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hoping

Feeling Crazy

15 posts in this topic

I started blocking out what my husband would say if I thought it was going to bother me too much. It would be something I thought was going to be abusive. After joining this site and reading books I have been telling myself to quit doing that and listen to him. I still remind myself, because there are times I find myself doing it again. It was pretty obvious in some of his words and actions that he was being abusive but now that I know more and am listening to him more, I am hearing things that are hard to believe that he is saying, I even question myself, did he say that or did I misunderstand him? When I know or try to trust I heard him right, I feel afraid. Why? because he is saying things that are so different from what I believe and it scares me to see a person I lived with for so long that seems like a different person than I thought he was. I don't think or talk like him so I'm not sure if he is a lot of talk and doesn't take things serious or if he might be more abusive than I thought. I tend to think of the worst scenario's sometimes, so maybe that is all it is. He seems to be more hardened and not as soft hearted as me and maybe that is part of it. I know that some of his hardness could be from being a male and how most are brought up. Well, anyway, when I think he is acting crazy, I have started feeling crazy. It use to really bother me a lot more and I would feel like things were unreal, similar to when I would be in an accident or when someone I cared a lot about would die. Now, I know I am not crazy, it's just my reaction to him. It's not just him saying things that made me wonder if he is crazy that has made me feel crazy, but also the fear, disbelief, and shock of what he said.

 

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Hoping............just curious.............what do other family/friends say about his behavior in general and towards you specifically...........what do they see/hear??

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When I left my now ex, my eyes were opened to his shenanigans. I had been SO blind! Blinded by love and, well, the love switch got turned off due to his horrible treatment of me and it allowed me to see him for who he really was. Next thing I knew he was being financially greedy (HUGE sums of money) toward other family members. I thought WHO IS this man? It was like he became a different person to me. And I was so glad I wasn't "with him" while he made an a$$ of himself over that money. It was an embarrassing display. 

Family and friends may not see the same "him" that you see. Narcissists, especially covert narcissists like mine, are master chameleons. What you see and experience is all that matters. I took a LOT of grief (to this day) from well meaning people (even family members!) who did not see what was really going on in our home. I had to stand firm in my truth. The more time we have been apart, the less confused I have become. When you're IN the relationship, confusion is at an all time high! What you describe is totally normal. They keep things topsy-turvy and your mind spinning in different directions. And the walking on eggshells, which is what you are basically describing at the beginning. It's a big hot mess. And what I learned is that victims of emotional abuse, one of the symptoms is the inability to make decisions, even small decisions. When I read that it was an ah-ha moment! That was my biggest issue. I could NOT make a decision! I was too broken to take on hard decisions! But when I read that my indecision was a SYMPTOM of my abuse, I embraced it to empower me! I AM abused and here is the proof! More proof! 

The best thing I ever did was journal and write it all down. And then read your journal. Over and over. It helps clear the air. It helps with the confusion. Did that really happen like that? I had abuse amnesia! I had forgotten how upset past events had made me! That event was REAL and it was BAD, and it upset me greatly! They try to sweep that under the rug and we go along with it. Back to normal now! It's all good! ...No! Don't sweep that under the rug! The journal will help with that. 

I'm not telling you to leave him I'm just telling you my story. You have to do what's best for you and I respect that. But let me say, there can be peace again. 

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lizzibethak

I have talked to one of my sisters about him and his emotional and verbal abuse. She has been in three or four abusive relationships and seems to have a good boyfriend now, but an emotionally and verbally son that lives with them from her previous abusive husband. She worries about me leaving because of my depression, afraid I will get lonely, and worries about me having enough money. She thinks if I was being physically abused and was afraid for my life then I should leave.  I only told my other sister part of how he treated me. She also had two abusive relationships. One of my girlfriends has had abusive relationships too, she at this time doesn't want to try to have anymore, do to being concerned she will chose another abusive or dysfunctional male. She knows about my relationship and understands why I would want to leave and why I would want to stay. Another friend of mine is probably in an abusive relationship now after being in one for years to her husband, who she is divorced from. She listens to me and I listen to her. I know she has chosen to stay with him, so I try to respect her decision. Another friend was in an abusive relationship and is single now, she doesn't know my whole story, but told me it can be really difficult to be on your own, especially if I don't have a lot of money. I can't think of anyone that I am really close to other than these people that I can ask for opinions about my situation.

