17th June 2021 at 2:27 pm #127291TranquilitySeekerParticipant
Hello all. This is my first post here and I am really unsure as to how to begin. I am struggling to make sense of what happened to me. I do not know how to accept that my trauma is abuse. Despite my ex-partner and I being far away from each other now, I am still haunted by what we went through.
I was with my ex-partner for almost (detail removed by moderator). About (detail removed by moderator) into our relationship I started noticing my mental health weakening. At first I explained it away as stress related but as our arguments became more frequent I became increasingly worse. In moments of disagreement he would say that I was “oversensitive”, “controlling”, “manipulative”, “a woman”. Over time I started to believe that I really was the problem. I had a mental breakdown and I relapsed, to which he said “it is your fault, you deserve it”. Present day I still feel responsible for how terrible things became.
His family did not help. They inserted themselves into our relationship making it difficult for us to do things like (detail removed by moderator) (pre-Covid), or go for a walk without a constant sense of intimidation that we had to be back within a certain time frame or else they would be upset. When our relationship fell on rocky ground, they characterized me as problematic, controlling, untrustworthy. It did not help that we were from two different cultures; my race was an added problem for them. For reasons I cannot understand, I took this treatment in silence. Maybe it was out of love for my ex-partner, maybe it was because I really just wanted it to work, I do not know.
If we had an argument he would share it with people and I did not feel comfortable with that. I understand seeking advice from those around you but what he did did not feel like advice seeking. These people reiterated much of what his family said about me – I was controlling, manipulative, untrustworthy, it was better if he left me – all without ever knowing me. I felt shamed. I felt betrayed by him. I felt attacked from behind, incapable of defending myself.
Our relationship ended when I fled my home after an argument. He was not living with me at the time but he and his family knew where I lived. His brother inserted himself into our argument and it scared me because I knew that he was capable of extreme violence. I knew he could and would kill me if given the chance. I left home without telling anyone. A few days later it came to light that my ex-partner had called the police on me, taking our conversations out of context and making allegations against me. I was shuffled between officers to the point where I gave up hope of ever speaking to any officer. I decided I would be better off taking my chances on my own.
I feel isolated because not many people know what’s happened to me. I don’t know if I want people to know. I feel paranoid because I do not want to be identified and found. I live with a constant fear that I need to be ready to face him and his family again or to run away. I am in survival mode and I cannot turn it off.
I feel guilt for my actions in our relationship. I can imagine that I hurt him too. When I think of how I was in some of our arguments, I feel a wave of panic and fear all over again. Is it possible that my reaction was because of how I was teated?
I am trying to focus on recovery. This seems, however, to include acceptance, forgiveness, and peace, all of which seem to be unattainable. I constantly return to the questions was I abused? Am I truly to blame? How do I find forgiveness? Is there ever any peace? Where does this all end?
18th June 2021 at 6:53 pm #127332LisaMain Moderator
Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your experience with us. I’m sorry to read about what you have been through, it sounds like an incredibly difficult and traumatic experience and I’m glad that you are now able to focus on getting support in place and beginning the journey of recovery.
From what you’ve described in your post, your ex-partners behaviour sounds incredibly manipulative, disrespectful, verbally and emotionally abusive. I am glad to hear that you are now out of the situation but it sounds like you are still feeling a lot of responsibility and guilt for what’s happened. It’s important to know that there is nothing you could have done to deserve your ex-partners abusive behaviour towards you, you are not responsible and it’s not your fault.
If you feel like you would like some specialist support with things, you might want to consider reaching out to your local domestic abuse service who can offer emotional and practical support. You can find your nearest organisation here: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory/
I hope you find the Forum a helpful and supportive place to be.
Take care and keep posting,
25th June 2021 at 5:50 pm #127711OceanParticipant
Thank you for sharing with us. I’m sorry you are going through this. If you don’t want to share the details of what you have been through, that is fine. It can take time to get through the guilt and shame our abusers put on us. It is totally natural to defend yourself when being attacked. I hope I have read what you said the wrong way. Have you heard of reactive abuse?
There are many books that can help you understand what has happened. I’d be happy to share a list of books if you are interested.
Best wishes xx
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