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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.

cakeandchampagne Wed 04-Dec-19 12:10:04

You have courage and you are trying.
You are looking & moving forward.

plantlife Thu 05-Dec-19 15:09:16

Thank you so much for the really really kind posts of support.

It's so up and down, everything. I'm trying to stay positive, despite it going wrong today after good progress. I got out to the shops again yesterday! And managed to do it without him knowing. It felt so good being normal and I got my confidence back - started feeling strong enough to cope with next steps even if it's a refuge (which still scares me). I had a few things to do this week - part of the (slow) plan. But he's off work sick today. Just man flu but I can't speak to the GP if he's still off tomorrow. Improving my health is really helping give me strength. I was thinking I'm cursed - always one step forward, two steps back. I have to see it as just a temporary small (hopefully) setback. He's asleep so I can work on the forms (I now have two). I hope the GP understands if I rearrange the appointment. I'm nearly out of medication but have enough just until next week so should be ok.

Hope to bring a better update next time. Sorry this is another long ramble. I only meant to post a thank you.

plantlife Thu 05-Dec-19 15:21:54

Just wanted to add, more to tell myself than anything else. I have to keep telling myself this. I need to stick to my plans and not lose nerve. I'm so scared but I have to.

Although I haven't let him know my health is improving, it's hard to completely hide it. I'm not sure but slightly uneasy as he's been making strange comments, like "We need to have a chat" and other things. Sound innocuous but he does this a lot when things are going ok for me. Feeling a bit paranoid but I wonder if he's putting his illness on. He said something about wanting a day off from work a few days ago. He also said he didn't feel ill at work, just here. He knew I had a GP appointment later in the week (I was stupid for telling him) and maybe guessed I'd been out (I maybe smelt of my perfume). He also knows I'm worried about getting ill. Anyway, rambling sorry. I think it's possible he's faking being ill to mess with my head but probably paranoia. Now I feel nasty as he's probably genuinely unwell. I'll make him a nice dinner. Anyway whilst he's asleep there's things I can get on with. I wish I could get outside today but at least I did yesterday.

Wolfiefan Thu 05-Dec-19 17:22:47

It’s great that you did yesterday.
Is there a reason you can’t speak to or get to the GP if he’s home? You mustn’t let him compromise your health.
When you do get out do you have any RL support? Someone to be there if new things are worrying or you want some reassurance. flowers

joCmummy Thu 05-Dec-19 17:30:48

I have no advice but a friend is a friend, even if you moved, haven't talked in years, call someone who was a friend. Talk. If you were my old friend and called for help I'd be there, I bet yours will be too.

cakeandchampagne Thu 05-Dec-19 19:49:48

star Congratulations on getting out to the shops again yesterday!

You might need to wear a bit of perfume, or do your hair, makeup, etc. every day (or just more often), so he doesn’t know which days are special for you.

plantlife Fri 06-Dec-19 23:07:49

I just wanted to thank you all again. joCmumny, you sound like a lovely friend. I think about contacting a few old friends but I'm too scared to do it whilst still with him. He has mutual friends and I can't risk him knowing. One messaged me a few months ago. Could be coincidence but he was really horrible the next few days, like he knew they'd been in touch.

I don't really have any RL support but I plan to contact the local da charity in whatever area I end up, and GP, and try to do freedom programme in person if I'm well enough. Also I want to get back in proper contact with my sibling who lives overseas. Maybe try getting in touch with old friends. I suppose right now he's my only support but hopefully I can do it, although it's scaring me.

I couldn't speak to the GP with him around. I don't want him to think my health condition is a bit better. He's saying he wants me well but every time I'm doing ok in the past, suddenly there's an argument or he's angry or stressed about something. I was also planning to speak about the situation with him. It's rearranged for next week.

Thank you, that's a good suggestion about the perfume. I didn't think really. It's actually the first time I've worn perfume in so long. I don't have much makeup anymore, haven't had my hair even trimmed in 6 years, so the perfume felt like a nice treat. I think he'll be suspicious if I wear it just at home. I suppose I could say I want to smell nice for him.

Weenurse Fri 06-Dec-19 23:21:33

Doing makeup and wearing perfume is a sign you are getting better.
If you want to keep this from him, stop doing it until you leave.

Wolfiefan Sat 07-Dec-19 08:49:21

I would leave the perfume for now. He will pick up on the difference.
And he’s not your only support. He’s holding you back. A supportive partner would help you actually get in to see the GP. They would be kind and loving and so so glad to see you getting better.

ByeByeMissAmericanPie Sat 07-Dec-19 18:03:39

Hey Plantlife! Sorry not to have posted - you 'fell off' my thread list!

Great to catch up on your progress - you're doing brilliantly.
Keep On Keeping On

Some thoughts...

