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    • #23683
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi there Betterdays,

      I know how heartbroken you must be feeling right now at the thought of him with another woman while you are left broken with your kids. I was right were you are going back last year. I can tell you now that I really don’t care less who he is with anymore and neither will you given time.

      I think of any woman he is with as pitiful as she hasn’t got a clue what a selfish narcissistic monster he is just now. She has all that to face in the future as this woman has with your ex. These men never change, they get worse. He will treat her no better than you once he thinks he has gained control over her.

      You and your kids deserve so much better and I hope you find it when you feel ready. He will move from one relationship to another, never truly happy or fulfilled as inside they are empty. They are emotional vampires who suck the blood out of their victims then discard them for another victim.

    • #22759
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi Serenity, so sorry to hear you have been having trouble at work.

      I can relate to how you are feeling fully. I loved my job until recently. I thought I was good at it until we got a new boss. She is horrible to me and is constantly pressurising me to work extra hours when I am on my own with two kids under 16. If I refuse to take on extra shifts, she is nasty and abusive to me. I am contracted to do a certain amount of hours yet she tells me I should have my phone with me at all times, even in the bath. I am so unhappy there now. It feels like I am being controlled and abused all over again.

      My working tax credits have also stopped as an external company sent me a letter asking for proof of my wages. I thought it was just a reminder to renew the tax credits online which I had already done. Now they tell me as I didn’t send the wage slips as requested, I will not be getting any more payments. How am I going to pay my rent? How am I going to keep a safe, secure home for my kids when we escaped from hell with the narcissistic abuser? They just don’t care.

      I hope things work out for you Serenity,you really don’t deserve this.

    • #15810
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi, try to hang in there. It’s extremely hard and despite what he did to you, it’s normal to feel empty and miss him. This is why so many women go back time and time again as it feels like the only way to heal that empty gaping hole in your heart is him. Nobody can prepare you for the emotions you feel after leaving, as well as the issues you have to sort out with finances, kids if you have any together and housing. These feelings will lessen as time goes on and it will be worth it.

      I think perhaps what you are pining for is the good times, the dream, the person you thought he was. It is like a grief process many of us experience. Cry all day if you feel like it, post your heart away on here as we are here for you but fight the temptation to go back to him. Remember why you left him and keep reminding yourself, write it down and look at it when you have weak moments. I find that helped me.

      You deserve better. Hugs XX

    • #15808
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi there, I think the answer to your question of why they appear so normal outside when they treat you so differently is all about having power and control.

      I used to think my ex couldn’t control his rages but he could go the whole time without behaving that way when his family came to stay. They are fully aware of what they are doing and it is all about gaining power and control over you. The gaslighting is all about twisting everything to make you feel like the inadequate one, the one who is mentally impaired, forgetful and unreliable. You then start to doubt yourself and wonder whether it is you that has the problem. IT IS NOT YOU. From all that you describe your feelings are normal. HE IS THE PROBLEM.

      I have been there where you are now and I couldn’t see it for what it was, thought I was going crazy. I knew nothing of what I know now. I felt just as you describe. It’s taken me years to get there and I still have really bad days like today. I think perhaps it has taken me so long as I was in denial for so long after leaving, blaming myself, feeling like a fraud as he never actually hit me much. It’s only when you are away from such an abusive relationship that you can really start to learn and see the situation for what it was. My ex still has the power to make me doubt myself and further abuse me with just a few words, which is why I choose to have no contact. Hope you can get away from him when you feel ready and find some healing and peace in your life.

    • #15307
      martian29
      Participant

      Don’t feel bad. I felt bad about the ex not seeing his sons and sent them to go and visit him when they were trying to tell me they hated him. He just used his contact with them to further abuse us. Your son will be much better of without him in his life. He can begin to heal as can you too.

      If your ex is like mine, don’t think he will be sitting sad missing his son. He will most likely be out partying and enjoying himself free from responsibility. We make the mistake of projecting our normal caring, loving feelings onto them and forget they have no emotions.

      I hope you and your son find peace and healing. XX

    • #15306
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi betterdays,

      I think we have all been there. I had been no contact with the ex for nearly a year but broke it a few weeks ago as I was so angry and seething at his latest spiteful cr*p directed towards our sons and I. I shouted at him down the phone telling him how we felt with a few colourful words added. He just remained calm and collected on the other end then threatened me that he would report me for being abusive.

