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is this abuse?

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plantlife Fri 06-Sep-19 22:05:37

A while ago DP was shouting very loudly in an argument. I was begging him to stop shouting, it was so loud all the neighbours could hear, calling me a cunt and useless and other horrible things.

He then held me down, cupped his hands to my ear, put his mouth on it and shouted at top volume into it. This was over a year ago. He's been making an effort with me but ever since then I've had on off pain (mild) and feel more sensitive to noise. It could be psychological but he gets angry if I ask him to speak less loudly. I can't cope with maybe even normal speaking volume (but actually he speaks quite loudly). I know it's a pain but he knows why I feel sensitive. I don't know if I'm being unfair on him, he feels he can't speak at a suitable volume for me. I don't complain, I just sometimes ask if he wouldn't mind lowering the volume, I tell him know it's annoying but hope he understands.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 13:53:00

I'm going to do something I'll regret so much. This thread and everyone here has been the most amazing source of support. To be honest what's kept me going at all. I truly can't say enough how grateful. And now I'll lose your support and goodwill. I'm so sorry. I can't keep it in. I woke up and have just had major shouting (to myself) meltdown. The poor neighbour had someone round. It's because it feels like the worse most dirty dark secret.

I won't be believed and I'm sure your think it's me exaggerating or making it up or misinterpreting in stressed state. It's not though. Also I'm so sorry to anyone who recognises me from where I once posted on the past. Please don't hate me. I know I'm pathetic for not taking your advice. I know I'm almost deserving it for not moving forwards.

So in the past I did ask for help. I hold my hands up. There are several massively kind people offering it but I was so terrified of all sorts of things that I wavered. When I called back I had the worse experience. My local da charity. Went to their weekly drop in. Couldn't bring myself to walk in, went back few weeks later. Was during very intense period with him. I was terrified neighbour was calling police. Turns out he did. It was 15 mins before closing. I understand I was late, didn't know what to think or expect, would have been happy with kind smile and an arranged next appointment. Another woman also turned up. We both had confused closing times. Woman opened door, snapped "Will it be quick". I had no idea but was about to walk out. A man came out before I could speak. He seemed so kind. Said I'll say. Must have shamed the woman into staying too. I got her, the other woman seeking help got the nice man.

She made no secret of resenting staying. Stood up by door to indicate she was ready to leave. I was terrified police would arrest him in neighbours report. She just said "I don't know, I don't know, I'm not the police, ask the police". Didn't offer support, anything. She was standing up by the door in that way you do when saying to someone I've finished here.

I was persuaded by a helpline to try again. I knew it wouldn't help. It wasn't me being paranoid but noone believed me. I went back few weeks later. I tried to believe she was just in a rush. I turned up in good time next time. I'd been told to ask for a support worker. It was the same woman. She said she'd already seen me, what else did I want. Didn't do a risk assessment. I asked for a support worker. She told me to call the office the next week. She tried to say my fear of him and the daunting experience of asking for help was mental health. Said I should try adult social services (I rang them anonymously, they said I needed da charity). Turns out she was the support worker. The only one. I tried to get help from another charity. They don't cover my area. They told me to try again, ask for someone else. I didn't want to but he was violent again, I was scared and desperate. I begged the charity to give me someone else. Tried to be diplomatic, said I wanted someone who hasn't seen me in person. In the end honest said hadn't gelled. They eventually reluctantly gave me someone else. An IDVA. She was open about resenting helping me. Said things like "you've got what you wanted, we've given you an idva". I was so so scared of refuges and police and tried desperately to ask her to clearly tell me honestly my options - even if they were rubbish, tell me straight so informed choice. She refused. Kept saying she'd already given them to me. She hadn't. I said I just wanted a couple of sessions to go over my own plans just to get emotional support with it (I've had more support here than I could imagine, if only I'd just posted here instead). She said they couldn't offer that, they only helped with going to court and social services. Then she said I'd taken hours of their organisations time and they couldn't offer anymore. I understand funding limits, it was absolutely the manner and attitude that made me turn back to him and not feel able to trust support services for so long.

