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    • #5681
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Welcome to the forum, I am glad you found the courage to post and I hope that you find the forum a supportive place to be.

      If you would like to talk to someone in confidence about your situation, then you can call the Freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge) at any time on 0808 2000 247. They can offer emotional support, information and can signpost you to any organisations relevant to your situation.

      You can also contact your local domestic violence service for support, you can find their details here: Find help locally

      Take a moment to familiarise yourself with the forum guidelines

      You might also want to take a look at our Terms and conditions

      A few tips before you start posting

      Remember – You will have to wait for your first post to be moderated before it will appear on the site. This is just to confirm that you are not a spam bot!

      You can still read what others have written on the forums until it is approved and after that you can post away.

      If you need a response more urgently, please call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on the number above. It is a 24 hour service and we are always here to listen.

      Stay safe

      Remember that anyone can read your posts, so please check that you do not include any identifying information such as your name, children’s names, the place where you may work or your location.

      Do not share your contact details (for example your email address) in a post.

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      This is a new feature on the forum.

      WARNING – These conversations will not be moderated by Women’s Aid so we ask that you respect the guidelines of the forum and be extremely careful about sharing any identifying information or details of court cases.

      You are under no obligation to respond to private messages.

      It is important to respect each other’s wellbeing so check with the person you want to message that they are happy to chat and introduce yourself first.

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      Take care and keep posting.
      Best wishes,

      Lisa

    • #5870
      Mardi
      Participant

      Thank you, I am really glad to be able to post on this Forum it is really helpful to me in my life. I havn’t seen my abusive now ex-boyfriend in over a month. I have made the decision to end the relationship. He doesn’t know this officially yet but I have just not contacted and never will. I have put up with his violence for too long. He went too far last time, threatening to stab me with knives and everything, I’ve never been so scared in all my life, I thought he was going to kill me. I deserve so much better than that. I do miss him, but I don’t miss the abuse. I feel better off without him and the abuse. I feel happier and free now. Thank you Womens Aid for your help and support you are a brilliant charity! x*x

    • #5872
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hello Polly, thank you for your post I understand tht it takes a lot of strength to do this. We are hear to listen and support you. As the other users get used to the new site I am sure that they will be along to post very soon.

      Do remember that the Helpline is available 24/7 if you need to talk things through.

      Keep posting!

      Best wishes

      Lisa

    • #5892
      Mardi
      Participant

      Hi Polly,

      Try to remember the abuse that your partner caused and not the happy lovey dovey moments. It is easy to get confused and forget about the abuse when the bruises fade. You think did I make all this up? Am I imagining all this, or exaggerating? No you are not. The abuse did happen. It was a criminal offence that should not happen to anyone. I try to remember my ex boyfriend threatening to stab me with knives, which is what he did the last time, every time I start to miss him and wish I had a boyfriend etc. I know I am better off without him. I feel happier and stronger, freer without him. There are plenty of other men out there. Don’t let this abusive person get you down. You are better than them. All the best to you, Mardi. xxxx

    • #5894
      Moon
      Participant

      Hi
      I’m new to this site and it has taken a lot of courage to join.
      I could really do with some help and advice though at the moment X

      • #5906
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Moon,

        Welcome to the forum. I hope you find it a safe and supportive place to be. We are all here for you so when you are ready then I hope you will tell us your story. If you are not ready to post then please phone the helpline on 0808 2000 247 for some support and advice. They will not judge you but will hopefully be able to help you and enable you to see options that perhaps you weren’t aware of.

        Well done for finding the courage to post. Be kind to yourself and let us know how you get on.

        Best wishes,

        Lisa

    • #5910
      Moon
      Participant

      Feeling brave deep breath …. so snap shot of my life:
      I’m halfway through the freedom program and living with someone that is every character of this apart from the bad father: I have a little girl who is on a cp plan because of this and last wk rolled up my sleeve to show the sw new bruises that I have, this has now resulted in ss seeking legal planning and I just don’t know what to do?
      I am expected to leave my home and everything all I want is to be safe with my little girl but I’ve been promised everything will be ok and that he loves me and I hate the fact that I’m lying at the mo as looks like a planned move is starting.
      Yes things aren’t perfect but they have improved and he is much calmer with me : it has been pointed out that the worry is I will not survive the next injury.
      I just need a hug as am soooo scared, I accept my life at the mo but can also sometimes see a new safe life for me and my beautiful baby girl but just can’t see how we can achieve this safely ?
      Please can someone help me: it’s a lot more complicated but didn’t want to bore every one with my life xx

    • #5911
      Amethyst15
      Participant

      Hi Moon,
      Just sending you a virtual hug – you are coping with a lot at the moment and i feel for you. Sounds like you need to get a plan in place to leave this man sooner rather than later as he sounds dangerous. Ring the helpline for advice and support.It really worries me that you say your next injury you ‘may not survive’. You shouldn’t have to live with this fear. I hope you can start looking to that safe future as soon as possible and, when you feel strong enough, as you and your daughter deserve to live abuse free.I wish i could offer more practical advice but i’m certain you will get that from other ladies on here. Keep going because you’ve done really well to post and actually setting our experience ‘down on paper’ really can keep us focused on escaping for a new life. These abusers are very good at turning on the nice guy switch to deflect attention from them. Hope there are better days out there for you x

    • #5914
      Moon
      Participant

      Thank you for the virtual hug so needed at this time.
      I do have support and a lovely idva. Just need to be brave and as people say… Take the leap of faith.
      I am just clinging onto the fact that maybe things will change and we can have our family life. He is supposed to be starting some form of anger management so I feel that possibly this could solve everything, do people really change???
      I think people are just telling me the worst scenario to try and make me see that leaving is the best option, as he admits that he has a 30 second window of where he doesn’t know what to with his anger, usually it’s me 😢
      Although he has gone from so angry to so calm so he is trying.
      I just don’t know what to do xx

    • #5915
      KIP.
      Participant

      Hi Moon,

      I’m sorry to say that abusers just don’t change. My ex was exactly like yours. He only had anger management problems when there were no witnesses and our door was shut! He has gone calm because he senses you are thinking of leaving. Abusers are so good at manipulating and playing mind games. He has shown you his true self, believe him. As for being a good father? What kind of a father abuses his daughters mother. A rotten one that just doesn’t care. I know it’s hard to take in at the moment but you must put yourself and your daughter first. Abusers are very dangerous when they sense you are trying to end the relationship so be very careful. Get yourself safe first and never minimise his behaviour. He chooses to behave that way. A huge hug to you. I’ve been where you are and life is sooooooo much better free from abuse. Take all the help you can get and don’t believe a word your abuser tells you❤️

    • #5929
      Mardi
      Participant

      This is true. I have given my ex boyfriend so many chances and forgiven him so many times. I keep thinking he will change, or it wasn’t that bad. We just quarrelled and he got angry. Everyone gets angry it doesn’t matter. But it does matter when you are threatened to be stabbed with knives, pushed to the ground, your hair pulled, being thrown out the house. I’ve never believed in violence against anyone, it is morally cruel and insane. I don’t want a partner like this anymore. A relationship should be about love, trust, safety and care. Not abuse. If you go back to the abuser it just gives him permission to do it again to you. It allows him to get away with it. They will never learn their lesson either. They need to learn that violence and abuse is wrong, a criminal offence and should not happen. It is best to keep a safe distance and start a new and happier life without the abuse. Life is too short to be miserable and trapped in a abusive relationship, and to have it cut short by a violent person. I wish you all the best, I know how you feel because I have been through it myself. I hope you will be ok take care love Mardi. xx

