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    • #13252
      Whathaveidone
      Participant

      Hi there. I’m new but I do know of Woman’s Aid (ironically I have used WA to help my mum – I talk about it later). If you manage to read everything that I’m about to write than thank you sooooooo much. I don’t really know where to start really because there are so many things that I wish to say but at the same time, I’m scared that he might somehow find this and know that it’s me writing (he won’t). On top of this, I’m confused as to whether I’m still in an abusive relationship. I actually think that our relationship has improved and has been the best it’s ever been over the years we’ve been together because many of the abusive things he used to do he doesn’t do anymore. However, I’ve been reading many of the posts on here and still identify with every woman who has posted. I don’t know if it’s the result of him having conditioned me so well that I think our relationship is so good. I don’t even know if I’m making sense…
      I’m quite young and this is the first relationship I have ever been in (so I don’t know otherwise). We have quite a significant age gap which may contribute the abuse I think I’m feeling / have felt (probably not). I’ve even questioned my sexual orientation because of the sexual coercion and harassment that he has often put me through. A while ago I thought I identified as being hetro-demisexual because I identify with many of the characteristics on there (e.g. only being able to form an attraction with someone I have a strong emotional bond with, I never dated in my teen years, just didn’t feel the need to but I did have a few crushes on one or two people). (sorry I don’t know if this tmi or relevant but it I feel it gives some background / context into what I will say next).
      Anyway, looking back at my relationship with my current partner I’m starting to question that actually, I don’t think it has anything to do with me or my sexual orientation but the fact that he has a hypersexual personality and constantly wants to “make love” even when I don’t want to. It wasn’t love at first sight or anything like that. In fact, we had already formed a strong emotional bond through his manipulative and “charming”, very friendly behaviour before sex came into the equation. I now believe that he groomed me and my family (but at the time not for sexual favours) as he already had a girlfriend, (which btw treated like absolute s***, should have seen the signs then – I did and I know how he spoke to her was so wrong but he was so different with me.) He never swore or raised his voice to me. He treated like an absolute princess and gave me noticeably special treatment. What makes it worse is that I was so young at the time.
      He used the very difficult family situation that I was in to his own advantage. I grew up with my brother who has (removed by moderator) in a household of domestic abuse. My father financially, emotionally and (although very rarely) physically abused my mother. He would constantly shout her a “dog”, “sheep”, “fat” ,“mad woman”. She suffers from historic mental health issues and ( removed by moderator) She had two failed marriages (my father was her second failed marriage) both of which were violent and grew up in an abusive family from her own mother’s side because she was an “accident”. In her first marriage, she was constantly beaten by a drunkard and the second emotionally, verbally and financially abused by the devil that is my father. As a form of escape, I loved learning and going school. I would constantly read, would always want to be in school to take me from the harsh reality in which my brother and I were in. I would dream of going to Uni and couldn’t wait until the day I did. My aspiration from childhood was to go to uni get a good job so I could escape and then take my mum and brother away from the torturous life we lived. I also liked going to church every Sunday with my mum and brother (my place of peace , serenity and sanctuary). Consequently, I always had good grades and was identified as gifted and talented in my primary school. (removed by moderator). That’s where my partner steps into the picture. At the time, he was really kind, caring, thoughtful, helpful and was the only one that supported me with my studies during those two years. He pushed me (and put a lot of pressure on me) to get the highest grades possible grades (which I eventually did) and I thought that was great and was so grateful that he helped me to achieve my potential. (Detail removed by moderator).
      Anyway, this is where his coercion and manipulation was rife and he hoodwinked us all, including my own demon father. After my exams, our close relationship developed into a (secret and still secret) sexual one. I was past the age of legal consent and we didn’t have penile penetrative sex until I was a legal adult but we still had sexual contact (kissing, cuddling, oral sex, masturbating all of which was new to me and didn’t like very much) but he said and convinced me that we weren’t doing anything illegal despite my gut feeling telling me otherwise or that at least it felt slightly wrong. Anyway, he persuaded us all that it was best I didn’t go to sixthform because my school wasn’t supportive of me sitting Alevels early (behind their back, in the final year of GCSE’s mind you, self taught). Instead, both my brother and I should stay at home and ‘home study’ (but we had to teach ourselves – we were financially dependent solely on the government so no tutors or any external help ). My father disagreed (mainly because it meant my mum wouldn’t be entitled to certain welfare benefits which he stole from her, not because I wanted to carry on studying at school and go to uni).