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Blueskye

Thank you for your advise. It helps me to hear about others lives. My dad was emotionally and verbally abusive and I think it was easier for me to be angry at him and to have the hopes of marrying someone non abusive when I was young. I have been around and heard of so many abusive and dysfunctional males that it seems to me that there are very few non abusive and functional men out there in the world. Maybe, some of what I am seeing from my husband is not abusive, just him being a typical male. I wonder am I seeing him correctly or seeing abuse where there is not any, I'm not saying all of the time, because I do believe he is abusive, but maybe not as much as I think. I'm not perfect either and worry that since I am afraid to talk about some of my faults, that maybe I am too one sided. I had a chance to move, but decided not too. When I felt like I needed to make the final decision, I still felt very sad and in love with my husband, despite how he has treated me. I also, didn't want to move to the place I had put in an application at. The town is more secluded and I like being closer to a busier town. I started thinking about how long we had been together, all the things we worked to have, our child, and grandchild being close and how everything would change. We don't have a lot and I am afraid of dividing it and both of us being poor. I hope that my brothers are not abusive to there wives, but I don't know that for sure. I haven't talked to them or their wives and am kind of afraid to do so, one reason is, I don't want them to think that I am prying into there life and the other is that I'm not sure if they want to hear about mine, or if they did, how they would react. 

I think another reason that this husband I am with doesn't seem so bad at times is that my previous husband was so much more abusive than this one. Sometimes, when I think back, I think, wow, this one is mild compared to him. 

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You know what, Hoping? The question about whether or not he is abusive or "typical" (he isn't), becomes irrelevant.

The most important question in the world is this: Are you happy, or unhappy, with him?

Do you feel good with him? Comfortable? Does he make life better for you - or does he bring you down?

Do you visualize feeling peaceful on your own, without him constantly in your head, without having to constantly think about what you should do or say so that he will or won't act the way he is? Trying to "manage" the relationship - is it sapping all your energy and preventing your true self from being able to come out and shine?

These are the important questions. An attempt to analyze his abusiveness or the extent of it becomes moot in the face of how you feel within the relationship.

Now, as for your sister's advice...   If you really care about someone, you don't "worry" about them to sway them into staying in something they may not be comfortable or happy in. You believe in them and encourage them and trust that they are adult enough to be able to function on their own. 

The problem with asking for opinions from the people in your circle is they are nearly always going to have their own agendas. Your sister sounds like she is more "worried" for your material needs and that she doesn't trust that you are capable of functioning or navigating the world as an independent individual. That - to me - sounds like more of the programming you've been conditioned with that created the situation of your husband controlling your world. 

Being in an unhappy relationship does not make depression better. Fact. Fact fact fact fact fact. So worrying that leaving something that makes you unhappy ...  well, to me that's kind of backwards. Depression doesn't magically improve while the situations feeding into it are still there. There's a strong possibility that your depression is being made worse by being in a relationship in which you're not happy, in which you feel controlled, in which you feel you have no voice, in which you feel less-than - and in which, and while, everyone around you is "worrying" that you cannot be a fully functional independent adult capable of navigating the world. To me, that "worry" is just plain insulting. It's a put-down. Someone who is interested in helping you make your world better would be encouraging and supportive of your ability to navigate the world on your own - just like any other adult can. This - to me - is infantilization. The people who "care" about you in your world are infantilizing you instead of supporting you in your quest to be your own person. And to me, infantilization is itself a form of abuse.

