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    • #126002
      soxy
      Participant

      I am new to this forum, I made the brave decision to contact the abuse helpline, who were wonderful and suggested I came here. It’s taken me a while to post, but I feel like this is the next step.

      I am married and have been for many years now and do not have any children. I guess it was brought to my attention a few years back that how he behaved was emotionally abusive and is a bully and controlling. I always realised there were issues, but because he has a mental health condition and also there have been various other traumas and I’ve always made excuses for the behaviour. This past year in lockdown has made me realise life for what it really is and the fact that yes I am in an abusive relationship. I have been struggling with feelings of shame, guilt and massive confusion as well as anger and resentment. I have been putting steps in place to go because I know it’s never going to change and that has been demonstrated, but I just don’t know what is stopping me. I have a safe place I can go to for a little while, and then other places I can live until I get myself sorted. I have a bag packed and ready in a safe place. One video I watched they recommended writing everything down from your relationship, which I have done with more coming to my mind (I’ve buried a lot!). So I finally being honest to a few close friends and family. But I’m still here. It’s like the last piece of the puzzle which I’m waiting to click into place. I have a great support network and I have been given so much support and I am very grateful that people believe me, which I still find amazing. But I know I can’t do this forever, I am the main earner, but I know it’s affecting my job now. I sit here and lock at my screen, my memory is awful, which it never used to be. I struggle to focus and it’s all just a challenge. I also struggle with worrying about putting too much pressure on other people, I appreciate it’s a big deal. I spend more time worrying about others than I do extending the same kindness to myself. I am sure some feel and question why I don’t just go – but that’s the problem. I don’t know why I don’t just go, it’s like I’m waiting for something to happen to almost give me the permission to go. I am breaking and I know that people can’t tell you what to do, but I just can’t figure out what it is? I thought I was suffering from burnout, but I now realise there is more to it. Is that something that comes or doesn’t it and do you just have to go for it? It is definitely the toughest thing i’ve been through so far and I’ve been through quite a bit. Thank you for listening and I hope this makes some sort of sense. Any advice would be gratefully received.

    • #126015
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      Hi Soxy, it sounds like you’ve come a long way in recognising the abuse and the impact it’s having on you and your work. Realising it’s more than burnout is a great sign that you’re trusting your intuition, something that can be very hard to do in an abusive situation. I was in a similar situation, wanting to leave and having a place to go and yet not being able to explain why I couldn’t do it. I spent ages trying to figure out what was wrong with me, which was such a waste of energy. From reading up on abuse I learnt that there was nothing wrong with me and it is completely normal to feel that way. It was so freeing to learn that and I’m sure it was a big factor in helping me leave.

      Abuse creates trauma bonds, which keeps us stuck in freeze – we literally feel like it is too dangerous to leave, even if there might not be a risk to our physical safety. It’s a normal human response to a situation that evolution didn’t prepare us for. I would recommend reading up on trauma bonding and abuse in general. It will help make sense of what’s going on. Why does he do that? By Lundy Bancroft is really good.

      Even when I was very close to leaving and after leaving, I could see that I still wanted my ex’s permission in how I left. My head knew that I didn’t need his permission at all but I didn’t 100% feel like that was the case. Abusers convince us that our needs don’t matter and that we don’t have the authority to make decisions. It takes time to learn that our needs do matter and we do have the authority to makes decisions about out lives, even when they affect others. Worrying more about others is really common because we’ve learnt to believe that our needs don’t matter.

      Struggling to work was one of the things that helped me leave. I guess it was less vague and more easily measurable than some of the other impacts. It made me see that I couldn’t just muddle on and cope by the skin of my teeth. I remember my ex turning the wifi off so I couldn’t work and me seeing it in the light of what read about abuse. I could see how it was to control and punish me. It wasn’t worse than other things he had said/done, but it just seemed so clearly unacceptable to me. I could kind of make excuses for him being verbally abusive (although I know there really was no excuse and it was absolutely not ok) but for some reason I could only see stopping me work as abuse.

