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How do you walk away when you have no one else in the world? I need to believe I can do this.

(62 Posts)
SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 13:07:31

We have 2 young dc.

Last year h held a knife to my throat and threatened to kill me. It wasn't the first time he had been violent to me over the last 15ys but it was the first time he had used a weapon and the first time I grabbed the phone and called the police.

This marked a turning point and I asked him to leave. He never would have left before but as the police and ss were involved now, he did as I asked. I dropped the charges despite pressure from the police.

He has lived in various places since then. Always claiming poverty as to why he cannot find a permanent place to stay. Slowly but surely he has managed to convince me he should come back. We had a nice family weekend the other week and it was everything I want.

I haven't let him move back in yet though as another issue we always had was debt. He is irresponsible with money and ran up lots of debt (mainly in his name) without me knowing over a period of 4-5 years.

I agreed for him to come back as long as I have complete control over the money. He won't allow that so has been playing his normal emotional blackmail games ever since.

The difference is that I have had a year to see this from a distance and even though he thinks he knows how to press my buttons, I feel like a different person now. Stronger.

But although life without him is easier some parts are just rotten. The family days where it is just me surrounded by families, I can't imagine holidays with another adult to talk to.

These are poor reasons to stay with him I know. But for various reasons, I have no other family. I have friends, one close one.

I can't even get a job to help see other adults. Before he left we were working shifts around each other. When he left he refused to look after the children so I had to quit. He also refused to help towards the mortgage so I had to claim help with the mortgage payments. This help is the only way I have managed to hold onto the house. Tbh I would love to sell the house but we are in neg. equity and would end up with a shortfall. So I am trapped.

How do you leave when you know is the only adult you speak to on a daily basis. Without him, no cares if I live or die.

LittleLisa78 Thu 16-May-13 13:15:43

I can empathise. I also have no one and cannot meet them via work, my 3 young children are the only people I talk to from one week to the next. No advice I'm afraid, just wanted to let you know you're not alone

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 16-May-13 13:20:59

You are very brave to have called the police and SS when he threatened your life with a weapon.

You are brave enough to face life (and all its heartaches and responsibilities) alone. You have done it for a year.

Yes, I understand the deep yearning for a life companion. This man is not it, though. Be your own best friend, rock and companion. I know it's hard. But you can do it.

Don't let him back into your life.

Dahlen Thu 16-May-13 13:22:34

He is probably one of the main reasons you don't have anyone else. Without him around you will be able to make new friends.

I have been a single parent for many years. I also have no famiy. I holidayed with other single parents. They were some of the best holidays I've ever had. One friend leads to another. You just have to have the confidence to reach out. However hard you think that might be, you can do it because it's a lot easier than trying to make someone like your H happy. If you can survive him and get the strength to kick him out, you can do anything.

If you want to return to work, you can. As a single parent you will qualify for help with childcare costs.

If the house is a millstone around your neck, how about letting it out? The rent will probably cover the mortgage, allowing you to rent somewhere more affordable and so reduce the control your H has over your life.

Can you see the effect your 'family weekend' has had on you? Already you are doubting your ability to cope. Seeing a future of problems instead of opportunities. Seeing the negatives rather than the positives. You need to keep this man away from you, not bring him closer. There is nothing lonelier than being trapped in a life with someone who treats you like dirt.

gettingeasiernow Thu 16-May-13 13:29:45

Socon, you are very brave and have made desperately difficult first steps, so congratulations, be proud of yourself.
The fear of loneliness is very draining, and you have to have a very far sighted perspective to see that it's not a good reason to stay with someone who drags you down. You are more likely to find someone who deserves you if you are free and have not had your self-worth minimised by the wrong type of partner. I know it's hard to see when you are at the beginning of what may potentially be a long stretch alone. I'm at the end of that stretch and can tell you I found my years of lonely holidays and weekends very wearing indeed but I'm glad I had the courage to persevere and not sell myself short. I hope that doesn't sound smug or anything, I'm trying to give you courage to do the right thing and a belief that you can make it work out. It seems hard and uncertain now so you are tempted to settle for second (third, etc.) best, but you don't need to, and you are worth more.
Being alone is almost always temporary, and can be very enriching, and avoids setting the wrong example to your dcs.

SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 13:32:33

Both my parents have passed away and there is no one else.

I did wonder about renting the house out. But I don't think he would agree to that and its a joint mortgage. He won't agree to anything that allows me to move further away from him - physically or emotionally.

There is also the problem of finding somewhere to rent now I have a bad credit history.

If I could be rid of the house, have a fresh start someone else, it would help. But that's an impossible dream.

squeaver Thu 16-May-13 13:33:05

Ok, one close friend is enough. It will take time but you will make some more. You will go on holidays with other adults. You could even meet someone new who will treat you with the love and respect you utterly deserve. Because this - what's he's offering - is NOT what you deserve.

Do I need to spell it out?
He physically abused you up to the point where he threatened you WITH A KNIFE. Will it be your dcs next time?
He wouldn't look after his own children to allow you to go to work.
He wouldn't contribute towards the cost of the house that his children live in.
He won't agree to your conditions for him coming back into your life so now he is emotionally blackmailing you. This is mental abuse. When will it be physical abuse again? When will it be one of your children that he harms.

You ask "how do you walk away?" You do it one step at a time. One day at a time. You DO NOT let him back. Let that be your starting point and your end point.


squeaver Thu 16-May-13 13:35:48

Also, see a solicitor to find out what the real situation is on the house. YOu say it's a joint mortgage but he hasn't been contributing? I don't know this for sure, but maybe this will give you some leverage.

SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 13:36:37

Sometimes I talk to him, just to have someone to talk to. I know he can see my loneliness and I hate myself for it.

Days out are so hard without him there. Last summer holidays was hell and the thought of doing it again ... well.

I know I can, its just no fun by yourself is it? And everyone is with someone, it feels like your the only lonely person in the world.

I did look at the Single With Kids holidays last year but wasn't brave enough.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 13:38:07

If you go fully for independence and reject this man you will - because you have to - be creative about making friends, taking holidays and getting adult company. It takes determination, imagination and commitment. If you take him back you simply won't make the effort, it'll be all about him, and you'll miss out on a massive opportunity. Plus you'll be putting yourself in danger. All abusers are nice as pie when they are trying to win back their victims. The minute you let him back into your home you'll see his true colours.

SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 13:39:42

Squeever I know you're right.

I don't know why I'm so weak.

SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 13:41:19

Cogito I think that's what is happening now. He has been really nice recently but when he realised there are conditions to him coming back, I've seen the man I knew show up again.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 13:42:18

"And everyone is with someone, it feels like your the only lonely person in the world."

I'm not with anyone. Haven't been on holiday with another adult for about 18 years now. Pre DS I went on some fantastic tours to interesting places and when he was small I used to book us on activity holidays because it attracted single people and families alike and the 'activity' element meant there was instantly something and someone to talk to.

Just because you haven't found a way to make it fun yet, don't fall back on a violent man. If you do I fear that 'better the devil you know' will be what they write on your headstone....

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 13:46:20

"I don't know why I'm so weak."

You're not weak but you're choosing what looks like the easy route at the moment. It is difficult being a singleton in a world that seems full of couples but you have to stick at it

DiskFix Thu 16-May-13 13:49:12

Have you looked for single parents meetups/meeting groups/networks in your area? I know there is one in my area, they meet on Saturday and Sundays at the park, organise BBQs, trips to museums etc. and help each other.
Have a good search on Google. There are also several charities that might be able to help you.

foolonthehill Thu 16-May-13 13:51:02

you are no weak, and everyone runs out of steam sometimes.

However: you are a success, you can do this and you can keep going.

one day at a time

squeaver Thu 16-May-13 13:51:12

I hope you don't think I'm being harsh. Really, you're not weak, you've just been treated horribly.

Try to imagine this: You and your dcs in a couple of years' time. You working. The dcs settled and happy; the three of you having happy, fun times together. You with new friends who can help you and support you. Your finances sorted out.

