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feeling stupid due to emotional abuse/gaslighting *TW*

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feeling stupid due to emotional abuse/gaslighting *TW*

Postby arxlas » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:56 am

Hey Guys - new member here and this is my first post,
I guess I'm just looking to talk some bits out and this is sort of a safe space I have found. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for apx. 2 years, and even though we broke up almost 2 years ago, he is so often on my mind. I have no desire to be with him again or even see him, but I often hear his voice in my head, especially when I make mistakes - its like I can hear him humiliating me and laughing at me.

He constantly threatened suicide/self harm/starving himself if I did not give him what he wanted (especially when it came to sex), and multiple times the sex we did have was not consensual.
I'm confused because the stuff to do with sex doesn't really affect me - I don't think it affects my life/sex life and I rarely think about it, its the other stuff that gets me, the humiliation and the gaslighting etc.

I was wondering, honestly, if anyone had any coping mechanisms they use with this sort of stuff. I get good grades and I'm studying a degree in Marine Biology and I know that academically I could be considered smart but yet he has left me so torn - like every time I do well on an assignment I'm genuinely shocked because he had me believe for so long that he was smarter than me, that I was dumb, etc and I constantly doubt my own ability. Has anyone had any experience with this? How do you fight through the doubt and keep your head held high? Is it weird that I've held on to this side of our relationship but the sex stuff has passed me by?
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Re: feeling stupid due to emotional abuse/gaslighting *TW*

Postby seabreezeblue » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:00 pm

I don't think it's weird at all.

We all know that being forced to have sex is wrong, but when it comes to being put down all the time and called stupid, that's often something that we start to believe.. and when we believe something is true, it's so so difficult to break out of that and believe something different.

They say that it takes roughly twice as long to get over an abusive relationship, as the time you spent in it.. so being 2 years out of it is really still quite fresh, and you're only just starting to unpick all those awful messages that he engrained into you.

Give it time and be kind to yourself, maybe challenging those messages would be a bit helpful.. you've written down a challenge to his abuse when you've said this;
I get good grades and I'm studying a degree in Marine Biology and I know that academically I could be considered smart.


I also think you could hold the fact that you're no longer with him, and have no intention of seeing him again as an example of being smart (:
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and i'll run round the moon..



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Re: feeling stupid due to emotional abuse/gaslighting *TW*

Postby Terry E. » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:34 pm

The fact that you are doing okay academically and appear well, possibly a high achiever does not mean that your self esteem was not damaged.

Have you ever met someone who was super confident but underneath had skills and competency well below what he indicated. That is how self esteem can lift us up or put us down.

(In my fathers case he was a CFO of a multi national, who was so controlled at home it is actually unbelievable - so I will just leave it there)

I agree with Sea. We each react differently and the fact that you are doing well academically in a subject requiring great rigor shows you have coped well. It is early days and he has created doubt in your mind. (How could I let him do that to me - what was wrong with me, why could I not stop him, why did I not leave earlier - pick anyone or more of the above). That doubt will be worn down by your continued success, but it takes time.

You got away, dodged a bullet, take care, eventually you will be fine.
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