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Just served DH with an injunction barring him from our home

(20 Posts)
shellshockedmumof2 Sun 07-Oct-12 08:17:08

Have name-changed for this. Went to court on Friday and served DH with an occupation order and non-molestation order, that don't let him re-enter our home or come near me or the children.
Am still in shock about it. This comes after months of emotional and physical abuse - nothing violent in the sense that I was never hit or injured, but would be pushed, grabbed by arms and shaken, hit with pillow repeatedly at night, harrassed physically, woken at night intentionally every night for months, and subject to the most awful of insults every single day. Most of this in front of the children, who are not quite 2 and 3.5. Background for the behaviour is that DH fell into a clinical depression, but refused to seek any medical help or treatment - no medication, therapy, nothing. Have pleaded with him for so long but to no avail. And his behaviour towards me became steadily worse. He was so incapacitated by his depression that he was not capable of working anymore, so I was sole breadwinner on top of that. So finally saw no other solution but getting the injunction against him.
I have not yet decided what I do now - do I file for divorce or wait and see if DH gets treatment finally. Right now I find it hard to tell what part of the behaviour was depression and if any part of it was bad aspects of his personality coming out that I hadn't seen before.
Where do I go from here? I am feeling traumatised after the months of domestic violence that I suffered - neither I nor DH come from families where anyone ever witnessed domestic violence, to my knowledge none of my friends have either. I am finding it hard to cope with the fact that my once-loving DH and father of my beloved DCs could have treated me like this. While for the first time, since Friday, I can sleep normally and have some peace and calm during the day (to the extent one can with such tiny DCs), I am having flashbacks about some of the things DH has done or said to me. Where do I go for help? Do I call one of these domestic abuse helplines? Do I try to see a therapist for counselling?
Sorry for the long post and many thanks for any advice or anyone who has been through similar.

Offred Sun 07-Oct-12 08:27:31

You have been very brave, well done. I would recommend you get some specific support through women's aid and also get some counselling. You can sometimes get counselling through a children's centre or you can go to your GP who will try and refer you for whatever therapy he/she feels would be most suitable.

Personally I would not do anything further just now other than sort out myself and the children and I would deal with the marriage later. One thing I would say is depression is not what makes someone abusive. He is more likely to be an abusive person with depression than a depressed person who abuses but either way there is little difference, there is not normally a way to go back safely after abuse. Be careful not to blame his mental health problems too much.

Springhasarrived Sun 07-Oct-12 08:40:38

Hi Shellshocked. First very well done on doing something about it. You will be amazed at how quickly peace descends on you after months of that. I've been there.

I would totally recommend counselling as soon as you can. By all means speak to your GP about it but from my experience and a lot of others on MN who have posted about it, GP's can be shockingly hopeless at helping victims of DV. I got very negative responses from two (in fact horrendous responses, actually) but on trying a third I did get the support I wanted.

If you can afford it (going rates about £40 per hour) I would arrange your counselling independently. Look up BACP which is the professional body and you can find qualified counsellors in your area and see which ones specifically state DV as an area of expertise too. You usually get a consultation to see if you both feel you would be happy working together.

I agree with Offred. Dont make excuses for your H over his mental health issues.

Good luck with it all and keep posting and talking about it.

shellshockedmumof2 Sun 07-Oct-12 09:37:25

Thanks Offred and Spring for the advice. I will ask my GP who has been very helpful through all this for referral to a counsellor including independent ones. You are right it is easy to blame depression/mental illness for all of this, and that is what I now need to figure out - is it DH or the mental illness/depression that has done this to me. DH has always been slightly macho and I am wondering if this extreme controlling behaviour I have witnessed is just an extension of that, or is it the mental illness (there have been episodes of pretty psychotic behaviour too).
We are back in court next week so unfortunately will have to see him again then (if he shows up). After the first 24 hours of intense relief (was all a bit dramatic - him getting served on our doorstep, I had changed the locks, he was calling through the door for me, trying to talk to the children, etc.) - am now just feeling traumatised and trying to stop myself from crying in front of the children. DH is also begging me via in-laws to talk to him before seeing him in court, and I don't want to do that. Sorry for the blubbering on here and thanks for the advice.