    • #5930
      Moon
      Participant

      Thank you all so much for your support and homesty. Some of it I know is true just hard to hear . Can I ask how did you leave? And I’m so glad you have a better life now.
      I feel bad posting as I’m not a survivor yet !!
      I’ve been told today that he is being told next week that social services are going to legal planning 😢 He is going to go mental at that decision !!
      I think that will be D day for me !
      I hope that as time goes on I can open up to how my life is that I live.
      It feels so unnatural to be getting this out especially to people I don’t know but you are all the only ones that will truly understand what I am going through, and I thank you for that xx

      • #6730
        Redhead
        Participant

        Me and him were on a train back from an evening out, well it was my evening out at a reunion night with some college friends that he rudely appeared at blind drink…we were getting the train home, it was the last train of the night so it was packed, he started calling me ‘a lying cheating sl**’ getting up in my face, pointing calling me a tramp etc non of it true, I would never give him the satisfaction of cheating. Everyone was staring, it was humiliating. Somehow in my head something just clicked, I thought I’ve had enough, I’m not taking anymore of this! Once he’s sobered up the next morning, after a few hours of arguing and him not believing I was being serious, I finally got him to leave and I haven’t seen him since. I had months of harassment and blackmail of him threatening to post pictures of me online, I should of got an injunction but I just felt so embarrassed and humiliated that I had let someone treat me like for so long, so having to explain it all to the police was the last thing I wanted to do. It’s a big step to leave them, but it’s worth it! Everyone saw an instant change in me.
        Good luck and be strong xx

    • #5933
      Daisy
      Participant

      Moon,

      I am struggling to navigate this new forum, but just came across your posts, well done for bravely posting, it is do hard to start off I know,
      You are very much the survivor, you are surviving each and every day and have been for a while by the sounds of it.
      I think because what is going on ,has been going on for a while with bad days, even worse and some not so bad you see it as your normal and have sadly got used to it, even if in part. It is then hard to see it as others do, and it is indeed true that unless you have been in the situations we have it is hard to understand, so I ger that others often don’t and that leads us to feel more alone with it all.
      It only takes a push and for you to loss your balance and knock your head, or for too much pressure to be applied to an already weakened spot, so please stay safe there poppet,
      Leaving and having peace and safety is out there for you and possible, I have been abuse free now for years and years and to think now back to that day when I left with the clothes on my back, a daughter and a dog and the run up to it, I understand your fears and apprehension,
      Whenever, however and until then, we are all on your side
      X x x

    • #5934
      E1234
      Participant

      Hello I’ve just joined this group and I’m finding it confusing but I was in a abusive relationship.i lived with him He abused me mentally and emotionally and turned me against my friends and family and made me feel like I had no one and wasn’t worth anything I felt always on my own. When he was drunk he used to abuse me physically but I won’t go into that story. I then found out I was pregnant with his child and that destroyed me. It went through social services and they recommended me to this group but I never done it as I always thought I was the only one and I didn’t need to talk to anyone about it. It’s been 9 months now and I’m struggling to come to terms with everything and I want to talk to others who have been in similar situations. If I didn’t have my baby girl. Who knows how bad his abuse could of got towards me

      • #6728
        Redhead
        Participant

        Hey!

        I was in a emotionally abusive relationship for two years, thank fully the physical side wasn’t as bad as it could of been it was mainly mental abuse. Like you, I was turned against my friends, any friend I had he would have to make some nasty comment about, tell me that they weren’t to be trusted and weren’t real friends, I’m in (details removed by moderator) I couldn’t even sit in one of the other girls rooms of an evening chatting without having numerous missed calls and texts off him, demanding to know where I was, who I was talking to, sometimes I’d have to take a sneaky picture of whoever I was with to prove it wasn’t a man. It was exhausting, in the end it was easier to just sit alone in my room, door closed and cut off from all the girls in my corridor going in and out of each other’s rooms having a laugh. I felt like a prisoner in my own home. My best friend (details removed by moderator) with, so we were more sisters than friends, I was banned from seeing her….thank god she knew what was going on and was still there ready waiting to be my friend again after everything. I hope your friends have been the same. Take care xx

    • #5936
      Mardi
      Participant

      Hi Moon,
      In my case with my ex boyfriend, I have not told him that I have ‘left him’ or ‘ended the relationship.’ I was too scared to tell him at the time and too shocked myself at his violence towards me. I just felt so upset and scared when he was violent. He knew he hurt me but he just played it down and didn’t think it was a big deal. I showed him my bruises when I was strong enough and said that he needs to go see a doctor for his anger management issues. He just ignored me. I played along with him to be honest and didn’t make too much of a deal about his violence with him. It’s pointless me trying to change him I will never be able to do that. He has to change himself on his own. I simply have not contacted him for over a month. He has not contacted me either. I have enjoyed this space actually, I feel more confident and free. I am feeling anxious if he gets in contact with me, because I don’t know how to end it with him. It will be difficult, I just need confidence to say no to him. The police and my family and friends all say to not go back to him as the violence will only get worse which is what I have to remember. I have to override my romantic feelings of love for him and just remember his violence and try to keep safe away from him. The police and Women’s Aid, Samaritans are absolutely brilliant, I cannot thank them enough for all their help and support. They really have made a positive difference in my life. I really love this forum as well, its great to meet other survivors on here. Love Mardi. xx

    • #6727
      Redhead
      Participant

      Hi everyone,

      Earlier in the year I finally had the courage to leave my abusive boyfriend, it was a mentally abusive relationship that had me almost suicidal at times. After seeing in the news today that there is now a law being introduced to prosecute people who mentally abuse others, I realised that I was still battling inside my head what I went through and I felt that maybe coming onto a site like this I could talk to others and express myself in order to find some closure on what was probably the most horrific time in my life so far.

      I look forward to speaking with you all

      • #6928
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Redhead and Maggie,

        I am sorry it looks like your posts have been missed. I am sorry and I hope that you are finding being on the forum helpful. It is a new forum so we are all working out how and where to post so I am sorry that you have been overlooked.

        We are all here for you so please do keep posting.

        Best wishes,

        Lisa
        Forum Moderator

    • #6733
      Maggie
      Participant

      Hi
      It’s taken some courage to register and post a message it’s two weeks since I split from my husband, despite the feeling of relief in not missing the constant bullying, physical abuse and name calling, but I’m finding it hard to deal with the loneliness it’s sad when you find yourself in your 40 ‘ s with no friends it’s been a very difficult Xmas I love my children unconditional but there is only so much you want to tell them I would love to chat to others going through the same, x

      • #6922
        Falling Skys
        Participant

        Hi Maggie, Just found your post, I hope you have survived New Year. Even a bad relationship needs be greave for. I was alienated from my friends but I am now making new ones. I love my children without boundaries but he has turn them against me. (just another mind games)

        Keep posting the Ladies here are a font of knowledge.

        xx

    • #6931
      Maggie
      Participant

      Thank you so much, im lucky i have my two children back in my life and they have been my rock in the last three weeks but i need to make friends talk to similar minded people, at (age removed  by moderator) im not sure how i do that x

    • #6940
      Falling Skys
      Participant

      Maggie

      I go to the sport centre and have made some friends there, if there is a local Freedom Group go to that it will help you become stronger and meet ladies that are going through the same as you.

      I have WA support worker to talk to, I find coming on this site the best support ever as only if you been through abuse can you understand it.

