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    • #113735
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Hi iliketea, I understand where you’re coming from. I’m a short time out of an abusive relationship and can relate to the nightmares, unfocused mind & thoughts going round & round my head. Some days I can nearly convince myself that I’ve made a mistake/treated my abuser unfairly/life wasn’t so bad with him/oh no, what have I done to wreck our family?/etc. So I worked out a plan for keeping my head in the right place, and also healing that part that is broken or wounded, while getting the daily jobs done, too!
      I wrote down a list of daily activities to give me a structure and routine. Otherwise I’d come in from work and just drift around from room to room, or start 10 different activities, yet finish none.

      My list includes:
      -1 or 2 housework jobs, plus 1 extra if I can manage it.
      -Contact with a friend, either a call, visit or text chat, depending on my level of concentration.
      -Some form of exercise even if it’s only 10 minutes.
      -Time on self care/wellness apps/online info or this forum.
      -Relaxation time where I sit and reflect on/journal about what I’m dealing with currently, maybe with a cuppa, listening to music or looking out at a nice view.
      -Creative time, eg cooking or baking, handiwork like painting, origami or knitting.

      Basically it’s anything that feeds me, heals me, gets jobs done that need doing, but isn’t too demanding if I’m feeling fragile.
      For me, the secret is to do as many as I can manage of the list, but if I can only manage to do 5 minutes of each – that’s also fine! But as many items as possible on this list must be attempted every day in order to get into a pattern of good habits that will keep me going when things are bad.
      I’d love to hear more ideas of what other people are doing to heal..and what you’re not doing,

    • #112950
      YellowBird
      Participant

      He’s an adult grown man. Instead of having you rescue him and feel sorry for him, he’ll have to stand on his own 2 feet. He’ll have to, just like so many of us have had to.
      I got my abuser to leave, even though he is ill and had no friends/family to take him I, and nowhere to go either. Yes, I spent many months feeling sorry for him, feeling guilty that I was making a sick man leave the only home he has. But, now that he’s gone & I don’t have to watch everything I say or do in case he gets upset, now that I’m seeing more and more how he pulled me into his drama and crazy games –  no, I’m not sorry I made him leave, even though he’s ill and all. I am nearly dancing with the sheer relief of having him gone.
      And he’s landed on his feet, as so many of these manipulative people do. He has free accommodation, people to look after him, and a new audience for his drama. He’s not lying in miserable heap at the side of the road, as  I  had visualised he would be! Don’t let your worries rule your decisions… sending love and light.

    • #112949
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Hi Wateringcan, I can relate to feeling so low and worthless. I’ve had to pull myself out of it by remembering that it is a mood, a feeling, and it will pass. But sometimes you need help to feel better. Have you got someone you trust that you can talk to? Could you look up some online info on how to deal with this low mood? What would you normally do when life gets tough- maybe use a technique or a coping strategy that’s worked before?
      Whatever you do, don’t give up hope. There are many encouraging threads on this forum that can help you to see the hope at the end of a dark time.
      Sending love and lightness to you…💗

    • #112231
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Hey Wiseafter, I’ve had a very mild (by comparison) similar experience. He had specific areas of the house (cupboards, beside his bed, his wardrobe) that were “his”, that were so cluttered and packed solid with his stuff that he often couldn’t find what he was looking for, so found it easier to just buy a new one. His areas were filled with both useful stuff and junk. When I tried to move or tidy anything, he would get v upset.
      It’s interesting you noticed he had his stuff in every room. Now that I think about it, it’s similar here. Like he was marking his territory?
      Towards the end of his living here, he got quite paranoid about me going near his stuff, and started collecting it all in 1 room. Wouldn’t move too far away from that room in case I went in there.
      And yes, now he’s gone, what to do with it all? He’s asked me to keep it till he gets a permanent place to stay, so I’ve just packed it all up into 1 room so I don’t have to look at it! Even the junk goes into boxes – not my problem to sort out, and I don’t want to be accused of deliberately throwing any of his things away.

    • #111859
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Ohhhh boy, I completely identify with this – being seen as a heartless b***h because of ex telling his friends a sob story.
      When ex moved out, I got a panicked message from a friend of his, saying he (ex) was homeless & all alone, having to take buses even though he is ill, no one to support him. I texted back, pointing out that ex has chosen to do all of this the hardest way possible despite better options (I gave specific examples) being made available to him.
      One of our (adult) kids has received similar messages from my ex’s friends, wondering why no one is helping him. Our kid replied similarly to what I did, and wondered what the friends themselves are doing to help him, seeing as none of them offered either a temporary bed or practical support.
      Having said all that, I’m willing to bet ex didn’t tell anyone what help he needed, just so he could claim being alone & friendless.
      Can’t win for losing here, I reckon – people are taken in by these charming, seemingly-genuine liars.

