lovely. From the little you have said, it does sound as though your counsellor and therapist were right, he was and still is emotionally abusing you.
I’m wondering if you have heard of the abuse cycle? If not, it might be worth googling. I suspect you’ll be able to see the familiar pattern of abuse. I’d also recommend reading “Living with the Dominator” by Pat Craven. It might help you understand why your instinct was to divorce him and help to shake off some of that doubt.
Leaving is hard. When we leave an abusive relationship we have to leave so much behind: house, financial security, the good times that interspersed the bad times. You might leave friends, job, the area you live in. So many familiar things. It can be a huge loss and there is a grieving process.
I had times when I just wanted to disappear. It’s taken a few years but I’m now in a very happy place. A new me is emerging. I live every moment how I want to live it. I’m living a very different life. Financially poorer and precarious but richer in every other way.
It takes time but you will get there. You will find your own kind of happiness.
Believe me, it might be hard for your children in some ways but you have done the best thing for them. I wish I had left my ex when my children were younger. Staying with their father, allowing them to witness and be exposed to his behaviour really damaged them.
If you have friends and family don’t be afraid to lean on them if they offer you support. Once you get through this and establish a new life for you and your children, you’ll wonder how you ever doubted yourself.
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