      Good luck xx

    • #7077
      At my wits end
      Participant

      Hi

      Im not really new. I had to change my details.
      Still stuck in a rut.
      Just wondered if anyone had any experience in housing.
      To be more specific i am a sole tenant in an housing association property but the a******e lives hete with me
      Can anyone tell me if my landlord can rempve my partner under anti social behavipur rules. I use the term partner very loosely.
      Love to all

    • #7101
      Step123
      Participant

      Hi, I am completely new to this and was advised to take a look by a counsillor I have seen recently. About (removed by moderator) ago, my husband found that I had been sending texts to another guy (sexting) involving text and a few pics. It had been going on for 3 weeks and he was obviously heartbroken and devastated wondering how I could have done it. I offered to go to councilling as I felt lost and desperate as to why I had done it and after speaking for a while it was suggested that I have been in an abusive relationship.
      I have known deep down that all these years it has not been right. I am, and always have been an independently financial woman who appears to others to be happy and in control. Underneath I have felt unworthy and stupid as I carry around this knowledge that I entered into a relationship (removed by moderator) ago that has drained me.
      Over the years I have been sworn at, things have been thrown at me, and the phrase walking on eggshells is the thing that resonates the most. As a naturally caring person, I have put it down to my husbands poor upbringing, and so has he.
      Because this awful thing that I have done has happened I feel like I have opened up a possible way out and he will want to finish it but he is getting councilling, telling me how much he loves me and that he will never give up on us. I feel like a b***h, I feel trapped. I feel angry that this did not happen earlier and when I asked him to seek help he refused saying I need councilling because I didn’t like sex. (Because he was mean to me)
      I have 2 beautiful children, do I believe and trust it can work? I am obviously not perfect either but wonder about the possibility of being happy, am I being selfish?

    • #7554
      Daisy
      Participant

      Army witsend,
      Are you married to him, and the antisocial behaviour is that to you? Or neighbours?
      I’m guessing not married as you referred to partner rather than husband,
      I really don’t think that your landlord can remove him under the antisocial behaviour rules, because as the sole tenant you are basically responsible to making sure you, your household and any visitors to you don’t cause any antisocial behaviour,but if it was me I’d phone then and ask anyway,
      Sometimes we have to search out as much info as possible to find out what is our best options,
      You could also ask them what the situation is regarding getting the lock changed because you might need to do so in the near future, never trust these abusers to return keys or not having spares cut.
      I woukd also phone the non emergency police number because as the sole tenant if you don’t want him there, and you ask him to go and he won’t or you are to frightened to ask him to leave, I believe they will,
      Hope that helps
      X x x

    • #7555
      Daisy
      Participant

      Atmywitsend,
      So Sorry my typing got your name wrong,
      I read it right but typed it wrong,
      X x x

    • #7558
      Daisy
      Participant

      Hello, Step123,

      I don’t think you are being selfish, not at all,
      In fact I think you are now understanding the reality of your relationship,
      I fail to see how a poor upbringing, excuses his swearing and throwing things at you , what excuse has he got for why he didn’t do anything to change that when he realised what and so say why? Then and again it makes perfect sense to me why you wouldn’t feel like sex with someone who was being mean to you and then making out it was your failing, I can also see how this all may have been why you looked elsewhere for attention.
      X x x

    • #7617
      marblesgone
      Participant

      Hi, I asked my husband to leave (detail removed by Moderator) weeks ago after he hit me in front of our young daughter. The slap in the face made me think about the rest of our relationship and I realised I have been experiencing emotional manipulation and abuse for our entire marriage. My husband wants contact with our daughter and I have made this possible although not alone. He uses every opportunity to see his daughter as an excuse to berate me, calling me mad, saying I physically attacked him (I did see red and grab him before he hit me, he had provoked me for 24 hours and was throwing stuff at me!) His latest trick is to bring a microphone to every meeting so he can record everything I say! Now I refuse to discuss anything so he tries to incite a response. His latest idea is to take our daughter to (detail removed by Moderator) to see his parents, my alarm bells are ringing s I feel he is unstable at present. I feel so paranoid and attacked at the moment just stuck for ideas on how to handle it all.

    • #7618
      KIP.
      Participant

      Hi marbles, you don’t have to have any contact with this man. You can use a third party to facilitate access. Perhaps you could secretly record his abuse. Have you spoken to a solicitor? Most offer free initial advice. All the ladies on here will tell you how important total no contact is. If you call the helpline on here they will put you in touch with your local women’s aid, they were fantastic and helped me get away from my abuser. Abusers play terrible mind games. If there is no contact, there is no way he can manipulate and scare you x take care. I came across your post by chance as this site is quite confusing, I hope other ladies find it and offer you our support❤️

      • #7654
        marblesgone
        Participant

        Thank you KIP have considered no contact but feel awful for my daughter not seeing him, she worships him I also have his family pressuring too. Do feel that he uses our meetings as an opportunity to discuss my mental health though. Will continue to get advice and if he continues with his behaviour which he will I will have to put a better arrangement in place.xx

    • #7858
      Guardianangel
      Participant

      Hi I am new to here as I have only just found out about it I want to give some positive reassurance to those who need it the most. Sometimes you can’t see a way out you lose all confidence and question yourself. I moved 300 miles away from my family home into a district I did not know (removed by moderator) later thanks to the help of woman’s aid I can thankfully say without there help emotionally and physically I would not have been able to do this on my own my ex partner run me over and left me for dead. I still look over my shoulder at times but I’m now happy although I miss my family I see them occasionally. It’s the hardest thing you would ever have to do but seriously I can say that I have never looked back. Ladies feel free if you need someone to talk to I know what it’s like to feel alone. Take care of you

    • #7860
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Thank you for posting Guardianangel,

      You are an inspiration to women in the process of leaving and a demonstration that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am sure you will have great feedback and information, as well as support to offer the women on this forum.

      Best wishes

      Lisa

      Forum Moderator

    • #8153
      DayDreamer
      Participant

      Hi everyone,
      I’m definitely new to all this, so here goes… I’m just so confused, I’ve spent years feeling pathetic and worthless with my partner. Given it’s a new year and all I just wanted to get it out. You all seem so wonderful and supportive and so strong here!
      It’s maybe taken me so long to do anything because I have had emotional problems (mostly since I’ve been with him but we’ve been together for ages), depression and self harm, anxiety, I can’t concentrate and get distracted easily, so maybe I am hard to live with? And he’s not physically violent so it sometimes feels like just me being stupid, and sometimes he can be so nice and sweet and then all of a sudden I’m being yelled and sworn at because I’m not being 100% productive or I forgot some little thing, or if I didn’t do something the exact way he would have done it, or I want to spend some time with my hobbies which he tells me are worthless and a waste of time. Whenever I cry and I can’t even speak because I’m too afraid to say why in case it starts another fight, he just stares right through me like I’m not even there, it’s so horrible because I don’t understand how someone who apparently loves me can make me cry so often and feel so awful. I just don’t understand and I don’t know what to do, I’m just twitchy and walking on eggshells, in my current situation it would be super hard to leave him. Sorry for the long rant :/ I think I just needed to tell someone, I doubt any of our friends or relatives have a single clue what’s going on. Anyway, that’s me.

      • #8158
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Daydreamer,

        Welcome to the forum!! Thank you for your brave and honest post. Your relationship sounds very familiar here and abusive. Have you had a look at some of the new information surrounding coercive control? Have a look at sound of the information you can find here on the Women’s Aid website sounding it and the new legislation, I think you will find it an interesting read… Please get in touch with your local Women’s Aid group and get plenty of support. You deserve so much to be happy and I hope that this is your first step to that outcome.

        We are all here for you.

