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Tazplu

Need help reminding me why to get out

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Quaddie

You have to be reachable BUT that does not mean you need to put up with his every call or rant. Remember, you get to control how and when he speaks to you. Don't answer if he calls - let it go to voicemail. Always. That way you have the recording, and you control when and where and how you pay attention to it.

In fact, I like to use a voice-to-text app so it translates voicemails into text. (Not always very accurately, but you can usually get the gist of it.)  I used to use Google Voice for this, but then it stopped working - I forget what I'm using now. You can try a few to see what works. Then you can just glance at the message and see whether you actually need to actually listen to his vitriol or communicate with him. If it's about your daughter, that's it. Draw the line. He can only contact you re: that topic. He has no right to discuss anything else with you. You have the right to draw that line and maintain that boundary.

And you'll keep all the voicemails (back them up somewhere so you have them saved in more than one location), so that if you don't respond but they're just harassing you and not about your daughter, you will be able to prove that you are not interfering in that relationship.

You're not at his mercy. Don't worry that it might "appear" you're keeping him from his daughter. You will have proof that you're not, and still be able to do your best to maintain your own boundaries and not be forced to be subjected to his harassment. There's no rule or law that you have to actually pick up the phone and answer when he calls. Let yourself keep yourself safe.

 

ETA: Also remember that in your note, you will be telling him that you will only communicate with him about your daughter, and if he is respectful. 

 

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lizzibethak

Just because he calls doesn't mean you answer.  You can revert to text only to talk about only certain issues.  Don't EVEN let yourself get sucked into responding to emotional issues or legal issues or answering questions that do not pertain to "where is this, what is the password to....., who is our contact for.............., etc.)  Keep it brief and businesslike even though he's going to accuse you of being a cold b&&&& and want to rant.

Create strong boundaries and hold yourself accountable to keep them. Remember you are not just protecting yourself, you are modeling for your daughter how to survive abuse and create strong, healthy relationships with boundaries.

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Tazplu

Hi Quaddie & Lizzi,

Thanks for the responses & sorry I was out of touch for a little bit. 

I took care of a few things regarding my imminent move, have my new place ready to go, have looked at my daughter's new school and all looks good. But I am getting extremely anxious and scared that I will not be able to do this. I don't even know why I think that, maybe because I went from living with my parents right to living with my STBXH, and have never really been on my own. And I guess being told for so long that I can't do anything makes me second guess myself constantly. When I was just visiting and looking at the new area where I will be living, I felt alive and hopeful, something I haven't felt in so long. I was truly sad coming back here again and being afraid that something will happen to ruin my plans and my ability to do this. I have to make my final plans to take what I can with me, get my 2 kitties packed up and be ready to hit the road with my daughter and not look back.

I think I am feeling guilty about leaving the job I have here, as I have made some good friends and really do like it. I have to give my boss my notice today & am having butterflies about that. The job I am going to is almost exactly what I do now, but is better pay and benefits wise and my new manager and team sound wonderful. I am also incredibly worried that while my STBXH doesn't know I'm leaving, that somehow, something will happen that he'll ruin my plans of leaving. I have this fear that on the day I plan to leave, he'll need my car for some reason and I won't be able to go as planned. I have a starting date for my new job, so need to be there, and don't want any delays. I need to get out of here and go, I will be stressed and anxious enough that day, worrying about him coming home early when I am in the middle of having the car packed. Then it would be awful, he'll do everything to try to talk me out of leaving or he'll be angry and it will get ugly. I know I can always call the police then, but I really want to be able to do this on my terms, calmly and peacefully. 

Any advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Tazplu

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tendrils

All of everything you are feeling is understandable .

looks like you’ve thought of everything you can .

Good for you , keep that hope in your heart . Of course you can do it . Whatever happens you’ll deal with it .

We overthink ourselves to a standstill .

No denying it ,it’s awful BUT ,look at the future you will eventually have made for yourselves to look forward to .

