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    • #13290

      There are so many brave women here who have managed to go into work even in the midst of huge crises.

      I was such a mess for so long, my work output was rubbish. Although I am much better in myself, I still struggle to focus on my job.

      Part of it is a feeling of panic. Another is maybe I still hear him on my head, making fun of my job.

      I wish I could knuckle down and focus. Before he left, I was working very productively. It’s like my soul for my work has gone, yet I realise how lovely my job is and how lucky I am to have it. I keep telling myself that this is why he put my job down- because it’s a nice job.

      Why am I still in a work rut?

    • #13293

      i think for a lot of us work is a lifeline – it’s our safe space.

      maybe in the midst of the abuse you were so focused on your work because of this.

      now you are in recovery your work might feel like a less significant piece of the puzzle – hence you still realising how lucky you are to have your job but at the same time finding it difficult to focus on like you used to.

      i hope i’ve worded that right so that it makes sense in the way i mean it to! ❤

    • #13296
      Falling Skys

      He can’t get to me at work so I feel safe, I hate weekends as there is an opportunity for him to be abusive.

      Only problem I have is functioning with sleep deprivation. I can’t make mistakes. I try my have simpler jobs for theses days lined up.

      From what you said your job was high powered so not an option to go with the flow.

      I’m am sure you will be ready to get back in the work place soon but you are healing and that takes time
      I am even thinking a change in careers maybe in order. There are lots of changes going on in work and now maybe the time to make a break and go somewhere my personal life isn’t known. This might be what you need too.

      FS xx

    • #13298

      I agree with FS – healing takes time. Sometimes I find it hard not to beat up on myself – like why aren’t I moving quicker on the job front, why can’t I get my old work attitude back.

      Also Nemo what you said was quite an eye-opener for me – about work being a lifeline for lots of women. I am happy to hear that other people are managing to stay in jobs (though sorry to hear weekends are really hard).

      serenity do you mean a general panic? or is it something in particular that makes u panic? i know it sounds daft but with me i think the idea that i might be good at something makes me panic and so i have problems with stepping up and taking responsibility.

    • #13300

      Good morning Serenity, I just wanted to say that I had to give up work and was mentally ill with depression and anxiety for years. Just didn’t realise it was his behaviour causing it. Keeping me up all night so I was a wreck the next day etc. I’m sure your body and mind is still dealing with the exhaustion caused by his abuse and I wanted to tell you that being able to hold down any kind of job or normality is a miracle and not to be so hard on yourself. You have come such a long way. I’m only just rediscovering happiness, contentment, joy, the fun and laughter you can have in life. Abusers strip so much from us. I actually remember pretending to be happy with him, having to force a smile and laugh, just so he wouldn’t abuse me further. What a way to live. Enjoy your new found freedom. Another poster suggested a change in career? Sounds like a great idea for someone with so much to offer x

      • #13347
        Escaped not free

        This is so similar to how I feel. The effort of acting like a person he wouldn’t abuse has robbed me just now of the ability to do my job. He would belittle my job, and when I achieved an a in further studies despite doing it in my own time with three kids his response was…are you gonna sit and smile about that all night? Not once did he give me an ounce of recognition for my achievements which made me feel like they meant nothing. I stopped studying because every time I had an assignment he’d creat some emotional drama that required all my attention. My boss gets frustrated because they think I should be applying for more advanced positions but on paper I don’t have the extra qualifications, despite having more knowledge and experience than a lot of my superiors. It’s just another thing he has taken from me. If he was kind to me and kept his promises to let us be happy I wouldn’t have minded. I’m not ambitious I just want to do a good job and the very best I can ( removed by moderator) . X

    • #13301

      Yes I’m struggling. I felt better the other day when I decided to ditch the job (not immediately but not worry about loosing it as I would change career anyway)
      However doubt crept in, all his accusations of me not wanting to work being lazy wanting to live off him when I suggested I work part time to give us more work life balance. Namely being there more for the children but also not being so knackered I couldn’t function as a wife or part of an extended family.
      Doubts that my children wouldn’t Respect me in a low responsibility lower paid job.
      Doubts that I wouldn’t get bored especially if the children never come back for me to gain from my time and attention.
      How do I explain to employers when going for jobs I’m over qualified for or taking such a salary drop.

