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Usedtotrusteveryone

Daily struggle, feeling to blame, no outlet for tears

68 posts in this topic

Hi all,

Thanks for the chance to talk, a little background, 5 year relationship, 3 kids (one autistic), partner previously married (12 years) kids are from that relationship, 

I used to have in the car what I called the before you see her checklist, brush teeth, mouth wash, chewing gum, leave phone in the car, change socks, roll on deodorant, take shoes off at door, place keys and wallet on the bench. I would stop somewhere on the way home and do all of these things to stop the criticism from the moment I walked in.

Any perceived imperfections were pointed out constantly, I was belittled at every opportunity over things that just should not matter (water not hot enough to wash dishes, breath and other items as above checklist, not paying enough attention to her)

I am constantly told that the kids will prefer to live with their father because I do not make enough money and it is my fault that we have to budget (partner does not work)

As soon as there is a crowd I am attacked and have, wage, hygiene, dress, etc mocked.

If I ask her to stop I am told I do not understand her depression and anxiety and if I ask her to talk to me more calmly and without pointing out everything she doesn't like about me, she has episodes of self harm, which make me feel responsible and unable to talk to her about any behavioural patterns I just feel so lost

On weekends that the kids go to their fathers the self harm and aggressive behavior escalate and I am under constant criticism, she will tell me to leave and go to my parents because I wake up to early, I sleep in my car because I am too embarrassed and ashamed to tell people what is going on 

I just need people to talk to who might understand, there is much worse but this should give enough insight into the fear and confusion that has consumed me

Thanks for listening 

 

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It sounds like you've come to the right place.  I'm sorry you're experiencing constant criticism and being thrown out of your house. 

Keep posting, there are some very wise people here who definitely understand the fear and confusion you're experiencing.

It sounds like your wife could use counseling given her anxiety, depression and self-harming behaviors.  Would you consider counseling for yourself to give you an outlet for your feelings and to help you cope with the situation?

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My partner is in counseling but in her own words"can't tell the therapist everything because of the kids" she is afraid if her ex finds out the extent of the self harming that he will try and take the kids, 

I did once go to counseling but when I told her she screamed for days that how dare I and she started to excuse away all the criticism and tell me i was either over reacting or imagining it and was taking it in away it was not intended 

As soon as I raise concerns about our day to day interaction, she will become very aggressive and will get very personal and demeaning in the way she will talk to me, if I continue to ask for a more considerate interaction the instances of self harm escalate because"I don't understand her"

I just feel like I am going crazy and must be doing something to upset her and this has become a normal part of life 

The financial demands and the expectation are crushing me, it feels like no matter what I do or how far I bend it will never be enough

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I am sorry to hear what you are going through with your partner.  I am not a therapist, but she sounds like she has some serious problems. I would suggest that you go back to counseling and don't tell her. I'm not saying lie to her, but maybe you can find a way to go where she won't know. Maybe go do an activity for a short while and spend the rest of the time seeing a counselor. I think it would help you so much to go. I am guessing that she knows if you get help from a counselor, there is a chance you will see the situation differently, and she is afraid you will leave or at least set some boundaries with her. It is not healthy for you or the children to live like this. I'm not saying leave, that is up to you. I do think you need to take care of yourself and consider the children's needs also. I do feel compassion for her also, but if she isn't getting better, you need to think about what is best for you and the children. It's sad to think of anyone losing their children, but if her husband is healthy and a good person, I think it would be best for the children, at least for now. Have you read about why people cut or do you know anything about it? If not I would go online and read about it.

 

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Thanks hoping,

I have read about the self harm, part of my partner's behavioral pattern is to E-mail me links at work on her conditions (i am all for education) , except this is more about control and excusing it, I would literally do anything to help her get healthy even if it means she ends up resenting me because I am sure if she gets the right help it will get worse before it gets better

I have often thought about contacting the father but I am genuinely afraid of what she would do to herself if she found out I had done that I am 100% sure what happens if the kids are removed , the autistic boy is her universe the devotion she has to him is wonderful but she lacks trust in others with him and the exhaustion she feels from caring for him exacerbates the other behavior 

There are no winners here the problem is I can't stop loving her but her behavior is becoming more erratic and her demands and treatment of me are getting worse the longer I stay, she has eaten away at my self esteem and I just find ways to excuse each abusive episode as being stress related or illness related we are in a very unhealthy cycle but I couldn't live with myself if something happens to her and I have left

The tears are real, the shakes when the phone rings and it is her, I am afraid of her, but I love her still, my head is all over the place, thanks for listening 

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How sad. Some people are so mentally sick that they bring us down too. It's hard when you care so much but sometimes you need to put yourself first. I am really sorry that you are going through this. No one deserves to be treated so badly, especially by someone they love.