    • #111273
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Hey Newboundaries, well done on getting out! I’m only a few days separated myself (he moved out), and am feeling pretty emotional a lot of the time. Relief, guilt, doubting myself, tearful and sad at what I wish we could have had, fears & worries waking me up, elated every time I come home or go downstairs and realise he’s not there.
      All these feelings arrive sometimes without warning and can be pretty intense.
      You may be surprised to find something similar happening- this is all normal. My therapist warned me it may happen, so did people on this forum. I didn’t expect it to be so hard, but it’s absolutely worth it if it means I’m free of him.
      Sending you strength & hope…

    • #111218
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Hi Emily1234, I am also a few days after separating from my abuser. I’m not getting that behaviour – more of a stony silence, actually – but I know how very very hard these first few days are for me, and I’m sure also for you. Getting out of an abusive situation, only for it to replaced by another kind of stress and also pressure to return is tough.
      Read in this forum about other women who were in the same situation and went back. I think almost all of them regretted it.
      Sending you love and strength 💟

    • #111116
      YellowBird
      Participant

      You know what- that feisty, confident woman is still in you. Yes, she had a setback, but she can still come out and live the rest of the story you had imagined in your head.
      What happened after she walked out, head held high? Did she move into a home that suits her and only her? Did she find a new or better job? Did she make plans to heal, to learn to live with her head still held high? How did she continue her life in a positive way? What did you imagine…
      Think of starting a new life, new you like building a new house: you lay foundations, then add rooms that work for you, add twiddly bits or none, decorate thoughtfully and comfortably.
      I hope this helps…

    • #111115
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Hi there, here are my thoughts…
      Something I’ve learned about myself is that my “radar” for detecting abusers/manipulators/men that are trouble, is a bit off. I’ve several times over my life chosen men like this, despite many hundreds of hours therapy, books, talks, conversation with other abused people, journalling & telling myself what to look out for/avoid.
      I’ve learned to listen to the littlest voice that says that “maybe, possibly this person isn’t all that I hope they are”. Like you, I’ve noticed stuff that had me doubting.
      When you say: ‘I was feeling really overwhelmed and exhausted by the constant messaging, and kept waking up early feeling weird about it all, and a bit troubled by the initial grin and glint in his eye that reminded me of my ex.’ I could have written these exact words many times, too.
      Why do I keep getting it wrong/giving him one more chance?: I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I doubt my own instincts. I’ve put in all this work on myself, surely I would have learned by now. I just want to love someone and be loved back. People aren’t all bad.
      Maybe you’d agree with some of my reasons, maybe not. But I’m trying to learn to listen to my smallest little voice, as soon as she starts telling me her doubts. I may proceed, with much caution. Or I may just politely and completely remove myself from the interaction and stay away.
      I hope this helps…

    • #111111
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Thanks, it helps just knowing that other women are seeing the same behaviour. Whilst I objectively know that he is doing this, part of me wonders if it’s just me. Many years of brainwashing & gaslighting will do this, I suppose…

    • #111049
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Yes, I also agree. We had couples counselling several times over several years, and every single counsellor was taken in by his apparently genuine and earnest conversations and pleas for help. He didn’t change his behaviour one bit, and still managed to convince the counsellors that he couldn’t and it wasn’t his fault.
      I’m gobsmacked at how many professional therapists are unaware of the sophisticated level of emotional manipulation these abusers can get away with.

    • #109925
      YellowBird
      Participant

      That constant emotional manipulation is so draining, but you’re still out, still going, still not believing it. Well done on remembering how awful it was and not being sucked back in with the emotional stuff being thrown at you.
      One day at a time. You’re very brave… sending strength and love.

    • #111216
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Gosh, Lizziecat, sounds similar to what happened to me.
      He would either quietly listen to me when I discussed something he’d said/done that upset me, made no sense or was just untrue, then just say nothing, or he’d deny he did/said whatever it was, looking me straight in the eyes. Then maybe simply comment that I’m “tired”, or “too upset to talk about this” and refuse to talk any further. And of course I’d sit there wondering if he’s right – it’s all me.
      I think it was worse because he was never angry, physically abusive or even exasperated. He just simply, calmly assured me I’m wrong. I get cold shivers thinking about it…

    • #111167
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Hi again Wiseafter. That thing about telephone conversations hit home for me. I just couldn’t understand that flip from normal to narcissist. It was so unreal, so weird I couldn’t explain it. He denied it.
      So, often I ended up presuming it was just me overreacting out of the “emotional problems” he kept insisting I had.
      My heart is breaking for the me that was fed lies, lies, lies…

    • #111166
      YellowBird
      Participant

      Thanks Wiseafter. It’s mad, but even though I know all the things you’re saying, I still need to be reminded of them. I keep wondering if I should text to ask if he’s ok, want to find out if he’s being cared for (he has a long term illness), want to offer to bring him the things he left behind. Then I tap myself on the hand that wants to reach for the phone and say “no! He’s an adult, he can do this himself”…
      I honestly didn’t expect this part, now that he’s gone, to be so emotional & such hard work!

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