I'm not imagining how it was. Not exaggerating or making it up but I can't make you believe me. I just keep shouting to myself in melt downs and better getting it out here than making my neighbour's understand why he gets so angry with me

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 14:15:18

This is why I fell apart, then turned back to him. I desperately need him to be nice and not an abuser because obviously I want that but also because I'm terrified help isn't there for me. I have spoken to nice people since then but then I'll call back ready to go for it, and it's someone who doesn't seem to understand. I end up feeling like I'm exaggerating the situation with him, like I'm persuading them it's bad, that I'm an attention seeking fraud. The same charity had told me when I called desperate for refuge after a night of bad stuff with him, I was so scared all night. They said I couldn't get a place just on case something happened. This happened to me again recently with a different helpline but admittedly this time I didn't explain properly so I don't think it's the same. But with the local charity, I told them about some of the worse violence.

They made me feel like I was making it up to get a place. Why would I want a refuge? I'm terrified of that. They also said, when I was too scared to try to go to a refuge, I asked for a few session of emotional support to help me be strong to do it. I also asked about my health condition, asking how I'd get to a refuge if condition flared up and I wasn't able to get public transport. I had no money at all for cab (now I've saved some). They said other women manage to get there with terrible injuries. I felt like a fraud and so ashamed.

Noone believed me. Everytime I tried for help again I was told I had to go to that local charity if I was unable (mentally or physically) to leave immediately for a refuge through national helpline. I felt almost like I was feeling forced to beg another abuser for help. It was humiliating and shameful. Dirty secret. Who gets turned away from domestic abuse charity. It makes me look like a terrible person.

I stated doing the risk assessment yesterday with a different charity. But I'm so scared to trust them after my first experience.

That's why I gave up. I needed him to be nice. He is actually being nice again. Sent loads of apologies.

Please don't hate me. I understand why you will. I do so understand about funding constraints. It's the way they were with me. The other charity not local to me (not the one from yesterday, sorry it's confusing). Anyhow they also turned on me. But only one nasty person there. The other one openly and honestly explained they couldn't help due to not being funded funded by area. I understood. She was very kind in explaining it. Sorry so much for this moaning woe is me ramble.

I will try to trust the new place. It's just it's been killing me not being believed about the old place. I should probably apologise to the neighbours. I was having such a meltdown.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 14:28:46

Sorry. One more rambling fear. I'm scared to call the new charity back to complete the risk assessment. Because where I live is poorly funded for domestic abuse, I'm scared they'll just call the police, get him removed and then I'll be homeless. And he'll be furious. They don't seem to believe me. My fear of being homeless is extreme, but equally he has made some awful threats in the past. Unlikely to follow through but possible especially if thrown out of home abruptly. Or they'll try to say it's just my mental health and get me sectioned. Sorry for repeating my fears again and again. I'm also scared he'll kill himself if they actually did think it was high risk and he was in trouble. I'm the only one in the end who's there for him (apart from his elderly parents).

The time the police called the ambulance. They really did believe him. I have a recording of the 101 call I made (I was recording him raging). The police can hear him violently threatening me but I forgot I'd called them. Was on hold for ages and came back to the phone and heard the police saying don't worry, we're coming out. I was terrified and stressed and hurt. I panicked and momentarily felt suicidal. Then when the police got there, he was very calm and polite, chatty with them, making them tea, acting like the long-suffering partner of a mentally ill person. In the ambulance, the paramedic called him in to "support" me. He answered questions for me before I could even speak but they believed him.

A few weeks later police came again. Female officers, which for some reason made me feel worse about them not getting it. They actually saw him kick the table (already smashed up from him kicking it in the past), told him to stop, he even said to arrest him, yet that was the night he was referred to a domestic abuse agency. I only found out months later. I wonder if that's why the charity were so horrible to me? They help men as well as women so maybe they thought I was the abuser?

Wolfiefan Sat 28-Sep-19 15:20:57

Your fears do sound extreme. Do you suffer with anxiety generally?