    • #13305

      Hi Serenity,

      When I was wi my abuser I did a few hours of work a week for years, low paid, so I was still available to do everything at home and work the children and he did none of that (or if he did z anything would rant at me about having to do everything and abuser me for being idle, etc). I’ve never had great confidence in myself as great at anything, but before being worth him I did a degree, always had a full time job even if it was sometimes low levellevel, I was just not ambitious. In lots of ways being a mum, helping the children, was the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had and perhaps will ever have. But this was not important to him, nor was my future, only his. So now I’m in my (detail removed by Moderator), styli dealing with the aftermath of his abuse and realising, like you, that abuse was present in my childhood, and trying to find film time work that leaves me with at least some energy left for my daughter. It’s almost impossible.
      What I’m trying to say is, you are still recovering and as far as I can see so far, your s doing s fantastic job. Could you work less hours? Are you pushing yourself too much? You do such a lot for us on here. I know you are determined to help stop abuse, you are inspiring. Please give yourself a break. It’s so hard doing what we do after abuse and still trying to function in the’normal’ world.

      Even if my words are not much help, just wanted to show my support.


    • #13325

      Hi All,

      Thanks for all your insights.

      Tlc4us, I think you have hit the nail on the head. I think the reason that work is my biggest and last hurdle is that I really feel that this was a major reason he left.

      He couldn’t bear me having a nice job which boosted my morale.

      My job is lovely. I wouldn’t want to change it, as it is perfect for working around the kids and other things, and the actual job is very rewarding.

      I think he put my job down so much out of spite, he’s affecting my view of it and in my head. He also said things to make me feel
      I was cocky and above myself to even imagine I was capable of it. He tried to
      suppress me always.

      I can feel him willing me from afar to fail.

      tlc4us- I find myself in a state of paralysis, worried about doing things – worried that I am an ‘imposter’ who was employed in error, that I’m really just an incapable who is better of doing a lesser job.

      I know a lot of people might take on a less stressful job if they have been through trauma, or not be able to work at all, but he would love it if I gave it up. He would have won. The job itself is not the problem; it is belief on myself that is the problem, and believing that I deserve the job. I worked very hard to get to this point, without his support. He in fact tried to sabotage the job.

      I need to believe that I deserve the job, that I am capable and that I can do it well. That I don’t need to stress about doing it well and to not be too perfectionist.

      I went to uni at eighteen, and I returned after having kids, so I deserve this job, which is in fact a very therapeutic job. It’s my mind set that is the problem.


    • #13326

      hi there 🙂 first off, i completely agree with the others who say you are doing BRILLIANTLY holding on to your job… now for my two-cents…. well i might have this wonky (pls forgive if so!) but it sounds like your work was and still is important to you/your sense of self (same is true for me). and it sounds like your job was something your ex latched on to as well, so your work and what it meant to you and him was centre stage in your relationship. it’s not surprising to me that in that context it gains extra meaning in your mind, becoming like a – i dunno symbol or something! and now that the relationship is over i think it’s so understandable that u are asking yourself ‘do i deserve this prize?’, ‘if it’s so important to me, why am i not buzzing/feeling all revved up?’, ‘if i dont feel 110% about my job then has he won?’ etc. so maybe something to consider is: how can i make my job mean something to me on my own terms? without his horrible vicious voice having anything to do with it! another thing i wanted to ask you was do u consider what u do on this forum as work? i know it’s not paid but its clear from people’s comments above that u have been incredibly supportive of others and have given real FOCUSED time to them and they have valued it. okay final thing before i shuddup 🙂 just wondered if it was poss to get back in touch with what u originally loved about your current job – is it that you got to do something you loved, that it used your talents, that ppl gave u praise, u felt u were making a difference etc. i do hope u can reconnect with your work mojo soon cos u deserve to 🙂 xx

    • #13329

      Thank you tlc4us,

      Thank you for your post.