        Best wishes,

        Lisa

    • #9022
      Mylife
      Participant

      Hi glad I found this forum been abused for many years and is still on going wish it would stop do not have courage yet to talk as I feel ashamed as I have let it go on for so long feel weak and tired as the years go by to me the only way out is to end it myself I have three wonderful children who have grown up and are happy and very successful in their lives but it makes me sad and so unhappy why I am so weak and have such a life to look on the outside anyone might say she has such a good life but it’s not like that I am worthless through and through all this is my fault but after so long today was the day to contact this forum I hope all ends well for you all

      • #9033
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Mylife,

        Welcome to the forum and thank you for your post, I know it can be hard to post for the first time.
        Don’t worry about not being ready to talk, there is support here for you on the forum as and when you feel able to share your feelings. No one will pressure you to do anything.

        You really do not have anything to be ashamed of and this is not your fault. The only person responsible for this is the person being abusive to you. It is understandable that time can pass, you get by and cope, especially when you are focusing on looking after children. However it sounds as though the abuse you are experiencing is having a significant effect on your well-being, so you really deserve some support.

        We are all here for you, keep posting.

        Lisa

        WA Forum Moderator

    • #9050
      Daisy
      Participant

      Hello my life and welcome from me too,
      Keep reading and you will see it is a familiar tale about how many years can go by whilst thinking of others and all the good reasons why it is not the right time,
      Perhaps now your children are grown up and more independent it is time to concentrate on what is best for you,
      X x x

    • #9288
      Savingmyself
      Participant

      Hi my life
      Please call 0808 2000 247 and talk in confidence they can help advise you on a way out
      Big hugs xx

    • #9813
      Soupy
      Participant

      Hi, I’m new, I wasn’t really sure where to go, I called the Samaritans last week and Al Anon yesterday. My partner has a problem with alcohol and I left last summer when it got too much and had to move back in with my mum, even though I’m far too old for that…

      When she came to help me leave I think she was very shocked to see the bedroom, he had pulled all of my clothes out of the drawers and flung them around the room, sometimes at me.
      It was one of the worst times, he’d been drinking for maybe 4/5 days in a row and he always finds some small detail to get really obsessed about and take me to task over, and this time was because I let him go home on his own after a night out (he’d been thrown out for fighting) and some friends there wouldn’t let me go home with him as he was being very aggressive and banging on windows.
      I stayed at a friends – when I got in he had wrecked the place even more than the previous time. Our dog was hiding and afraid. I was so upset that I couldn’t bring the dog with me.

      Sometimes he would have sex with me while I was sleeping and once – after the worst incident, where he tried to throw me out of the house naked, choked me so that I couldn’t swallow all week, he raped me vaginally and anally while I cried, I felt all used up and broken and I felt so alone.

      Nobody sees this side of him, he always has a reason, once he freaked out because of how I danced with a man, one of my best friends who is gay! he sent me 100s of messages saying I was all kinds of things, while I was babysitting for my sister.

      anyway – I left after one of the worst incidents and he was remorseful after a two day disappearing binge (I presume)>

      He swore off booze and went to counselling and it wasn’t easy but i stayed at my mums, he hated me not being in his house with him but I felt that the only way he could prove he was sorry was without the risk of me being verbally abused.

      I think because everything crept up so slowly is the reason I can think of for not seeing how serious it had become. But also he *can* be the sweetest kindest person like 80/90% of the time. I could tell he was hurt too and I know he’s dealing with a tonne of sh*t from his childhood. When he had proven to me he could go for weeks on end without booze and even when he did have a drink he just had one, then he somehow convinced me to move back in.

      very slowly but surely all the cr*p began, especially after his counselling finished. He said his counsellor was humbled by how well he’d done but he’s so smart and charming I bet he just pulled the wool over her eyes! Mine too – I’ve been more easily able to say, “that is not acceptable behaviour” when he does something but I;ve noticed I’ve been more and more walking on eggshells… even with a close family member dying he has been nasty – even when he hasn’t been drinking. I love his daughter very much and I am just so confused about everything, sometimes he will move mountains for me – other times I’m the cause of all of his woes…

      I stopped drinking in the summer, almost to prove it was nothing to do with my drinking, I’ve never experienced a relationship like this before so maybe it’s why I didn’t see any red flags. Anyway, he disappeared for two days after I refused to drive him to a wine shop (after only a month ago he was only drinking low alcohol beer) and he’s been abusive ever since. It’s made me into a weird version of me too, going crazy with wondering where he is and always being suspicious. I’m so upset – especially after the death in the family, and I have barely enough money to pay rent somewhere – I don’t know what to do.
      Sorry that was so long x

    • #9849
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hi Soupy,

      Welcome to the Forum and thank you for sharing with us. I hope you find the Forum a supportive place with others who understand about what you have been through.

      It must have taken a lot of courage to reach out for support so well done. Leaving an abusive relationship can stir a whole range of emotions. You have been through so much, no one should have to experience the abuse you went through. There is never a valid reason for abuse to happen, it is the abusers choice to behave in that way. Unfortunately unless the abuser acknowledges their abusive behaviour and commits to long term change with professional help then they are not going to change. You deserve so much better, and to be able to live your life without fear.

      It is great you have spoken to the Samaritans and Al Anon. If you would like to talk again then the 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline is available on 0808 2000 247. They can discuss your options with you based on your circumstances as well as signpost you to other organisations that can help, or just act as a listening service.

      Keep posting when you can, there will always be support here for you.

      Best wishes,

      Lisa

    • #10921
      Heather
      Participant

      I am new. Finding life very difficult at the moment. I try and get over my ex and the abuse but it comes back to haunt me. I start new relationships and they start off really well and then it changes which makes me more anxious. I just feel like I am damaged and can’t former new relationships that work

      • #10925
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Heather,

        welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing that with us.

        Abuse has a really deep impact on our lives and how we feel about ourselves. You are not damaged, you are a survivor of abuse.

        Have you ever been on the freedom programme? its a group programme for survivors of domestic abuse and is usually offered by your local DV service. The freedom programme can be a great way to share your experiences with others and unravel the dynamics of abuse.

        I hope you enjoy the forum, it is a very supportive place to be.

        take care and keep posting

        Best Wishes,

        Lisa

    • #11091
      Giraffe
      Participant

      Hi, I’m new to all of this, I got the information off my doctor and ive been reading ssome of your posts and id just like to say how incredibly strong you all are!!!

      I am so confused, I’ve been in an abusive relationship before which ended in me being raped by him. Alcohol was a big issue and I became alcohol dependant. I am happy to say I am free from him and alcohol; I ended with him in (year removed by moderator)!

      Ive been in a new relationship for (detail removed by moderator) but he’s started to change. He wants a baby and I’m not sure whether or not I do, for several reasons. I’ve been having tests done at the doctors but he just seems to be getting angrier when I say I want to use protection! I told him (detail removed by moderator) ago that I didn’t want another baby and we ended up arguing, he got really angry and pulled me off the sofa by my hair causing my to burn my knee on the floor and I ended up with a massive bruise all across my knee. The bruise is still there and ive found myself lying to my work colleagues and team mates. He hasn’t done it again , so I’m not sure if it is abuse!! I’m so confused as to what I should do. All advice is welcome. Thank you xx

    • #11103
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hi Giraffe,

      Welcome to the forum, well done for being brave enough to post for the first time.

      Firstly I want to clarify for you that what you are experiencing is definitely abuse. Not just the physical assault but also the emotional side of it. It is normal to argue in a relationship but your partner is getting angry at you when you don’t agree or want to do the same thing as him, this is not normal or acceptable. Also I am concerned because the abuse sounds like it is escalating and he seems to be starting to get more physical.

