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Need a handhold... I have The Fear

(43 Posts)
ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 20:47:51

Am I doing the right thing?

I'm seeing an ex on Thursday, someone who hurt me quite a lot and I ended up quite traumatised, so I dumped him and went NC for four months, and got some therapy. He got back in touch, and I wanted to "normalise" some of the stuff that had happened and work through it, so I welcomed talking to him. He is in some serious therapy of his own for the first time in his life, is aghast at his behaviour and is very sorry, is in love with me, wants it to work, etc. We've actually never communicated like this before, he seems to have grown up in some sense. I genuinely am not sure what I want (he knows this and is not pushing). Thursday is more of a proto-date than a date. There is some difficult stuff (gas lighting, silent treatment, some behaviour that was not cheating but cheaty IYSWIM, flirting, shady behaviour generally), we are discussing it slowly, some of it has been really helpful, some of it I still think, how would I ever get past that? How would I know it wouldn't happen again?

Thing is, it all seemed just positive and life-affirming and like I was in control, and was just seeing how it played out. I don't want to be in this position of having a tragic ex I never speak to. This person meant a lot to me and I appreciate what he has done, of his own volition, to sort himself out, and I'm not committing myself to anything other than dinner. However this ends, if we could both come out of it better, happier people, together or apart, that would be great and I think that's what I'm aiming for really.

I was quite looking forward to Thursday until I spoke over the weekend and today to friends and family who had supported me through the dark period, and they have basically made me afraid again (I have massive anxiety anyway). And now I'm feeling like I can't handle myself, I'm back in the scared place I was in before, and trying to sort out what is genuine well-founded caution and what is just anxiety is messing me up.

My gut feeling is that I have been curiously disempowered by the very people who helped me, and who I owe so much to, and there's something off about that. At the same time, I'm not sanguine about this man, and I know there's no way at this point to know whether the change is lasting or not. I'm taking nothing as read, but I never did, and I wasn't anxious or scared about it before those conversations. Should I talk to him? Cancel? Talk to them and try to sound like less of a victim this time?

Sorry, this is long for a small problem. Thanks for reading.

ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 20:48:04

Oh my god that is SO long blush

Myusernameismyusername Mon 31-Oct-16 20:53:36

I think people just worry you are putting yourself in an exceptionally vulnerable position. They care about you and your anger is displaced. You should be angry with what happened and how it made you feel, not the people who care for you.

I just urge you to proceed with caution. It sounds very complex and I don't know really if you are being naive about what you are expecting from him

The anxiety is the flip side of the coin. All the fears you didn't want to consider have now rushed to the surface.

Wellmeetontheledge Mon 31-Oct-16 20:56:33

I think the idea of talking it over could give you some helpful perspective and closure on what was clearly an overwhelming part of your life. However I think you should be wary of getting too involved whilst still recovering iyswim smile

ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 20:58:40

Thank you Myusername for getting through all that! I'm not angry with them, it's just, I feel like a stupid little girl now for even considering this, and that doesn't feel right, real Me feels a lot more capable than that. Am generally not an angry person (which was half the reason I put up with this guy's shit I think!) I am angry with him but most of all I'm just sad about it all and I want to feel better about it. I don't want to feel like a humble victim person who can't cope and can't make their own decisions, but that's what I feel like now.

Hm, that's not really their fault is it, that's me sad So yes I guess I am displacing.

ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 21:00:03

Well yes, involvement, hm... I think perhaps seeing him might risk that happening. Could I handle that if it happened? We were, and are, super attracted to each other.

LineyReborn Mon 31-Oct-16 21:01:19

You want to get back with him and wish that you didn't.

NameChange23 Mon 31-Oct-16 21:02:01

There is a phrase that has kept me on my feet in the darkest moments of my life: "Don't be a victim, it disempowered you"

While you do put the blame on the people, who saw your suffering and is trying to protect you, to justify your intention of meeting an abusive ex blinded by the love you still feel for him, regardless of his behaviour. You are the architect of your own suffering.