Could you email your surgery and explain you're not able to make it, and (roughly) the reason why. Then you don't have to speak to anyone if he's around in the house.

Maybe contact your sister abroad? Not with any news, but a chance to catch up? When you DO need help, at least you'll have made contact. Christmas is coming up, so you could use that as an excuse...

Hope your partner is better soon and you get your space back.

plantlife Sun 08-Dec-19 21:50:59

Thank you for the advice and suggestions. I won't risk the perfume again or makeup for now.

I've got a new GP appointment at the end of the week. Hopefully he'll be better by then. If not, I'll try emailing them.

I've sent my sister and her partner Christmas card and present but I should really try to email or video call. It's hard because I'm trying to hide that things aren't great. I don't want to worry them.

I feel guilty because he's not well. I feel bad for him. Everything is on hold as he's been around 24/7. I keep worrying things will go wrong again, I'll lose confidence or get ill again or won't get through to a nice understanding support worker (I spoke to someone who really understood last week). I worry that any help or refuge places will be gone if I delay. I feel better for expressing the fears though and I know I have to try to stay hopeful. It's taken me a very long time to get any progress so I should try not to let a temporary setback get me down.

Whatisthisfuckery Sun 08-Dec-19 23:03:44

Well done getting to the shops again. That’s such a huge thing considering getting down the stairs was such a major achievement a few weeks ago.

You sound so much different to how you sounded a few short weeks ago. You’re making progress, even if you don’t think you are.

Please do be aware that refuges and DV services are really busy at this time of year, so if they can’t do much at the moment please don’t take it personally. That said if you really do find yourself in immediate need don’t be frightened to tell them you are.

Keep on making those baby steps. You might not feel like it but you’ve made such a lot of progress in a short space of time. This proves you can do it, and you can continue to do so.

Stay strong, stay safe, all the usual. Xx

plantlife Mon 09-Dec-19 01:19:12

Thank you so much for the support. All the kindness here has helped give me the increased confidence.

I think one of you described the situation I'm in as suffocating. It really feels like it now. I really want to go outside again but can't when he's here. I hope I get a few chances before Christmas. I wish I'd just taken the risk a week or so ago. I want it over with now before I lose my strength and nerve.

I'm frustrated it's on hold, especially as I'm worried he's noticed my better health. I need to hide it from him. I think I'm less down, which he's noticed. It's all so precarious. He seems resentful I haven't yet caught his bug.

I'm a bit worried about the Christmas period. I know I should have tried to leave before as so many places are closed. I have the emergency bag if there's urgent need but still desperately hoping I don't have to do it that way. Perhaps I could still get the ball rolling by completing the housing applications and risk assessment before Christmas, even they're busy it's a start.

I'm going to browse cheap phones online tomorrow. I was about to go through the risk assessment last week but my phone cut me off. It's happened a few times so perhaps I need a new one.

Wolfiefan Mon 09-Dec-19 13:53:04

That’s another step in the right direction. Good plan. Stay safe over the Christmas period. flowers

cakeandchampagne Mon 09-Dec-19 21:55:51

I hope you can safely get out again soon.
Even though you know it’s a busy month for things, you are carefully doing & planning. star

ByeByeMissAmericanPie Tue 10-Dec-19 12:01:20

I would use the time he's ill as a chance to do online stuff... filling in forms etc. Sending emails. Finding a new phone.

Does he hold all the cards financially, or do you have some of your own money? Can you buy a new phone without him knowing?

Can you not 'run out' of milk and have to go out to get more? Just 10 mins outside...

Maybe not Facetime your sister, but write her an email letting her know how things have been and maybe what your plans are. If I had a sister (I don't - I have a brother!)... but if I did have one, I'd be heartbroken to discover that 'she didn't want to worry me' when she was in a situation like yours.

I can't tell you just how much of a support my brother and mum have been to me. I've not left yet - and they're not interfering - but just letting me know regularly that they 'get' the situation and they're there for me.

Hang on in there Plantlife.

ByeByeMissAmericanPie Fri 13-Dec-19 07:11:36

@plantlife - just thought I’d pop back and check how this week is going for you.

plantlife Sat 14-Dec-19 23:23:48

I just wanted to thank you all again. I'm sorry I didn't post a reply sooner. I suppose I've had another slump - put things on hold again. I didn't want to post another "not done anything" non update.

He's well now. I'm glad he's ok and he's being very nice so that's good (but making me feel very guilty about posting here). I made it out again yesterday. Couldn't go far but it's better than nothing. He's being really encouraging actually but I'm nervous if he thinks I'm doing too well. That's when it's gone horrible in the past. He's said I need him. I think he likes that. I feel horrible thinking that.

I got some Christmas money from my parents so I can buy some cheap things like a cheap phone. I'm trying to save what I can so I can get transport if/when I leave and to keep me going with food and essentials.

