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Today is a Bad Day

(54 Posts)
FromHereToNextTuesday Fri 15-Mar-13 20:56:22

Well for background, H has ended our marriage. I'm pregnant (unplanned) and we have two DC under four.

I've moved out of his damp, cramped nightmare of a house into somewhere lovely. The kids see him two nights a week (would prefer one). I'm close to friends and family, have a lot of support.

No one is here to call me a cunt, or a bitch, or tell me to fuck off. No one is kicking stuff into walls or breakingmirrors. No one is ignoring me in the name of 'space'. No one is 'sexting' other women for a 'release'. No one is promising, forgetting, sulking if I remind. No one is wishing I'd kill myself or my unborn child. No one is taking anyone else to hotel rooms. No one is loving me one second, despising me the next.

No one is fucked off if I'm half an hour late, then staying our all night themselves. No one is criticising my parenting, cleaning ability, appearance or sexual prowess. No one cares what I make for dinner. I don't feel on edge, I'm not given hell for having had depression. No one is hacking my emails or controlling my phone bill. There are no controlling, insular, deluded in-laws to make me miserable.

My children are in a healthy environment, they have a good school to go to, we can look forward to the baby. They eat better, sleep better. For the first time I am enjoying motherhood.

So why, WHY, am I sat here in tears because he has someone else? Why do I wish he was here sat next to me? Why did I fall for the 'pity shag' trick and why am I wishing it would happen again? Why does listening to a fucking Green Day song have me in floods of tears? Why am I keeping a t-shirt of his when I have binned my wedding album? Why am I so heartbroken? Why do I care that he now wears a bracelet, when he never wore the one I got him (petty...). Why do I wish I had him to hold? I miss his body, I miss his chaotic mind. I don't want anyone else to have it.

Knock this out of me, please. I am tougher than I sound.

Spero Sat 16-Mar-13 22:40:07

Remember that those who can't create, destroy. He wants to make an impact. If he can't have you fawning over him, he will have you weeping. Please try not to engage with him. I wasted many years of my life trying to get someone to listen and agree with me about what a shit he was. It will never happen. He is not worth a moment of your time.

FromHereToNextTuesday Sun 17-Mar-13 08:06:19

He's not. He now has a good woman apparently, meaning I wasn't. Fuck him. He wants the kids though, what are the chances he can get them? Can he use my depression against me? It got about as bad as it can get last year, exacerbated by him I hasten to add.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 17-Mar-13 08:38:55

Blows hot and cold this charmer, doesn't he? One minute the children are 'things' and the next he wants them? Do you have legal representation? No, a past history of illness is not enough to influence a custody decision on its own and my educated guess from the way you describe things is that he is only saying it to upset you because he has lost the argument, lost his family and lost the plot. But get yourself a good solicitor just to be on the safe side. Let them deal with him... step away from it yourself.

As for the children. No it wouldn't be selfish to drop contact until proper access is agreed. Start the CSA process so that they are financially supported - it's the least he can do - but otherwise let him prove why he should have contact rather than the other way around.

Thumbwitch Sun 17-Mar-13 08:46:07

No it's very unlikely that he would be able to use your depression against you. But do as Cogito says.

Stop listening to the Greenday and start listening to the Gloria Gaynor "Now I'm saving all my loving for someone whose loving me"
And try, when you feel yourself missing him, envisioning him on a piece of bungy cord, wrapped round his ankles, and bounce him hard inside your head. It helps, it really does.

Roshbegosh Sun 17-Mar-13 09:05:53

Imagine what could have become of you if you were with him another ten years.

FromHereToNextTuesday Sun 17-Mar-13 09:47:28

Yes I've got a good solicitor. I can honestly say I don't think I could have gone another ten years with him in that house. I was not me.

Spero Sun 17-Mar-13 12:49:49

Being depressed does not mean you cannot parent. As long as you are getting the help you need, he doesn't have an argument. But that doesn't mean he won't try every dirty trick he can, so I am glad you have good sol.

FromHereToNextTuesday Tue 19-Mar-13 06:51:49

One thing you can help with, does all this class as abuse? He controlled out finances as well, to the point where we got the keys to a new house (I was desperate to leave the old place) and two days later he handed them back and I spent another 2.5 years hating where I was. The new place was close to friends, family. Alhough he never stopped me seeing them, I felt isolated. I always had ample spending £s, but no financial say.

He would pressure, but not force. Things like having anal sex or getting an abortion. No force, just hassle really. I didn't get an abortion, but he has made it clear his feelings on 'that thing'.

I was suicidal last year, received intensive treatment. Had blanks, delusions, panic attacks. Always when with him, or after conflict. I never felt that way alone or with friends.

