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    • #22553
      Doglover99
      Participant

      “Honest, open, reliable, trustworthy, kind” – those are exactly the qualities I would like in a man if I ever meet anyone.

      It’s been a few months now since I’ve been out and in the beginning I was totally against wanting to meet anyone. Now, some time has passed, I am happy and peaceful, and I am starting to think that maybe I might one day want someone again. I won’t go looking for anyone, if I meet someone that is right, great. If not, then I’m happy on my own too. Last time I was single, years ago, I was desperate to fill the gap and to find my happy ever after and went on endless dates through a dating website. Then I met my abuser and, well, you all know how that ended. This time, I have learned to be by myself and am quite happy that way. I’ve made lots of new friends, have my own social life again, I’m doing some worthwhile things in my spare time and I am happy. Through counselling, I have learned to like myself again, to be confident and to be more assertive. If I meet someone, I hope I can spot the signs of a possible abuser and will be able to walk away. But, on the other hand, it is quite exciting to think that maybe, one day, when the time is right, I just might meet someone who is kind and will treat me with respect.

      Even after everything, I remain a romantic and I believe that if I am meant to meet someone new, then one day I will. In the meantime, I live my life when way I want without anyone else dictating what I should or shouldn’t do. Life is great after abuse, it really is. All I see is opportunity ahead.

    • #20518
      Doglover99
      Participant

      That is spot on. That is how I’ve been feeling lately now that I’m out of the relationship and have had plenty of counselling both individual and in a group. It’s a few months on now and I’m only now starting to feel like my old self again. When I keep thinking of how I behaved with him in order to protect myself and my son from his temper and fury, I am almost ashamed of myself. How did a strong independent woman like me become a shadow of herself, a weak little muppet, who didn’t have a voice any more? I never argued with him, I let him behave in a very bad way without any consequences for him. He was the lord of the manor and he could behave any way he wished at the cost of our wellbeing.

      I still catch myself with random thoughts of things he did and said to me. Only yesterday I remembered an incident and I thought “how could you do that to your WIFE!?” Which then made me remember other incidents. Thank God we got out! When I think of him I feel numb. I don’t miss him one little bit and I am getting more and more excited about my future. It’s all up to me now how I want to live my life. I am a strong, capable woman full of kindness and I am starting to feel happy again. I now realise that I need to be happy with myself in order to have a happy life. I lived for someone else, became someone else’s property and all the happiness and joy was sucked out of me due to the way he treated us. Never again. I may date one day again but never will I lose my spirit and independence again. I won’t change for another person again. If they don’t like what they see, they don’t deserve me.

      Ladies, if you are not out of your situation yet, I hope you soon will be and you will learn to live your own lives again. It is so good to be out and only then you realise just how bad it was. Happy days from now on. 🙂

    • #19984
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Hi and thanks for your replies. M.U.M., sorry I didn’t get your message because I haven’t logged on in a while. I feel that I am now so much stronger and ready to (maybe) start giving some advice to others on here.

      The CAB advice was to wait until the divorce papers arrive and then get a solicitor. She said I would be entitled to legal aid because the health and social professionals have been involved and I can get a letter from several of them. It should be fairly straight forward unless he starts demanding money from me. His family did pay for some of my car repairs years ago for instance but they offered, I didn’t ask, and it’s such a long time ago, I’m sure the courts will laugh if he tries that. Anyway, let’s wait and see what he “wants”. I thought it might be useful also to properly write down all the incidents over the years. I wrote them all down in my journal last year and it’s pages and pages of detailed incidents with dates. If he turns difficult, I can maybe refer to that. It’s not too late to get the police involved although I don’t really want to.

      As to money, I have managed to scrape by but each month it gets a little worse. My mum has sent me some to help me but she’s living on her pension so she can’t help much. To top it all, my car failed the MOT and I was desperate so I went to see Mr Bank Manager and managed to sort something out for the time being with them. At least the pressure if off for a little while but I do need to urgently find a second income. It’s difficult though because I can’t take a second job because I would lose my benefits. Oh how difficult it is to be poor! I may start looking for a new job but I need to earn x amount for it to be worth it because I will lose all the benefits. Not easy to find such a job locally.