So that's something to think about. Considering the source and the validity and the genuine value of the opinions coming at you. And whether it's actually truly helpful to your true, authentic self. A lot of times, put-downs can masquerade as "worry." People have their own agendas, sometimes they are quite covert and complicated. For example, someone else may "worry" that you can't do something because they foresee a future where they might feel like they should "help" you and they don't want to be put into a position of doing that (even if that would never happen!) Sometimes it's guilt. Sometimes it's just that they, themselves, have very different mindsets and only care about material survival in the world and not soul pursuits. I feel that you want beauty and control in your own life - things you can't get right now. You crave having an environment that makes you feel comfortable and that enfolds you as an extension of yourself. Yes, there are trade-offs in leaving. It really is a question only you can answer for yourself.

And as for the chance you passed on? Maybe it wasn't the right one for you. It didn't feel right to you. Being secluded wouldn't make you feel happier, so that's not right for you. There's nothing wrong with passing on that. Being close to busy town is something I like, too. 

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Hoping,  I just saw this post of yours in another thread:

When I was a teenager, my dad was emotionally and verbally abusive and my mother was mentally ill. I didn't feel safe to talk to either one about myself or my problems. I had some friends, but they didn't make up for the parenting I wanted or needed.

And I wanted to suggest the book,  "Healing Your Emotional Self" by Beverly Engel. It is really good for people who grew up in households without receiving adequate parenting. 

I found it very helpful. 

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Quaddie

I'm glad you reminded me that the important thing is how he affects me. Yes, you are right most of us have our own agendas when dealing with others. I think part of their worry is that they are having or had a difficult time financially and see me having the same problem. I think also, they are afraid I will get more depressed or pick another abusive person. Yes, it is possible they were also conditioned to think that I can't make it financially. Thank you for the suggested book. I will get it. Hugs....

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Yet your life is your own to live. Your mistakes are your own to make, whether or not someone else agrees or is "afraid" for you or how you will navigate it.

How would you know you can,  if you never were able to try? 

There's a saying... "If you think you can't, you're right." It really grates on me when other people "worry" that you can't do something, and keep you stuck somewhere you don't want to be in life because of their own "concerns."

It's your life. Yours. No matter what anyone else thinks.

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Quaddie

Thank you again for commenting. I think it would have been easier for me to leave if my sister and one of my friends were supportive and happy that I was going to try to make it on my own and to try to have a better life. I wish they would have, but like you said, it is my decision. The thing about my past marriage is that if my sister in laws encouraged me to leave, and they were right. It was so good to have them on my side. They validated what I already knew, but was still difficult to do. I don't blame my sister or friend, because I understand where they are coming from, but I feel pretty lonely In pursuing it.

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"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." - Robin Williams

I love this quote. And at this point I'm so unhappy I'm looking forward to time by myself. There's a difference between being alone and being lonely. Sometimes it's wonderful to be alone with ourselves and focus on ourselves now and then.

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With emotional abuse, loneliness is an upgrade. 

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clurichaun

There are quite a few times when my husband is working that I enjoy being alone. If he is being reasonable I enjoy having someone to do things with. The other day after he said something, I didn't want to be around him for at least a day. I stayed away from him part of the day, because I wanted to rest and didn't want to here him talk even about his job or other things. Some days I feel like I would do fine being alone and I wouldn't get that lonely, but other days I worry about it. Another reason I haven't left, is because he is being somewhat nicer. I am doing more of what I want to do, without his interference. I go out with one of my female friends usually once or more a week, he has given me a certain amount of money, I ask for and he is trying to be kinder when he talks to me and answer some questions I ask. If he were as abusive as he was, it would be easier for me to leave. One of the main things he quit doing is scaring me when he didn't like what I did or said. He would get real angry and take an angry stance that really scared me. He has quit doing this.

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I hear you. It's hard when it seems like things are better to break away. Just be honest with yourself about whether or not you think this change is permanent or if it's just to keep you there and it's a matter of time before it gets bad again.

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clurichaun

I have thought of that and for now I can deal with him. I don't know about a month from now.

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