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    • #10951
      Purple
      Participant

      Hi everyone, I am new to this but am feeling really down lately and thought this maybe a good place to get my feelings out.
      I was in an abusive relationship for (removed by moderator) years in a nutshell he was manipulative, controlling to the point that I had no social life and he completely isolated me from friends, he would threaten me with various items knives, hoover pole, a hammer once, for the most ridiculous of things. And regularly had aggressive outbursts when things didn’t go his way. He would be physically abusive at times he once tried to strangle me, when he hit me it was always to my head where my hair would hide any bruises, although there was physical violence it was mostly emotional abuse, he was a real game player. I wanted to leave him for many many years but i didn’t have the courage, he would often threaten to take the children if i tried to leave and towards the end would taunt me about how he would hunt me down and kill me if i ever did leave.
      I never admitted to anyone what he was really like, although my family knew things weren’t right and they knew that he hit me the night i left they still don’t know half of what happened over the years.
      Sorry for the essay, didn’t realise i had so much to say.

      (Detail removed by moderator) ago i finally managed to leave. He had come home drunk and had been ranting about the usual stuff for several hours, it had got heated and for the first time he actually hit me in front of the kids. I waited for him to go to the bathroom got the kids in the car and left. He followed me drunk and (detail removed by moderator) but he was fine.
      I just knew that I couldn’t take it any more. He was awful for the first few months i would have constant phone calls begging me to take him back, promising he’d change, threatening to kill himself. And when that didnt work just more abuse. I stuck to my guns and now have no contact with him. He doesn’t even see the kids.
      But now he’s gone quiet I am really struggling with my own emotions. Its almost as if when i was with him i had built up such a thick skin – because i had too, that i almost felt a bit numb and emotionless. Now I have had chance to process all what’s happened and he’s no longer there I dont quite know how to control my emotions, i keep crying at the stupidest of things and cant understand how i put up with all that rubbish from him and still managed to study, work, sort the kids, keep a house which took alot of strength. But now he’s not there and although im a single working mum life is easier because he’s not here, yet i feel like im struggling to cope. Is anyone else battling with the same feelings? I would like to get some counselling but don’t know where to turn??

    • #10955
      Ayanna
      Participant

      Aww, you have done so well! Your reaction is normal. When the pressure falls off the emotions come back and that can be overwhelming.
      Also, confronting yourself with the extent of abuse that you have been through is very painful. It may help to postpone this and to rather distract yourself with nice things.
      I buried my experiences again in my brain because I am unable to cope when I let them out. It takes many years to process abuse.
      For counselling you can ask your GP. Although, they are not always helpful.
      I read books, because I was refused to get counselling by the NHS so far. And specialised private counsellors are too expensive. x*x

    • #10957
      Serenity
      Participant

      Hi Purple,

      I was with my abuser for (detail removed by moderator) years. I could have written your post word for word in terms of the game playing etc ( there was physical abuse for me, but it was less severe; there was every other kind of abuse too).

      I am around a couple of years out, and when I divorced him etc. I was all guns blazing, had such support from DV services, and I am a huge lot better than what I was, but the road to healing is up and down, and one can get triggered by things which appear to set you back ( bullying behaviour from a family member, which reminded me of my ex, set me back to the panic and anxiety, for example).

      First of all, I want you to not judge yourself too harshly: don’t be telling yourself that you should be further along than you are now. That is what people might say if they haven’t experienced abuse. These abusers dismantle and traumatise us, bit by bit. It takes a long time for those wounds to heal. It’s so important to show yourself true compassion here.

      I wondered whether you had approached your GP about your feelings or had approached the Women’s Aid helpline for support. It doesn’t matter if your ex is out of the picture: I only asked for support when mine had gone. Calling Women’s Aid was the best thing I ever did. I hadn’t even replied how badly abused I was. They revered me to local DV outreach, and that led to fort nightly support groups, attending a Pattern Changing course, and support all along the way. God knows how I would have coped otherwise.

      At the Pattern Changing course, there were some women present who had been out of their relationship for a couple of years or even more, who were still traumatised, so please don’t feel that you are alone in this.

      It’s only when they are gone that we have the time and head space to face what we went through. Whilst we are in the relationship, we go into survival mode. All our energies are spent just trying to get through every day alive and to minimise the damage done to our children. Often, once out, the floodgates open, and it is then that we need support. My local DV outreach arranged for me to have DV counselling, on a donation only basis. I went for almost a year ; now, I have asked to go back for some further direction and support, to deal with the next lap ( my ex unfortunately isn’t leaving me alone). Can you enquire about such support?

      I know that I have been told that I am displaying, or have displayed, symptoms of PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome ), as a lot of women here have, and I wonder if you might be too. Mine has had periods where it is unbearable. I turn to Distress Toletance techniques when it does ( found on-line ), but this is just an extra string to my bow: I think it is so important that you get some professional support to help you to deal with all you have been through, which sounds as if it was absolutely horrendous, you poor thing.

      Also, I am wondering if part of your anxiety may even be because of his ‘silence.’ When my ex went silent after all sorts of threats, my anxiety actually increased! I think it was because the silence seemed ominous: I wondered what he was plotting, and when he would return to wreak revenge. I almost wished he’d come and do something awful, so I could get him charged and banned from coming within ten miles of me, forever!

      Maybe you find his silence- after all his coercive techniques- ominous, and are worrying about this? If so, speaking about this with professionals but also other women who have been through it ( like on here, even) will help. You can get a plan set in your head about what you will do, which will fortify you and make you feel stronger and less vulnerable.

      Xx

    • #10970
      Purple
      Participant

      Thank you for your replies,

      I think you are right Serenity his silence is deafening!

      The worst thing is he only lives (detail removed by moderator) away, just knowing that he is there makes me feel uneasy. I know that he wont stay quiet forever and im scared that the children will bump into him and that he will start manipulating them. My eldest is old enough to catch a bus into town with friends and i cant be with them all the time. He has already told them that I have stopped him from seeing them when the reality is he resisted every effort i made to keep them in contact, he refused mediation to arrange contact and walked out of court! He didnt even make contact with then on their birthdays or xmas.

      At first I was keen for regular contact to be organised but now to be honest I’m glad he no longer has any influence over them they seem happier and their personalities have really grown over the last year.

      I have real difficulty admitting to anyone how bad life was, i feel angry for allowing it to happen for so long! Ans not being strong enough to leave sooner.

      I know if i start talking about it the flood gates will open, and dont really feel comfortable talking to my GP. I hadn’t contacted womens aid as didnt think they would help being that he’s not here any more, now that you have confirmed they can I think I will give them a ring.

      X*x

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