chocoreturns Sun 07-Oct-12 09:49:38

post on the women's aid survivors forum too, I have been getting excellent advice there and the expert moderators trained in DV issues including legal ones post too. I know how worn down you feel. My local WA branch have assigned me an outreach worker too who can attend court or legal appointments with me, meet me for coffee or do assertiveness and boundary building one to one work with me. I can really advise getting in touch with your because the support is really amazing.

I'm so sorry you are experiencing this. FWIW my ex had depression too. I realise now that there are always reasons why a person feels bad. There are never excuses that mean it's ok to take out your bad feeling on another person through abuse. x

Offred Sun 07-Oct-12 10:00:02

The most helpful thing I ever learned was not to look into the why. The why does not matter as much as the what with abuse. It is such a serious problem (all victims minimise and say it wasn't that bad btw) that it basically trumps any reason that there may be behind it. Those reasons might be relevant to him personally as he explores his own behaviour but they are not relevant to you. Xx

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 07-Oct-12 10:04:41

How awful for you!

If he is having psychotic episodes then i would say it is very likely indeed that his mental illness has affected his behaviour. Just like when women get that type of pnd with psychosis they can act completely out of character, violent etc.

Who knows for sure though. Were there no signs at all before he got ill? I've been in abusive relationships and with hindsight it was there from even before we got together. Jealous possessive unreasonable behaviour.

Some will probably say that he is still responsible for his actions but if he has something serious then i don't think that's always the case.

I do think he is responsible for getting help though. Although i know a woman who didn't get help for years and years because she completely believed the voices were real. If you believe they are real why would you get help? You only get help when you know there is problem.

Who knows how aware your husband is.

You did completely the right thing as your main responsibility is to protect your children and their mother.

shellshockedmumof2 Sun 07-Oct-12 10:35:33

Thanks choco that is a good idea. Thank you all for the support. You are right it doesn't matter right now why he was acting like he was. Feel I need to recover right now before deciding next steps i.e. do I file for divorce.

LisaMed Sun 07-Oct-12 10:41:08

If he is communicating via inlaws then he may be breaking the injunction.

And if he can get you to voluntarily speak to him before the hearing, he can tell the judge, 'look, it isn't so bad, she's talking to me even after the injunction.'

Why do you need to speak to your in laws at all in the short term?

Smeghead Sun 07-Oct-12 13:33:35

Sounds to me like you have your name exactly right. Shell shock is what they used to call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is a reaction to severe psychological trauma.

Deliberate sleep deprivation is considered to be a method of torture and is against international law.

Thats what you were living with.

Counselling will really help you. I am so glad that you have escaped this and I agree that by trying to contact you via third party is probably against the injunction so I would inform your solicitor first thing tomorrow morning.

Lueji Sun 07-Oct-12 15:26:34

I relate to this.

Ex got depression, social anxiety and stopped working. His behaviour was made worse by drinking too.

When I left ex, I told him that I would wait 6 months to file for divorce. In that meantime he was supposed to turn himself and his life around.

During that time he was still violent (albeit out of the house by then) and threatening.
But at least he was given that chance.

SirSugar Sun 07-Oct-12 15:47:35

Has he ever seen a doctor? Plenty of conditions can cause a change in behaviour.