      Talking to them is like banging your head against a brick wall. They never admit they have done anything wrong or apologise. They twist everything to be your fault. You have every right to be angry when he has affected your son. It’s so wrong the way these men walk away free after the harm they cause to us and our children. I hope karma bites them all in the end. Hang in there, it will get better XX

    • #15304
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi Serenity,

      I know how you feel. My ex was the same. I did everything, look after our boys, all the cleaning and cooking while he did absolutely nothing. He did nothing but go to work and his job was very cushy. He got paid lots of money for basically sitting on his bottom. When he got home he expected quiet well – behaved kids, a home cooked meal from scratch and a clinically clean home. He would shout and scream if he came home to anything else. He never lifted a finger in his own house and had me there pandering to his every need like a slave. He used me as his unpaid housekeeper for years while he stashed all his money away. He kept making excuses to postpone getting married as he schemed all along not to marry me so that I couldn’t get anything by law should I dare to leave. I put all my money and savings into his house but have no proof as he said my savings could go on renovations and furniture which I have no proof of. He took everything off me financially and left me penniless and homeless while he hid all his money.

      It has been so hard to get over. Somebody that you share over two decades with, bear children with and give your mind, body and soul to can be so evil and scheming. He is a true narcissist. I have no tears left to cry over him any more. I feel nothing for him any more but hatred and contempt. He has eliminated his own sons out of his life now as he has another poor victim. He is carrying on like a teenager, going on holidays and days out with his new supply. It makes me seethe to think he is spending money on this woman as she doesn’t work and is on benefits for mental illness when our boys and I went without decent food and clothes all the years we were with him. She is reaping the rewards for all my hard work and stupidity in letting him walk all over me.

      I try not to think about it too much as it drives me crazy. I am trying to concentrate on the positive things now like how much better we all feel without him in our lives and despite all his money he will never know what love feels like. He will end up alone one day as no other woman would put up with what I did and his sons hate him. He has no family except for a sister who is selfish and doesn’t care about anybody but herself. I hope karma bites him big time in the future and in the meantime, I will be concentrating on healing our sons and my life. Hopefully there is a brighter future for us all with no contact with him. I wish all you ladies the same. XX

    • #15256
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi Serenity, so glad you feel free too. Funny you say you get anxious about cleaning as I do too. He constantly went around his house inspecting for dust or dirt anywhere and called me a lazy b**ch if he found any. Everybody tells me how clean my home is but I still find myself worrying. Hopefully the anxiety will go as we begin to heal.

      Glad your boys don’t argue anymore. Your ex sounds just like mine. He would compare my boys against each other and cause friction between them all the time, then he would grin when they were fighting. They get on so much better now.

      My ex was the same when I bought things for the kids. He was insanely jealous if I bought them a bag of buttons without buying him one too. He was insanely jealous of my love for them. He was just like an overgrown child.

      Funny how they behave so differently in public. I used to think my ex couldn’t control his temper but he controlled it for days when his sister came to stay and out in public with his friends.

    • #11733
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi Serenity,

      So glad you have come so far with your boys. I think I need to be like you as I can’t help mentioning what a money loving narcissist he is at times to our boys. They have worked this out without my input and hate him, but still, it’s wrong. I am working on this daily but it was so hard when they were having contact with him. Every time, I would feel sick to my stomach wondering what he had said to them to get at me. You advised me once to imagine myself as a graceful swan and not to react. I will try this if the boys or I have to have contact with him again in future.

      Sorry to hear you are feeling anxious again. I am the same right now. I have gone backwards too after seeing videos of him abusing our children. I am having panic attacks and constantly shaking. It is beginning to affect my job as people are noticing and wondering why my hands are shaking and I am out of breath. I am with you on this one as I also would like to know some techniques for relaxation.

      When at work or outside, I don’t feel in control of my panic attacks. I know the doctor would just put me on anti-depressants but I refuse to take them as it took me so long to come off them last time. When at home, I can relax myself by listening to relaxation music, burning aromatherapy oils in a diffuser, having a bath, meditation and yoga. It would be nice to know some techniques when outside and at work. I know there are visualisation techniques but haven’t practised them myself. Hope you feel better soon Serenity. You are so strong and wise.

    • #11476
      martian29
      Participant

      I think a lot of us realise after being in an abusive relationship that we have been led there from childhood relationships with family. We need to learn healthy boundaries and to make sure they are kept. This is not easy when we have been conditioned into thinking we are not worthy. Assertiveness is so hard to follow through when we are so used to saying yes, putting our own needs last of all.

