4th August 2021 at 7:48 am #129600
Finally after leaving and staying with family I’m in the process of preparing divorce was doing OK also just recovering from surgery (detail removed by moderator) after leaving hosp grown up daughter on the phone saying(detail removed by moderator) ..(detail removed by moderator) she’s now begging me not to divorce her dad (detail removed by moderator) or mention abuse there has been emotional phycological sexual coercive control not physical for many years and says I have told my close family too much and its ruined her dad’s life and he’s cried to her and told her (detail removed by moderator) ..he’s threatened suicide at the beginning of separation..I feel so guilty that I should not have told those close to me about reasons for divorce and daughter says I should have kept it between myself (detail removed by moderator) ..the guilt weighs so heavy that maybe I could have handled things better ..my support worker has just signed me off as was doing so well and said if my daughter is difficult I should step back but it’s so hard ..her dad says (detail removed by moderator) but he must be planting these ideas in her mind ..
4th August 2021 at 2:09 pm #129622Wants To HelpParticipant
It’s always hard to know what to do for the best, but I always believe we have to be true to ourselves. You had every right to speak to other people about what was going on in your life. Your daughter will also have friends that she confides in if she’s having difficulties, but she won’t even be considering that at this moment in time because she’s totally focused on something else.
So many couples stay together unhappily for the sake of their children, often telling themselves they will leave when their children are grown up. You cannot stay married to a man you no longer want to be married to because your adult child is telling you to. I’m pretty sure she would go ahead and do her own thing despite you not thinking it a good idea, and would probably tell you “I’m a grown up now, I can do what I want.”
I had a very happy childhood and grew up in a non abusive relationship and had a wonderful dad. However, as soon as I became an adult my mum left my dad and got her own house. It turned out she wasn’t happy with him and had waited until I became a certain age to leave him. After he passed away she started to tell me certain things about him that had made her unhappy. By now, I was well into my adult life and had a child of my own, but I had to tell my mum I didn’t want to hear these things about my dad and she needed to confide in friends, not me. So I think I can understand things from both yours and your daughter’s point of view. As a daughter, we don’t want to hear bad things about our dad, especially if we think the world of him and can see him hurting. My relationship with my dad was totally different to my mum’s relationship with him. I never saw that side of him, so it is natural for me to defend him ‘as a dad’. However, I can now accept he was not a very good husband (which still hurts to think he did what he did, but I do absolutely believe my mum.)
Your ex will no doubt be giving his version of events to your daughter. Whether they are downright lies, or the truth as he believes it, I don’t know. Your daughter will see and believe what she wants to based on the life she has grown up with. Although an adult herself, it is hard for us to process some information about our parents, especially if it shatters our illusion of them.
You need to carry on doing what is right for you. Any obligation you feel you have to your children is now gone once they stop being children.
I understand the guilt of looking back and thinking perhaps we could have handled things better. I know for a fact there are things I could have handled better when I left my abuser, but that’s with the benefit of hindsight. How I handled it at the time was due to being panicked, afraid, in a highly emotional state of fear etc. We handled things at the time the best that we could.
You continue with a clear conscience with your plans to divorce if that is what you want to do. Don’t be manipulated and controlled again by another family member. Hear her out, acknowledge her hurt, her concerns, her feelings, but do what is best for YOU.
I hope you recover well from your op 🙂
4th August 2021 at 2:10 pm #129623
Jedi warrior, I’m really sorry to hear that you’re struggling. You’ve taken such a brave step to leave.
A lot of your post has been moderated out, but I think it’s saying that your adult daughter has told you that you shouldn’t divorce him and shouldn’t tell anyone about his abusive behaviour.
Firstly I have to say that even though she’s your daughter, she does not have the right to tell you what you should/shouldn’t do. You ALWAYS have the right to make your own choices and you should never be expected to do anything for someone else that goes against your wellbeing. She is asking you to put his needs ahead of your own and that is completely unreasonable.
I know she is an adult, but I expect she is being manipulated by him. She may well be doing the best she can and is unable to see the reality of the situation. She could well be trapped in the FOG (fear/obligation/guilt) created by him. Maybe she is under the spell that he created while was growing up or maybe he has turned his manipulative skills into her now that they’re not working on you (or probably both).
