Life after abuse.(12 Posts)
I was in an abusive relationship with someone much older than me for nearly two years. He was abusive in every way possible and completely changed who I am.
I have moved on from the things he did and I am finding the old me again and I am very happy.
The problems is I dont know how to have a normal relationship anymore. With friends as well as men.
When i was with him id be frantically checking my phone to see if he had text me, id have this constant feeling of dread until he text so i knew what mood he was in. He had a habit of bringing bad things up out of the blue or randomly accusing me of things. It was always when i least expected it so i always felt that fear.
Now, when i am waiting for a reply or if someone hasnt replied to me in a while i am so scared they are annoyed with me or i have said something wrong.
Also becuase he used to randomly text me saying its over i am terrifed of this happening again in the future. I have kind of developed a fear of communication thats not face to face.
I am waiting impatiently until i get to see someone face to face just to see their body language to check they are ok with me. I cant concentrate on anything. Its basically like being with him again, the feeling of fear anyway.
It all sounds so crazy but i just need advice on how to be normal again.
Im so sorry its long. Its just starting to effect me now and id like to know how you coped with it.
how long since you split? It can take quite a while and a fair bit of 'reprogramming' your reactions.
I'm struggling a bit with this too esp Now, when i am waiting for a reply or if someone hasnt replied to me in a while i am so scared they are annoyed with me or i have said something wrong.
I think it'll take a while. I keep remembering things he did that I'd blanked out and he's being hideous atm which is not helping. He's basically trying to screw with every relationship I have with anyone who he knows where they live (he doesn't know where I am thank goodness). If I'm honest, I can't imagine being in a relationship again but I hope that will change.
Meandmypuppy will have good advice x
I had therapy. It has helped me tremendously. That would be my number 1 recommendation; certainly worth it if it is at all affordable for you.
You describe your needs very precisely: you have exactly what you need to tell a therapist right there in your first post.
By the way, you are normal. The ways you are reacting now are perfectly understandable, given your history -- you even identify their origins yourself, which is brilliant, so you've done half the work already. I think the change you seek is totally within your reach, with a bit of time, work, and self-examination.
Regarding the assumption that you've done something wrong when you are waiting for a reply: I think that is pretty common for people with low self-esteem.
My own light bulb moment about that, if that helps, was the realization that when I did that, I was actually treating people like mirrors rather than as people in their own right, and treating myself like a reflection of people's opinion of me, rather than as a person in my own right. Does that make sense? That jolted some sense into me, in a large part because the whole "people as mirrors" thing is what narcissists do, and I am pretty disgusted by the narcissists I've been mistreated by. Of course, my warped assumption was that people's opinion of me could only be negative. Therapy helped me shore up my self-esteem. So now, not only is my self-concept better (so I don't assume the worst about myself), but I also don't assume that others assume the worst about me, because what they think is their own business. In the (very unlikely) event that they're taking up their own precious mental energy to form negative opinions about me just because I've sent them an e-mail that may not have been "perfect", then that's cool: they are free to their own opinions and feelings, which are the fruit of their own background and issues. If anybody thinks I'm "bad", that doesn't make me so.
I don't know if that's the kind of good advice you were expecting, babyhammock! I'm just working my way through these issues same as many on these boards; this is what worked for me.
I was actually thinking today that I should talk to someone about all the stuff.
What often works for me is living/breathing as though I am completely free of him (I spose law of attraction type stuff), but then he does something else and I'm back down to earth with a thud...
I'm glad you're out and happy. That's fantastic
It took me a while to act 'normally' after coming out of an abusive relationship, for me it manifested as huge anxiety around sleeping (based on his behaviour & what went on). As far as I know it's quite normal, based on what you've been through it's natural that will take a while to deprogramme' from old ways of reacting. In some cases abuse can cause PTSD/hypervigilance.
There's some great advice upthread about therapy etc. The good news is that you can go on to recover and have a great life.
Big hugs, and congratulations x
I think i agree that therapy would be the best bet, i dont know how much more of the nervous feeling 24/7 i can take.
itsmeandmypumpkin thank you so much, everything you have said has made so much sense.
im just glad im normal and not going insane
It's so soon for you to be out of this love, it's natural that it'll take a while to recover.
Have you tried the GP/Health Visitor for advice? Perhaps if anxiety is an issue you could take some ADs for it, until you learn to calm yourself and realise that no-one is going to hurt you.
You are not going insane.... actually the direct pole opposite! you are taking your first steps to a sane, normal life! Welcome to your own life!
It took me about two years- things are starting to get back to normal now. Friends have helped me to identify my silly behaviours but there are still odd bits that I do, I guess it takes time. I did a great group therapy course which was brilliant, thoroughly recommend if you can find one.
Good luck, and be proud you escaped- well done you!!
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