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    • #117250
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      It has only been a (detail removed by Moderator) now but I am starting to feel the pain of his absence. It is irrational. I know this is a form of Stockholm Syndrome because logic dictates, I shouldn’t miss someone who was clearly not in it for true love and who wasn’t kind. We always hold on to the grains of kindness they show us, never mind the rest of the time it being a living hell.

      I feel I miss just the sight of him. I saw him the other morning on the (detail removed by Moderator). It’s like he was waiting to catch a glimpse of us. Then he walked off. I don’t know why he was there. He didn’t try to approach me or catch my attention but he wasn’t hiding himself either.

      This is the hardest thing I have had to live through. The not knowing, the endless questions, all of which end with “why?”

      His voicemails said the same thing; that it was all needless drama, but always started by him. There was always the blame. He blew up because I “lied”. Of course, I lied about seeing a friend or my mother having a workman collect his tools, because the verbal assaults and fallout simply wren’t worth telling the truth for. I lied, about the most innocuous, innocent things, to keep the peace. Then when I admitted the lie – because I was terrified of his outbursts – he pegged me as “a liar”.

      I don’t know what is bothering me. That I now won’t have a chance to clear my name, to say to him “I lied to you because you made telling the truth and living a simple open life impossible”. Why should I have lied about having a workman in the garden? Why lie about seeing a friend? Why change my very freedom, to stop him from exploding at me? It’s sick.

      So why the f*ck do I miss him? Why can’t my brain process this and be glad he is gone, glad he may now be another woman’s problem? Why, what is stopping me from making that leap?

      X

    • #117253
      KIP.
      Participant

      Brainwashing and programming is holding you back but also contact. Any contact. I’d report seeing him to the police. There’s no such thing as a coincidence with abusers. You need to stop looking on social media or anything that he’s connected to. Break the bond quicker. Get your strength back quicker.

    • #117254
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I am crying uncontrollably. It’s like the floodgates have opened and the crushing reality has hit home. (detail removed by Moderator) ago I was just starting on this journey with him. Now I am alone. Again. Just like when I was a child, when I was married. Always alone.

      I knew it would hurt but I didn’t think it would flood me like this. The tears are good; they help purge the trauma and distress but the sense of loneliness is acute. I just feel this desperation to escape somewhere, anywhere. X

    • #117257
      KIP.
      Participant

      I remember that pain. Just let it wash over you. Yes crying is good. Surround yourself with pillows and cushions and hug them. This too shall pass x

    • #117258
      KIP.
      Participant

      You’re grieving and that’s to be expected. It’s part of the recovery journey x

    • #117259
      KIP.
      Participant

      I wish I could fast forward for you 💕

    • #117262
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      It feels like grief. I just went for a walk in the park in the rain. It was empty and reminded me so much of the time we spent there. I am reminded all the time. For (detail removed by Moderator) we were never apart for more than a couple of days and when we were together it was intense. Pretty much all the time. I’m re-learning how to be alone.

      I hate that I miss him. Hate that I’m looking for his (unmistakable) walk in every stranger that passes. I’m wondering all the time what he’s doing, who is he speaking to. I feel, suddenly, a foreigner to him, completely alien and like we never knew each other at all.

      I still desire him. Absent the abuse, I would still be with him. It’s like nothing I have ever known before. He said his ex “never stopped fancying” him and I can believe it. She probably went back to the empty well too, hoping for the good without the bad.

      I know he will never change. He will do the same to the next one and the one after that until he is behind bars or dead. I know this.

      It just feels like a brutal severance. Really brutal. I just want to book a train ticket and escape for a few days alone. I need that time by myself so badly. X

    • #117263
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I am trying so hard not to miss him. I know, he is someone who just bounces from relationship to relationship with no breather. People like him simply cannot be alone for any length of time. It’s a form of hell. He is someone who needs someone – anyone – to keep the loneliness at bay. I tend to retreat and not be with anyone until it feels right. He’s very different. Maybe he will move on more quickly. Maybe I need to have a fling to get him out of my system. You have to get under someone to get over them. The trouble is, I am not mentally or emotionally ready for that at all. I think I could come away feeling worse, not better, for the experience. I just cannot bear this. He is in my thoughts 24/7 when I’m not distracted with work or my son.

    • #117270
      KIP.
      Participant

      He’s a parasite and he needs someone to suck the life out of not because he’s lonely but because he feeds off others. You don’t recover from an abusive relationship the way you do other relationships. This damage is deep and takes time to heal. Just take baby steps and when you’re going through hell, keep going….

    • #117298
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      @KIP, he showed up on the (detail removed by Moderator) school route (detail removed by Moderator). Got on the (detail removed by Moderator), came to sit next to me, was very upset, saying how much he missed me etc. But I made the statement (detail removed by Moderator) so he must have been notified or something, because as I made my way home he started asking “(detail removed by Moderator)” and saying I started the fight and was I going to go to (detail removed by Moderator). I was physically shaking for at least an hour after. Not fear, but just such a shock to the central nervous systemm. I felt so very sorry for him but I also know this is his pattern. Trying to find out what the score is to prepare himself. He looked terrible. Red tired eyes, he was crying and shaking. He kept asking me to go to his later to talk. I said no and made my way home.

      I have no idea how to process this. I feel physically sick. This is too much for my brain to handle. If he shows up again, I am going to have to tell police. I cannot risk this getting worse, for my son.

