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Dealing with the aftermath

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Dealing with the aftermath

Postby sarahwpen » Mon May 01, 2017 2:22 pm

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone else ever feels really frustrated trying to get past the obstacles after the abuse has stopped.
I had to withdraw from an entire semester of college because of verbal and emotional abuse by my husband which for a very short while escalated to slightly physical abuse. My problem is that I eventually got back together with him, and he (while admitting that he was wrong in the way he treated me) does not see it as abusive behaviour, and I am sort of reluctant to call it that even though I know that it was at the time.
I dread having to explain that semester to people because I really don't know what to say about it. I really didn't have the option to just stay where I was at the time, I had to leave for my own safety and mental health. I honestly probably shouldn't have come back, but I had reasons for that also. He has definitely been doing better in the last 6 months here, and so I hate to hold a grudge or call what he did abuse. Everyone says that abusers don't change, so I feel like if I call it that, then I have an obligation to leave, but I don't want to leave. I know that he could do it again, and he might. But I know that he might not. And I don't really have the means to support myself without him, and he is really the only support person that I have left in my life.
So what is the right thing to do? Should I just never talk about it again? Tell anyone who asks what happened that it was personal? None of their business? When people ask why I have moved so many times, what do I say? Nothing? I feel like if I had divorced him, it would be easier to tell exactly what happened, but that since I stayed, I have this obligation to have his back and to not tell anyone what I was dealing with for those 2 years. It feels very isolating. I can't have any close friends because I can't have any conversations with anyone that cover that time period.
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Re: Dealing with the aftermath

Postby mutareluxere5 » Wed May 17, 2017 12:15 am

Hi,
My feelings are very similar to your's.
I don't believe, for your own mental health's sake, you should go telling everyone what happened, but I most definitively believe you should have someone you trust, at least one person you could count on and tell him/her about the situation.
The fact you're here on the forum is already good, is already getting you out of that isolation.
If you don't have anyone in your life you feel you can vent to, then get a therapist, but I think it's essential to talk to someone and let things out from time to time.

Living in the situation you are, you know it can happen again and you should be prepared for it. That one day you might have to do something about it, and it's easier if you have someone on your side.
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Re: Dealing with the aftermath

Postby coconut1 » Sat May 20, 2017 6:03 am

Hi,

I have recently come out of an abusive relationship after a 5 years and getting back with him 3 times... Its the hardest thing to get a previously abusive relationship back on track. I struggled with internal arguments 'why has he put me through this', 'is this the right choice', and then shutting myself off from family and friends because I didn't want to tell them the truth... And in reverse, I didn't want to hear the truth.

I came onto this forum looking for conversations to help with my anxiety and low self esteem, however this post really caught my attention... It sounds like you have a lot of doubt about weather you should have got back with him, only you can decide this. However i'd like to share with you a few things i've learnt after finally leaving him.

After coming out of my relationship, I have been struggling with my own company, which has NEVER been an issue of mine before hand. This pushed me into putting myself into situations I wouldn't have normally put myself in if I was still with him. Which is a positive! Going to gigs, attending classes to keep my mind active and learn new things. And from this, I met new people, and I can now see there are so many people out there that would never lay a finger on me, and genuinely enjoy my company and shower me with compliments. And thats when I started to realise my self worth. I never deserved any of the physical or emotional abuse I received from my ex partner. No matter what someone is going through, it is not acceptable to take it out on another human being.
I use to think my ex was gorgeous, and he knew it... everyone I introduce him to 'oh my he's gorgeous' and it use to make my skin crawl, because I hated him, and I hated that comment. I wanted to stay with him because he made me believe I would never find anyone as good looking as him.... He's probably right, but i'll sure as hell meet someone with a gorgeous personality which is so much more substantial than looks. And I see that now. I use to think he was the most confident, strong, powerful man I'll ever meet. Nothing worried him. Any problems... 'don't worry, it's me, it'll be fine' reassuring me nothing bad will happen. He made me feel so safe in his presence, so much that I was scared to leave him because by myself, i'm a worrier. However, after months spent apart and constantly picking away at particular occasions and scenarios with him, I know see he is, in fact, an extremely insecure person. Unsure of who he is. And anxious. And I felt the wrath of it. I was there to make himself feel better about his own issues. I scrolled through the internet and youtube videos and everything I found linked to him. And I felt this overwhelming feeling of 'this IS the right choice', 'you now have to get on with your own life, put yourself first'. There are so many books and forums out there to help guide you with this issue, however the decision is solely up to you. And one thing to remember is YOU'RE NOT ALONE. For a while I felt like a victim and let my emotions and feelings eat away at me and became someone so far distant from my true self, and so far distant from my friends and family. Which I can tell you... is a terrible mistake. I completely agree with the previous reply, please talk to someone you can trust and off load onto them. It will help clear your mind and see things clearly. Keeping everything to yourself creates a haze in your mind, resulting in thinking you're 'crazy'.... You're not.... You're human and you're vulnerable.