      It sounds like you have come such a long way over the years and achieved so much, like giving up alcohol. That takes some incredible strength so don’t forgot just how far you have come all on your own. What you need to ask yourself is, are you happy and does your partner make you happy? Does he do and say things to make you feel good or does he cause you stress and unhappiness?

      Keep posting and talking about how you are feeling and what you are going through. I hope that this forum will give you the space to express yourself honestly and help you decide how you want to go forward. Through speaking to other users and hearing other women’s stories too you may start to see more clearly just how abusive your partner is and what you are dealing with. Remember none of this is your fault and you don’t deserve to be treated in this way.

      Best wishes

      Lisa

    • #11130
      Bashful
      Participant

      Hello everyone,I don’t where to start I have looking through the the post on here and am finding it very hard too even read but want to introduce myself anyway.
      I was in a very abusive relationship for decades ending in time in a refuge and although I been seperated for a long time we still have contact and he still puts me down and controls me though the kids.
      Ever since Ive had issues with drink and mental health (Im a (detail removed by Moderator)) and difficult relationships with my family but i want to get better and need support. hope this can be a start.

      • #11166
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Bashful,

        Welcome to the Forum! Thank you for introducing yourself and sharing your story. It must have taken a lot of courage to post for the first time so I hope you find the support you are looking for.

        It is great to hear you ended your relationship but it must be still so difficult to have contact via your children. Are you in contact with any support agencies?

        Keep posting to us when you can, there will always be support here for you.

        Best wishes,

        Lisa

    • #11131
      Giraffe
      Participant

      Hi Lisa,

      It’s weird because the abuse I suffered before wasn’t like this. It was much more controlling emotionally and with keeping me from drink. That was his weapon, his main control over me along with saying he will take my daughter away from me!

      My boyfriend now is fabulous with my daughter but over the past few weeks has become more and more distant from her and doesn’t want to be her when she’s awake. I don’t know why?? He is nice most of the time but when he flips he flips! The whole having another baby situation is causes mainly all the problems, he accuses me of cheating on him and says I don’t love him and he should just leave!

      I’m nothing without him, he picked me up but now he’s the one dragging me back down!! I’ve been at rock bottom, I was alcohol dependant for several years, I put myself in dangerous situations. I don’t want to end up back there but I don’t want to lose him either!!!

    • #11163
      Giraffe
      Participant

      My partner said that if I tell the doctors what’s going on she’ll phone the social services and they’ll take my daughter off me. Is he right?? 🙁

      • #11167
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Giraffe,

        You must be exhausted with how your partner is behaving, it sounds like such an emotional rollercoaster for you.

        You are a brilliant mum who has already been through some extremely tough times. Understandably you would be worried by a threat of your daughter being taken away. Why would they take your daughter away? If she is not at risk and you are seen to be protecting her from any harm then you are showing yourself as a good parent. Unfortunately, abusive people often use the threat of Social Services involvement to remain in control to prevent any support from outside of the relationship. By telling your GP, you are getting the support you need and there is a log of what is happening incase you need to refer back at a later date.

        You might also want to contact your local support group for emotional and practical support. You can find your local group here. Remember, the 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline is available if you would like to talk about what you are going through. They are available on 0808 2000 247, the Helpline Workers cannot tell you what to do but they can listen to you and discuss any options available to you based on your circumstances, as well as signpost you to other helpful organisations.

        Keep posting when you can, support is here for you.

        Best wishes,

        Lisa

    • #11271
      Strong123
      Participant

      Hi I am a Survivor, that has lived (removed by moderator) abuse free :), we moved city I’ve married had more children and really got a safe lovely relationship, however a week ago was my middle childs birthday and a few days before a card arrived by special delivery from my ex!! He Hadham managed to find us! I have residence of oof our children but he has PR. I’ve spoken to the police and other agencies and there’s nothing we can do at the minute.

      My mind is all over the place I am anxious and am struggling to focus, I know this is just the start of what is to come. People tell me I am strong and I’ve grown in Strength which is true but I don’t want to fight!

    • #11275
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hi Strong123,

      Welcome to the forum, congratulations for getting free all those years ago. I can completely understand how this card from your ex has made you feel vulnerable and scared again but try and focus on the fact that a lot of time has passed since he was in your life and you have all come so far. Well done for handling the situation so well and going to the police and other authorities. It is a shame that they are unable to do anything but at least you have logged the situation in one way or another. One foot out of place and you can act immediately. Please don’t feel powerless, you have come so far and achieved so much and your ex can’t change that. You are a shinning example of just how far you can come once you take the plunge and leave.

      Best wishes

      Lisa

    • #11443
      Giraffe
      Participant

      Hi Lisa,

      Sorry it’s taken me ages to reply, I have such a stressful last few days! So much going on but we have been free of him for a while which has been such a relief!!!!

      I love my daughter to bits, we have such a close bond and I will protect her till the day I die!! He always uses it against me but I know that I am meeting all of her needs.

      My doctor has it all on record so the proof is there if I need it along with proof that I’ve accessed help.

      I’m getting stronger and over the past few days I’ve realised how much better my life can be without him! I’m digging deep to find the strength to end it. I hope I find it soon 🙁

    • #11976
      Liquorice
      Participant

      Hi everyone, never been on a site before hope it helps me, I’ve read a few of the posts and everyone seems so strong and positive.I’m feeling so confused about our marriage at the moment, one minute everything is fine and the next (like right now) I feel physically sick as I don’t understand what just happened??

      • #11993
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Liquorice,

        Thank you for your post. I am so pleased that you have found the forum. It is very normal in an abusive relationship to feel confused and unsure of what is actually happening. An abusive relationship can actually make you feel like you are going a bit mad. We all understand that here.

        Please do phone the helpline when you can to talk about your situation and to start getting some support in place. Please also keep posting here. We are all here for you.

        Best wishes,

        Lisa

      • #12039
        Liquorice
        Participant

        Thanks for the reply it really means a lot, I often feel like I’m going mad, he often tells me things are in my head or I’m over reacting, I’m on anti depressants for post-natal depression but I’m starting to wonder if my problems are actually else where ???

    • #11979
      Giraffe
      Participant

      Hi everyone, I’ve just found out I’m pregnant!! I am so confused as what to do because I know that I can’t continue in this relationship. I feel like my head is going to explode. I havent told him yet, I darent because I know that as soon as he knows the decision about what to do won’t be mine anymore!

      • #11994
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Giraffe,

        Thank you for your post. What a confusing time for you. Please dont feel any pressure to tell him until you are really ready. Perhaps you could have a nice chat with your doctor about how you are feeling and the helpline might be able to help you too.

        This is your decision and we are all here for you.

        Best wishes,

        Lisa

    • #12046
      Giraffe
      Participant

      Hi Lisa, thank you for your kind words and reassurance!! I haven’t told him yet, I’m not sure whether or not to tell him. I tried getting into the doctors today but they were fully booked. I’ll try again tomorrow. This is what I was dreading, yet in one way so blessed to have a baby but in another trapped by the man I’m trying to free myself from!! Life is so unfair and I’m not sure how much more I can cope with!