Your anxiety is brought up by remembering the damage he inflicted on you, not by your friends and family trying to warn you you are sleep walking into the problem again.

4 months is nothing after an abusive relationship, if you continue working in your confidence and self esteem, there will be a time when you stop thinking about making amends to an abusive ex to recognise how horrible they have been, wonder how on Earth you allowed them to threat you like that and stop seeing them altogether.

birdybirdywoofwoof Mon 31-Oct-16 21:05:32

I don't understand why you're meeting.

I don't know why you need him for closure- just close this thing by yourself.

ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 21:18:17

The trouble is, "not being a victim" at the moment equates to seeing him again, which seems absurd. But, maybe I just need to cancel and think again, or think for longer.

Myusernameismyusername Mon 31-Oct-16 21:18:51

I'm just not sure he will be in a healthy enough position to make you feel better. I also don't think anyone can really truely make another person content, content is something you have to give yourself first and then another person cherishes that about you and doesn't want to destroy it

Myusernameismyusername Mon 31-Oct-16 21:19:20

I've done what you are doing and I wanted to test my strength. That's why I did it

ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 21:20:27

Birdy that's possibly true at this point. I have genuinely had a lot of closure from talking to him. But meeting, that's a sort of intention isn't it. I don't know why I suggested it (well he suggested but in an open-ended "maybe it's too soon" way). I should have said yes, it's too soon.

Liney ha, maybe.

ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 21:23:53

Ah, the contentment with myself is exactly where I had got to! So I thought. And all the right noises re cherishing that were coming from him, so I felt safe in whatever I decided. I'm not sure how this Fear has come back. It feels horrible.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 31-Oct-16 21:28:59

"not being a victim" at the moment equates to seeing him again

That sounds a wee bit to me like leaving your front door wide open because you're afraid burglars will come in through the window.

Cancel it if in doubt; just tell him you aren't ready yet. If he is genuinely changing he should be able to respect your decision.

QuiteLikely5 Mon 31-Oct-16 21:31:42

The fear has come back because your back in contact with your abusive ex!!!

Walk away.........you had made so much progress!

So blindsided you even blame your nearest and dearest!

He can never give you closure........and he certainly won't only be interested in your friendship

Dozer Mon 31-Oct-16 21:36:18

Your anxiety about contact with this tosser is well founded. You seem to want to find any excuse to meet him: how exactly would not meeting him make you a victim?

You can't work out your issues over an EA relationship by hanging out with said twunt! If your therapist suggests otherwise, suggest a change of therapist!

NC is best unless you seriously think another round of fuckwittery in an EA relationship will somehow benefit your wellbeing hmm

His feelings and "progress" are irrelevant.

ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 21:36:29

No, I wouldn't be interested in friendship either, that wouldn't work, or not yet. We've been back in contact for three months. It has all felt good so far, that's why this has blindsided me.

Dozer Mon 31-Oct-16 21:39:36

He's not your friend and abusive, cheating exes are not good for friendship or relationships. Why have you been going down this masochistic path?

ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 21:41:35

I cancelled. He is sad but understands, we both need to be in the same place etc. So I think that's good all round.

ViolettaValery Mon 31-Oct-16 21:41:57

It's just hard. Thanks flowers

Myusernameismyusername Mon 31-Oct-16 21:45:57

I think you have done the right thing and I think this is exactly part of your grieving process xx

NameChange23 Mon 31-Oct-16 21:47:11

I know you may be feeling bad about cancelling but it will get better. It may take quite a bit of time to stop excusing and justifying an abusive person but one day you will look back and realise how bad he has been and that you shouldn't leave the door open for him to hurt you again.

PickAChew Mon 31-Oct-16 21:48:11

Of course he's going to be like a changed man. He has the thrill of the chase all over again (and who is to say he's not cheating on someone else while you're communicating, if he has form for that?)

Glad you cancelled, because if he gets his feet under the table, he has no reason to keep it up.

clippityclop Mon 31-Oct-16 21:50:39

Run like the wind, don't get tangled up with the nonsense again. You deserve better. Cancel and enjoy life.

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