6th December 2021 at 2:33 pm #135240EarthMama3Participant
You know the image of an astronaut connected to the shuttle by a flimsy umbilical cord that loops and stretches while the person desperately snatches at it, knowing that is the only thing keeping them from floating away into oblivion? And the state of anxiety that astronaut lives in for moments that feel like years, sometimes wondering if the oblivion might be a welcome peace. That’s where I live.
I am so tired. Beyond tired yet I can’t seem to get a good night sleep no matter what I do.
Three children in very different stages of life, each needing different things from me and I am failing each if I manage to help one for a moment. And my ex quick to jump in and point out just exactly how I have failed as a mother. Normal behaviour from a child irritated to be told no becomes a reason to take me to court again, a reason to call social services. Nevermind that he molested a (detail removed by Moderator) girl, no that doesn’t matter because it was never reported to the police and happened in another country.
So I have a diagnosis of mental illness and I do everything I am told but I wonder how much of this is because of him. The years of gaslighting, of manipulation, abuse of so many kinds I am still making sense of it all even years after I left him.
The guilt of it all is crushing me at the moment. The feeling that maybe I should’ve stayed, you know, for the children. Because I am not happier for having left. I am utterly worn down. As though he is saying, “Oh you thought it was bad before? Let me show you how bad it can be.” And I wonder how the happy child that I used to be has become this desiccated and exhausted woman.
6th December 2021 at 5:46 pm #135251Wants To HelpParticipant
This is so tiring and I’m sure you are doing the best you can do. Sadly, your ex is using typical abuser behaviour to ‘punish’ you for daring to leave him. Bogus complaints to Children’s Services, Police, NSPCC, RSPCA are not uncommon as a tactic to have you investigated for child or animal abuse, not because of serious concerns but to cause you extra stress/distress and anxiety. He wants you to worry that you may have your children taken from you, even though he probably would not want to take them on full time himself! Be careful about his history of child abuse because if it happened in another country and was never reported then there is no evidence of this and he could use it against you by saying you are making things up about him in order to stop him seeing the children. True as it may be, the courts and agencies can only go on things that can be evidenced.
Frustrating as this is, fully engage with whichever agency is investigating you and be open and honest with them. If they are happy there is no abuse/neglect they will tell you so. If there is any help or support they can offer you then accept it. The more you are willing to co-operate with them the less ammunition he will have to fire at you.
I was diagnosed with depression due to the state of my relationship and put on medication. My ex also used the fact that I had ‘mental health issues’ to say I wasn’t suitable to care full time for our son, but the court overruled this on the basis that prior to us splitting up he was more than happy for me to look after our son as a stay at home mum whilst he worked full time. Abusers concoct any story they want about us if is suits their agenda.
Tiring and exhausting as this is, know he is doing this to break you completely. Dig deep and find as much emotional strength as you can to make sure he doesn’t. You need to be the victor in this sick game he is playing. You did the right thing leaving this man, imagine what life would have been like if you’d have stayed, think about what the children would have grown up with seeing and hearing.
Reach out for support and accept it from all who offer. The kids having sleepovers at friends houses at the weekends, other parents offering to have them for tea after school etc. This gives the kids other interests and friendship building opportunities and you some respite here and there.
Mental Health issues do not make us bad mothers. Men who put us under unnecessary stress to punish us does make it harder for us to parent at times, but not impossible.
8th December 2021 at 12:31 pm #135295AurielParticipant
Hi earthmama3 his words are just a manipulation tactic to try and intimidate you and make himself seem superior, it’s just pure spite, and as for mental illness I’d be surprised if anyone didn’t have some kind of mental illness after the repercussions of what you’ve been though (it’s completely normal) I’m not sure if you have a counsellor, but maybe some outside help like speaking to women’s aid or just doing something you remember you like, keep records of his abuse if you can (you may need them in future) he may be baiting and goading you on purpose for your reaction to use but his actions are just purely vindictive, you take care stay strong for you and your babies 💛💜💛
8th December 2021 at 9:51 pm #135316EarthMama3Participant
Thank you. I am grateful for your words, both of you. And grateful for this space.
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