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Everything posted by lemondrop

  1. I definitely avoided leaving two different relationships because of concerns about pets. The first one, my ex husband would threaten to take the dog to the shelter. And I knew I had nowhere to take him. The second time, the ex boyfriend never threatened my lizard but I knew I had nowhere to take him and that my partner at the time certainly wouldn't take care of him and was unstable enough to potentially hurt him. It is a real concern but I'm not sure what the answer is. It's great when shelters can accommodate animals but I understand it's not always possible.
  2. Does anyone feel like there are just too many things that have happened, that you can never escape it all? That its marked you? I feel like my life has just been one thing after another of people hurting me whether intentionally or not. I grew up extremely religious and saw a lot of abuse and experienced some with that. I was psychologically terrorized by my best friend as a teenager who was being abused herself. I was misdiagnosed as a young adult and went through hell with the mental health system because of it until they finally settled on the real issue years later. My ex husband psychologically abused me much like the friend and also forced me to have sex many times, in addition to other abuse. Another boyfriend threatened people around me and was very scary in general. I've had several incidents with men that were harassment or coercion. I just got out of a relationship where I was physically, verbally, and emotionally abused. I did handle that one much better and got out faster than in the past, but I'm just so tired. I don't get why I attract all this, especially since I recognize it faster now and do know how to put a stop to it. I'm worried it'll never end and I just am so tired of trying or caring about anything anymore. :/ I've done everything I can to take control of my life. I have a promising career. A ton of hobbies. Am very independent. Lots of friends. But when it comes to very close relationships, I just can't escape finding abuser after abuser. It makes me want to give up.
  3. I'm in the US but I have heard CBT is good. I tried a little bit of it one time and it seemed to help. Maybe I should suggest that to my therapist.
  4. Yeah I'm not positive what it is for me. I think some of the issue is a mix of social anxiety mixed with a tendency to seek too much excitement. I notice I'm really standoffish at first when beginning to date someone, and so I think healthy people back off and don't see it as going anywhere. And I get bored as well. It's the people who are really pushy that give me a sense of security to be myself, and then it ends up being a disaster when their lack of boundaries mix with the real independent me that my anxiety hides at first. I've started to get better at not being so anxious and worrying what people think, but I think it still is an issue that I come across as very passive and shy at first when I'm really not, and it makes it so men who want to control someone think I'll be easily controlled and men who don't want to do that move on, figuring I'll never be actively involved. When really it's just an initial anxiety holding me back that goes away once I feel extremely comfortable. I'm not sure how to get over being so anxious and just not caring what other people think, so I can start attracting the people who don't want to control me. That's the theory I have for why this keeps happening anyway, idk if anyone else has had this issue too.
  5. So a quick history is that I'm in my mid twenties and previously had a marriage that was emotionally, psychologically, verbally, and sexually abusive. He never hit me but did threaten to harm me, so I suppose there was an aspect of physical abuse too. After 5 years I finally left and couldn't have been happier, but obviously had a lot of emotional trauma to deal with. I stayed single for a good year and a half, not even dating men for about a year because I was so turned off by men. (I'm bi so I did date women but nothing really came of any of those interactions.) For the last 4 months I've been in a relationship with a man I met through a mutual hobby. We just moved in together, which I had not planned to do so early, but I was uncomfortable with my roommate situation before this and it was the only way to afford a safe place to live without getting a roommate I didn't know well again. Anyway, we've had a lot of problems. There were some red flags beforehand that I gave him the benefit of the doubt for, but most of the really noticeable problems began when we signed the lease (much before we moved in there due to the situation). My problem is, he does seem like he's trying, which is more than I can say for my ex. And he does take responsibility (although not as often or easily as I think he should). But I just don't know how to tell what's normal anymore. I don't know if I really am overreacting and things bother me more because of my past, or if that's an attempt by him to gaslight me for instance. I also feel stuck because he'd have to let me off the lease if I wanted to leave, which he does have the money to pay all the rent if I left, but he's many times refused to do when I threaten to leave/tell him we need to find a different roommate instead of me. So as to what he's done that causes problems... He gets very angry over what I think are little things. Like my tone of voice. Or he gets jealous for no reason (which he admits later is unreasonable but when I get mad about it or call him out on it he gets more angry rather than apologize then). He'll give me the silent treatment if he thinks I have a bad attitude when I want to talk to him about something. He once wouldn't let me in the house because I was annoyed with him for snapping at me because I asked him too many questions that he wouldn't answer about a simple thing. Very small things get escalated into huge fights. The last few weeks I've started to lose it. I fight back verbally and will yell, tell him I don't want to be with him, etc. I don't want to be that person but it's hard when I've been being the subject of his anger for so long. He says I overreact to him getting angry, and I'm not sure if that's true, but to me he has no right to get angry over these things in the first