2nd February 2024 at 6:13 pm #165803MisoGreyParticipant
I am new here and I think I might need some support, or just to ramble whilst I go through trauma therapy, (removed by moderator) years after leaving a relationship I didn’t realise was as bad as it was, until I started CBT recently.
(Removed by moderator) we also start EMDR therapy which I was shocked to learn was happening as I didn’t think I ‘needed’ anything as serious as that.
My ex partner only attacked me once, right at the end of the relationship (and when he probably knew I was clocking on to him) and I left and never looked back, not thinking I’d been in an abusive relationship but that he was just a nasty man and I was lucky to be away.
I was mid (removed by moderator)s, (now mid (removed by moderator)s) he was quite a few years older and as awful as it was, and even when I figured out he was a complete n********t and likely a sociopath, I just felt lucky to be gone and didn’t realise the extent of the mental abuse he’d put me through. My father then died years later and everything rushed up to the surface and I pretty much haven’t left my home for the last year as my anxiety is so high.
He also got me arrested just after he attacked me, (detail removed by moderator). I now know it was to cover his tracks as he’d been accused before and had a nasty divorce.
The door came off the hinges as he was (removed by moderator) and kick me in the back down the stairs. I had no idea what was going on, the police were luckily very nice and apologised the whole way through the process and told me (removed by moderator). I was questioned and sat in a cell for a few hours then let go, (removed by moderator) but having never been in trouble before, it was absolutely terrifying. I remember asking if he was arrested when I left the station and the man just said no. I felt confused as I’d told them everything he’d done & felt that wasn’t right but I just left and went straight to the hospital & vowed never to see him again. I was also on ‘bail’ and couldn’t contact him (not that I would) so I felt like a complete criminal yet I was the one that had been abused for years and then attacked.
He also had children, young ones, who I was essentially a free nanny for when they were with him, and now know is what he primarily used me for, he used to ignore me when they were at their Mum’s and tell me he wasn’t (removed by moderator) .
I remember feeling terrified he’d hurt them, he used to scream right up close in their faces, I panicked about the daughter because she is a woman but I knew if I called social services, (he’d had a messy divorce, with the same accusations against him by his ex wife) he would kill me. I 100% believed he’d kill me, so I just e-mailed (removed by moderator).
I haven’t acknowledged the mental abuse he carried out until now, like not letting me sleep, claiming I was snoring when I wasn’t, gaslighting me, taking my phone to work and all the rest. Because he didn’t physically hurt me until right at the end and only once I just thought he was just a nasty piece of work. I was also not a timid partner either, I used to tell him when he was being mean and he didn’t like it, we’d verbally disagree a lot because he’d wind me up deliberately and be so nasty or make outlandish statements that would just shock me to my core. He was also a local (removed by moderator) and just after we met, emotional abuse became a criminal offence (removed by moderator). He was clever enough to not tell me or anyone what they could or could not do, or to control money but he’d make up for it in psychological games and abuse instead.
I’m scared to re-live the trauma next week and I also still find it hard to admit it was abusive as I find it hard to take anything seriously about myself, which is from a separate trauma from childhood. I’m the queen of joking and laughing and brushing it under the carpet until it’s too late.
I also think so many women have gone through much much worse than me so find it difficult to admit its impact. This man broke me down with drip tactics that I couldn’t explain in detail easily and so it’s really hard to admit that it was abuse, even though I’m having nightmares and panic attacks years later, which I now know are signs my brain is telling me different. He’s been accused of it before, yet I still think sometimes, was it me?
(Removed by moderator) before the attack we’d gone to a Relate session because he’d (removed by moderator) after a (verbal) fight. In the session, he reeled off a rehearsed speech of how he knew he had problems with women, his first time being when he (removed by moderator) etc etc, with absolutely no emotion at all. I felt numb. He also said he’d made one ex (removed by moderator), when I said afterwards I was uncomfortable with that he brushed it off and said (removed by moderator).’ That evening we also ate out which was Never allowed and he ‘let’ me have a large glass of wine which I thought was lovely of him at the time but now know it was to soften the blow of the new information.
Days later we were arguing again because he was texting another woman, as usual and when I confronted him the attack happened. Looking back it’s all so obvious what was happening but when you’re in it and they’re so intimidating and clever, it’s like a vortex you can’t escape. I still feel bad not walking back in to the police station that day and reporting him because this is how they get away with it and I still worry who the next victim will be but I was too scared. I really hope Karma does exist.
Anyway, thanks for listening, lots of love to all. x*x
3rd February 2024 at 9:13 pm #165835LisaMain Moderator
Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I hope that you find the forum to be a supportive place to talk about things as you’re going through therapy and to process what you went through.
Lots of women struggle with using the word “abuse” in relation to themselves. It’s very common to minimise these experiences. It can also be so difficult to recognise the abuse while you’re in it. What you’ve described certainly is domestic abuse. There really isn’t a hierarchy, abuse is abuse and it sounds like he used everything he could to gain power and to control you with fear, escalating to the assault. It’s often the pattern that an abuser doesn’t start with physical violence right away and that the abuse gradually builds to this over time. Try to be kind to yourself for not walking back into that police station. You were afraid and injured and doing your best to keep yourself safe.
Take care and keep posting,
4th February 2024 at 12:45 pm #165853HereforhelpParticipant
Welcome to the forum… the minimising of abuse is common… I found it difficult to accept what my husband was doing was actual abuse as he didn’t beat me (he did everything else).. it was explained to me that there’s no barr for abuse, if you drown in 1ft or 20ft of water neither is better or worse as the end result is the same, you still drown.
I hope the CBT/EMDR is helping you? I found EMDR very helpful, it took time but it helped.
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