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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 Thu 14-Nov-19 16:24:44

Thank you. I think and hope it'll help me. I feel so conflicted just about doing it. I feel like I'm betraying him - he's being nice, I think, but then he's also being a bit weird. So I suppose the programme will hopefully help with this confusion. I wish I could do it in person. I think that would help so much especially maybe speaking to the lady running it. The local one was awful, she really was, but I could go to a different one in a nearby area. Hopefully I'll be well enough to do that soon. I wish I was further forward with all my plans but hopefully I'm getting there with baby steps. Thanks again to everyone.

Wolfiefan Thu 14-Nov-19 16:26:20

But you are making steps. And you’re in control of them. That’s huge progress. Be proud of yourself.

plantlife Thu 14-Nov-19 16:34:49

Thank you, Wolfiefan. Your kindness - and everyone else here, it's really really helped. Feeling less alone, being able to vent and express fears here, it really helps me not give up. I feel nervous and feel like I'm waiting for him to start up, but it's so tempting to stay like this - when the unknown is so scary. You've all helped me to keep trying. Thank you. I'd like to come back again soon with another positive update. I'll try.

Wolfiefan Thu 14-Nov-19 16:47:43

Of course it’s scary. And you’re being brave.

JorisBonson Thu 14-Nov-19 16:57:58

Hi @plantlife. So sorry you're going through this.

Your posts have really resonated with me, my ex used to do very similar to me (particularly the holding down). I'm sure others have explained escalation to you and I don't need to waffle on about it.

It took me 3 years to leave. Just keep doing what you're doing and keep talking on here - your head seems like it's mostly in the right place (and I can totally understand the part that isn't).

Work on getting your ducks in a row and then get yourself somewhere safe.

Fwiw, I also don't have children but women's aid were amazing and placed me in a refuge regardless (I left and went back to him - huge mistake).

Thinking of you, keep yourself safe and keep moving forward x

plantlife Thu 14-Nov-19 21:25:46

Thanks you, Wolfie and Joris.

I'm really sorry you went through it too, Joris, and I'm so glad you're no longer in the situation. Thank you so much for understanding (that goes for everyone here), and for reassuring me about WA and refuges, especially as you also don't have children (I suppose it's hard because I so desperately wanted/want children so I dwell on that). I'm still mostly housebound, slow recovery, but he's away for two days and I realise how much more confident I feel. I wish it wasn't this way, wish it could be ok with him. I'm slowly ticking things off the list. It feels fragile, the progress, right now but I have to stay positive and strong. Thank you all.

ByeByeMissAmericanPie Thu 14-Nov-19 23:17:04

@plantlife - have you looked at The Cycle of Abuse?
Can I add that to your ‘homework ‘? The pennies will start to drop.

Can’t link but google the phrase and hit images.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Fri 15-Nov-19 07:45:33

Just a quick post to say that I was extremely ill and infirm when living with my abuser. I had to use a wheelchair quite a bit and spent a lot of time in bed exhausted.

After he left, my health recovered significantly.
I started to be able to walk a tiny bit every day and worked up to 5 miles a day in about a year.
I started volunteering.
It took 3 years but I got a job.

Not trying to boast or anything - I just think that the sense of dread when I was living with him was making it so I could never get better.
Once I was on my own, it got much better so quickly.

One thing I did early on was start a book group for women so I had a bit of company.

If he's calling you a cunt, that is abuse and he is still abusing you. It isn't in the past.

It can be hard to explain it to a women's aid but you do deserve support

You being in London might mean everything is a bit tricky but it will come right in the end

Have you ever applied for PIP?

cakeandchampagne Fri 15-Nov-19 08:48:22

Since he is gone, maybe this will be another day you venture down the stairs & take a peek outside? flowers

plantlife Fri 15-Nov-19 17:23:05

Thank you all of you.

