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Notsureyet

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  1. Thank you Percolate, I will continue and turn this horror story into a great life lesson for me and others.
  2. Bennu, Thank you for your reply. You read those books and still feel that way? I don't want to be messed up for good... I don't want to believe I am messed up for good, it can't be. The human brain is a muscle that can be fed whatever we want to feed it with and if we believe we are messed up, guess what we will forever be? Messed up. We don't need to "get back to normal", we already are normal, inspiring women with great stories of strength. The only fact that you are replying and offering your help, already makes you amazing. Your messages were incredibly powerful, and you voluntarily take the time to help me and others. That is more than normal, that is amazing. That's why I am quite picky with what I read because some of this "victim literature" just continues enforcing how much of a victim we are. I want empowering books, I want strength and self-love. Not self-pity. I don't want to pity myself anymore, I want to show him, myself and the world how much of an amazing human being I am. I want to believe it and exhale it with every fiber of my being. I will look at that book, "The Emotionally Abused Woman" but the title itself discourages me. I don't want to be just that, I don't want to be put in that box like a passive victim that didn't fight back. I am also an independent woman, hard-working, goal-seeker, positive thinker, etc. and I want to believe that. I think that is the root of the problem and getting out of that "self-pity box" is the only way to be entirely free from such relationships with others and such poor esteem for myself. Maybe I am misjudging by the title, but you understand my point? I am more than an emotionally abused woman.
  3. Hello everyone, Facts: 10 years married He insulted me for the entire time. I always thought I could change him, it didn't happen. We divorced recently. I want to thank everyone who replied to my cries for help a few months ago. I have come to understand some of the things that happened to me and that are still happening to me. It is hard, very hard. I am officially divorced and have had no frequent communication with my ex anymore, and I don't need it, which is incredible considering that a few months ago my body and soul was just craving him desperately. I still miss him, I still deeply believe I am in love with him and when I read about all of this (abuse, trauma bond, etc.) a big part of me thinks "you're just reading about all that stuff because it is painful to accept that you lost the love of your life". So that is what I'm focusing on, healing. I need to heal and truly understand that this was NOT love, it was abuse and I did absolutely everything I could to the point of not allowing him to destroy me, to make it work. I saved myself. I am learning that he is truly not the amazing partner a big part of me thinks he is, I am convincing myself that each and every decision I made has taken me to a safe place and I am not missing out on Prince Charming. Now I need to fill that void with love, but it has to be self-love, because I realize that I am so depleted that my relationship with men has become an exhausting search for one partner that takes his place and loves me, responding to anyone willing to give me a bit of attention. That is where I'm at right now, and I am aware of it and working hard to fill that void with myself. It is not easy, but I am working so hard. If anyone has recommendations on books for rebuilding self-esteem after such a horrific experience, please share. I don't want to read about what is wrong with me (Books such as "Women Who Love Too Much", etc.), I am done with taking blame for this, I did not grow up in a household of abuse or addiction. My family has issues, like every family does, but I was raised in a loving, united, comforting and warm environment. I understand my responsibilities but I want to give myself love, not remind myself of how "damaged" I am that I ended up in this place in the first place. I try to meditate every day, work with a therapist, listen to positive affirmations, etc. but anything helps. Thank you!
  4. Thank you for the advice Sunnyhiker, I have been thinking about it and agree with the idea that this would open a can of worms, just throwing a bomb his way, trying to destroy him, get revenge and never looking back. I have thought about it, but I am a strong believer in Karma and in natural justice. I should have done something then and there, if I didn't do it, it was because the "self" that was dealing with all of that at the moment, decided not to do it and through all of this process, one of the biggest lessons I am learning is to respect who I was then, respect my decisions and learn from them. Now almost a year later, now that the love curtain is almost gone, I understand that I should not have tolerated that treatment and in a way I did not because I physically left him almost three years ago. But I am trying to respect that part of me that was so blinded by "love" or attachment or whatever it was that I couldn't act differently then and stayed there. It is like going back to a high school bully and showing everyone in his world how much of a bully he is. First, many people by now probably know it, second, maybe he has suffered loss, pain, and challenges that have taught him not to be a bully or maybe he is even in jail paying for all his bullying and abuse! This is an exaggerated example but I am trying to respect that bullied version of me that still had the strength to leave, I am respecting myself now by not starting new fires, and not feeling hunted by him again. If I send the letter, he will very likely seek to get back at me and also has the contact info. of friends and family members to hurt me just as much if not more because he is mentally unstable. It would just be destructive, painful and I can't take any more emotional war. Being at war with him is either being willing to destroy him, his reputation, image, etc. or end up destroyed by him, there is no in betweens. It takes a person like him to destroy someone like him, I don't have the strength or evil in me to incur in that battle. I wish I did something then and it has been hard to forgive myself about that, but I am also trying to respect my decisions during every moment of this process. I did leave him, started a new life, have an amazing career and am creating my dream life for myself, I just have these scars to heal and work on.
