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    • #127327

      I would love to hear any advice and success stories on how to not go back?
      I thought leaving would be the hardest, turns out staying away is… (I couldn’t even imagine wanting to go back at ALL before I left)

    • #127330

      Hi Eyesopening,

      Sorry to hear you’re struggling. I’m not sure how long you’ve been out, but I suppose the first thing I would say is that it does get easier with time. I know that’s frustrating but do try to be patient with yourself. The longer you stay away, the easier it gets. It’s like breaking a drug addiction, so cold turkey is the only way through. Zero contact with him if you can, use a third party or app if there must be communication between you. Reading up and watching videos like Dr Ramani on youtube will help to validate your experience and the importance of staying away for your own health and wellbeing.
      Try to shift the focus to yourself, and your own trauma and healing. Little acts if self-care, eating and sleeping well, meditation, mindfulness and yoga have all been really helpful for me. Journalling is great for exploring your thoughts and getting back in touch with yourself. Reflecting on what you’ve endured, and the strength you have to have managed to leave and how far you have come is very healing. I’ve found counselling and a support group that have been life-changing, and a really important part of my recovery.
      Abuse makes our lives very small. Our abusers take up all the air in the room and space in our minds. When we escape, there’s a vacuum. So much space. Our minds naturally crave what’s familiar, and so we can feel drawn back. Filling the space with things we enjoy doing is key. Think about the things you enjoyed before you met him, or maybe even when you were a little girl. Was it being out in nature? Drawing? Singing? Cycling a bike? Collecting stamps? Baking? Whatever it might be, distract yourself with the positive. As a wise woman on here often says ” where focus goes, energy flows”. So try to focus on good things that you enjoy.
      You can do this. Keep reaching out and good luck xx

    • #127365

      Hi Hawthorn, thank you for replying, wow that’s soo true!: abusers take up all the air in the room and space in our minds. So after there is a huge empty space…
      Great advice thank you i am trying to…
      But you know what i’m struggling with, telling him that its over and going on contact, I dont know if i can do it.. I still have that dream of our life together..
      How could i be so sure i wanted to leave before i left, i was even imagining how great it will be when i left. To now completely changing my mind and wanting to go back and missing him. I keep wondering is he really is that bad.. Its super crazy making.

    • #127366

      Hi Eyesopening,

      It’s a trick of the mind. It’s like forgetting how painful child birth is. If we remembered the pain of the first time, most of us would never go there again.

      By staying in touch with him, it is possible that you are only seeing the nice him at the moment.

      Letting go of the dream is hard. You have to mourn for the loss of the future that you hoped for but it is not that simple. First you have to accept that the future was never going to happen and that can be hard to do unless you are re-exposed to the bad part of the abuse cycle.

      But it really is a cycle. It loops round and round and it never breaks.

      I’m not sure if you were married but the divorce process laid aside any notions I may have had about him changing. Once he knows you are gone for good, his behaviour will very quickly remind you of why you left in the first place. That made it easy for me.

      Once you have told him that the relationship is over, ask him not to contact you again. Make it clear – no contact at all, this is not about giving you time and space so avoid phrases that might make him think that he can contact you after a little while. Then sit back and wait to see what happens. My betting is that he will harass you until you block him from everything. I suspect he will try emotional manipulation, reminding you of the good times, anger, tears, possibly threats of suicide – any/all of the above and more. What I don’t think he will do is respect your wish for non-contact.

      He is not going to change.

    • #127380

      It is really hard to leave I tried on multiple occasions but each time was met with guilt trip or he had the day off work, it wasn’t until the last night when I felt for sure I was going to be seriously injured and I didn’t want my daughter growi up with out w mum so As soon as I got the chance I ran out of the front door and rang the police. I had him charged and a restricted order in place and when that ended I got another, enough was enough for me I believe that when it is lifted he will seek me out but I have to stay strong and hope he doesn’t but leaving him was the best decision I made x

    • #127450
      [email protected]

      I think reading about domestic abuse and I agree Dr Ramani is great she covers this. Abusers are unable to have fulfilled loving relationships. It’s a tough concept to get your head around but listening to an expert basically saying this could never be and never was is actually quite freeing? Because we can then lift out Blame and shame. We can stop saying what did I do wrong ? How could I change this /him. The truth is it’s beyond our control abusers cannot commit or make good health partners. This reality and hearing it from a dr can be validating. Leaving him and staying away will be the best move you’ve ever made. You can then and only then recover and you can focus on having the positive future u actually deserve darling xx

    • #127468
      Grey Rock

      I think I had trauma bonds as I found the same. Occasionally nowadays I feel the need to turn invisible and just go and spy and see what the beastie is up to. Sick eh.

      I actually drove past a spot today that I remembered sitting in my car and weeping because I felt so lonely for missing him, even after everything. I was in a city where I had friends I could contact and meet with but I just couldn’t face seeing them. I just wanted to crawl back and everything be okay. To be able to fall for the lie and have some normality. Not normal normal, but the normal I’d been used to. Everything was so up in the air and I was so raw. Starting again seemed too big and shapeless to get my head around.