      My posts go on a bit, I think because I find myself making sense of my own situation while I’m writing to others. You will find the strength to leave. It’s ok if it takes time. It’s totally normal. Sending lots of love xxxx

    • #126029
      gettingtired
      Participant

      Hello there, wow I could have written this post! I’m in a very similar situation to you. I’ve an understanding that it’s abusive now since I joined this forum within the past year and know he won’t ever change but I’m still feeling stuck. Like you, I have my family to move back to which makes me feel bad for complaining when some women have to flee to refuges or file for homelessness! ISOPeace has put it perfectly, the trauma bond is so hard to break and I guess it’s not possible to completely break it whilst still together. I’m coming to a crossroads in that we are supposed to be moving soon but I know deep down I don’t want to go. However, I feel so stuck like I’m not ready to leave him before that happens!
      I’m the same as you, I always feel worry and concern for others but don’t bat an eyelid at being treated so terribly at times by him. Having said that I’ve started to slowly feel like I do deserve better in life but it’s so hard when for years he has been my ‘normal’.
      I’m not entirely sure what the answer is but I’m sure we will both make it out eventually. Hope you’re feeling ok xx

    • #126033
      Living Warrior
      Participant

      Hi my lovelies,
      I have experienced this, (i thought i stayed for the kids to have a dad) but reading your post and posts like this before, as well as digging into my own thoughts and the psychology behind abusive relationships, i have found that as ISOPEACE has said, we form trauma bonds to these men. It’s a way to keep us safe in an unsafe place.

      As you, I am a giver, nothing is too much trouble. I have been teaching myself to look after me, as i cannot help others if i am not in a good place myself, which tbh helped me alot.

      My guilt is what kept me there. I felt guilty that i could and have managed without him, im actually better now! whereas i knew he had mental health issues and wouldnt accept help, he “needed” me, when i left, i felt bad because i knew he needed me! i hate turning my back on people who need help, and this goes for anyone.
      Getting help from womens aid and going to their power to change course really helped me open my eyes to myself!

      Over the years i have pushed and pushed my energy and time onto many different people, in order to help them. which is great. My problem was that they expected me to “help” them by “doing for them”. this was something that hit me during the WA programme.
      Now i help people to help themselves, and once a person is reluctant to help themselves, i ease off the helping. You cant force people to help themselves 🙂
      I have chosen now, a different view, i now see he wasnt going to change, (as abusers dont) but his mental health wasnt my problem ( as he didnt want help, he loved revelling in his own misery) once i found out WHY i felt bad, it was easier to put that to bed.
      I then saw the whole situation through “new eyes” every incident where i thought he was hurting inside, was just his “childish acting out” because he cannot deal with his own problems and mistakes.

      i hope this helps, sorry for the long post, as was said above, sometimes we make sense of our own problems while we reply to others 🙂
      sending strength and love x*x

    • #126037
      soxy
      Participant

      Thank you to you all for your wonderful supporting posts, it is such a relief to know that it happens to others – not that I like to think of other people going through it.

      You have hit the nail on the head regarding trauma bonds, reading your posts, I think this is where I could be stuck. Maybe that is the last piece of my puzzle. It’s strange to look to them to give us permission to leave, thankfully with my work he hasn’t messed around with the wifi. I’m the only earner, so wouldn’t help him. It’s more being stuck at home and the effect that mentally I don’t have the space for it. Which isn’t good for my job. When you start to realise and more importantly admit what the root cause is that is massive.

      Being a giver and a kind person is great, but as you say people need to do the work. Like we are all now aware of what we need to work on and we are putting in the work. Coming here, researching and reaching out so it helps us in our personal journeys. As said to realise what we feel is normal is a huge relief.

      Thank you for the book recommendation. I have ordered a copy today to be delivered to a safe place and I’m looking forward to reading it.

      Thank you all again for your kind and really helpful words and for sharing your experience. It really is appreciated. Sending lots of love, courage and strength x*x

    • #126076
      Sungirl
      Participant

      Wow I love this thread as I am feeling exactly the same way. I know I’m in an abusive relationship but I still can’t fully admit it. Husband also had mental health issues and the last year has just been all about him. I supported him I every single way and I’ve realised recently that this has been at the detriment to myself and my kids. He doesn’t care about how I feel at all, when I tell him how I feel he disregards it or even says ‘that’s not true’. Today he says he thinks I’m the one with the problem and that I need therapy. But I just can’t get myself together to leave. He’s been so horrible and says some really horrible things to me and my son, but he always had a way of making me feel like I’m wrong. I just don’t get it. I doesn’t the majority of last week completely distracted from work and reading about mental health to find a way to help him. But the thought of leaving is just so tough. I know he’ll make everything so difficult. I want to stay in our house with the kids but he said he won’t leave. What can I do???