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 15:26:08

can't seem to help myself.Never know when to shut up. Now you'll understand why he gets so angry. I really am a nightmare. Now Ive alienated you all with my stupid selfpitying round in circles barriers fears of leaving, changing the situation, I can't seem to stop. Can't help getting it all out.

I did also ask the GP for help. A few years ago. I felt so deeply ashamed. I went to show some bruises. To be honest I only did they after he threatened to self harm and say it was me. Also I didn't have a camera or camera working on my phone at the time. GP said they didn't take photos but she measured them and recorded it. Told me it would be in a separate section so not all staff would see. A month or so later, I went back. Tried to tell GP about the ambulance incident I think she didn't believe me, thought was just mental health . Different GP from the first one. I tried to show her some bruises (different ones). She said I didn't need to show her. I knew I should for evidence but it was so hard and shameful that I couldn't push it. I tried a few more times with her and she referred me to a GP linked domestic abuse worker. I asked for it to not go through admin (one of the receptionists has always been horrible, also I was ashamed and embarrassed). She didn't seem to understand and thought I asked for it to not be on my medical records. I needed it on the records for evidence. The support worker was awful. Called at a bad time and decided that meant I had severe anxiety and closed my case. Id just said it was too draining to explain the abuse just before going for a walk, could we speak the next day instead. My condition had flared up and the day she called was the first day Iwas ok enough to go out. It didn't help that at the time GP still believed my condition was anxiety.

Anyway, I felt really let down and very lost after that. She didn't do a risk assessment before closing my case and decided it was just anxiety. Then she emailed the GP via admin. I had no idea she would do that. So the domestic abuse was no longer just in a private part of my medical records. I posted somewhere else after all this. People there were lovely and kind but he found out. He's not likely to check here.

Anyway after that GP decided both my physical condition and abuse I tried to tell her about was anxiety. I tried one more time with the support worker. In desperation a few months later I called her. It was near Christmas. He was away so chance to leave. She was on leave and her colleague said no urgent need as he was away so I was safe. She called me back in the new year. Left voicemail with her office number. If he'd heard that he'd know what they did. Called her back and she sort of didn't seem to believe me about anything. I told her how the neighbour was angry because of the noise and I was scared neighbour would complain about us. She just said I should speak to council about neighbour problems. I told her the noise was the violence, etc. I gave up then. Its another reasonwhy I'm scared to do risk assessments, etc. GP and that support worker refusing to listen, deciding it was me, led to GP threatening mental health secondary care and without my consent (partly because she didn't believe in my physical condition), saying maybe I'm a vulnerable adult. I now can't help fearing control will be taken from me if I trust a different service. Now there's proof of my physical condition and new GP who understands it so perhaps I'm worrying for nothing. Old one thought I was vulnerable mentally because she thought the condition was made up in my head. Maybe I will now be allowed control and a say, now it's proven?

I really will shut up and go away now.

Whatisthisfuckery Sat 28-Sep-19 15:28:40

But OP, all that is in the past, and you’ve still got all the same problems as you had back then. You need to start thinking about what you intend to do now. The past is the past, it’s already happened, the future hasn’t happened yet, so whatever you choose to do with it is up to you.

Look, you’ve got two choices, stay put, get abused and battered for the rest of your life, or take a leap and trust someone to help you. People can’t help if you don’t let them.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 15:36:04

Sorry, I will shut up after this. Sorry, Wolfiefan, just saw your reply.

I obviously am anxious about it all but that's what I've found so difficult. It all being dismissed as anxiety. Things like sitting in the GP surgery on a Thurs or Fri (nights he used to drink heavily) not knowing if later in he'll be violent and if so how violent. Trying to explain that to the GP and being told I sound anxious.

The homeless thing. Maybe it's extreme? I did experience it though so it's not just anxiety about a possible but probably not situation. I went back to my parents that time. I didn't cut contact, they're elderly and unwell now, but actually they were like him when I was younger. It was extremely difficult living with them again and probably helped me ignore any warning signs with him.