  5. Percolate, thank you, I value your own experience and advice. My relationship was quite long, and particularly damaging (they all are, I'm sure) but it was my first serious relationship., I was almost 20 when we met. Now, 10 years later at 30, I am uneasy about falling for the same mistakes because I have very messed up expectations and notions on what is wrong or right. For instance, he did not tolerate jealousy (and was not jealous at all, he would actually like the idea of me being liked by other men and I even grew to like that of him for some inexplicable reason), and now I am unlearning all of that. Very basic "relationship rules" to me are foreign because they were repressed or the way our relationship worked was so dysfunctional and since it was my only relationship, that is my reference. He wouldn't be intimate with other women while we were living together but in our times apart, if I made any comment that somewhat resembled me questioning his fidelity, that would end up in a horrible fight in which my insecurities were to blame, according to him. I know this is wrong, unhealthy and not normal but what is? What is healthy jealousy? How do I have a healthy relationship? With a new partner I have found myself annoyed at his demonstrations of jealousy and applying the same rules of "you are just being insecure", projecting them onto him because I don't know what is wrong or right, I don't know what is normal or not in many parts of a relationship. But I am working hard to re-teach myself, I am observing my behavior and treating myself with patience. I have also expressed to this potential partner, that I need time and patience, I am not ready to have a relationship, first I want to learn certain things and unlearn others.
  6. Thank you VERY much for your responses, it is unbelievable how much support I find in this place.
  7. Sunnyhiker, I have been working really hard to heal and after I found this forum, my healing has gained a tremendous speed. I don't do exactly the heart-tapping technique, but I do very similar healing techniques I work with my therapist. I appreciate your exposure letter recommendation and admit that there are ways in which I could solve all the problems I see in exposing him and write the letter in a way that leaves no room for the family to think I am bitter. I'm not sure if this would accomplish much on his side, but it might provide me with closure and healing. I will consider it. For now, I write letters to myself (as per my therapist) and document all of the traumatic memories I have of this relationship, write them in a journal to free them from my head and heart and place them outside of me, in the journal. It seems to be helping but the exposure letter is something I am still considering.
  8. Bennu, Sunnyhiker, thank you for your responses. Sunnyhiker, I thought about sending screenshot of his insults and threats to his family members but I didn't for two reasons 1. As Bennu mentions, I was afraid I would open a can of worms and just make him get very, very upset to the point that he would try to come here and actually do something to me. 2. He has a big, supportive and extremely close family, I have no idea of what he has told them about me, and he could just turn it around saying that I'm just bitter he left me for somebody else. You know how families are, they will probably stick with him and deny that one of their own is such a monster. Also, his dad doesn't exactly treat his mom the best way, I never witnessed him insulting her but I did witness him telling her to shut up and dismissing her comments, they don't particularly find this to be abuse and his mom would NEVER say she is abused, she says he is a bit difficult, but she is still happy with her life and would NEVER change it for anything else in this world, she lives for her family abuse or not abuse, she would not admire or even accept what I did (leaving her abusive son) as smart or admirable, on the contrary. Knowing them and their conversations, they will probably say something like "well, that is the way he is, if you couldn't handle it, glad you are no longer together and hopefully he finds someone that will". My ex mentioned a few times that we didn't work out and he needed someone like his mother, less strong. His is the type of families that bury tragedies like they never happened, exes pictures disappear the day after they are done, and their name is never mentioned, like it never happened. If I come back now, almost a year after they last saw him (we divorced this year but were long distance until January, last time we lived together was July of last year), they will probably turn things around and make it seem like I am not over him and am bitter about him moving on. Even if I send screenshots, the