    • #126080
      Silverbirch
      Participant

      These posts are amazing. So much wisdom here. I left a while ago after decades of abuse. I recognise that ‘waiting for something to click/ waiting for permission’ feeling. Two things helped me with that. One was thinking about the idea of the seventh wave. Apparently, if you watch waves on the seashore you can see that the seventh wave is the strongest one. That’s the one carrying most energy. I used to go to the shore and watch the waves and know that eventually there would be an inner wave strong enough to get me out of the marriage. To break free. The second thing which helped was realising that I was caring about everyone else, especially the abuser, and not myself. So I imagined a circle of all of the people I cared about , seeing myself outside it, and then in my imagination I stepped forward and joined the circle of my own compassion. For some reason that made a massive difference and I was able to leave.

      Sending love and encouragement to everyone on this thread xx

    • #126089
      soxy
      Participant

      Sungirl – I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos and that has helped me to see the behaviour over the years and that it isn’t me. Even though I still massively struggle with those feelings. But one I watched and the lady was asked how did she get out of the relationship and she said she educated her way out. It must be hard with kids, I don’t have children so I can’t understand that side. I hope you can find the answers you need and definitely looking at the threads on this forum you realise you aren’t alone which is massive. Do remember that at the same with us, we can make suggestions but it is down to them to do what they need to do and take some responsibility. It’s taken me a while to realise that but it’s not our job.

      Silverbirch – I love that example of the waves on the seashore. I love watching waves, maybe I need to get down to the beach more and take it in. I also agree, I end up worrying about the effects on everyone else to my own detriment. I need to imagine a circle and step into it. Thank you so much 🙂 Sending love and encouragement back xx

    • #126090
      Living Warrior
      Participant

      Sungirl – if you are looking to leave but dont want to leave the family home and he says he wont leave. There are things you can do, I am not sure of your circumstances, so some of these suggestions may not work with certain circs. but hopefully they will point you into the right direction.

      you can get court orders- but these need some kind of proof of domestic abuse, not necessarily police intervention, but something.
      the occupation order- states he must leave the premises, https://www.gov.uk/injunction-domestic-violence this helps you check if you may be able to apply, also non-molestation order- stops him from harrassing you via messages calls, etc.

      You can also get a prohibited steps order to name you as main carer for kids, and stop him taking them from school or relatives care, as i am guessing he has parental rights, this over powers them and the police would return children to you if needed. without it he can take kids and refuse to return them, then you would have to go through court to get access or custody. so best to go on the offensive with that i think.

      get in touch with your local womens aid and they may be able to point you in the right direction of solicitors, cases where you need protection orders are usually covered by legal aid in domestic abuse cases, if you are low income. (they will go through this with you anyway) and emergency orders are available so he would not know you had even applied til the court order was agreed and put in place.

      It seems a lot, and it seems drastic (i know i have been there and thought the same) but without my solicitor and case worker from womens aid pushing me, things would be very different to how they are now. so i am glad i listened. seperating from them, is the most dangerous time, and so you deserve to be protected no matter the cost. 🙂
      good luck my lovely.
      hope this helped

    • #126187
      Eyesopening
      Participant

      Soxy I completely understand,
      To be honest I start to wonder, I don’t know if it’s even possible for me to leave. It’s been going on for years, I spend most my time wishing I could leave, I leave but always before I leave I realize I can’t do it and come back after some time away.
      I’m really stuck now and I have tried everything, I talk on here, spoke to Womens Aid, spoke to a councilor, once spoke with family who got me to leave but I went back..
      I keep reading books, watch youtube, I was ready ‘Why does he do’ that this morning,
      How is it possible, I kind of wish he could do something really bad that would give me a push to leave.

      • #126188
        ISOPeace
        Participant

        Eyesopening, I know how hard it is when you’re stuck. It took me years to leave. Because it took so long it’s hard to pin point what helped me do it. Certainly learning that it’s completely normal to feel stuck helped. I’ve been reading the Body Keeps the Score, which says insight alone isn’t enough to leave, you also need to feel safe enough to leave. But of course our abusers want us to feel unsafe so we don’t leave.

        I wonder whether trying to just focus on looking after yourself would help. I found self care activities helped me see that I had the power to look after myself and told my mind that I was worth looking after. I also realised that I needed to start making brave choices to protect myself. Some of those involved detaching from my then partner. This did lead to the abuse escalating so please don’t do anything that you think will put you at risk. But being less compliant made me feel stronger and less tolerant of the abuse. I just started small and told myself that whatever I did he would still be abusive. I could choose between being compliant, which made me feel like I was selling a piece of my soul, or doing what I actually wanted to do, which resulted in abuse but helped rebuild myself little by little. Of course I didn’t always not comply but every time I managed I felt more like leaving was possible. I think leaving from a stronger place helped me stay away. Pm me if you’d like to hear more detail.

