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whitebutterfly11

Can't Believe This is Real

23 posts in this topic

H and I separated last night.

For the moment, this is undefined, just a temporary separation, and I have a little bit of time to decide if this will be permanent. I know my answer.

It has been the hardest, most excruciating week of my life. 

I have PTSD, and the shock of it all, the way it all happened, traumatized me and I have barely slept or eaten in 7 days. It feels like there is a heavy vice around my chest and it's hard to breathe.

I also was just diagnosed with not one but THREE autoimmune disorders, and the first question the doctor asked me was: what major life events have occurred in your life to cause so much stress? All three are stress-induced disorders. If that is not telling, I don't know what.

I am full of mixed emotions, and I still have a lot of opposition coming at me about this separation, namely, family members who believe that H is a good guy and think the circumstances leading to our mandate to separate (which involved an abusive incident THEY witnessed) is all the third party's fault who is reporting this issue, and not H's fault. But, even he realizes that it's not about the incident--it's about a thousand incidents over 10+ years involving my children and myself. It's a thousand hurtful things, a thousand reasons that are now finally adding up.

I have gone inward and turned myself into a rock to deal with this all. I guess that's my defense mechanism--become a turtle! I haven't reached out for help. Because my counselor was the one who threatened to report if I didn't leave, I don't feel safe going to counseling, and now that means that I don't have my support group either, since she leads that. It's felt in so many ways that I've lost everything. Everything. And yet, the clarity and the inner knowing, and the grounded strength has come to me IN FULL FORCE.

I don't know how but in the face of leaving, you channel inner strength. It comes to you. It sustains you. After the hurt and pain and shock is over, you switch into rockstar mode and somehow that empowers you and helps you through it. 

I can tell you, the details don't matter. What happens next doesn't matter. Those will all work out, and it will be okay. My children are not traumatized. I'm taking special care of them and processing with them using all of the therapeutic skills I know to help them through this. 

The hardest part was telling H, then waiting those few days for him to leave. During that time, he got sad, he cried, he felt like he was ambushed by my counselor, but he willingly went along with it all and took it like a champion. That was what was the hardest. Was watching him do all of this, feeling like I had hurt him, worried about where he would go, worried sick about how this would ruin his life, wanting to take care of him, wanting to fix it and make it better. That was it. That was the big wall in my way. 

Once he left, it was literally as if a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and I collapsed in my bed and fell asleep. Then today I felt much better. I had strength. I channeled bada$$ and decided I could do it. And it was okay.

It will be okay. 

The clarity and flooding of understanding about how bad my situation really was came immediately after he left. All the fog went away with a snap. And I saw it. It was clear. It validated everything I had hoped was true, but wasn't sure of.

So, in all of this, I'm telling you if you're not sure, and you're afraid, but you're hurting and need to take this leap: just do it. Do it, and you will discover that there is immediate help, support, clarity, and peace. Finally peace.

(((Our Place)))

 

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(((((WB))))) 

:hug008::hug008::hug008::hug008:

 

You ARE a rockstar!!!  I got tears (good ones) from reading your post. You're right - the details don't matter. They just distract from the big picture.

Same as the deniers and naysayers - they don't matter, either. Just because other people don't agree or don't have the same perspective doesn't make them more right than you. It's hard to shrug off the pressure from being surrounded by people like that. So I'm really glad you're feeling grounded and clear.

(They're a bunch of squawking chickens. They don't know. They're not smarter or more evolved or better than you. They just want to tell you what to do.)

I also know first-hand how much stress can have real physical consequences. When I was being terrorized at my old job, I could feel in my cells that something was going very wrong inside my body. I had all the "normal" stress symptoms, too....   stomach problems, insomnia, etc. etc...  but the cellular level thing really disturbed me. I could feel that I was going to have some sort of real problem from it, and yet, I couldn't do anything to mitigate the stress. (I still suffer from that job and I lost it more than 3 years ago...)

