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Freedom Programme - Womens Aid

(49 Posts)
Mellower Mon 03-Sep-12 20:31:40

I am unsure where to post this but as it is due a past "relationship" Ive put it here.

I have done this programme 1 on 1.

I destest the book, it brings back memories I had blocked right out. I know I have to deal with it but I have read the bookonce and answered all the questions.

Now they want me to do it again, this time in a Group.

I was going to go but I am talking myself out of it. I find whatever I do during the day comes back to bite me on the ass in the night and I dream about it, so even after being to "the Group" it will be on mymind I will possibly then spend tomorrow having nightmares about IT again when I have blocked IT from my mind.

IT = ex abusive fecker

TIA for advice on whether because I have done it once and know what it is all about I am still a bit messed up but better than I was pre-hoprrd book, but should be fine in the future or does anyone know if doing it again in a Group would help me further?

thanks. smile

Romilly70 Mon 03-Sep-12 20:36:37

I don't really know about the freedom programme, but having had a bit of therapy myself, i would say that if you really don't want to go, then don't.

But perhaps give the group a go for one session and if it is awful, don't go back / try again at a later date when you feel up to it.

Well done, however on leaving your abusive relationship, huge step.

Mellower Mon 03-Sep-12 20:40:21

Thank you. smile

I may go tomorrow and see how it goes, I have another group therapy on a Wednesday so I guess I feel like all my days are taken up with "groups" but I guess it is for my own good and like you say if i don't like it, I can just not go again!

I think I am also nervous to be honest, hence the class/group on the Wednesday ~"confidence building". smile

Squeegle Mon 03-Sep-12 20:43:45

The reason if may be helpful is you may meet some people who have shared a common experience and so you might be able to support each other.

Of course if you are feeling really bad about the idea it may be unhelpful, but if you are able to give it a try and see what it's like, you never know.... Good luck with whatever you decide, and well done for coming so far already.

Mellower Mon 03-Sep-12 20:51:38

Yes, that is very true, some people doing the programme are actually still with their abusive partners. I may be able to help them see their is LOTS of light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you. It is difficult to get out of these relationships and even after it's over, your mind is very clouded, not know though, I have seen the light, so to speak. smile

HissyByName Mon 03-Sep-12 21:14:41

Sweetheart, the group WILL help. It will help you see that you really aren't alone, that it wasn't just you that fell for the evil bastard tactics.

Some things that you will hear will shock you, but the things YOU say will shock others. The group really helps you see how normalisation really is the pits and so devastating to you and your family (presuming you have one)

I did the group and I know that I can go back any time I need/want to. I know that they are there if I need help. Some were still with their partners, some were not, some came from a refuge, some were being abused by their children sad.

I also attend a DV victims group, free, weekly (term time) that operates in 3 towns in (north) Hampshire (PM me if that is local to you, actually, that's an open invite, to readers/lurkers too)

I attended paid for therapy between November and July, and may go back to do a few more sessions.

I remember being really bloody angry at one time, WTF was I doing all the ffing driving around 40 odd miles a week to fix the damage HE did? paying £45 an hour for someone to hear all my tales of woe and try to help me find the way to heal myself.

Yes, I got really ffing angry.

No one thing was the golden bullet for me, but the immersion, the three pronged attack DID help me see that this was NOT about me, that I could be better, that I can grow, can laugh and can learn. The FP can be really funny sometimes, we DV survivors have a great sense of humour sometimes! and we all can share the joke! grin

Please go to the FP, please see it through, it's only 12 weeks, it'll be over by christmas and you really will feel stronger.

Remember, if we don't use these services, they will stop. The FP is a good resource of support and help, and it's free. Not everyone can get on the course, so please stick with it, no matter what.

If you find yourself struggling, please talk to the organiser, they will have helped people struggling before. If it helps please come and post here, or PM me, I'll hold you hand if you like.

You are worth this effort. This course just might be the immunisation you need to stop it ever happening again.

My view is that we were brainwashed into this mess, if we have to be a little brain washed out of it, with and by people that really DO have our best interest at heart, so be it.