place. He also did some more serious things now and then. He's called me names which he admits is wrong but has done it multiple times. One night after him getting jealous and me getting mad and it escalating, he left and threatened to damage my laptop he had in his vehicle. I sent messages saying he had no right to and that I had better get it back by the time I had to go to work (which I have to have it for) or I'd call the cops. He then sent me texts calling me horrible names and threatening to hurt me. He later said he was showing me "what abuse actually was" and that I should stop saying he was so horrible for the things I called him out on before that. Even though he knows I've been treated like that before. I would've left him but I'm trapped in the lease. Turns out he had put my laptop in my car so never had any intention of damaging it. He also has sort of gotten physical with me but I'm not sure if it counts as such or whether to be worried. He's held me down when we fight to try and "hug me" to fix the argument. Even when I'm crying and begging him to let me go. One time it left a small bruise on my wrist and it worsened the issues I've been having with my wrist. I've gotten so upset about it that he hasn't done it lately. But idk if he was trying to hurt me or if he just thought "holding me" really would fix it. He also once threw my bags at me before we moved in and told me to leave, but later claimed the room was dark and he didn't know they'd land on me. He claims he'd never hit me and acts like I'm so paranoid to ever be afraid of him after this. But other times he is very nice to me, does things for me, and lots of other people say he obviously really is into me (I haven't told anybody this stuff.) our mutual friends think he's explosive and hard to deal with, but other people he knows thinks he's great to me. And maybe he is. I'm just so confused. I don't mind working through problems and I have seen him change some behaviors, but I also don't want to be abused again. I also don't know how much I really contribute to, and whether I blow things out of proportion or not. He says I do, but my perception is I didn't challenge him at first and gave him the benefit of the doubt and now I'm losing it because so much hurt has built up. An example is during a fight the other night he locked me out of the bedroom. I was already very upset, and started banging on the door screaming and crying at him to let me in so I could get my stuff/go to bed. I felt so awful and worthless being locked out like that. He claimed I was "scaring him" even though I've never threatened him in any way, yet he has me. He finally let me in and later when we made up claimed I had no right to "hit the door", even though I was locked out and pay rent to live there just like he does. Any insight or opinions? It's not as easy as leaving because of the lease and I've of course focused on the bad stuff. But does it really sound like I need to change my behavior or things I'm doing? I know I shouldn't get so upset or yell back or threaten to leave all the time. But I never did this until he just kept hurting me and nothing else I tried worked. I feel like a bad person but I don't know what I can change without letting him control the relationship. I know getting angry back isn't good, but setting boundaries calmly generally makes him madder, and I feel trapped because of the lease, and I just have no idea what to do. ?
  6. Thanks. I'm still waiting to hear if it's been served yet. Not knowing has made me pretty anxious. I also keep doubting whether I was justified in doing it, since he hasn't contacted me directly recently. But he was sending pictures of me (the content I don't know) and the stuff that happened was definitely bad, and every time I've given him the benefit of the doubt before has proved I should not trust him. But I keep wondering if I did the right thing or not...
  7. Thanks everyone for the support. Just an update... I decided to file a restraining order because he was still communicating with friends about me and finding subtle ways to harass me, and stole money from me as well, and I felt it was smarter to file now when it was still close to the abuse incidents and I had a stronger case to get one. I'm very nervous what his reaction will be though. A judge just signed for it to be served and I'm worried he'll react badly and at the very least make me go to court to contest it. ?
  8. I don't know the whole story obviously and I understand how hurt you've been, but I would really caution you against comparing your children to your abuser at all. Especially with your son still living with you, the power dynamic is very different. Your son legally has to be there in addition to just being a teenager with hormones, and him having conflicts with you over cleanliness standards is very different than a partner who chooses to be there intentionally taking advantage of you. You're the one in power over him, for obvious and good reason as he's the child, but that means it's normal for him to push back at your rules. Doesn't mean you shouldn't enforce those rules, but I think comparing him to your abuser at all is going to be very detrimental. And if he picks up on this, he's going to feel very invalidated and resentful. I know it's hard not to compare when you've had such bad experiences, but children are a very different dynamic since they have much less say in anything. Family counseling might be a good idea if you can, to help you and them understand the other. You also have to remember that they experienced the abuse like you did, even if it was second hand. That's traumatic for them like it was for you, and complicates their relationship with you. That's not your fault at all but may explain the tension with you and them. I don't mean to be harsh or blame you at all. I just think it'd be much healthier not to put an abuser label on them or compare them to your ex partner since the relationship dynamics are so different. Boundaries are absolutely fine, but labeling and comparing them risks not seeing the whole picture which will make the conflict worse. Remember they are people with hurts just like you from this horrible experience and it's only by communicating and working together that your relationship with them will improve, which it sounds like you're trying your best to do.
