Tagged: Leaving the relationship
1st January 2022 at 11:00 pm #136389
Hello all, I recently left an emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship. Things have been hard since, knowing that I’ve done the right thing but simultaneously doubting myself and the situation. Like brain fog.
The person I was with had depression, which is what made it so difficult because I would excuse the abusive behaviour, thinking it was related.. but things just never got better, and I started noticing it happening in cycles.
I’d be called horrible things, told I was to blame if he ever hurt himself. Sometimes he’d say this and then switch off his phone so I didn’t know if he was okay or not. He’d call me selfish and told me I didn’t deserve to be loved, that I’d made him suicidal and that he missed his life before me. I’d be walking on eggshells trying not to upset him. He’d get annoyed at me for ‘not cheering him up’, or if there wasn’t anything wrong, it was like he’d find something to be annoyed with me about. If I wasn’t constantly texting him to see if he was okay, that was a problem. But if I kept asking if he was okay, that was also an issue. By the end I felt so confused and mentally tormented, like he was running rings around my brain. It didn’t matter what I’d say, the correct answer would always be the opposite. He put a lot of fear in me and I’d cry almost every day in the bad periods, the only time I felt I had respite was when I was in the shower.
In what I felt were his ‘realisation’ periods, he’d apologise and get upset and say he wish he could take back what he’d said. He’d also sometimes claim he couldn’t remember what he’d said or done and it was like he was ‘blacking out’. I always knew when it was coming about because he’d ‘warn’ me by telling me he wasn’t feeling well.
When he couldn’t understand why we were breaking up and that it was actually happening, he threw things at me and smashed a mug on the floor in retaliation.
Even though I know this is totally unacceptable, I keep feeling sorry for him like there’s something else underlying that’s causing him to act out in this way. His behaviour is totally erratic from one moment to the next. And I know there’s no point speculating, and until he’s willing to accept what has happened is abuse, change won’t come about… but Im still battling with feelings of guilt and sadness and sometimes miss him.
It was like I was treated both the best in the good times that I’ve ever been treated.. and the worst in the worst times.
I feel like the healing is going to take a long time to overcome, as the bond we formed has really affected how I feel about future relationships. I’m both worried about becoming involved with someone and trusting them, and also fearful I won’t find that bond again because of how incredibly close we were. I know that might sound ridiculous given his behaviour, but he was also the type of person that would’ve done anything for me and weirdly seemed to really care for and love me, whilst also really hurting me… It’s such a cruel situation.
I just needed to get these thoughts out. At the moment I can’t seem to think about anything else and don’t know how to move on and accept everything that’s happened, and that I did the right thing by leaving.
2nd January 2022 at 2:47 pm #136415
I’m really sorry to hear how difficult things are for you at the moment. It could have been me writing your post – so many similarities to my situation and how I’ve felt during my journey. The difference is that you showed so much strength and courage and left earlier than I did – the “mug being smashed on the floor” escalated in my case and resulted in physical violence. From my experience, and reading many cases on here, abuse always escalates, so you did amazingly well to remove yourself, you should feel so proud of yourself, you definitely did the right thing. ❤️
I know how awful it is and confusing, it’s literally physically painful trying to adjust after leaving – because the highs were so high , it feels like withdrawing from an addiction. The thing that really helped me was reading Lundy Bancroft Why does he do that, and reading as much as possible about abuse . I know this sounds crazy, but even with head injuries and years of emotional abuse, I didn’t actually realise I was in an abusive relationship. I had minimised and downplayed everything – most of the time, I thought that it was his depression and mental health issues that were causing his behaviour . It was only after leaving that I realised that was nonsense, depression does not cause people to be abusive. Abuse is a choice they make, they’re fully aware of what they’re doing. There’s a great article on women’s aid website about the myths surrounding abuse – I’d recommend that. The other thing that helped me was to write down all of the arguements that I remembered, and all of the feelings that I remembered feeling at the time, so when our minds look back with rose tinted glasses, the list helped to bring me back to reality. For example, I remembered a lovely holiday and longed to be back on it….but I also remembered the horrific treading on eggshells, manic driving, sarcastic put downs and mood swings that were there on the weeks running up . Something else which I found helpful was to record voice notes to myself on my phone, as if I were talking to a friend (because I was lacking in people to talk to who would understand) , I did this from the day I left and would talk about how I felt each day – they really helped me to see the progress I was making as I could hear the strength in my voice change and my perspective on the situation changed the more I had learned .