HissyByName Mon 03-Sep-12 21:22:41

The more you do now, the faster you will return to 'normal'.

My ex left a year ago in Feb.

The transformation in me is beyond my wildest dreams tbh.

Imagine, me, the ex agoraphobic, terrified of even looking into the face of another man, is now working full time, in an office, with other people! shock grin,

I have a lovely boyfriend of 4m, he's NORMAL, and he adores me. No lightning bolt, no hiss, no whoosh, just plain old getting to know him, and realising how nice he is, and enjoying him discovering how nice I am.

I am seeing life through new eyes, I see life and how there are are some bloody wonderful people in this world. I feel like a toddler sometimes, awestruck at what every one around me takes for granted.

There are days I think I may explode with happiness. Whereas once I felt the full definition of God-Forsaken, I now feel truly BLESSED.

I couldn't feel any of this without putting the hard work in, the tears, the anger, the emotion, all in a safe place, all helping me unravel the mess that others made, taking it away from myself and seeing who I am without it all weighing me down.

Mellower Mon 03-Sep-12 21:30:18

Thank you smile

I feel this way also, you know "why should I have to go to all these groups etc because of the mess he left me in"?

I am also on a waiting list for Therapy with a psycologist, which again annoys me because it is all down to him, well maybe not all...but when I had my initial appointment to see if I needed to seeone, I kept talking about IT and she kept bringing the conversation back to me, so yes, I am still under his influence in some ways.

I think you are right though the reason I did it one to one was the level of abuse I have been through and I also worry about my Dc, they both, when arguing say 2you just like your Dad" sad The youngest was hitting me for awhile but I think/hope we have over-came that.

My eldest worries he will abuse his girlfriends when he gets one, poor child.

Yeah I need to go, if not for me for my boys.

I only spent 3 days reading "The Dominator" and it was like reading about IT, he is The Dominator the book could have been wrote for him, then I put it away in a drawer and left it there, almost like leaving him to rot. My support Worker feels I am still isolating myself to perhps that is why she is encouraging me to go... yes I will go, stuff the nerves, they will go away after I walk through the door I think/hope.

If I think about it tomorrow and have nightmares at least it will only be one night, or maybe if I go I will let it all out there rather than blocking it, as I do fear it may come back to me eventually, yes I will go, for me and my boys. I just have to keep repeating I will go. It will be fine, all women in the same boat, some in rockier boats than others I guess.

Now I have typed about it I may dream tonight, ah ever mind 12 weeks and it will be over, I somehow thought it was 6 weeks, yes I could do with doing one of th section again anyway, in a Group though, yes I will go.

How many times will I type that. grin

Thank you smile

Mellower Mon 03-Sep-12 21:33:05

Yes I am still carrying a lot of baggage, I am unsure I have the ability to trust/love again but time will tell, wow you could be me, with the not going out, I detest going out.

Okay defo going!!

Mellower Mon 03-Sep-12 21:33:46

2 = " blush

HissyByName Mon 03-Sep-12 22:28:33

Rescue remedy love! really helps!

There are posts on here where I proclaimed I'd sworn off men for all eternity, with the psycological mess I was left in, if I can do it, anyone can!

The dominator was actually fairly brutal as a book. Why Does He Do That is way more positive. Read that, it'Ll help!

Your DC won't abuse if they are scared of doing so. They know they're not entitled to do it! They're telling you that.

Again in Hampshire, the Hampton Trust runs courses for children affected by abuse,m but ask your FP organiser, talk to them about how to help your DC.

YOU can work with them, to boost their esteem, by showing them real safe love, by showing them how life, and love, is supposed to be. Who knows, perhaps in time, you'll find a man good enough to be their step dad. A real man, one that loves women, and wants them to be happy, free and equal.

As you will learn, only 1 in 3 is an abuser, so 2 in 3 are NOT!

Keep in touch, I want to help you if I can. (((hug)))

Oh and a bloody great big well done for getting out! smile

HissyByName Mon 03-Sep-12 22:32:04

Oh, I found changing the bedroom around stopped the terrible nightmares.

