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Divorcing, He Still Never Admitted It or Apologized *TW*

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Divorcing, He Still Never Admitted It or Apologized *TW*

Postby simplymyself » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:49 pm

The reason I'm here is because counseling hasn't really done it for me and I'm faltering.

I've gone to a counselor a couple times. One was court ordered after he was arrested for domestic violence. The other was when I tried to go back as I felt myself falling apart. The first time I went, I was still in a very dark place. He had me all wound up, no one would believe me, he didn't mean it, he'd be better, if I left him he'd take my children, and so on. Plus, I grew up Catholic and very much believed that divorce would be a sin I couldn't take back and I would go to hell.

So I stayed for another three years after he was arrested. It got really bad towards the end. I quit my job as I couldn't handle my boss yelling at me when I used to be able to handle any work situation. Then I was just lost. One night he blew up at me for some small thing and started screaming at me. I don't even remember what I'd supposedly done. I just remember laying in bed, frozen, scared out of my wits as he was screaming about how I was going to make him kill me.

That night... I can't describe it without sounding weird but it was seriously like I just woke up or something, like the sky opened up and finally I could see the truth from the lies he would spin me. I realized that he'd tried to kill me before and he could do it again, but he might actually kill me that time.

The next morning, I told him I wanted a divorce. He didn't believe me, tried to beg me out of it, when that didn't work he tried to bully me (throwing things, screaming, luckily for me after he was arrested there wasn't much on the physical side, just the rapes as he knew no one would believe a man could rape his wife). It took months but I finally got him to leave, but by that time I was so screwed up in the head again that I actually asked him to stay as he was leaving. I was so scared he was going to take my kids, I was going to go to hell (after all, I'd pushed for the divorce so it was definitely my sin) and so on.

The day after he moved was fabulous. The children and I could laugh and talk and sing as loud as we wanted to and no one would punish me for it. But over time, things started getting worse. That was three years ago. For awhile I just shoved it down and tried to forget about it. I didn't talk about it with anyone for the shame of it but also because any time I thought I couldn't handle it anymore and tried to talk about it, people just got so... Well my best friend (who I barely knew anymore after years of letting him control my relationships) just quietly sat on the phone, not knowing what to say, and I heard her crying. Another friend reacted with anger which didn't help either and I knew I couldn't tell either of them more.

So I went back to the counselor as I felt myself just falling completely apart. The first time I went to her was while we were still living in the same household. He'd just gone to jail and I didn't go to the hearing or anything. His sister had called and threatened me repeatedly until his best friend, who came to help me get food/medicine for the children and such because I didn't drive, took the phone from me and told her that he'd be reporting her to the police for it. Even so, when I went to the police (he drove me over straight away) they didn't do anything about it and so I didn't feel I could do anything at the hearing anyway. But the judge put a protective order even though I didn't attend and he also ordered me to counseling.

So I went. It was pretty horrible. I started telling her about it all and she broke down sobbing. I didn't know what to do, it just threw me for a loop. I guess at that point I knew it was bad but most of me didn't, I believed him when he told me I deserved it, I made it happen, and so on. So it really knocked me off my axis for this counselor to just start crying for it. I didn't go back until quite awhile after I'd finally gotten him to leave, which was years later.

So when I went to her the last time, I was wary of talking too much about the past as I didn't want her to break down again. She kept steering it towards that and I kept steering her back to the present. She kept it together and I didn't really get much help at the time.

So fast forward to now. It has been three years since I finally got him out of the house. We're still legally married as I haven't had the money to divorce (one lawyer wanted $2500 and that was just for 20 hours of work, after which I'd have to pay by the hour). But worse than anything, I've finally started to come out of the fog in which I was living.

See, it was bad when he was with me. The constant fear, pain, all of that was just... Overwhelming. I kept it hidden from people until he was arrested. After that, I did my best to hide it again. I believed him when he told me how ugly, fat, unwanted I was and how I deserved what he did for being a bitch, how I made him do it.

After he left, things were better for a time. I just basically went into denial, refused to deal with it. Only one time after that did he try to get physical, he came to pick up the kids and was screaming at me, trying to come into the apartment, when neighbors all around me came flying out of their houses. Even ones I didn't really talk to much slammed open their doors and just stood there, staring at him. He backed off and never tried it again.

But after awhile, things started falling apart. I couldn't keep a job because people touching me freaked me out. Loud noises, men yelling, all of it set me on edge. I was buried in debt when he left as he left all the bills unpaid and I wasn't working then. I tried to get out of it but less than a year later, I was evicted. I guess I became depressed at that time, I don't know. All I know is that I just couldn't deal. I'd smile and laugh on the outside and feel nothing inside. At work... I couldn't handle it. I went through more jobs in the past three years... I would just quit. My last job had a connection with the homeless. I liked it because I was able to help people and improve their situation. But then they'd get so happy and thankful, and they'd hug me. My boss was a touchy/feeling type and always would touch my arm, the back of my neck. She was nice and was being motherly but it was just too much. One time that I was alone with a male coworker, I spent the whole time circling around while doing the task I was doing so as to avoid him being behind me and out of my eyesight.