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When do the tears stop?, sitting at my desk reading what I have written and know it is not right but the tears are streaming down, I am grieving something that is destructive to me????????, if I go I never get to see the kids again I have no legal rights to them, staying is destroying me from the inside, every loud noise or raised voice has me shrink and cringe, I am afraid that the scarring runs so deep now that trusting anyone, personally or intimately ever again seems unlikely, I have isolated myself from my friends over time because I have been unable to tell them the truth about what was going on, i guess that is what an abuser does to you (labeling her feels wrong), sorry everyone, sorry.

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Those are all normal things. It gradually gets better as you get out and spend time away. I've been out awhile and I'm still working on all that. It is much better now than it was. I actually smile sometimes. I'm reconnecting with friends more and more. The not seeing the kids again must be terribly heart wrenching. That's especially terrible when it leaves leaving them with her, an abuser. You can't do anything for them anyway with not legal rights. You need to save yourself.   

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Thanks Bennu,

At this point you may literally be a life saver, I am not sure the excuses will ever stop (from my end, reality hurts too much to acknowledge) , I still want to excuse it while I am talking to you now, i absolutely know this is no good for me, only last night i was told i do not provide enough financial security for her and the boys, i am dreading going home in a few hours, it is a track well worn and a cycle hard to break.

 

thank you Bennu for your insight, strength and support i hope one day to be able to look back and say, these last few days were the turning point, making that break is going to be incredibly difficult, that smile has always melted me and the tears have always sealed the deal.

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Bless your heart! You have been through a lot! I've been in your shoes and know your torment. And finally one day I broke. I think that's what you're experiencing. You have no more to give. It's never enough. Never good enough. and no you can't go on living that way. But you love her and don't want to leave either. I get it!

But take a step back and here's what I see: You are only focused on her and she is only focused on herself. That's a huge problem.

I agree with Hoping when she says you should sneak off to counseling and not tell her. Do this for you. Some employers even have free visits. Check with your insurance. Take a sick day to go! This problem is affecting or will affect your health if you don't deal with it. Tears are good. They clense the soul and release some pain. 

I realize she is the center of your world but for one week try thinking of YOU and what you need. Not in a selfish way. But you need to take care of you a bit or you're going to suffer a panic attack or worse. Ask me how I know. Get out of the house and do something you like, ride your bike, take a walk, go for a drive, see a movie, or whatever.  You know all the research on her self harm (her focusing on herself again)? Why don't you reasearch some of these terms: narcissism, covert narcissism, Borderline Personality Disorder, histrionic, cluster B, and codependency. I kinda prefer YouTube searches. I like to listen to speakers and don't have time to sit at my computer and read. 

Try to figure out what you are dealing with and then find a therapist to help you before your family self destructs. It's okay to take care of you! You deserve it too! If she won't or can't, then you need to do it. On an airplane the stuardess says that in an emergency you are to place the mask on your own face first SO that you are able to help the person next to you. Take care of you.

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I used to dread seeing my Eeyore too. How can that be a relationship to continue? It's much easier to make excuses than to take action. There are still some good times to sustain you a bit. Finally you do it. Then you find it wasn't so hard after all.

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Irony,

I get home last night to austic boy, smashing everything in sight and swearing, mum sitting on the chair in the lounge and I get, this is too hard you have to go..........turned on my heels just left everything there and am out, woke up this morning with tears rolling down my face but I don't know if they are relief or grief. she can have everything (all the furniture the lot), I am shaking all over and my heart feels like it is going to jump out of my chest, my voice is shaky and I can not complete a sentence, going to get my number changed now, temptation and fear of the unknown are all ready rolling around

thanks everyone

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Oh Wow. We're here. No contact works best. It's so sad what people can do to each other.