      M.U.M. my advice with regards to your daughter is that if she’s working, she should pay something towards her keep. That is definitely what I’m going to do when my son goes to work. Like you say, it all helps.

      I seem to have this steely determination inside now. Rather than panic when faced with problems, I take a deep breath and tell myself to find a solution. Take it one step at a time and so far I have sorted everything thrown my way. I am definitely a more positive person as a result of everything. Everything seemed so doom and gloom last year but now everything looks bright. Only positive things ahead for me now and whatever I decide to do, it is MY choice now. I really couldn’t be happier. I am quite happy being on my own, I am getting out and about every week. I am seeing my friends more often and aim to make new friends too. An interesting things I have also discovered, I can talk to strangers now where I used to be so shy that I wouldn’t know how to do “chit chat”. Now I find myself chatting to taxi drivers, bar people, car mechanics, bank and shop staff without problems. Strange that. Maybe it’s my newly found confidence and freedom.

      I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

      PS. I don’t know why half of this post is red underlined. Sorry.

    • #14749
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Please please listen to the advice already given by others and DO NOT GO HOME. He is a very dangerous man and you need to stay away from him. Deep down you know it and you know that you’ve done the right thing even though it may not feel like it and you are scared. Him saying he’ll get help, he’ll change, he won’t do it again, they are all empty words of an abuser who is just trying to get away with it. He’s shocked that you have taken a stand against his hideous actions and spoken out. He is panicking and trying to scare you. Do not listen to him. Give your phone to your parents. If he keeps texting and calling, it’s all evidence for later but at least you won’t see his messages.

      If he knows where you are, make sure you are not alone and that the person with you is ready to call the police if he does turn up. Don’t be scared, he can’t hurt you if there is someone else with you. And if he does, then the police will take him away because he has broken his bail conditions, again and again.

      You were absolutely right to report him. Don’t ever doubt that. You may feel confused but it’s only because you are scared but the longer you stay no contact with him the stronger you will get and you will realise that there is a normal life out there waiting for you. You don’t have to suffer at the hands of such a monster. He belongs in prison. You have lots of people around you now to help and you should take all the help offered to you. They will protect you until the time that you are ready to start afresh on your own. When the time is right, you can go to a women’s refuge where you will be safe and you can get your strength back.

      The most important thing though, you need to go no contact by any means possible so that he can’t get into your head. Take the time to heal and get stronger and talk to people who are there to help.

      We are all thinking of you and sending you big hugs.

    • #14607
      Doglover99
      Participant

      And it gets worse. A few hours after his last post, he’s posted over 20 photos of his “night out” with his woman. Unbelievable!! My family some of whom are friends on his facebook didn’t even know I’ve left because I didn’t want to make a bit fuss about it and make it awkward for him. I should have known. Funny comment my son made though when he saw the picture. He said quite casually: oh he’s downgraded then. That did make me laugh.

      Then late last night, another post: he is officially in a “civil union”. The man has completely lost it! Now I can see this is clearly to prove a point to me. He hasn’t removed me from his account so he’s now showing off his “new fun single life”. Well, he’s welcome to it. All I want is what I am legally entitled to.

      When I thought about it, I actually can’t wait to be divorced from him now. I kept looking at his photo and thought “you really do look evil”. He’s changed his looks in an effort to look younger but he still looks evil.

      Funnily enough though, I had no feelings whatsoever towards him. I didn’t feel jealous (other than the fact he has money to spend) and as to the new woman, I was just curious to see what she looked like. He’s obviously not managed to pull a younger woman, this one looks older in fact.

      Also, when I thought about it, it’s the same as it was with him and me. It all happened very quickly with us, he’s doing the same with this one. Literally within (detail removed by Moderator) weeks he has a new woman and another few weeks later it’s official. The next she will have moved in with him.

      I am soooooo pleased I am out of it. I just need some legal advice about the divorce and how to fund it.