I did end up developing a neurological condition which I still have, although parts are "in remission" so to speak - may never flare up again, but it's still always there at a low level, so it's a constant "threat."

Whether it was directly from the stress, or from the combination of OTC meds I was taking to "cope" with the symptoms of the extreme stress, it doesn't really matter because stress was the basis for it.

Stress does cause legit physical problems. I believe there's also all sorts of research now about how it raises cortisol levels and causes physical illness and yeah, affects the immune system. A confused immune system theoretically can turn around on itself... :(

Things can get SO MUCH BETTER once the stress starts to ease and the fresh air of self-ness and health can start to be breathed in one's own life. So I'm confident that you will be able to find relief from a lot of the issues as time goes on.

This is HARD and YOU  DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so happy that you have found this within yourself. :'-)

Also there is probably adrenaline burnout...there are things you can do to help yourself heal from that, too. It impacts all the body systems.

For support - please don't hesitate to post here as much and as often as you want, and NEVER APOLOGIZE, even if it seems like a "long" post. K?

And prepare yourself for the moments of doubt and for fog that might come and go, and know that it's all normal and fades with time. And also, of course you know by now to be prepared for the hoovering - from him, from his flying monkeys ;) and even from your family and friends. 

You're so educated in everything so whenever you start to feel doubt or ...  stuff... try to talk to yourself as if you were another member with those same questions or doubts. Then advise that other member. Then take your own advice. ;)  Right? I know it's not that simple,, lol...... you should hear some of my own self-talk in these kinds of situations. But yeah, I have to do that, too. 

But WOOT!!! WOOHOO!!!!  Take good care of yourself and your kids. Rest when you need to. Give yourself loving hugs. Find the scents that soothe you and splurge on them. Make your environment about what makes you feel happy and comfortable and secure. 

And remember that you are not obligated to justify or defend yourself to anyone. Your decisions - just like the word "no" - are complete sentences. The end. The need to explain and justify only opens the door for others to try to sell you on their opinions. You don't need their opinions. They're not living your life. You are.

I'm so moved by what you've done. You go, rockstar!!!  :music-smiley-010:

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(((((Quaddie)))))

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WB

I'm happy to hear that you now have clarity and understanding of your situation, glad that you and your children are now free.

10 hours ago, whitebutterfly11 said:

The hardest part was telling H, then waiting those few days for him to leave. During that time, he got sad, he cried, he felt like he was ambushed by my counselor, but he willingly went along with it all and took it like a champion. That was what was the hardest. Was watching him do all of this, feeling like I had hurt him, worried about where he would go, worried sick about how this would ruin his life, wanting to take care of him, wanting to fix it and make it better. That was it. That was the big wall in my way

I am concerned about finances and all the other things that go along with leaving but I think the thing that is bothering me the most is the same wall.

 

10 hours ago, whitebutterfly11 said:

So, in all of this, I'm telling you if you're not sure, and you're afraid, but you're hurting and need to take this leap: just do it. Do it, and you will discover that there is immediate help, support, clarity, and peace. Finally peace

Thank you for this encouragement. I will keep this in mind. I want to let you know that by your post you have given me more clarity in my situation. Thank you for sharing

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13 hours ago, whitebutterfly11 said:

I can tell you, the details don't matter. What happens next doesn't matter. Those will all work out, and it will be okay. My children are not traumatized. I'm taking special care of them and processing with them using all of the therapeutic skills I know to help them through this. 

The hardest part was telling H, then waiting those few days for him to leave. During that time, he got sad, he cried, he felt like he was ambushed by my counselor, but he willingly went along with it all and took it like a champion. That was what was the hardest. Was watching him do all of this, feeling like I had hurt him, worried about where he would go, worried sick about how this would ruin his life, wanting to take care of him, wanting to fix it and make it better. That was it. That was the big wall in my way. 