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One too many meltdowns Bennu, as Blueskye mentions above I just have no more to give and it was never going to be enough, ( I must admit that was what was rolling around as she was screaming), at some point it is just unmanageable, I feel responsible for her mental illness and her behaviors but coming here has helped me understand that I am not and this type of behavior and manipulation is not a normal part of a relationship, it is amazing what you get used to over time. shaky incredibly unsure of myself, feels like everyone is looking at me in judgment even though no one actually knows anything it is surreal, I can feel the panic building and am out walking so I don't get in the car and go and make sure she is ok, I am absolutely sure that I will never stop loving her even though she is the text book definition of a lot of what Blueskye pointed out above, this has happened to me over such a long period of time and so gradually deteriorated that I feel responsible, for not seeing it, stopping it, being able to "make her better",

it is the isolation I am fearing most and not being sure if I have the strength to stay away

thanks again all for listening to my ramblings and giving me enough small moments of clarity to see what was going on

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Find yourself some counselling. It's so important at this point. You need support. I had lots of panic attacks and it was something I never dealt with before. I don't think that I could have survived had I been alone. It was the hardest thing I've done.

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I remember the panicky feelings 

The general feelings of fear and shame .

your saying you couldn't finish sentences rang a bell .

I developed a kind of stutter ,

It does feel over whelming . 

I felt like I lived hour by hour .

Emotionally it's all in your mind constantly .

BUT if you go back now it will all be to face and do over again. 

Be as strong as you are able .

Get someone to talk to that understands properly . Only talking helps at this stage ,and coming here to us .

We just 'get ' it .

No judging or explaining . 

Youve done what you had to do .

It's so hard ,at this stage .

You tried everything you could to make it better . 

Sending you strength and courage .:hug008:

 

 

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I understand why you left. Hugs

 

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I decided loneliness was an upgrade. 

You've done some of the hardest part. You left. This part feels horrible but keep going forward. You can do this! You WILL feel better in the future so keep inching in that direction. I also decided to go no contact for one week to clear my head and settle my nerves. His reaction to that (crazy) made it easy for me to extend it to forever. So a baby step lead to confidence to take a giant step. Don't underestimate the baby steps. 

Hang in there! Keep going! Good job!!!!!

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Thanks Everyone,

Last night was easily the hardest night of my life, had the most vivid dreams, woke up in an absolute panic, never felt so much adrenalin and fear all at the same time, my phone is in a cupboard at my mother's house ( too much temptation there ), is it normal to almost instantly be looking back at the last 5 years of your life and just feel stupid, naive and used? , I must say reading up on some of the personality types listed above has, while validating the decision to just turn and go made the feelings of naivety and the sense that I was just used to establish what she wanted possession wise worse.

our last 4 days together in a nutshell

Day 1 I received a 2am phone call as I was working away saying that she had, had night tremors about me leaving her and come home now!!!!, so I jumped in the car and did that (support is what you do right?), day spent reassuring her and comforting her (not an uncommon theme now I can look back)

day 2 was spent with her looking at travel plans for trips around the country and her telling me she wanted to marry me

day 3 I get called at work with her hysterical and screaming, saying that the kids are upset and she is not coping so I have to come home, I spend the night being told I do not do enough, provide enough or understand her needs and how difficult it is for her with her anxiety and depression

day 4 as detailed above -  get home to austic boy, smashing everything in sight and swearing, mum sitting on the chair in the lounge and I get, this is too hard you have to go..

typing that, no wonder my head is all over the place, I will regret until the day I die not saying goodbye to the boys but there is no way to explain it that does not upset them and honestly when I was told "you have to go", it was a pure fight or flight moment and I just went................

feeling very lost and like my purpose for being is gone (which I know is not healthy or normal), there is this massive hole and I swing from terrified to relieved to self hatred and denial, I just want to lay in someone's lap and cry

 

 

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{{hugs}}

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I think the hole is from......... well, when you're in an abusive relationship, they become your "world." You lose yourself, and everything you think, do, say, becomes focused around them. It's insidious, so even the things you think  are about "you" and not "them" - are still about them.

For example, let's say in a typical abusive relationship, the man doesn't want the woman to go out with her friends. So for years, she hasn't gone out with her friends because of this.

But one day she decides, "I'm not going to let him control me anymore!"

So she goes out with her friends. The man protests - but she says, "Screw it, I'm going out anyway!"

So she takes on a rebellious, "strong" attitude - I'm going out anyway! I'm going to focus on myself for a change!

....(But see...by being "rebellious" - it's rebelling against him. So it's still a focus on him by nature of her having to rebel against in order to get her needs met. And she has to be "strong" and try to get his negative reaction out of his head...so it's extra effort she has to make, just to rebel <against him - which is still a focus on him> in order to do this.)

She goes out and has a good time with her friends. But all night long, little thoughts about him pop up.

"Man wouldn't like this! hahahah!" she thinks, almost subconsciously, as she has a drink and screams WOOHOO with her friends. 