But really that time when bailiffs were due and I was turned away for help from the council. I'd take him beating me anyday over that. It's frightening when he's at his most angry but that was the worse experience of my life.

The rest of my ramblings. It's not anxiety. It happened. I admit I often am too scared to try to leave but each time I have tried I've not been helped. I know it's not all like that, just a few bad experiences, and now I've written about it I'll hopefully try again. But being told everything is anxiety is what made it so much harder for me. He says that a lot. Either it's he doesn't hit or abuse me, it's anxiety making me think that, or he does lose it but because I'm a nightmare.

Sorry. Shutting up definitely now!

Wolfiefan Sat 28-Sep-19 15:37:08

No you haven’t. Not at all. And if it helps then keep on sharing. I suffer with anxiety and thought I recognised how it can make you go over and over the same things and overthink everyone. I apologise if I’m wrong.
You sound quite muddled. You need to focus on medical stuff (Not the neighbours and noise) with the GP.
Focus on the solutions you want.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 15:44:11

Ok, sorry. One final reply. Whatisthisfuckery, I know you're right. I think I'm ready to try again and get help. There's not much I can do until Monday (I've called several times in the past at weekends and am always told to wait for Monday). Hopefully I'll get someone who will help and understand. I guess I've realised I've made one choice (for now, maybe I'll grow stronger). For now I guess I'll choose risking staying with him over shared facility refuge. I'm sorry if you think I'm spoilt for that. I suppose it is. It's partly I'm so so not used to other human beings, but really I wanted nothing more than children. I first looked at Mumsnet because of the TTC section. When I was at primary school and we were asked what we wanted to be when older and people said all sorts of jobs, I said being a mum. I feel such a deep shame and pain that I'm not a mother and truly don't feel I could cope with sharing bathroom, kitchen with children. I'm sorry if that sounds stupid. I maybe will get over that. It helps writing it down. I feel calmer realising it too. If that's not possible for me, self contained refuge, I know I have a choice. Work on changing my ability to cope with shared or accept I chose to stay with him.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 15:46:56

Sorry again. I really must go away now. Wolfiefan, thank you so much for being so kind. I'm sorry you have anxiety. I know I do have it as well, just it's not the only issue. It's hard though so I'm sorry you have it. I hope you're doing ok with it. I need to calm down and clear my head. I think it's that thing, stir crazy from being indoors so long. I'm so glad I have my medication back!

Wolfiefan Sat 28-Sep-19 15:52:41

Of course it’s not the only thing. I know how it is to have it mixed in with physical issues. It sucks but I’m so much better than I was.
Please don’t feel I want you to go away. I’m so glad you’ve got your medication back. I’m hoping it’s the start of a recovery for you. Any chance you can get outside for a few minutes?

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 16:12:56

I'm glad you're doing ok (I hope). You've been so kind to me. My head is a mess you're right. I can't explain (or I can but feel it's the final bit of identifying information) but the way he upset me the past two days, it's made the condition massively flare up and I it was only just starting to get better. Maybe I'll be ok to try outside tomorrow, i hope. He knew what would happen but is now denying it.

I'm definitely going to try leave. I feel sick about seeing him. He's due back tomorrow. It's impossible to be honest. If I beg him to stay in the flat he'll say he hates it here and I'm forcing him to stay but if I say I'll try to get help and find somewhere else, he's really weird. One minute saying sorry, next minute horrible again. It's hard to think rationally. He obviously had a right to move out if he wants. Am I bring unreasonable asking for an extra few months to get healed so I can fend for myself? He was being so violent and then always violent rages (even when not physical) and always stopping me getting better. But he's now denying it and saying it's all just me blaming him for nothing.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 16:22:58

Its weird. I could be wrong but it seems like I have to beg and plead for him to stay and not give notice on the flat. He wants to feel that he is being forced to stay by me, begging him because of my condition. I shouldn't stop him leaving, that's me being an abuser. But it's always when I'm in a bad way that he says he wants to leave. Like when I was due to have the two week cancer referral a few years ago, last year when my dad had just had serious surgery, now when I've been housebound for two months. It's not all his fault but he really did stop me getting better for ages. And even if he wanted to move on, I'd just got my medication back, he could have been nice about it, said he wouldn't hurt me whilst we were both looking for new home. Instead he just said he'd kill me and I deserved it when he hit me (and he said he didn't best me because no broken bones and Unjust bruised easily).