My H was abusive but illness, which he subsequently died of, exacerbated this and made him far far worse.

shellshockedmumof2 Sun 07-Oct-12 16:48:41

You are all right. LisaMed and Smeghead FIL came by yesterday to collect some of DH's belongings, which he is allowed to, and I told my solicitors. Also told solicitors about DH's request to speak and they also advised me not to. My in-laws are somewhat understanding of what I have been through as they were on the receiving end of the violent behaviour too and we spoke very frequently. However they obviously have their son's best interests in mind and not mine, as they knew what was happening and didn't do much to help me.
Lueji that sounds a bit like my DH, esp the social anxiety and inability to work - although DH barely touched alcohol, no cigarettes, drugs, caffeine or anything. In fact developed a phobia of drugs and medication which is one of reasons he refused medical help, and one of the problems in dealing with him. SirSugar he has always refused to see doctor, I once got a psychiatrist to see him against his will and he prescribed anti-psychotic drugs, which DH never took. He once voluntarily saw a GP but also didn't take the drugs or follow advice.
For those of you who have lived through something similar, how long did it take you to recover? And if you have children, how were they affected?

shellshockedmumof2 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:04:40

fuckadoodlepoopoo I have been combing through all the years I have known DH (together for over 9 years) since last week trying to figure out whether there were signs of this before in his behaviour, and whether I completely lacked judgment in as important a decision as who to marry... Could I have known better and were some sporadic odd moments of behaviour years ago already all of this in the making... It is very painful to think about that and think whether I could have avoided all this. The only thing that stops me from regretting ever being with him is that I have 2 wonderful children, and they wouldn't exist if I hadn't married DH.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sun 07-Oct-12 19:04:40

And were there signs do you think?

Its so hard to know if he has always been like this but its only now that its become obvious or if it is indeed caused by a mental illness.

Smeghead Sun 07-Oct-12 20:54:47

Tbh I dont think it matters whether he was always going to end up like this or not.

You have escaped and you wont be going back, the whys are kind of irrelevant. That it happened at all is all you need to focus on in order to heal yourself.

Take care x

Lueji Sun 07-Oct-12 21:31:21

I was not particularly affected, maybe because I got rid when it got violent and so it didn't really last long.
I still had a bad dream about it and there were periods of anxiety when he was around.

snoopdogg Sun 07-Oct-12 22:23:37

Well done Shell. I, too, have been through a similar experience and am now two years on the other side.

As other posters have said, you don't need to do anything now but your mind will be racing, trying to rationalise it all.

For me, tiny bits of what clearly turned out to be a pattern slowly dropped into place and, in time, I came to see that it wasn't my fault and that I had done everything in my power to prevent to final act that ended in the injunction.

This and the support of lots of different agencies from the courts to police to women's aid to just reading posts on mumsnet have got me through and I would quite confidently describe my self as happy now.

Good luck, you've done the hardest bit. Oh, and someone listened, my injunction was also granted on a Friday and courts don't hand them out lightly - only if they believe you and your family are truly at risk of harm so whatever you do don't beat yourself up about that.

cestlavielife Sun 07-Oct-12 22:41:55

"pushed, grabbed by arms and shaken, hit with pillow repeatedly at night, harrassed physically, " well that is violent enough... it counts if you like...

anyway it doesnt matter.
he chose not to get help his choice -you had to take only option open to you. with counselling you may see if he was fine then got ill and became like this -or whether signs were there all along...

main thing is to focus on you. and dc .
he has support of his family he can decide to seek help or not....

my ex became depressed became worse aggressive etc but really there were signs all along of controlling and abusive behaviour. whether a person is mentally unwell or criminal the end result is what you have to protect you and dc from...if he then turns himself around well then you see but it will take a long while. as other poster said you could give him/yourself a deadline before filing for divorce...

you have done the right thing in sending him a clear message that his behaviour is/was unacceptable - now is up to him,.

set up supervised contact with DC - his parents supervising if that would work otherwise contact centre...

gp can refer for counselling on nhs . ask

shellshockedmumof2 Mon 08-Oct-12 22:04:43

Thank you for your kind words.

Was my first experience with the courts and am very impressed and grateful that they worked and have protected me.

Yes the question going through my mind now constantly is whether there were signs of controlling and abusive behaviour before all this. But even if there weren't, not sure I could ever get back with him after what I have been through even if he gets treatment and makes full recovery, although it breaks my heart for the kids.

Finally have had 3 nights of deep, restful sleep, and getting ready for a 4th one now, for the first time in months.

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