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    • #116816

      (detail removed by moderator). I’m really struggling right now with the silence around me. When he and I met, it was before lockdown. I was going in to my office each day, he wasn’t working. He was sitting at his or my home, smoking w**d and doing very little. I kept asking him if he had more work and the answer was no.

      I noticed, in the lead up to our final break up (maybe he saw the signs sooner than I realised) but he started to take steps to find work. He kept saying “(detail removed by moderator).”

      I know that him hearing me talk about my ex driving us to (detail removed by moderator) struck a chord. He didn’t want to be seen as the man that couldn’t even take me out for a drive. So suddenly he was galvanised into action. His anxiety before the work was palpable and I did all I could to reduce it, cooking his favourite food, early nights, getting up with him etc.

      Now, it seems that he has got into the swing of it again and he’s working most days, judging by the (detail removed by moderator) updates (I know, stop looking, it’s a form of not letting go).

      But it galls me. All that time he lived off me, didn’t work a day, didn’t contribute a dime.

      Now, because he’s single, he’s working (and I know this is the reason) to be able to effect an air of plausibility for the next one. He was boasting that he will get extra over Christmas. He will spend it on him, of course. It makes me sick that he is doing this now, so that he can buy himself new rags, new shoes (he abused the clothes I bought him horribly) so that he can “present” well to the next victim. I know this is why he is doing it.

      So I’m sitting, each day, at home, doing the school run, very little personal freedom, no bars are open, I have no social life to speak of right now, while he is travelling across the city each day, sourcing a new supply. It makes me sick that he has suddenly found his get up and go, his confidence, so that he can score another woman.

      He used to boast about how he would “(detail removed by moderator)” and he will be trying to do just that.

      I have also blocked him on social media but he hasn’t blocked me. (detail removed by moderator) now he has updated his picture after leaving it for months, the last photo he took with me and so he may be trying to pluck at the heart strings. I’m just waiting for the picture of him in his new clothes in another woman’s bedroom. It will come. Or simply him, with new clothes, posing up a storm. He has taken selfies like that before and by not blocking me, he knows I can see his profile updates.

      He really wants to flip the bird to me. How has he suddenly found the conviction to work almost each day, when with me he just coasted and lived off me? It seems desperately unfair and not right at all. And I am hog-tied in my routine. It seems like another provocation.


    • #116817

      This is a bit of a brain dump but on here I feel I can express myself. I find myself really noticing the silence now. He used to say to me “(detail removed by moderator)” and to an extent he’s right. I got used to his sounds. His music playing, his tread on the stair as he would come up to chat to me. He loved company like I do with my family. He never wanted to be far from me. He would have spent every minute with me if he could. It was “safe” unlike the anxiety-inducing world of work and stoned paranoia.

      I notice little things now. The (detail removed by moderator) he left on the side. The smell of his (detail removed by moderator) he left here. The little roll up skins left on the side. All these little markers of his existence in my world. Now he is gone and it seems like it was a fleeting memory.

      He used to say he would be moved on “(detail removed by moderator)” and then recently provoked me by saying “(detail removed by moderator)..”

      I know, once he picks up with another woman, I will be a distant memory, old news. He will form other habits with her.

      I feel as if I was nothing more than a supply, a distraction to his otherwise empty existence. He said after the last one that “(detail removed by moderator)”, so deep was his sadness and depression. I feel with me, it was a flash in the pan, but he will just pick up and move on like the littlest hobo. He is a lone wolf who attaches to people.

      When will this mourning pass? I don’t miss the abuse. But I do feel his absence keenly, the loss of chatter, of the nice times when he was a fun companion. The reminders are constant. In the high street, our little shopping habits. The local park. The food I made. I feel, weirdly, as if I have been abandoned and left. What is that about? Why do I feel like the one rejected and left to rot?

      One last thing. I had a call from the police today with No Caller ID. She did confirm that usually she would leave a message. I had a NO Caller ID call last night just before (detail removed by moderator). I didn’t ask her about it but I did ask if she would always leave a message and she said Yes. It’s likely on that basis it was him trying to call, but I can’t prove it and he didn’t leave a message.

      I don’t know how to feel any more. Does anyone have any tips about how to mentally detach and move on from this, as fast as possible?