      Why does this feel so hard? X

    • #117300
      KIP.
      Participant

      Please ring the police now. Do not leave it any longer. They need to know and he’s really very dangerous. Report him now then process it later when you’re safe. It’s all acting. He could make this go away by pleading guilty but he won’t and he will use this contact against you the first chance he gets x

    • #117307
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I have reported him. They are en route now to speak to me. I am shaking.

      I am so scared about what he will do to try and discredit me. I can feel, this is just the beginning of a long, horrible journey. I feel sick. X

    • #117308
      KIP.
      Participant

      No it’s not. Take some deep breaths. I had to push back every time he broke my boundary until he got the message. If he’s ignoring bail conditions it shows he has zero respect for authority and this makes him even more dangerous. You’re doing great x

    • #117309
      KIP.
      Participant

      My ex would cry and plead and seconds later he’s be smirking. They are incredible actors. The tears are for his own situation, not for the fear and harm he’s caused you. As you said he’s managing to move on with work etc. Don’t be fooled by him x

    • #117310
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      Dolly you are so brave.

      It is a long journey, the hero’s journey. It is difficult and treacherous but you find strength within yourself you didnt know you had. The first step is the hardest and you’ve taken it. Enduring abuse takes incredible strength, now you’ve gotten away from him you can use it to finally get free.

      Sending you love and light. You’re a hero xxxx

    • #117328
      Bettertimesahead
      Participant

      I’ve had my husband arrested 3x. It’s hard, scary and this year has been one of the worst of my life. BUT I do not regret it at all. He has made it blatantly obvious he has no respect for me, police, anyone.Police told me he was manipulative. (detail removed by moderator). It’s not an easy journey. Gather any possible support around you, use this forum, womens aid or similar, and remember you deserve freedom

    • #117347
      KIP.
      Participant

      How are you today dolly? How did it go yesterday with the police? Are they arresting him for a breach of bail?

    • #117356
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      Thank you for your supportive words. I am feeling a little better today. Calmer. I couldn’t stop crying yesterday. I haven’t received any update at all. They said they have to refer it to the DIC to decide if they want to take them in for breaking bail, as it’s not a simple arrest able matter. He could still be walking free until being charged and a court hearing set.

      I have been talking about it with my mother a lot and she seems to think there is also a very bad psychosis underlying a lot of his behaviour from all the w**d smoking. I would be inclined to agree now. People like him almost invite prison because it is where they feel, ironically, safe. The big bad world is a scary place for someone with a psychosis.

      KIP, I’m still confused by his behaviour. One minute he was crying, the next he was laughing and saying “I can’t believe you’re really standing next to me” and making jokes about me being a “gangsta” girl. He seemed so flippant and when I looked at him as if to say “you’re only here to find out if I have pressed charges” he started crying again and saying he was “risking jail just to see you”.

      This is way beyond what my brain can handle. I am so scared about next steps but praying I find a way through this. I feel so scared that the trouble has only just begun. XX

    • #117357
      KIP.
      Participant

      My ex used to do this. It’s just shows they have absolutely zero emotional depth. My ex went from crying and pleading to smirking and just carrying on like nothing had happened. It’s crazy making behaviour. I don’t think it’s psychosis because he wouldn’t be holding down a job or functioning in that case. It’s Such typical abuser behaviour. He’s always turned things round his way in the past by using violence and manipulation and he still thinks he can do it to you now. Breaching bail conditions is an arrestable offence. It’s breaking a court order but some police don’t think it’s worth the bother and id challenge that decision. Unless they’re handing it over to CID for them to make the arrest. Are you in touch with victim support. I’d definitely get them on your side cos they can push this for you and liaise with the police. If he turns up again dial 999 x you can get through this. I did after decades. I just threw everything at him. Kept him occupied with the police and courts and he eventually got the message. You have a voice and in my experience it’s whoever shouts the loudest that gets heard in this system. So scream at them that you want him arrested and remanded because you fear for your safety x I think it’s very unlikely but at least you can say that you pushed it as far as you could. Don’t feel sorry for him. He doesn’t feel sorry for you. He sees you as a victim he can manipulate and then walk away from x well done for reporting him. I know how scary this is but for me doing nothing was worse x head high, chin up. Be very kind to yourself x

    • #117952
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I am so scared right now. (detail removed by moderator). I didn’t bring it, but he blames me for how it came about. (detail removed by moderator).

      I feel crippled with guilt. He has been trying so hard to get in touch with me. Calling, cycling past the house, showing up near the house while I am with my son. He has been desperate to speak. I guess because he is trying to find out what has been said to the police. I can’t sleep thinking about it all. I go in waves of shock, sadness, anger that any of it had to happen, guilt, more sadness. I know he will be so scared right now without having anyone close by to support him with (detail removed by moderator) (not my fault I know) but it seems such a s****y, rotten life to live. I don’t get why he has to sabotage and harpoon what we had. Well, I do (insecurity, low self esteem, self hatred, etc) but you feel as if you are watching them self-destruct with each move.

      I haven’t contacted him or agreed to speak to him because of the child protection steps I have to take and that is far more important to me. But I am human and I can’t help but feel sorry for the wretchedness of his situation. In all of this, I still have compassion, even though I know he would be worse within 15 minutes if I had him back. Boy would the anger and blame ramp up then.

      How do I shake this horrid anxiety and guilt?

      X

    • #117961
      Camel
      Participant

      I think this shows exactly why cold turkey is the only way to go. I really feel for you, I do. But as I’m an outsider I see things differently. (detail removed by moderator). He hurt someone. And he’s not sorry for his victim, only for himself. You’re sorry for him too, even though he blames you for ending up (detail removed by moderator). Do you think your compassion could be misplaced? I don’t suppose his victim gives two hoots about his attacker’s low self-esteem.

