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Aibu private school vs abuse

(45 Posts)
Namechange43 Sun 05-Nov-17 15:16:25

I've really thought hard about posting this however I still feel annoyed and just want to either address it and let it go or not address it and let it go.

Before I start, I'm not going to leave him but I can't shake the feeling that he was a bit disrespectful or maybe even not very sensitive at all.

Me and DP get along very well and our heaviest disagreements are about how to wash clothes. Apart from that we get along and understand our place in the relationship.

We were discussing a challenge we were facing with an employee and how to overcome it. He mentioned something about a 'victim mentality'. And then proceeded to say:

'You're a bit like that, you have a bit of a victim mentality and you're unable to leave the past behind and move forward with life'

Curious as to what he meant, ready to accept he is probably right I asked him to give me an example. (We are good at pointing out flaws in each other and try our best to rectify them so not to affect our relationship)

He said 'well, people have bad things happen to them all of the time and it depends on whether you choose to stay with that frame of mind or move on and resolve it.

For example when I was young, I had to be pulled out of private education and that was so hard on me because I had to leave friends and knowing we were not as financially stable at home etc etc etc'

This was a big thing that happened in my DP's life and he still does occasionally mention it now as a grown adult.
When he does speak about it, I can see that it pains him to have had this huge change in life. And it was the main cause of his stress which soon after led to his health issues which we battle with everyday. (Stress caused him digestive problems, it's actually really bad and I can't rely on him much with the kids)

I try to be sensitive about this subject with him. I avoid mentioning it and when he does speak about it I try and be sympathetic.

I understand each individual person may find a challenge in their life difficult to deal with whereas this particular 'challenge' maybe the norm in someone else's life. Depending on what situation you're in and what you are used to a challenge to you may seem like a drop in the ocean for someone else.

The conversation continues as

(DP) 'See with me I didn't let that affect me too much and got on with my life, and I've got to where I am by not letting me affect it. Had I pondered on it and felt like a victim, I probably would not be where I am now.

Whereas you, a lot of the times let your past with your family drag you down, and you often have this victim mentality of 'look at what happened to me'

At this point I shut up and just died a little on the inside. I really don't think he was thinking properly when he spoke.

I don't often say 'woe is me, look my past is to blame, but I occasionally battle with my past. And it does get the better of me.

I'm not trying to compare but this victim mentality he is referring to which took me years to open up to him about was the fact that I was sexually abused by two of my siblings and my mother turned a blind eye. I wasn't educated but they were (I didn't go to college but went to work instead and they got uni degrees and are professionals) and because of this I was automatically a failure therefore never taken seriously and I pretty much knew my place after that.

Things happened and I knew never to mention it or think of it because I just knew not to. Nobody would believe me and I originally never thought it was wrong, I thought it was normal and when I did start to realise what they did was wrong they used their 'higher place and respect' in the family to make sure everyone knew not to take notice of me. I never dreamed of speaking out but just generally in everyday life I was never taken seriously.

Coming back to the point. I was irritated with my DP by the comparison.

Because it's a difficult subject for me I would prefer just to leave it but I also feel the need to tell him that wasn't fair.

He knows every so often I wake up with night terrors that they're coming back to get me. And when I wake up I know it's a dream but it still doesn't stop me from switching on all the lights and checking the doors are locked. I become silent for a day or so just because the dreams terrify me. It's hard for me to move away from the dreams. And I usually spend a day telling myself it's just a dream.

It's not possible for them to find me and they wouldn't even bother. I live a few hours away nor do they know anything about my life.

I'm just annoyed at him for making the comparison . I wish he hadn't .

Leaving private school vs sexually abused? Aibu to think he might have been a tad bit unfair with the comparison ?

Moanyoldcow Sun 05-Nov-17 15:30:14

He wasn't a 'tad' unfair - he was unbelievably insensitive and hurtful.

I'm so sorry for what you went through flowers

I'm not joking, a comment like that would seriously make me rethink my opinion of him if I were in your position.

sippysoppy Sun 05-Nov-17 15:34:20

but he hasn't dealt with his issues at all, has he, if he still has digestive problems, pain talking about it and stress?

FizzyGreenWater Sun 05-Nov-17 15:40:04

So -

- Utterly nasty and insensitive- if I'd opened up about something like that to have it thrown back at me like that, my god. That would be the last time I made the mistake of thinking that person was on my side. You poor thing.