    • #14469
      Doglover99
      Participant

      You’re in shock, please don’t even think about going home. Take the time to recover in hospital and ask to be given somewhere safe to go when you’re well enough. Glad you spoke to the police, it’s important you tell them what happened and how you are feeling, being scared of him. You sounded absolutely terrified of him and it’s just not right for anyone to be made to feel like that. Listen to the ladies here and don’t go home. It’s dangerous.

      Maybe now is a time to speak to your family. I don’t know your background and why you haven’t spoken with them for a while but your family will be horrified at what you’ve gone through and I’m sure will help you in any way they can. Speak to the hospital staff, take any help offered to you now and stay away from him. They will be able to arrange a place at a women’s refuge for you where you can take your time recovering and getting stronger.

      I really feel for you and hope that you recover from your physical injuries soon. The mental effects are going to take a lot longer to heal and you need to take your time to deal with it all.

      Sending you big hugs.

    • #13021
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Thanks for your replies. I do know this friend, I have made a point of meeting all his friends who he hangs out with and they all know me. This lad is a good person, he has just had a difficult start in life. I am disappointed in myself that I got so upset in front of my son, I need to stay strong. An interesting thing Confused123 said about crying, my son has not cried once since leaving, at least not that I know of. He is keeping the feelings bottled up at home. I don’t know how much he opens up with his friends. He is very close to some of his friends and they do have deep conversations but I don’t know whether he has let the feelings, other than anger, come out. It is important that he can let those feelings of sadness and helplessness out now. He does cry, he has come to me in the past when he has been really upset but I only now realised that he hasn’t cried since we left.

      My son is not legally an adult yet which is why I worry about him. I want him to finish school somehow. I know he will regret not going to school one day but he can’t see it that way yet.

      He had one hobby before but he’s not interested in doing that at the moment. Like I said, all he wants to do is hang out with his friends. Victim Support and Early Help both tried with him and would have given him a male person to talk to but he didn’t want the support so they’ve gone away for now. You are right in that he hasn’t had a single good male role model in his life. Even his own dad is useless. His uncle lives overseas but he doesn’t have kids so he doesn’t really know how to help.

      All I can do is be here for him when he wants and needs me. He is starting to open up a little but all I seem to be getting out at the moment is the feeling of anger towards his stepdad. I have told him he should talk to someone properly about it all so that he can deal with his feelings and then let go and move on. I listen when he talks and try to make him see that I understand and want to help.

      This is a tough time. I didn’t realise how hard dealing with all these feelings would be. It’s difficult enough dealing with my own feelings let alone my son’s. He is the one who has suffered most in all of this and I just hope that he will come out at the other end eventually.

      Thank you for listening. It’s hard when you’re on your own with no family to support you. I just have to try and find a way through it all for both of us.

    • #13009
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Hi Titanium. Your situation sounds just like mine was. I don’t know if you have children, I have a son (not my husband’s) and I didn’t realise we were being abused until my son couldn’t take any more and started self-harming and it all started coming out. I saw professionals and they told me we had to get out. Even after that, it took me about three months to accept that reality of our situation. I had been hoping that things would improve but when I realised they were never going to change, I knew we had no other option but to leave. With no money, friends or relatives nearby, we had to go on the council’s social housing list and it took us another 8 months to find somewhere.

      I didn’t tell him anything for a whole year, that this was pure and simple domestic abuse. He could sense something was different because slowly I started standing up to him and he didn’t like it. That’s when he increased the abuse towards my son. My advice would be not to say anything to him. Start planning your move, get help from professionals before you do anything. My husband also used to keep saying how he loved me all the time, asking if I loved him. I told him what he wanted to hear but the physical side was very difficult. I didn’t want to go near him and I managed to avoid intimacy for a long time to the point where he started complaining about the lack of it.

      I also read a lot about domestic abuse, about controlling people and that helped me understand.

      Good luck and keep posting.

    • #13008
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Hi Alone and believe me that you really are not alone. We are all here for you. I can’t advise you about your work situation but I would seriously consider contacting your old best friend and telling him what you went through, be honest with him and tell him how it really was for you. He sounds like a great friend to have and I’m sure he will understand. I know if I was in that position, being someone’s great friend, I would just be sad that they couldn’t tell me how bad things were but I would be delighted to re-establish that friendship. Talk to him. You have nothing to lose.