Am I being unfair? It's wrong toake someone stay if they don't want to. But he was saying sorry today. Until I said I also wanted to move on but couldn't yet. I think he wants me to beg him to stay and for it to be officially that he's staying reluctantly because I'm emotionally blackmailing him.

Sorry, rambling again! I will finish the risk assessment on Monday, I promise.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 16:24:52

Sorry, phone so many typos.
*beat me
*just bruise easily

Wolfiefan Sat 28-Sep-19 16:55:04

Please do finish the risk assessment. I DO bruise stupidly easily but in over 20 years my DH has never bruised me. It’s not ok.
You’re not being unfair to want to be well and to want to be happy and safe. Of course you’re not.
Please don’t post anything identifying. Nothing you’ve posted identifies you at all. I wish you were my neighbour. We have a spare room!!
You deserve kindness. And happiness. And good health.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 18:08:56

Thank you again for being so so kind. I've asked MNHQ to delete my earlier posts. Bit concerned the people involved could read and recognise. I'm feeling a bit calmer and less panicked now. I think it's being stuck indoors for so long, made it all much worse. At least that's being sorted now. Bit worried. Spoke again to the charity and they spoke of safeguarding. I know I'm very stressed but I'm genuinely aware of the risks and how bad (or not) it currently is. I'm so relieved my health condition is confirmed again as physical or I guess they'd say I was mentally ill. He's being nice again. I know it's not ok but I need to go at my pace. Writing here has really helped me vent but also express to myself my worst fears, which sort of lessens them. Thank you all again.

Twillow Sat 28-Sep-19 18:51:04

If you are not ready to leave now, then please never think that you cannot try at another time. I feel worried that you are going to give up.
And also worried that your situation with your partner is not going to get better. Please don't give up on yourself and settle for a roof over your head at the expense of his treatment of you.

cakeandchampagne Sat 28-Sep-19 19:01:04

I’m glad the writing has helped. Continue writing somewhere- in a safe place. We will be thinking of you & hoping you are well. flowers

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 19:20:39

You've all been so wonderful and kind. Thank you so much. I've only asked for today's posts to be removed. I guess the 30 days is nearly up so I'll have to decide in a few days what to do whether to keep posting or maybe take a break (and stop taking up to much space on MN). I don't know what to do right now. I won't give up. I think my priority immediately is getting my physical health back on track. Once my medication is working that will help. Getting outside would massively help. I suppose I'll miss so much more than the roof from him. The hugs and cuddles and intimacy (emotional). I know it's not ok exactly so I'll keep thinking about what to do and writing (whether here or privately). I just really hope the charity doesn't force me into anything. I'm not at immediate risk and I'm not downplaying. I'll keep thinking about it all. Thank you again for all your support.

Wolfiefan Sat 28-Sep-19 19:52:53

Nobody gets to force you into anything. Your plan at your place. Whether you choose to stay posting or not keep safe and thinking of you.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 20:11:50

I suppose it's anxiety making me worry. So I should calm down and stop worrying. Just a little concerned they said today something about maybe needing to get police and ambulance involved depending on their concerns. I've suddenly realised they think it's me, a mental health crisis. It was so upsetting that time the ambulance came. It felt abusive, I was very upset and scared but because of a specific incident. I think anyone would. They only called it because I didn't tell them the truth. That time he had hurt me but that was over a year ago. I know I'm very very stressed but I don't need a mental health assessment. I may call the doctor on Monday and try to explain. I'm so so glad my physical condition is understood by the new doctor. I think otherwise they'd definitely say it was all mental health. I probably do sound excessively anxious. I am but once my physical issues improve and I can get out I know I'll feel better. Clearing the head in fresh air. I hope they believe me. I know he has been controlling in the past. The last thing I want it need is them taking away my control.