He's off work for Christmas so any plans are on hold just for a few weeks. Unless there's an emergency (hopefully not) as I can't really do anything with him around. I need to regain focus after Christmas. I know I have to and can't put things off.

I didn't realise you were still in your situation too, Byebyemissamericanpie. I'm so sorry. I really hope you can leave too, and it's great you're getting support from your mum and brother. It really helps having support. It's going to be hard speaking to my sibling but I need to. I'll give an edited version.

Wolfiefan Sun 15-Dec-19 09:09:07

How are you getting on with the freedom programme? I’m hoping you will start to realise the “nice” is actually part of the control. What would your parents say if they knew what you were going through?
Glad you got outside. Doesn’t have to mean you going far but it’s great for your mental health and hopefully will make you feel stronger.

ByeByeMissAmericanPie Sun 15-Dec-19 22:48:25

@plantlife - don’t feel you always have to come back and report what you’ve done... or not done! The ball is entirely in your court.

Just think of us as your virtual cheerleaders outside your home, willing you into a better situation. We’re here when you need us.

Meanwhile, pleeeeease talk to your mum or sister. Or both. But only if you can.

Stay safe.

plantlife Sun 15-Dec-19 23:05:33

I'm sorry, I think I've slipped back the past few days. The niceness has already gone. He hasn't physically hurt me but my head feels messed up. He's angry about the neighbours again, saying they gave him dirty looks. I always feel like Monday is a recovery day after the weekends. He's now off work until January but he'll be out a lot, probably staying overnight, so I'll use that time to do what I can.

I don't know what to say about my parents. It's maybe something I need to deal with with therapy maybe in the future. Anyway I feel incredibly disloyal and horrible to say anything. They're old and unwell and I love them as my parents. They were, I suppose, very similar to him. I've been thinking a lot about things that happened in the past. I don't want to think about it, it's so much deja vu. They do love me and we just never talk about the past but I guess there's not the closeness some families have. Anyway, sorry rambling. I suppose what I'm trying to say is I couldn't tell them about this. They'd blame me. I don't think it's the same as him though. It's a different situation and relationship. They're not bad people, just I guess probably needed help.

I've been nervous to do the freedom programme when he's off work. I'll do more this week when he's out. I think it should help clear my head. Again I feel guilty as he apologised just before he went to bed. He didn't physically hurt me. I know I need to get out of this situation though.

plantlife Sun 15-Dec-19 23:21:23

Sorry, ByeByeMissAmericanPie, I posted before I saw your post. Thank you. I really appreciate so much all the kindness here. I'm very aware it's frustrating I haven't left yet. Thank you for understanding. I'd love to report back positive news so hopefully I can do that soonish. Sometimes I think it's good if I stop posting for a bit and try to focus on plans but sometimes it helps venting or expressing fears.

I'll try talking to my sister. It's not a massively close relationship but we get on and I really like her partner. It's hard with them being overseas. I don't want to worry them but I think I need to say something or they'll think I'm just not bothering to stay in touch.

Thank you again.

cakeandchampagne Sun 15-Dec-19 23:49:49

Keep that Christmas money from your parents in a safe place- and remember it is only for you & your future.
I think your sister (and her partner) will be pleased to have more contact with you.

plantlife Mon 16-Dec-19 15:32:36

I need to snap out of this. I've got that frozen thing again. Can't speak or move. I'm going to try to get fresh air to clear my head whilst he's out.

I want/need to call a DV support service to get help with leaving, especially completing the housing form. Because I'm not automatically priority need, I think I need support with it. My local DV place made me feel like I was using DV as an excuse. They said they don't help with housing and said "that's life" when I asked if I had to choose between him and possible homelessness. I feel upset because I don't want to leave him, it terrifies me for lots of reasons, and I was saving up to buy somewhere, working, until he stopped me. I'm not trying to just jump queues for housing. He won't let me work or get well so I don't see another way out? Maybe I can do it myself and out of London I might get help. Perhaps part of the procrastination is my fear of being alone, away from him, in a strange new area?

I'm worrying also about not remembering things. For example, he said a few nasty things and threats the weekend but already I can't remember what he actually said. I forgot about the leg kick just a month or so ago until reread this thread. How do I ask for help if I can't remember things? Also the risk questions only look at recent events so maybe I'm not eligible/in need? No serious physical harm for months, if not longer ago. A few nasty threats and minor issues but nothing warranting DV support. Even the ear, think likely just coincidence as most usual cause of the damage/condition I developed is an infection. A few other pains and issues that could be down to him (but from the past) but probably coincidence.

Wolfiefan Mon 16-Dec-19 17:18:24

You’re not safe with him. That’s the problem.
Can you really not stay with family as a temporary solution?

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