      I think every single one of us here, due to our various life experiences, have a very low self-esteem. I have struggled with this ever since I was growing up due to my family situation with an alcoholic abusive father. Counselling didn’t really exist then, we just had to get on with it and try and forget. Now it’s come back to bite me with my more recent experience with my abuser husband. My counsellor gave me an information sheet about low self esteem and how it goes back to our core beliefs (e.g. what our parents teach/tell us, when our abusers repeatedly tell us we are bad/useless/no good/ugly etc.). We start to believe that and the trick is to train our brain to believe our good points, that we are worthy. When I read the information sheet about how a person with low self esteem behaves, it was like a light bulb going off. I was reading about myself. There wasn’t anything wrong with me, it was those early beliefs that moulded me to the person I am now, perhaps that it why my abuser found it easy to control me.

      Google it if you have time. Don’t believe what your mother says about you, it is not true. She is the one with a problem there. I don’t quite understand why any mother would say such things to their own child but she is the one in the wrong. You are a good person who is trying to create a new life for yourself without the abuse. I don’t know your story but it is always good to be honest and tell people, to get out of the abusive situation. It is hard afterwards until we find our true self again (I haven’t done that yet) but from what I hear from all the ladies here who are further on that path, it is so well worth it.

      Anyway, just remember you are not alone. We are all in the same boat one way or another and we are here to support you. Stay strong and big hugs.

    • #12609
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Thank you everyone for your responses and your wisdom. I haven’t responded but it has ruined my day so far. I have been really down all day because of it. I mentioned it to my son and he told me to tell him to f..k off and leave us alone. He reminded me that he’s probably told everyone lies about us and that is true. No doubt his family, our neighbours, landlord and his friends have been told total lies about why I’ve left and more than likely he’s blaming my son for it all. He was already telling lies about him to his friends BEFORE we left.

      I contacted my support worker whom I haven’t seen for a while and she’s coming over tomorrow to talk this through. I read a lot of stuff on the internet about the no contact rule as well and it all makes perfect sense.

      He said he’s gone through the house and there are a few boxes of my stuff which he’s going to dump outside my work one morning. That would be good actually, to get the rest of my stuff back. I know I left some things behind I meant to take with me. I don’t care about the furniture, I don’t want any of it although half the profits would be nice but there is no way he would give me my half of anything. Not a chance. If anything, that will be his way of getting back at me. He knows I will struggle financially on my own.

      I don’t want him anywhere near my car in case he does something to it or takes something vital. There may be some tools in the boot which I don’t even know about. He’s got enough tools, he won’t need those.

      I realised what he must have done. My mobile phone bills have gone to the old address. He must have opened my bills and gone through the numbers I’ve called in the last month. That’s prob what he meant by knowing “what I’ve been up to”. There would have been calls to removal companies, my support worker, the council, estate agents… Oh well nothing I can do about that.

      You are all so right. I need to not respond! If he’s contacted a solicitor, well that was only a matter of time. I can’t do anything at all about the dog. If he’s that cruel, then he’s just proved what he’s like. Funny how the apologies and begging didn’t last long. Still no word to ask how my son is.

      I am worried about what he’s going to do when I don’t respond. He is so devious, he will come up with something. The finances are the thing that would hit me hardest because I am already struggling. I don’t want to be hit with something I’m not aware of or something he has cooked up. Not likely I will get my car’s service book back now and I need it to sell the car or even to get it serviced if it lasts that long.

      Ok, it is what it is. He will do what he wants to do. I just need to deal with whatever comes next. Deep breath and keep on going. People I know have said I am a strong person. I now need to take some of that strength and stay positive.

      PS. I do wish I could afford a holiday, now THAT would make me feel better. A girl can still dream. 🙂

    • #12580
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Found an interesting article whilst googling “no contact”. I am determined not to respond.

      Why Is No Contact So Difficult?