Now imagine this: You back with him. Physically and mentally hurting. Your finances still in a terrible mess. The children scared of what their Daddy might do to you and them.

The first scenario will only happen if you don't let him back. The second scenario will DEFINITELY happen if you do.

Ilikethebreeze Thu 16-May-13 13:51:21

The problem at the heart of all this is your lack of bravery.
Very very understandable as you have vitually no one to rely on or fall back on in hard times.
I also think you very much know that this man is not for you.

You have to start somewhere.
Yes see a solicitor.
Yes be creative about making friends. And also remember to try to be a friend to others, as that is half the battle.
And you could try a church group? As part friendly place, and, for you, a possible group of people that could help you out in times of crisis.

foolonthehill Thu 16-May-13 13:51:40

PS the world is actually full of single parents: you just have to be in the right places to find us!

squeaver Thu 16-May-13 13:53:03

Also, use MN. Get some legal advice on here. The lone parents topic always seems to be full of helpful, supportive, lovely people. Look on MN Local - go to a meet-up, make some new friends.

You can take positive steps to make things better.

TheSecondComing Thu 16-May-13 13:57:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 14:02:15

No, I don't think are being harsh Squeaver. There's just part of me that doesn't want to hear this, wants to take the easy route.

I just want him to be the man I stupidly thought he was for all those years. But he is never going to be that.

If he comes back, your right, I will be walking on eggshells trying to please him, trying to get him to stop sulking. Nothing will ever be right. I will constantly be worrying if is he lying (he lies about everything), we will argue about money, then when we argue I will worry if he is going to lock me out or worse.

I admitted to myself last night that I don't know if I could feel safe with him living him here again.

I can't afford to see a solicitor and I think legal aid for divorce has ended now.

SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 14:07:40

I would like to study. Get myself ready for returning to work.

If I get a job tomorrow for example, I will lose all the help I get atm with the mortgage and there is no way I can afford to pay the mortgage by myself.

That would mean repossession probably and then I don't know how I find somewhere to live.

That said, the help I get atm (SIM mortgae assisitance) will stop when my youngest (2yo) turns 5yo. So its a ticking time bomb anyway.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 14:08:29

Some solicitors offer a free initial consultation. Worth ringing round and seeing if you can get that for a start. Legal aid is still available where there is evidence of DV. So it's good that you called the police that time because, even if you didn't prosecute, it'll be on record. You could also contact Womens Aid, see if they have any practical tips to keep you from making a massive mistake.

If you go back to this man it will be even worse than before. He will up the ante to make sure that you don't try for freedom again. I know you feel lonely but he is out and you are actually in a position of strength regarding him you just don't realise it....yet. Is he paying maintenance? I would get legal advice to know what you are entitled to.

Please have as little contact with him as possible and do not let him know how you feel as he will use it against you. He will play the family man as he knows it is one of your vulnerable points but as soon as he gets back in he will drop this - do not be under any illusions it will continue - it won't.

As a single parent of many years I think it made me much more resourceful and tenacious than I ever knew I was and I learned to look after my and DS's interests. I had many happy days out with my DS and rarely bothered about not being part of a couple - it's your own thoughts that give rise to negative comparisons. Some of those 'happy families' will not be showing the whole picture - try and see the positives of being on your own - you don't have your bully ex threatening you for a start.

squeaver Thu 16-May-13 14:13:42

I think this might help you Women's Aid Survivor's Handbook

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 14:15:37

"If I get a job tomorrow for example, I will lose all the help I get atm with the mortgage "

If you got a job tomorrow you'd probably find that, with two children, the Tax Credits you'd qualify for would more than compensate for the mortgage assistance.

It would be worth it for you, I think, to take some time to get really up to date information from places like CAB, a solicitor and the benefits checker. You're understandably very pessimistic at the moment but I think, if you did some digging and got better informed, you might find there are ways to make your life much better

themidwife Thu 16-May-13 14:18:14

He will very soon revert to his previous behaviour I think. It's time to cut the ties & move forward with your life. New good people will come into your life if you make the space for them by getting rid of him for good.