only accomplishment I would have from this is that he will temporarily be careful about insulting or hurting somebody else, or if he does, he will just hide it better this time, I will make him a better abuser. Once no one remembers this, he will be back to his old self. Sunnyhiker, about the good side, it is very strange but the insults and all of that pain were a disastrous part of the relationship but also was us swimming together every summer in Mediterranean, dreaming about our family, talking about the children we wanted, watching movies together, we had our jokes, chasing each other around the house, playing like kids, singing and dancing, he worked early in the mornings and would prepare his clothes and leave them in a second room, so I could sleep in, he was sweet to my grandmother, treated her like his own, we would cuddle at night, take baths together weekly, we loved lying together in the same hammock on the beach every summer (which I have missed terribly this summer, as it was the first summer we didn't spend together in ten years), we decorated our house, created photo albums, drove around his island on his 1960's Vespa, we would "trespass" and skinny dip at the pool of a house they had for sale, look at the stars together, we had our ice cream place, we traveled to different parts of the world to visit friends, his family who had never even left their country flew more than 10 hours to visit my family, 8 of them came to visit us in NY while I was attending college and between two couches, one bed and an air mattress, we figured out sleeping and managed to have one of the best times I've had in my life. When I was happy with him, I was very happy. And this was most of my days, the majority of actual time I spent with him was filled with such happy moments, but then there would be that one hour, once or twice a week, that nightmare of an hour that would come up to remind me that he had this monstrous side that could hurt me so much. I would balance the good and the bad, and the good made me stay, made me try, also made me move to this new city to see if by changing my work conditions, I would get more of that good and slowly extinguish that bad side of him that would come out unexpected and unwelcome. This is what I mean by the good. The good with him was truly good, I was truly happy. I understand it is all a façade he played, I am trying to convince myself of that, but it takes time, it is hard to accept that all that good was just a fake and the bad was his true side or the one that could end up destroying me. Something inside me desperately craves and misses this good side of him, this is what I wanted to save.
  9. Thank you for your response. Yes, I am, fortunate to be alive. But it is so strange, I deeply don't believe it, don't believe he really was capable of hurting me although he said he would so many times. I needed to see it to believe it, because I thought he was so great. Ridiculous! With time I am starting to believe it, but now the problem is I don't remember those things he did to me because I guessed I blocked them. He sent me letters that I received only a week ago. We haven't talked in about a month, I got rid of all of his possessions, I am getting my divorce certificate soon, just waiting to get the final certificate from the lawyers.
  10. Thank you clurichaun, I am trying to convince my subconscious of this, for some reason I am still wishing I could go back to the good side of him and help him exterminate that bad side that causes so much pain. But I guess this is not possible so... I just have to make peace with it.
  11. Appletree, in my case, I wish I could look back and regret the time I lost. I actually wish things would work out with him, I wish I could go back and fix it and that is why I am so angry, it is so unfair. I am still in love with him and it drives me insane, it bothers me so much that he didn't care enough to come and fix my broken heart. BUT if he is abusive and a narcissist he will never do that, and I just have to convince myself of that.
  12. That is so true, Bennu, looking back I remember that whenever I thought about speaking up about him, I felt like I couldn't because in response to his abuse and treatment, I had messed up. This sounds very lame, but in desperate search of approval and affection, after he kicked me out of our home, I cheated. Then he found out about it and just used this to insult me (you can imagine which words specifically) and bring it up every time we had an argument, sayind he would tell everyone of what a %^$ I was, particularly my parents. Even though he had done that to me more than once... But I was the %*(#, his infidelities were never even acknowledged. He used this and many other "flaws" I had to keep me quiet.