Let there be NO quarter where IT is allowed to frighten you, or intimdate you from doing something positive for yourself. Stamp your metaphorical feet at him!

You can do this! You ARE doing this!

HissyByName Mon 03-Sep-12 22:39:50

I think it might be helpful if you sit your boys down and explain that we are all responible for our own actions. That wechoose to do what we do.

I think you ve to say to them that it's not acceptable to say to each other that they are just like anyone. That's like conditioning each other to BE thatperson they are so afraid of being. Your's is a family thatneeds to band together, there will be disagreements. But there is no place for name calling, labelling or insulting each other.

You're all hurting, but you all have power to be m better. Keep repeating this essagem over and over.

HissyByName Mon 03-Sep-12 22:40:39

Sorry, phone playing up!

Mellower Mon 03-Sep-12 22:46:48

Again thank you, I have sat both my DC down and explained they are their own people and just because he is their father does not mean they will do the same but I will speak to my worker tomorrow, great idea about the bedroom, I will do that after my group tomorrow. You have been a huge help. smile

I have set out in my mind know where to move the bed etc already! My Dad has redecorated the livingroom (I changed it all around after IT left), and bedroom and hall but never thought to change the bedroom around, yes that's a plan and the drawer with his stuff in it, that will go too, it's mostly ripped up photographs as it is, its a good feeling ripping his face up when I get angry.

Yes, I need to completely remove him from here, I am on a housing list for a move but could be a year or two.

Okay that's it I am most definatly going to go. I think I was talking myself out of it as my support worker was supposed to call and she didn't I started me "oh noone cares crap" but I need to do this. so many people have commented on how much I have changed from what I used to be like, apparently I was always laughing quite loud and a very funny, he sucked the life out of me. He only stopped when I took an order out on him contacting me again in December. Even know he tries to find out what I am doing the sick sick man. Enough about IT. More about me and my lovely boys!

Thanks again. smile

Mellower Mon 03-Sep-12 22:56:12

Sorry cross posted but yes, we are on the same page, so to speak! I just need to keep telling them this. It is becoming less frequent and when IT recently wanted undupervised contact for 6 hours with them, the eldest said "no I don't want to go", he is just at the age where he can speak for himself, so very sensible, he remembers things, the youngest remembers some things but the eldest has seen more, he even reminded me about something last which, which i had blocked.

Yes that book is my EX, I was asked about him recently and just pointed to one page with the the little pointers to it,(liar, bully, persuader, sexual controller etc etc) and said "that's him".

I think people saying "oh he is the double of IT" doesn't help DS1, he really isn't he is one of the kindest DC I have came across I sometimes cannot believe my luck with him and am so proud of his behaviour, the other Dc is a little wild but you never get two the same. smile

I will let you know how I go, just so you know I do actually go! Yes, early night, bath in morning and group for 9.30am! Horrid book is in my handbag, so sorted and not at all nervous now either!

HissyByName Mon 03-Sep-12 23:51:51

When my ex finally left the building, for a few nights i had the most terrifying dreams where he launched himself at me, like a tiger, at tried to tear me limb from limb. Bore no resemblance to the kicking donkey that he was, but I knew it was him in my dreams.

I moved the bed, resolved to buy myself a new duvet cover (got a cheapo from Argos IIRC) and i never dreamt about the twat again.

Trust me, it works.

Your boys have been through a lot, main thing is that they trust you, they communicate with you and they express how they feel. If they need help, get it for them, tell them that there is nothing you won't do to help them, that they have been as much a victim of this as you have and that you are on their side and won't willingly do a thing that they don't want you to wrt their dad.

Keep reinforcing how kind your boy is, how proud you are of him and that even if he does look like the man you loved once, he is an even greater man than he ever was and that you are so happy to have him as your son. Again your SW can offer help with this.

Remind yourself that the reason why your boys are so awesome is because they have YOU as a mum. YOU helped them be the men they are today. YOU.

"I started me "oh noone cares crap" but I need to do this." Indeed. DON'T!

