24th October 2020 at 11:49 pm #115599DarknessallaroundParticipant
Both myself and my husband have underlying health issues, and since covid began I have only left the house a handful of times and always with him, never alone. He is totally risk-averse and won’t go out anywhere other than for a short drive or walk, so long as we stay clear of other people.
We get all our shopping online and have it delivered because he doesn’t want me going in shops. I’ve had to turn down the offer of EMDR therapy and cancel mental health appointments (when they were being offered face to face) because he doesn’t want me going anywhere, catching covid and bringing it home, even though perfectly adequate precautions were put in place. So I can now only speak to a counsellor on the phone, however this is always fraught with anxiety because of privacy issues and I never know if he’s going to barge in or not.
Whilst I’m not denying the seriousness of covid, I feel taking appropriate precautions should be enough to mitigate the risk and allow us to live our lives. But whenever I try to speak to him about it, he says I’m a horrible person and being selfish for wanting to put his health at risk. After one particularly bad argument, when I tried to stand my ground, he told me I could do whatever I liked, but (detail removed by moderator). I wouldn’t put it past him to not let me back indoors.
I don’t have any family and only one friend who has her own health problems, so I couldn’t go there.
I’ve not seen or spoken to anyone else face to face for (detail removed by moderator) months. Being with only him 24/7 my mental health is deteriorating, but I can’t get f2f support from MH services because he won’t allow anyone in the house, or for me to go to them.
He expects me to put my life on hold indefinitely, in order to protect his. I’m not even sure if this behaviour would be considered abusive…?
Is anyone else having a similar problem?
25th October 2020 at 3:01 am #115602KIP.Participant
He’s using covid to tighten his grip on you and as an excuse for further control and abuse. Being stuck inside and no social contact is really really bad for our mental health. If youve had mental health problems before then this will make them worse. You could start by going out for walks on your own. If he won’t let you back in then ring the police. Contact your local women’s aid too for support. Tell your therapist what’s going on so she’s aware. Covid will be around for a long time so you need to try to break free from him.
4th December 2020 at 12:19 am #117284DarknessallaroundParticipant
Thank you for your reply KIP, sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you.
I have told the counsellor a bit about the situation, she keeps telling me it’s coercive control but I’m not sure. When I read up on it, I could only relate to a few of the things mentioned.
Isolation, monitoring activity, denying freedom and autonomy, gaslighting, name calling/put downs, controlling aspects of health.
I think the situation about me being able to go out will eventually change, i.e. when there’s a vaccine, but that’s probably many months away from being widely available. I just need to figure out how I’m going to get through those months without having a complete breakdown.
Deep down he believes he’s protecting us by acting this way and it’s difficult to argue that there isn’t a very real threat.
The counsellor keeps saying there’s always a choice, even if it’s a hard one, but she doesn’t have to live with the consequences. I’ve already left twice during our many years together but have gone back both times. Although I wish I’d been strong enough to stay away, I just don’t feel able to go through it all again. Plus there’s a stubborn bit of me that is saying why should I be the one to leave – I’d be left with nothing. My physical and mental health isn’t great, I just feel so worn down by it all and too tired to fight.
4th December 2020 at 5:38 am #117286KIP.Participant
Hi there, it only takes one of the things you mentioned for it to be domestic abuse so no wonder you’re overwhelmed. Things won’t change after Covid. Abusers simply move the goal posts. You’ve left twice before so you know you can do it. Talk to your women’s aid about a non molestation order to have him removed from the home. There are special orders at the moment. He’s an abuser and will always be an abuser and it gets worse with time x keep posting x I left after decades and am thriving now. I’m a different person x
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