      There was never any friction between him and my father although I could sense that they didn’t like each other (takes one to know one eh?) My partner sensed this resistance so he pushed my brother and I to get help for my mum and to escape from my father. Ironically, he pushed me to tell the police, the authorities and even WA about our situation which I did whilst my father was abroad. Although on the outside this looks like my partner ultimately saved our lives and to some extend he did because we were all desperate to flee from my threatening and abusive father, the way in which my partner pushed me to do this though now looking back was very forceful. He was the lesser of two evils though so we all depended on him. We still do now. He is very well educated, extremely articulate, charming, very funny and helpful.
      In the end we got that we wanted (or more like he got he wanted). We moved house, away from all of the abuse from my mum’s family, my father and we could start afresh. I could concentrate on my studies and go to uni right? Wrong. He persuaded me (my mum was so mentally fragile so was in no position to make or comprehend any informed decisions) that (removed by moderator) His arguments for me not to go to Uni were sound and rational and despite my upset and determination to go to uni, I agreed (I couldn’t really disagree with what he was saying anyway so I effectively had no choice ). My lifelong ambition – crushed and it still crushes me to this day as I’ve seen pictures on facebook of my friends and peers celebrating their graduation. The idea of graduation means so much to me because it would make me so happy my mum so proud that she got at least one thing right a and positive in her life. I know I could still go anytime but the it won’t be the same, time and friends have been lost.
      At this time, (removed by moderator), had rented a very nice place and convinced me and my mum that it was better that I came and stayed with him as I could concentrate better (on my pretend self-taught Alevel course). So I moved in with him, occasionally going back home to visit. At this point I had lost all contact with my friends (obviously because they would report immediately what was going on) but instead he convinced me that nobody would understand our relationship, he had convinced me to stop using facebook (he criticised me once for posting these exact words (detail removed by moderator) because he said I shouldn’t express my real feelings on social media, I should only be intimate with him or something -??? Bizarre or what! and recently made me delete my facebook account. I am not allowed on any social media and I’m not even allowed to read novels / books that he doesn’t deem ‘appropriate’ or ‘good for my development’. I do now (in secret at home – when I go home I’m going to read Why does he do that?).
      He says things like (removed by moderator) Yet, when he saw me reading a book I wanted to read, a few years ago he told me to stop reading it. I love reading and I’ve always been that way from childhood but over the years he has stopped me from doing the hobby that I love most which is reading. It was only last year I think that I started reading novels that I enjoy in secret and I feel so much better for doing so. I think he’s scared I’ll realise the situation I’m in and leave. He has played double bluff with me (I think) quite a few times by saying “What if one day you decide you’ve had enough of my nonsense and leave? It would crush me but if that what makes you happy, it will make me happy although I’ll take a long time for me to get over and I probably will give up on life (suicide)”. I’ve always said and promised I’d never leave him with conviction but now…I’m not so sure.
      When we were in the rented flat in (detail removed by moderator). Instead of me studying for what should have been my alevels, instead I was helping him write up projects, notes for his own work in the city. My life became his life and I effectively became his full time PA. From then on he decided that we would start our own business and I would be self-employed (I had no idea about finances or work at this stage – I had only just come out of school and didn’t have working parents) and he convinced me that we would make a million pounds within 2 years so how would that compare to a graduate with 50k of debt?. Well, (detail removed by moderator) years on we are still working on our business, in debt and financially dependent on our saving that we have and the work of my brother.
      Anytime I used to try and “argue” with him we would say things like “so what, it’s an opinion. opinions are like a**holes: everyone has one. Opinions aren’t valid” (except his of course). I hate his double standards on everything. He blames everything on me. Everything is my fault. My actions=my fault . His actions = my fault. My feelings = my fault. His feelings=my fault .F or peace, I just accept it and move on otherwise I get a berating lecture on how I need to take responsibility blah blah blah… I did a lot of research at the time and I eventually came across a blog about an emotional abuser…and that’s when the penny dropped. I felt angry, confused, sad that I could relate with everything on there but also empowered. My eyes were suddenly open. BUT I was also trapped. He used to berate and criticise me (he still does) so badly I had suicidal thoughts and tried to escape once to go back home. That didn’t work because he caught up with me as I was approaching the train station. I’m not sure if it was from that point onwards that things started to slightly change. He’s became subtler in the thing he does and says and I’m able to tolerate him much better now.
      I promised myself from the time I was a little girl that I would not make the same mistakes my mum made. I would marry someone closer to my own age- never marry someone with a significant age gap like my mum did (although this is a naïve view and has nothing to do with abuse). I would never marry or be with anyone who disrespected me the way my father disrespected my mum. As much as I love children and want to be a mother myself one day, if anybody dared think they can talk to me or touch me in a way I didn’t like, they would be out the door and I would rather be single than live like a prisoner unhappy or ‘for the sake of the children’. Nobody has ever disrespected me and everybody liked me until I met him. He is and is the only person who feels he is entitled to disrespect me and speak to me in a manner that I don’t like but why do I let him? How could I have put myself in this situation? I am intelligent, but clearly not, to have let this happen and trap myself like this. I can’t see a feasible way out.