      My ex didn’t think my job was worthwhile or important. He dissed it a lot as namby pamby rubbish.

      I just wanted to do a day’s work and come home and be a mum, but whilst I was away, he’d create havoc at home. So the whole job became more stressful than it need be. He made me feel guilty for working.

      I think he also wanted me to be financially dependent on him, as he liked having me beg.

      Now he is gone, my job should be relatively stress free, but I suppose I am still governed by his negativism regarding it.

      I need to get rid of his voice. So what you advise- ‘reframing it’ in a new way, revisiting it and thinking why I find it worthwhile- is brilliant advice, and thank you.

      Isn’t it awful how the brainwashing has ripples, long after they are gone?!

      Thanks so much- I will do this exercise tonight.

      I don’t consider this forum work- I have been through such pain, I have a real desire to help others through similar, but I suppose I am a bit of an empath!

      Thanks again xxxx

    • #13335

      my pleasure treasure! hmmm dont like the sound of your ex… yes cos empathetic ppl who are drawn to ‘namby pamby’ work are so much worse for the world than abusive bullies…grrrr…. mine had similar attitude to me working. he has never had a job in his life so it was very important to him that i didnt succeed. completely agree with you re brainwashing ripples – so so sad. i was doing good (detail removed by Moderator) when i met him but due to pressure from him i gave it up. it’s now (detail removed by Moderator) years later and i’m still unemployed with not good confidence in my work skills. SilkyHalide was saying about problems explaining things to employers and i totally get that. there are quite a lot of schemes to get ex-offenders into work (bakeries, forestry work, shoe repairs etc) – where are the schemes to help us??? on a positive note i have just signed up for my first survivors support group so while i am a bit anxious about opening up old wounds i am looking forward to meeting nice ppl like the women on this forum 🙂 have a nice evening everyone xxxx

    • #13344
      Escaped not free

      I became unwell physically due to the psychological stress I was under with my relationship last year and after many months of not being able to work as I have left and now homeless with so much legal stuff going on I’m still not back. I want to be but I have a high pressured job where literally lives are in danger if I’m not on top of my game. Work defined me in so many ways and I’m desperate to get back. Thankfully they are being understanding at present, I don’t have a history of absence despite being a single mum of three I’ve always changed shifts or taken holidays if my kids are unwell or worked weekends to return favours while my kids were at their dads. I would advise anyone to tell your work what’s going on. They were getting impatient and concerned about me when I wasn’t in touch. I hadn’t replied to letters sent to me because my ex won’t let me in my home and throws away my mail after he reads it. Since I told them what had happened they have been lovely and have suggested when I’m ready a phased return, starting with coming in for a cup of tea in the staff room, even offered to pick me up so I’m not going in alone. I cried when she offered this. I had to explain it was because it was the first kindness and understanding I’d received and I thought they were going to sack me. Apparently though I’m good at my job they tell me and I don’t have the tiny brain he told me I did. I’m lucky I know but I would say be honest to anyone. Otherwise they have no choice but to think you just no longer care about your job. X

    • #13346

      I was honest at work and as a result I was bullied badly by the male manager. He tried to destroy me. I had to leave. I am now in a new job. I would never again be honest about my private life at work again.

    • #13398
      prof fj lewis

      I am self-employed so I do not get the luxury of sick pays or sick days.
      I am down atm due to trouble ex is causing and it is affecting my ability to work. I am still working but have had to drop the number of customers down.
      I just end up sitting around watching junk daytime TV. I just wish I had some support. School promised me a family support worker in December, but still not heard from them.
      I have no relatives in the local area. Just tons of THEM meaning I have to avoid the local supermarkets.
      I am getting to the stage of moving out the local area, but this will make contact very difficult for my son so I view this as a last resort.

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