      I am aware of how harsh this sounds but right now you are in a dangerous place. He’s constantly in breach of his bail conditions but where you should see harassment you see a cry for help. And only the child protection issue is holding you back.

      You have to protect yourself and your child, maintain zero contact and report every incident of harassment. You must do this forever. Because as long as he’s around you’ll continue to feel wretched.

      I’m sorry. I feel a bit of a bully. But I just can’t see anything in this man that deserves compassion.

    • #117970
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      I’m sorry things are so difficult for you at the moment. The waves are horrible. I read something that really helped me early on; you have been controlled by guilt. Guilt is what kept you in an abusive situation that was toxic for you. Made you stop thinking of yourself and what was right and healthy for you, and replaced that natural instinct with thoughts of your abuser and what they wanted. So if after leaving you feel guilt, and that’s normal, know that it’s because you’re making a decision that’s right for you. Reframe the guilt as confirmation that you are doing the right thing.

      I’m paraphrasing but you get the jist. He doesnt deserve your compassion. He is a violent abuser, not a lost little boy. If he is alone it is because his own actions and dreadful behaviour have driven everyone away. His responsibility, not yours.

      Embrace your guilt as proof you’re doing the right thing. You’ll get through this. It does get easier. Sending hugs xx

    • #118095
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      @ Camel and @ Hawthorne,

      You are both right. Guilt and compassion are grossly misplaced. I know he has no real sense of pity or regret for what he did. If he does, it is only to the extent that it has adversely affected his life.

      He avoided being sentenced. Just by pure chance, I was in my room and looked out the window while on the phone. There he goes, past on his bike. 5 seconds sooner or later and I would have missed it. Broad daylight. Almost like he’s saying “I’m here. I’m around but I’ll be doing my thing now…”

      I know he will be seething with anger that I didn’t respond to his entreaties for me to contact him. In his world, that makes me “cold” and “heartless”.

      I hate that I am so weak. That the truth in this (and I feel deep shame about this) is that, but for the child protection issue, I probably would be weak enough to go back to him. What the f is wrong with me? Why do I miss a controlling abuser? My heart doesn’t hurt hurt. It’s not like that. It’s the suddenness of his absence. The wondering what they are doing. Siting alone indoors wondering if they have already found a new supply and are moving on mentally, emotionally, physically. I’m not ready to take that step. I want to be, but I’m not. I want to hate him, but I can’t find it in me yet.

      Why? What is stopping the pure anger from erupting? How can I get to a place of fury that galvanises and makes me d**n glad to be rid of him? The way he will doubtless have managed with me?

      X

    • #118100
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      Theres so much grief on leaving an abusive relationshi. Grief for all that could have been, all you dreamed of and grief for yourself and how you were treated. If this experience teaches you self-compassion then it was not time wasted. Be very gentle with yourself. Whatever you’re feeling is completely fine and is the right thing for you to be feeling right now. Try not to get caught up in the “shoulds”. Try to focus on yourself. If you’re sad, cry. There’s so much loss to process and the tears will help you heal. If you feel numb, that’s normal and natural too.

      The anger may come, it may not. Some women on here say they grieved their relationships while they were in it. I didnt, but I was very angry at how I was treated. Angry at the world as I couldn’t be angry with him. So there’s only been small spots of anger for me since leaving. Everyone’s process will be unique to them. I found the crying to be most healing for me. I had swallowed so many tears during the relationship.

      You’re doing great. You’re staying away. You have so much strength and courage though you might not feel it. It gets easier, it really does, and one day you will realise you are smiling. Just smiling for no reason. Because you are happy and at peace. One hour at a time if thats what it takes. You’ll get there.

      Sending hugs x*x

    • #118102
      KIP.
      Participant

      It’s a grieving process and once you grieve you move on. Take a look at healing from hidden abuse book. It’s really insightful. The anger will come and boy is it liberating. How dare he. I stayed and took a lot of abuse until I finally accepted that nothing I could ever do would change him. I become exhausted trying. Good riddance to bad rubbish x

    • #118114
      Camel
      Participant

      Dolly, you are being so strong! Remember to love yourself more than you love him. And hate yourself less than you hate him.

    • #118217
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I am trying so hard to mentally see the good in this but it’s like a steady sadness that just creeps over me. (detail removed by Moderator) I took my child to the park. It was that lovely crisp afternoon sun, not too cold. I went to my local park, the one that we always used to go to in the summer and sit out. No sooner had we been there for maybe 3 minutes and I see him pushing his bike over the grass towards the sunny spot where we used to sit. He can’t have known we would go to the park as it’s not routine. He clocked us, watched us, moved a bit closer to watch us walk, then cycled around a little while. I now have huge regrets because I called my brother to tell him and I think maybe he thought I was calling 999 as he moved off soon after. He didn’t stop to take the chance.

      I felt, he was there doing what I would do – nostalgia. He didn’t need to take his bike over the grass but he did. Right near where we used to sit.

