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    • #127717
      Headspin
      Participant

      Just that really. I’m exhausted after a long shift at work. Just napping and he wakes me up by asking if I’m sleeping. Second time he bangs around on purpose. Third time he wakes me up to ask if I want anything. I manage to swallow my deep resentment that he hasn’t worked for years because he’s too lazy. But I daren’t ask why he feels the need to keep disturbing me, it could turn nasty.

    • #127720
      KIP.
      Participant

      Sleep deprivation makes you easier to control.

    • #127724
      Headspin
      Participant

      Oh that’s horrible to think that but I wonder if that could be true?

    • #127733
      Eggshells
      Participant

      If you’re sleeping then you’re not paying attention to him. That won’t do at all. He’s attention seeking.

    • #127741
      Headspin
      Participant

      Ugh beachhut I can so relate. In my head if someone is sleeping, wake them up gently if necessary. He wakes me up on purpose, I had a fearsome headache because of it. Yet he says he’s being considerate because he offered me something. Besides he wants nothing to do with me when I am awake, just a maid service. So selfish.

    • #127743
      Headspin
      Participant

      Yes eggshells, he can’t cope if I’m not attending to him. I have to be on parade.

    • #127747
      KIP.
      Participant

      Plausible deniability. He’s covering his abuse with an excuse that seems plausible then will turn it round on you when you protest. My ex used to wake me during the night raging about something I was supposed to have done. Abuse always gets worse and he knows exactly what he’s doing. If you ask him not to do things and he continues then he’s being abusive. He knows you don’t like it and need sleep. It’s calculated and he chooses this behaviour x

    • #127779
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      It’s sleep deprivation tactics. My abuser did this too. Woke me up early by making as much noise as posdible, wouldn’t let me nap (even if I’d been working overnight), would keep me up with mindless circular arguments before important work events, would ensure I never got to lie in by “kindly” waking me up by loudly hoovering, or offering me coffee or breakfast…having never had any sleep issues in my life I developed insomnia about afew years into the relationship that persisted until I left. I was so sleep deprived I didn’t know which way was up. So much easier for him to control.

      I sleep like a log now and nap when I want. No disturbances. It is pure bliss!

    • #127798
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      I think there’s also an element of simply demonstrating that he has the power to violate your basic human rights – sleep is such as basic human need and he is showing you that he can take away your right to choose when you sleep. He disguises it with “nice” excuses to try to prevent you seeing just how unreasonable it is.

      I think it’s also another way of messing with your head. He wants you to think “I feel upset, but he’s doing something nice… so I must be the problem here”. xxxx

    • #127824
      Headspin
      Participant

      I truly thought I must be the only one to have a selfish partner waking me up on purpose. To hear that other people have been through this with their partners is just so devastating. Yes it has to be abuse to wake someone up for no other reason other than to be cruel. Telling me he’s being thoughtful is what really gets to me. Even ground rules don’t work, if I say I need to sleep or meditate and not to disturb me it’s an invitation to be “considerate”. Offers of tea, telling me the time, asking if the cat’s been fed. It’s insane. When he had the energy years ago it would be to wake me up during the night for round 2 or 3 of his torrent of abuse. He didn’t care if the children woke up and were terrified. I can’t believe how selfish and disgusting these abusers are.

    • #127852
      DinkyHorse
      Participant

      That’s so inconsiderate and rude, I sympathise with you.

      I get this too, at night I’ll often fall asleep in front of the tv and he’ll wake me up every time and gets annoyed because we’re watching something…sometimes it’s uncontrollable can’t keep my eyes open and I’m constantly nudged, tutted at, and on one occasion even slapped across the face to wake me! If I went to bed first without him he’d complain that we’re living different lives! Can’t win!

    • #127854
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      This might be another way to say what I said in my comment above. I think waking you up is an easy way for him to show that your boundaries are meaningless to him. Abusers don’t respect boundaries unless there’s some benefit to them, or for some reason they’re not bothered about it. Asserting a boundary is a way of standing up to them, which abusers hate, because it means you’re trying to take some control.

      It’s another example of where normal relationship rules don’t apply when there’s abuse. Normal advice would be to be firm with your boundaries and make clear what you will and won’t put up with. I’ve even seen people give this advice to people in abusive relationships. But the reality is that abusers will usually punish you for standing up for yourself, so it could be very risky advice to follow. I recently read a post on here where somebody said if they stood up for themselves in any way their partner would be violent. You are absolutely right DinkyHorse, you can’t win.