    • #12577
      Doglover99
      Participant

      I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this all morning now. I had to dig out my counselling notes about being distressed and it helped a little but I am struggling today. I was fine until the email. He also said because I haven’t been in touch and arranged to talk, I don’t give a s..t about him and never loved him. How I wish it wasn’t true. All I wanted was to find my happy ever after when I met him but he’s the one who destroyed my dreams. But still I feel bad and upset today after reading his email.

      Thinking about him saying he’s moving to the other side of the country, I can’t quite see how he could. He has SO MUCH STUFF, I mean really. Sheds full of stuff, garage full of stuff not to mention all his vehicles! And our caravan! Where is he going to go where he can take all that with him? As to the furniture, yes technically everything in the house is a joint asset since we are married and it was bought when we were married. The sofa he wants to get rid of is mine in any case because I’m still paying for it. I was being reasonable and only took one of them with me when I left, and left him the other one.

      I’ve kept an eye on ebay to see if any of our things appear there and so far I haven’t seen anything. He changed his ebay id though straight away because I can’t find him in there. I also found out through my last phone bill that he’d changed the gas/electric provider [detail removed by moderator] so I wonder if all the things he said then, how he was completely ripped apart, was true. If I was feeling like that, the last thing on my mind would be changing utility companies. I would be completely useless not able to think straight.

      I want to respond to each of his points. I realise myself that I most definitely was not using him (or anyone else before). I trusted him with everything, I changed my whole life around to be with him and I subconsciously changed myself to make our lives liveable with his anger and controlling ways. How is that using him! Seriously!! Is he saying that to hurt me or does he really believe that? Makes me wonder if he’s spoken to my ex-husband because it’s the kind of thing he would come up with.

      I don’t know. I am so confused. I know that I’m a person who avoids conflicts at all costs so his email did make me wonder if there was something that I could have done, should I have tried to speak to him rather than walk away? That’s what’s hurt him the most, the fact I didn’t say anything, in his eyes I didn’t even try, I just left.

      Now I do feel so alone and only a few days ago I was enjoying being on my own. How can he still hurt me this badly? Is that what he’s trying to do or is he genuinely seeking help, moving away, giving our dogs away?

      And I was so looking forward to the weekend since I’m having a few days off work. All I feel now is upset, confused and guilty (again).

    • #12362
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Oh how lovely it would be to go away but sadly my finances won’t allow it. I too would love to have a friend living locally who I could visit and chat to. Another thing I used to do is whenever I would call a friend, I would always think they must have better things to do than talk to me and the first thing I would do is always ask if it was a bad time to be calling. Not quite sure why I did that, another low self-esteem thing.

      M.U.M. that is exactly what you need, to go out and see your friends. They will be pleased to see you and it gets you out and your confidence will start to return. That’s what I’m conscious of for myself, that I will become so used to being on my own that I will just stay in on my own and become a recluse. Now that I’m starting to find some confidence, I don’t want to go backwards.

      Go out and enjoy yourself. You deserve it!

    • #12361
      Doglover99
      Participant

      Hello and Happy Easter. Serenity, thank you for your kind words. I have surprised myself at how quickly I seem to have settled into my new life.

      M.U.M. It sounds to me that you have been out of the social situations for so long, being at home with your husband and kids, that you have just forgotten how to be you. Our abusers grind us down until our self confidence is gone and we are no longer the person we were. We have been pleasing someone else for so long, always doing something for others, having to behave in a certain way to avoid arguments, putting our kids first that we no longer know how to do things for us. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to do something for yourself!

      I am not naturally outgoing at all. I will never be the life and soul of the party and I wouldn’t want to. I just want to be confident enough to try new things and meet new people. My social circle is so small, I don’t have people locally I can go out with so if I don’t do something about it, I will be on my own. I need to get out there and meet like minded people. You do need to get out of your comfort zone but once you’ve done it once, it gets easier. It’s quite good to think, what is the worst that can happen. I used to get so embarrassed about the silliest things but one thing my husband taught me is not to care what other people think about me. He used to embarrass me in public so many times, nothing can be as bad as that.