        Your post has made me remember that there seems to be a real lack of resources on helping people leave. There’s lots on healing once you’ve left but that’s not much help when you’re struggling to leave. Healing from Hidden Abuse by Shannon Thomas has a section on detached contact, but it’s quite short. Maybe googling detached contact would be helpful. Sending lots of love xxxx

    • #126191
      PurpleTeardrops
      Participant

      Hello,

      I’m in exactly the same position. I believe my husband has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). I turned (detail removed by moderator) & I’d hoped I’d be free of him by now but every time I try & leave my fear/anxiety keeps me here. The stress overwhelms me & I just can’t seem to face leaving even though I WANT to & know I need to.

      I have no money of my own as he doesn’t allow me to work, he controls everything I do (I can’t even leave the home without him), what I can/can’t wear – the list goes on. I don’t know why I allowed him to do this to me but I guess I was just trying to please him & have him not psychologically torture me for hours on end; not realising how unhappy I was in all of this up until recent years.

      Unfortunately I haven’t told anyone the full extent of his abuse because I’m too ashamed.

      I pray we all summon up the courage & strength to leave our abusers – for good.

      @ Silverbirch I love the waves example, I’d often watch waves on YouTube vids to help ease my anxiety (Ryan Pernofski makes very nice clips), makes me feel peaceful in a life of constant stress & turmoil. 💙🌊

      • #126340
        Silverbirch
        Participant

        PurpleTeardrops, you are welcome. Take care and keep posting x

    • #126258
      Eyesopening
      Participant

      HI,
      ISOpeace, your right, I feel like there is so much info on everything apart from the actual leaving part. Ok lots of info on safety planning etc, but not the mental part…
      I was reading Lundy Buncroft ‘Why Does he do That’ this weekend. He spoke about the trauma bond, he says ‘one exercise that can help you leave this trap involves making a list of all the ways, including emotional ones, in which you feel dependent on your partner. Then make another list of big or small steps you might take to become more independent. These lists can guide you on focusing your energy in the direction you need to go.’

      But reading his book makes me feel like, my partner is really not as bad as all the examples he gives.. which confuses me again.

      • #126274
        gettingtired
        Participant

        Hey, I understand what you’re saying. I felt that with the book ‘Living with the dominator’ so I wasn’t massively keen on it because I started thinking he wasn’t as bad as what was being described. I think living in the abuse means we get so used to the way things are that we begin to normalise and minimise things. If you’re isolated that doesn’t help matters either. Where I’m living with partner currently means we aren’t around any ‘friends’ (although we only ever see ‘his’ friends that obviously I’ve ended up becoming friends with, anyone who is my friend and not involved with him, we don’t ever meet up with).
        I believe we also become grateful for the breadcrumbs given to us in these relationships. I’m not sure about you but I’ve noticed over the years that when it comes to my partner, it’s all usually talk and no action.
        I mean, I’ve felt grateful for him telling me he’s popping to the shop (mostly always for booze for himself) and asking me if I need anything. Even if it’s just a carton of milk he’s getting me, I feel grateful he’s asked me in the first place, remembered to even get it and paid for it. Especially as more recently he doesn’t ask me for the money for whatever he picks me up. However, when he’s in a mood he definitely won’t ask me so there’s always conditions!
        Also, it’s like he keeps what’s he’s paid for stored up in his mind as it usually gets used against me at some point down the line.
        Sorry for going off on a tangent. I guess I’m just trying to say we get so used to our own situation that it’s not until you sit back and reflect on a few things that you realise there are many things we feel grateful for that a normal, healthy partner would simply do by default x

    • #126277
      soxy
      Participant

      That does sum it up – we each get used to our own experience and it becomes ‘normal’ to us. I remember saying to a friend that my situation wasn’t that bad, compared to someone we were talking about. She was very loving, but firm, and reminded me that yes my situation was bad. Because with the behaviour, we can be used to being compared with others, so we automatically compare ourselves. We can always say that someone has a worse situation than us, but they are our own personal problems and they are traumatic.