      Please don’t contact. Just do this a day or an hour at a time. It does get easier. I still have off days and weeks but mostly life is fine now. And it’s MY life. I’m FREE. And that’s worth so much.

      Keep on keeping on.

    • #127475

      Hello @eyesopening,

      You have had some excellent and very detailed advice here. If I was as eloquent as @Hawthorn, I’d have said exactly the same. I think the self-care is the main thing. I still have difficult days, but looking after myself has brought me so far. I feel like a different person. I feel like someone who matters. And people are commenting. And the thing I find really galling is that I am starting to recognise myself – how could that have been so stolen from me?
      Don’t get me wrong. It’s not easy. I still go back to my notes and to the books, to remind myself why I can’t go back. But the response that I feel is the response of a different person, the response of a strong and independent person, of someone who knows for sure that they were wronged.

      It does take time but you will get there. Stick at it. Surround yourself with the people who love and support you. Make positive changes in your life, even little ones. And keep coming back – we’ll keep talking you round!!

      Big hugs. We’ve got you. You can do it, I promise. X*x

    • #127482
      Living Warrior

      When i left, i wrote a letter to myself, i told myself (as if it was someone else) i left because….. i basically poured my heart out on paper, incase i ever questioned my reasons, which i had done b4, i made it clear that if i would stay i would leave in a bag, so i made a choice to leave on my feet!

      i reread my letter every now and then, less often now, because i know it is for the best and would never go back, but sometimes i feel sorry for him, and then i reread it and realise he doesnt deserve my pity, or my secnd thoughts.. it also reminds me of how strong i am, how hard things where and what i wanted out of life…

      we do tend to forget the bad points and try and focus on the good, which gives us a false sense of life back then, dont let your mind trick you, that is his way of getting you back under his grasp.

    • #127567

      Hi everyone, wonderful ladies, I’m so grateful for your support.
      Soo, still away, still in contact… i cant quite make that final step, my most important resources are my diary’s , my copies of chats i had with WA and all my posts and replies on here. Also youtube, have found some great videos..
      I seem to need to read EVERYTHING, every day, to remember. To keep me on track.
      But even so i ‘planned’ to go back on (detail removed by moderator) – well i told him and my family so…
      I don’t think i could possibly go back, the pain and the anxiety before i left was so great, how can i put myself through that again.
      this is ridiculously hard.
      Hope your all doing ok x*x

    • #127569

      Some day soon, you will realise that you are no longer reading everything every day. While you need it, do it. It’s like a life raft, keeping your head out of the water. Do whatever it takes. You will get there, I promise. You are already doing so well. My god it’s hard, though, isn’t it? X

      • #127674

        Hi Lottieblue.
        The hardest, I actually don’t know if i can do it and i may be going back in a few days…I just dont think i have the strength to end it.
        I live ofcourse hours away from family and friends so the visit to my family has maxed out now and its time i go back..
        Am i crazy, i dont know what to.
        I don’t feel like I’ve been offered much support from WA or my local WA. I feel like if its not physical they are not too concerned? Or is it because i do not have kids…

      • #127676

        Hi Eyesopening,

        You don’t sound crazy, but you sound as though you’re lacking support. Rather than thinking too far forward, and by that I mean thinking that you need to have the strength to end it, could you perhaps just focus on giving yourself more time? Time where you don’t speak to him, and just focus on yourself? Another week or two, and see how you feel then. A man who loved you would understand your need for time and space to find clarity.

        Making any decision while you feel crazy is unlikely to be in your best interests. I needed so much reassurance after I left that I wasn’t crazy, I needed to be continually told that I was speaking and thinking rationally. It is because you have been abused that you feel so conflicted. Our abusers make us doubt our own reality and decision making. Nothing you are saying, or how you are feeling, is remotely crazy. You are responding totally normally to being abused and trauma bonded.

        There’s a superb article (and lots of other great resources) if you Google domestic shelters. It’s an American site and is a .org address. Try reading the piece about “Grooming”. Remember abusers are psychophiles. They abuse our minds and brainwash us. Leaving an abusive relationship, and staying out, is like deprogramming yourself after being in a cult. It is difficult but it is the best thing you will ever do. Choose yourself. Leaving my abusive marriage was the hardest, and without a doubt, the BEST thing I have ever done in my life.

        We are all here for you. You can do this. And if you choose to go back, we are still all here for you. Your life, and you decide what you want to do. These are not easy decisions, but hard choices in the short term can make for an gentler, more peaceful life in the longterm. Choose life, and choose yourself. You are so deserving of a happy peaceful life. Take the very best care, and sending you strength x*x

    • #127703

      Hi Hawthorn thank you for your support,
      I will check out that site,
      I wish I was sure that he was all bad..
      I start to doubt myself, maybe he isn’t so bad, he is great with kids, my nieces and nephews, and his.
      He always told me that people change when they have kids, that he would settle down.
      My sister will be staying nearer us for a while, so i feel like if i do go back and need to leave, atleast she will be there…

      • #127715

        He doesn’t need to be all bad for you to end the relationship. All abusers have “nice” things about them, it’s how they groom us into the abuse, and keep us from leaving. We keep thinking if we can get everything just right we’ll get the nice them all the time. Sadly with abusers it doesn’t work like that; he will continue to move the goalposts no matter what you do. He doesn’t want you to succeed, he wants you to be subservient to him and meet all his needs, while having none of your own. Abusers do this by destroying our self esteem and confidence in our own decision making. They make it feel as though we can’t cope without them.

