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    • #20007

      I have been free of a relationship where I wqs repeatedly gaslighted for many years. The thing is my mund is so confused I keep doing weird things and I dont know why. Mainly trying to reach out to men. Why am I doing this!! I have no idea, I have a fear that no one wl want ne and I wi be alone forever. Why the hell am I trying tk reach out to men, to lean on them like a crutch? I dont understand! Is this normal behaviour for someone who has just left an abusive relationship!!!! I am just making myself look desperate and foolish. Its like some sort of subconscious attempt to validate myself? I just need some help to understand the behaviour so I can work on not doing it!

    • #20008
      Falling Skys


      I find it hard not to want to please men. I don’t want to upset them. But I think it’s more do with when I was with my abuser it was safer to keep him happy.

      Also I am a mature woman that got with her abuser in her teens so I’m not sure how to act round men.

      Just stay true to your self and as time goes on things will become clear.

      FS 2

    • #20010

      Thank you for listening. My situation sounds similar to yours,I was with my ex since being a teenager. I try to please and have no idea of the rules of friendship or relationships! But I know I dont need another relationship. W*f am I doing!!

    • #20013
      Falling Skys

      I tell my friends I’m a very old teenager :).

      I do have some male friends but they know I an single but unavailable. Those that are worth having as friends stay the others go.

      You can never say never but a relationship is the last thing I could cope with at the moment. I am learning who I am and what I like.

      It has taken me a time to get to this position, don’t punish yourself for not understanding how to act round people it will come in time.

      Good luck.

      FS xx

    • #20014

      Have you had any counseling since it ended. I think it’s totally understandable you feel like this. We are left with so much confusion and so many emotional scars after abuse. I’m probably the other way around… I’m almost to scared to talk to family or existing friends in case I mess up with them… But I can totally understand your subconscious need to please as that’s obviously what your abusers made you feel you need to do… Like they all do. And it probably is a validation thing too which is a natural reaction. He’s stripped you of your self worth. Abusers makes us feel like extensions of them- emotional servants. So when they are gone- we don’t know who we are without them… Well that’s my feeling. I’m seeing a counselor and learning about the the chains of events and my reactions to things and learning how to validate myself. Maybe see if you could get some counseling? X

    • #20015

      Thankyou! I think my fear of being alone is driving me to be absolutely mad!!!! I am looking forward to finding me but I am also scard witless!!! I have had someone in my life makimg all the decisions for me and I suppose I am trying to find a new decision maker! Although thats a role I need to take for myself. Did you experience the same fears? How long did it take for you to finally accept youself xx

    • #20017

      Hi starmoon, I am seeing a counsellor but it was supposed to be marriage counselling! Since my ex was so vindictive and refused to go I asked if I could still use them just for me. Luckily for me she agreed, although since reading some of these posts I will try to get on a freedom program. I need to learn why I accepted being treated so badly and I need to kearn to know me and recognise another abuser if I have the misfortune of meeting another !

    • #20025

      Dear Freedom, I’m very similar to you. I said to myself recently that I’m going to purge all ex’s, flirting, dates, everything to do with hooking up with a man, purge them all out of my life for a while whilst I sort myself out. For me like you this is not easy. For some reason I seem to need a man in my life in some form. I asked myself why yesterday and I think that it came down to the fact that sometimes I feel lonely and sometimes I like the attention, it gives me a boost and makes me feel happy. But I’m trying to do other things to give me a boost and make me feel happy now. I don’t know your circumstances, but with myself, I have stopped communicating with online dating which I’m still an active member. I have told myself that there will be strictly No Contact with the 3 unavailable, abusive ex’s which I have tried to keep in touch with over the years. And I have blocked 2 men from contacting me on Whatsapp. I got out of an abusive relationship (detail removed by moderator) months ago and have had a few more of those over the years. Most of my relationships have been very short term, i.e weeks, the longer term ones were both mentally abusive men. Tonight is Friday night, I’m here alone, loving my home and my space. I am dirty and dishevelled from doing gardening and my home is a total chaotic mess, but I have a deep happiness inside that I did not have with the ex.s. xxxxx