See how brave and courageous you are going to be . And so competent . New job - marvellous .

Go for it. Just do it . Don’t falter now. You may never get this far again . 

He’s not in charge of you . That isn’t what a relationship is . 

I am willing you to succeed .

Sending strength . 

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lizzibethak

Guilt and fear are the two emotions that keep us from moving ahead..........and you can overcome these by holding yourself accountable to your decisions and timetable.

Trust me.........we have ALL gone through this and once you get through that last day/last hour and get gone, you will begin to feel a giddiness (at least I did) because I kept saying out loud "i did it, I did it, I did it!.....he is GONE and I am SAFE!!" all the while tears were streaming down my face and I felt a great burden lifted and I could finally feel and express emotions I had to bury for so long.

We're here on the sidelines cheering you on!!!

 

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Tazplu

Hi Tendrils & Lizzi,

I appreciate the encouragement more than you know. I think what else has been making this hard is that STBXH hasn't been particularly mean lately. If he was in full-tilt abuser mode, it would be much easier to leave. I know this will turn his world upside down, he has no friends & never spends time with anyone else. I know that's not my fault & I didn't make him a verbal & emotional abuser, he chose that in his own. I keep thinking back to something I think  Tallulah said on the old CB site, and that is that no abuser can be awful all the time. And that's true, it takes a lot of effort to be a jerk full-time. I have really looked long and hard at how my life would be if I stay with him and it's too depressing to even consider. I can't wait to feel that giddiness of being able to make my own decisions. I will actually be able to meet up with old girlfriends I haven't seen in ages and be able to look at my phone without being grilled about who I'm texting or who's calling me. So unbelievably sick of that.

But he keeps saying things like how we will be able to take normal vacations again, little does he know he will be taking these vacations by himself. But who sat on his backside for 2 years the last time he lost a job? If he had been collecting unemployment or working ANY job during that time, things would not have been so hard and we wouldn't have had to struggle the last few years. I can't go through that again, and will not have him drag me down if it did. I can see him coming after me to find me, and putting his job at risk while doing so.  But that also is not my fault.

I do feel bad about leaving him with the mortgage payment, but he makes a lot more than I do. Hopefully we will have the house on the market in the next week, and it won't take long to sell. I just hope he doesn't stop making mortgage payments. Though even the threat of that isn't enough to make me want to stay. My daughter deserves a better life and to hopefully not have to suffer with anxiety and panic attacks as much. I'm hoping that being away from a stressful environment will help alleviate the gastrointestinal issues she has been battling this year as well.

Thank you for all your support, any recommendations are appreciated.

Tazplu

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Vanilli

Thinking of you Tazlpu. You're doing really well, just keep pushing forward. I find writing helps a lot sometimes, it helps you know and be clear on your own mind when they are causing confusion with manipulation and the honeymoon periods (remember the inevitable cycle - honeymoon, tension building, abuse - over and over again - you really deserve so much better than that). Keep us all updated. :hug:

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Tazplu

Thanks Vanilli,

I feel so encouraged anytime I get a response. And STBXH is starting on the tension building cycle - called me 3 times while I was in my weekly meeting,then texted me his usual snarky "W r u?" text. I never know where he is, but he has to track my every move. I can feel the tension building, why would he have to call me 3x in a row if it wasn't an emergency? Now I'm stressing as far as what he'd be calling me about. And I will have to call him to find out, and it's probably nothing, but in the meantime, I'm stressed & anxious. I can't wait to be away from this. I feel shaky and jittery, this is no way to live.

Thanks for listening,

 

Tazplu

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lizzibethak

You can do this!  

Have you been able to confide in any friends who can support you emotionally during this transition and encourage you??  I had family who stood behind my decision and 2 BFF's that were constantly in touch just to make sure I could actually break free.......and my co-workers allowed me to be "crazy" for a few weeks so I was able to work through some ptsd.  And my church family stood behind me and prayed............

