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Confused714

Feelings when you left

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Confused714

When you finally made the move and left what feelings did you go through?  Did you feel free right away?  Did you mourn for what was lost or feel bad for your abuser? I haven't gone yet. I just have a gut feeling it is getting close. I am already feeling so many different things but don't know how I will feel when I finally do go. I feel like I will miss him. The good side of him. Not the bad side. I am so lost right now. 

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hoping

I haven't left yet but checked on an apartment today. On the way I started feeling fearful and a little sick at my stomach. After I found out what I needed to do first, I felt a little frustrated. I am through that now and will continue planning. The other day when I told my husband I didn't want to have sex anymore I felt free!!! 

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6245

At first I felt free.

Then a few months after it felt really, really heartbreaking. It felt that way for a long, long time.  It was AWFUL.  Leaving was the hardest thing I ever did.

Now, I feel strong.  And overall, much happier.

It will be bad for awhile, but it gets better.

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Quaddie

I think a lot of the time they become such blaming, self-centered, self-pitying jerkholes that it makes it easier to not feel sorry for them.

It's sort of a symptom of being accustomed to abusive relationships, to feel bad for re-establishing your rights and life as a human being - and to interpret that inwardly as "hurting" someone else. As if that someone else has a "right" to your life, which you are taking away from them and messing up their life by being a person. 

If you do end up feeling that way, it's something you'd probably want to address through reading, introspection, counseling. I also recommend The Nice Girl Syndrome by Beverly Engel. What it comes down to is in feeling that you, yourself are not as important as the abuser. That your life isn't as valuable as theirs. It's really tough to learn to feel as if one is just as important as anyone else...   I've had to do affirmations, to post short phrases that I told myself to repeat periodically throughout the day... I still have to sometimes tell myself things like that out loud. It's a process. But practice makes it better. 

Everybody else in the world is allowed to break up with a person they don't want to be with. You are, too. Everybody gets hurt in breakups - it's part of life. It's normal. He will have to live through it, just like everyone else does - in the bunches of breakups that most people experience in life.

Yes, it's normal to feel sad and mourn "what could have been" - what you thought you had - what it seemed like it was, if things weren't going badly. Eventually that will probably change into some other emotion.   

After you leave, and the more you learn about abuse, the more you will likely realize was really eff'd up and wrong and messing with your head in that relationship. Then it becomes more like anger and less like feeling sorry for the abuser. It's hard to feel sorry for someone once you really internalize that they've been using you the entire time, manipulating you, controlling you, that they never saw you as a real person and never truly loved or respected you. 

It's also normal to have difficulty reconciling the "good side" with the "bad side." It almost might seem like they're two different people. But the "bad side" is who they really are, inside. It's when the fabric of their mask tears and you see behind it. It's not that "they're so good, if only they didn't....." If they hurt you, they are not good people for you.

 

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EnoughisEnough

When I left the first time it was after the first of many severe beatings. I stayed away for a month and during that time I was in shock and very vulnerable. I returned and after another year I left again for a few months. Then I returned. This last time I spoke with my therapist right after I left and she was super supportive reminding me sometimes it takes more than leaving once to leave for good. I wish I'd stayed away forever the first time because I am damaged. For me, accepting that it was never going to change and that my life is valuable has been really helpful. As I get stronger I am more scared of him -- because  I finally accept how dangerous the situation was for me. Do I miss him? Sometimes. Do I want the relationship (or whatever it was) again? I do not. It's a complicated process and mine is tied to my own childhood abuse and feelings of inadequacy. I don't know what's next, but I am safe and I have support. It's not easy, but it's possible to be free.

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Fluffyflea
20 hours ago, Confused714 said:

When you finally made the move and left what feelings did you go through?  

Anger set in and a lot of it but also just glad to have finally made the break.

Did you feel free right away?

Totally empowered. I had my power back finally.

 Did you mourn for what was lost or feel bad for your abuser?

No and No and never.

I haven't gone yet. I just have a gut feeling it is getting close. I am already feeling so many different things but don't know how I will feel when I finally do go. I feel like I will miss him. The good side of him. Not the bad side. I am so lost right now. 