      My heart is aching right now. I can’t place what I am feeling but it is a sense of grief. You grieve for the relationship, the love, the closeness you desperately wanted from that person, but never truly got. If it hadn’t been unkind, it would have made me very happy. I look at the (detail removed by Moderator) that has passed and know I will never be with him again, never smell his skin (his smell was always like home to me, reminding me of my Dad). I will never share our moments again, the lovely, gentle moments when you just cuddle and breathe them in. That is all gone. I feel bereft. I am ashamed that this brute has been able to get my heart so comprehensively, while shielding his own. He never truly let his guard down. I did. I was so happy when I met him, when we first exchanged texts and set up a date. It felt like a genuine fresh start with someone I could come to like, after my divorce and being single for (detail removed by Moderator) years. That dream is shattered and now, some other girl is going to get the nice bits (and yes the horrible abuse) but the highs were addictive.

      I know I sound pathetic saying this and as I type tears are rolling down my face. This time last year we were planning Christmas. My heart feels so alone. We spent all of lockdown together. I spent more time talking to him than to anyone else for years since my Dad died.

      I feel cheated of something. Cheated of true, proper, caring love and the best that he had to offer. I can’t see myself feeling that strongly again in a long time. I don’t feel anger. Just waves of heavy sadness, like something was in my hand and then gone like a cloud.

      I didn’t see him today. I feel bad now that he probably thinks I would call 999 if he so much as comes within a foot of me. He was circling with his bike, maybe just to be near us. Who knows.

      This is hell. It is going to take months to lift. The tears are getting worse and worse. X

    • #118224
      Camel
      Participant

      There’s nothing anyone can say except that you must put time and distance between you and this man.

      You believe that he abused you the way he did to protect himself – he had his guard up, didn’t let you in.

      You feel bitterly cheated and let down by a man you believe is decent and caring, deep down. That some other woman will get the good bits.

      You believe he’s feeling the same things you are – nostalgia for what was and regret for what could have been.

      No one will say you’re wrong for feeling as you do. But we will all tell you that these feelings cannot be trusted, particularly so soon after getting out. That’s why you must resist letting your guard down now. It’s good that maybe he thought you were calling the police. He should be scared. Really, you should be relieved, not disappointed, that you didn’t catch him out stalking you today.

      For your physical safety you should avoid visiting places he might go. For your emotional safety you should avoid going places just to reminisce. Start new routines and find new parks to walk in.

    • #118233
      KIP.
      Participant

      He was there deliberately to intimidate you but also to get back into your head. It’s what they do. Any decent human being who had hurt us and had the police involved would run a mile so our brain is thinking, he’s still coming to where I am, maybe it’s me and I’ve imagined how bad it was. No you havent imagined how bad it was and he absolutely knows he shouldn’t be doing it, that’s why he left when he thought the police has been called because he can manipulate you, make a fool of you, mess with your head, use you, treat you badly, stomp on your heart, get your child removed from you but he can’t do that to the police. Please be very careful. Your first thought should have been the police. Do you have a non molestation order in place or bail conditions? Has he been warned by the police to stay away. Try to get your head thinking instead of your heart. Look at that journal of abuse and think about what you have got to lose x

    • #118242
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      You both make a lot of sense. My head and heart are swirling from it all. I don’t know why he was there. Certainly, there are a million other places he could go in the area rather than ‘our’ park. The circling was, yes, just a way of being ‘there’ and keeping the mental door open. I am just as guilty of that. I find myself looking out for him and missing the tender bits so badly I could weep.

      You do feel bitterly cheated. I feel, if I can try to sum it up, as if he took something from me, withheld it, something that I so badly wanted. I so badly wanted a true soul connection, intimacy, laughter, love. The good stuff that makes your heart warm. We had moments of that. It was tantalisingly close. Then snatched away again with a cruel and calculated statement or an engineered fight. He wanted me there, but to be able to push me away when it all got ‘too’ intimate and close for him. He was, although physically present and in my face, emotionally unavailable. By definition, you cannot mess with a person’s mind and heart and say you are emotionally available or open. His first thought always was himself and self-protection. Everything else was second to that.

      I also feel anger that he was bombarding me with calls and trying to see me in the week leading up to (detail removed by Moderator), but once it was over he went silent. Ok, he has been cycling around but it’s like I’ve lost my ‘use’ now that he saw it through.

      I don’t feel I have a handle on his thinking at all. My brother said stop trying to analyse what he is thinking, but it helps me to process this to have even a fragment of understanding about what motivates them.

      I know for him, the big piece is loss of control. He kept being able to reel me back in, time and time again. How much power can one person have to be able to do that? He would have been thinking ‘well she took that. She must really love me. What else will she take…’

      Each time I tried to stand up to him, he would say things like ‘you don’t love me, if you can throw it all away like that. I would die for you…’

      He didn’t get that it’s not ok to ‘prove’ love by enduring abuse and going back for more. It’s the wrong way round. He always felt I needed to ‘prove’ myself to him. So staying and enduring abuse was ‘proving’ my love and devotion to him?

      He didn’t seem to grasp that love isn’t abuse and if you hurt and abuse someone, they won’t want to stay and be ‘kind’ or ‘prove’ their love in the face of it. I don’t get how someone can’t get their head around that. You want to prove your devotion to someone who treats you well; not someone who treats you like s**t.

      When i pulled away after spitting or name calling, he accused me of “keeping him out”. Again, I was the bad guy for reacting, for not going “oh he loves me really. I must put up with this to show him how much I care for HIM”. Always focused on him.

      It is deeply painful. I’m waking up at all hours and my first thought is of him. My last thought before I sleep is of him.

      He won’t do enough to warrant the police being called. He was in the park first that I could see. the only thing he could have done was leave immediately. He didn’t, I guess, to get some kind of ‘fix’ or high from the stress of it. I am scared about how long this is going to take to get over. Really scared. This is hurting so much and consuming all my waking thoughts.