      Your mother sounds like she is trying to emotionally control you in getting to do what she wants, getting angry when you set boundaries and then trying to make you feel guilty by getting tearful on the phone. She should realise that you have your own life and your own plans. You are allowed to grieve over your father as much as you like and for as long as it takes. I don’t think you are being over sensitive at all.

      I have always had a close relationship with my mother and I love her to bits. She is my life as well as my children. After I left the abuser with the kids, we spent some time staying at her home with her. As much as I love her she almost drove us mad. I realised how controlling, critical and emotionally abusive she can be at times to my kids and I.

      Growing up, my older siblings were more important than me. They would get the best food as they are older she would say, something she has been repeating with my own children who are only a year apart in age. Any opinion I voiced was laughed at and ridiculed by her and my eldest sibling. I wasn’t allowed to speak for myself as she always spoke over me. I was expected to do all the housework and chores as I was a girl. She taught me that women should always be subservient to men as they are the providers and protectors. She showed this by example. My step-father was a lazy man who sat around all day and barely ever worked. She always worked then came home and pandered to his needs. I can see how this led me to feel unworthy and stay so long in an abusive relationship later on in life.

    • #11290
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi Serenity,

      I totally agree with you. These men will never give us the closure we so badly long for. They just try to hurt us more and more with one look or one word. They never admit any wrongdoing on their part, apologise and try to make amends. They twist everything to be our fault. When they can’t blame us they blame alcohol, drugs or their childhood.

      Good for you, that you have kept the no contact rule. It is really hard, especially when we have children with them. I feel like you, no words I could ever say to him could ever relay the damage he has done to the children and I. It’s like being raped and tortured, mind, body and soul. They are psychopathic, sociopathic, narcissists who suck us dry, take all we have and leave us with nothing. They then move onto the next victim without a care in the world or a conscience for the trail of destruction they leave behind.

      Wishing you and your children much peace and healing XX

    • #11288
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi Driftingalong,

      Welcome to the forum. I am sure you will find lots of support from the lovely women on here during your journey out of the abuse. We are all at different stages ranging from wondering if it is abuse to being out a long time. I’m sure most of us know the rollercoaster of emotions at each stage so will understand and try to offer support.

      Try not to feel guilty for going back again. Lots of us do, time after time, as we are trauma bonded to them. They are like a drug habit, an unhealthy addiction. I wish you much strength and healing on your journey out. XX

    • #11008
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi Alone, I can associate with your feelings fully. Am I right in thinking it was your family and friends who were abusing you from the old forum? I have been were you are. I had to leave my family home as there was so much abuse in my family. My siblings were favoured over me. It seemed there was nothing I could say or do that would please them. I was bullied at work at the same time. Thankfully relationships have improved greatly with my family as I have grown older. I hope things will get better for you too with your family in the future

      I understand fully that feeling of isolation and self-doubt you mention when I finally left. At that time, most of the friends I had were in relationships or getting married. They seemed to fall away one by one until I was left with nobody. I wondered if it was me. I now know years later, that they just felt uncomfortable about my situation and were too busy living their own lives, trying to establish themselves and find their place in the world. Not that it is an excuse. A really true loyal friend would stick by you whatever.

      You have come so far and been so strong. If I could give you a hug and pat you on the back, I would. I really hope you find some friends who are more loyal and understanding. Things will get better, just hang in there. Next time you get asked out, why not accept? You may be surprised how much more happier you could be. We all have to take a risk of being rejected or hurt when we accept a date or make a new friend. You have to give people a chance. XXX

    • #10707
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi LittleBritisPhoenix,

      You are not alone with your feelings. It is so hard coping on your own with children in normal circumstances. Dealing with the after effects of abuse and the legal side of things makes it much more difficult. I am sure most of us have days feeling just as you describe. I know I certainly do.

      I am sure your son knows who is there for him, who loves him and who he is safe with at the end of the day.

      Just wanted to send you hugs and wish you luck with the upcoming trial XX

    • #10706
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi inneedosomepeace, sorry to read your story but thanks for sharing it with us. He sounds like a vile, evil rotten man and deserves to be where he is in prison.