You really can do this!

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Tazplu

Hi Lizzi,

Yes I have some very supportive friends, as well as family, that have wanted me to leave for a long time. I am sure they will be behind me when I need encouragement, and thankfully, my son, sister & a close cousin already live near where I am moving. 

I have a feeling my chronic headaches and abdominsl issues will improve tremendously once I am out. I know it will be far from over, but once my daughter is 18 in 2 years, I will be able to breathe that sigh of relief. No reason I EVER have to talk to him again after that.

Oh, BTW, earlier when he called, he said he was calling to say "Hi", then proceeded to blast me by saying "Don't they let you answer your phone in meetings?" Ummm no, people don't do that, I'm sure he doesn't either. He was just checking on my whereabouts. Funny thing is that I didn't feel my phone vibrate because I still had it in silent mode from last night. I know it's sad, but I put my phone in silent mode when I get home, so he won't grill me if I get a text or call. And I forgot to turn silent mode off this morning. 😂🤣😂

Tazplu

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lizzibethak

You really are an adult..........and soon you'll be able to actually live like one!

The last few days my XH was still in the house, I had diarrhea something awful and anxiety through the roof, even tho I was on anti-anxiety and anti-depressants.  

I drove him 60 miles to the airport at midnight (most flights our are really late ones to make connections in the Lower 48).....drove home, got into my jammies, made a big cup of hot cocoa, curled up on the love seat with a cozy quilt and my kitties all snuggled around me and the TV on a movie channel and snoozed.  I slept and cried and slept and purged junk and slept and snuggled my kitties for the next 3 days.  It was very comforting and healing and totally a sane thing to do!  

See if you can plan something special, comforting, healing for you and your daughter even if it's just snuggling together and watching a chick-flick and drinking cocoa.........

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Quaddie
2 hours ago, Tazplu said:

"Don't they let you answer your phone in meetings?"

Omg. I snorted out loud at this. Sheesh.

 

Can't wait 'til you're away from this jerk....  

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Vanilli
18 hours ago, Tazplu said:

Thanks Vanilli,

I feel so encouraged anytime I get a response. And STBXH is starting on the tension building cycle - called me 3 times while I was in my weekly meeting,then texted me his usual snarky "W r u?" text. I never know where he is, but he has to track my every move. I can feel the tension building, why would he have to call me 3x in a row if it wasn't an emergency? Now I'm stressing as far as what he'd be calling me about. And I will have to call him to find out, and it's probably nothing, but in the meantime, I'm stressed & anxious. I can't wait to be away from this. I feel shaky and jittery, this is no way to live.

Thanks for listening,

 

Tazplu

Wow, I'm so sorry - that really is incredibly controlling and unhealthy behaviour. What a stressful and horrible way to live for you. As if he was calling you over and over in a meeting? How out of touch with reality is he. I remember how stressful it was for me in the final months before I left, you are so hyper aware of everything, the abuse, how the react, and you can just feel it building up inside of you - one day you are just ready to SNAP. I remember my snap, I'd been planning the leave for months and then one day he went into one of his abusive crazy states and I just turned around, walked away, got in a cab and didn't come back again. f word all of them, and their shitty behaviour. Keep going lady, I feel you are being so strong and I'm looking forward to the day when you are finally free - for you!! One foot in front of the other, day by day, step by step - you're closer than ever to your freedom :hug:

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Tazplu

Hi Lizzi, Quaddie & Vanilli,

Lizzi - I can totally relate to the abdominal issues. I still have a lot to get done at home before I leave, so that is really stressing me out and my stomach is just not doing well. I know it will pass, but it will get a lot worse even after I have left.

Vanilli - Wow I can't even imagine how scary it must have been to leave the way you did & just go because you had enough. I have been at that point many times, but because I didn't want to make things more difficult for my kids, I never just walked out. I wanted to have time to do this on my own terms, though always expected I would have months & not just a few weeks to plan this out. 