EccentricElastic Thu 16-May-13 14:20:03

can I ask how old your DC's are? if they are attending school or playgroup, is there any chance of you trying out adult Education services as you say you would like to study, so these might be an ideal first step towards that.
The classes only run during term time so that there is no problem with childcare, and if an adult is receiving particular benefits, then they don't pay for the course. There are a wide range of subjects on offer from belly dancing to history, Art, and Maths etc.

They are provided by both your local Education Authority, and by the Workers Education Association (WEA - a government funded organisation).

In addition, as these are adult Ed' classes, there will be other adults there for you to connect and communicate with.

I teach these myself, and have seen lone people join a class, and only a short time later, they are socialising with others learners outside class time.

If you want to know more, then PM me, and I'll try to help in whatever way I can.

Isetan Thu 16-May-13 14:28:16

If you let him back in, there will be a next time and the next time might be your last. The loneliness, the lack of money etc all have solutions that you can influence (even when those solutions are not entirely what you would have wished).

There isn't a secret key or combinations that will magically turn this man into a responsible, caring and supportive individual. Accept him for what he is and invest your energies into making more friends, hobbies; anything that would improve your life and the lives of your children.

Let go of the fantasy before he it kills you.

SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 14:28:48

Eccentric my dc are 2 and 5.

DD1 is in reception and dd2 will start nursery next year.

I need to do something though. This is my first period of not working (except for mat leave) and I don't think its helping.

Lemonylemon Thu 16-May-13 14:32:58

But although life without him is easier some parts are just rotten. The family days where it is just me surrounded by families, I can't imagine holidays with another adult to talk to.

This is something that will get easier with time. I was widowed before my daughter was born, so our family holidays have been me, DS and DD. DS is 10.5 years older than DD who is now 5.5. I think, to be honest, I was too busy to think about it before. When we were on holiday, the kids would stay up a bit later and I would go to bed a bit earlier, that way they had fun staying up and I didn't get the lonely late night spot. It will get easier....

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 14:33:05

You're right about being out of work not helping. If you're stuck at home all day with no adult company you'll grab onto this guy like a drowning man grabs a life-vest... But if you have a job and you feel productive with other adults to socialise with then I'm sure you'd have a completely different perspective.

SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 14:33:17

squeaver - Thanks for the link. I will look at it properly once I've put the dc to bed. Have to go and do school run now.

Thank for you all. I needed that kick up the bum.

SoconfusedRightNow Thu 16-May-13 14:39:45

you'll grab onto this guy like a drowning man grabs a life-vest

This is exactly what is happening atm I think.

EccentricElastic Thu 16-May-13 14:42:08

Right. The classes are 2 hours long so you would need childcare for the little one for that time.
It is possible that there is funding available to provide childcare for you, though you would need to check that with whichever education provider you decided on. OR - there may be creche facilities available at the centre where your chosen course takes place.

Also, many years ago when I was in your situation I discovered a family centre quite close to where I lived. I began by going to the mum and toddler groups as a service user, then graduated to being a volunteer. I was always able to take my ds with me and if I was busy he was looked after by someone else at the centre. Because of the volunteering I took my mini bus driving certificate which meant I could drive for the centre, doing such things as driving the OAP's for a day out, or the Mums and Tots to the seaside. They would look after my little one, and in return they got driven to where they wanted to go.

Is there a family centre within reach where you are?

Doing this meant that for short periods, I wasn't just 'mum to my ds (as important as that is) , and I wasn't just 'that single mum' , I was a person in my own right.......and I had lovely, kind, caring, adult company!!!

thistlelicker Thu 16-May-13 14:47:34

What if the next time he threatens u with a knife and causes injury? Or the kids see it???? He isn't worth ure time sweet x

Joy5 Thu 16-May-13 14:50:26

I'm in the same position as you, living in the family home but don't earn enough to pay the mortgage, been left with such a bad credit rating i've been turned down every time i've tried to rent (ex keeps missing mortgage payments so would like to move to stop him having the power to do it anymore).

I'd say speak with a solicitor for a free session, find out what your legal rights are, but don't take him back.