      X

    • #118251
      butterfly2021
      Participant

      hi @dolly2019 hope you doing ok x every day is a day away from the pain, you have come so far do not give in now.. he is the one who is missing out, he is the one who doesnt deserve you and try to be strong do not look back and have gone through all this for nothing.. he is not a kind person, imagine 20 years ahead do you really want to be with someone who can hurt you so much ? try to now think how strong you have been and keep walking forward.. let him see he cannot destroy anymore.. this will be his own destruction x much hugs and keep going you doing amazing x

    • #118252
      KIP.
      Participant

      It wasnt self protection on his part it was the push and pull of domestic abuse. It’s a tactic. They let us get close then push us away to test our boundaries. To see just how much abuse we will take. It’s all very practiced x

    • #118253
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      Yes I do believe they enjoy the thrill of seeing what we will forgive in pursuit of love from them. They know – they KNOW – their behaviour is abuse. I used to say to him “why can’t you admit you’re abusive?” He never would. He would look blankly and then accuse me of being violent and abusive. It was almost a sick joke. I believe they feed off the reaction they get. It makes them feel powerful seeing you get worked up into a stuttering frenzy. It’s warped. I knew, deep down, it was predicated on a near hatred of me, all that I am, all that I showed him not to be. As my brother put it, they are “defective” human beings.

      There is strength to be gained, I suppose, knowing he can’t hurt me any more. I was one of the ones that escaped without having given him too much of my life. Butterfly21, as you say, this will be his karma, that I got away and didn’t let him back, didn’t give in to his pressure or tears. He has never seen that resolve in me before. That will be a jolt for him, until he focuses on his next victim.

      X

    • #118256
      KIP.
      Participant

      The biggest hurt you can do to these men is total zero contact. Total rejection. It hurts to their very core. I’ve seen them beg and plead to restart a relationship simply to have the pleasure of being the one to do the discarding. Don’t give him that satisfaction.

    • #118297
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      @KIP, this I believe fully. I know that he was separated form his ex for a period of months (I suspect he was on bail conditions there too) and she went back to him, probably hoping he would be different. He waited for her long enough, only to go back and brutally dump her after weaponising sex against her and telling her it “wasn’t the same” after he had slept with other women. It says a lot that he stuck around long enough to f*ck with her like that. Control freaks and bullies like that always want to throw the last punch.

      I woke up early and my mind was racing with all the tings he has said and done to me, the way he used sex against me when it suited him. Always sex. Or he would set up an expectation of meeting me each day and then do a no show, to try and keep me off guard. They set up patterns, knowing you come to expect it and then they wrong-foot you, smirk and ask “are you worried I don’t love you any more?”

      I was filled with rage. I knew, deep down, all along from very early on, he didn’t really care for me. The scorn he poured on to one statement after (detail removed by Moderator) days, I will never forget. Why I didn’t cut it sooner I don’t know. He was very persuasive. Plausible deniability. It was always my “interpretation”. Funny how his sentences could always be taken one of two ways, but it was me being “oversensitive” that was the issue, supposedly. “(detail removed by Moderator)” he used to say after each incident in which he tried to screw with my head and I called him out on it.

      He was so GOOD at playing mind games. Where does that come from? How can one person be so quick, so ready, to belittle, cut down, humiliate and degrade another person they claim to love? I was no match for him. My mind and heart didn’t come from a place of hatred or contempt. His clearly did. He always found the angle to slice at me and then claim it was completely innocent. He would constantly try to wind me up with comments about other women / how he could have anyone / how girls noticed him / how he “didn’t even open messages from girls (implying he was still receiving them) all the while interrogating me and calling me a “snake” for speaking to male colleagues or asking for help in a shop.

      The anger I feel and shame at what I let him put me through makes me want to scream. I am so angry at the world, at myself for letting this happen to me. And I will NEVER get true validation or an apology from him. He didn’t care. All people like that care about is loss of control, whether you still feel anything for them. When he broke bail he asked me “(detail removed by Moderator)”

      All he ever cared about was how my feelings for him were. He was hyper vigilant to signs of me going off him. He didn’t seem to ever ask himself “is this good love I’m giving her?”

      He has been absent for a few days now and I have changed up my routine. I have this feeling that he has already moved on to another girl. He needs to have someone to run to, to soothe his broken ego. I don’t know how to process this anger.

      I’m waiting for a couple of books to arrive and am joining the Freedom Project in January which I hope will really help.

      The anger is the worst part because you just want to scream at them HOW DARE YOU.

      I only hope on some deep psychological level, he will be wondering how I found the strength to stay away (he clearly thought I would go back to him) which tells me he really thought he had me in his spell. I hope, I really hope, he is sitting there stunned that his spell wore off, that I found the strength to stay away. The last time he saw me in the park, I was shaking with anger and he said “(detail removed by Moderator)” as if he was just seeing my rage for the first time, because he called me a liar again. I began shaking with anger.

      I hope, in the darkest corners of his mind, he knows he lost, pushed me away, could never recover it, not after the physical abuse but the mind games. The accusations and constant, endless mind games. I really hope that sits in his mind the way he f*cked with mine.

