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    • #142514

      It doesn’t work like that! Baby steps.

      I couldn’t go to refuge for many reasons. Nobody just leaves an abusive relationship. It’s an escape. There are also many reasons to stay put. None of this is your fault so please don’t blame yourself.

      Therapy can’t work properly when we’re still in the relationship, when the abuse is ongoing.

      Right now, you probably need help with sorting out your own finances/benefits, how you can afford to live without him.

      You may need legal advice.

      The Domestic Abuse team on police 101 should be able to guide you to local services. They’re not the police so you don’t have to feel as though you’re reporting a crime.

      You’re not alone. You’re far more articulate than I was when I was in a similar situation! x

    • #142352

      He WILL treat his new partner in exactly the same way as he treated you. It’s not you.

      We want to believe in the people we love. Unfortunately we fell for a partner who doesn’t and can’t do love. We fell in love with a shadow. When we look behind the facade, there’s nothing there.

      What you describe is very typical abuser behaviour. They grind us down then spit us out.

      Regarding the texting, are you able to tell him that you no longer want to hear from him? It’s really important to record everything. His behaviour sounds quite stalky. When you’re able to tell him to stop making contact with you, it’s vital that you go absolutely No Contact with him. You’ll then be in a better position to focus on yourself.

      Counselling can be really helpful.

      The things that created your abusive ex husband happened long, long before you met him. They’re baked in, and he won’t change. You didn’t cause the abuse. It all came from him.

      The Freedom Programme with Women’s Aid is really good to help identify abusive behaviours, and to learn that it really isn’t our fault. You can’t know what you don’t know, and then you can’t unsee what you’ve seen.

      For yourself, it may help to contact Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis, and it’s important to get tested for STIs.

      As you learn about abuse, the tactics, the behaviour, you’ll spot it far sooner. There are good people out there and the baddies start waving red flags around pretty early on.

      Well done for escaping. You’ll get there!

    • #142225

      Keep not talking. He’s trying to hoover you up. His mental health issues began so long before you came along. He’s ignoring your boundaries. You’ve said No, and he’s ignoring you.

      His behaviour towards you is all about him. It’s not your fault and you’re doing really well to establish boundaries.

      He won’t change. Either he’ll die by his own hand and blame you, or he’ll move swiftly on to the next person. Most abusers don’t kill themselves however many people they’ve left in their wake. They’ll find someone else.

      Right now, you have to protect yourself and your children. It’s such a frightening time. Please reach out to real life agencies who can help and support your family.

      In my case, my ex husband abandoned the children totally and we don’t know whether he’s dead or alive. The children say life without him is so much better, and although we know (if he’s alive) that he paints us in a dark light, we compare his behaviour with serial killers.

    • #142195

      I think I dodged a bullet there!For my sins, I enjoyed him for sex.
      The police are looking into the stalking behaviour but have told me it’s far harder to investigate the property tampering which could have killed me. I said that what he did is good way of bumping someone off then and not getting caught. It wasn’t a method used on Killing Eve.

      I don’t think he’ll be back. I expect he’s really proud of his tinkering. He’s a (removed by Moderator).

      The police told me to let my friend know, which I have done. I don’t think she believes me. Oh well. I can’t do anything about that. I’m sounding a bit like a narcfest myself at the moment!

      I wasn’t unkind. I told him I needed space with my family and (detail removed by Moderator). Now is truly not the time, if ever there was one, to be mucking around with someone who treats you as an object, like a lego set that they can take apart and rearrange how it suits them. So glad to be rid! xx

    • #142174

      Decades with my ex. In reality, a few days over a few weeks with this one! He started very early on with the little personal comments, the mini complaints, the little ways of changing how I dress. I got cross with him about a few things. He didn’t take any notice. The lack of boundaries very quickly became apparent. It should have been very easy to let him go, given that we barely knew each other. It obviously took no time at all for him to latch onto me and he wasn’t going to take No for an answer. I still found it difficult to tell him that No, he couldn’t treat me like that and that I’d already told him and that he was ignoring me. When he turned up again, out of the blue, the house was locked, so he came to the window. I told him to leave, which he did, not before damaging my property and putting my life in danger. The ex used to do spiteful things when he wasn’t getting his way.

    • #142169

      It’s rare for NPD to be diagnosed, and most people who have narc traits in abundance don’t have a personality disorder. They’re usually profoundly damaged pitiable control freaks. N*arcissism doesn’t usually cause problems for the person with the traits. Those traits leave in their wake a trail of misery and destruction for everyone else.I agree with you that it’s an important distinction to make between a serious disorder (which un unqualified person can’t diagnose) and patterns of behaviour which often are both abusive and narcissistic. Describing someone as narcissist*c is just a descriptive term like calling someone kind, empathetic, tight, or whatever.

      I think this stupid man will feel pleased with himself. Just like my ex! Yuck. A dangerous man for anyone to get entwined with.

    • #142160

      Oh Rainydays, it sounds absolutely horrible and not consensual at all. My ex used to do the same. I used to wonder if I could leave and do something else. I wasn’t in any way part of it.

      Please speak to Rape Crisis. It’s really hard to accept and understand rape and sexual assault when we’ve become so accustomed to it. Your partner is using you as a tool to satisfy himself. To him, you’re no more than an accessory. There’s headless, limbless toy full of holes for sale on a well known market place. I felt like that thing with my ex husband.

      Women’s Aid should also be able to help you.

      This isn’t you. It’s him.

    • #139624

      Oh Poppyrose, you’re so not alone. Most abusers keep up their regime of terror after separation and will use money and children as leverage.