    • #20045

      Healthy archive, Thank you for sharing that with me. Its not easy being honest with ourselves especially on such a topic lol. I thonk your right about stopping all contact. I deleted my profile on the dating app and ocked a man I met through it but u sti feel this deep void I am tempted to try and meet somebody although I know I wont. I am just confused as to why a part of me is so destructive it risk going through the abuse all over again! I am looking forward to finding myself but also scared and I dont know why x

    • #20047

      I have been in exactly the same position as you Freedom123. I have always, since aged 16 had a boy or man in my life in a romantic sense. A lot of the time it was not actually physically. ie. me going out with them, but it was online dating where I would be chatting with them, very short i.e 3 week flings with people that I met online or holiday flings. I felt that I needed it, the attention, companionship and being wanted. Even now I am mentally trying to unhook from somebody that I had a “liaison” with on my most recent holiday. He keeps sending me messages on Whatsapp. I know that I will never see him again and really we dont need to communicate. But there is something that I like, i think its the thing where i’m alone, i have a very stressful job and not a wide social life and when I come home to receive this message on Whatsapp where someone is interested and wants to chat with me, it makes me smile. At the moment he is the only man who has a presence in my life. I’m trying to purge them all out then I can start building some proper independence without these short “friendships”. A few times in the past I thought to myself, my friends are men who I have had short flings with, those people are my friends, i truly believed that. I think a lot of the time I got involved with men rather because I was looking for friends and I have never found it difficult to get attention and get involved. I knew that I had power in that area. I see now how screwed up & distorted that thinking was of me. After being on this forum & my latest devastatingly abusive relationship I decided I am going to purge all of the men out of my life and make some real friends, female friends. Also there are so many opportunities these days for people to widen their social circles, these are healthy, fun and positive ways of meeting new people. I decided that I am not longer going to go onto dating sites to look for a partner but rather join groups for subjects that I like, If you want I can send you a private message giving you the names of some of these. Those groups are the way, if it is going to happen, to meet a partner. You are in an environment where you are relaxed, enjoying yourself, not preened and possibly desperate as I have been for a man to find me attractive. X*X

    • #20049

      I can totally relate to feeling that void. I use dating sites too. I have no intention of meeting anyone but I suppose it makes me feel good about myself to receive emails… It’s detrimenal too those because we are so vulnerable to meeting abusive people again when we haven’t worked out what the signs are or why we accept it. Something I realized about myself is that I have never validated my own feelings… I read this can possibly be because influential people in my upbringing would often tell me not to cry or that I had no reason to be upset, I was over reacting or being silly. It’s minor but if you hear that every single time something hurts you then you grow up feeling that being upset or hurt by something is wrong…. And then these n**********c men come along with more self belief than all of us on here put together… They lure us in so we trust them and then naturally we believe them over ourselves because we’ve grown up beliving our own feelings are wrong anyway. Xx

    • #20054

      Freedom123, I understand what you mean.
      I was there once.
      The reasons for such behaviour are low confidence, insecurity, not knowing yourself well and you fear spending your life alone.
      You should speak to your GP, because this behavior can harm you. You could fall for an abuser again.
      For this reason you need specialist counseling. You need to build up your confidence and see what life holds for you if you achieve things on your own.
      You need to realise that living alone is not the end of the world and that you can choose to be with another man if the right one comes along. But then you will be yourself and he will be someone who respects your entire being.