I Care. LOTS of MNers care.

It was MN that got me through the early days. My family fucked off to New Ffing Zealand and avoided me for weeks when they got back, just so I didn't have a soul to help me recover. Somehow they want me to stay in that crap, so I ake them look successful/happy/whatffingever. I was devastated, agoraphobic, terrified of everyone and every thing and they all knew that and deliberately let me suffer. When I recovered, my sister made sure I knew just how much she had done to isolate me and ignore me. Told me to my face. Needless to say, I'm no longer in contact with her at all. No loss.

I was so low, so scared, so traumatised I had to cry on the shoulder of some poor woman from WA just to make the call to book myself on to the Freedom Programme! Beat THAT for nervous! As I said, if I could do it, so can you! grin

So don't come at yourself with the no-one cares crap, we do. Moreover, YOU care about yourself, and the more you do to recover from this, the more you WILL care.

I will look forward to your update. and the other 11. grin

HissyByName Mon 03-Sep-12 23:56:24

Meant to say, the memories will keep coming, but only as you can manage to process them. You will have the structure here and in RL to help support you with whatever comes up.

don't be frightened of the truth, it can't hurt you anymore. Remember it, understand it, process it, let it go. It wasn't anything you did. it happened TO you.

You made the decision when you could. You made the right decision, and you will again, and again and again.

You are one brave lady. don't forget to pick up some Rescue Remedy

It is really good in a group, you get other people's perspectives. It's nice to be around other women who understand exactly what you have been through. You can have a 'helper' there with you if you like, when I did it there were 2 women with helpers, just there for moral support. I enjoyed it immensely in the group I was in, and it brought me out of my shell. Good luck, chin up, you can do this brave thing.

HissyByName Tue 04-Sep-12 11:42:40

taps watch

<paces floor>


Thinking of you love! smile

Mellower Tue 04-Sep-12 13:58:25

Yay! Hello sorry I got distracted swearing on the swearing thread.

Yes, it was fine, I feel happy! You know I cannot say too much but it was everything you said it would be, we were laughing at the abusive bastards sorry I must stop swearing.

Yes, I like it, we have chocolate and biscuits too and it would seem I am one of the bad cases but some are still with theirs and things you know, so they found it helpful hearing from someone out of it.

I also had questions in my mind, I met someone recently, I liked him, we went to his house but he punches his doors, this is not natural all men do not punch doors!! So that's him dumped.

Thank you, this will help, I know it will, I am surprised at how much I know already but talking with others is good, so next time my mother asks "do you think all this couselling is making you worse?" I can say a FIRM NO!! Today didn't anyway, so I have been and I will now put my book away until next week and go and drink coffee and eat biscuits and take piss out weirdy men.

That is not all you do but just talking with another group of ladies helped, Oh I was going to say something but cannot. Yes, thank you it helped lots and I have another 11 to go, so if I feel this happy today imagine how I will feel in 11 weeks time? grin

I went to the wrong place at first but I got their in the end and all was fine. So pleased I went. Cannot thank you enough.

Mellower Tue 04-Sep-12 14:01:18

Oh crap I forgot about the bedroom. I have 1.5 hours. Yes that will do.

Yes I threw out all the duvet covers we shared when he left the house, he almost set us alight everynight, you know I have a hole through my actually duvet and everytime I look at it I think "thank goodness we are alive" it is HUGE, that's next on the list, new duvet!! I hate looking at all the burns, even if it is only when changing the covers.

HissyByName Tue 04-Sep-12 18:41:33


So proud of you! You should be proud of yourself too! Big step.

So your mother's less than supportive? Now there's a shocker not.

We'll in time, but you're not alone in that either, we're ready and able to support you through.whatever this throws up.

Enjoy the biscuits, they're there to help you feel a bit better.

Good move on the room, what.are you going to do with your room. How.about a nice reed diffuser, to make the room smell.nice?