        Being unhappy in a relationship is a good enough reason to leave it. Abuse is not required as a reason to end things, however being abused makes it incredibly difficult to escape because our self confidence and sense of self has been so eroded.

        Having children will not change him, it usually escalates the abuse in fact. I have no children and I know the strength it took for me to leave, I’m not sure how I would have managed it with children in the equation. Children will bind you closer to him, and this forum is full of women who’s abusers continue to abuse them through their children after they have left.

        Men who abuse their partners abuse their children. It is simply their way of being in the world. He won’t stop his abusive behaviour any more than a cat would stop killing birds. It is his nature.

        Whatever you decide, try to focus on yourself and how you feel about yourself, rather than him. Build your support network, your hobbies and practice self care. You deserve so much better than anything he will ever offer you.xx

    • #127718

      Thankyou Hawthorn, i am so grateful for your support and valuable advice.
      Gosh it really helps to read your saying this. Its so strange, i re-read my diarys, i then write that ofcourse he is bad for me i cannot go back. Then the next day that person is gone, i read my notes and think its like another person wrote that.
      I will re-read your messages again and again to try to get them to sink and to fully understand in because its like my memory isn’t working or I can’t absorb anything.
      I dont know how I’m managing at work right now…
      thankyou and lots of love xx

    • #127721

      I spoke to him earlier, this conversation made me so confused… whats he trying to do? Or is he actually being nice.
      he was like-‘ (detail removed by Moderator)’
      I said ‘(detail removed by Moderator)’
      He said
      ‘(detail removed by Moderator)‘

    • #127734

      He wants you to validate him. He’s hoping you’ll come back saying that he’s wrong, of course you are happier with him.

      It’s his version of puppy eyes so that you can stroke his ego. If he can make you think thayvhes a really great guy too, then bingo; he knows he’s got you back again.

      • #127740

        Thankyou Eggshells
        That makes sense

    • #127742

      I kept a diary before I left so every time I doubted myself, I read a section to remind me of some of the awful things he did. I struggled with reading or following anything on TV for a while so I started hand sewing. They were only little fabric yo-yos but eventually they all joined together to be a beautiful table runner (plus there’s something very satisfying about stabbing something thousands of times).
      I reconnected with friends and things I used to enjoy doing before obstacles were put in my way. Those little freedoms and space to breathe cemented in my mind that it was so much better to be alone than lonely in bad company.
      The biggest cutting of ties was doing something new that I’d thought about for a long while. I joined a choir and met some gloriously lovely people. This was something that was just mine without the stain of someone telling me I couldn’t/shouldn’t. Choir has given me some wonderful experiences and taken me to places I’d never have had the opportunity to otherwise.

      I’ve probably made this sound easy
      It wasn’t. Some days it was very much baby steps. Some days I had to leave the temptation of the mobile phone elsewhere. Some days were broken up into getting through each hour.
      Our brains want to protect us from the hurt and trauma but it can help in the doubtful moments to reflect on some of the reasons you have left.

    • #127744


      I know how you are feeling, I have been out for some time now, still have days when I have a wobble, but I keep this quote in my kitchen. “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us”. We will all get to that place one day.

      Take care of you, beachhutXx

    • #128060

      Staying away is exactly like giving up smoking (or whatever.) At first you’re full on. You’ve prepared. Savoured the last cigarette then binned every ashtray and lighter in the house. It’s all good til you wonder what do with all the the extra time. All you can think about is f**s. You remember how lovely it was to have a smoke with a drink. You forget what it was like to stand in a force 9 gale and horizontal rain while you fed your addiction. You forget the expense, the late night treks to the garage, the persistent cough that could be cancer. Then you get to thinking, maybe I could just smoke on the weekends, just to be sociable. After all, you’ve just done 11 days f*g free, the nicotine must be out your system by now. You’re in control this time, you’re not an addict. You have to buy a new ashtray and a lighter. You smoke like a chimney all Saturday night. Then more on Sunday. Well, it is still the weekend. Monday is a c****y day so you reward yourself with the last smoke in the pack. You forget that you were giving up and pat yourself on the back for cutting down. If you’re quick you’ll make it to the garage before it shuts.

      Hahaha sorry, I got well into that 🙂

    • #128113

      Haha that was a great post Camel.
      But that’s a really helpful way to look at it! Makes it easier for me to understand…

    • #128130

      I loved your post Camel. It was a great description of how we can trick ourselves into going against what we know is good for us.

      I’ve heard someone say that addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. So in this case, the start is the trauma bond pain that makes you want to go back and I guess the end is both being hurt again when you go back and the pain or breaking the trauma bond when you leave. It is really tough, but I can promise you that being free of a trauma bond feels better than the addiction high of the honeymoon phase with all those lows. xxxx

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