    • #20061

      I have a book that I really like, here it is XXXXX

    • #20104

      Thankyou all for replying. After reading your replys I feel much more sane and secure knkwing the feelings are normal and I am not abnormal in anyway. @Ayanna, I think I will speak to my g.p for that and also other things, I have developed a bit if anxiety and today I had a sense that one day I will be dead ( sorry to be so blunt) the fear came fron nowhere, it did leave as quickly as it came but it left me shaken, I didnt think being “gaslighted”, putdown and made to feel like your constantly wrong or nagging would have this much of an affect, but the more time I am free from him the more I notice things are a little more damaged than I thought. Not only emotionally but since I had to call the police on him a few months back I have had nothing but bellyaches, constipation, cramps and constant butterflies. I know these symptoms will pass and are needed for healing but they have taken me by suprise. @ healthy archive, I will look at the link and the book, I need all the knowledge and understanding I can get!. I understand about reaching out to people whrn you are on your own, I find myself searching my phone for people to text. I have a male feiend iboften text for a chat, he is lovely and ibthonk he has an idwa of what I am going through, he supports me and listens but wont come round or accept my invites to the pub! He is genuinly a lovely man but he knows where I am at now is vulnerable and he refuses to let either myself or him take advantage of that. But I still find myself literly searching forbpeople talk to.I need to safe guard myself so I confided in a friend how I am feeling, she is a counsellor, I was frightened to twll her because I felt ashamed but I knew tslking to someone woukd help me getvit out and maybe help me ti regulate my behaviour. It did help alot!!!. @starmoon. Alot of what you said made complete sense too!!my step dad was verbally and physically abusive so my aim was to please him while he destroyed my confidense and ability to think for myself. Other people up to this point have contributed to my current mixed up state but from now on I am going ti be making the decisions, if they are bad ones they will be my bad ones that I can learn and grow from, if they are food ones then I camearn to teust my judgement. I really must get myself on the freedom project and learn decision making amd trusting my own feelings. I cant ever let anyone have so much of me they control my thoughts and feelings. J just need sobmuch to defend myself against that, and I can oy do that by becoming strong and independent. Xxxxxxxxxx. If anyone of you ever wants to pm me your a more than welcome. Thankyou l so much for reading my post because you have vidated me as a human being and reassured me I am not insane or “bad”. Xxxxx

    • #20121

      Dear Freedom, the books that meant the most to me when we first split were:

      30 Covert Manipulation Tactics in Personal Relationships
      Covert Emotional Manipulation Exposed
      Who’s Pulling your strings (audio book can be brought on Amazon)
      All books by HG Tudor (short ebooks free to read on Amazon)

      My ex was mentally and emotionally abusive and almost made me lose my mind and be sectioned. This was all done quietly with a smile on his face. I got out just in time. XXXXX

    • #20128

      @helalthyarchive. I will probably read all of the books you mentioned! My biggest fear is not heaing or recognising when I am being manipulated and ending up right back where I started wondering how I got there xxxx

    • #20130

      Dear Freedom,i just replied to Better Days which is similar to this discussion. Here is what I said. It is really helpful to me to come to realize that when I was in the relationship I was not thinking as me but I were manipulated. I’m out now and can see it more clearly. I wish you all the best X*X

      Dear Better Days, No Contact is the best thing, it gives you time and space and your thoughts change to how they were when you were together. When you are together, I dont’ think your thinking is really you thinking. I think that you are either responding to things, don’t forget that we are scared so we try to keep them happy. Or you are keeping your mouth shut. So when we are with them we are not being ourselves. But when we are free, or breaking free we start to see things in another more natural way. Things come back to you about the relationship and you start to think for yourself. I have asked myself lately what I actually liked about being with him and I was honest with myself.

      I liked some companionship occasionally, once a month going out or going on holidays would have been enough for me
      I liked the “you know what!”
      I liked a cuddle and to receive text messages
      I liked how he welcomed me into his family

      Most of the time he was an inconvenience to me, that sounds awful i know. He would want to see me a lot and I just didn’t want that. He would be there and I didn’t want him there. He was not easy to get along with and needed to dominate everything. I didn’t trust him at all, he lied all of the time. There are many many more things…

      A book I got hold of, How to Mend a Broken Heart is a good read. It gives lists where you list exactly and truthfully what you liked and what you didn’t like about the relationship. It seems that what I liked were things that could have applied to anybody and not him personally. XXXX

    • #20261

      hi hun

      this is why u need to read up on abuse, i didnt even get this manipulation game till i had left and even then there weree loads of mind games

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