I have mixed updates. Maybe I should focus on the positive part. The bad thing that happened is all my own fault but it's done now and I can't go back. The neighbour below often has extremely loud TV. It's hard to relax. They usually stop by 11pm but recently they've got louder and last night, I was in the bath and they had it on so loud at gone 11 and I guess I had a meltdown. It's just been such a wearing time, but it's no excuse. I worry I'm turning into him? I was shouting about turning my TV on (I did do this briefly) when they went to bed and shouting about bullied. I know I shouldn't have. Now I've been awful - and it plays into his hands. He says I'm mental and have meltdowns (a few times I have - but after he's hurt me/been raging). Now they've heard me when he's away so it helps his story. Sorry, rambling. Ashamed.

Anyhow. It's happened so I can't change that. Hopefully the positive update will change my focus. I made it outside! Only to the local shop but it felt great. I'm in pain now but think it was worth it.

plantlife Fri 15-Nov-19 17:43:00

Sorry, forgot to add. Thank you for the suggestion, ByeByeMissAmericanPie. I've briefly looked at the cycle of abuse. I found it hard to accept I'm in that situation. I think I should look again at it. I'll Google.

SuperLoudPoppingAction, That's amazing and so so motivating to hear, that you got away despite your health condition and everything you've achieved since then. I need to use that to motivate myself. I'm sorry though that you went through it in the first place.

You're right. The stress definitely makes my health worse. Going outside today felt so good. I'm nervous about him knowing whenever I make progress, which doesn't help. I've been too scared to apply for PIP. The assessments scare me, the stress just thinking about it. ESA nearly pushed me over the edge Maybe I should look into it though. At least I have a supportive GP now so that might help my application.

Sorry for rambling again. Thank you so much all of you for the encouragement and kindness. I'm going to try to forget yesterday's blip. He always says it's deliberate the loud neighbour and yesterday my stupid stressed mind bought into that. But actually they've had to put up with our screaming, etc, and also I think they just didn't realise. I may leave a note of apology because I dont want to be a bad angry person.

I have a couple of next steps to try to get through over the coming week or so. Hopefully I can update positively again soon.

ByeByeMissAmericanPie Fri 15-Nov-19 22:26:13

@plantlife - just read it (Cycle of Abuse) and let it sink in. I know I jokingly called it homework, but it’s not. Just treat it as a bit of research that will increase your knowledge. And knowledge is power!

They have the Cycle of Abuse diagram out on the table for us to refer to during the face to face Freedom Programme meetings. It’s good to know.

Well done for getting out to the shop. Keep it up! You’re doing so well.

And just drop a note into your neighbour with an apology.

Others are correct in saying your health will probably improve hugely if you manage to get away.

cakeandchampagne Fri 15-Nov-19 23:00:15

star Well done going out to the shop!

Twillow Tue 19-Nov-19 16:58:53

Conratulations on going to the shop! I'd actually not even spotted that in your post...I wonder if you focus on the negatives more than the positives? I really hope you go again soon, it is so good for you to experience a little independence and freedom!

plantlife Thu 21-Nov-19 21:27:17

Thank you, everyone. I'm a bit nervous again about writing too much, just in case. I had a few bad days with my health so haven't made it outside again but hopefully soon. I'm also slowly working on everything, including reading up on information when I can. It's all so slow and I've felt like giving up a couple of times, thinking I won't get through this, but I think I should keep trying. I'm sorry this isn't a better update. I really hope next time it will be. Thank you again so much for being so kind.

Wolfiefan Thu 21-Nov-19 21:48:23

It is a good update. You’re planning and reading and thinking of the future you deserve. Hope the health stuff improves.

cakeandchampagne Fri 22-Nov-19 00:41:37

This is a good update.
And, yes, you will get through this!

ByeByeMissAmericanPie Fri 22-Nov-19 06:34:13

@plantlife... any progress, however small, is GOOD.

KOKO. Keep on keeping on.

plantlife Sat 23-Nov-19 16:06:05

Thank you again everyone. I've been scared to write much in case he finds it. But hopefully he won't. He's being horrible again. I know I sound paranoid but it can't just be coincidence time and time again. He doesn't seem to want me to go out at all now.