      Anyway, all those years ago when I did realise he was an emotional abuser, I think I didn’t really want to accept it. I knew there something wrong with him. So I started looking for things to diagnose him with the explain (excuse) his behaviour. I diagnosed him (self diagnosed him) with Adult ADD and OCD. I even told him that I think he may have undiagnosed ADD. It made me feel a lot better to attribute his behaviour to an illness or condition and helped me to cope with his behaviour and put me in denial. For years this is how I’ve coped until one day I was listening to radio 4 at home and they were talking about the Helens story in the Archers and tears suddely flooded my face. I could still relate to Helen now. It brought me back to reality. I’ve been in denial to try and protect myself but I know my relationship isn’t normal. I’ve internalised the arguments and rhetoric that he has ingrained in my mind (e.g. we’re special… we’ve never been normal people… people won’t understand…there’s lots of jealousy in this world…we’re soul mates…I would never leave you…you are my world…I don’t know what I’d do without you…life is not worth living if its without you…I just want you to be happy…I’m protecting you….I would never let you down…I won’t allow anyone to break your heart, it would crush me so that’s why I’m with you to guarantee your happiness’…I will never let what happened to your mum happen to you (yet it is)…you’re so beautiful…I’m so lucky to have your love…etc). The reality is he has clouded my judgement on what is right or wrong. I have no one to share my thoughts and feeling with because I can only be ‘intimate with him’. I’ve definitely developed with trautic bonding and convinced I have developed an anxiety disorder since being with him. I have always been a quiet and anxious person (introvert) but was never this anxious.
      But on a slightly positive note, I’m so glad I have found this forum. Honestly I just want a place / space where my feelings can be heard without any judgement. I have no friends and effectively no family because I care for my mum and brother and now his disabled brother who are all dependent on me (he contrived it to be this way so that we are all trapped and within his grasp).
      I also hate that he uses the words ‘we’ or ‘our’ to really address himself or criticise me. He thinks for both of us, and has double standards which I hate. He is contradictory and super paranoid about everything. Oh and btw as all of this was going on, he was sill with his ex. They only stopped sleeping with each other (removed by moderator) ago. He convinced me when we agreed to have a sexual relationship that he had split up with her as I told him I was not prepared to be with him if I was going to be the cause of their break up. He said they were in the process of breaking up (2 years) but because I was past the age of consent but not yet a legal adult at the time we agreed that he would go over to her flat for sex. She didn’t know he was with me. He emotionally and financially abused her too (far worse than me) but I can’t believe I was foolish enough to believe he wouldn’t be that way with me too.
      On a slightly positive note, he is still really funny and makes me laugh, he is really kind, generous and caring. He always goes out of way to help people (but to the extent where they don’t want his help he still insists on it. He gains no benefit from it but I guess that not what he wants, he wants control), he loves children and. He does love me, he is much better and do safe around him. He has given me access to all of his bank accounts. He has no access to mine. But I still have to manage the money and budget as he overspends on everything and guess what, blames me for HIM using HIS OWN cards to overspend. Apparently, I don’t warn him enough about how much money we have, cant control/manage him etc etc.
      From the exterior everyone says he’s a good man, funny, handsome, charming, a gentleman, jovial, he’s great with children, would make a great dad etc but are perplexed as to why he is still not married. I thought it was because he was fussy and I believed all his b*s* stories about his exes (he’s had quite a few) being bad, lying, deceitful, cheating, not loyal, manipulative and putting their friends needs over him, not agreeing with his every word and bragging about how he was the one that left them all, not one of them wanted to leave him but I have a different perspective now.
      We want to start a family together in the near future. I would like that but now I’m seriously starting to question what I will be bringing potential children into. If I had a daughter, I would never wish for a man to treat her the way my partner does me. I want her to be strong, independent and make decisions for herself with appropriate guidance from me of course. The same goes for if I have a son. I always thought that if we had children he would change but I’ve come to the realisation that he will not. And it scares me. I’m not prepared to leave just yet but will I Iive like this for the rest of my life? What will I be putting my children through if we do have children?
      I just want him to be less controlling (over what and how I eat, what I wear, how I speak, (removed by moderator) although I can’t go anywhere without him unless I’m vising him. We’re not tied to one place. He lives all over place in any part of the word when it suits him). Although I do go back and stay with my mum every few weeks for her welfare (and my own sanity)
      There’s still so much more I wish to say but I think I’ve given enough of my background and experience to share with other women in a similar predicament. If I’ve managed to take some of your precious time by you having read my far too long ramblings this far then thank you so so much. It means a lot to me – to be able to finally share MY feelings and MY perspective of what been happening to ME.
      Best wishes,
      Whathaveidone (quite literally)