      People who understand abuse say to only assert a boundary where you feel safe to do so. It’s not a sign of weakness to decide that it’s too unsafe (physically or emotionally) to assert a boundary. Ultimately the only way to get an abuser to stop violating your boundaries is to leave and not allow them the opportunity. In the lead up to leaving, I found standing up to my ex in small ways did make me feel stronger, but I was careful to only do it when I thought the consequences would be manageable. You can try to take baby steps towards leaving by doing the same, but please only do it safely. xxxxx

    • #127855
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      @DinkyHorse, your post just made me realise that before I left, I often felt really tired and fell asleep before bedtime, but since leaving I haven’t even though I often go to bed later.

      Has anyone else noticed feeling less tired since leaving? It would make sense that the abuse makes us a lot more tired and I’m probably sleeping a lot better too. xxxx

      • #127884
        Weemebreeze
        Participant

        I definitely noticed that I’m much less tired since leaving. I used to struggle through every day, exhausted, totally drained and either falling asleep at ,y desk or having to try and find time for a nap. He would always read with bright light on which meant I couldn’t sleep and would shake me to wake me if I fell asleep in front of tv. He’d argue over nothing if he knew I had a big day ahead of me therefore stopping me getting a good sleep. He’d never resolve an argument at night and would sulk / silent treatment so that I went to bed on edge and couldn’t sleep. Since leaving I’ve experienced none of this – I sleep peacefully every night, I’ve loads more energy and feel more confident / positive as a result. I never had problems sleeping until him, and haven’t had them since. All ways for him to undermine confidence, weaken you and control . Xx

      • #127910
        DinkyHorse
        Participant

        Wow, sounds like your life was exhausting! Glad you feel a lot better now.
        the never resolving arguments before bed thing happens to me a lot, he silent treatments me so that I eventually fall asleep and then in the morning he’ll make me feel guilty for going to sleep without resolving things…so tired today!!

    • #127863
      DinkyHorse
      Participant

      ISOPeace, I am also trying to stand up to him in little ways.
      I know what you mean about tiredness, we lived apart for a bit as he was away for work and I think I fell asleep in front of the tv once the whole time he was gone!! So I think my health would be so much better if I left, I hope I have the strength to soon.

    • #127893
      KIP.
      Participant

      You ask why he’s so thoughtless. His actions are far from thoughtless. He knows exactly what he’s doing. There’s a lot of thought going into his behaviour x

    • #127902
      soxy
      Participant

      It is so interesting to read the different ways that they interfere with sleep. He doesn’t agree with lie-ins as you’re ‘wasting the day’. He will come in and poke me in the face, or just be loud – he’s always loud. Sometimes I’m allowed to nap and other times I get a lecture on how bad it is to nap in the day and that’s why I’m not sleeping. I used to sleep really well, always had to be in bed at a sensible time and I’ve never been good in the morning. Now he uses that as an excuse for not making me a drink, because he’s tried and I’m grumpy and rude. Well so would you be if I woke you up by tickling your foot, poking you in the face or just being annoying. He will go to bed really early, and if he thinks I’m going to go in too ‘early’ then he will make a comment. So I end up saying up really late and ideally making sure he’s asleep before I go to bed. In the past he’s also forbidden me from going to bed until I’d done a certain chore, or one time I had to sleep on the floor with a blanket, because I wasn’t worthy of even sleeping on the sofa and then he came in and let me go to bed.

      I agree the actions aren’t thoughtless, they know exactly what they are doing and sleep deprivation is the worst. Also when you are beyond exhausted (I’ve never experienced tiredness like I do now) then you are more than likely to react to their behaviour and that then feeds their twisted way of thinking. So either way they are winning and you just feel like the walking dead. It’s so encouraging to read the experiences of you ladies who have managed to get out and how you feel better for it. That’s really helpful. Thanks for sharing, it helps to realise that we aren’t alone. Big hugs to everyone xx

    • #127911
      DinkyHorse
      Participant

      wow soxy, not nice at all! Having to sleep on the floor? Not on!!

      Things for me I guess are better now but my partner used to stay in bed in the mornings when I got up for work and then at night I’d be exhausted but he’d be wide awake so he’d expect me to stay up with him, sometimes until 3,4,5 or 6 in the morning! And then wonder why I slept in late the next day! I couldn’t go back to that again, still together but I made a point of saying I can’t live like that.

    • #127928
      soxy
      Participant

      Dinkyhorse, it only happened the one time and to this day I can’t tell you why I went along with it!! I think it’s difficult because it’s sometimes lots of little things on their own, but when you add them up and write it down and look in black and white you realise what it really is. It’s mad!