 

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Kanga
On 11 August 2017 at 7:28 AM, Confused714 said:

I am already feeling so many different things but don't know how I will feel when I finally do go. I feel like I will miss him. The good side of him. Not the bad side. I am so lost right now. 

I think whatever it is about him and your life with him that you will miss is just not worth it. 

When I left I felt so angry it overwhelmed other feelings. The anger actually stemmed from my belief that he did not value the good parts of our relationship enough to change his behaviour. It was devastating for me to discover he was ok with the way things were and it was just me desperate for change. I was so hurt. I was crushed to learn the extent of his selfishness. 

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Melinoe

It was really hard for me, I won't lie to you. I left sort of in spite of myself, knowing that leaving was the right thing to do, but I was still pretty brainwashed, and didn't feel confident about my choice. I felt very regretful in the sense of "why did it have to come to this?" 

It was physically painful and I went through almost a withdrawal period that lasted about 2 weeks. Emotionally numb, hardly ate anything, with a deep ache in my body. I would lie in bed and just speak gently to myself and repeat things like "my heart is healing, my heart is healing" over and over, trying to soothe myself. After that 2 weeks though, I felt a lot better, like a fog had lifted. After that, I had that sense of freedom. I perked up, felt more myself. Things got steadily better from that point. I think my body needed time to process the trauma. 

I quickly realized how much of my life had been consumed by him. I did miss him, because the sudden lack of his overbearing presence and control left this huge, gaping nothingness I didn't know what to do with. I felt free, but the freedom was...jarring. I had spent so much time running around catering to him, reacting to him, thinking about him. I had trouble making decisions - I second-guessed literally any choice I made, and felt guilty about anything and everything because I was so used to feeling like that. One day I was triggered really badly by witnessing another abusive man, and had an almost uncontrollable urge to run to him for reassurance and safety. That was scary, but I made it through.

I cried a lot, off and on. I mourned "what could have been" pretty hard for the first month, easy. When I thought of the "good times", I got a stab of bitter regret over why he chose to abuse something that he should have cherished, and anger over the fact that all the "good times" and his "good side" was all a stupid, manipulative lie. Then I would feel a sense of relief, pride, and gratitude that I had left before things got "really bad". It was like a pendulum - back and forth, with each swing getting less extreme, easier to handle.  

I was very uncertain and shaky and over-analyzed myself constantly. Although I felt guilty for talking to people about the abuse and my feelings, doing so helped tremendously. I talked to my friends, finally, about everything, and my therapist, and my mom - all the people he had forbidden me to tell our "secrets" to, I talked with. Reading "Why Does He Do That" over and over and over helped a lot. Finding validation and support wherever I could helped me so much, so I do encourage you to gather as much support around you as you can. Anyone who makes you doubt yourself, even if they have good intentions - back away from them for a while. Right now you need cheerleaders and unconditional support and compassion. I was extremely vulnerable to even the slightest hint of judgement and criticism at first, and it would send me into a spiral of self-doubt. 

I'm not sharing this to scare you - I wish I could say "Girl, when you walk out that door, you will feel like a million bucks, guaranteed!" but it took me a while to feel like a million bucks again.... but eventually I did! 

After I left, I felt bad for feeling bad; I thought something was wrong with me for being sad and struggling over something that was healthy and empowering, so I wanted to reassure you and tell you it's ok and normal to feel awful too, if that's what you experience. I think it is a natural reaction to breaking the Trauma Bonds that living with the abuser created. It really IS like a withdrawal. 

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Quaddie

There is a sort of "withdrawal" process ... Melinoe described it well. You do have to honor your feelings, but at the same time realize that removing something toxic from your life - even though the process itself is painful - is healthy in the long run. And that you cannot possibly be healthy as long as you're still living in a toxic environment, and the only answer is to remove oneself from it.

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Bennu

It's two years later and I'm happy. I'm seeing someone and don't feel like I couldn't deal with it if things don't work out. I know I will find someone who is a good fit sooner or later. I'm not going to settle for less than what I need. But, when I left I was a mess. I doubted, I was very anxious, I couldn't sleep, I freaked out at the sign of a car like his, I kept having realizations as I read abuse books, I did some of my own writing, I did some mandala drawing, I had problems finding employment. I had problems with getting triggered at work. It was terribly hard, but I did get through it and I am so glad I did it.

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