  9. I had just moved to a new city when I left my ex husband. I think knowing I would be free of the drama you mention helped me do it. For me, it helped to be in a new city, away from mutual friends. In my case he actually lived in the same city but it was still the new environment and being able to start a new life that helped me. I now have a very strong support system here that really helped when I left a recently abusive ex. So only you know what's right for you, but I personally recommend moving away to start over if you have the means to do so and no strong ties where you are now. Just if you do do that, really make sure you build a strong support system in the new place so you don't get isolated. There's things like meetup.com that can help you find friends with mutual interests and so on. Again only you can decide if that's right for you. But for me I was very lucky to be in a new place where I could start over.
  10. So I've been taking some martial arts/self defense classes for a while. I really like them, both for the physical/exercise aspect and how it makes me more confident I can keep myself safe. However I sometimes get flashback type experiences during them. Was to due to things with my ex husband (who essentially forced me to have sex on numerous occasions and also threatened me many times) and now also do with a recent ex who physically restrained me/kept me confined/and minorly physically assaulted me. I will feel panicky and like I want to run. And dissociate quite a bit. So far I haven't done anything noticeable to anyone else, but I feel like they're getting worse/more frequent. I'm really worried I'm going to have an embarrassing reaction eventually and I also just don't want my bad experiences ruining something I really enjoy. I don't want to tell the instructors what's going on, but I'm not sure what to do. I don't get flashbacks that much otherwise except a few panic attacks when certain discussions have come up with friends. So I'm not sure how to handle it. Is there anything I can do to deal with flashbacks/related panic attacks in a public environment where I need to keep it together and make them less frequent/strong?
  11. Thanks I do think you're right that I have trouble with someone with not as many issues as me. I just worry I'll scare them off and never open up, and so it never goes anywhere. I think the only ones I open up to are the ones who seem like they wouldn't judge me because they're more messed up than me, if that makes sense.
  12. Can you get a lawyer? If you gave up your career to further his, you are probably entitled to alimony in a divorce, since he profited off of you. Asking a lawyer about it might make you feel less financially stuck. As for your feelings on it, of course you'll feel sad and upset. You put a lot of work into this, and even though you know it needs to end, you're losing something you worked for because of his choices. That's very hard to deal with and it's entirely normal for you to feel sad about that.
  13. Yeah... I just don't get why abusive people are the only ones I feel comfortable around. All the guys that are nice (I assume so anyway), that I try to date, I never feel comfortable with and never open up to and so things never go anywhere. It's only the ones that end up acting dysfunctional and out of control that I can feel comfortable around, and so I always end up with them. It's getting so discouraging. It's not even like I grew up that way. My mom had some anger issues and was controlling/isolated me, but never hit me or even called me names. My dad was strict but never abusive at all. I can't figure out why I'm so incapable of connecting to anyone that's not abusive in one way or another ?
  14. I left. Staying in hotels and in the process of getting my stuff out and getting my own apartment. Realized he's never going to change. I never threatened him or anything like that, but I did say stuff in the last few weeks I don't think I should've just out of anger and hurt and frustration that being nice to him just didn't work. Things like saying he was an a-hole, that I hated him, that he did nothing for me, things like that. Maybe he deserved it to some extent but I still hate being a person who is wanting to hurt someone else with my words, no matter what they've done to me. It makes me feel very bad about myself and makes me wonder if I'm just as at fault. But I know that's not true, because I was repeatedly nice and caring to him for months, as he escalated more and pushed my boundaries further and further. He got like that and far worse when I did nothing wrong, whereas I didn't (and still never crossed lines into threatening or getting physical) until I had been silenced and threatened over and over and felt beyond trapped. I still hate that I didn't leave before I got that angry, but I keep trying to tell myself that that didn't cause the abuse, since the abuse started long before that and he honestly was the most abusive when I was being relatively calm. So nothing I could've done would've changed him, because I did try just about every approach possible, good and bad, and nothing made his behavior better.
  15. I did find out I can get out of the lease if needed. I've decided to give him one last chance, because I have noticed him taking steps to control himself when he gets angry. He still seems to get angry over very little things, but I did notice he kept control when I got very upset the other day and said things I shouldn't have. But if it gets physical again, I'll have no choice. ?
  16. They're going to send me some information on what my legal options are as to breaking the lease as well as a phone number for local shelters. So at least I feel less trapped now.
