Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    • #147426

      It’s been months since I left and I’m having days/weeks where I can’t stop thinking about what happened. I’m so exhausted and lonely sometimes and don’t feel like I can get his voice out my head.

      Before I left I found horrible things he’d written about me and things he lied about. I left without telling him and he has no idea how much I know. It’s helped in a way to not get sucked back in as I know who he really is… I decided this felt best as the way I found out invaded his privacy, I felt humiliated by what I saw and it was so hurtful I kind of went into denial.

      I haven’ blocked him because in the past it’s made things worse and he’s always been able to reach me regardless. I’ve just been responding as neutrally as possible when I have… The thing is he’s definitely been trying to get a rise out of me recently. Projecting his own behaviour onto me and then switching to being on best behaviour… He has no idea how much I know and it makes me so angry how blatantly he’s trying to manipulate me…

      I feel like just telling him what I know out of anger – but I know this will blow up and make things worse and the last thing I need is more drama. What is there to gain at this point now it’s all over? I just want him to f**k off and leave me alone so I can start to get my head together.

      Feels like I’ve had to live double lives for so long to protect him from feeling bad for his own behaviour and to keep my denial going (unhealthy I know) and from knowing the truth and who he is. Almost feels like the denial is only just lifting and it’s so painful it’s almost easier to pretend nothing happened?

      Does this sound crazy? It really feels it

    • #147431

      Hi hereforclarity,

      The first part of your post I could have written myself.

      None of what you have said sounds crazy at all. It sounds very much like you are trying to come to terms with all that you have been through, and are trying to process all of those feelings and emotions.
      I’m not that far into my journey from having left but I know, like you, some weeks are harder than others.
      I also know things that he isn’t aware that I know about. For me, I don’t want him to know that I’m aware of these things as it wouldn’t help me in anyway for him to know and he would use it as another weapon against me I’m sure.

      I understand what you mean about it being easier to pretend nothing happened. My brain constantly does this to me and I actively have to remind myself what did happen. Its hard as it is painful and sometimes slipping back into denial feels easier. But in the long run it won’t be.

      Sending you massive hugs xx

      • #147440

        Hi Shazza,

        Thank you so much for replying and sharing your experience too. I’m sorry you can relate so much to what I’ve written and I hope this week is one of the better ones for you.

        It’s mind boggling isn’t it – it feels almost automatic to slip into denial… I find it happens more when I’m already exhausted and can’t face what’s really going on. Like you also said – when you find things like this – you absolutely know there’s no point in confronting someone when there’s never any true accountability. I think the only thing that was making me consider doing it was to almost force myself out of any potential denial in the future – but it’s not worth it like you say and I’m sure I’ll be on the receiving end of a lot of gaslighting if I did.

        It’s really comforting to have women like yourself replying and sharing – I’m honestly not sure how well I’d be coping without this space, so thank you again and I hope you’re taking good care of yourself x

      • #148074

        Just reading the first thing you said, it’s exactly how I feel. It’s been a few months now since i managed to break contact completely. Before that i had tried several times,but kept getting sucked back in by the constant calls and messages. Even though I havent replied, he still sends the odd message, trying to get a reaction. I feel like there is a cloud hanging over me. I’m always second guessing myself, I feel exhausted because I’m trying to get through the days but I still hear his voice in my head sometimes.
        I cant yet fully admit, even to myself, all the things he did, and put me through, because I think it would break me. But I also know how draining it is keeping all of that locked away. The thing that keeps me going is knowing I’m doing the right thing.
        I hope things get easier for you. X

    • #147432

      Oh lovely, I think you’ll struggle to heal & move on whilst he’s still in your life and you’re worrying about his feelings over yours. There’s little point confronting him or telling him what you found as you know he’ll just deny or twist it onto you somehow. Do you have to respond to his texts, like are they about kids? If not then just don’t reply, or gradually increase the time between receiving the text and replying – then you’re not blocking him but you are weaning yourself off him and giving him the message he’s not as important to you as he thinks. It’s kind of like you’re living in limbo, perhaps reaching out to a counsellor could help you work through what you found? These men are cold and cruel and it truly hurts that they weren’t what we thought. So no, it’s not crazy x

      • #147437

        Hi Bananaboat, Thank you for such a warm messages. It means so much in a moment like this – it’s been so difficult to put this into words and feel confident enough to say it as most people don’t really understand how you can live in denial like this and articulate it/come in and out of living in reality?

        I’m trying what you’re’ suggesting and will be tapering off any replies so hopefully he’ll just get bored. I think you’re right – until he’s out the picture completely it’s probably going to be a struggle. In hindsight it’s really obvious that he got so good at dragging me into a dynamic with him where he would try make me prove how much I cared about him (the classic; “if you ever cared about me… you would” or bringing up literally anything he’s ever done for me). It feels like I’ve got a hard habit to break in that sense and have to let go of trying to prove anything, explain myself to him or gain his approval.