- mean little one-upmanship - imagine thinking of the things you went through, and being so utterly self-obsessed as to end up at 'Wow look how much better I am at coping with my horrendous experiences than this weak person next to me!' Loathsome.

- and, guess what, a fucking little hypocrite too! Because actually he's so affected by his own bad experiences that he can't even do his fair share of parenting and, ahem (cough) crap weak useless old you has to do it! Well LOOKIE THERE!

So, three dickheads for the price of one. Bargain.

WhooooAmI24601 Sun 05-Nov-17 15:46:23

Before I start, I'm not going to leave him

Why start with this? Unless you knew when you wrote this that people might suggest that he's an enormous prick and you'd be better off leaving him?

You know he's U. You know he's a dick. You know he's treating you shittily (and dare I say it, abusively). Do what you need to do and get away from him. He's not over his past; he's beating you over the head with it. That's the worst sort of victim mentality.

SecretSmellies Sun 05-Nov-17 15:51:51

He's disrespecting you, belittling you and telling you that your feelings and experience of really severe abuse really don't matter.

Why aren't you leaving him?

CocoaXx Sun 05-Nov-17 16:34:41

hmm of course he is being unreasonable- you are talking about the utmost violation of a child, and he is talking about a change in education. There is a massive literature of how CSA can affect people, changing schools, not so much. That shows a massive lack of empathy and ‘all about me’ -ism on his part. Why is he even trying to compare the two things?

PenelopeStoppit Sun 05-Nov-17 19:27:51

This is worrying on many levels and is horrific to read. You have my sympathy. I hope you have had support and counselling as you sound like you could be suffering from PTSD.

I am also concerned your abusers might still be abusing as you don't mention that you reported them. Difficult as it may be, especially in certain cultures, I hope this aspect is something you have considered. If there are young children in the family they are at serious risk. A call to social services, if you are unable to go to the police, is something I would urge you to do in order to protect them and prevent them from the trauma you are experiencing. If you feel you can't do this then at least call Childline to see what they suggest. Abusers don't often just stop.

If you have reported them I congratulate you.

Your husband should be supportive of you- to be honest many men would have wanted to hunt your abusers down, which I do not advocate. They would not be telling their partner to stop playing a victim.

Jengnr Sun 05-Nov-17 19:37:17

He’s a fucking cunt. A horrible, lazy, smug, gaslighting cunt.

And I’m being kind there.

Mittens1969 Sun 05-Nov-17 19:49:15

Just horrible, and abusive. And no, he himself hasn’t left his past behind if he’s engaging in oneupmanship. Throwing what you went through back in your face, after you trusted him enough to confide in him, makes him a complete dick.

And yes, I do think you need to get away from him.

LittleMyLikesSnuffkin Sun 05-Nov-17 19:59:40

Using something like past abuse that you have suffered as a way to hurt you is an abusers tactic. It's a way to keep you feeling the way you do about it. Traumatised, ashamed, feeling like a failure all of that. Add this to the other shit he says and does and despite you saying you won't leave him I think you should. And deep down you know that too.

Have you had any counselling or anything for all that's happened to you? If not please look into it. If you have already it might be worth exploring again as you're having reoccurring nightmares.

Namechange43 Sun 05-Nov-17 20:22:42

This was a very long post, so thank you for taking the time to read it and putting in the effort to respond.

What threw me was the way he compared the two and I wasn't sure whether I was just being precious about it.

I wouldn't think to compare the two and it's very out of character for him to be so insensitive - which is why I was questioning whether I was being unreasonable to feel uneasy / upset / annoyed about it.

But I now I understand from the passionate responses from all of you I should pull him up on it and I'm right to do so.

It may seem really silly to you but I avoid talking about it because it makes me go back to a situation which I buried deep underground. It gives me major anxiety to approach the subject. Which is why I'm quick to forget about it.

In answer to some of the questions, (sorry if I do not address them all, but I will try my best).

Why don't you leave him?

It's really out of character of him to say what he did. Not that it makes it okay.
I don't want to drop my whole life with him and DC because I genuinely think he really badly worded the whole conversation. I don't know but I will find out when I pull him up on it.

And although we had this conversation about me being a victim he pretty much failed to mention or see or point out the fact that I left everything I knew and was and became me.