Once he left, it was literally as if a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and I collapsed in my bed and fell asleep. Then today I felt much better. I had strength. I channeled bada$$ and decided I could do it. And it was okay.

It will be okay. 

The clarity and flooding of understanding about how bad my situation really was came immediately after he left. All the fog went away with a snap. And I saw it. It was clear. It validated everything I had hoped was true, but wasn't sure of.

So, in all of this, I'm telling you if you're not sure, and you're afraid, but you're hurting and need to take this leap: just do it. Do it, and you will discover that there is immediate help, support, clarity, and peace. Finally peace.

(((Our Place)))

 

I am happy for you that you were able to take the first step (even if it was forced). You are headed in the right direction now of healing for your family.  I think I really needed to read this. I am in the same place as you but haven't taken that first step yet. I think that same wall is holding me back. My brain has let go of the bad side of him but the good side is the one that I have that wall for. It also helps reading that the details will fall into place. There have been little details that have kept me from leaving a few times as well. My mom told me that once. There will always be something. It will never feel like a good time. Those things can't keep holding me back. Reading this helps some with all the thoughts in my head. I am starting to get physical symptoms as well I think. I am only in my 30s but feel like I am much older. Have stomach issues. Anxiety issues. Even diagnosed with PTSD which totally shocked me. Tired all time. Never feel relaxed anymore. Get sick all the time. I am putting it all together now that it is from my life. Hopefully soon I can be posting that I made that first step also. Keep fighting. I am happy for you that you are on the other side now and hopefully things are only up from here on out. 

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White Butterfly,

I am so relieved and happy for you...I know that is a strange thing to say to someone who has so recently separated, but I know that you and everyone on this board understand these sentiments.I am so happy to hear of the peace you felt as soon as he left!

I agree with Quaddie - the opinions of others in this situation matter not one bit.  They obviously don't understand the dynamics of abuse, and may be hanging on harder to their religious convictions than to what they see right in front of their faces...and that is how their loved one (you) has suffered through out the years.  Sometimes I think that people hold on to these convictions in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, because it keeps them from having to face what may be occuring in their own lives.  I have been on both sides of this equation.

I am not surprised that your health has suffered.  I remember the night I made the decision it was over, it was with the utter conviction that if I didn't end that marriage, that I would die and early death and my children would be left without a "healthy" parent.  I, too have an auto-immune problem and very severe joint damage to my jaw from the stress of my 20 year marriage.

I hope that you can get back into counseling.  I know it may be hard to hear this, WB, but I would like to say something in defense of your counselor...if it resonates, great.  If not, discard what I have to say...you obviously know your situation better than I.  Here goes:  Teachers, counselors, doctors, nurses, police officers, etc. are all "mandated reporters".  This means that we must report suspected child abuse or face losing our licenses to practice.  She (or he?) didn't have a choice but to report your husband based on what you told her/him.  While I know this feels like a betrayal, perhaps it really wasn't.  Your counselor was able to see the danger for your son, in a way that, because of the trauma of your abuse, you were unable to see.  And having stated this, I want to be sure you understand that I am not in any way faulting you for not being able to see what the counselor saw.  I, too, have been exactly where you are.  The confusion that becomes a normal part of your everyday functioning becomes only apparent after it lifts, when you have been free of abuse for some time.  But others are able to see it.  And your I think you counselor had to have been truly concerned for your son's well being to take such a drastic stand.  

I wonder what your thoughts are on returning to the group and talking about this experience.  It might be very helpful to share how you feel with the counselor and the group.  For most of us who have lived our lives feeling like we cannot express our anger, sadness and disappointment, doing so in a therapeutic setting is the first opportunity we have to say what's on our minds, without being punished for it afterward.  

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Good for you. I hope that things continue to improve.

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 Thank you. The support here has been such a huge, wonderful relief to me.

I think we can look at any situation in hindsight, with clear heads, and understand which people were working for our best interest and which people weren't.