      Don’t ever blame yourself, it would never have mattered how hard you tried with this man. Nothing would have ever been good enough. We all have faults and annoying habits but in a healthy relationship we learn to accept each other warts and all. I know the thoughts you mention well “if only I had done this or that, would it have made a difference?”. “Was he justified in treating me the way he did?” “Did I ask for it?”. Even though our logic tells us that we were not to blame, sometimes we have been so conditioned by them that we doubt ourself.

      Your words ‘worry if he’s coping in prison’ shows how kind and caring you are. You are a good person and never deserved the treatment he gave you. Nobody does XX

    • #10641
      martian29
      Participant

      Serenity, thanks for your post. Sorry in a way that you are still on here as I hoped you may have found closure and healing. I have been thinking of taking further qualifications online. I have already completed various work based qualifications since leaving him. Each one was a small triumph and two fingers up to him when he tried to make me believe I was stupid for years and laughed and mocked me.

      My ultimate goal is to complete a higher level of study qualification for a particular career I am interested in. He would not let me go back to college and withheld the money for each course I was interested in when together. It’s just that I still struggle some days coping all alone with everything and doubting myself after years of having it drummed into my head from him that I am stupid, I am worthless, I am nothing. He knew my achilles heel, as like my eldest son, I struggled at school. I missed a lot of education due to trauma in childhood. He took all my confidence to better myself away as he wanted to keep me below him. He couldn’t bear it if I became more qualified, more successful and higher up in a career than him. I passed many qualifications when first with him and was chosen to go to university hundreds of miles away for a particular 3 year higher qualification. He stopped me, said he couldn’t bear to be without me and that my future was married to him. He promised he would support my education when we got married and moved in together. He did the opposite.

      I feel the children and I finally need to deal with the abuse with counselling and therapy before I can commit to any study. I suppose I have been existing all this time and not really dealing with the effects of the abuse to us effectively. I certainly will be kicking down that wall he has built around us as soon as I gain the strength. I am just having a really bad day and feeling weak in myself. At least I am posting on here and getting it off my chest which helps me to deal with days like this. Just to know that some of you bother to read my ramblings and take the time to try to help me brings tears to my eyes.

      I just wish I was further along in recovery and could be of more help to some of the ladies on here. I wish I could offer good advice and hope for the future. If I ever get there, I certainly will. Healing to you all XXXX

    • #10634
      martian29
      Participant

      Good for you. I think being on your own and finding yourself again is so much better than going into another relationship. After being abused, I think it is important to deal with the issues which led to us allowing ourselves to be put in that position in the first place. If we don’t deal with these issues it is likely that we may find ourselves repeatedly ending up in abusive relationships with partners, at work or with family members.

      So sorry to hear you were sexually abused by your own father, bullied at school, bullied at work and then bullied by your husband. I can’t even begin to imagine how you have suffered at the hands of your own father but you have survived. You should be proud of yourself. I would ignore the comments from people outside who have never been in an abusive relationship. They are probably well meaning comments but you know best how you feel and whether you are ready to move on with another partner.

      Not all men are abusive. I am lucky enough to have known some kind, caring, selfless, non-abusive men in my life so they do exist. Hopefully we will all get to meet them some day and we will look back on our posts in this forum as bad experience which we have overcome.

      I wish you healing. Hugs XXX

    • #10621
      martian29
      Participant

      I wish I had the answer to that question myself. I have been out (removed by moderator) years now and feel nowhere near moving on. Looking at the advice given in another similar post on here, it seems the amount of counselling and support you get makes a difference to recovery time.

      Our children and I have had no counselling or support since leaving the narcissistic abuser. I have asked our GP and the local Domestic abuse service but the waiting list seems to be years. They all seem to think that we don’t need support now as we have been out so long. We are very low priority.

      When we left, the social services who put our children at risk due to his abuse, seemed to think that was it, they closed our case. They thought we would be happy and able to move on with our lives but how can we? Each day, I am filled with misery, flashbacks of his abuse, panic attacks and cannot trust anybody or make friends. I struggle at work, to socialise with the other staff and people I deal with. I am overqualified for the job I do. Having been isolated and kept at home as a slave by him, I missed out on years of progressing in a career and had to start from the bottom of the ladder again when I left him. I have no confidence to progress at the moment and watch as others who started after me progress over me. My family have no understanding of the abuse and why I stayed. They are of the opinion that I should ‘deal with it’ and get on with life. They have no interest in our feelings about the abuse and get angry if I mention it. They say it’s my fault for staying with him when they all warned me time and time again to leave him over the years.