    • #13257
      Ayanna
      Participant

      Wow, I am glad you found this forum.
      And I am glad you realized what he put you through.
      He is an abuser to the core.
      You need to speak to WA and ask their help to get out of this relationship.
      Your family needs to find a way to depend on themselves. It is wrong that you care for them. You need to focus on yourself and make your vision of going to uni a reality. Social services should help your family, not you.
      If you can call Rights of Women too, they can give you legal advice about the sexual coercion and what to do.
      The Women and Girl’s Network has support for sexually abused women. They offer counseling quite quickly.
      I am not sure whether you should also involve the police. I would, but this is up to the advice from WA.
      The best place for you would be a refuge, where he does not know where you are and where you can get your thoughts together and make a plan how to continue with your life on your own terms.
      Please do not think about suicide. I was there as well once and I am so glad I did not do it and chose to live.
      Every horrible situation has an end too. We can choose to end the situation. Often we have to fight very hard for a while. But after this we have peace and our own lives.
      Keep posting. You will get out! Big hugs! xxxxx

    • #13258
      Whathaveidone
      Participant

      Ayanna,
      I cannot thank you enough for replying. It means so much to me. I have read everything you wrote and am thinking very seriously about acting on them. I’m just feeling quite trapped at the moment and unsure as to when or how I can leave. Everything seems stable at the moment but my head is telling me that it most likely will get worse over time and that I can’t live the rest of my life like this. I have thought about suicide seriously twice since being with him but have never acted on it. Suicide definitely is not the answer and I know I have the power to end this. But I just cant somehow seem bring myself to doing it.
      I’m thinking carefully about contacting or looking into Rights of Women and the Women and Girl’s Network. Thanks for pointing me to this.
      We’re going to go out later today today for a walk (his decision) and when he told me, I was so anxious and started questioning myself – what am I going to wear? How should I style my hair? (although he told me what hairsyle he wants me to wear when we do go out today) when should I get ready?
      It’s such a mess I’m in. I clearly know now what is going on and if I were to advise myself I would be saying similiar things to what you’ve said but I STILL can’t get round to doing it. I dont know what’s wrong with me. I just hope that one day I’ll gather the strength and courage to get help and leave.
      Thanks so so much for reading and replying.
      Big virtual hug back x*x (gosh I havent had a real hug from anyone other than him in years – crazy…)
      Whathaveidone