I don't know how to word it but if I did have the 'woe is me' mentality then surely I wouldn't have found the strength to start a whole new life, have children, make a home (not literally building a home), give birth and bring up my children happily without having any support from my side of the family nor his.

I guess what I'm trying to say is although I can't change my past I bloody well did great and actually didn't let it stop me from living my life. Yes, I have had days where I've been angry or upset but that comes with healing.

So really his example was a bit duff and I don't believe I have the type of mentality he was describing but I'm happy to admit some days or nights can be tough and they're getting lesser.

It was just the bit of 'should I be miffed at this?' That I was confused about. Like someone said it is almost like he belittled my situation I guess.

The question about abusers?

One of them caught whiff of me talking about it openly to another person (please don't ask how because it may out me) and then called me and mouthed off at me.

At which point I was very confused and scared.

One of the main reasons I never spoke about it was because tried to convince myself subconsciously that it never happened or it was a dream. After that call, I began to question myself again and thought I was losing the plot and maybe making it all up.

It sounds bizarre to other people perhaps, but I'm aware that it's possible to deny something that you don't want to be true to the point where you find that maybe you're not speaking the truth .

Things become fuzzy and lines are blurred. The less I think about it, the more blurred the lines are.

This post might be super frustrating for people to read and I apologise for that.

I have the answer to my AIBU and I can go away and address it now whilst also pointing out all of my great achievements which probably has forgotten or hasn't recognised as achievements.

I feel confident in bringing this conversation up so thank you for your insight.

Namechange43 Sun 05-Nov-17 20:33:48

Have you had counselling?

No, like I said, I find it so difficult to approach the subject and I am ashamed of it happening. I don't know where the feeling of shame comes from or how it links to what happened but I can describe it only as shame.

I'm really finding it difficult to write it on here and it genuinely is very distressing for me to respond.

I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to speak to someone face to face about it (counsellor).

I opened up to him because something happened and had that situation not happened I probably would have never told him.

And I'm sorry but I won't speak about the reason why I felt the need to tell him because again it might put me.

CocoaXx Sun 05-Nov-17 21:01:34

That is really sh*t, though - you told him something deeply personal and he used it against you, and now you feel like you have to justify your achievements- you don’t, regardless of the rest of your life, the comment needs no other response than it was out of order and he needs to apologise.

To me, it sounds like you have dissociated from what has happened, which is a natural response to trauma. That is the thing where your brain fuzzes up if you think about it, or you can no longer think coherently, or you feel like you are going out of your body - many manifestations of the way your brain protects itself/you until you are in a safe place to discuss and process it.

In telling your partner, you made yourself vulnerable, as you did not know how he would react. You also gave him a great privilege as you shared something innermost in you. He has not shown himself worthy of that.

And, given what you say, being or feeling like a victim would be perfectly normal - you were a victim. You have boxed it all up to be able to act like it did not happen. But opening it up, to come to terms with it, if you choose to do so, would not mean you were being a victim, it would mean you were acting with enormous courage. Whether you would be able to do that with a person who uses the phrase ‘victim mentality’ to describe a survivor of CSA is highly questionable though.

I hope you are okay. Please, please do not think you have to justify yourself to anyone for how you feel or who you are. You don’t. flowers

DaisyRaine90 Sun 05-Nov-17 21:05:04

People jump so quickly to leaving people. We are all arseholes from time to time. So you pull the person on it, you try and work through it, you don’t just throw it away.

People used to sew holes up now they buy new stuff, it’s the same with relationships. I don’t mind if mine is ripped and sewn back up from time to time, I’m in it for the long haul and this coat is going to last 50 years even if it’s threadbare by the end (but full of love and time and character).

No wonder the divorce rate in this country is so high. We can argue, we can shout, we can even slam doors or break the odd plate. That’s not abuse, it’s life. And so long as DCs are kept away from it then two adults should be able to have a Barney without being told “you should leave him he will never change”

Nobody will never change. They may not change enough or in the way you want them to, you may not be able to cause the change, but everything is in flux.

Everyone is a hypocrite sometimes, too. Just ignore the lecture and ask him to refrain in future. Let him have his rant and know you are confident that you do not in fact have a victim complex or the issues he thinks you do.

& forgive those who throw bricks in glass houses sometimes. We all do it. So long as they are not real bricks, just metaphorical ones, then work on your marriages, don’t run at the first twinkling of trouble.

