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    • #145663

      Hello everyone,

      I wanted to say thank you for being a part of this space and taking time to read other women’s experiences. I didn’t think this space would make such a difference for me. I’m having a bad day and finding it hard to stop thinking about what had happened. I’m writing today to get some thoughts out and feel a bit less lonely.

      It’s been so tough to carve out my own space away from my ex over the years we’ve been on and off. He will sometimes go away for a week or so at a time and not take his phone. I’ve had some space and no contact for a period – When he goes I feel so much lighter and feel like I can breathe… now he’s back (detail removed by moderator) – my anxiety just goes on overdrive. He begins texting me straight away and I can sense it’s only a matter of time before he finds a reason to lash out. I’m collecting my belongings soon but (due to his rules/needs) It’s been put back and had to stay in touch/be amicable so I can collect it all. I wish I could just leave it – but it’s too much and I need it all for my next place.

      I’m staying with a friend in the meantime whilst I find somewhere else to live as I felt I needed to leave quickly. I’m just feeling exhausted and a burden on other people. I’ve never felt so alone in my low points and passed the day today sleeping as much as I could.

      I can’t stop going over details in my head about how awful I’ve been feeling when Iwas with him – but it almost feels like self-harm? There’s not really any reason I need to keep going over it all… I just can’t believe how much I was ignoring.

      When I look back about just how controlling he was – I can’t believe I was able to hide it more or less from others. I made so many excuses and buried so many worries until I couldn’t contain it. I work a really stressful job and have just about keeping my head above water with it.

      Even the day to day stuff I managed to justify to myself so I didn’t have to look at the bigger picture. Financially – he was also controlling. He charged me market rate rent (In a very expensive city) on my pretty modest wage. He then refused to tell me how much his mortgage was and (detail removed by moderator) when I thought it would be bad for our relationship. But it meant I’m almost certain he wasn’t paying anything towards his mortgage and was essentially living off me/the others? I think this might be normal for some couples? The secrecy bothered me so much but he always would say he was just traditional in not wanting to talk about money with his partner.

      I was so uncomfortable living there. I was so on edge being around him with other people – He would constantly monitor my relationship with the man (who was part of a couple) in the spare room. To the point I couldn’t be bothered to be in the communal areas if he was there because I’d have too much to answer for/be told I was flirting or whatever else my ex was paranoid about. I just kept myself to myself… Waited for him to lash out and tried to repair the damage when he did. After some time I started to get reactive/dismissive because I felt so hurt and frustrated with having no freedom to be myself. He then convinced me I had anger problems… When I tell other people in my life I was worried about my anger – they couldn’t believe anyone would level that at me…

      I know I’m just rambling here – I just keep having days where I realise I’ve not said any of this out loud. He seems to be leaving me alone more so because I just don’t have the energy to react to any of his nonsense. In that sense it just feels like he’s drained me of my energy in such a deep way. I resent this so much and after years starting to feel angry about how much he’s been taking.

      In the past when we’ve been in the “off” phase of our on and off again relationship – he’s been harassing me to the point I had to change my number, would turn up to my local spots and do absolutely anything to get to me/get a rise out of me… I can’t believe I went back when he did this last time… It became so relentless it almost doesn’t feel like me making the choice to go back to him last time… I just wanted it all to stop and madly it felt easier to try again even though I knew it wouldn’t work. I remember feeling so nauseous at that time.

      I’m just hoping he’s ran out of energy to do this again and I’m going to do so much more to make sure he can’t have that kind of access to me moving forward.

      Does anyone else on here just have those days where they’re gobsmacked at what has just happened and where it’s left you?

      It helps so much to write this out – I should probably reserve half of it for a journal! The community aspect of formulating thoughts on here make it feel a bit less lonely and it’s so hard to explain this to anyone who hasn’t been in an abusive dynamic.

      I hope anyone reading who can relate also feels less alone reading this.

    • #145679

      For what it’s worth you won’t always feel this way. Nobody leaves their phone for a week. Hes probably got another one and it sounds like he’s got another woman. Don’t go on your own to collect your belongings. Try to source some good counselling and talk to your local womens aid.

      • #145690

        I’m hoping there’s a time limit to this!

        I mean I know he was often in places he wasn’t allowed his phone (Due to religious stuff/trips) which other people verified. So ironically I don’t think he was seeing other people when we were together… It felt like more of a way to make me uneasy to be so secretive (Needlessly). Who knows… maybe my denial is stronger than I thought.

        At this point none of that matters. Just hoping like you said this time will pass and will have my stuff out of there as soon as I can.

        Counselling is first thing on my list once I’m settled. Thanks for replying and your suggestions

    • #145689

      Thank you for replying – The projection and role reversal is maddening isn’t it? I still have my doubts and have the thought creeping in, that maybe I was the abusive one! What I do know is that he can’t seem to exist out of either playing victim or “hero” in any dynamic. It’s so core to his identity by the looks of it – He can’t seem to fathom the idea that he is often a harmful person to others (Beyond a fleeting anxiety from him that “everyone hates him” or flashes of dread that he’s “a terrible person”). This had played out in his friendships and work connections too and has been painful to watch him burning bridges/sabotaging relationships.

      I wish he could have healthy relationships for his sake and I don’t hold any ill-wishes towards him. Think this is part of what I need to steer away from too… I seem to also exist in a cycle of my own about feeling upset and angry about how he treated me and coming full circle to feeling caring and upset about how much he seems to hurt himself (or the thought he can only exist in relationships if he’s in total control)… It just makes me so sad. I’m sure I’m not alone with that – given what I’ve read on here.

      Like you said – him holding my belongings hostage is the last bit of power he has over me. It’s a matter of time (And hopefully not very long) until I can properly get some space to process it all in a healthy way and get the distance I need.

      Thank you for your warm words – practising accepting support as much as I need to 🙂

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