  17. Thank you for the replies everyone. I'm kind of depressed over this, so haven't really been able to respond to them one on one, but I really do appreciate it. Yeah I suppose I should be more worried. I'm really upset over it, but for some reason less scared than with my ex. I think I will go to a service I have access to at my work on Monday (I work at a university) that helps with domestic violence stuff. I'm going to talk to them because I've seen them in the past for counseling regarding my ex, and I know they'll give me my options without forcing me to do anything. It was extremely weird how fast he escalated last night. What happened in detail was I had a few days ago calmly brought up over text that I didn't like how I felt he had insulted my intelligence. He said we'd talk about it when he got off work. We didn't so last night I brought it up. He said he wasn't insulting me but we were "different kind of smart". I said I didn't like him labeling me and that's when he got angry, but he still can't explain why. He claims it was the way I said it, but I was pretty calm saying it. I've been sarcastic when I'm mad in the past, but this wasn't like that at all. He decided the conversation was over, which upset me because he often silences me that way and had promised to talk to me. I said some things (but not yelling or anything especially because of his son being in the next room) about how I didn't understand what the problem was, how was I supposed to bring anything up to him when I was currently being calm, etc, and that I need to trust him that I can talk to him when something bothers me without being silenced. He angrily kept telling me to shut up. I eventually started crying (I do that when frustrated). I could've just stopped talking I suppose, but i feel like it's letting him control me to do that. Then he got up and started yelling and cussing at me and pulling my blanket off me and that's when everything got out of control for the next hour or two with him holding me down, cornering me, not letting me out, grabbing me, and eventually pushing me. At one point I threatened to call the cops (although most of the time I was passive but crying and cowering and begging him to stop/let me out). He actually dialed 911 and kept telling me I better tell them what happened and how horrible he was. I was silent because I was so upset and knew it was some sort of game and really just wanted everything to stop and to go to sleep. He told them it was an accidental call then hung up. He also told me I should go get a hotel if I didn't want him so much and I told him I can't afford that and he angrily said he'd pay for it, which I didn't really believe because it made no sense. Then eventually he just stopped and apologized and took responsibility for everything. as we were going to sleep he kept telling me how bad he felt for pushing me even though I hadn't said anything more about it. The whole thing was kind of bizarre. But then again my ex was even more bizarre than that in his behavior, so not sure why I'm surprised. I do have my own bank accounts and car if I need to leave. I worry about my pet lizard if I leave. He certainly wouldn't take care of him although he's never threatened to hurt him. Also the majority of the stuff in the house is mine, including a very expensive thing related to our mutual hobby, and he has threatened my things before. He also nearly tore my blanket last night multiple times trying to keep me from having it. I know I shouldn't worry about my stuff but I do. All his texts and fb messages are backed up on my computer (some of which are very threatening from him but also some of which I said things I regret, although I've never in any way threatened him or really attacked anything besides his behavior). I also have a picture of the bruise he left when he held me down about a month ago, although it's a very small bruise. So I do have a decent amount of documentation if I decide to use it. I'm sorry, I know I'm being that person that complains but won't just leave. :/ Part of me hopes he really is trying to change and another part just doesn't want to risk the mess it'll be if I leave. He has been very willing to go to counseling, which surprised me, although I haven't gotten it set up yet. And he says he knows he's controlling and that I help him because all of his ex girlfriends never challenged him so it never got to this point with them but that was because he always got his way. (I have reason to believe it's true and I think it's because he had them financially dependent, which I never allowed him to do to me.) so part of me wants to think he will choose to change. But most of me thinks he won't but isn't quite ready to go through the mess of leaving so soon after we moved in together. But it's also scary how fast he's been escalating. Two months ago he hadn't even raised his voice at me. :/ I've considered telling mutual friends but I can't think of who to tell and I'm worried their reaction will be I need to leave now whether I choose to or not and that it could possibly lead to an actual fight if I tell the wrong person and they get too protective. (I'm one of the few girls in the hobby we have, and a lot of people have had problems with him but no one with me. So it's not a far fetched concern.) and I both don't want violence and also that'd likely set him off worse and make him accuse me of cheating, which is a huge sensitive spot for him because I guess exes have cheated on him (no reason to believe this is a lie and he doesn't have a habit of lying like my ex did but hard to tell). Anyway maybe I'm overthinking it and just need to make a decision but no option sounds good ?
  18. Thank you for the replies. I'll respond more later. But it escalated very badly tonight. Held me down a lot, forced me into the shower and also the closet to corner me to force me to "talk to him". Also pushed me. He's extremely remorseful and taking full responsibility now, but I'm numb and scared but maybe not as much as I should be. I think I've been hurt so much emotionally and sexually by my ex that physical stuff doesn't even seem that bad now. Idk what I'm going to do. The worst part is I didn't do anything remotely wrong. I disagreed with him and he said it was in a wrong way, and I kept asking what I did wrong and how was I supposed to talk to him about issues, and then he freaked out and started the yelling, and escalating it to what I described. I didn't even fight back other than refusing to go where he wanted. His son is over for the weekend and I didn't want to raise my voice when he was in the other room. But I guarantee he heard him yelling and acting out of control and me crying and even screamed at one point when he pulled my blanket and it caught against me. I'm just so shocked and he keeps apologizing over and over and saying it'll never happen again but idk how I can believe that.