      I also try to avoid conflict at all costs. I spent years pleasing other people, I’m a nice, kind person who always puts other people first. That’s what the abusers look for maybe, someone they can control and who better than someone who doesn’t argue back. I certainly changed from a confident woman to a little mouse who couldn’t think for herself any more. It’s only my son’s problems last year with the self-harming that gave me a reality check and made me look at my life.

      The counselling has made me question some of the things I do and why I think in a certain way. I’ve had to really look at myself differently, in a more positive way. I don’t know what I want out of life but I do want to live my life and not let it slip past. I wasted too many years with my abuser when I could have been living a better life.

      I wouldn’t worry about your son too much. At least he is at home! He’s obviously very comfortable at home and that’s a good thing. Mine goes out so much. BUT, an interesting observation from a friend the other day, she said that it looks like me and my son have a very good relationship from the way we were interacting. He may come and go but he knows I’m here for him. It’s the little moments of gratitude and love that make it all worthwhile. He still tells he loves me every day and I do treasure that.

      My son needs his friends at the moment. He’s refused counselling but he talks to his friends about his feelings. It’s an outlet for him. He too doesn’t really want to do things with me that much but that’s a teenage thing. Did you do things with your parents at that age? I know I didn’t.

      I’ve had a good weekend so far. My son was here for some of it. A friend came over the other day and another one is coming tomorrow. I’ve done bits and pieces in the flat. I even forced myself to go out for a walk earlier and actually felt quite pleased with myself afterwards. Another night on my own, son has decided to stay at his friend’s again, but that’s ok. Thank goodness for recordable TV, that’s all I can say. I’ve watched so many films over the last few weeks and strangely the romantic comedies have been a real tonic. I still feel hopeful for the future.

      In fact, I don’t quite know why and how I am feeling so positive about the future. Money is worrying but even that doesn’t seem to dampen my spirit. All I can say is that there most definitely is life after abuse! 🙂

    • #12164
      Doglover99
      Participant

      It has been interesting reading your replies.

      To you M.U.M., you seem so much like me, it’s uncanny. The difference is I have always worked so maybe that’s why I feel more confident in some ways. I am the same in group situations, I tend to be the quiet one but one to one, I talk and talk. I am sometimes too open about myself, maybe that’s why people have found me an easy target. I had a discussion about this with my counsellor and it is very clear that me (and you M.U.M.) suffer from low self esteem. I am starting to work through this issue which hopefully will help me in the future. She gave me some very interesting information about low self-esteem, a real eye opener to why I act in certain situations.

      I tend to put things off and one of the things that I am conscious of is that sometimes when I’m with people I don’t know, meeting new people, etc. my mind goes completely blank and I can’t think of anything to say. There have been many awkward situations in the past where this has happened. However, now that I’m aware this is due to low self esteem I can work on this and become better. I am an introvert by nature, quite happy in my own company a lot of the time but now that I really am alone, I need to get out there to make some friends so that if I want it, I can have a social life of some sort.

      The good times I had were mostly when it was just him and me. Whenever the kids, esp. my son, was there, something would always annoy him and in the end it just wasn’t worth the hassle going anywhere together. I would go off with the kids and do our own thing, days out and such, and we would have a good time but with him there, no way, he would always spoil it and my son would be the one to be upset.

      I am conscious that my son is nearly an adult and I will soon be on my own so I need to carve a new life for myself. If money was no issue, there’s lots of things I’d like to do, places to see but with my finances so tight I need to think outside the box and settle (for now) for smaller things. I will go to that craft group I didn’t go to earlier this week. It’s a start and you never know, I might even make some new friends. 🙂

      M.U.M. you sell yourself short though, everyone is good at something and it sounds like you’re a brilliant mum for starters. You can find something that you enjoy. You don’t need to be good at it as long as you enjoy it. I’ve got lots of ideas for myself – cookery, relearn a language, sewing and crafts, upholstery, the list goes on. Have a look for yourself and you might find something that looks really interesting to you.

      Now all I need to work on is those conversational skills with strangers. I think the trick is to ask questions and get the conversation going. Strange how I am feeling so positive after everything. Just shows leaving must have been the right thing to do!

      Happy Easter everyone!

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