      Our children are withdrawn, have no friends and have very low self-esteem. They both comfort eat to deal with the effects of the abuse we suffered and have become obese. Last time I took them to see a GP to discuss counselling for them, he told them off for being so obese and accused me of feeding them junk food. He offered nothing at all. He thought them losing weight would solve all their problems, not working on what was causing them to overeat in the first place. As if that helped their low self-esteem. I barely ever buy crisps, cakes etc for them, they just eat too much healthy food when my back is turned. He controlled what food we had and how much so I suppose they are trying to regain power in some way too. My eldest son has suffered terribly with bullying at school and will not defend himself as he says he feels he deserves to be treated badly. His father made him feel stupid and worthless as he struggles a bit at school with his subjects compared to his younger sibling. He says he doesn’t care about the dangers to his health through being obese and wants to kill himself anyway.

      Another important factor that I keep hearing from other ‘victims’ or ‘survivors’ of abuse is the amount of contact we have with these perpetrators. No contact seems to be the key to recovery but those of us with children can never go no contact if our children still have a desire to see the abusive parent. My ex has been constantly abusing me and tormenting me through his contact with the children since we left. The children have no love or respect left for him, they have finally seen him for the narcissistic abuser he is. Their contact with him since leaving has been based on them getting a break from our cramped living conditions and him keeping control over their possessions at his home. He has only recently agreed to let them have their possessions as he knows that I will take action if he doesn’t. That wouldn’t look good to his status which is all he cares about along with money. Now he’s lost control over them, they mean nothing to him anymore. It is so heart-breaking that somebody could care so little for their own flesh and blood. He abused and neglected his own father and wished him dead so that he could get his inheritance. His father was mainly a quiet, peace-loving, kind disabled man. His mother abused his father just like he did. It should have been a huge red flag.

      Another factor seems to be justice. Most of you on here were married to the perpetrator so can at least get what is owed financially to you in order to build a decent home for your children and yourselves. My perpetrator got me to give up my council home, give up my chance of a decent career and move in with him on the promise of marriage and happily ever after. My family and I furnished his home and paid money into his property but as I have no proof and he would not put my name on the mortgage, there is nothing I can claim. He schemed it all along that I would get nothing if I dared to leave him and I so stupidly fell into his trap. He gets to keep everything. As I never reported the emotional, sexual and financial abuse to the police or authorities when it happened, there is nothing I can do legally in regards to the abuse itself. He is too clever to do anything or say anything that can be traced back to him as proof of abuse so he gets to walk free. He has convinced everyone around him that it was me that was the abusive one and he is the poor victim, even his counsellor, doctor and teachers at our children’s school.

      Another factor seems to be the amount of time we spend with the abuser. I was with him for over two decades and he was my first proper relationship. All my memories seem to be tied to him. I cannot even move from the area where he is as it would disrupt our children’s education at a crucial stage. I have to face the same shops we went to together, the same roads we travelled and live in fear of coming face to face with him, his latest supply and his allies each day. I barely go out due to this, except to work, where I walk through where I know he would never go. As he has not actually harassed us at our property the council will not rehome me. Nobody wants to exchange for a tiny cramped property so I am living in torment each day until our children are old enough.

      I can totally understand where you are coming from. It is a nightmare having to hand children over to an abuser as they maintain their siege of torment via their contact. They get to know our private business as children let things slip even without realising it. They try to sabotage any efforts we make to get on with our lives by knocking us back with nasty comments or threatening us in some way.

      Sorry for rambling on about myself rather than trying to give you any meaningful advice. Oh how much I can ramble on, he always mocked me for it. It’s just your post struck a chord with me and I felt I needed to vent. I am sure there are some who are further along in recovery than me that can give you some good advice.

      Good luck with your court case and I hope you find healing in the near future. XXX

    • #10295
      martian29
      Participant

      Oh god, that is absolutely awful, so sorry. Perhaps you can get closure by getting on with your life, going no contact and finding success in the future. Sorry I can’t offer much advice but just wanted you to know my thoughts are with you. Disgusting how these men manipulate those around them into defending them. Disgusting how they get off in court with abusing our mind, body and soul. Sending you healing vibes and hugs XX

    • #9993
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi Cutiesunshine, an abuser will never take responsibility for their behaviour, will never admit they were wrong and will always twist everything round to make you the one at fault. We as normal loving caring individuals want to understand why they did what they did. We long for them to admit they were wrong and apologise so that we can put it in our past, get closure and move on with our life. Sadly, they will never give us the closure we want. However much you try to talk to him you have to accept he will not give you any closure. He will more than likely upset you more and make you feel even worse.

