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Reenie605

First time here....never imagined it would be like this...

13 posts in this topic

I couldn't have imagined that this would be my life.  49 years old and I feel like there is nothing left of me.  A shell that goes through the motions of the day hoping today won't be so bad.  When I look back now I see the warning signs and can't believe I was so stop and naive not to know them for what they were.  We've been married for 20 years and were together for almost 10 before that.  I had nothing for parents to offer advice so when he call to check up on me when I was somewhere without him, I thought it was cute how he missed me.  When I saw him following me when I drove home after working extra late I actually thought it was funny.  I stopped for gas and I could see him pull into the shop across the street and watch me.  I laughed thinking how silly that was.  What a fool.  All these years later and I'm actually afraid to tell him I'm going to visit my father because i know I'll have to put up with all the complaining and accusations.  I try to ignore it but the stress over little things is tearing me apart.  I'm so exhausted from walking on eggshells and so numb from trying to mentally not allow his words to hurt.  The jokes that I am always the butt of (I'm just kidding, stop being so touchy), the insults that he somehow believes are based in love (I'm trying to tell you I love you lady dog, why don't you f*ing listen to me), the very thinly veiled put downs (you've finally worked up the energy to clean that up, huh), it has all become so much more than I can take.  I try to put it all in a mental box so I can function, but it's getting weaker and weaker.  I've been sleeping on the couch for two years now.  The overwhelming loneliness of my life hurts more and more each day.  I have no-one to share my day with, no one to encourage me, no one to help me with the dishes, no one to be my friend and companion.  I think it's more than narcissism, I actually think he has multiple personalities.  I try to track them sometimes, the big breaks between the things he likes and dislikes one day compared to the next.  It's crazy sometimes.  I just want to wrap up in a blanket and sink down into nothing.  

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We are here to support you. I'm sorry that you had to find us, but glad that you did. Welcome. I think that the appearance of multiple personalities comes from the way that they manipulate to try to get their needs met. They don't worry about things making sense. They try one tactic and then another and they are often contradictory and it makes no sense. They don't seem to have any sense. They need to control and manipulate and get their way. What that means can be the opposite from day to day, they just need to feel like the puppet master. If I wanted to watch a certain sport he would hate that sport and have all sorts of reasons for it. Then years later, it was his favorite sport. I think he must have forgotten about the other occasion. He only didn't like it the first time because I did. That was when I was starting to figure it out. Lundy Bancroft's Why Does He Do That? helped.

I know that weak feeling. You are here for a reason. You can get out of this. You need to build up your strength. You need some outside positive influence. Do you work? You can get positive feedback at work plus it's money to help you survive on your own. You can regain some identity doing thing separately from him. Volunteer work is a good place to start if you haven't worked in awhile. 

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Welcome to Our Place Reenie

Like Bennu suggested I doubt your husband actually has multiple personalities. His 180 switches are designed to keep you on your toes, confused and under his control. Making a fuss each time you want to visit your father is intended to keep you from going. Abusers like to keep their partners isolated as that makes it easier for them to maintain control. If you have ready access to other people you can get support and validation and those are things that are threatening to a person intent on controlling their partner.

Bennu mentions the book " Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft. It can help you understand what is going on. If you can get hold of a copy to read for your own sake do not show it to or mention it to your husband.

With relation to your husbands insulting and hurtful jokes I think the best thing you can do is try to ignore him and not give him any reaction. Any reaction from you is a win in his mind. Unemotional and neutral responses deny him his win. Things like "if you say so" can work well. Also if you can remember each time he throws an insult your way that those insults are saying who he is and actually saying nothing about you.

Do you have anyone in real life that you can reach out to? Having someone to talk to can certainly help. Can you contact your local domestic violence center?

The one thing that is almost certain is that he is not going to change and will most likely get worse.

One certainty is that you do not deserve his abuse.

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Thank you both for replying.  I do have a job, although he'll be happy to tell you I don't make as much as he does.  The fact that I do literally everything in the house makes no difference.  

Do other women in this position feel like their "person" has multiple personalities?  I know so much is done is to try to make me unstable so he can be the better person over me.  But it completely freaks me out when he says he doesn't remember something I told him a few days ago, or when he says one thing and then changes it and when I say you liked that the other way last time he says he has no idea what I'm talking about.  