    • #12234
      Hope
      Participant

      Hi I don’t know where to begin I’m having trouble recognising myself anymore I thought you knew who I was and where I came from but I don’t I have felt like I have been going crazy he has cut me off from all my friends with his lies used my own children against me I just feel numb

    • #12439
      Tired123
      Participant

      Hi I am new to the forum. As I write this I am at my parents house I haven’t been home since (removed by moderator)  I haven’t told my family why I’ve not been home I have made excuses as usual.
      I feel like a different person than (removed by moderator) years ago when my relationship started. As silly as it sounds I have done quizzes before to see if I am in an emotionally abusive relationship and I think the fact I was researching it proves I was. My partner is a master at making me feel like everything is my fault, I doubt myself and feel confused. He constantly criticises me with subtle digs. He makes a big deal out of everything my son does wrong (normal things that kids do) and says he fees it’s unfair my son is at home (removed by moderator) while his is only there every other weekend. I have said you knew my situation when you met me I can’t change it. It goes to the extent that I rush around making sure my son has not left shoes out and that he has put the toilet seat down etc before he gets in from work. All so he doesn’t b**w up. It may not seem like a big deal but years of this has worn me down.
      I know straight away if he ha he a bad day at work- he starts picking at thins I do when he gets in. I constantly have to keep him fully informed of my movements and he always needs to know what time I am going to be home and how long I’ll be. (Removed by moderator) He said he had nothing to say to me and f**k off. In that moment something clicked and I packed me and my son some things and went to stay (removed by moderator). He has said I won’t find anyone who does what he does for me but I fee like the amount he does is his way of controlling me. I keep telling myself his reaction wasn’t normal but then I worry I am overreacting.
      I also found flirtatious text msgs on his phone (removed by moderator) when she text him when he left his phone out. I have never looked at someone’s msgs before but after seeing what she sent human nature took over. He says I don’t give him enough sex and I try to explain I don’t feel close to him because of he way he talks to me. I know he was verbally abused and controlled by his father and I worry this cycle is carrying on for my son.
      I feel like I need to get him out of this situation but could do with some reassurance that this situation isn’t normal and I am doing the right thing? Thanks xx

    • #12461
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hi Tired123,

      Your partner sounds very controlling and emotionally abusive. He creates a situation where you have to check everything due to his tendency to escalate things. As you mentioned years of trying to manage this man has worn you down.
      This situation isn’t normal and you are doing the right thing, your partner doesn’t care about anyone but himself, he doesn’t want to see the impact this could be having on his son.
      You could call the helpline on 0808 2000 247 and support worker could signpost you to local DV support in your area. Take care and keep posting

      Best Wishes,

      Lisa

    • #12470
      Surething
      Participant

      Thank you – i have been apart from my partner since (removed by moderator) last year and am only now accepting that he was abusive and found my way here. I was in the relationship on and off for (removed by moderator) years , we were originally co-workers and then we started a business together. I now have no job, no career and cant work out how this happened to me. How did i become convinced that my family and friends, even my own daughter were against me? why did he pick me to do this to and why did no one listen when i asked for help? I have felt suicidal at times and am now struggling to pick up the pieces to apply for jobs and get my life back. Reading some of these stories i realise that i was emotionally abused more than anything, there was some physical abuse when we tried to live together but he hated other people being around me and my children lived with us briefly as adults so his opportunities were limited, he was also fearful of people seeing me with bruises and thinking it was him. I feel so ashamed that i did not end the relationship and he did, he said i was too strong for him and could never love him liked he loved me. I never want to be loved like that again but cant help wondering how he picked me? My father died when i was a child, my brother killed himself, my mother has parkinsons and now my other brother is terminally ill – do men like this pray on people like me?

      • #13103
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Surething,

        Thank you for your post. I’m really sorry to read what you have been through, you’ve explained the devastating effects of domestic abuse. It is normal to feel the effects of abuse for a long time, and for it to take time to heal and to build your life back up.

        You do not have anything to be ashamed of for not ending the relationship. Living in an abusive relationship is complex, it’s confusing and emotionally exhausting. It is often not until after the relationship is over that you start to have realisations about it.

        Any woman can meet an abusive man and it is not evident at the beginning of the relationship, it builds over time.
        In answer to your question, abusive men do sometimes seek to start a relationship with women when they are at a particularly vulnerable time in their life. But it is really important to remember that it was not anything to do with you or your personality that led him to be abusive. He chose to behave in this way and sadly he will do so with any woman that he is in a relationship with.

        Please consider calling the helpline on 0808 2000 247 to speak to a female support worker in confidence. They can provide listening support and signpost you to local support.

        Also, when you feel able, please start another topic, so that you can receive support from the other forum users.

        Kind Regards,

        Lisa

    • #13059
      Marigold
      Participant

      Hello everyone – I am new to the site and not sure if I am being abused,physical abuse there are signs but for emotional/psychological abuse there are none. My self esteem is low and how can I be sure it is not just not me and not him? I have been married for over (removed by moderator) years and over the last (removed by moderator)  months things have changed with my husband. Most of my family (I don’t see his) and our friends (I don’t see his any more because their friendship seems to be dependent on being very physically active and my knees hurt now) think he is great as since he retired he has been doing (removed by moderator) and helped most of them at some time in the last few years. So I am in this horrible world where I see a hard, bullying, angry, manipulative, possibly narcissistic man and the others see a friendly kind gentle one. I have decided enough is enough and want to end it, I have seen solicitor, told my adult children I am having serious trouble (they know i am having ‘trouble’ but they have a reasonable relationship with him) but it is still so very hard and I can’t get my head around it – divorce, separating our lovely house and possessions. I can barely function and my life is on hold and I am so unhappy and have an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach most of the time. I cannot carry on like this and don’t seem to be able to take the step out of it, can any one help I am quite desperate to be free of him. The change is very scary and at times I am quite petrified.
      Thanks for reading this and I wish you all well.
      Marigold

    • #13100
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hi Marigold,

      Welcome to the forum and thank you for your post. I’m really sorry to read what you’re going through. The way you explain that you’re feeling sounds like the result of living in an abusive relationship. Recognising abuse can be really difficult as it can be subtle, but you mention manipulation and bullying, both of which are forms of psychological abuse. It is very normal for survivors of domestic abuse to feel responsible in some way, but that is because he will have turned things around onto you to try deflect any responsibility from himself, which can be very confusing. From what you have said it sounds like this is not you or anything to do with your behaviour, but him being abusive.

      It is almost always the case that an abuser portrays a completely different persona to the outside world, like your husband is, and I acknowledge that this makes it really difficult to speak out.

      It sounds as though you have made the decision that you need to make changes and separate from your husband in order to have a happier life; making this decision is the first huge step so be kind to yourself, you have already achieved a lot. It is understandable scary, but it is possible, taking it step by step.

      I think it would be really helpful if you felt able to call the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 to speak to a female support worker in confidence. They can provide listening support, talk more about the dynamics of an abusive relationship, discuss your options and signpost you to specialist agencies for further support.

      If you would like to start another topic in one of the other forums please do so when you feel able, so that you can get more support from the other forum users.