Quaddie - You make me laugh, thank you. I really need the reaffirmation that he is the one with the inappropriate, controlling behavior. Over the weekend, I had been killing myself cleaning out closets & getting things together to donate. Anyway, long story short, I had my cell phone in my pocket and went to use the restroom. So it wouldn't fall out of the pocket, I took it out and had it in my hand when I walked out of the bathroom. My STBXH gave me the nastiest loom and said "Why do you have your cell phone in the bathroom with you?" Oh I see, again the veiled accusations that I MUST HAVE BEEN texting one of my many boyfriends in the bathroom. Sure, like I have the time, energy or interest for that, and like I would text anyone with him being home. Idiot. I will be thrilled to never again be questioned and interrogated about my cell phone ever again. If I ever do text my son or a friend while he's home, he ALWAYS tries to hover over my shoulder to see what I'm texting. Yes it's rude, disrespectful & an invasion of my private space, but I have nothing to hide. The only thing I don't text around him is when I am on this site or talking to a family member or friend about what is going on with him and me leaving.

All that being said, I still don't know why I feel bad about leaving. Maybe because I wouldn't like it if my spouse left me out of the blue. But truly I feel like I have no choice, a few years ago I tried to get him to leave & he wouldn't, saying it was his house too. Well true, so then I realized he would make this as hard as possible, so I would need to be the one to leave when the time came. I feel bad because he has no friends and has wrapped his life up in just me, again unhealthy & not my fault, but any rational person would not be surprised once I leave. They would be more shocked that I stayed as long as I did without losing my mind. And honestly if my daughter hadn't pleaded with me a couple months ago to leave, I never would have gone job searching out of the area and actually gotten the job that is allowing me to take my daughter and 2 cats and move. I probably would have stayed another couple years until she's 18, so the whole child custody thing wouldn't be an issue. But I am glad I put my future in the hands of fate and had it show me the path to follow. I am confident this job would not have worked out if it wasn't where I was meant to go. I never in a million years would have thought I'd have the strength to do this. I know it will be scary and won't be easy, especially since I am only bringing personal belongings and pretty much starting with nothing otherwise. I know having nothing and being free of daily verbal and emotional abuse will be priceless. 

Tazplu

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Quaddie

Omg. EVERYONE has their cell phone in the bathroom with them. Sheesh! What a doof!!!  (I personally play solitaire when I'm 'doing my business,' I'm sure everyone has their things they do. Everyone!)

It's more than "just" rude or disrespectful - it's flat-out abuse. He is extremely, extremely controlling. 

Feeling bad is part of the conditioning of the abusive dynamic. You are literally escaping a hostage situation.  You might want to look up "trauma bonding" because a lot of times there are elements of that to it. But the feeling isn't evidence that you're doing anything "wrong." It's just a symptom of having been in an abusive relationship.

Also beware of projecting your feelings onto him. Like, you say you'd feel bad if your spouse just left you out of the blue. But remember that his brain works very differently from yours. His "feeling bad" would be anger that his possession escaped him. Not because he genuinely loves or is actually heartbroken.  But because - to him - you are his possession. His object. 

Keep putting one foot in front of the other and literally, try to "shut off" feelings about what you think you might be "doing to him." Your daughter is right to want to get out of there, and you're absolutely 100% doing the right thing.

The feelings will fade in time after you leave and start to get a clearer head about what, exactly, has been going on in this "relationship." Only with distance can you really get that clarity. So trust the choice and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You're doing the right thing.

 

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Tazplu

Thanks Quaddie,

You should be a therapist, you are very insightful & good at this. I feel so much better when I hear reaffirmation about his insane behavior and that it's not normal. I've been married to him almost 28 years, so I don't even know what normal should be. I just know that he makes me feel bad and that I should not have to live like this. I know I would never say the things he says to me to anyone I am supposed to care about. 