      I know this sounds angry but right now I need to vent and this is the only place I feel safe enough to do it. X

    • #118298
      KIP.
      Participant

      Anger is good. It’s much better out than in. They spend years perfecting their abuse. Learning from each relationship. What worked and what didn’t work. The fact he’s still sniffing around clearly shows he still thinks he has a chance at regaining control. Hooking you back in. He would have been hoping/thinking you would have reacted in the park like previous occasions when he’s been abusive and made a move to reconcile and apologise etc. You can bet he will be feeling angry and wounded like he’s the victim in all this. That’s how they cope. Its everyone else’s fault but theirs. They very often have another victim lined up. I know mine did. Hopefully if he does it won’t be as easy to suck her in x

    • #118308
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I just had a crushing down moment. I left our (detail removed by Moderator), crossed the road and in the distance I could make him out, walking with purpose away down the road. No bike or lobby clothes, but his smart coat. He turned as if to go back to his place (it started chucking it down) but I just have this feeling he has moved on already. He would only be up and walking about at this time of day if he were going somewhere.

      He used to say he would never love again after me. But he also said he “cried for months” over her. I know, my silence will be taken by him as move on, and on one occasion when he broke bail he asked me “(detail removed by Moderator)”

      I feel he has. He is a man who needs to have someone – anyone – to turn to. He’s clearly not cut up about it, if he’s walking so quickly like he needs to be somewhere. He always did walk quickly but my mind is racing with the likelihood of what he is doing. So while I’m nursing a broken heart and feel unable to move on, he probably already has. He’s someone who, if he sees a pretty girl, he would just try his hand with them. It’s a lot less easy for a single mum for a child in tow to move on.

      This is the worst kind of hell. He is being visible in the middle of the day, not hiding away. It’s almost a defiance. “You don’t want me but someone else does…” “I’m here and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

      Or, it’s none of those and he was simply going to get electric, but who knows. He wouldn’t go dressed up like that just to pop to the shops.

    • #118310
      KIP.
      Participant

      He would dress up like that and make sure you saw him deliberately. There’s no such thing as a coincidence. Mine did the same. He’s probably upto nothing at all but once again he’s in your head. He knows what you will think if you see him dressed up. It’s why he’s doing it. I had the same thoughts because my ex planted them there. I found out in reality he was just upto his old c****y life down the pub. When he wasn’t hanging around making sure I saw him. Pathetic. Download a stalking app to your phone and fill in the times and dates you see him. I live next door to my neighbour and see them maybe once a week. This guy lives miles from you and you’re seeing him often. He’s played this game before. Plausible deniability. One time I actually saw my ex with his back to me. He was waiting outside for 40 minutes and knew I’d see him but then he could say he had his back to the door and didn’t see me. (detail removed by Moderator) He had no reason to hang about for 40 minutes

    • #118311
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I have to confess I didn’t think of that. My thought bubble, as you rightly pointed out, was “what’s he doing dressed up like that in the middle of the day”. Usually he is on his bike to avoid the police. But, he can’t have known I would be out. It’s my working day.

      The high street is busy with last minute shoppers and he lives, yes, about a (detail removed by Moderator) walk from mine. The times when we have run into each other in the past were when we broke up and he searched around the high street for me, finding me eventually. Maybe he did figure I might be doing some last minute shopping.

      He can’t have seen me, at least I didn’t think he did. He walked down and turned away, with his back to me.

      I think yes, if he is seen, he wants to be seen looking forward, not beaten down and broken. Some “broken heart”. He seems to have rebounded very well in such a short space of time. Amazing how, now that (detail removed by Moderator), he isn’t bombarding me with calls or cycling past. Just goes to show. He really thought he could manipulate me back into the game. Is this going to keep happening? Am I going to live in dread every time I go out in case he just happens to be there? I am keeping a diary. This is the first sighting since the park (detail removed by Moderator). Again, could have been coincidence, but I didn’t think my movements were that routine. That’s what’s confounding me. His timing seems to always match mine.

    • #118313
      KIP.
      Participant

      Hey my movements weren’t routine either. Have you checked your phone for a tracking app? Remember he’s done this before. He can have a good guess at where you’ll be. He could have been hanging around all your other likely places too. My ex would come about 5 metres past the restraining order conditions. It’s a pathetic game and unless you feel threatened try to give him no reaction. Your addiction to him works both ways. You can bet he’s having withdrawals from being able to get that thrill of watching you suffer. Any normal person would move towns but not them. They strut around like they’ve done nothing wrong. It’s mind blowing dysfunction x

    • #118330
      Camel
      Participant

      Hi Dolly

      I know it’s hard, perhaps even impossible right now, but you have to stop putting him at the centre of everything. Allowing him to continue taking up so much g*****n head space is allowing the abuse to continue.

      This man is not trying to win you back with any other motivation except to keep up the abuse. Abusers HAVE to win. They hate it when we get away. They’ll use every old tool and plenty of new ones to persuade us that we got them wrong.

      Your brother is right – you have to stop trying to analyse your ex’s motivations for doing anything, past of present. It is an absolute complete waste of your time and your depleted emotional energy. It’s like asking why a tornado flattened your house.

      Instead, if you can, concentrate on making those small steps that will take you far away from him. And definitely keep a log of every sighting of him. Take videos. That’ll put the wind up him.

    • #118355
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I know, I have to find a way to clear him out of my head. I keep reminding myself of the awful things he said and did which help a lot, but he is still in my head most of the time. Seeing him (detail removed by moderator), dressed nicely , walking with such purpose, made my stomach flip. I hate that it kills me to think of him being intimate with another woman so soon, if that is what he is doing. It occurred to my mum that maybe, he is trying to salvage his pride by being seen dressed like that, rather than (detail removed by moderator). She said this is the oldest trick in the book, as if to say “look what you’re missing..”. If nothing else, he will need a new victim to ponce off so that he can get f**s and w**d and his bills paid. He is ruthless like that.