    • #127931
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      Reading this has reminded me of a load of sleep related stuff I’d forgotten about:

      – taking the duvet off me in winter at (detail removed by moderator) and telling me to sleep in the spare room. I just waited without the duvet until he let me get under the duvet. I guess I just didn’t want to make him more angry.

      – regularly accusing me of being an abuser for ‘not letting him get enough sleep’. By which he meant that I went to bed later than him and he couldn’t sleep if he knew I was coming to bed later…. so apparently choosing my own bedtime was abuse

      – demanding that I get up by 7.30 at the latest because I’m so lazy, then when I did that for a while it went back to 7am, then 6.30…

      – waking me up to rant about stuff

      – expecting me to stay awake because he’s too anxious to sleep

      – insisting we talk in bed before sleep, despite me explaining that it wakes me up before going to sleep.

      – having a go at me if I fell asleep while doing the kids’ bedtime and so not having time to have sex (which TBH was deliberate a lot of the time, but that’s not the point!)

      – telling me he’s so angry that he can’t sleep and because it’s my fault he’s angry, he’s not going to let me go to sleep either

      – at one point we only had (detail removed by moderator) and a double bed. Me, him and the 2 kids all slept in it. Sounds crazy but the kids were maybe (detail removed by moderator) and we did some kind of top to toe arrangement. It wasn’t ideal. He said it was too crowded so me and the baby slept on the floor until we got a new bed. I can’t quite believe I went along with it, but I know I was really struggling at the time.

      There’s probably more. @Soxy you’re right, when you look at a lot of it together it just seems so crazy that I stayed. But thankfully I know it was the manipulation and the trauma bond, so I don’t give myself a hard time about it any more. x*x

    • #127955

      This post really resonates with me, brings back lots of memories of how my ex would deprive me of sleep, so thought I’d share a few examples. I had a long commute and started work early so would have to go to bed at a reasonable hour (unless I had to work late). He’d do the usual, banging around the house, completely inconsiderate. At one stage we had (detail removed by moderator) and he’d sit up for hours just (detail removed by moderator) when he got frustrated while I tried to sleep. Another time, when we were in the (detail removed by moderator), he waited until I went to bed and decided he just had to (detail removed by moderator)…wtaf? I think one of the worst evenings was when I was very distressed after receiving news(detail removed by moderator). I held it together (detail removed by moderator) but later when I was visibly upset, I was told loudly to (detail removed by moderator). He followed me upstairs to the bedroom and continued to rant and rave at me about well, nothing in particular…eventually (detail removed by moderator). By this stage I was utterly exhausted so I just very calmly and quietly told him that I was going to sleep in another room. He would never let me lie in – like others here I experienced things like having the duvet whipped off me and being told to get up, having cold water or ice cubes thrown over me, being physically dragged off the bed (detail removed by moderator), etc etc. He really is a pathetic individual and I’m well rid of him. After many years together it’s been challenging to rebuild my life, but I have my own place and can choose when to rest! Sending my thoughts and strength to anyone who is still experiencing this sort of behaviour xx

    • #127956
      Headspin
      Participant

      These posts are as supportive as they are upsetting to read. Thank you all for sharing your experiences of having your sleep interrupted, it’s clearly a “thing” abusers do. Some of the craziness and abuse you all have suffered and are still suffering is heart breaking. It’s so horribly controlling. I was always scared of waking him up because he would be so grumpy and mean. I wasn’t allowed to use our (detail removed by moderator) bathroom because it was “his”. If I woke up to use the loo during the night and couldn’t be bothered to use the family bathroom, I would use the (detail removed by moderator). I would line the bowl with paper so as not to make a noise, not turn on the light and hope for the best that he wouldn’t wake up or notice my illegal wee in the morning. He however, could bang about like an elephant, my sleep didn’t matter.

      • #127973
        DinkyHorse
        Participant

        I can really relate to your comments about waking your partner up, I always worry to do that too (even if he asks me to wake him up in the mornings) as he can be grumpy..especially if I do it in a way that he considers wrong!..I have to do it in a certain way!

    • #128033
      Headspin
      Participant

      Dinkyhorse, it’s so insane that you have to do it in a certain way.

      • #128419
        DinkyHorse
        Participant

        I know it’s ridiculous…have to hug him first, can’t use certain words etc. I just want to throw something at him and say get up. I have other stuff to do in the morning don’t have time for that c**p, actually set my alarm earlier these days to make time for the wake up sequence. *eye roll*

        and speaking of disturbed sleep, I had to get through my (detail removed by moderator)! I felt weird all day through lack of sleep.

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