    • #116825

      Stop looking at his social media or anything else to do with him. He’s not a lone wolf hes a nasty little parasite looking for a host next to suck the life from and the only reason he didn’t work was because he could sponge off you. Ask yourself why you really want this kind of person back in your life? Yes, he’s left a void because he had you running around after him to the detriment of your child. This is your chance to get rid of him once and for all. Grab the chance and tell the police everything. These men look for vulnerable women. Show him you’re not a vulnerable woman and teach him some respect. Some accountability. Bin everything he’s left at your home, and if you can’t do that yet. Put it all in a bin bag and leave it somewhere you can’t see it. Then one day when the bin lorry is due and you feel strong. Dump the lot x he will be accusing you to the police because of his cowardly nature. If he cared then now is his opportunity to own up and confess.

    • #116847

      Abusers suck the essence out of their victims. The more space they take up in the relationship the less space there is for us.

      Everything we do and think and feel is centred on them. Keeping them happy, making their favourite meals, financially supporting them, changing anything about ourselves that they find fault with.

      No surprise, then, that they continue to control our thoughts even if we know we’ve had a lucky escape.

      We can often feel jealous of their future partners, even if we also think of them as victims. We worry that they’ll get a decent version of him. Trust me, they won’t. There is no decent version.

      Sometimes we think about warning these women. But it’s not our job to protect the world. (Except if he was violent, in which case make a police report.)

      It’s also common to assume that when they post on social media that they’re sending us messages. Accept that they’re just fishing. They don’t mind who takes the bait. Make sure it’s not you.

      The only way forward is to fill the void by rebuilding yourself. By finding the person you were at the start, not at the end. Play your own music and bin anything that reminds you of him. And stay off social media for at least 3 months.

    • #116850

      @ Camel: yes, this is how they do it. Their needs, wants, THEM, they take up all the oxygen. None of what you think or feel matters. It is a mental bludgeoning each day. I still can’t get over how they do it. They become like looming monsters and their absolute need to be right, to have the final word, is breathtaking. They are like little children with a mental illness.

      I know, if he meets someone and “cares” for them, he will treat them abysmally. I know this. It pains me to think of him being intimate with another woman, so graphic was he about previous exploits that I almost have a laser beam into his bedroom to know how he operates. It stings. I want to dislodge those thoughts. Replace them with happier, better ones. But I don’t know how and I’m not ready to move on. It’s too soon. I’m going to have to sit with these feelings for a while, endure them, then heal. But it will hurt like hell.

    • #116863

      No break up is easy. In a normal relationship we might say we drifted apart or they cheated on us. Whatever, we can generally deal with it in time. We might question the last few months of the relationship, feel angry or hurt at how they treated us.

      It’s different breaking from abuse. We know we were unhappy and can’t fathom why we’re not happy now. We can’t look back on a mostly good thing that went bad. Everything was a baffling, confusing mess. And still are.

      Is it such a surprise that you’re ill equipped to move on? There’s so much to process, dissect, remember. I think you’re exactly where you need to be to heal. We need to understand first. Then act.

    • #116898

      Hi, I’m so sorry for how you are feeling and what you are going through. I’m also in the same place, so please take comfort that you are not alone. My ex sounds very similar to yours, never worked or contributed whilst we were together, I took pity on him and cared for him and nurtured him, which is in my nature to do. Unfortunately he took advantage of that. And left me so high and dry it’s unbelievable. The mess I have to pick up that he has left behind, financially not to mention emotionally. I also have a young baby that we planned together, thinking we would be in it together and take on that lifetime responsibility as parents. Now I have nothing but the thoughts inside my head to remind me of what we had together, or what I thought we had. I’m grieving the loss of the life I thought I had. But I never really had it at all. It’s so hard. And so upsetting to think he can just carry on and not even give our son a second thought. I have no idea how I will recover from this either. But I think just feeling our feelings and sitting with it for now is apparently the road to healing.
      That’s the advice I’m given. I am also having counselling and just taking as much support and strength from wherever I can get it. It’s been total strangers who have been kindest to me throughout all of this. I’m so grateful for finding this forum and the advice I’m given. Just please remember you are not alone. It’s so hard to not feel that way but it brings me comfort when we live in this world where it seems like everyone wants to show off how great their lives are. And I’m dying inside thinking what’s wrong with me then?? 🙁 sending you lots of hugs and be kind to yourself. I’m treating myself like I would one of my precious babies. x*x

    • #116910

      I think that’s a massive part of it. There is no closure. No real discussion about the why, the how. Of course there wouldn’t be; abuse happens because of a dysfunction, as a direct result of it. Without dysfunction, there is no abuse.