      You know that your life with his wasn’t sunshine and roses. You know how he seduced you and how he subsequently behaved towards you and your children. My ex behaved appallingly.

      The only thing we can do is to look after ourselves. Life without abuse is so much better.

      My ex takes absolutely no interest in our shared children in any way whatsoever. It’s difficult being an only parent. However, it’s so much better than having what is such a toxic influence in our lives. He will be behaving in exactly the same way towards his new partner, and it’s so much better for us that she’s there as it keeps him away from us.

      It all feels so raw and unfair at the beginning. The sun will shine again, and each time we’re dealt a blow we feel it a little less. Keep reaching out in real life and here.

    • #139512

      You’re normal. You want everything to be ok. We get caught in the web and it feels impossible to get out. I was caught in the web for many years, decades.
      Please call Women’s Aid for support. They changed my life.
      If you’re not ready yet to move on, keep a diary. Get a pay as you go burner phone.
      It’s ok to feel as you do. Baby steps. Nobody ‘just leaves’ an abusive relationship. It’s ok to take your time.

    • #139457

      Abusers don’t ‘do’ love on any level. Any intimate contact is going to be only about them. Sex is often part of the abusive cycle, and as we normalise abuse, we normalise sexual assault and rape. Abusers use their partners as objects as a normal person might use a car or a plate.

      We so often get tangled up in rape myths and deny to ourselves that these horrible sexual experiences are actually abusive and not normal.

      Intimate contact is not ok if we’re unable to freely consent. We can’t freely consent when we’re being put down, shouted at, demeaned, maybe physically attacked. It’s not consent to tolerate sex to keep the abuser happy. Above all, when we don’t want sex with someone who’s plain nasty to us, it’s their behaviour which is causing the problem. Not ours.

      Rape Crisis is brilliant. Nobody has the right to be close to us uninvited.

      I’ve found it helpful learning about narciss*tic abuse and the forms it takes. We can’t know what we don’t know, and we can’t unsee what we’ve seen.

      Abusers are profoundly damaged individuals. I stayed with my ex husband for far too long because I didn’t understand what was happening and I thought I could sort it out. How wrong I was!

    • #137632

      It’s horrible when this happens. I’ve just been triggered by the same sort of thing. A family member of his wants to see the children and really doesn’t get it. If I speak to her, she will share information with him which causes so many problems. She’s also a ‘nice’ person.

      Unfortunately we can’t control the behaviour of anyone else. My ex used to get in contact with my friends and family to justify his appalling behaviour. In the end my solicitor dealt with it. His own family of course is his own.

      It’s horrible feeling triggered and vulnerable. With your own family, you might be able to ask them not to share information about you. Abusers don’t have normal relationships whatever they may look like. Abusers have tools which they pick up and put down as needed.

      I’ve never told my ex where I live. I am mortified that his relation will no doubt have shared this information with him. It makes me shudder.

    • #137571

      Well done! You brave soul. It’s such a difficult thing to do, and you’ve done it.

      The police should put your protection first. They didn’t call my ex in for a long time as I was terrified by what he might do. It depends so much on the circumstances. If your ex is a danger to either himself or someone else, they may have to act. They should treat your safety as paramount. I hope the police have appointed you with an IDVA or ISVA to support you through their investigations. It’s such a difficult time and nothing can prepare us for it.

      I spent many times howling down the phone to my local support people, feeling so out of control and afraid.

      The not knowing is horrendous.

      Please remember that you’re reactions are normal. You’re not alone. It’s also difficult when the police work shifts, so you can’t easily speak to the officer in charge of your case.

      It’s no wonder you feel exhausted. It’s no wonder you’re terrified. It’s terrifying to make this step into the abyss. Bit by bit, you’ll find the support you need. You won’t fall. It’s important to let agencies such as your GP, schools if you have children etc, know what’s happening to you. You’re a witness to the darker parts of human nature.

      Baby steps.

    • #137267

      Families are complicated and we’re all different. My own family was profoundly dysfunctional.

      It may help to take a step back. Our parents are still only flawed people. As adults, we can do nothing to change the behaviour of another adult. People are as they are. We can only work on ourselves. Ultimately we need to pick up the reins and drive our own lives.

      I have a particularly awful sibling who has only ever treated me with contempt apart from when it suits them not to. Alcohol is very dangerous in the mix. Just recently been there and done that! It’s so important to be able to get away, and escape through a bottle really doesn’t work well. I’ve spent too long down that rabbit hole.

      There’s lots of real life help and support out there. Abuse drives anyone crazy.

      You may feel that you have to go away on holiday with your family. The reality is that you don’t. What’s going to happen if you make other plans? Can you weigh up the positives and the negatives? What control does your mother still hold over you? There are often veiled threats in dysfunctional families.

      Women’s Aid can support you. NAPAC is also a brilliant organisation. Baby steps as you disentangle yourself from this web.

    • #137266

      It’s so difficult with a toxic parent. My parents were children when they started a family, and nothing changed. I got out, eventually married an abusive idiot and stayed in round the edges. Getting tangled up in the family web would have killed me.

      Women’s Aid will be able to support you through this. NAPAC is a great organisation as well. Baby steps. You’ll be able to recover yourself from all this.

      I’ve been feeling slightly triggered by an abusive sibling who has no boundaries whatsoever. It’s heartbreaking to see someone you love disappear up their proverbial.

    • #136530

      I expect you’ll get help from Women’s Aid. If you call 101 and ask for the Domestic Abuse team, they will also probably know someone who can help you. Citizen’s Advice will also be able to support you. You really don’t have to do this alone. The Court Said is another really helpful resource and of course Rights of Women.

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