I sound mad perhaps. It's just hard being dismissed as mentally ill when it's not that.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 20:18:52

Sorry, please ignore. I'm writing this for myself maybe, to try to get it clear in my own mind. I hope they believe me. I'm so sick of not being believed. I've been housebound for weeks and weeks because I wasn't believed about my condition. It would be hard for anyone surely to deal with that, and then the actual condition itself and the pain? Even without any other issues. I think I need to hope the medication starts working quickly, so I can get out and get fresh air. I hope I'll then be clearer when I speak to them. I definitely want to take a step back. Just temporarily. To give myself time to think calmly and clearly. I just hope they let me.

plantlife Sat 28-Sep-19 20:24:15

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm been threatened with mental health assessment when the old GP refused to believe me about my condition and wrongly stopped medication (possibly causing permanent damage). I felt it was an abuse of power, to threaten me, to try to shut me up when I tired to complain. I know it's not at all the same with the charity. It's just I guess a weak point now for me. Hopefully they'll believe me. I'm not downplaying his behaviour. I know I still need to make decisions and maybe get help but I definitely need to be allowed to control the pace. Anyway, thank you all so much again. Your support has helped immensely. It's given me so much strength when things were feeling hopeless. Thank you.

Barbel Sat 28-Sep-19 20:36:55

Jesus I could have cried reading your first post.
What an evil evil man he is.
Please please look after yourself and stay safe

Whatisthisfuckery Sat 28-Sep-19 21:14:07

OP, please ask yourself, what is better, a situation where you’re isolated, ill and unable to access treatment, being physically beaten and emotionally tortured by your partner, or, being in shared housing, which might be scary for a bit but is something you’ll get used to very quickly? Would you not like other people to talk to, and by that I mean talk nicely to not be screamed at and threatened by?

You would have a room that you could lock, and nobody would be able to enter if you didn’t want them to. You would have help with your medical stuff. You would have someone to talk to, access to counselling, and a chance to integrate back into society with help and at your own pace.

At the moment you’re not on your own, or at least you won’t be when he gets back. You’ll be living with a man who beats the shit out of you, emotionally fucks you up so bad that you can’t tell up from down and who will prevent you from getting well. The reason you’d prefer to be beaten is because when he’s beating the shit out of you you’re not waiting, worrying and scared about when he’ll beat you again, am I right? I am right aren’t I? It’s almost like being put out of your misery. I want you to let that sink in, for you to realise how far from ok it is that your relief from mental torture is having the shit kicked out of you.

Do you have messages where he’s threatened to kill you, or when he said he didn’t beat you up he only hit you? If so then you’ve got proof, and even if you don’t your word will be plenty, because outsiders, especially ones who are trained in DV support will see right through you. You need to reach out though. Nobody is going to ride in on a white horse, I’m sorry.

Also, is the tenancy in your partner’s name? If your partner gives notice get yourself straight down the council. Tell them you’re living in this hell and they will have to help you by law. A trail of accessing DV support will help massively. If he gives notice then he’s probably doing you a favour, because if you don’t have property and the tenancy isn’t in your name then by law they have to help you.

Your best bet is a refuge though because there you’ll get help and support, and you’ll be less likely to end up back with him. You can and will reintegrate into society but only when he’s not in the picture. I’d bet good money that after a short shock, being around other safe, friendly people will be a blessing. Isolation is dangerous, even for perfectly healthy happy comfortable people it messes up their MH, in your situation it’s devastating, and it only gets worse the longer it goes on.

Please, please, stop giving yourself grief and allow yourself to let go of self-blame. This situation is in no way your fault but unfortunately it’s your responsibility to sort it out. Show him that you’re strong, that you’re stronger then him. He wants you weak because he’s too weak himself to cope with a strong woman. You can be a strong woman, but you need to find it in you to stand up, and let others help you stand.

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