      The fact that we are all on here, talking about it, reading books, watching videos, educating ourselves. Being brave to ask questions and allow ourselves to trust others, shows that at some deep level we do know it isn’t right. With the support we don’t feel alone and we are able to come to the conclusions that are right for our own situation. In that book he recommends also to write down from your relationship what has happened and a video I watched the therapist said the same thing. So you go right back and write everything and it does help to see in black and white. It’s not pretty but for me I have found it helpful, I know it did happen. As gettingtired said – we can get used to breadcrumbing. There is this therapist on YouTube called Dr Ramani, and she did a video on how it affects our mind, body and soul. That was a real eye opener for me.

      Thank you ladies for sharing your experiences, it has helped me so much and I am so glad that I took the step to be brave and post! Thank you also for being brave xx

    • #126288
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      The posts about comparing and minimising are so true. I also found Living with the Dominator a little hard to connect with because the abuse described was much more extreme than I was experiencing. Although Why does he do that? also contained a lot that was more extreme than my situation, it was described in a way that enabled me to see the similarities.

      Like Soxy said, we can always find examples of people worse off than ourselves, but that doesn’t make our situation ok. I suppose we could ask ourselves, would I be happy for my daughter to be treated this way or would I want to tell her that she deserves better? You (anyone reading this) are just as deserving as that real or imaginary daughter even if you can’t see it right now. xxxx

    • #126341
      Silverbirch
      Participant

      Everything on this thread makes so much sense. So much wisdom and courage here xx

    • #126346
      Sungirl
      Participant

      I love this thread! So many things have rung true for me here and I am posting as then I know this will make me think about it more. I am completely made to feel guilty and that I need to help my husband particularly as he has mental health issues. And this has been all I have been doing, but completely not thinking about myself or the kids and how his behaviour impacts on us. I feel so angry with him today as he’s so selfish, it’s just all about him ALL the time. He has no empathy at all. Yes I agree I found the Living with the Dominater book didn’t resonate with me as lots the examples were more extreme than my situation. But the why does he do that book? Felt completely like my husband, particularly the section about the way that they argue and how this is manipulative. I can’t believe I’m allowing myself to stay in this situation. I need to just focus on all this guilt stuff and realise it’s not fair.

    • #126376
      Grey Rock
      Participant

      FOG

      Fear. Obligation. Guilt
      And being so exhausted from treading on eggshells, trying to 2nd guess what to say or do to keep the peace, trying to make sense of his crazy making version of reality, and bewilderment because the goalposts kept moving. That’s what kept me there.

      I found the Dr Ramani YouTube videos really helpful in making sense of my narcissistic ex. That gave me the strength to stay gone. Unfortunately to actually leave always needed things to get to crisis point, and so many times he convinced me to go back, sobbing, promising to change etc, only to go back to how he was. Quicker and worse each time.

      I got more support from women’s aid the last time though (well, accepted the help), and a restraining order has helped too. I’ve had to get more tech savvy and change emails and passwords and get good at blocking messages. I always wanted to get and read them at first, so I knew what I was dealing with, but eventually realised that nothing he said was ever true anyway, and I don’t have to subject myself to reading his rubbish. At best it enrages me and at worst it makes me feel sorry for him. Mad eh?!

      I eventually got help with housing, and some charitable trust funding (available to apply for in most professions. Women’s Aid can supply the link for searching for ones you might be eligible to apply for).

      There is a new and better life out there for the taking. Please try and see past that FOG. You deserve to be free from your abuser.

      I was really grateful that I’d followed advise to prepare. I kept spare clothes and wash things at work, along with important documents. When the time came to exit I knew that I had what I really needed safe and secure so could make a sharp exit.

      Wishing you luck, strength and a safe, peaceful and happy future.

      We really are stronger than we think.

      • #126417
        soxy
        Participant

        Grey Rock – thank you so much. I need to write that down in my book and to remember FOG. But your first paragraph really hit home to me. Although I haven’t actually left, when ever it’s got the point where I said I can’t do this anymore, that’s when I’ve had the pleading, begging for forgiveness “what do I need to do” rubbish. Maybe it’s harder because I know that this time I have to go and that’s it. No going back, because as you say NOTHING ever changes you just end up right back where you were. I did read somewhere that being in a narc relationship is like have a c***k habit. That’s scary that it’s so addictive, so need to break the addiction.

        Yes I’m definitely using this time to prepare and get a plan in place so when it’s the right time for me I can just do it. Deep breaths ..