      No sighting today. It feels strange. This time last year I was preparing the house with him. I don’t want to put bad karma into the world (I really believe in that) but I do hope, on some deep psychological level, he is suffering for what he has done. I wanted to love him. It’s why I stuck around. I really wanted to love him. And his abuse kept me away, pushed away, at a distance that he wanted and needed so that it never moved forward, I never got too close. I was going back time and time again to the empty well. He used to blame me and imply that he could have a loving and ‘safe’ relationship with a different person, but he was the one steering the conflict all the time. I have a very hard time believing any woman that he cares about (or not) would have an easy ride with a man like him. The older he gets and loses his looks / virility, he will hate himself and the world even more, because he has nothing else to offer a woman. No job, no house, no possessions. All he has is his d**k and a good sense of humour. He thinks that’s all he needs to get by in this world. Maybe for some women tat might be enough, but I very much doubt it.

      I do think he is wanting me to see him at least looking smart, up and about, put together. He doesn’t want me to believe he is dying alone in a ditch. Another tool to try and get under my skin. I don’t think he is trying to lure me back. I don’t believe that. I think he knows my resolve and that my mind is made up. But it is a game. Still not blocked on WhatsApp, still a photo of inside my home. It’s another game. Or, he’s keeping it up to imply he is still thinking about me, while screwing around, so as not to upset me and make me go full throttle with the case. Who knows. This is hell. X

    • #118357
      KIP.
      Participant

      All that energy you’re using thinking about him needs to be re focussed on you and your family and your future. Good people have a vertical list of people in their life that starts at say children, partner, parents, grand parents, friends or what ever order you like going down. Men like him have a horizontal line like a washing line and everyone is on that horizontal line and he will just pick people off the line when he needs something from them. Everyone on his line is expendable. He cannot bond.

    • #118560
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      HI KIP,

      I agree, they cannot bond. Maybe trauma bond but not in the functional, loving sense. The more time I have had away from him, little by little, the anger is creeping in. I’m waking up randomly at 5am with reminders of all the things he said and did. To treat someone that way, it was sport for him. Sport to watch me justify, explain, try to rationalise his deeply dysfunctional and s****y behaviour. The time I expended trying to work him out, work out a way to stop the accusations, the slander, the distrust, it makes my blood boil. He had no motive – NONE – other than trying to make me hurdle jump to “prove” myself to him, to “prove” I wasn’t deserving of his attacks, only for him to find a new angle.

      Men like him HATE themselves. They truly do. e used to add insult to injury by saying “I need to love myself before I can give my best…”

      Oh, he could have tried just not being a complete b*****d. Forget his “best”. Simply not being abusive would have been a good enough start.

      I’m reading and re-reading Lundy Bancroft’s book. It is so helpful. I’m going to get the other book you mentioned (Healing from Hidden Abuse?) and try to do some major work on my self esteem and boundaries. I didn’t defend them enough before so I have to start now.

      I am also better able to keep him out of my head for longer periods. It’s a case of telling myself “don’t waste time or thoughts on someone who didn’t love you” and it’s surprisingly easy to angrily blot them out. Why should I pile for a b*****d who treated me like s**t on his shoe and who was on the rebound from an ex anyway?

      F**k. That.

      He has stayed away, at least I assume he has as I have been with family and since being back I have changed up my routine again. This helps me to form new habits that don’t include him. It feels much better and healthier to do it this way. I’m also signing up for an online course and focusing on getting my house in order, which I neglected with him.

      Brick by little brick. X

    • #118562
      KIP.
      Participant

      Good for you dolly, you’ve come a long way in such a short time. I used to get the 5 o’clock frights I’d call them. Waking up anxious with my head full of thoughts. It gets easier x

    • #118682
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      He showed up again (detail removed by moderator), literally out of the blue. I left to go to the shops (detail removed by moderator) and as we were (detail removed by moderator) he strode behind us within about (detail removed by moderator). I don’t know how he is doing it. He turned (detail removed by moderator), I think, to get my attention but I was to busy watching for traffic (detail removed by moderator). Then he strode up and went (detail removed by moderator) ahead of us. Cue a flurry of calls from a hidden ID, which was him.

      Part of me knows I should report him. The other part of me is so d**n tired of the drama, more police visiting, more reports. It is draining. He clearly believes he can hoover me back in, which in itself makes me furious because it speaks to a rank disrespect for me, his mental belief that he can control me again and how desperate I must be to want him back or any contact with him. I am seeing more and more now the games. He never loved me, but he did love the ability to reel me back in each time. Power, power and more power!

      The knowledge that it was all a game to him makes it easier to disengage and think about other things. But I’m sure he will want a way to redress the balance of me leaving him. How dare I not melt in his presence!

      Any advice going forward, apart from the obvious? I think I might need to gird my loins for another report…. exhausted sigh.

      X

    • #118686
      KIP.
      Participant

      Do the report as soon as possible. It’s these men who completely disregard the police and authority who are dangerous. Yes it’s exhausting but short term. If you can keep reporting him and get them to take action then long term it’s not as bad. Knowing you have support is a good positive thing so use that support. It’s now you need to keep him away while you’re still vulnerable. Have you checked your phone for tracking apps? Did he ever have access to your phone or car. Tracking devices are cheap and easy to use. Take a good look through your phone x

    • #118687
      GreenSapphire
      Participant

      Ah yes the old hiding their number trick and turning up out the blue. I can’t grasp the details as they’ve been removed by the moderator for your own safety but if what you’ve said is that he is appearing when you leave the house, then have you wondered if he has access to your location settings on your phone or has bugged your car?

