15th July 2020 at 4:11 pm #110034oranjeboomParticipant
This is my first post here.
I moved to this country on a bit of a whim, I didn’t know many people, and was dealing with some personal issues at the time. I was pretty vulnerable when I met my ex partner. He was older than me, and quite a prominent figure. I was impressed and got swept away.
We married not long after meeting, and as soon as our honeymoon everything changed.
It turned out he had been heavily medicated when we met, but decided that getting married ‘cured’ him and so stopped taking the meds. He hid all of this from me. It was like night and day. I was very scared at the time, but stupidly believed that I’d said my vows and so should stay with him as he was clearly ill.
From there on the abuse continued, but because he never physically hurt me it took me a long time to realise it was abuse.
He threw me out of the house so many times, for reasons like loading the dishwasher wrong. I felt like I was crazy, with what I now know was textbook gaslighting. He isolated me from the few friends I did have. I was constantly scared as I never knew which version of him would be coming home that day.
I left him a few times, but every time there were the promises, and he’d occasionally get back on his medication and things would calm down for a few months, and just when I’d start believing again, he’d b**w up at me again.
During one of the better periods I got pregnant. Having my child finally gave me the strength to leave him. He had little interest in our kid so I thought things would be better when we got away from him, but they’re not. I should have known that he’d use the most important thing in my life against me and try to take it away.
It’s been (detail removed by moderator), and he still gets to me, he uses our child against me, and has taken me to court countless times, and somehow always seems to ‘win’.
I just can’t forgive myself for marrying him, staying with him, and especially having a child with him.
I worry so much that my kid will have to deal with him for his entire life. and it’s all my fault.
I’m so tired, I just don’t know what to do anymore.
15th July 2020 at 4:36 pm #110039TurtledoveParticipant
I hope you’re okay! I can relate to this also. Seems like we can’t do wrong for doing right when there’s kids involved. We stay because we know we’ll be dragged through the family court system and could potentially loose our children to the abuser, but when it gets too much and we leave we have to face it anyway.
I couldn’t imagine allowing this man unsupervised access to my children, I would probably leave the country if I was made to. Of course we want our children to have fathers, if they’re good role models etc. But if we know who they are then as a mother it would be unbearable to have to hand them over. I wouldn’t even trust me abuser for 5 minutes with my kids, let alone weekends etc!
You say you are from another country! Might sound like a long shot, but would you consider moving back there?!
And usually in this country most fathers of they have PR will get some sort of contact, if they’re violent etc then they will be made to go on a programme and visit in a contact centre, then they’re free to abuse their kids too like they did their mother etc. You read about it alot and such a shame these things are still happening. Have you tried speaking to cafcass about your concerns or your solicitor etc? X
15th July 2020 at 5:00 pm #110042EggshellsParticipant
Hi oranjeboom. I just wanted to say welcome to the forum and to say that non of this is your fault. Please don’t think for one moment that it is. You didn’t sign up for this, you signed up for the nice version of him that you first met.
Your child may not have to deal with him for the rest of their life. You have moved your child away from the father and that will have taken amazing strength and courage.
You will be the stable and good influence in your child’s life and eventually your child can and probably will choose to self distance from the father.
Until then support your child in anyway you can. This is the father’s fault for being abusive, not your fault. You didn’t choose to be a victim. xx
29th July 2020 at 10:53 pm #111205RisingupParticipant
I’m very new to the realisation I am in an abusive relationship. How crazy is that? It’s been in plain sight but i ignored it….but now like a bolt, it’s there. I can no longer ignore it.
I’m still in the relationship but currently away from home with my kids visiting relatives.
I’ve realised that I can now make a decision what time I get out of bed, when I watch tv, what I wear, what activities my children do…all of this would have to be approved by him. Meal times were a constant stress…if he was unhappy with the food, he could become angry. He has often been verbally abusive in front of my children calling me lazy, saying I do nothing….my behaviour is under constant scrutiny but he does whatever he likes and I never question it. He humiliated me by flirting with other women when he’s been drinking.
I don’t know how I will feel when I have to return home at the moment I just feel so free. I just wanted to say thank you to all you women who have been so brave to share your stories because everything I’ve read on here has made me feel a little bit stronger and a little bit less alone. I just wanted to add my voice too.
30th July 2020 at 10:31 am #111220LisaMain Moderator
First, welcome to the forum. Thank you for sharing your experience, as yours too will help other women.
The nature of domestic abuse can be so insidious, as the other women on this thread have expressed, and being able to see the abuse for what it is is difficult so try not be critical of yourself on how you dealt with it. You, along with others in this thread made the all-important and difficult step in identifying the abuse and acknowledging that you will need to consider what to do next to protect yourself and your children.
Abuse doesn’t need to be physical to be devastating. Often women will express the emotional, ‘gas-lighting’/psychological forms of abuse to be much more damaging than any physical abuse. You’ve mentioned feeling dehumanised by his behaviour and now feeling ‘free’. Focus on this feeling to inspire getting support and learning what your options are.
Engaging with your local domestic abuse service can be a good first step. Search for your local DV group here.
To get free legal advice around the abuse and child contact speak to Rights of Women.
The Coram Children’s Legal Centre is a unique, independent national charity concerned with law and policy affecting children and young people. They offer legal advice and representation to children, their carers and professionals throughout the UK. They can be contacted on 0300 330 5480, 8am – 6pm, Mon – Fri. The Children’s Legal Centre has a website at http://childlawadvice.org.uk/ .
Hope this is helpful.
Keep posting to let us know how you get on.
All the best,
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