      Releasing your emotions and venting on here I find helps more than looking for answers from him XX

    • #9992
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi silkyhide, they really do throw us at times don’t they. Sometimes they can act so reasonable that we doubt ourselves in believing that they were ever abusive. Your last sentence sums it all up. He’s only reasonable when it concerns himself, his own feelings, fears or sacrifices in true narcissistic abusive style. Hope you have a good sleep and can put things into better perspective in the morning. Hugs XX

    • #9989
      martian29
      Participant

      Thanks Silkyhide and Falling skys for you words of support.

      Falling skys, that is so true what you say about our tiny place being full of love. I made it my mission to fill it with candles, aromatherapy oils, nice ornaments and decorate it how the children and I chose as we never had any control over these things when with him. I have the children’s paintings, things they have crafted and their photographs which he also never allowed in his home. Most importantly, I try to show them my love every day and tell them every night how much I love them even though they consider themselves too old for hugs and kisses now. He may have their material possessions on his property but he doesn’t have the things that really matter. He only has love for himself as he is a narcissistic abuser. He never showed our children any love or care since they were babies and was jealous and angry when I did. His place is full of junk and clutter as he is a hoarder. It has a cold, dark, loveless atmosphere which reflects him.

      I have already made records of his texts as you advised in case I need them in future for reference. I had to retrieve some of them off my phone onto the computer with a programme I installed as I accidentally deleted his whole thread. The thing is, he is so scheming that he writes in an ambiguous way so as to not look outwardly abusive but I know exactly how he is trying to upset me and so does he. You are right in saying I should not respond. I am ashamed to say I have sent him some abusive texts myself recently telling him what a useless father he has been and that he doesn’t deserve to see them again amongst other things. I have probably played straight into his hands. I was only stating the truth about him though.

      I sent him a long letter tonight telling him how the children and I feel about him and that they no longer wish to see him. I posted it to him. I felt I just had to get it off my chest, whether he will read it is another matter. I was not abusive in the letter, just told him how the children and I feel and why we had come to the decision not to see him. He sent me some texts earlier, one saying that we are more than welcome to come and take our belongings but I cannot trust him to not become abusive on my own with the children. From these texts it seems like he doesn’t care about us any more and wants shut of us anyway out of his life so that he can concentrate on his new relationship. Good riddance.

      Hopefully we can finally cut him out of our life and find some peace healing and closure.

    • #9904
      martian29
      Participant

      I cannot even phone the helpline on here as there is no privacy and I don’t want to upset my children by them hearing how distraught I am on the phone. They are on school holiday and are cooped up with me all day.

    • #8819
      martian29
      Participant

      Serenity always seemed to know the right things to say to help everybody and took up a lot of her time supporting others. I miss her too and hope that she hasn’t been on here lately because she is finally finding serenity and peace in her own life and moving on.

    • #8817
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi again mixed up mum, I am touched that you found my reply to your post helpful. I am so pleased that you are feeling a bit better today. I look forward to chatting to you but cannot do so just now as I have to go out. Best wishes XXXX

    • #8812
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi newlife 2015, I would refuse to meet him. My ex wanted to meet up with me at a pub with our kids to discuss finances but I refused and said no to him. He only wants to offer (without going into too much detail) options that involve him being in total control over property and money, therefore still in control of the children and I. He has offered nothing financially since I left him towards his children except for some maintenance and he has properties and earns a really good wage while we live in damp, cramped conditions.

      I tried mediation but it didn’t work. He sat smugly, patronizing me and trying to collude with the mediator against me. I had the feeling that she was siding with him and looking down her nose at me as he comes across as so eloquent, well spoken and educated and I have a strong accent, it made me feel so small and worthless. It is not an experience I would ever want to repeat. I was so nervous being in the same room as him, I could barely write my signature as my hands were shaking so badly. He spent the whole time looking at me with anger, making me feel threatened and I could barely get my words out properly.

      I had hoped that he would offer something for our children if he had any love for them at all, to save the large expense of having to get a solicitor but no such luck. All he cares about is having control over all his money and keeping it all to himself even above his own children. Now I have the added stress of trying to find a solicitor who understands domestic abuse. I have seen a couple so far, and felt they didn’t fully understand the situation. I have never asked him for anything since I left and he has never offered at times when he knew we were struggling financially.