I totally understand your fears about not forming a bond like that again , I still struggle with this fear too and being lonely. However the thing we need to remember is that these men are highly manipulative and they wear a mask at that beginning until they have you hooked. They’re fraudsters, con-artists, the bond is a trauma bond. Google “love bombing” – this explains a lot about how they make us feel so swept away then the abuse starts gradually. It’s definitely better to be on your own and safe, than together and in danger, living in fear. You’ve done so much hard work already and put yourself in the best position to move forward and hopefully in time a healthy new relationship will come, when you’re ready.
The last thing I’d say is definitely don’t feel sorry for him – I really struggled with this too and it was a lovely lady on this forum who said “I doubt he feels sorry for you” – it’s true, if he felt sorry, he’d never have acted the way he did. Focus all your energy on yourself – you’ve been through so much.
I hope things get a bit easier for you soon. All the best 💕
4th January 2022 at 2:46 pm #136491
Thank you so much for your advice. It’s been a real struggle and reading your response helps massively. Sometimes you start to wonder like should I have stayed, was there more we could’ve worked on together, should I have been more honest about why I was leaving (was too scared of him hurting himself if I said the words ‘emotional abuse’). But you’re so right and blaming abuse on mental health isn’t okay. Sometimes I feel like my empathy levels are broken because I feel more sorry for him than I do myself, thinking things like what torment must he be going through to act out like that. I just can’t accept what has happened because I know I could never treat my partner in that way. Maybe it’s just a way for the brain to cope. We look for excuses of our own to justify behaviour that seems so alien to you and I, because how could anyone treat another human like that on purpose and with awareness?
What you said about ‘I doubt he feels sorry for you’ really resonates and has given me a new way of thinking. This whole time I’ve been feeling awful that he thinks I just abandoned him, yet does he feel sorry for me? No! The abuse unfortunately has continued post relationship due to circumstances I can’t say here, which means he can still contact me, and though it’s been a lot less frequent, the content is still the same. The blaming, the guilt tripping, the fear.
But in the end whats stopping me giving it another go is trying my hardest to remember that all the good times we’re usually tarnished by something that had happened earlier in the day, or later in the day, or later that week. That, and thinking I cannot have a future with this man because I can never be 100% sure if that side will ever come out again. I just knew I had to get out sooner rather than later, my gut feeling was going crazy in the end like screaming at me to get out. Was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, he really tried every trick in the book to get me to stay.
Thanks again for your reply. It’s really really helped me ❤️
4th January 2022 at 9:46 pm #136507
You’re very welcome – glad it’s helped. You’ve got this nailed though – you’re totally in tune with your instincts and that will keep you on the right path. The strength you’ve shown is phenomenal, honestly, really impressive.
I spent years feeling so sorry for my ex too- he suffered depression and had battled addictions most of his life. I remember taking a step back one day and asking myself how I would treat someone who had given me the love, care and support that I’d given him. My answer was that I would treasure them more than anything in the world. I wouldn’t shout at them, belittle them, threaten them etc…it’s important to remember that. He simply doesn’t deserve to have you feel sorry for him.
It’s the most horrendous feeling when you realise your partner is abusive and that they choose to act that way. I struggled for months to accept this but the more I read, the more I couldn’t escape the truth – everyone has a choice how to behave. Even in the heat of the moment, there’s still a choice. I cling on to that everytime I start to feel sorry for him.
It’s natural to wonder what could have been done differently, like when you wonder if you should have stayed longer. Honestly, I’m so impressed that you left when you did as it only gets worse, it always escalates.