      Kind Regards,

      Lisa

    • #13251
      Whathaveidone
      Participant

      Hi there. I’m new but I do know of Woman’s Aid (ironically I have used WA to help my mum – I talk about it later). If you manage to read everything that I’m about to write than thank you sooooooo much. I don’t really know where to start really because there are so many things that I wish to say but at the same time, I’m scared that he might somehow find this and know that it’s me writing (he won’t). On top of this, I’m confused as to whether I’m still in an abusive relationship. I actually think that our relationship has improved and has been the best it’s ever been over the years we’ve been together because many of the abusive things he used to do he doesn’t do anymore. However, I’ve been reading many of the posts on here and still identify with every woman who has posted. I don’t know if it’s the result of him having conditioned me so well that I think our relationship is so good. I don’t even know if I’m making sense…
      I’m quite young and this is the first relationship I have ever been in (so I don’t know otherwise). We have quite a significant age gap which may contribute the abuse I think I’m feeling / have felt (probably not). I’ve even questioned my sexual orientation because of the sexual coercion and harassment that he has often put me through. A while ago I thought I identified as being hetro-demisexual because I identify with many of the characteristics on there (e.g. only being able to form an attraction with someone I have a strong emotional bond with, I never dated in my teen years, just didn’t feel the need to but I did have a few crushes on one or two people). (sorry I don’t know if this tmi or relevant but it I feel it gives some background / context into what I will say next).
      Anyway, looking back at my relationship with my current partner I’m starting to question that actually, I don’t think it has anything to do with me or my sexual orientation but the fact that he has a hypersexual personality and constantly wants to “make love” even when I don’t want to. It wasn’t love at first sight or anything like that. In fact, we had already formed a strong emotional bond through his manipulative and “charming”, very friendly behaviour before sex came into the equation. I now believe that he groomed me and my family (but at the time not for sexual favours) as he already had a girlfriend, (which btw treated like absolute s***, should have seen the signs then – I did and I know how he spoke to her was so wrong but he was so different with me.) He never swore or raised his voice to me. He treated like an absolute princess and gave me noticeably special treatment. What makes it worse is that I was so young at the time.
      He used the very difficult family situation that I was in to his own advantage. I grew up with my brother who has autism in a household of domestic abuse. My father financially, emotionally and (although very rarely) physically abused my mother. He would constantly shout her a “dog”, “sheep”, “fat” ,“mad woman”. She suffers from historic mental health issues and has been sectioned twice under the MH Act. She had two failed marriages (my father was her second failed marriage) both of which were violent and grew up in an abusive family from her own mother’s side because she was an “accident”. In her first marriage, she was constantly beaten by a drunkard and the second emotionally, verbally and financially abused by the devil that is my father. As a form of escape, I loved learning and going school. I would constantly read, would always want to be in school to take me from the harsh reality in which my brother and I were in. I would dream of going to Uni and couldn’t wait until the day I did. My aspiration from childhood was to go to uni get a good job so I could escape and then take my mum and brother away from the torturous life we lived. I also liked going to church every Sunday with my mum and brother (my place of peace , serenity and sanctuary). Consequently, I always had good grades and was identified as gifted and talented in my primary school. I was also found to be amongst the top 5% of gifted children in the country in my secondary school. Anyway, it got to a stage where I was preparing for end of secondary school exams (GCSES’s). That’s where my partner steps into the picture. At the time, he was really kind, caring, thoughtful, helpful and was the only one that supported me with my studies during those two years. He pushed me (and put a lot of pressure on me) to get the highest grades possible grades (which I eventually did) and I thought that was great and was so grateful that he helped me to achieve my potential. He even prematurely made me sit some A-level modules (which he had not informed my school about and had to miss a few weeks off school, eventually when my school found out they said my absence was unauthorised which really upset me because I had a reputation for never missing a day of school and I felt that I was effectively ‘bunking’ for a good cause) simultaneously with my GCSE exams.
      Anyway, this is where his coercion and manipulation was rife and he hoodwinked us all, including my own demon father. After my exams, our close relationship developed into a (secret and still secret) sexual one. I was past the age of legal consent and we didn’t have penile penetrative sex until I was a legal adult but we still had sexual contact (kissing, cuddling, oral sex, masturbating all of which was new to me and didn’t like very much) but he said and convinced me that we weren’t doing anything illegal despite my gut feeling telling me otherwise or that at least it felt slightly wrong. Anyway, he persuaded us all that it was best I didn’t go to sixthform because my school wasn’t supportive of me sitting Alevels early (behind their back, in the final year of GCSE’s mind you, self taught). Instead, both my brother and I should stay at home and ‘home study’ (but we had to teach ourselves – we were financially dependent solely on the government so no tutors or any external help ). My father disagreed (mainly because it meant my mum wouldn’t be entitled to certain welfare benefits which he stole from her, not because I wanted to carry on studying at school and go to uni).
      There was never any friction between him and my father although I could sense that they didn’t like each other (takes one to know one eh?) My partner sensed this resistance so he pushed my brother and I to get help for my mum and to escape from my father. Ironically, he pushed me to tell the police, the authorities and even WA about our situation which I did whilst my father was abroad. Although on the outside this looks like my partner ultimately saved our lives and to some extend he did because we were all desperate to flee from my threatening and abusive father, the way in which my partner pushed me to do this though now looking back was very forceful. He was the lesser of two evils though so we all depended on him. We still do now. He is very well educated, extremely articulate, charming, very funny and helpful.
      In the end we got that we wanted (or more like he got he wanted). We moved house, away from all of the abuse from my mum’s family, my father and we could start afresh. I could concentrate on my studies and go to uni right? Wrong. He persuaded me (my mum was so mentally fragile so was in no position to make or comprehend any informed decisions) that “why should I waste 3 or 4 years of my life in uni where I would probably know more than the professors / lecturers anyway only to come out and be straddled with £50K of debt? With the intellect that we have, why not start a business, earn a few millions and be debt free? His arguments for me not to go to Uni were sound and rational and despite my upset and determination to go to uni, I agreed (I couldn’t really disagree with what he was saying anyway so I effectively had no choice ). My lifelong ambition – crushed and it still crushes me to this day as I’ve seen pictures on facebook of my friends and peers celebrating their graduation. The idea of graduation means so much to me because it would make me so happy my mum so proud that she got at least one thing right a and positive in her life. I know I could still go anytime but the it won’t be the same, time and friends have been lost.
      At this time, he was working in the city, had rented a very nice place and convinced me and my mum that it was better that I came and stayed with him as I could concentrate better (on my pretend self-taught Alevel course). So I moved in with him, occasionally going back home to visit. At this point I had lost all contact with my friends (obviously because they would report immediately what was going on) but instead he convinced me that nobody would understand our relationship, he had convinced me to stop using facebook (he criticised me once for posting these exact words >>> “loving the weather” because he said I shouldn’t express my real feelings on social media, I should only be intimate with him or something -??? Bizarre or what! and recently made me delete my facebook account. I am not allowed on any social media and I’m not even allowed to read novels / books that he doesn’t deem ‘appropriate’ or ‘good for my development’. I do now (in secret at home – when I go home I’m going to read Why does he do that?).
      He says things like “Depth of knowledge you get from reading a book is so much more than from the internet” Yet, when he saw me reading a book I wanted to read, a few years ago he told me to stop reading it. I love reading and I’ve always been that way from childhood but over the years he has stopped me from doing the hobby that I love most which is reading. It was only last year I think that I started reading novels that I enjoy in secret and I feel so much better for doing so. I think he’s scared I’ll realise the situation I’m in and leave. He has played double bluff with me (I think) quite a few times by saying “What if one day you decide you’ve had enough of my nonsense and leave? It would crush me but if that what makes you happy, it will make me happy although I’ll take a long time for me to get over and I probably will give up on life (suicide)”. I’ve always said and promised I’d never leave him with conviction but now…I’m not so sure.