"Man would never let me do this - I'm going to do it anyway!" she thinks when her friends drag her into a bowling alley.

And so on.....all night long. Thoughts of him keep popping into her head. Even though she's doing this evening "for herself."

And also, in the back of her mind, she has to dread coming home ... and what her man will say or do. And the next day. And the next day. There's a level of fear, and a level of anger, and a level of depression....... even though she did this thing "for herself."
 

So alllllllllll these thought processes are constantly juggling in the head. How to satisfy them. What to do to not get them angry, upset, etc. How to say every.little.thing so that it doesn't open up some can of beans. What will you come home to? What should you say? What should you do? How can you get them to hear you? Why are they doing this? What's behind their behavior? Constant, ALL THE TIME. 
 

So once there is not that need to be constantly, constantly thinking about them and planning and strategizing your every thought and move and word and moment.....     If that goes away, it creates a GAP. A hole.

That hole........is you.   The you that you lost from being in the abusive relationship.

It takes time to re-learn the self-ness, but it does happen.

But don't let that hole fool you into thinking that the abusive person is what's missing. Because that's not what it is at all. That hole...is your self-ness. It's you. 

It's time to gain yourself back.

 

 

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Quaddie, oh wise one, you have really written such a great scenario of how we don't know how to self-nurture while in an abusive relationship........and have to learn that life skill once we are free and safe.

Usedto...........there is so much collective life experience and wisdom here that I hope you continue to return to check-in, report your progress, ask questions, hear others' stories, be encouraged and accepted!  It takes time to heal and part of that process is being able to "feel" all you have been hiding or controlling for the last 5 years.  Tears, anxiety, anger, loss of sleep, memory lapses............those are all part of the "detoxing" process and the beginning of healing.  Take a day/two/weekend to cry, watch movies, eat chocolate, nap, snuggle with a pet/stuffed animal, go for a quiet walk, get a massage, find a counselor, call a friend/family member you have missed, start a bucket list, sit in the sun.......start finding "you" again.

 

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17 hours ago, Quaddie said:

So once there is not that need to be constantly, constantly thinking about them and planning and strategizing your every thought and move and word and moment.....     If that goes away, it creates a GAP. A hole.

That hole........is you.   The you that you lost from being in the abusive relationship.

Yes! That is brilliant! I never thought of it that way.

I call it the [insert name of partner] Filter . You have to run EVERYTHING you do and want to do through the [Name] Filter to see if you can do it or not or if it's worth the trouble. I STILL do it and I've been no contact for 9 months! Becuase he has the ability and DOES use what I do to influence our child and turn him against me. I'm winning my child back now and I can't give him any ammunition to use so if I think he could find out about it and use it against me, then I might not do it. Sad but true. But I'm MUCH free-er now than I was and very few things go though the filter now! Yay! 

Usedto, you're in the hard stage which reminded me of an alcoholic wanting a drink SO BAD! You want to talk to her or see her SO BADLY but reist. Get a friend or relative to be accountable to. This gets easier after a while. Treat it just like alcoholism! You're addicted to a person. A person that's not good for you. I'm not talking down to you. I did it too. We all did.

We all felt the shame. Let that go! There's no shame in it! You were fooled, you LOVED unconditionally, you TRIED to make it work. I see those as beautiful traits (love and trying) and something to be PROUD of! She took didn't appreciate your love and that's not your fault and nothing to be ashamed of. You have a lot do deal with right now so let the shame part go. No shame!

And no FOG! Fear Obligation Guilt! I still have that written on my bathroom mirror! Keep that close by to remind you! You were mistreated so, no FOG. 

 

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Hi all,

First weekend away, just tried to head out for breakfast, got as far as parking the car, then the panic attack set in, hands shaking uncontrollably, tears welling up, breathing becomes shorter and shorter, just had a friend drive me home, Found myself checking for any sign of her and just completely lost it, the fear is so real and so in control of me at the moment.

I didn't realize how suppressed I had become and how pent up, went for a walk last night (really late) and found myself screaming into the night sky just to get some of it out, I am so angry at myself for getting into this position and so upset at the same time that I haven't seen her, how twisted is that

I have forgotten how to be me and make my own decisions, I even felt bad about watching sports on the TV yesterday as I haven't done that without having it pointed out everything else I should be doing instead, I turned it off and went and did laundry and made beds at my mum's instead, it was an involuntary action

First steps in what I am starting to understand will be an extremely emotional and distressing journey 

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Sucks, doesn't it? It gets better, but it's hard going through this.

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