Its hard work being a single mum, very lonely, i've no family and since my son's death nearly five years ago, i've struggled to go out socially. I can't cope very well in crowded pubs etc.

But i'm keeping in touch with my friends, going for coffees etc in the day time, i do spend most evenings alone, my younger sons are both teenagers with their own lives, but after 18 months of it, i'm happy with my own company, i keep busy walking the dog lots, that gets me talking to people too, and i've started gardening for a few people i know, so i'm earning extra money and i get to chat too.

Lifes different as a single person, but i've found as time goes on, i've found more time for different things, things i wouldn't have thought of when i was single. It may take a while, but you'll get a social life eventually.

Its normal to have down moments when you're newly single, but don't let those moments make you take a backwards step, the hardest part was splitting up in the first place. You've done that, so just take every day one day at a time. smile xx

squeaver Fri 17-May-13 11:49:19

How are you today, soconfused?

BalloonSlayer Fri 17-May-13 12:02:32

What would SS say about you allowing him to move back in with you?

I thought that they have been known to remove DCs if the mother lets the physical abuser back into the home?

And I do hope you see the irony in saying, about this man who held a knife to your throat and threatened to kill you: "Without him, no cares if I live or die."

yummytummy Fri 17-May-13 12:16:49

Soconfused I can identify how u feel. I am atm trying to get out of an abusive relationship.

Definitely contact womens aid and get the free half an hour advice from solicitor. There is also a free legal phoneline called rights of women. Doing stuff makes you feel stronger even if u dont act on it immediately.

When I leave I also will have no one my family have said they will disown me and I will get a massive cultural backlash.

I also dont really have another adult to talk to other than him but that can change. Its so hard but we can make it better

yummytummy Fri 17-May-13 12:18:20

It can only be better from here on in. Well done for not letting him back in.

Seems to me your life is in a limbo because you have not made a final decision regards to your husband. I suggest you get on with the divorce and separate from him completely.

Move on, find a job, find friends!

bulletproofgerbil Fri 17-May-13 12:35:58

I think you can feel far more alone and isolated in a bad/violent relationship than you can ever feel on your own.

You can get through this. It will be hard but definitely easier than trying to live a life accompanied by a violent partner. There are worse things than loneliness in my experience.

Any hardship now will be so worth it. You will be building a future for you and the DC that is safe, where you make the decisions that are best for you all. Talk on here, maybe contact Home Start and try get some support there if poss. But keep telling yourself you will get stronger and stronger without this guy's influence in your life and bit by bit you will start to feel in control, safe and more content.

soconfusedrightnow Sat 18-May-13 17:09:03

Sorry, have been doing a lot of thinking.

h has been causing me lots of problems today though so wanted to post to get it clear in my head.

He is threatening suicide. I reconise this pattern of behaviour. It was in this frame of mind he threatened me with the knife.

He is angry because I told him that I've decided he cannot live here anymore. He has since said he loves the kids too much to be a weekend Dad so won't see them anymore.

Which is good thing as I don't trust him when he is like this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 18-May-13 17:28:29

The threats sound pretty empty but be very careful if he's angry because abusive men are at their most dangerous when they know the game's up.

MushroomSoup Sat 18-May-13 17:29:33

Hang on in there.
You are doing the right thing. Stay strong!
It doesn't matter what emotional crap he tries to lay at your feet - that's not your problem. He is not your responsibility.

soda1234 Sat 18-May-13 17:32:49

Hi so confused,

I second a visit to your local CAB, they can run a "what if" benefits check, ie what would happen if I returned to work FT/PT.

Please also consider Homestart, a volunteer would come to your home for a couple of hours a week to provide a listening ear/support you in any way you choose

soconfusedrightnow Sat 18-May-13 17:41:59

He always threatens suicide when things go badly wrong for him.He won't do it.

I just don't want him turning up on the doorstep. Because that means he's really lost it.

I've switched my phone off as I can't take anymore of the emotional blackmail.

Hopefully I won't hear anymore from him this weekend - but I think thats dreaming tbh.