Well done, today was a really important day for you!

springydaffs Wed 05-Sep-12 00:22:26

aw that is such good news that you went M smile

the Freedom Programme is fantastic - can't rate it highly enough. brilliantly written material but I really understand how you couldn't face it alone.

being with other women who have been through it is just amazing - I don't know how it works but something about a number of people meeting together who have all been through the same thing is like a miracle cure! I suppose it breaks the isolation of what we've been through and it also sort of whittles it all down to size ie that a pathetic bully terrorised us (emphasis on pathetic. and bully) and you sort of think 'hang on, that had nothing to do with me! it was all his shit!'

I also think it is the most healing thing to laugh together.

delighted you went M smile

Mellower Wed 05-Sep-12 19:16:13

Yes it was fab! I'm not sure it's supposed to be good, but I like it. Just having people there who know exactly what you are talking about. To be honest we were doing one part anjd had to split inot groups but ended up gossiping instead. blush grin I had to turn the paper over and say to the other ladies "erm...we still have this side to do" <more laughter>

I have been examining my bedroom and it's going to be difficult. I don't have a lot of choice but think I may have top back my bed onto the neighbours wall, which I don't really want to do but think it is the only place to put my bed.

Then I have this HUGE 6ft dressing table and I am unsure where to put that, yesterday I felt like throwing it out but realise I need to "somewhere" to keep my clothes. So I moved the bed slightly and one of the dressers and am just going to go and put a nice little puffy air freshener in it (cool linen), I only have 2 sets of bedcovers, as I threw all the rest out, so washed and dried my others today so am going to change them tonight, well after I post this and I love getting into a fleshly made bed.

I just couldn't do everything as this dresser is so heavy, so I might get my Dad up to help at the weekend and move it all around as I want it.

Last night, no nightmares shock grin

Yeah my mum, I think she may have issues with me, she wanted me to leave IT for years and I didn't I don't know if this is the issue but then I moved back here it was to be closer to them but she never comes round, not unless I write her a bloody formal invite. She lives maybe 5 streets away, never phones.... she, well they more my Dad tbh help out a lot with the DC and my youngest flits between thir house and mine, she is good when she comes here, after I invite her... but otherwise, nothing, just so cold.

So I was talking about this at my confidence group this morning and my mum is very of the opinion you should keep your life very private, so maybe this is the problem?

Anyway, I was a little annoyed that she knew I had these things this week, yet no phone call, so I phoned her and told her "I have been to my counselling at WA yesterday & my Confidence Group today" and finally she asked "oh how did it go"!? So I filled her in and told her if was FUN, and she said "well maybe it is supposed to be" and we had small chit chat and then the door went so that was that. I ask her about her Weight Watchers every week even though I am not in the slightest bit interested I attempt to "seem interested".

I will not phone her every week. I have tried to discuss this with her before, after I seen a erm..psycotherapist, I think that is who they are, (still on waiting list - which is fine I am unsure if i could handle 3 days of counselling per week) and they asked if i had support and I said "no" I then told my mum I had said this and said "but I only go walking on a Tue/Wed/Thu" which is true so why no call to see how I am?? I am aware she has a life too, I realise she is sick to death of "my marriage" I am/was sick of it too, I lived with it for 15/16 years!

She takes time out to visit her sister every week. Used to be sister and Nan but now my Nan has gone she still visits her sister, why not me? I could go there but it seems every-time I do she has to stop watching a recording of something and I feel like i am "in the way".

She has not always been un-approachable and sometimes she is fine, but other times I feel she blames me, possibly for marrying IT in the first place, I don't know? I just know if I had a daughter our relationship would be different. We used to go shopping every week together, if she needs a lift anywhere I take her, if she asks me to do anything, I do it. She just lacks empathy I guess.

See the thing is abusive ex wants to see Dc alone weekly, eldest doesn't want to, so we still have to go to court, so things are still "going on" but does she not realise I detest this too, I would love to erase the last 16 years (but still have my DC) but I cannot, I messed up, big time, now I am paying the price but after the court thing is over we will have closure, I need that, possibly she does too.

Wow that was big spill wasn't it?

Anyway, bedcovers to change!!

Thanks again ladies, I don't think I would have went had it not been for you Hissy.

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