      I’m not sure I even have any questions now. I feel deep and profound shame that I let this happen. That I was so emotionally starved that I lapped up his ludicrous love bombing like it was nectar. It’s only looking back, I realise no adult rational male would ambush someone like that. They ambush and then keep up a relentless campaign, never letting you come up for air. It’s like when a pod of orcas ambush a mother and her calf. The battle is won by sheer persistence, exhausting the calm, not letting it up for air. This is how they operate. It is sustained, in your face. Your world is taken up by them, with them, you become obsessed with focusing on their needs and them, while they lap it up and ignore your needs. They don’t see you.

      I hope, one day soon, I will feel rage. I feel sickened that he sat on his arse for as long as he did, living off me. Then all of a sudden he is capable of working almost solidly. In colloquial terms, that an utter p**s take.

      The fallout from knowing him has been huge. Social Services, mental torture, effects on my work, the school and ex husband being involved. It’s nauseating. And he DOESN’T CARE. Probably would happily break bail and carry on if he could. I can’t believe I have been so d**n blind.

      Wishing you all strength and self-love XX

    • #116912

      Take a look at Healing From Hidden Abuse book, it’s all about the stages of recovery. Anger will come 😡

    • #116922

      I really, really feel for you. And the same with those thoughts of how could I let this happen????? One thing my counsellor said that did resonate with me, was that the shame is not mine to carry. We haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t ask to be treated this way, we’ve trusted someone and the way they abuse that trust is on them, not us. Even though I understand when they are long gone and it’s us picking up the pieces it’s hard not to feel stupid. But the road to healing is in building the self esteem, or rebuilding it. So the negative self talk is going to make it harder for you. Please don’t blame yourself. x*x

    • #117111

      I’m struggling again. I just listened to the voicemails he left in the days after the assault, before he was arrested. The tears. “I miss you, please call me. Please don’t stop speaking to me…”

      Why is it that when they have you, they treat you so badly? I look back and wonder, what was it for? The fear, the accusations about me “signalling” for other men. You either want someone or you don’t. That was the basic logic we always used.

      What purpose does being a tyrant serve? They are so empty, so scared of being rejected, it’s like they have a mental wall up the whole time. They are determined to be on the front foot of any rejection, as I see it. The constant sh*t testing is to see if you are true or not, and if you do walk, to their mind, they “haven’t lost anything anyway” because if you “really cared” you would stay to endure their s**t to prove your loyalty to them.

      It is so f****d up. So empty. Such a monstrous loss of time and hope.

      Never do they consider your life. The impact on your life. A close fiend said to me, “one thing i notice about my friends who have been abused is, they always have more to lose than the abuser.”

      That must be right. They are jealous, insecure, needy. Their aim is to control and have their needs met. Little else. In that regard they are like selfish little children. I have seen more adult conduct in my son than in my ex. They aren’t very good at adulting, at all. It’s a mental clusterf**k. I’m still reeling.

      • #117118

        Can you delete the voicemails? I agree on point about what purpose does being a tyrant serve?! aid often think oh ffs, if you were just normal we would have a normal life and would be happy. I question why they’re abusers and we are the abused. I read in The abusive relationship by Patricia Evans that we (the victims) experience childhood trauma but have a sympathetic witness to this whereas the abusers experienced the trauma but without one. Not sure if I’ve explained it properly. Or maybe theyve just learnt it’s the best tactic for getting what they want. My partner never seems ‘happy’ when he’s going mad and being abusive. If anything it seems like he hates himself deep down. Ugh, so confusing xx

    • #117113

      Step back from the crazy. Stop listening to anything to do with his delusional brainwashing. It’s how you heal. Then you can listen without being vulnerable and see just what a pathetic loser he is.

    • #117119

      That book sounds really interesting. I completely agree; my childhood was deeply traumatic and involved ‘characters’ that all played themselves out in my ex. Extraordinary really when I started to analyse it. Once you see it you can’t unseen it.

      I do believe that their trauma is so deep-seated, so fundamental to their being, they know no other way than to snarl, bite, attack. It’s like any dog that has been raised to be savage rather than gentle.

      I did definitely feel the old feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and unfair terror that I felt as a child. It’s like they find the wounds and tear them wide open. Once he had identified my weak spots, he went in for the kill time and time again. He showed no mercy. Worse yet, he played the “my trauma was way worse than yours” card. Blindly, there you have it, shut up and sit down because I have the Trump Trauma Card sort of thing. You cannot ever find peace with a person like that.