        Thanks so much to everyone who has posted, it just helps so much to feel not alone and that we aren’t the crazy ones. x*x

    • #126420
      nbumblebee
      Participant

      Thank you for this post. I think you have done amazing to come as far as you have. I too am new and just realised what he is and does and i am no where near leaving him. I cant ever do that as i have nobody and nowhere to go. I have nothing without him and wont do it to my kids although they are older i still cant put them throuvh it. So i am trying to search for ways to stay and cope. Been (detail removed by moderator) i can last a few more i hope. Your stories of leaving and the strength that must take to even prepare to leave is incredable and i think all of you are amazing. Thank you for sharing your stories it helps to know we are not alone. Xxxx

    • #126442
      Silverbirch
      Participant

      nbumblebee , don’t forget the strength it takes to stay even when you know what is happening, because the alternatives seem too frightening or not possible at the moment. You are strong. You are managing this situation as best you can in all of the circumstances. It took decades for me to get out and what I kept in the back of my mind was that when my youngest was an adult then I would have a better chance of minimising the harm to them by leaving. It is different for each person on this forum. When people are being terrorised on a daily basis it is no wonder it takes so long to get out. This thread is a window into the lived reality of trying to escape domestic abuse.

      Take care of yourself.xx

    • #126450
      Muddyboots
      Participant

      Hello everyone,

      I wanted to chip in and say (if it’s not too late) I too totally relate to feeling paralysed in the situation. It’s been a rollercoaster of reasons for me. To begin with I was completely in denial that it was that bad, and it took quite a few of my friends and family being firm to make me see the truth. It’s kind of amazing how strongly our hearts can blind us, and make us cling to the distant memory of romance or the occasional grain of kindness

      Then after I thought oh sh*t this is really bad, I need to leave I was paralysed by fear that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t think I would be able to run the household, look after the kids, still work. I just thought within weeks we would be neck deep in laundry and washing up and clutter. It’s taken a while, but I am slowly trying to detangle the thread of truth (that I am messy and disorganised) from the abuse that I had internalised (that I didn’t know how to be a mother, that I couldn’t cope by myself). And I have tried to do things to make myself feel braver and stronger, like I have booked an appointment with a declutterer to teach me how to be a tidy person and get rid of stuff, and I went to the GP to get some anti anxiety medicine to try and help me be better at work (rather than tearful and easily overwhelmed as I am at the moment).

      I also told a lot of friends and a few colleagues about the situation, which has really helped too. Firstly, everyone has been super nice and kind and supportive. (Does anyone else find it really hard to take up all the offers of help though??) and secondly, knowing that a lot of people know has created this kind of peer pressure that has stopped me from snuggling back into cosy denial and papering over the cracks. It’s helped me stay strong even when I haven’t wanted to

      The last bit of the rollercoaster has been getting up the courage to ask my husband to move out. I’ve had to do it several times over several months. Each time he’s negotiated for something smaller than actual separation. It’s been so painful and hard, but it definitely feels like a tortoise and hare type situation. I feel like I am making slow incremental progress, even though each horrible conversation has been a failure on paper. I never get what I want, but I get an inch closer to it.

      He still isn’t actually gone, but my contact with him has been reduced to a few hours a week, and it’s helped a lot.

      Sorry for the really long post, I guess what I am saying is, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can start small. Maybe just a day a week outside of the house, or just having a bag of things somewhere else, so you know you can go spontaneously. And recognising the worst voice inside your head is the abuse, it’s not you and it’s not true. And the bits that you don’t like, you can change.

      Big hugs to all you amazing women doing really hard stuff with bravery and strength
      Bootsie xx

    • #126665
      soxy
      Participant

      Hi Muddyboots – it’s never too late! Thank you for your post and your first paragraph sounds how I feel. Thank you so much for sharing and that’s great advice. Start small and it will help when the bigger steps are needed to be taken.

      I like that “recognising that the worst voice inside your head is the abuse, it’s not you and it’s not true”. Today I’m really struggling with feelings of guilt, feeling guilty and in a fog. Somedays I feel stronger and other days it’s like 10 steps back. AT the moment he’s being all nice and lovely and I’m having to keep my walls up – it’s not reality and I need to remember that so when it turns I’m not floored and can do what I need to do.

      There really are some amazing women on here, this stuff is very real and very hard but we are all brave. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read this and share their story. It helps so much and it’s good to come here, especially days like today to remind myself that I have nothing to be guilty about.

      Take care ladies xx

    • #126678
      Silverbirch
      Participant

      Hello everyone

      I was reading Mary Oliver’s poem
      The Journey again tonight and thought it might be relevant on this thread. Xx

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