My counselor has been someone I have trusted and loved for many, many years, and I knew this was a difficult situation for her. I also understand the duty she had to protect/warn. At first, what she did felt like betrayal because she did get angry with me and said some things in that anger that really hurt. She also implied that I could also be incriminated for not leaving because I was a witnessing parent, which was definitely a difficult but necessary truth for me to see, however, it shattered me. And it also made me terrified--horrified--that she would report and I'd lose my kids anyway, even after H left.

I am still worried, still hyper-vigilant, still hoping that it won't happen.

It's a bittersweet thing because I think she did the right thing, it definitely helped me move forward, it allowed me to "wake up" from the fog, and for that I will forever be grateful, but then I'm left not knowing how to trust that alliance again. What if there's an investigation? What if, because she reported (and I don't know if she did), my kids have to go through that? And (God forbid), what if my kids are taken from me on account of me not leaving sooner? My children being removed from the home would cause them irreversible harm. Haven't they been harmed enough already? If he's out, and we're safe, do we have to go through this too? (These are all the questions swimming around, unceasingly, in my worried head).

And how, because I was in a fog over this and not able to see it as bad because of extreme dissociation, could I take action? I was numb--as if underwater--listening to people tell me it was bad without hearing, or feeling, what they were saying to me. And then, because of that, because I couldn't see it or hear it, because I had lost my sense of reality . . . then it's still my fault and I can still lose my kids. 

Then the crushing guilt of feeling like I had neglected my precious kids because my brain wouldn't accept that my situation was as bad as it was. Of not seeing it, because everyone around me was telling me it was perfectly okay--people who witnessed these sort of incidents between H and son over and over again--and told me that son needed a "heavy hand". Of even accepting that this was bad after it had been our norm for so long. The confusion, and the guilt, and the feeling like the most horrible mother, even though I hadn't necessarily done anything wrong but lose myself in the abuse. Not that any of this excuses me from not acting, or being blind to the suffering of my children, it's simply that I couldn't see it. And because I couldn't, now my children could be taken away. 

It's left me broken, really, and confused. Not feeling safe to go back to the place that is supposed to feel safe.

 On the other hand, I also feel like it's not my place to judge anyone, including her, and that people in our lives who truly love and care for us are sometimes placed in precarious situations in which they need to help us by using "tough love", because they see something we can't. In this situation, I realized she did what she needed to do to help me and my children. I just question if it helps if my children have to experience the trauma of an investigation. And that's where my hurt comes from.

That all said, I know it needed to happen, I am definitely thankful for it all, but the experience almost broke me.

I would really really love more than anything else to be with my support group right now--I just don't know how to be there and feel safe in that room right now, after what happened.

Trying to practice compassion, mindfulness, and unconditional love for all people in this situation so I'm not reacting in anger. Trying to understand why it all happened the way it did. Knowing that it was necessary, that the change in momentum was needed, that people who loved me cared enough to fight so that I could be free. There are so many mixed feelings here, but I am processing them all and trying to be as ethical, compassionate, and clearheaded as possible.

Thank you so much for your insight. It really helps to have your perspectives here.

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First of all, I've known members who were experiencing much more obvious abuse and violence, and it still took them just as long to actually leave. I think especially when you're caught in the catch-22 of having physical problems it's even more difficult to unwrap from the binds. It's called the FOG of abuse for a reason. If it was easy, it would be easy.

I don't think she's reported you. And I think it wouldn't make sense to do so retroactively. Now they are safe. You've done it. I can tell you to try not to worry about that, but I know it will still be in your head. 

For your support group - if you chose to, I think you could write out a little speech on index cards or print it out, and to tell you the truth I think what you said here would be the perfect beginning of that little speech:

I would really really love more than anything else to be with my support group right now--I just don't know how to be there and feel safe in that room right now, after what happened.

You can write down in advance (so you can get it clear and concise) exactly what you'd want to say about the feelings of betrayal and bombardment. AND you CAN SAY how you don't feel safe there, and how what happened within the group itself impacted you.