I feel so deeply ashamed of how I am. Flinching from him, letting him do and say what he wants before even any physical violence because his voice starts to raise and get angry. So I have to immediately behave. I feel so trapped because there's no point leaving if it's not to something better. The (London) evening standard is doing a campaign on homelessness. One of the first things they mentioned was how women are staying in abusive relationships to avoid homelessness. There was also a London news item a week or so ago. A young woman who'd had to leave home had been housed in various emergency accommodation places like refuge and hostel . She was saying how awful they'd been, full of dangerous people. She was also still, several years later, without a safe home. No housing in London and other areas saying she wasn't from there. It's exactly what I fear for me. I also feel so bad for her.

I'm also feeling unsettled about all the men who are getting away with "rough sex" defences. He knows I'm frightened of being homeless so I suppose I'm safe, but it's a worry. My old friends all think I like BDSM. I don't. I used to think I liked spanking, which is not a serious injury type thing, but also I realise now I don't like it. I think I was trying to deal (in a messed up way) with childhood. Anyway I'm scared he could use it as a defence? Now I feel guilty because he wouldn't kill me and he got snappy today but he's also doing a lot for me.

I'm sorry. I'll try to feel stronger and more positive again. Weekends are hard.

Wolfiefan Sun 24-Nov-19 17:28:46

The only thing he’s doing for you is destroying your confidence and ruining your life. If you got out at least you wouldn’t have an abusive man in your bed each night. You need to get safe. The only way to do that is to get out.

plantlife Sun 24-Nov-19 21:05:58

I'm sorry for the repetitive self pity yesterday. It's been an incredibly wearing weekend and I feel worn out. I know, I suppose, you're right, but wish it wasn't so. I'll get back to trying really hard to focus positively and keep planning. I suppose I'm stupid perhaps for trying to keep to a plan, because it's a slow process but I can't get over the fear of being homeless. It's better to be on a stronger position if leaving if at all possible. I nearly got there a few months ago so I think it's not impossible to build back up to that. I hope. I struggled this weekend but it's a new week and I can check back in to the online freedom programme tomorrow. Sorry again for the negativity yesterday. I'm going away to start afresh tomorrow.

cakeandchampagne Sun 24-Nov-19 21:45:50

There are a lot of difficult & scary possibilities in your future.
But the actual danger right now shares your bed.

ByeByeMissAmericanPie Mon 25-Nov-19 23:00:55

Very true, @cakeandchampagne.

How are you getting on with the Freedom Programme? Are you reading the text/ book or watching the videos. Or both?

What you’ve written resonates with a lot of behaviour described.

My FP sessions with others have left me doing a goldfish impression as I realise so many boxes are ticked.

Keep coming back and letting us know how you are. Even if sometimes it’s not as positive as you’d like.

plantlife Mon 25-Nov-19 23:54:27

Thank you for the kind understanding replies. I can imagine it's very very frustrating me not having left and still rambling on. Thank you for not (openly, at least) losing patience. I'd understand if anyone did.

Some small positive news today. I made it to the shops again. It feels so good getting outdoors!

I'm scared he'll find out about the freedom programme but hopefully he won't. I'm being careful. It's weird doing it and I haven't done much yet. The videos are good. It helps hearing someone say it out loud. It's hitting home, but it's very hard psychologically to accept. I feel very guilty. He's being very nice again. I'll try to focus on doing more of the FP this week.

I hope to come back with more progress next time I post.

plantlife Wed 27-Nov-19 13:16:45

It's probably fear clouding my mind. I'm not sure if I'm being rational. I've spoken (anonymously) to two separate councils. Both nearish but not my area. So should be safe away from him but still reasonably familiar to me.

I'm so frightened of leaving at all and feel more dejected now.

Both councils have said they'd need to speak with the police as evidence of DV. As I'm not from the area, it has to be a homeless application. Which is psychologically harder. I'd find it more bearable if I could just go on a list, move in a more prepared way. I don't even know if the police have evidence. He was arrested once a few years ago but I said it was an accident and so no further action. I'm also scared police will arrest him again if they're contacted. I'm too scared to apply for any housing lists now. I know I have to consider a refuge but if there's a chance of a less traumatic leaving it would help me so much. Admittedly I'm terrified of leaving anyway.

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