Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Were you severely controlled by your abusive exdh?

(12 Posts)
LowlyWormsLittleCousin Tue 26-Apr-16 18:02:51

& if so, how did you learn to cope after divorce? I'm not talking mild pa crap but the full-on all consuming control. The sort of ex who would dictate what roads you drove down, what you wore, what you ate. The sort who controlled all the money/bills/credit cards etc. The sort who dictated your life in it's entirety. This was my life I'm ashamed to say. For nearly 30 years. Eventually after a long long time and a blood-thirsty battle, I got myself free. Now though I struggle. Really badly. It's over a year since my divorce and I find coping with everything just too much. I wonder how others have managed it? I'm now in my 50s but have had to learn everything from scratch as I had responsibility for nothing during my marriage. It seems never ending. Will there ever come a time when I feel in control of my life, when I can do it all without feeling like I'm drowning?

CommonBurdock Tue 26-Apr-16 18:20:13

To-do lists. They are fab. First do a list of everything you've done recently that was difficult or hassly and tick them all off. Then make a cup of brew. Then make a list of 5 difficult/challenging things you still need to do and give yourself a time limit, daily, weekly or whatever feels comfortable.
Arrange to do something to celebrate even if it's by yourself, when you have done those 5 things. Doesn't matter how small or unimportant you might think those things are, it's the fact you've done them that counts.

LowlyWormsLittleCousin Tue 26-Apr-16 18:28:30

Brilliant idea Common thanks

jayho Tue 26-Apr-16 18:34:33

Also, commit 'random acts of independence'; take a different route home from the supermarket, leave the washing up til tomorrow, buy yourself some flowers. Then celebrate and congratulate yourself on your freedom. flowers

Fourormore Tue 26-Apr-16 18:35:10

Go at your own pace. Start small. Be gentle with yourself - try and step outside your comfort zone but be kind to yourself when you can't. Change happens when we accept where we are right now.
Have you had any therapy? I'd be looking for a kind and gentle psychotherapist to help you find a new way of living.

springydaffs Tue 26-Apr-16 19:16:27

I agree about getting therapy.

When I left my extremely controlling ex (who wrote me a letter written with his mont blanc fountain pen with instructions, one of which was to turn the mattress regularly) it was soon after the hostages came out of Beirut. I was so jealous they got intense support for a goodly time after they got home. I needed that!

(Anyone reading this who hasn't experienced severe controlling will probably raise an eyebrow I was jealous of the Beirut hostages. All I can say is you have never experienced this level of abuse if you raise your eyebrow.)

As we both know op, these relationships are like being incarcerated. yy we get to go to the shops I suppose but everything is controlled down to the nth degree. If you've had that for years (decades sad ) then you're going to need some support to get up and running.

You can do it. Day at a time flowers

LowlyWormsLittleCousin Tue 26-Apr-16 19:18:30

Thank you for your great suggestions, it always makes more sense to me to hear things from others. I love 'random acts of independence'. I now do this every time I go grocery shopping. I put things in the trolly that I know would piss him off but I still feel judged doing so. It's that kind of mental 'wince' ready for the telling off. That hasn't gone away. I had as much therapy as I could afford and that got me to the point of escaping. I was totally dependent. I couldn't afford it now as I'm of very limited means. I guess I feel ashamed I'm not as worldly-wise or capable as others my own age.

springydaffs Tue 26-Apr-16 19:23:27

You can get reduced-cost therapy. Either through Women's Orgs, Women's Aid, or have a look at BACP - most therapists offer a sliding fee scale, just ask (they won't be offended).

AnyFucker Tue 26-Apr-16 19:26:11

Congratulations on getting away. Keep the faith, it will continue to fall into place. flowers

Fourormore Tue 26-Apr-16 19:26:28

Definitely have a look around - there are lots of charities that provide therapy for victims of domestic abuse.

OnTheRise Wed 27-Apr-16 09:24:06

You can ask for therapy through your GP too, which would be free.

littleunderdog Wed 27-Apr-16 09:28:33

Do small defiant things he wouldn't ever have let you do. For instance, I bought all the things he refused to eat, like goat cheese and spinach. I had a bonfire of his boating magazines. I wore culottes. You end up giggling and really enjoying the defiance. And then you can more on to bigger and more important things. Sleeping with someone else is very good, too.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now