I can't believe I'm actually doing this. Even when he moved out I thought we would get back together. But now I don't even want to. Before it felt as if circumstances forced my hand (ie the knife incident) but now I'm actually making the choice not to be with him.

He left a year ago but I feel as if I'm just starting to break away from him. Without this thread I wouldn't be doing this. You have all opened my eyes to him and made me see that I can do this.

There are worse things than being alone.


CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 18-May-13 17:44:06

We may have opened your eyes but you're the one walking the walk and talking the talk. You're doing that... you... and that's mega-guts. smile Just please.... stay safe, keep your phone close and, if he does turn up on your doorstep, call the police rather than exchange so much as one word.

Flojobunny Sat 18-May-13 17:47:09

I second Homestart, they will help you through the tough bits.
Stay away from ex, he has nothing left to lose so might be dangerous, don't be tempted in to feeling sorry for him, look after yourself and dc.
You are not alone, I've been a single parent for years and its not easy but I love days out and holidays with my kids, I can focus completely on them. I think you are finding it harder because you are stuck in an inbetween phase.
I don't know much about your finances but would declaring bankrupcy and having the house repossessed not be an option to enable you to move away and have a fresh start?

soconfusedrightnow Sat 18-May-13 17:52:36

I feel a fraud contacting homestart. He left a year ago so I've been a single parent for a year. And the DA was a year ago. Plus I've been considering having him back.

It doesn't really seem as if I'm need does it?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 18-May-13 17:57:40

You're not a fraud you've been through a very traumatic experience and are still struggling with the aftermath. It's not a crime to ask for help

IbeginHere Sat 18-May-13 18:00:36

I don't even know what help I need. If they asked what I wanted I wouldn't know what to say.

What I want I can't have. An escape.

(Have name changed btw)

foolonthehill Sat 18-May-13 18:47:06

mentally perhaps this is the beginning for you accepting the end of your relationship

squeaver Sat 18-May-13 19:18:12

I have seen all these actions described loads of times on threads like yours on MN. The emotional blackmail, the suicide threats, not seeing the kids at all,rather than just at weekends - I think they're common enough for people to actually comment on "following the script". And what bollocks they all are.

Listen to all this good advice. Seek help whenever and wherever you can.

IbeginHere Sat 18-May-13 19:25:28

I could do with reading the script so I know what hes going to say next.

He really does drive me crazy with all his nonsense. If I went into one like that, who would look after the kids? He just can't see past his own nose. Its all about him.

hollyisalovelyname Sat 18-May-13 19:35:48

You can be really lonely on a family holiday too - if you are being verbally abused or ignored. I wish you the courage you need.

PurpleThing Sat 18-May-13 19:51:20

OP, you are lonely. Do everything you can to get some company for yourself, calm and normal people who will support you and care about you and the dcs.

Look for local groups on MN or Facebook. Ask HV to recommend a toddler group, they may be able to introduce you to the chairperson or secretary so you know one person there. Build on any fledgling friendships that you can start. Ask HV if there are any support groups for parents in your area or befriending services.

If you can spend time with other families, especially lone parent families it will distract you from his crap and also give you plenty of hope that you can have a happy future.

soda1234 Sat 18-May-13 20:01:38

Homestart wouldn't think you were a "fraud", you could show the coordinator this thread. You can self-refer or ask your HV to do it. I am a volunteer, if I were in your area I'd be very happy to support you.

soda1234 Sat 18-May-13 20:06:40

Sorry, posted too soon. Meant to say, in terms of what you need,if you told Homestart you were lonely and could do with a listening ear/someone to talk to/help developing friendship groups ,I am certain they would help.

Give them a call.

bulletproofgerbil Sun 19-May-13 16:37:29

Totally agree that Homestart would not think you didn't need support. As soda1234 says, asking for someone who you can just talk to and who will listen, is totally valid. It can make a huge difference just being able to say stuff out loud and hearing how it sounds/how it feels. Like Soda says, that's one of the things Homestart is about - being there for families on an emotiional/listening level when things are tough.

I like your new name btw. Keep on keeping on Ibegin. I hope now is the start of a new beginning for you and the DC.

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