You can get "meta" and talk about what happened within the group. Especially since it was an experience that was sort of counter to the purpose of the group... to you. And even if it's "just your perspective" - it's still valid. So nobody gets to tell you that you're "wrong." This was how you experienced it. Your experience is valid.

AND - again, there is no rule or obligation or law that would say you'd have to sit there and listen to anything you don't want to hear. You COULD get up and leave if you so chose to. You are the boss of you. That'd be a boundary you could draw. You can even spell it out. "I will not feel supported if I am told that my perspective is invalid, or wrong, or is argued-with, or denied, discounted or negated. If I do not feel this is a supportive atmosphere, I will leave. I am choosing that as my self-protective boundary." 

You can spell it out. There's no reason you can't get "meta" and talk about what is talked about within a group, and establish and exercise boundaries. It IS important to feel supported. And it may be important for you to express how you felt. It is entirely your choice. You can do, or not do. 

You don't have to automatically assume that everyone else's perspectives, reasons and actions outweigh your own - or that they mandate "bending" on your side. You don't always have to be the branch that bends to accommodate the obstacle. Sometimes the obstacle will just have to go around you.

(I probably didn't explain that well, so I'm going to share my experience as a better example. I think because I am small-ish, there's a tendency when I'm walking in crowds that others just assume *I* will be the one to get out of their way. And it pisses me off to no end! I've LITERALLY had to jump aside at the last moment or squeeze myself sideways against a wall to avoid getting walked-into by others, other people walking in pairs or groups taking an entire hallway, or even just singletons who clearly see that I'm there and simply ignore my presence as if I'm a ghost. It's horribly negating! And in my workplaces, I've done a lot of walking through hallways with others walking and so it was a constant "thing" for 9 years or so. So I've tried and practiced methods which forces the OTHER person to gtfo of the way. I'm so sick of being assumed to be the one to bend and submit and get out of the way for others!!! Just because I'm more aware of the impending collision - just to save myself from injury - it ain't fair, no way, no how.)

Okay, so that was just the long-version explanation of what I was trying to say. You don't always have to bend and twist to understand everyone else's perspectives when it comes to how they treat you. It's okay to do that, but it's also okay to validate your own feelings and perspective and not feel like you have to analyze it from every angle before you can legitimize your own feelings. You don't always have to be the one to bend. Others can bend, too. Others can hear that you've been hurt by what they've done. Others can be presented with your reality. It's okay - you're just as valid, real, solid and legitimate as every other person.

That may not be an issue for you. But I am guessing it might be. And frankly, that ^^ is something I've had to tell myself - repeatedly, over and over. It doesn't usually get validated by others. Usually, for me at least, the scenario is one in which I'm just completely discounted and negated. But I do have the right to stand up for myself, just like any other person - whether the other party "grants" it or not. And so do you.

 

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I relate Whitebutterfly. I stayed until my children would not have to suffer shared custody. I ignored it best I could until then. I don't know that I made the right decision.

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Yes, Quaddie, you bring up a good point about going to the support group with notes and being able to say what is needed. The truth is, I love my support group--some of the dearest people in my life are there and if I don't go back to counseling, I don't get to see them ever again. Then I worry that they will feel abandoned by me because I couldn't go back. It would be worth it for me to go once more and say what's on my mind. My only worry is that my counselor will use it as an opportunity to rally up support in her decision to do what she did to me. Then that will be retraumatizing.

Trying to also figure out if I'm ready to talk to my counselor in a session about it all. The thought makes my heart pound. I don't know if I'll be able to do it and feel safe.

There are so many decisions left to make, and my head is spinning with it all. My heart aches from this whole experience, and my body is suffering. 

I hate that I can't ask my own family for help, because they will throw their judgments on me. 

The best I can do is survive and try to make these decisions as they come, and maybe even trust a little more in the people and situations that do come up naturally each day as part of the whole process. 