In the beginning I wanted so much for him to feel loved.  He had been abused as a child and had a difficult life and I saw the good in him and really wanted to make him happy.  It took me a very long time to figure out that he was never going to be happy no matter what I did.  I couldn't even try to be perfect because perfect changed all the time.  But I always thought that, regardless of what he did, he knew that I was a good person who was at least trying to take care of him.  Then it hit me that he didn't think that. A little over two years ago, we were talking about going to the beach and he started laughing (that degrading one that comes before he makes fun of me for something) and he started talking about how the last time we went to the beach he caught me coming on to some guy by sitting down by the water and spreading my legs at this person.  I literally sat there speechless.  Not only am I an overweight middle aged woman, but even in my younger more attractive days I was never that kind of girl.  He kept assuring me it was okay, he wasn't holding it against me.  He understands how I needed to come on to other men to feel attractive.  I walked away with a new found realization of what I was really living.  

A few months later was the beginning of 2015.  He had gotten very drunk after the kids went to bed.  I'd been working a part time job along with my full time job to earn some extra money because he told me I didn't make enough and seeing as I had so much time on my hands I should work another job.  So I found something I enjoyed.  So of course now he didn't want me to work it anymore.  The night that he got drunk he started telling me to leave that job.  I told him I wouldn't.  He started yelling at me that I was going to do what he said.  I tried to go into the bathroom and lock the door but he held the door open.  When I tried to leave the bathroom he blocked it and kept screaming at me that I was going to do what he said.  I just kept saying, I'd like to leave the bathroom please as calmly as I could.  His eyes were bugged out and he was literally frothing at the mouth as he screamed at me to quit the job.  He finally went up to the  bedroom and I went to make sure the kids were okay because there was no way they hadn't heard that.  They were together in one room holding each other and crying.  I held them and told them everything was going to be okay.  He heard me come up and started walking in to the room.  I told him please don't do this in front of the kids.  He freaked out again saying he would never hurt his kids, what was wrong with me.  He took his wedding ring off and hurled at my face.  For the next hour he would go in the bedroom for a little while then come out and scream at me again, over and over.  I finally told him that I was done and that I didn't want him anymore and I wanted him to leave.  I could hear him trying to put a bag together but he was so drunk he couldn't do it.  And of course, now that I stood up to him and told him I was done, he was all apologetic.  The next morning when I wouldn't talk to him he said that he didn't remember anything at all from the night before.  and of course he said I was over reacting.  I told him that if he wanted us to stay together he had to stop drinking and he had to get some mental help.  He said he would and Mr. Nice Guy showed up for a few months.  

Anyway.  I just felt a need to get that story off my chest.  There are so many more but this time he physically scared me and it was the moment I knew I didn't love him anymore.  

I'm going to get that book and read it.  I need this to be done this year.  I've wasted so much of my life.    

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Hi Reenie,

Welcome to Our Place.  I know that you will get the support you need as you continue on your journey to be free of abuse. And believe it or not, you have already started your journey and are well on your way!

I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.  Your husband sounds very much like my ex.  I left him when I was 44 years old, after a 20 year marriage and now, 8 years later, I am happy and in a wonderful, healthy marriage, living an abuse free life.  But 8 years ago, I was exactly where you are now and I felt that I would surely die an early death if I kept living my status quo.  There is hope, Reenie, and reading "Why Does He Do That" will put your experiences in a perspective that you've never seen before.  You will likely find that your husband fits the description of an abuser to a "T".

He is a mean, vindictive, shaming, abusive man, Reenie.  You have to be a very strong woman to have survived him.  Living without abuse will give you and your children a future brighter than you can imagine.

 

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It's common for them to deny the past. I actually believed that I had lost my good memory. It was gaslighting at it's finest. They keep us off balance and doubting. Plus, how can you discuss a problem that they won't even admit to? Get away. It only gets worse. I'm sorry you got tricked by such a jerk. You deserve much better. So do your children.

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Welcome so glad to see how well your write. There are a lot of similarities in all our storeys with subtle differences. If he is willing to yell in front of the kids you might be in for a ride. These guys do that and when your not around put seeds in the kid's minds to make them feel you are causing the problems. Try to be really smart with the time you give him with the children. Did Mr Nice guy ever quit drinking? 