      When we were in the rented flat in (detail removed by moderator). Instead of me studying for what should have been my alevels, instead I was helping him write up projects, notes for his own work in the city. My life became his life and I effectively became his full time PA. From then on he decided that we would start our own business and I would be self-employed (I had no idea about finances or work at this stage – I had only just come out of school and didn’t have working parents) and he convinced me that we would make a million pounds within 2 years so how would that compare to a graduate with 50k of debt?. Well, (detail removed by moderator) years on we are still working on our business, in debt and financially dependent on our saving that we have and the work of my brother.
      Anytime I used to try and “argue” with him we would say things like “so what, it’s an opinion. opinions are like a**holes: everyone has one. Opinions aren’t valid” (except his of course). I hate his double standards on everything. He blames everything on me. Everything is my fault. My actions=my fault . His actions = my fault. My feelings = my fault. His feelings=my fault .F or peace, I just accept it and move on otherwise I get a berating lecture on how I need to take responsibility blah blah blah… I did a lot of research at the time and I eventually came across a blog about an emotional abuser…and that’s when the penny dropped. I felt angry, confused, sad that I could relate with everything on there but also empowered. My eyes were suddenly open. BUT I was also trapped. He used to berate and criticise me (he still does) so badly I had suicidal thoughts and tried to escape once to go back home. That didn’t work because he caught up with me as I was approaching the train station. I’m not sure if it was from that point onwards that things started to slightly change. He’s became subtler in the thing he does and says and I’m able to tolerate him much better now.
      I promised myself from the time I was a little girl that I would not make the same mistakes my mum made. I would marry someone closer to my own age- never marry someone with a significant age gap like my mum did (although this is a naïve view and has nothing to do with abuse). I would never marry or be with anyone who disrespected me the way my father disrespected my mum. As much as I love children and want to be a mother myself one day, if anybody dared think they can talk to me or touch me in a way I didn’t like, they would be out the door and I would rather be single than live like a prisoner unhappy or ‘for the sake of the children’. Nobody has ever disrespected me and everybody liked me until I met him. He is and is the only person who feels he is entitled to disrespect me and speak to me in a manner that I don’t like but why do I let him? How could I have put myself in this situation? I am intelligent, but clearly not, to have let this happen and trap myself like this. I can’t see a feasible way out.
      Anyway, all those years ago when I did realise he was an emotional abuser, I think I didn’t really want to accept it. I knew there something wrong with him. So I started looking for things to diagnose him with the explain (excuse) his behaviour. I diagnosed him (self diagnosed him) with Adult ADD and OCD. I even told him that I think he may have undiagnosed ADD. It made me feel a lot better to attribute his behaviour to an illness or condition and helped me to cope with his behaviour and put me in denial. For years this is how I’ve coped until one day I was listening to radio 4 at home and they were talking about the Helens story in the Archers and tears suddely flooded my face. I could still relate to Helen now. It brought me back to reality. I’ve been in denial to try and protect myself but I know my relationship isn’t normal. I’ve internalised the arguments and rhetoric that he has ingrained in my mind (e.g. we’re special… we’ve never been normal people… people won’t understand…there’s lots of jealousy in this world…we’re soul mates…I would never leave you…you are my world…I don’t know what I’d do without you…life is not worth living if its without you…I just want you to be happy…I’m protecting you….I would never let you down…I won’t allow anyone to break your heart, it would crush me so that’s why I’m with you to guarantee your happiness’…I will never let what happened to your mum happen to you (yet it is)…you’re so beautiful…I’m so lucky to have your love…etc). The reality is he has clouded my judgement on what is right or wrong. I have no one to share my thoughts and feeling with because I can only be ‘intimate with him’. I’ve definitely developed with trautic bonding and convinced I have developed an anxiety disorder since being with him. I have always been a quiet and anxious person (introvert) but was never this anxious.
      But on a slightly positive note, I’m so glad I have found this forum. Honestly I just want a place / space where my feelings can be heard without any judgement. I have no friends and effectively no family because I care for my mum and brother and now his disabled brother who are all dependent on me (he contrived it to be this way so that we are all trapped and within his grasp).
      I also hate that he uses the words ‘we’ or ‘our’ to really address himself or criticise me. He thinks for both of us, and has double standards which I hate. He is contradictory and super paranoid about everything. Oh and btw as all of this was going on, he was sill with his ex. They only stopped sleeping with each other 3 and half years ago. He convinced me when we agreed to have a sexual relationship that he had split up with her as I told him I was not prepared to be with him if I was going to be the cause of their break up. He said they were in the process of breaking up (2 years) but because I was past the age of consent but not yet a legal adult at the time we agreed that he would go over to her flat for sex. She didn’t know he was with me. He emotionally and financially abused her too (far worse than me) but I can’t believe I was foolish enough to believe he wouldn’t be that way with me too.
      On a slightly positive note, he is still really funny and makes me laugh, he is really kind, generous and caring. He always goes out of way to help people (but to the extent where they don’t want his help he still insists on it. He gains no benefit from it but I guess that not what he wants, he wants control), he loves children and. He does love me, he is much better and do safe around him. He has given me access to all of his bank accounts. He has no access to mine. But I still have to manage the money and budget as he overspends on everything and guess what, blames me for HIM using HIS OWN cards to overspend. Apparently, I don’t warn him enough about how much money we have, cant control/manage him etc etc.
      From the exterior everyone says he’s a good man, funny, handsome, charming, a gentleman, jovial, he’s great with children, would make a great dad etc but are perplexed as to why he is still not married. I thought it was because he was fussy and I believed all his b*s* stories about his exes (he’s had quite a few) being bad, lying, deceitful, cheating, not loyal, manipulative and putting their friends needs over him, not agreeing with his every word and bragging about how he was the one that left them all, not one of them wanted to leave him but I have a different perspective now.
      We want to start a family together in the near future. I would like that but now I’m seriously starting to question what I will be bringing potential children into. If I had a daughter, I would never wish for a man to treat her the way my partner does me. I want her to be strong, independent and make decisions for herself with appropriate guidance from me of course. The same goes for if I have a son. I always thought that if we had children he would change but I’ve come to the realisation that he will not. And it scares me. I’m not prepared to leave just yet but will I Iive like this for the rest of my life? What will I be putting my children through if we do have children?
      I just want him to be less controlling (over what and how I eat, what I wear, how I speak, what language(s) I ‘should’ speak – for example he expects me to be able to speak French fluently like a native in 3 months because I learnt it at school…how many years ago …?- where I go – although I can’t go anywhere without him unless I’m vising him. We’re not tied to one place. He lives all over place in any part of the word when it suits him). Although I do go back and stay with my mum every few weeks for her welfare (and my own sanity)
      There’s still so much more I wish to say but I think I’ve given enough of my background and experience to share with other women in a similar predicament. If I’ve managed to take some of your precious time by you having read my far too long ramblings this far then thank you so so much. It means a lot to me – to be able to finally share MY feelings and MY perspective of what been happening to ME.
      Best wishes,
      Whathaveidone (quite literally)
      🙂

    • #13304
      Topaz
      Participant

      Hi all,
      Im new and a survivor of emotional and physiological abuse. Married for a lifetime but now happily divorced. I’ve been out of the relationship for a few years but still live with fear. I was in denial but now realise I wasn’t the problem. I live alone as my kids are grown up and have their own homes, a lovely daughter and a son under the control of my ex who I’ve only seen once in a number of years. I’ve been through so much but feel good about myself now. I’ve suffered the loneliness with little or no support from family or friends as they took sides and refuse to believe me. Im now building a life of my own and have a wonderful job. I’m here to support those still trapped and share some of the trauma we all have been subjected to. Topaz

      • #13337
        Lisa
        Main Moderator

        Hi Topaz,

        Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story with us. It is brilliant to hear you are now building a life free from abuse. I wish you the very best of luck for a happy future.

        I am sure your support to others on here will be really helpful and well received.

        Best wishes,

        Lisa

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