    • #13262
      Confused123
      Participant

      Hi hun

      He is an abuser and controlling you, best advice i can give is call womens aid, have a support worker allocated and she will sit with you and work out how you can escape. You sound like a bright girl, you will be able to workout how to support yourself , dot let him know onviously , he is gonna drain you emotionally, take your voice away , get out soon, men like this are always noce to the world apart from us

      • #13271
        Whathaveidone
        Participant

        @Confused123 Thank you for reading and replying to my post – it truly means alot to me. If..When I find the strength to call WA I definietly won’t let him know. I just can’t understand why I can’t just pick up my phone and tell them. I know what I have to do – it’s the right thing to do but yet I’m so scared of the consequences even though I know it will be for my own benefit. I feel so ashamed, embarrassed and disappointed in myself that I let all of this happen with my eyes wide open…and I’m STILL letting it happen. I just can’t get over the fact that I’m in this situation – I could have almost guarenteed before ending up with this guy that I wouldn’t let it happen…yet I did. I fell in love and am still in love with this person. It’s like I can’t forgive myself but at the same time, I feel I can’t leave. *sigh*
        Anyway, thank you again for listening to me.

    • #13265
      Ayanna
      Participant

      Take your time, hun. Make a phone call to WA and tell them what you said here. Listen to what they tell you. Everything will be confidential. Think whether you can follow their suggestions. Get a support worker from them and meet up. Have 1:1 meetings. You will get stronger and once you know what to do you will get out. Take your time to make a good plan.
      The Women and Girl’s Network are also really good.
      You need to become familiar first with the idea that you will be leaving him. You need to go no contact after you left. You need to be prepared for this. Take your time to get there.
      In the meantime behave as if everything is as usual so that he does not notice anything.
      Big Hugs! x*x

      • #13272
        Whathaveidone
        Participant

        @Ayanna Thanks so much for your kind words and really supportive suggestions. They are encouraging but I’m still gettting used to the idea that I’m still in a controlling relationship and how I managed to let this happen. I’m no way near the idea of leaving…yet. I’m so scared of what will happen after, the drama it will cause, how I will feel. I know and believe that I will be able to have no contact after – I’ve managed to so this successfully with my father after tried to contact me numerous times with no regret. I dont miss him at all. I changed my number after we moved house and we had the landline number changed aswell. I’m just not sure if I want to go through all of that again so soon with my current partner too. Like I said to Confused123, I feel so ashamed, embarrased and angry at myself for letting this happen as I swore and promised myself I wouldn’t put myself in this situation. I guess I’ll see how it goes. On a side note, he decided we weren’t going out today afterall – all that anxiety for nothing (eyesroll).

    • #13286
      Nemo
      Participant

      Hi Whathaveidone, first of all welcome to the forum – i’m so glad you found it and i’m so glad you found the courage to post 👍

      I read your story over and over thinking how best to reply and i think the best way is to quote back your own words back to you as sometimes we don’t realise the significance of them…
      “If I had a daughter, I would never wish for a man to treat her the way my partner does me. I want her to be strong, independent and make decisions for herself with appropriate guidance from me of course. The same goes for if I have a son.”

      …YOU deserve to be treated just as well as you would wish your children to be treated. You deserve to feel Strong, Independent, and the Freedom to make decisions for yourself ❤

      Hugs ({}) x*x

      • #13288
        Whathaveidone
        Participant

        Hi Nemo,
        Thanks so much for getting back to me. I truly mean it when I say it means so much to me that other people like you are prepared to even just listen to me. You’re right, its strange reading it back and I think well don’t I deserve to be treated with even just a little bit of respect? He doesn’t let me finish things I try to say half the time so I just don’t bother trying. Then he gets angry at how I never speak to him or intiate conversattions. Well its difficult to have a converstation with someone who will criticise every word you say how you say it, the tone you say it in, the pitch you say it in and have to justify evrything I say in order for it to be “valid” – and i’m apparently the one who can’t communicate well. I’m constantly told I sound like a child, I look like a child but then in other instances when I get upset “you’re not a child anymore, you are an equal in this relationship…” arrggghhh. If he doesnt like my appearance / who I am , can’t he just leave me alone?! It bothers me so much that I can’t just get up and leave or pick up the phone for help without having this overwhelming feeling of fear, shame and negativity. Anyway, Thank you for your thoughtful message.
        Have a great evening.
        Big hug back({})
        Whathaveidone

    • #13289
      lover of no contact
      Participant

      Welcome to the Forum Whathaveidone,

      Its great you are coming out of denial into the reality of what he’s really like and the reality of the relationship you’re in. Its very scary so take it slow, small steps taken on a daily basis will get you out of this abusive relationship you are in.