He tells me I'm a bad mother. True, I did not enjoy it. Out of that house though, and away from his criticism, I love it. He has an opinionated family. They told him I was an emotionally abusive mother, and I must be neglectful since the one year old learning to walk had bruises on her legs. SS and mental health services dismissed the case entirely.

I feel like I'm deluded. He insists he was never abusive, his family sing his praises. He is taking steps because I'm keeping the kids from him (he will see them Fri to sat now). Am I deluded?

The broken mirror scared the shit out of me, we had a quiet few months after that. A few similar, less dramatic instances. No physical abuse, no forced sex. His family stopped speaking to me when I told them about it breaking stuff. He told them he fell.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 07:31:56

What you're describing is bullying, abusive behaviour. When it's done in a 'drip drip', subtle, undermining way it's a lot more difficult to identify than, say, a black eye.... but it's still abuse. The litmus test IMHO is your reaction. Depression and other mental illnesses can strike anyone, any time but the fact that you had such an extreme and damaging reaction to living with him, and that the symptoms magically disappeared when you were with others, suggests to me ... and I'm not a professional... that you were being physically & mentally harmed by your environment i.e. he was literally sending you mad.

I found this extract from a website aimed at children who think they are being bullied. Might help you see the abuse for what it was.

Bullying can upset you, hurt you, make you feel isolated and worthless, lonely, lack in confidence, anxious and angry. Being bullied can affect your mental health. People who are being bullied can develop other problems such as depression, anxiety and eating problems and may self harm or turn to drugs and alcohol.

No, you're not deluded.

FromHereToNextTuesday Tue 19-Mar-13 08:26:27

Thanks Cogito appreciated.

I know I'm shamelessly looking for validation, I am tired of being in the 'mad' bracket. I don't want this to happen in my next life, so to speak. I need to learn the truth about him really. Closure needed. It makes me sick that he + deluded family + probably lied-to girlfriend will have so much contact with my kids. The two he is interested in anyway, although I suspect he only tolerates DD.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 08:39:07

I don't know how long you'd been with your exH but you have to think of yourself as having been subjected to a very long, very sustained process of ... almost... brainwashing. When you have someone who you love and respect treating you badly you start to wonder if it's some flaw in your character causing them to behave that way. When they tell you you're rubbish... you eventually start to believe them. When they tell you that you imagined everything.... you begin to question your own judgement.

So it's not 'shameless' to go back over the past, organise your thoughts and want to understand exactly what happened. It's quite natural, especially as you say if you want to avoid history repeating itself.

I point a lot of people towards this article entitled 'Are you Dating an Abuser'. What I like about it is the focus on the more subtle signs to look out for. We can all look at someone who behaves like your ex and it's easy to see that it's abusive but presumably, when you met, he was on best behaviour... similar to when you had the 'quiet months'... and seemed to be a regular guy. The more ingraned behaviour, however, is difficult for an abusive character to mask and the challenge for anyone considering a new partner is to identify if there's a pattern. So maybe think back to when you first met and see if anything in the article rings a bell.

FromHereToNextTuesday Tue 19-Mar-13 10:21:38

That article is freakishly accurate. Rushing, entitlement and blaming in particular. And this is the stuff I'm grieving for! The sense of being so special he had to live with me, get engaged and marry me in a couple of years. The sense of being 'different' to his 'frigid, needy' exs. His confidence, his refusal to take 'shit from anybody', his commitment to me.

How utterly vile. I am appalled, really, that I fell for this or even thought like that. I was very young, but how stupid. I changed my whole plan of life based on those first few months. It wasn't even real, it was the first few steps down what sadly appears to be a well-trodden path. Seven years, what an unhealthy start.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 10:31:07

It's an eye-opener isn't it? Don't blame yourself, however. Most of us are pretty optimistic and forgiving when we're young... it's no crime. We are looking for romance, easily flattered and when someone tells us we're 'different to their ex' we treat it as a compliment. When they refuse to 'take shit from anybody'... we think they're go-getters. When they rush us down the aisle we see it as passion. It's easy to get lured in because we're hearing what we want to hear. We're also naive enough to believe that 'love conquers all' when things go wrong. So 'stupid' isn't really a fair adjective. Everyone makes mistakes.

In your 'next life' you won't be half so trusting or forgiving. You'll be alert to early warning signs, interpreting things differently and be looking for patterns. Some people think this is a shame and don't like having to be cynical or harden their heart, but I think it's a natural part of maturity and self-preservation

FromHereToNextTuesday Tue 19-Mar-13 11:13:47

Yep, that's it exactly. And he is now filling someone else with exactly the same poisoned honey.