      It’s time to get down to your local police station and make a statement. You shouldn’t have to but if it buys you peace, changing your phone number will be worth it. Perhaps having your phone checked for bugs would also be worth it. If it’s an Apple iPhone you can take it into an Apple store and speak to them about your concerns. They will know what to do to reset your phone and give you advice about keeping it safe.

    • #118688
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I have been through my phone, location services are off and he never had password access to it. I don’t know that he would be able to add tracking apps without full access but I’ll check again.

      The idea of reporting him fills me with dread. It scares the s**t out of me. I need to c***k on and do the non mol so that he knows I’m serious. Maybe he just thinks this is all a joke. I don’t know. He seems not to give a s**t that I could report him. He could just lie and say it wasn’t him.

      This is horrible. My heart is racing again. It’s what he wants no doubt.

      X

    • #118689
      KIP.
      Participant

      Yes he wants to stay in your head. It’s intimidation and mind games. Your post has been moderated but it looks like you were with someone who could corroborate your story x

    • #118699
      GreenSapphire
      Participant

      Yes as KIP says, you appear to have a witness or witnesses to what occurred. Yes getting on with the police statement and non-molestation/restraining order sounds like a great idea.

      If you have any other devices such as a tablet, computer, sat nav etc… they all need to be gone through and checked to see if there are tracking apps on them. If your children have phones and devices too, it’s good housekeeping to go through those too.

      I had to do this with all my devices after I left as I realised that this is how he always knew to turn up where I was and at the same time. It sounds silly now, but I only realised this after a good long time! My mind like yours, just doesn’t work that way so it took me ages to grasp the fact that was what was going on.

      x

    • #118777
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I am feeling a range of emotions today but a key one is anger. I keep dreaming about him, waking up at 5am and being reminded of all the s**t he said and did. Re-reading his text messages makes me want him dead. The thing he did endlessly was attack me asa woman, using other women against me. Comparing our bodies, private parts, telling me about who he had screwed and how it was better, their bodies better. I hate him for what he did. It was like a form of betrayal because they get into your head and they want you to believe you are a tramp, s**m that they can discard in a moment and find better. That all the rest were better, kinder, sexier. I hate him for that. When I let my mind dwell I absolutely seethe. I am trying to use that anger to good effect. Am I glad he is gone? Hell yes. I’m so thankful that I was the one to get away from him and I didn’t wait around for his final discard of me, probably using another woman to do it. I know he will have been / might still be reeling from the fact that I have had the strength to stay away and even without the child protection issue, I still would stay away now. That is huge progress.

      I’m not out of the woods, not by a clear mile. But I’m now angry enough not to long for him or wonder if it was me. It wasn’t me. They guy is sick, pathologically sick. I just gave him the benefit of the doubt too many times. My boundaries were appalling. I need to learn to speak my truth, have my values and HOLD TO THEM.

      What concerns me is the rage I feel will be vented somewhere. It has to come out. I don’t want to be angry or vindictive if I meet someone else, which can do often happen. I need to find a way to dissipate this rage. Exercise helps, yes. But I want to start afresh, have anew hobby like art, meet new people, start widening my circle, developing good daily habits, practising the best self care so that wankers like him don’t stand a chance in future.

      Wishing love to all and a safe and peaceful start to the New Year X

    • #118778
      KIP.
      Participant

      Anger is good. That’s where I did my best work. Reported him for the crimes against me. Got him convicted. How dare he. When the fog starts to clear and realisation hits us like a tonne of bricks. It’s like we finally realise we have been conned and lied to. You sound like you’re moving along the stages of grief and recovery. Use that anger to motivate you. They are really despicable people. To dig to find our weaknesses and exploit them. To destroy our confidence is to be able to dominate us. A real head worker. I remember mine telling me he was horrible to all his previous girlfriends and all I could think of was how special I must be. Didn’t see the red flag that was waving in my face. It’s not you, it’s him. Take a look at the Freedom Programme. You can do it online too. It will restore some confidence and also make you much more aware of boundaries and abusers.

    • #118781
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      Yes, mine told me (almost as a nod to how “special” I was) that he “said far worse” to his ex. Oh, but he didn’t feel compelled to spit at her. Apparently he had “more respect for her after she cheated on me than I do for you, you worthless c**t…”

      It makes me hate him. Really, really hate him. He fully hated me. Hated all that I am, all that I stand for, all that he ISN’T.

      He did pity her more; she engendered his pity in a way I didn’t. My strength was obnoxious to him.

      I want to move on, to get past him with a fling. Not the best idea but it feels like a kick in the teeth to him. Be with a man who is a gentleman and who won’t call me names or run me down. I couldn’t even contemplate that a month ago. Time really does heal.

      I’m going to apply for the non mol and just c***k on with life. The best revenge is living well.

      I am still scared to get STI tested. I know he has given me a dose of something and it terrifies me. But I’ll have to square up and do it.

      X

    • #118784
      KIP.
      Participant

      I had to go for one. It was done in a urine test so it’s really best to know. Give your doctor surgery a ring and don’t go for that fling just yet. You’re still incredibly vulnerable and likely to attract another abuser. Someone looking for a fling too will use you back which isn’t good for self esteem x and your ex will know nothing about it. He may say he had pity for his ex but contempt is probably a better word. They don’t feel pity apart from their own self pity.

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