 

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Your family might help after all once the decision has been made. My father turned around from being unsupportive to helping.

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The good thing is, there's no pressure to make those decisions about your counseling or support group. You can make them in your own time and in your own way.

And you can strike off the list worrying that the others will feel abandoned by you if you make a choice that feels best for you. Truly that is not something you need to worry about. Boundaries. ;)

I know you've probably done a lot of boundaries stuff already so I'm going to make my usual broken-record recommendation of "Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin" by Anne Katherine, because that's just the one I happen to like. But others are good too, I just don't remember them as well, which says something to me.

ALSO - this might be a super-fantastic time to read "The Nice Girl Syndrome" by Beverly Engel. It's pretty eye-opening about the serious impact of pressures on women to be nice and to always put others' needs and considerations first. Really truly can't recommend it enough. Maybe even more than the boundaries stuff, which you've probably already done anyway.

So also, you fear that your counselor will use your statements as an opportunity to rally support for what she did to you. Would that be appropriate for a leader of a support group to do? Can you mention that you fear that might happen, and that you might not be "permitted" the legitimacy of your own perspective? You already acknowledge compassion for her side of it - and even so, you still feel the way you do. And that - your feeling - is valid and legitimate. So if she were to use it as an opportunity to twist things back around, that'd be a manipulative move.

Is it a safe place to express your feelings, or do other people get, "Yeah but you're wrong and here's why we all think you're wrong to feel the way you do" in response? IF it is supposed to be a safe place to express your feelings, in your "meta-talk" about it, you can mention that you hope your expression of your feelings will not turn into an opportunity for others to turn it around and tell you why you are wrong to feel that way, or why the action was thought to be necessary.

You CAN call them all to task and "enlighten" them with the truth of what happened - the group probably did not realize they were being inappropriately used. (I wouldn't use that specific wording though, heheh, it's a bit aggressive maybe.) The leader should not have done that, in my opinion. To me - it is highly inappropriate to use the dynamics of a group whose members already probably have boundary issues and susceptibility to manipulation, to "gang up" on one member in support of the leader.  This is a known group dynamics thing - and especially  members of this type of group are going to be susceptible to trying to support the "authority figure" at the expense of another member. And to me, it was not professional to do that. It makes me very angry, actually. I don't really care what her motives were. She COULD have kept silent and told you that she would discuss things more in a private session with you. She did not have to blindside you in group, and use the group. Did she even try to steer it into more appropriate territory when she realized what was going on? In my opinion, calling a person to task in front of others unnecessarily when it can and should be done privately is unnecessarily degrading and humiliating. It's normal to have strong feelings of upset about it. Something this serious - in my opinion - and again, I don't really have experience with groups so maybe I'm wrong about alllllllll this - but it seems like a professional should have steered it away from being an ambush and "taken the discussion offline" (as we say in the business world ;) ) and kept it one-on-one between the two of you, respecting you and preserving your dignity in front of the others - rather than using them for her own momentum.

I think and write a lot about group dynamics like that. I'm no expert of course, and like I said, I have zero experience in support groups, but to me the scenario was unnecessary and not even necessarily professional or appropriate. Especially given the nature of the group members - who are already not in a "strong place" and are not likely to be able to identify whether such a thing is appropriate and resist or call it out in the moment.

That's my take on it - I could be totally wrong. AND I've been known to say such things in other circumstances (in my own way, and of course with too many words, and "too late") - and then be scoffed at as if I were merely being a ridiculous fool. But that's  my perspective on it. And if you wanted to, I know you could find a way to beautifully word what you needed to say.

Altogether your choice. To say, or not say. To go, or not go. And you are not responsible to the others there, and need feel no guilt if you do not go back. You are responsible for you, and they are responsible for they. Them. Themselves. ;)

"The Nice Girl Syndrome." <--- hugely important read, in my opinion

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(((((White butterfly)))))

i have no advice but my thoughts and prayers are with you!

hang in there, you did what you needed to do and I admire you for taking this stand.

best wishes always

darci

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I feel bad that I abandoned this post after so many insightful things were said, and words offered.