So I quit that as well. Now, I'm working from home as a ghostwriter. It's just been in the last month or two that I've finally started to see some light. I've started to realize that maybe I'm not everything he said and so on. But I still struggle with actually believing it. On the one hand, I know he would say/do anything to control me. But on the other, I spent so long believing him, it's hard to turn that off. When I look in the mirror, I see a person I hate. I used to have it together. I was a store manager when I was 23. Things weren't as bad back then. We'd been married five years but I still had a tiny bit of myself and could still operate like a normal human being. Now, I suck at life, I suck at everything. Sometimes I start shaking for no reason. I start crying for no reason. I have a boyfriend and I honestly have no idea how he puts up with me as I have really bad times of crying and all that. But he has helped me a lot and my children love him. He plays ball with them, lets them help him with his car, brings them to games, and so on.

But that isn't enough because the problem is inside me. I've finally started standing up for myself. Actually, just yesterday I finally confronted him with some of the things that he did to me, how horrible of a parent he was (he'd been calling me a bad parent). Just like he used to do when confronted with facts, he just brushed it off, told me I was crazy. He'd do that all the time when we were together, he'd rape me and then he'd immediately ask me 'why are you crying'. He'd hurt me and then he'd tell me I was crazy. Once when he cheated on me I showed him the phone where the texts were and he took the phone from me, stood there and erased the texts, and then turned the phone back to me and told me there was nothing there, that I was crazy. For awhile I seriously doubted my sanity. I'd have bruises and just look at them and think to myself, if it didn't happen, why am I bleeding down there, why do I have bruises?

I truly believe that the only reason I didn't actually go insane was because of what he didn't do. Beyond the rapes, we still had sex sometimes (rape wasn't because I wouldn't have sex with him, it was about hurting me and controlling me) and no matter what shape I was in, if I was torn/bleeding, if I had bruising, he never commented on it. Never asked why I was bleeding, because he knew. But the only time he'd acknowledge what he'd do to me was sometimes directly after. Once he came in to the bathroom and mocked me, told me that I was such a bitch I deserved it, told me how no one would want me. By the next day he acted like it never happened though.

I tried to confront him because I thought if he would just say, yes, I did those things to you and I'm sorry for it, that maybe it would help me to heal and get better. I'd been getting worse over the last two years. My boyfriend and I rarely have sex, the last time we did I broke down sobbing and had to go gather myself in the bathroom. He was confused and upset that he'd hurt me and I tried to explain but couldn't. It's just that sometimes I get... Confused during the act and it's like I'm back there all over again and I can't breathe and I can't move and I freak out.

Awhile after that, I talked with my boyfriend about some things. Told him how I've been feeling lately, told him about my wish for death but how I couldn't do it because I couldn't leave my children alone. I opened up about a lot that I haven't ever said to anyone and had only begun to touch on with the counselor when she'd broken down. Just releasing that bit made me feel a bit better. I realized that once I get the money, I need to find a new counselor as he said that every one is different and maybe the next one will hold it together better on her end.

I started thinking about it as well. When the nightmares happen, I sit up and think about it instead of just blocking it, pushing it away from me. I still don't want to think about a lot of things. It doesn't make it better, it just makes me feel worse. But standing up for myself yesterday, even though it was just through email, did feel good. I was shaking on the first message but on the second one, I was stronger, I was able to say some things to him that I've not been able to voice... Ever. His auto response of 'you're crazy' threw me. I found myself rereading the messages I wrote, trying to make sure that I hadn't embellished, that everything I wrote was 100% true. It was. Then I realized I'm letting him control me again and didn't send the reply I'd typed as interacting with him doesn't do me any good.

So I guess I'm writing this to ask how you heal from it. I've been staring at the messages this morning, reading them over and over, trying to understand why he can't just stop trying to take my children away from me and move on. Then I found myself searching out abuse forums and found this. I want to be better. I really don't want to mess up this job as it means finally getting out of my parents' and getting a place for myself and my children again. I want to be able to look in the mirror without disgust, want to believe that I'm actually worthy of love, respect, all that stuff.

So how do you move on? How do you forget about the past and not let it control you in your day to day? Sometimes I feel like I have too many emotions, sometimes I feel like I have none. Some days I can concentrate on work and I'll get a lot done and then others I just want to collapse on myself and I can't stop reliving it over and over. It's been three years since we last lived together, I thought I would get better with time but I guess ignoring it wasn't the right path as it just made it worse.

I feel like I'm finally ready to start facing it and start healing but I just don't know how to get started. I apologize for the length, I tried to be concise but as you can see, I failed.
Last edited by seabreezeblue on Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added trigger warning to title, no further changes.
simplymyself
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Re: Divorcing, He Still Never Admitted It or Apologized *TW*

Postby Terry E. » Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:39 am

What I am typing is just words. They will never convey the respect I will hold you in, or the strength that I see.

You have been through hell. You have seen the worst in someone and endured the near unbearable, with dignity and courage. You are still standing.

You have saved your children from enormous pain and given them to chance to be happy. The biggest thing that struck me was the joy your children showed when he first left.

Your first counselor was not equipped at that stage of her career to cope. You will benefit from finding another. They are all different and if that one is not right then maybe try again to get the right fit.

You have suffered some damage emotionally and physically, and now experience signs of PTSD. I have it, many on here do. Some self help may be looking through the symptoms and stages. Knowledge is a powerful tool. It has helped me understand why I overreacted to loud noises, I now handle that better.

Your reduced self image is another sign of the damage. I suggest you look in that mirror next time and tell yourself that you have been through hell and have come out the other side. You are a "survivor", not a loser, not damaged goods, you are strong. Take pride in that.

Also give your children a hug from me, and be kind to yourself, things will improve in your life.
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