I do need some advice though - I am planning to leave Friday morning while he is at work & leaving a note. I have to pack my SUV & get everything I want to take in it, as I'm sure I will not have another chance to get anything if I don't do it now. What do I do if he somehow changes his schedule on me and comes home before I'm gone? He has done that before, or say he just takes the day off, he's done that before without telling me as well. I could just pack regardless all the while listening to his abuse or begging me to stay and see how things will be different, and call the police if he interferes. But how long are they going to want to babysit until I can pull out of the driveway?

I need some suggestions for what do if he totally kaboshes my plans and decides to be off and stay home all day? Or comes home when the car is mid-way packed? I know, I just need to haul @ss & get out of there ASAP, which is the plan, but I am pretty much single handedly packing everything in the car myself, and loading up my 2 cats at the last possible second. I will be relieved once we have left & are gone. And will feel 1000% better once we have arrived at our destination. 

I just wish he would get it through his head that I want to be left alone, and that begging or yelling at me isn't going to help because nothing will. Why would I go back, there is nothing here for me or my daughter, I gave up my job, so there is nothing keeping me here. I just hope he doesn't drag his feet with putting the house on the market. It should already have been put up for sale, but he had more things he wanted to do, and now I'm worried he will be spiteful and not sell it. The bad thing there being that he really can't afford to keep it on his own for very long. I do feel bad about bailing on that, but had he moved out years ago or already have put the house for sale, I would not have been put in the position of being the one to move out. I have my own living expenses to pay for now, so he can suck it up. I just hate confrontation and anger and he will be harassing me non-stop as far as how I am ruining his life by having left him. Well if he wasn't such an @ss, I wouldn't have had to leave.

Need some advice on how to get through this.

Thanks,

Tazplu

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Quaddie

Thank you for your kind words.

My thoughts would be these:

- See if there's any possible way that you can move the majority of what you'll need to an off-site location in-advance. Using your "spring cleaning" cover is good, if you need to explain why things are disappearing. Even if that means renting a storage unit for just one month. Putting your stuff somewhere else so that you can have as little as possible to do the day-of can considerably reduce your stress and alleviate any of those possible situations.

- Make a list of the things you'll need to do so that you won't have to remember anything in the moments.

- As much as possible, consolidate the things you'll be packing so that they're together and you can just put them into the car from in one place. If possible, move them into the vehicle's proximity. If at all possible, put them into boxes or storage bins that you can quickly place into the vehicle. The less trips back & forth to the vehicle, the better. 

- It's going to be pretty imperative that you do as much of this as possible in-advance. Not only will it make you feel a lot better, but it will make everything go a lot more smoothly. Do it however you can, whatever it takes, to get as much as possible out of the house - you can pick it up after you leave (it's worth taking longer to get to your destination!) - and to find any possible means to consolidate and make the packing basically "lift-and-go." Prep everything you possibly can. It'll be worth it. (For some of the things I packed in advance, for example I had a new instrument keyboard on a stand - I packed it in advance and replaced with an old one that I was leaving behind. I'd kept it covered with a cloth. Although their sizes were very different, he never noticed. My ex was a non-noticer of me, however. I'm just saying that to explain, use subterfuge if you have to. Any means possible. 

Heck, if you can rent a virtual mailbox in the new location or have someone there you can ship to, pack up and ship whatever you can now. The less "things" you have to deal with, the better. So really try to hone down what you are bringing to make this part as seamless and fast as possible, and to be able to get as much out in-advance as you can.

- Is there a friend or anyone you trust to support you 100% who could be with you while you make your final preparations? Not to distract you by talking to you (you'll need your focus), but just to be there as a buffer in case things go awry? Calling the police would be a last resort - unless he's physically blockading you, they might not do anything at all.