Keep writing it helps so much to sort feelings. 
 

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Welcome Reenie and keep posting - you are safe here.  I recognise a lot in your story. You are not alone. 

 

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Reenie

Welcome

The people on this site and the books they suggested have helped me so much to see and understand the abuse I am experiencing. I hope you will continue to post and can read some of the books on abuse. I can relate to what you are going through. My abuser is somewhat different but some of his strategies are the same. 

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Well I bought the book and started reading it.  It didn't take long for me to see that things that I thought were particular only to me, are actually common.  I have truly thought that he  has a mental disorder of some type.  He was not born in this country and was regularly abused by his mother, the father was not in the house.  I thought these things made it fairly obvious that he would have a mental problem, his siblings do.  

To Hoping....you said your abuser is somewhat different - what did you mean?  What really gets me are the times when he is mr. nice guy.  Like this week - he was on vacation and he spent a lot of time cleaning the house and even made dinner a couple of nights.  That never happens.  But I've been hurt so badly that I can barely feel anything anymore, even the good things.  I have  a lot more reading to do because I still can't understand how someone can be so wonderful and so horrible.  It messes with my head too much.  

And then I look back at everything I have given up.  How I look behind me and there is a lifetime of disappointments, of giving in, of never getting the things I need to make me feel complete.  And ahead of me there is no time to rebuild a life.  I feel lost these days.  Like I don't know what to do with myself. I hate crying but there are days where i cry all the way to work, I can't make myself stop.  And times like tonight where I watch a stupid movie on television with a guy pursuing the girl he loves and I feel so stupid because I am jealous that she had a chance to experience that kind of love and I haven't.  It makes me feel broken inside.  I hate feeling sorry for myself.  How the hell did I get here?!!!

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Reenie

When we first got together he didn't follow me, it was me pursuing him more. There have been times in our marriage that he has showed up where a friend and I were eating and joined us. I'm not quite sure, but part of it could be to see who I was with, get attention or he was lonely. When I worked my husband complained about me not making enough money, especially when I worked part-time. I use to do a lot of the housework, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children which I don't do as much now and he does about half now. He hasn't tried to keep me from my family, but does complain about some of them being dysfunctional. There were other things that I didn't tell him about, hid, or avoided answering and still do.  He has acted like we are in a competition, gets jealous of me for an achievement, when others say they like me, that our granddaughter says she likes me better and when our animals paid more attention to me. He still tried to get his way when I was down(depressed or having a rough time). My husband doesn't gaslight me by changing the rules or his beliefs but he probably does it in another way. He doesn't accuse me of anything as sexual as yours, but he blamed me for another guy sneaking up and kissing me. I was also surprised to see what he really thought of me. I don't think I'm that bad of a person, but he does. My husband is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type. He will go from being nice and sensible to being abusive and saying or doing things that don't seem rational.  My husband yells and tries to intimidate me into doing or believing what he does. I could go on but I'll just say that they all similar in some ways and not in others.

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Reenie..............do some online research into Borderline Personality Disorder..........knowledge is power and the more you know the more you can understand who this man really is.  It is NOT unusual for BPD to be fine one minute and crazy the next........to make your head spin as he loves you one day and is complaining the next.

You're 49?? Well I'm 66 so my options are limited for finding someone at this point in my life.........and besides that due to years of coercive sex I'm not sure I ever want to be intimate again.  You have TONS of time to recreate your life and move on and recover.  Don't ever think that you don't have a future......you have the rest of your life to be happy and fulfilled and grateful and giving and loving.

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Hi Reenie! 

Living with an abuser can feel like you're living with someone with multiple personalities, and I think one explanation for that is their surface level "acting" can look much different than what they're really thinking deep down. So he could bounce between hot and cold so easily, it feels like he's two different people at once. The reality is, his true self is what comes out when he's angry and controlling. Anything else--even the good stuff where he seems like he's nice and agreeable--is an act. An act meant to confuse you with smoke and mirrors to look the other way when his true self comes out. 

It's hard to deal with someone whose temperament is so unpredictable. It can make you feel crazy, like you don't know what's real, but you're not crazy. You are are actually responding normally to his crazy.

 

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