Thank you for your support. Though it's been hard to even respond to things in this state, I've really felt your support throughout the last week or so and it's carried me through some of the darkest moments I've ever experienced before.

I am still sort of there, at rock bottom, trying to find the strength to sit up and even just be.

Mr. B.S. Roboto is making contact with the kids this weekend, which means contact with me, which means that my mind will now enter that spiral downward of guilt, confusion, sorrow, and a sense of personal failure.

I know he is going to keep trying to come back, as many times as possible, claiming to have changed, claiming I am wrong.

He even used my parenting against me and told me that I was "just as bad of a parent, if not worse".

That one really hurt me--it brought up every bad thing I've ever done as a parent. Then I realized, finally, that it wasn't true, but it was brain gymnastics to arrive at that point and not believe that I was just as terrible, just as abusive, just as wrong.

Coupled with the fact that I have virtually no support system right now, except you dear people and a few trustworthy friends . . . it's felt very lonesome. I'm trying to be strong, but it's still difficult. Trying to do just the basic sort of things, like eating and sleeping (but still not managing to do those things well, either).

I knew the pain of it would hit me, and it has, but so has clarity. So have some small pieces of hope. It makes it worth it to simply have my own head, without it being messed with by another human being, even if I feel terrible. At least I feel it. At least I'm not repressing it, or getting dissociated by it. At least I have my feelings and my head.

(((Our Place)))

 

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(((WB)))

No worries, I think people understand when it's just so hard to just be,  let alone try to respond coherently.

With Mr Roboto, maybe if you could think of him truly as  a robot. He's programmed to say this, that and the other. He's operating with his robotic programming. Maybe that would help to de-personalize things he says. He's just a robot spewing pre-programmed words. He doesn't see you - his robot sensor  sees a "being" in front of him and is programmed to respond in such-and-such a way. Spewing "Maneuver Q64ZX." 

You're very aware of all the internal processes and even knowing what you're going through is normal, it still hurts, so allowing yourself the feelings is a good thing. 

Any way you get through it, is the way to get through it. Not sleeping so well and not eating so well is normal, you'll feel better when you feel better. Honor your needs, check in with yourself periodically, "What do I need right now?" <-- that's a tough one that I've had to consciously learn to do. To still  do, as I didn't really learn to honor my needs when I was younger.  That's one of my favorite self-care things.  I will even ask myself out-loud, because sometimes talking to the self out-loud works better. Not sure why, lol.

Maybe when you say goodbye to Mr Roboto, you can (to yourself, or under your breath) say, "Domo."  If he hears and goes, "What was that?" Say, "Nothing. I didn't say anything." :D 

Just a fun thought because sometimes these things are all we've got, lol.

 

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Your words sound strong. Write when you want to. We are here.

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Hi

This is hard, I know. 

I thought I was a very unhealthy person. I would be sick A LOT and always for weeks in the summer due to allergies.

This went on for 25 years.

Then X left and when summer rolled around I was gearing up for another round of 3 weeks in bed.  It never came and I haven't been sick like that since!!

I, too, felt peace immediately after my X left. Stay strong. Come here if you waver at all. You can still worry about a person and even love them but you can't change them. You and your kids deserve to live in peace and health. Take that worry you feel for him and concentrate it on yourself and the kids. He's an adult. He makes his own choices. He is responsible for himself.

You got this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fko7_SV3Lc  

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It's been another chaotic weekend with Mr. BS wanting to see the kids.

Both kids remarked that Mr. BS was either

-  On his phone/watching TV or,

- getting after son

There was no bonding time or heartfelt conversations. He wanted the kids to be incandescently happy that they got to see him, and tearful when they said goodbye. He told me nitpicky little things when I saw him, like the fact that he noticed that my car now took up the middle of the garage instead of one side--that made him feel like I had already rejected him. 