- If he IS there, remember that you can ignore him and not engage in conversation. You have the right to control your own conversation. You do not have to engage. You do not have to listen even if he is spouting off. It's just blahblahblah from him. Spew from a demon trying to suck you back in. There's nothing you'd have to actually listen to or consider.

- The house thing - you will really need to visit a lawyer ASAP to get that cleared up. I don't want to overload you with that, or make you worry about it right at this moment, but it will become important soon - but for now, don't bother thinking about what he might or might not do. You will take care of that shortly. Right now, just focus on getting out.

 

 

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Tazplu

Thanks Quaddie!

I have been talking to a lawyer just haven't officially engaged her. 

All, need some advice here. Should I even leave a note - I talked to a friend at work & she did something similar years ago when her son was little & never left a note. She just packed up & left with her son while her H was at work.

But I don't want him to post a missing persons report either. Then again with all my stuff, my daughter's stuff & the cats being gone, ummm duh, what does he think happened? The note would really be a gesture, but at this point  don't know if I need to leave one or not.

I'm just so stressed, hope it all works out.

Thanks for listening,

Tazplu

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Quaddie

Leave a note. VERY short & concise. Not offering apologies and not taking blame. I'd do it, just to make sure you are crystal clear and that he knows it's your decision. You have to state it straight-out. It also may help to situate it as a reality in his head.

Something like, "I have left the relationship. It is not working. My decision is final and I am not going to change my mind. Please limit any necessary communications only to matters regarding (your daughter), and keep them respectful. My lawyer will be contacting you. Sincerely, Tazplu"

Saying these things of course won't prevent him from being a jerk or from trying to hoover you, but it may help. It also is no-nonsense stating the situation in a very clear way. It doesn't keep an abuser from twisting things in their head, but it's the best thing to do. 

If you feel you can stick to it, I'd probably include also after the "limit communications" line, something like "I will not respond to disrespectful communications, or to any other topics."  (I may not have phrased that well.)

The house thing will become important to have an official agreement drawn up about soon, but like I said, just focus right now on getting out. Don't let that sidetrack you.

But yeah, do leave the note. But nothing more than this. And it's very important that you don't apologize, or take any blame, or do anything like that. It may "feel harsh," but in reality you're just stating facts without the "apologetic softening" we're programmed to provide as women. Don't give it. It weakens your position and potentially provides ammunition he may later twist and use against you. So do not apologize, don't say "I'm sorry, but..." - don't say, "It's not working for me..."  - don't say, "I'm not happy..." - don't take any degree of blame onto yourself - don't try to soften it in any way. You don't need to give any specific reason and he'd later find a way to use it against you, anyway.  Oh and I wouldn't even sign it "Love." That'd only give him hope to try to hoover you, and besides, truly I think you'll discover that "love" isn't what this is, anyway. No softening. 

 

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percolate

Leave a very short note and if you're afraid of him reporting you as a missing person, alert the cops that you are leaving an abusive spouse and are not "missing."

As others have said, do not respond to his attempts to contact you once you leave. Given the age of your daughter, he doesn't need to contact you to set up visits with her (I'm assuming she has her own phone).  If you do have to interact with him, ask that he communicate via email (leaves a nice paper trail).  If he tries to discuss the property settlement, custody, etc., tell him that your lawyer will handle that. 

Congratulations on finding a new place to live, and a new job that pays better than your current one.  

Once you get past the move, you're going to enjoy being able to see friends when you want to, decorating the way you want to, and re-discovering who you are. 

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Bennu

Did you get out? How's it going? I have been away from this site awhile and came on and read your story and now I need to know what happened.

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Quaddie

Yes, I've been wondering how you're doing, too. Please check in if you get a chance.

 

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Vanilli

Thinking of you too 

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Tazplu

Thank you all.

i am out & safe but suffering from pinkeye at the moment, making me lift sensitive & making it hard to see.

be in touch soon.

Tazplu

 

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Bennu

Good to hear. I was imagining bad things.

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