      My suggestions are to definitely read ‘Why does he do that-Getting inside the minds of angry and controlling men’ by Lundy Bancroft. Also read ‘Living with the dominator’ by Pat Craven.

      Keep posting on here and reading the other ladies posts, as you are doing.

      I found this helped me when I felt trapped and felt overwhelmed at the thought of leaving the abusive relationship, was to start going through my possessions (decluttering ) with a view to leaving. This gave me a feeling of control.

      Leaving is a process, take it one day at a time, do something each day with a view to leaving. Don’t worry about the feelings you will have in breaking your traumatic bond with him, you are not alone any more in this, we are here to support you every step of the way.

      Definitely keep up the pretence that all is well between you and him, don’t let him know you are becoming ‘aware’.

      Also google ‘Power and Control wheel’ . Your partner is addicted to Power and Control in the relationship you have with him. He does not love you, he wants power and control over you which he does by instilling fear in you. That is why fear is coming up for you at the thought of leaving him. We have all felt that ‘fear’ and so we can share our experiences with you.

      Google ‘the Cycle of Abuse’ You are in a cycle of abuse with him. Nasty/not nasty moments. You are right, it will get worse over time until their is no ‘not nasty’ moments only nasty/abusive time with him. The ‘not nasty’ moments are deliberately chosen by him to keep you hoping and to keep you in the relationship. The ‘good side’ of his personality is a mask, it is not the real him. The nasty disrespectful side of him is the real him.

      A lot to take in I know, take it slowly and keep posting for support.

      • #13318
        Whathaveidone
        Participant

        @lover of no contact Thank you for welcoming me and I really appreciate that you took time to read my post and to respond. Thanks so much for all the book suggestions. I’m going home next week which means I’ll be away from him for a little while so I’ll order all the books you’ve suggested to have them ready on my arrival to read. I’m also going to google “Power and control wheel” and “the cycle of abuse” when I can. I just see him in such a different light now. It’s quite strange. He’s tied my whole life and future with him which is why I find it difficult to belive that I will ever be free. All the work I’m doing, he’ll eventually get the credit for because it will be under his business name when I’m the one producing all the material. He’s effectively made himeself my boss, my teacher, my lover, my comforter whilst I’m literally everything else (his PA, his accountant, his counsellor, his employee, his lover (or sex slave), his emotional punchbag amongst others). I know he needs me more than I need him but weirdly it doesn’t feel that way. I’m still trying to process it all. Thanks for being there.
        Hugs,
        Whathaveidone

    • #13295
      Confused123
      Participant

      Hi HUn

      These men drain us out that we reach a point we begin to shut down , by calling womens aid or getting in touch with a domestic violence agency u will speak to someone out of the situation but able to understand u and will make u see the situation u r in, i was totally lost and in denial, it actually took me three-four months to meet up with a support worker, please take the support available, this isnt your shame, none of us wanted to be in this situation, these abusers take advantage of our good nature, its there shame but they train our brain to think a certain way to feel stupid for allowing our selves to get in this scenario , yet we should be greatful for everything they do, we stay with them not out of love but for debt we feel we owe them, some one who loves you doesnt treat u like this .you can do this, look u found this site, thats brillant, u will get loads of support on here

      • #13319
        Whathaveidone
        Participant

        Hi Confused123,
        It’s sad but comforting to know that it took you a few months to actually speak to someone. I feel so overwhelmed and trapped at the moment. I don’t even know how I’m feeling half the time. I think I’ve also mentally detached my mind from myself just to cope. It’s so true when you say: “…they train our brain to think a certain way to feel stupid for allowing our selves to get in this scenario , yet we should be greatful for everything they do, we stay with them not out of love but for debt we feel we owe them,…” – thats exactly how I feel. I do feel so much better for having found this forum. Thanks for you encouraging and supportive words. They mean alot to me.
        Hugs
        Whathaveidone

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