      If your ex is anything like mine, I would not meet him as it is likely he will use the meeting as an excuse to intimidate and patronize you into getting you to agree to what he wants. I know it is a lot of expense, but taking him through the courts is probably better. I wish you luck whatever you decide to do and sorry for rambling about my situation. XX

    • #8740
      martian29
      Participant

      Mixed up mum, I can so relate to what you are saying. Our circumstances seem very similar. I am also in my (removed by moderator) with teenage children and have only ever had the one relationship with my ex. The thought of being with another man both scares and excites me.

      I understand that feeling of emptiness, of wanting to feel desired and needed by somebody. I feel so empty when I hear other women talking about their husbands and where they are planning to go on holiday or what they have planned that evening as a family. I avoid inviting friends or family over as I feel they will find me so boring and dull. I long to share my life with somebody but I am too scared to trust again. I long for that buzz of excitement again that somebody loves me, wants me and finds me desirable. My ex made me feel this way in the beginning but it was all a mask as he made me feel the opposite by the time I left. It would be nice to cuddle up to someone and do simple things like just watching T.V. or cooking a meal and eating together.

      I have spent much time trying to rebuild my life on my own. My ex moved on with another woman as soon as I left him. I wish I could move on so easily as him. My children are getting older and may leave me in just a few years so I keep thinking how will I cope all alone? They have been my life for so long, I live and breathe for them. My days revolve around work and them and I can’t imagine it being any other way but sometimes I just think “What about me?”. “Don’t I deserve some happiness?” “Don’t I deserve what every other woman I know seems to have?”. “Don’t I deserve to be loved and treated right?”

      I have days when I can’t seem to keep on top of the housework and paying the bills. I don’t bother the children to help around the house as they are so busy studying (removed by moderator). Sometimes I feel like I am falling into a bottomless pit and everything is falling all around me. It feels like an endless battle keeping on top of things. It is so hard being a single working parent without any support from family or friends. I understand fully what you mean. I sometimes have days where I overeat then feel disgusted at myself. I have spells where I can’t eat at all with anxiety and nerves. My weight yo yos all the time and I have a wardrobe ranging from size 10 to size 16.

      Sorry I can’t be of much support or help to you but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone with your feelings. Hugs XXX
      .

    • #8733
      martian29
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing your post. It gives us all some hope. I hope we can all move on one day and meet someone who will treat us with love and respect. I am so pleased for you XX

    • #8732
      martian29
      Participant

      Ayanna, I am so sorry to read your post that you are struggling so badly. Thank heavens that the doctor spoke up for you in receiving counselling. I can fully understand how you are feeling, it is a normal reaction to being abused. It takes a long time to ever feel like yourself again before you met your abuser so I have been told. You have as much right as anybody to receive help and counselling so don’t feel you have to go it alone and help yourself.

      Have you spoke to your neighbour and explained your situation? They may be more tolerant if they know your story. Could you sleep in another room away from the neighbour?

      I understand fully what you are saying about people thinking that you should be fine by now. I have been years out and I am still not fully recovered. Family members, work colleagues and friends all think I should be moving on with my life and thinking about another relationship by now. He damaged me so much that I find it hard to ever trust anybody again. I find myself making excuses when invited out to social events and lie to men who ask me out saying I am already in a relationship. I only feel safe in my own company. I still have panic attacks, nightmares and have been told by my children, I sometimes shout in my sleep but they are becoming much less frequent which is an improvement. I have become O.C.D. about safety, going round checking electrical switches, taps, locks etc many times before I go to bed or go out.

      Only people who have been in an abusive relationship can understand what you are going through. This forum is excellent for getting your feelings off your chest as we all understand. I hope your counselling goes well and I hope you find peace and happiness in the future XX

    • #8724
      martian29
      Participant

      Hi ellen B, sounds like you have had a really rough time, so glad for you that you away from all that now and hope your future is much brighter.

      I attended the freedom programme not long after leaving my perpetrator and found it extremely hard to deal with. Discovering how abusive he had been to me and reliving things was so hard. He fitted almost all the aspects of an abusive man in the ‘Living With The Dominator book’, except physical violence. I spent the end of every session in floods of tears and could barely take anything in. I did meet some lovely courageous women who were so willing to support each other.

      I would definitely recommend the Freedom Programme but will warn it can be painful if you go on it too soon without having any additional counselling or support. XX

Viewing 29 reply threads

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