The fact that she wants you to hide what he’s done suggests that he’s got his hooks into her. Hiding abuse protects abusers and invalidates the experience of survivors. Expecting you to keep his secret is expecting you to sacrifice your wellbeing (by stopping you doing what you need to do to heal) to shelter him from the natural consequence of his actions. You don’t every have to sacrifice your wellbeing for the benefit of someone else (think I’ve already said that, but I really mean it!).
The guilt you feel is the G of FOG, that you’ve been conditioned to feel over years of abuse. But it is not real guilt, because you have done nothing wrong. There is nothing wrong with telling the truth about your experience. You should never be expected to hide your truth.
I don’t have grown up children, so I can only imagine how difficult it is to try to say that she’s an adult and her feelings are not your responsibility. Maybe you could try to talk to her about how abuse works, to help her get free of his manipulation. But she may not be ready to hear and there is a risk that your wellbeing is affected by trying to help her. It must be so difficult. Maybe others on here with similar experiences can give advice. Sending love xxxx
4th August 2021 at 3:17 pm #129627
Thank you wants to help and isopeace for your very helpfull comments lots of whi hake sense and helpfull to me ..yes ex has manipulated daughter for some time she is also very vulnerable .I wi try and talk to her and communicate some helpfull points .it is always so hard when emotions are high thank you both
7th August 2021 at 1:51 pm #129740
Hey Jedi Warrior, I’ve been reading Out of the Fog by Dana Morningstar, which goes through many of the misconceptions about n**********c abuse (although most of it also applies to abusers who are not n********ts). I just came across ‘Speaking Out vs Smear Campaign’ and thought of this thread. She says:
“Speaking out after being abused is something that many targets of abuse often feel the need to do after the relationship is over. In part, it’s because the fog of manipulation and confusion is lifting, and they are both incredibly angry and want to speak the truth, and in part it may be to warn others. To those who have never been abused by a n********t, it might sound like they are acting in ways that are bitter, jaded, or “overly dramatic”. Or perhaps others may feel that they are unfairly attacking the abusive person’s reputation and character. However, when a person speaks out about what happened to them, they are oftern doing so as a way for them to reclaim their power and control over what happened to them. Finding their voice, and speaking up and out about how they were treated, plays a big part in that. It is incredibly invalidating, minimising, infuriating and revictimising to be told by others to stop talking about what happened, or that they need to move on…………………….
Part of healing from [c-PTSD] involves rehashing what happened, because in order for the brain to fully process emotions, it needs to understand what happened and where those emotions are coming from….. Recovering from trauma involves putting together all of the pieces and incorporating what happened to them into a workable narrative that they can incorporate into their life……….
A smear campaign is an unfair and untrue attack on the target’s reputation or character by making false accusations (that are often believed by others).”
I should say that I know not everyone agrees that to heal from trauma you have to rehash what happened, I think for some it can be re-traumatising and other methods can be more helpful in those cases. But I think the point in the book is really that talking about what happened can be incredibly helpful and part of your healing journey. It is not about punishing your abuser, even though he will see it that way. It’s just another sign that he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. But you have the right to heal. Keeping quiet and avoiding talking to people close to you to protect your abuser is just another case of your wellbeing being trampled on for the benefit of your abuser. Keeping quiet is a bit like accepting that even once you’ve left, abuse has to be a life sentence, with the abuser facing no consequences from his actions. xxxx
8th August 2021 at 8:30 am #129766
Thank you isopeace ..your reply has validated exactly so much of what I have experienced and felt ..its all been so confusing and I have felt anger at how blind I have been to the past and I do find myself constantly rehashing ..helps in some part but stops me from moving on ..I am soon to do a programme like the freedom programme as my support worker strongly recommended I should ..thank you again for your great reply it’s helped very much . Xxxx
8th August 2021 at 12:21 pm #129776
I’m glad it helped and good to hear you’ll be doing a group programme soon. I’ve read about about how people heal best in relationship with others.
You make a very good point that rehashing can stop us moving on. At what point does it stop being helpful? I think for me it’s when I’m repeatedly looking for an answer that I’ll never get, like “how could he….?” or when I’m doing it in a way that is actually trying to fight against the reality of what happened e.g. “I still can’t believe he….” or “I just can’t believe I stayed so long…”. xxxx
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