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Could anyone give me some advice on emotional abuse - a few months after you have left

(12 Posts)
Lifeinlalaland Fri 15-Jul-11 00:50:36

Hi.

I have been lurking for a while after leaving mumsnet a few months ago.

I just wanted to ask for a bit of advice. About 10 months ago I left an emotionally abusive relationship and since then things have been going well for me in general.

I feel my confidence coming back and have gotten over the total rage part (well for the most part) and the heartache. The thing is recently as I have begun to feel really happy and more secure in my life and really feel as though I am moving on well, things have begun to come back to haunt me.

I am finding myself feeling ashamed and embarrassed about a lot about things I put up with and even feelng sad and missing him at times, even wondering if I did the right thing and that was my 'one great love' (urgh, I KNOW it wasn't rationally).

I feel incredibly sad that I loved someone I know now did not exist, and humilated by how much effort and time I put in, how I was treated...what all that says about me as a person.

I just wondered if anyone had some good words of advice in dealing with these feelings? I would love nothing more than to forget I ever met him and to not have any more pain associated with him, but some days I feel almost like it is harder, because I am no longer so angry and that really fuelled me in getting my life back together.

I feel sad recently that someone I loved so so much hurt me so badly and that I truly believed with all my heart he was my soulmate. It actually makes me feel sick and ashamed when I think of how starry eyed I was to begin with and how stupid I was for allowing things to get so out of hand and the effect it had on my life.

Anyway..is this just another stage in the getting over it process? Cause I seem to have been doing so well until recently and now I feel like I have taken a huge step back.

Thanks for reading, any advice would be really appreciated :-)

You are not alone, and you are not stupid. Abusers are clever and they hide what they really are for quite a long time: this man conned you into thinking he was a good person when he wasn't. There are lots of MNers who have been conned like this who will undoubtedly be along soon to offer you support and advice. In the meantime, remember that you've escaped. You saw through the knobber. And in the future you will be strong and happy again, every day is a day nearer happiness.

Lifeinlalaland Fri 15-Jul-11 01:01:39

Thank you SpringchickenGoldBrass.

I got the Lundy Bancroft book and that spurred me on to leave. I was totally aghast at how bloody typical he was and how well he was described in the book. And in a way it helped and in another way it made me fell dumb, like I should have seen it sooner. I got sold on a one true love thing and that I was the most precious tihng in the world to him, and my god when he was on he was 'on' you know? So romantic, so deep and passionate (throwing up a bit in my mouth as I type that :-S).

And I guess learnign and realising it was all a projection of his own narcissim was rahter gutting to say the least :-(. But I DO feel happier in general now...I dont know why I have come over so teary and stuff of late.

I appreciate you replying, thank you :-D

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Fri 15-Jul-11 09:18:25

Hi Lifeinlalaland. I seem to be going through the process of letting go in the opposite order to you: I've been feeling sadness and shame for a few months, and am only now beginning to feel the stirrings of anger. We can swap tips on how to cope, because tbh I have no idea what to do with my anger: how to let it out, and how to do so safely. Tell me more about your experience with anger!

The shame will go by arming yourself with knowledge, and by being kind to yourself. I spent a long time obsessively researching all I could about abusers and narcissism, to understand him, why he did what he did, and ultimately, to understand that it had nothing to do with me. There are a lot of great websites out there -- one of my favourites is this one as it is full of humour, this one is earnest (and a little hard to navigate), and this one is detached and analytical. There are so many. Wallow in understanding and decrying NPD, it will help you put the shame where it belongs: on his shoulders, not on yours.

And then quit trying to understand the bastard. He's a wanker, you're not, so you've got better things to do than spend any more brainpower on him. But I have found that a few months of intensively trying to understand helped with the shame.

The sadness will go with time. There was a loss: of a dream, of something that felt intense and beautiful. It's gone now. It's OK to feel sad for what could have been, what you feel so strongly should have been. You know it was with the wrong man, a defective one who could never make that dream a reality. Just give yourself time to come to terms with that.

cestlavielife Fri 15-Jul-11 10:36:01

i think it's a bit of post trauamtic stress type stuff / stages of grief for what might ahve been / loss of a relationship etc etc ....

- i found the CBT type stuff done in a divorced and seaprated therapy group helpful - stuff like - draw a picture of your self in the relationship and a picture of yourself now - do it without thinking too much just what comes to mind...can show how far you have come.

a group or some one to one counselling can help - just a boost if you like.

cestlavielife Fri 15-Jul-11 10:37:34

and letting go of any repsonsibility for how the ex behaved -it wasn t you it was him.

Lifeinlalaland Wed 24-Aug-11 19:12:42

Hi to ItsMeandMyPuupyNow and cestlavie.

I just wanted to come back to this thread and thank you both for replying and apologise for not getting back to your comments. I have been quite low since I wrote that post about the whole thing and did not want to talk about it basically, so shoved it to the back of my mind.

Since I wrote this a weird thing happened in that my exes current partner got in touch with me asking for advice as she was being treated badly. After a few nights of talking with her (yes I know baaaaaad idea) where she told me some unsavoury things and I supported her in her attempting to leave, she got back together with him and wrote to tell me he is not 'all that bad'. But of a mind bender and I did realise I should not have engaged and left it all well alone, I suppose mixture of curiosity and desire to 'save' her were the reasons I talked to her.

Anyway I realised the best thing to do was to leave well alone, I can't be her support, its too weird, and it brought back a lot of crappy memories and made me feel quite depressed.

So onwards and upwards, I am going to just keep getting on with my life and try to stop worrying about past stuff. I guess it takes a while to get over this sort of thing. I do appreciate that you took the time to reply, and sorry for my crapness in acknowledging that!

RabbitPie Wed 24-Aug-11 19:39:22

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Lifeinlalaland Wed 24-Aug-11 19:58:21

Hi Rabbitpie.

You know I knew what she would say before she said it and it was really depressing, everything she said could have been straight out of my mouth a year ago :-(.

In a way it made me feel validated, he was very good at making it seem like I was hysterical / oversensitive / mentally ill etc etc, that it was kind of good to have it confirmed that actually it was not me at all.

A friend of mine did say to me I canlt make it my mission in life to support / save evey woman from him! No doubt once his current has finally had enough there will be another woman just waiting to get on the narc merry-go-round, and I do pity that woman..but still..best for me to not know about it!

In general I am about a thousand times happier now, and I know he will just keep doing the same old shit for the next however many years..I just wish id not met him in the first bloody place!

But yea whoop for all of us with exes like this who are going to learn from it and find something HEALTHY in the futre :-D. I am looking forward to that very much.

BlobChob Wed 24-Aug-11 20:30:44

I've no amazingly wise words for you OP but thought you might find this useful:
Tips for better self esteem

Lifeinlalaland Wed 24-Aug-11 20:37:14

Hi BlobChob.

Thank you very much for that link, really great advice in there. I might well give the unsent letter a try in addition to the other tips. :-)

SirSugar Wed 24-Aug-11 21:14:19

My abusive H died over a year and a half ago and its left me wondering why on earth did I put up with the shit for all the years I did. Its weird as I still sometimes wish he was here even though I'd never ever want to go back into that relationship.

Sometimes I realise that I'm not 'on holiday' from him, he ain't never coming back. Odd.

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