The getting after son part was for no reason. Mr. BS criticized son throughout the week via text about how he greeted him. Son says "sup?" instead of "hi". Instead of having a meaningful conversation with son, Mr. BS texted him that he didn't like that phrase. Son said he didn't care about the phrase, he just wanted to know how Mr. BS was doing, to which BS replied "So you don't care about what I'm teaching you?" Of course. :( Then son kept trying to tell him he's a great dad and asked how he was doing, to which Mr. BS assumed son was ignoring his "teaching moment" and accused son of being too stubborn and not willing to listen. This was all in a text.

When son saw Mr. BS, the same argument was brought up in person, and it resulted in a large verbal argument in which Mr. BS yelled at him for his phrasing. 

My daughter came to me telling me how much it bothered her that son was being treated this way, and that she was treated like she could never do any wrong. She said that she didn't like the arguing, the yelling, or anything like that. Son also told me the same thing.

Even though I haven't made any definitive decisions about where this separation will lead, my kids are telling me a truth I cannot ignore. I must protect them from this BS!

Plus, the physical toll every contact with him takes is REAL. And painful. He finds ways to subtly chisel away at my self-esteem and make me feel weak.

I have so many decisions to make, so much to do, a job to find, school to continue, child care to figure out on school days, etc. It's overwhelming but I'm hoping that the clarity will keep coming to me to make it easier to bear this transition.

It's been the hardest thing I've done, but at the same time, the contrast needed to happen. Being on the other side of it needed to happen. Seeing it objectively, without the dissociation from being around it all of the time needed to happen. In this way, it's worth it for the perspective.

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BS criticized son throughout the week via text about how he greeted him. Son says "sup?" instead of "hi". Instead of having a meaningful conversation with son, Mr. BS texted him that he didn't like that phrase. Son said he didn't care about the phrase, he just wanted to know how Mr. BS was doing, to which BS replied "So you don't care about what I'm teaching you?" Of course. :( Then son kept trying to tell him he's a great dad and asked how he was doing, to which Mr. BS assumed son was ignoring his "teaching moment" and accused son of being too stubborn and not willing to listen. This was all in a text.

This.

Is.

INSANE.

 he created HUGE drama and abuse over -literally - NOTHING.  

(I answer "sup yo" to "sup.")

I don't have words, it's completely bonkers. 

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^^^Right?

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If ever there was a clear example of just how nutso he really is...    This could be framed and posted on the wall. Because there is absolutely nothing that's okay about it, not the premise, not the reactions, not any possible perspective. Nope - completely outrageous in every way.

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I think when the abuser is the father of your kids it’s hatder. You will struggle with feeling you broke your family up. On that matter trust your gut instinct. When my kids were in their teen years and understood the world more they thanked me. They said OMG imagine our life if you didn’t have the courage to stand up for yourself and us. 

 

When I left and was struggling with the exact same feelings your having a friend said to me decide what kind of mother you are and then follow that path.

 

a mother who stays in abusive releationships is choosing herself for whatever reason, financial, worn out, too hard.

 

a mother who leaves is choosing their kids. 

 

This is isn’t the right way for everyone to think but it helped me realise I was still a good Mum even if I broke our family up. 

 

I also think (open to being wrong) when an abusive person says they want to chat about any problems, they don’t want to chat - they want you to think the same as them and will do anything to make you. So basically they have already decided the outcome of a chat, they pretend to listen to you, if it get to hard for them they will yell and say things like “why won’t you ever consider my thoughts etc” when my ex wanted to talk in the end I would say it’s not a talk - you want me to think the same way you do no matter what my honest opinion or feelings are. That’s not a chat to sort problems, that’s not trying, that’s not love. That is control. 

 

Im really proud of you, it’s such a hard road without support and that alone tells me your a good person and a great Mum

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