CocoaXx Sun 05-Nov-17 21:07:27

When I say whether you would be able to open up, I mean with a specialist counsellor, not your partner; but that in order to access specialist counselling, you would need the support of your partner (ideally), not someone who belittles you by suggesting you are letting your past drag you down.

There are therapists who deal the kind of suppressed trauma you are talking about, but you need to be in a place where you feel safe to access that kind of support.

CocoaXx Sun 05-Nov-17 21:09:33

Oh take the sermon elsewhere Daisy this goes a bit beyond a barney over the dishes, and the OP sounds intelligent enough to make her own decisions.

RandomMess Sun 05-Nov-17 21:14:07

@Namechange43 it sounds like you could well have PTSD from your childhood abuse. Look at the statistics of how abused children fair in later life, especially when parents have been complicit.

He’s talking out his arse to compare them. Your main carer effectively threw you to the wolves angry

Please consider getting some professional help to come to terms with what happened so the night terrors stop flowers

DaisyRaine90 Sun 05-Nov-17 21:14:18

It wasn’t a sermon. I’ve had worse from my DP followed by apologies flowers etc and an open conversation afterwards and honestly I hate how people jump to

“It’s emotional abuse leave him”

Everything is emotional abuse these days. People fuck up and deserve to be forgiven from time to time.

If this was every day then sure, but this was one conversation she had where he was being very insensitive and not very nice.

DaisyRaine90 Sun 05-Nov-17 21:16:12

Yes the comparison was unfair and he was a jerk. And the victim mentality stuff was nasty but if this was a one off it’s hardly a marriage ended

DaisyRaine90 Sun 05-Nov-17 21:19:11

OP I have been where you are so don’t think I’m being insensitive to you. You are amazing and a survivor and you deserve to be treated better than he did on that day.

But every body is an arsehole sometimes and as you said it was out of character,

Tell him how it made you feel and hopefully you can engage in a conversation about it which will make you feel less hurt and make him realise the error of his ways x

DaisyRaine90 Sun 05-Nov-17 21:20:49

It wasn’t aimed at the OP but at the general consensus of leaving people before giving them a few chances 😊

DancingLedge Sun 05-Nov-17 21:32:16

Firstly,the 'fuzzyness': that's to be expected.

Secondly, it sounds like there's echoes of how you were treated in your birth family - not valued, treated as though a bit stupid, that are now present in your relationship with your partner. You're judged for not being a superior mover-onner, like he claims to be.
This is what many of us do in life : somehow gravitate towards a familiar dynamic. Because it's familiar.

This is big , painful stuff. Please be very kind to yourself, especially in the near future.

And don't discount counselling. You don't have to talk about anything you're not ready to say.
Its not like giving evidence. You're free to say, " something happened, which I'm not ready to talk about. When I have a dream I feel..."
Or just talk about your relationship, what's going on now.
I wish you all the best.

CustardDoughnutsRule Sun 05-Nov-17 21:36:44

Yes I think he was being disrespectful and crass. You deserve to be treated more respectfully and with more empathy - of course that is not too much to ask. Possibly some outside help would be good too, if that's possible.

Have you seen the Brooks Gibbs bullying video that's doing the rounds? Sorry I can't link but please google it. I'm not saying he is bullying you but it does sound like there is a power/respect dynamic at play in the conversation. The technique mentioned in the video could work quite well for you next time the discussion goes that way. Sorry for the pop psychology, I have no knowledge or qualifications in this area!

PenelopeStoppit Sun 05-Nov-17 21:39:47

Wise words from Cocoa and Daisy and strong words about your self worth and achievements from you OP.

The way you describe your memories of your abuse is almost exactly the way a friend of mine described her abuse. She eventually managed to speak to someone about what happened to her and according to her it explained much of her behaviour and feelings over the years.

I also understand now that you are still scared of your abusers but I do urge you again to consider the safety of children they may be around. A call to the charity Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111 might give you information about how this could be achieved without you having to report the abusers to the police. I appreciate that you may feel your abusers would know any report could only come from you, which could make you vulnerable, but possibly the helpline could advise on this too. I am sorry to mention this issue again as I understand why you want to bury your past and I don't want to cause you any more upset.

I hope your conversation with your husband goes well and that he understands how strong you are and how hurtful his attitude was.

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