  13. Thank you Bennu, I just wish I had realized all of this in the relationship, not once it is done, once he left ME. I feel like I am convincing myself of what a jerk he was because it didn't work, because I lost him, and my ego needs to blame it on him, because I can't stand having lost him if he was really as great as I believe him to be. It is weird and hard to explain, not sure if anyone can relate to me. '
  14. I come back to this forum time and time again to read your very helpful replies to my messages. I realize and am fully aware that I am in complete and absolute denial of the abusive traits of my abuser and to make it worse, the relationship is completely OVER so I can't even go to the relationship for confirmation of the abuse. I can only tell you and others what happened and have you tell me "oh yeah, this was very abusive" but to me it was not. To explain how my brain lives this: It is like a movie I lived, from which all the "ugly" parts were cut out (of my memory) and only the good moments are playing back to back in my head from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to sleep, nonstop, each day, every day. As I am eating, working, talking to friends, writing, reading, it is playing in the back of my head like a movie in the background. I see every single happy moment with him in clear color, HD. I see us laughing, playing around the house like we used to do, I see us spending the first night at his new home, which he purchased in the street and neighborhood I wanted (my brain blocks that he didn't put it under my name, only his, in case we "didn't work out"). I see him cooking dinner, spending time with my family and friends. Motivating me to follow my dreams, pushing me in my entrepreneurial initiatives, giving me faith and hope in my ideas. I block how he threatened to kill me and skin me alive at least 3 times, how he called me every insulting name in our language, and used the same insults for my mother, sisters, nephews and every person in my family, including my 94-year-old grandmother who loved him to death. I forget how he cheated on me at the 4th year of our marriage and when I begged him to choose me over the other woman, he got upset about me looking through his messages and finding out about the affair. I forget how I always felt like I was in a casting, first thing I did he didn't like, he would not give me the role of being his partner! I remember how he fed me, helped me bathe and took care of me when I had surgery, but forget how he promised me he would move to my new city, kept me waiting for two years and put me through abandonment and then affection, abandonment, and affection intermittently for almost 1.5 years of the two I spent there, ignoring me for hours and then getting aggressive and furious at me for "insisting" and pressuring me to be attached to his phone, then hours later apologizing and reinforcing how much he wanted us to be together again. All of these negative memories I have to force myself to re-live, the bad stuff is just broken pieces that I have to put together one by one to make a full and convincing image out of them. The good memories just flow out of my memory bank like a nonstop stream in Eden, I can almost hear the chanting birds and heavenly flute sounds in our "happy memories", 24 hours a day, they just pop up everywhere I go, conversations, breakfasts together, birthdays, swimming in the ocean, riding his Vespa. I wanted that back, I waited for that for two years and he never came, he never came to fix all the things he broke inside me, he broke the promises, he broke me inside and then just went on to a new girlfriend. It is infuriating that my brain or subconscious doesn't just help me get out of this by reminding me of all the pain I endured, by helping me to realize how miserable I was, that I was actually unhappy. When will these good memories go away!? Do they ever really get substituted by the horror scenes? How long will I have to live with this feeling of guilt, of powerlessness, of not doing enough to save my marriage and to make it work? He seems to be living just fine without me, has not contacted me (I don't contact him). Why did he get to do all the damage and move on just like that and I am stuck in time, living in a time machine that only takes me to the good parts of this relationship? How, besides obsessing about him and actively searching in my memory bank to remind myself of all the horror scenes, HOW do I wake up from this false dream and realize that something I am not even living anymore was as horrendous as people and the rational side of me tell me it was? How do I do this? If it goes away with time, how long does it take?
  15. Thank you Appletree. This is SO true. This is exactly how I feel. I wish I could go back in time and deal with things differently. The fact that he already has a girlfriend (almost a year and counting, from what I know, he overlapped me with her) drives me INSANE!!! There is nothing I secretly want more than to be with him and knowing that someone is able to deal with him well and that they have a relationship -even if it is abusive, it is more than what I have with him at the moment, it is still some hope, they could be going to therapy, they could work together towards changing that dark side of him, they could be doing things I didn't do. Now that he has suffered a failed relationship, I think he would probably try harder. This drives me INSANE. It reflects SO painfully on me, it makes me sad because I truly loved the life plan we had together of us living most of the year in his paradise Mediterranean island and coming to the US for a month. I LOVED how he was most of the time, except for the minutes he got angry. It is like a beautiful red apple that has one small but very nasty and poisonous worm inside. I truly the rest of the apple! LOL I loved him (I think... I am reading about trauma bond). She gets to be with him and there is the hope of him working on that dark side. I don't get anything at all. Just scars and suffering and longing for the good parts of what I lost and much work to regain myself from this major loss and life hit. If I at least remembered all the bad stuff, it would be easier, but I truly feel like I lost my dream life and the "negative" stuff I should hold on to and confirm my decision, is just gone.