      Things will be ok. I am adjusting to the new normal which is being alone with my son and my thoughts. I feel rage now though. Like there’s a dad at the school who keeps hitting on me and no matter how many times I say “I’m not open to a relationship”, he keeps asking for my hand to squeeze or texting me. It is making me full of rage so bad. It’s like I feel he is another predator waiting to pounce. The last thing I want is to vomit up all my anger against someone, so there is definitely work to do there.

      Peace be with you all X

    • #117122

      Block the guy from school and tell him there’s a pandemic next time he comes within two meters. At least you recognise what’s happened to you but whatever trauma he suffered as a child does not give him the right to abuse. Many of us suffer childhood trauma but we know right from wrong and choose to be kind and empathetic. They get what they want by their manipulation and they learn from each relationship they destroy. Like some parasite evolving and adapting to be better and stronger and deadlier. When the anger stage comes, that’s when things get done. Anger drove me to report him, to pursue his arrest and give evidence against him. I won’t be just another helpless victim he walks away from, you can bet he won’t forget me in a hurry.

    • #117176

      Hi Dolly

      I’m wondering what your friend meant when she said “one thing i notice about my friends who have been abused is, they always have more to lose than the abuser.”

      From what I’ve seen, the abuser has the most to lose while the survivor has everything to gain.

    • #117177

      As for the creep at the school gate, how is it he has your number and thinks it’s OK to use it to proposition you? If I were in your shoes I’d stop being polite. If he messages you again reply only that you are blocking his number. You don’t need to say why. If you can’t avoid him at the school, be very clear. Saying you’re not open to a relationship doesn’t express your rage. He will be thinking it’s only a matter of time. How else can you explain his persistence? Tell him if he brings it up again you’ll have no choice but to speak to the school and report him for predatory and harassing behaviour. I would relish the chance to take control. But that’s just me. 🙂

    • #117200

      @Camel, that is exactly what my mother said. That his (detail removed by moderator) is another route to try and find his way in. It is driving me crazy. He misses buses to wait for me. I have started to lose my patience and ignore his messages completely, because it is clear he won’t take no for an answer, or so he thinks. It’s not flattering. It’s an insult that he is choosing to ignore my signals that are fairly blunt. I’m not engaging and putting me on the spot and asking to take my hand cross the line. I can feel I am at a point of snapping at him.

      Generally I am ok but the police are really dragging their feet. They are all supposed to be having a multi-agency meeting (detail removed by moderator). I am concerned that they are holding off taking my statement for this because they want me to make a fuller statement. I don’t want to be pushed into doing something that ultimately, I would then be in the dock being challenged over it. A conviction is a conviction. I’m going to apply for the non-mol and proceed with that, as it is within my gift to do so.

      I am feeling so confused about it all. I keep having intrusive thoughts about the things he said and the way I felt like s**t so much of the time. I find being in the high street very hard as he lives (detail removed by moderator) away on foot. We could so easily pass one another and the thought makes my stomach lurch. I wish so much I could process this, but this isn’t like any ordinary break-up I have been through before. In one sense, I feel ok with it because I know I was/am fully justified in walking away and I did not invite this into my life. I also don’t have to worry about him being on Facebook or anything like that trying to wind me up. The only tool he has is (detail removed by moderator) and I am anticipating that game. If he does post anything, it will be designed to get my attention anyway.

      I am feeling the sense of aloneness. Of having been betrayed, kept on the outside, always on the outside, never trusted or fully let in. People like him don’t love or trust. They live life hating people, trusting motives, living with one foot out the door ready to leave. I read over some notes I made in my diary to try and make sense of his outbursts in (detail removed by moderator) and one of his comments was (detail removed by moderator).

      Not sure why. Maybe I hadn’t played his game the way he wanted or maybe I stood up to him too much. Who knows, but it shows he was always planning to ditch me from the start to “get in there first”. I cannot remember a period of calm with him that wasn’t then disrupted by him. He is not capable of calm, or happy. The few occasions when we cuddled and I felt we connected, he found a way to pull away or create distance. He would always say or do something self protective that would push me away a little bit. Hot cold. Come here, go away. Reassure me that your feelings haven’t changed, but don’t get too close or I’ll find a way to unsettle and destabilise you again. The same pattern week in week out. Plausible deniability of comments. Structured to sound possibly like a compliment that came out the wrong way. (Detail removed by moderator).

      As if, after living off me for (detail removed by moderator), he had only just started to feel attached. Then it was “my interpretation” that was at fault, not the words he used.

      I still feel like my brains are scrambled eggs. X

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