One important conversation during my relationship was with my best friend during the Christmas just gone... I hadn't spoken to her or seen her in months and she is the most special person in my life. I shut her out because I was ashamed of my relationship and I knew she knew what was going on and I refused to leave him, because I was scared of life without him. I eventually told her I had got back with him for the third time and she was disappointed/angry/upset (every negative emotion basically). and she said 'leopards don't change their spots'... I stood up for him and convinced her he had changed. 3 weeks later he hit me... And she was the first person I called. She has been there for me unconditionally and I hadn't realised how much the relationship had effected her either. It's almost like my ex had put blinkers on me and all I could see was him. Everything, my focus, was about him. When actually there are so many people around you that love you and want to be in your company.

I too struggle financially without him, but my happiness and self worth is far much more important than staying with an abuser so I could be financially stable. Im honestly really struggling to get by, but you'll be surprised by how many people you'll meet, if you decided to leave him, who really want to help you... including patching up old friendships that you have neglected because of the relationship.
In regards to people on your course... don't have a second thought about it, all you need to say is you didn't feel the course was right at the time and you needed some time away.

Recognise your self worth and happiness, find someone you can trust to talk to and be safe.

This has turned into a much larger response than I intended, I hope it makes sense and helped you, because your post has actually really helped me offload- Thank you!
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Re: Dealing with the aftermath

Postby EllieO » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:18 am

I can totally relate. For me it's been eight years. But I'm in the same situation about being isolated, not feeling I can talk to people, and no longer having a means to support myself.

I don't know what you mean about moving though. Do you mean that you've moved to and from living with him, or that the two of you have moved together several places? It sounds like you're in college?

On one hand, two years isn't a long time in your entire life-span, but on the other, I do understand how it feels to feel helpless and confused. It's good you don't have children together. I also don't have children with my husband, and I'm thankful I don't. I love kept waiting and waiting because I wanted things to e more solid and consistent first. That's never happened. I cannot imagine being told I'm awful and to get out and never come back, while a child hangs in the balance. Could you? Or if the child heard the things he says to you?

I don't think your guy will change for the better, though he may change for the worse. It's good he apologized. It's not that it's impossible to change, but the person has to be motivated and sincerely think they need to improve.
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Re: Dealing with the aftermath

Postby Terry E. » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:29 am

Some fantastic advice in these posts
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Re: Dealing with the aftermath

Postby sarahwpen » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:49 am

Coconut1,
Your post was long, but actually sort of therapeutic for me to hear another person saying most of the same sort of things that have rattled around in my own mind for so long.
The bit about being ashamed to talk to your friend really hits home for me as that is part of my issue as well.

EllieO, I’ve been with him for 18 years now. It was only in the last 8 that I really started to put the pieces together and see that he really is a very disordered person. Before that I justified everything that he did, no matter how horrible. I have 4 kids with him. My kids have seen and heard things that I wish they never had. Some of those are in other posts. I am in college because I chose raising his kids right after high school instead of college, and then I moved twice for his job (and multiother times just to get space from him, and eventually going back) after I finally built my own real estate company. I decided to go back to school because real estate is very unstable and doesn’t travel well.
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