17th January 2022 at 11:56 pm #137306
Can I just say reading above it was like reading my own relationship also , I too felt if only I could help him , maybe if I try harder or if I show him more love or if I don’t answer back . Do not feel sorry for them I truly believe they know what they are saying and doing . I heard so many times it’s my drinking problem that causes this or I blackout don’t remember what I say or do , but in the same breath I do love you ? Love to abuse & torture me ! I asked myself this question how can you treat someone you claim to love with so much hate , anger & abuse . My friend said to me this and I believe it’s true , they don’t know how to love , their love is an obsession that’s y it’s a dangerous love not the way you want to be loved or healthy for you . My ex is a raging alcoholic I blamed his drinking for everything and believed him when he said he wouldn’t do it anymore. Empty promises, worthless apologies. I think my ex is fully aware of his behaviour, but uses the drink to mask it . They wear a mask for everything. Do you ! Live your life ! You done the right thing 💯 by getting away . Do not feel sorry for someone who has took your kindness, good heart for granted . Look forward , take each day step by step , keep busy . You have an amazing future ahead of you xx
4th January 2022 at 7:52 pm #136502
I’ve finally found the courage to leave , it’s been a week no contact and I’ve finally blocked him through all social media , time to get off the merry go round . Anxious at first to take the last step of letting go , fear of come backs , but I’ve lived in fear long enough . I want a better life for myself and to be treated as a human being not like a piece of c**p . I’ve had the light bulb moment and I’m staying positive for a brighter future , taking each day at a time .
4th January 2022 at 9:49 pm #136508
Hi The Duchess
That’s amazing – really well done. That takes so much strength, you’ve done so well! Zero contact is definitely the right thing. Well done again 💕
4th January 2022 at 11:36 pm #136519
So glad you managed to leave, the hardest part is done. If you feel tempted to go back, just remember what you’ve already come through to get to this point and never look back. It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself. Lots of love ❤️
4th January 2022 at 10:09 pm #136509WaterspriteParticipant
Wow duchess – go you! So agree block no contact and good riddance welcome to the start of safety freedom and a future of your own making. The journey has just begun please reach out for support if you need it and look after yourself do nice things and enjoy the simplest pleasures of freedom – for me getting into a safe bed of my own x*x
9th January 2022 at 1:16 pm #136756PuffinSpaceParticipant
Hi, I left sometime ago after many years – too many years – of unrealised abuse.they are very clever manipulators- I think because they rely on us like vampires needing to suck blood to survive. It took me a long time to readjust- maybe bc I was so long ‘inside’. I’ve read about addicts who when they become clean, are at the same emotional stage as when they started drugs. That’s how I feel now- struggling to cope with life and not feeling equipped. But anything is better than being trapped in an abusive relationship. Getting out is hard as hell but if you’ve done that, you can do anything. Keep strong.
9th January 2022 at 1:48 pm #136757Grey RockParticipant
That’s great news Duchess. Expect there to be done difficult days, because realistically there will be. It takes a while for us to heal from these experiences. It will get better, most definitely, it just won’t be smooth sailing at times. This forum and women’s aid were like ligh houses helping me navigate the stormier weeks and days, and doing the Freedom Program was one of the best things I did for myself.
Wishing you all the luck in the world.
17th January 2022 at 11:37 pm #137305
Thankyou all so much for your positive words , yes he has tried with over (detail removed by moderator) texts as he changed his number so he could contact me . I have ignored everything again , I was called all abusive names as usual for blocking and leaving the “ relationship “ . His an alcoholic which adds to the pick n mix of it all . I’ve been threatened & blackmailed also , again all tactics I’ve learned over time to put fear and control into me so that I go back to him . I’ve ignored everything, instead of reacting which I used to do , over time I’ve learned the hard way how to completely detach myself from him and now no reaction. I’ve gone back so many times as I believed this time would be different, but as we all know it’s not , it only gets worse , there isn’t a thing he hasn’t done to me , that’s y I’m determined to stay away for good . I don’t feel the same way towards him anymore, I’m not angry , I’m not bitter , I should be , I won’t forget what he has done to me. I won’t allow him to destroy my life anymore or my days . They are not at peace or happy within themselves so they want us to suffer for their misfortunes in life . My guess is they live their karma every day . I will not let this toxic person ruin my future. I have never come across this type of person in my life whom controls everything I’ve tried to do , timing me on bathing , going to shops , calls , asking for pic proof of where I go ? No make up , controlling my every little move . I was a prisoner in my own home. Tortured is the word I can describe as this relationship. Mentally abused , emotionally abused , sexually abused . I have no family lost both parents in a year , I have good close friends that stood by me even though he was determined to get rid of them also . I count my blessings that I finally saw him for what he was instead of him blaming me & playing victim. Yes I lost a couple of years and was hurt tremendously, but I can finally say I’m Free and my life is my life now to live . I’m doing ME !
18th January 2022 at 1:55 pm #137340
Thankyou I really hope so this time xx
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.