        I just can’t imagine thinking/writing or expressing anything like what I found about anybody I was with – it truly blows my mind how men like this view their partners/women. It feels like such an incredibly emotionally detached way to be in the world I can’t get my head around it…

        A counsellor is probably a good next step. Thanks again for taking time to reply, your words have really made me feel less alone x

      • #147505

        I’m glad they helped, this world really is confusing. It’s natural to want to try to make sense of it but they just aren’t wired like us, and people who haven’t experienced abuse just can’t quite understand, that’s why this forum is so good. Recently I saw my ex and one of his parents and instantly they were putting women down, I’m so glad of these reminders of why I left. It’ll take time, with good and bad days but that’s ok and you’re absolutely not crazy to question all this – I’m definitely doing that. Hope it goes ok xx

    • #147444

      Do you need contact with him? If there’s no children involved block him on everything and also through acquaintances of his. What you read is confirmation of his calculation and consciousness of his abuse, what he thinks of women and how he manipulated you on purpose (plus the other women there’ve been in between, granted during splits but still) the more you speak to him the more he’ll use gaslight tact’s and poor me blame shifting and you don’t need to tell him what you read he’ll just get angry and he’ll use it against you, if he continues it’s harassment and it’s against the law you can’t recover properly while there’s still contact. 💖💞💖

      • #147454

        Also it’s not weird at all, I still question did this “really” happen, did this person “really” do that? but it did and they did and it’s the same for you, cognitive dissonance and denial is why we struggle with this (their denial/our denial) how they act with others (and what we know) really can effect our thinking and beliefs but you’ve been gaslighted and lied to a lot by him (so that hasn’t helped, but as I said speaking to him won’t help (unless you want reconciliation) but you know what you know now and how manipulating he is, your probably still trauma bonded too contact just prolongs it 🤗🤗🤗

      • #147520

        Thank you for your kind words and generous reply. You’re right about not needing to tell him what I know.. As much as I want him to realise he’s making a bit of a fool of himself from here to say the least and leave me in peace… of course it will backfire.

        It’s such a horrible feeling isn’t it… I started to realise the denial itself was the thing I was almost “addicted” to for the lack of a better phrase? It felt like when I was trying to work towards moving forward it was so difficult to sit in the reality of what happened – slipping back into denial felt like such a relief? almost so much that it was a high compared to reality and a really reliable mechanism/instant pain killer.

        His denial on top of mine made it such an up-hill struggle I felt like I gave up with it all. I started to wonder “if he could be in such denial about his part in it – maybe I’m just as unaware as him” and “I’m just as bad or the problem… Maybe he’s right about everything and It’s my reaction to him that’s the problem” etc etc.

        At this point it now feels like I’m back at the bottom of the hill again by choosing to honour my experience and what happened and it’s so daunting not giving myself the way out I’ve been using.

        I’m sure me writing all this makes me sound a bit obsessive and negative (I promise I’m not talking like this all the time!). I’m hopeful things will start to feel a bit easier and I’ll get tired of over analysing it all and trying to make sense of why.

        I’m really grateful for you reply and women like you make this all feel a bit easier to process x

      • #147525

        You’ve a lot of power now since reading what he put down, he thinks he can pull the same cards/use the same tactics and they’ll work again (but that won’t cos you know the truth) the denial and cognitive dissonance is soothing, it’s comforting and keeps us from the shock and ugliness of what we know to be true and the trauma bond (when your from the person) is so horrible it makes you feel like your in a serious cold turkey and you’d rather be done that feel that way, but I think your doing actually really well considering,And yeah your right they’re harassment of us is pathetic (but they’re needy and assume saying and doing what worked before and wearing us down to agreeing will get them what they want, until it won’t)we have to build ourselves up again and we can, we can do that 💚💛🧡

    • #148083

      The denial, the cognitive dissonance that Auriel talks about, is there for a reason. It keeps us safe. Our minds are very clever things and your mind will allow you to let go of the cognitive dissonance and process your experiences at a pace that is safe for you. Working through it with a counsellor who is experienced in domestic abuse can really help to kick start the healing process.

      It can sometimes feel like you are repeatedly hurling yourself against a brickwall.

      Letting it out can help. Write him a letter that you will never send or scream it out in the privacy of your own home “I know what you did you 🤬!” or whatever words come to mind for you. It can feel really good. 🫂

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

Terms & conditionsPrivacy & cookie policySite mapProtect yourself onlineMedia │ JobsAccessibility Guide


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account

Skip to content