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    • #69565

      Thanks Lisa, the NAPAC website looks very useful. And thank you for your solidarity freedomtochoose, it means so much to be listened to and to know that you understand this kind of experience.

    • #69534

      Hi Flowerchild,

      Thank you so much for your reply. I’m in the process of applying for counselling through rape crisis, though I’m not sure that’s the right place.. I had thought I wasn’t able to afford therapy but I’m now thinking I might be able to start saving up for psychotherapy if I can prioritise it. Tried cbt but it didn’t help much. Had some great and helpful responses from people on here about therapy on a previous thread so I’m incredibly grateful to this forum for helping me get the ball rolling 💕

      In the meantime though I guess I need to work out ways to cope on a day to day basis. I know these feelings will pass, but I wish I was able to do more rather than feel so depressed and stuck in my own mind sometimes.

    • #66060

      Wow, you have put it so well, maddog. I hadn’t thought about going to the GP (I self referred for CBT), bit nerve wracking but perhaps I’ll try that, not sure I’d know where to begin or what to say though

    • #66055

      I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m being dismissive of CBT, I know it can be very helpful. I went into it with a really positive, open mind but it is just not what I expected. After many years of trying to pluck up the courage to seek therapy, it feels like such a huge blow

    • #66054

      Fizzylem, thank you so much for your response. Overwhelmed with the kind and thoughtful responses I get when I post here.
      You’re right about the scores, mine have stayed more or less the same, and I fear that I’m becoming complacent, going through the motions a bit. We’ve done things like behaviour experiments, which have gone successfully according to the therapist but for me I’ve gained nothing. It does very much seem to be about ticking boxes, ‘performing’ better.
      Psychotherapy sounds like it might be better, as it does seem to go deeper, do you have experience of this? I’m not sure if it’s available through the NHS or how you get a referral? I’m not able to afford private.
      I think you’re right about telling my therapist how I’m feeling. But I’m not sure how. It almost seems counter productive now (the therapy I’m receiving), I feel like it’s intensifying my anxiety and low mood precisely because it’s not meeting my needs.

    • #66040

      That’s great, I’m glad you had such a positive experience. That makes me feel hopeful. I’m going to give them a call back tomorrow.
      How long did you have to wait on the waiting list, if you don’t mind me asking? And what are the main differences on the type of therapy it is, from CBT?

    • #66031

      Hi, thank you so much for your responses
      Twisted Sister, thank you for the reminder that positive experiences can and will help, I think I am already seeing the benefits of this and it is great to be reminded that my mind and thinking patterns won’t always be this way.
      Thank you for the reading suggestions, that’s very helpful. I read a lot of Patricia Evans when I first came out of the relationship, it was a huge eye opener and I learned a great deal. I hadn’t even realised that so many of the things I had experienced were abusive. So certainly reading and learning more still help 🙂
      Maddog, yes, without wanting to sound negative I am finding it useless too, not that it hasn’t given me some coping strategies, but I went into it thinking that it would change the way I think and feel about the effects of abuse in my life so far- it hasn’t.
      The worst thing that it is doing is confirming this horrible secrecy that I’ve been living with for so long- having not disclosed to that many people in my life, I sometimes feel like I struggle to acknowledge it myself, let alone talk about it.
      Women’s aid recommended a counselling service in my area but it is so full that the waiting list is closed. I have also been referred to Rasasc (rape crisis), I just need to pluck up the courage to call them back. Having been disappointed with my experience of CBT thus far, I’m conscious of pinning my hopes too much on something else. Although it sounds as if this may be a more promising support for me.
      Has anyone on here received counselling through rape crisis and found it useful?

    • #61552

      Thank you so much for your response, everyone. You’ve given me so much to reflect on. I’m really glad I posted here.
      As you say there is no rush and if the relationship develops there will be plenty of time to share.
      I’ve never been in this position before, of thinking about disclosing previous relationship abuse to a new partner. But I have made the choice to disclose childhood sexual abuse and each time I’ve regretted it, the people I’ve told either couldn’t handle it or used it to manipulate me and know my vulnerabilities. So that’s why I’m extra cautious and having trouble working out what I’m comfortable with. The man I’m seeing has been so gentle and there hasn’t been the tiniest hint of a red flag. However I’ve been had a couple of horrible dreams that he turns on me and behaves like my ex, and just nightmares about my ex. Part of my worry is that if I disclose it will change the way he behaves towards me, perhaps he will see me differently. I don’t know. He has been very open with me about his mental health problems, anxiety etc. I feel like if I’ve been a bit of a closed book. A friend has advised me merely to share what that I’ve had a very difficult relationship and to leave the details until I’m comfortable to share.
      I need to reflect on how to assert boundaries though, too. I also cannot be touched on the neck most of the time, the first time I told the man I am seeing he stopped immediately and has not tried since. I guess sharing a little of my history would give context to these sorts of situations, I’m just not sure if it’s necessary or helpful.
      Writing down boundaries is a great idea to, thank you.

    • #61302

      Thank you so much for your replies, I’ve found them so helpful.
      I’ve tried to do as much reading as I can about red flags and early warning signs of abuse. With my ex it wasn’t until a few months in that he verbally abused me in a way that shocked me, but there were red flags right from the beginning that I completely ignored. I’ve seen a few books about abusive relationships recommended in these forums so I’m gonna make sure I keep reading and educating myself as I want to really understand it.
      So far, this new guy has done or said nothing to make me feel uncomfortable or unsafe. In fact he has been so gentle and considerate and I’ve been leaving our dates feeling light and happy. It has been very enjoyable so far.
      Having boundaries is something I need to really reflect on, I’ve never been great at asserting these and have tended to be in relationships with quite dominant characters. Thank you for the reminder about journaling, it really does help me deal with my feelings and anxieties, it’s good to be reminded of the benefits of it as I tend to forget to consistently make time for it. It’s also been a massive help in recording the progress I’ve made so far.
      Thank you for sharing your experiences- it must feel wonderful to have that trust in a relationship to be able to share those things. I have read so much conflicting advice on this on the internet, it’s hard to know what to do. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you pick your moment, did it just feel right, or did you sort of plan to tell him/reflect a lot on it before? How did your partners react when you initially told them?
      What you have said about the legacy of secrecy in abusive relationships rings so true for me, thank you for saying it as it has helped me think through some things. I think I’ve spent a lot of my life living with this kind of secrecy (abusive parents) and I suppose part of why I’m interested in disclosing and sharing my experiences with those I trust is that it seems so important as you say to stop maintaining that secrecy, which can be so harmful.

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