I sincerely hope I am taking this on board.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 11:38:57

You are taking it on board, trust me. I didn't have MN and internet psychology pages when a relationship broke down many years ago but the next men that came along got very harshly judged. The second any of them reminded me even remotely of my ex's behaviour (which followed a lot of that article) they were drop-kicked into obscurity. smile Possibly unfairly at times but it was necessary.

Sounds all too familiar hmm, been there done that, it will get easier, , promise, just take one day at a time, you'll look back at this time and wonder why it took so long to leave and wish you'd done it long before. Don't be too hard on yourself x

familylawmum Tue 19-Mar-13 11:45:14

You should be very proud of how far you have come. For every bad day there will be more good days and time will heal. Ongoing contact is hard but your children will thank you when they are older for allowing them the opportunity to know their Dad. Mine did. My ex was as vile as yours but funnily enough he turned into a great Dad when everything settled down. Coming out of an abusive relationship is not easy - you are having withdrawal symptoms. Take a look at the WomensAid website, they also offer a Freedom Course which, amongst other things, gives us insight into why we chose an abuser in the first place and helps us avoid doing it again.

GrinningImp Tue 19-Mar-13 12:08:12

I think the world of you for posting, asking for support and doing what you've done, FHTNT. Really sound advice here (which I'm also benefiting from).

One thought, and it is only that. And think about all the implications. I dont usually post, but having my own sad, similar day and found yours. i hope it's ok to raise this here and apologies if not.

But when your gorgeous baby comes, depending how how things are, think about whether you want his name on the birth certificate. That has a host of issues tied up in it, I know, on both sides and only you know what is best. Just, given the hell he is putting you through, weigh up the whole situation beforehand, and maybe do that while you have relatively less busyness of two kids and one still inside!

Like so many say here, thank god you're out of there. Your life is already a billion times better, plus that of your kids, and when you're a merry ole granny with a stash of wonderful tales, you'll know this bravery also changed your grandchildren's lives, too. It's grief now. Big hugs.

FromHereToNextTuesday Tue 19-Mar-13 13:44:13

Thank you, this is all really helping. So sad that so many of you have been in a similar position, but it just shows how effective these tactics are.

At least I know there really is nothing more he can do to me now. That has to be good.

I'm in two minds about birth certificate. I think it would just give weight to his ridiculous It's-not-mine theory.

I don't know whether to give him/her my surname either, I will change back soon. The other two have his, he will never agree to changing it. Maybe that's just weird for them to have different names but he has actively denied this baby. It would take a lot for me to give him/her H's name given the circumstances.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 14:01:32

As you're married I don't think the birth certificate contents are going to make a jot of difference to anything, except possibly your new baby at some stage later in life. He's the legal parent whatever the certificate says.

FromHereToNextTuesday Tue 19-Mar-13 15:00:41

If I didn't have my dad on my birth certificate, but my siblings did, I wouldnt like it I don't think. It would be bad enough that the bastard disowned me in the first place!

MarinaIvy Tue 19-Mar-13 15:02:10

What Cogito said - and that article made my hairs stand on end.

As to music, I can totally relate to how a song can hit you just so. Therefore, I propose you look up, listen to, download and put on repeat one of the few Billie Holliday songs that aren't gloomy: "Baby I Don't Cry Over You".

In particular, one verse that gets repeated:

"These foolish games you keep playin'
Might work with somebody else
But I could have told you, right from the start
No man is man enough to break my heart"

Whether or not you actually believe it of yourself from one moment to the next is moot - it's a kick-ass attitude to embrace. Got me through some tough heartbreak times.

You're doing brilliantly, even if you don't feel it at the moment. There may well be some more Bad Days (there might not!), but you know, don't you, that there'll be more Good Days, and even Best Days.

Hugs from me

Ledkr Tue 19-Mar-13 15:15:30

Because its really hard when they go with someone else as you imagine them being line you once were but don't forget that honeymoon period will end soon and he will treat her as he has treated you.
Let them get on with it.
Remember you will probably never have to feel like he made you feel ever again.

captainmummy Tue 19-Mar-13 17:41:48

So why, WHY, am I sat here in tears because he has someone else? Why did I fall for the 'pity shag' trick and why am I wishing it would happen again? Why does listening to a fucking Green Day song have me in floods of tears? Why am I so heartbroken? Why do I care that he now wears a bracelet, when he never wore the one I got him (petty...). Why do I wish I had him to hold? I miss his body, I miss his chaotic mind. I don't want anyone else to have it.
OP - You are suffering from Stockholm syndrome - where an abuser/rapist/kidnapper assumes such control over the victim that they come to rely on the abuser. Even, sometimes, to love them, need them, want them, even tho their entire world is a horror.

It's terrible for you - but you should research it; it might help.
And as Ledkr says - the honeymoon period will soon be over for the next poor girl who is taken in.

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