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So it's not all in my head then:( (long)

(468 Posts)
MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 17:04:15

Can't quite believe I'm writing this, but need to get it written down before I minimise it again.
This morning, DH and I both a bit tired, DS (3) acting up a bit. DH offered to take DS and dog for a walk so I could get some peace. DS was being difficult about getting his coat on and DH was acting as though his temper was getting strained. He muttered 'I don't work hard all week to come home to this!' And then pinned DS on the stone floor and wrestled him into his coat. DS was sobbing and I wanted to comfort him, bu DH snarled t me to go upstairs and let him get on with it. I would normally retreat at this point so as not to provoke him, but today I decided not to and stood m ground.

He asked me again to go and I said if he was upset he should take the dog out and clear his head, and leave DS with me. He said 'you really don't want to push me just now' and I asked why he was threatening me? He walked over and shoved me really hard through the doorway into the next room and onto the floor. DS saw this sad and ran over to me. We both somehow ended up upstairs and DH followed us up and stood there saying I was over-reacting as it was only a shove had provoked him so i deserved the shove.

I was crying and DS was upset and brought me his muslin and dummy sad. I refused to let DH touch me and he told me again I was overreacting and denied the comment about me deserving it, said I had made that up. He then took DS and went for the walk. I haven't been able to send being in the same room all day, but daren't leave in case he gets really angry and does something worse.

He has only physically assaulted me once before, 8 years ago on holiday, and was so drunk at that time that he passed out and claimed no memory of it. He can be grumpy and I feel I walk on eggshells and that I have to justify myself a lot. Since the incident 8 years ago, I've always backed down before he lost his temper, and fooled myself that he'd changed, but I discovered mumsnet 6m ago and have been reading a lot on this board and feeling increasingly uneasy that quite a lot f it applied to me.

He is not at all financially controlling, but was very jealous and quite controlling of my social life (back when I had one) and can be quite argumentative after a drink (not that he drinks much these days). He can also be loving and affectionate and we have long periods of time where everything seems fine, but I've been excusing his behaviour for a very long time and now there are really no excuses left.

Don't know what to do really. Thoroughly miserable and very confused.

jessjessjess Tue 01-Jan-13 18:05:55

This is worth a look:

Chaoscarriesonagain Tue 01-Jan-13 18:09:21

merlot it wouldn't have changed him, but it would have been an acceptance of the seriousness of the situation, and for him to be reprimanded and acknowledge his actions

It would have also have me the courage to leave, instead of stay on another year, hurt myself more and see the state of myself now. They only get worse

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 18:12:18

You are all being so lovely and helpful. I don't feel I can phone anyone at present. I'm posting whilst hiding under the covers in a dark room pretending to be 'resting'. I feel scared of what would happen if he overheard me talking.

I keep having to remind myself that I'm not being silly or foolish to be this upset. I can't think clearly. I have this recurring thought that maybe I did just push my luck, I am finding it difficult to 'see' the EA that has lead to this. I've been with him since I was 21 - I don't really know any other way to be.

I need to keep my son safe. I need to leave tomorrow. Trying to go tonight would escalate things a lot I fear. After all, today is the first time in 8 years that I've stood my ground when DH has been in a 'mood', and look what happened.

TurnipCake Tue 01-Jan-13 18:14:06

Excellent posts from jess and HappyNewHissy.

We're all here for you in the meantime

TurnipCake Tue 01-Jan-13 18:18:19

You did not push your luck - he had your son pinned to the floor. He is the only one to blame for his actions, you did not 'make' him do this.

If slipping away quietly is what you need to do tomorrow, then use tonight to make a mental list of things you need, passports, important documents etc. do you have anywhere to stay?

aufaniae Tue 01-Jan-13 18:20:11

Merlot do you know how to delete your history from the laptop / phone so he can't come across this thread?

I think going tomorrow sounds like the best plan.

Make sure you take with you your passports, birth certs, all important documents and ID.

HappyNewHissy Tue 01-Jan-13 18:26:03

Don't put yourself or your DS at any further risk. If tomorrow is the day that suits you best, then go tomorrow.

This is the most dangerous time in an EA relationship.

HOWEVER... If at any time before you leave, you feel scared or threatened by him, call the police, don't even blink before doing so, ok? Promise me?

Stay safe sweety, we'll all be here for you when you need us.

izzyizin Tue 01-Jan-13 18:31:55

There's no need for you to go anywhere, either tonight or any other night, when one call to the police will have him removed from your home.

Much as I would very much like to believe that being cautioned or convicted of a dv related offence would result in doctors, judges, lawyers, police officers, social workers, etc losing their jobs, the fact is this rarely occurs unless perhaps a prison sentence has been meted out to the abuser.

I would suggest you give some thought to the way in which you are enabling him by not reporting his abuse of you and your ds.

Doctors hold exalted position in society and, particularly if he's a paediatrician, or a GP who is called on in respect of child protection cases, or ministers to any female patients, it would be thoroughly unprofessional of you to collude with him by failing to report his crime(s).

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 18:35:56

Thank you, am crying again a little bit. I'm planning to wait until he goes to work, then phone my parents and get them here to help me pack up and get away.

I promise I'll call police if any hint of further trouble. I'll take documents with me. I'm going to put DS to bed now. Will try to check in later.

This thread is my lifeline tonight, to keep it real in my head until I can talk in RL. Thank you all so much thanks

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 18:41:02

I will report him tomorrow Izzy. I know that makes no sense to you, but it's the best I can manage. I know I'm enabling and I'm not proud of myself, but the fog is thick in my head just now and I can't take another scene tonight.

Thanks. Your posts (and Cogito's) on other threads have been the triggers that started my realisation. I decided this morning that I would stand up to him, that I didn't have to watch my son be upset, that if it was all in my head, the nothing would happen...

jessjessjess Tue 01-Jan-13 18:49:44

MerlotforOne, DO be proud of yourself. You have acknowledged that you are the victim of abuse; you are taking steps to get out of the situation.

You didn't ask to become an enabler; you didn't ask to be in this situation, or to have to find ways to cope with it. Do not for one second think you should blame yourself for ending up in a situation where you have to cope with being abused. That is his doing. Not yours.

You are being very brave. I promise you that you don't have to put up with this, and it's not in your head.

HappyNewHissy Tue 01-Jan-13 18:51:00

Merlot, I spoke at a Child Safeguarding Conference to Hampshire doctors last summer. If you are practising in Hants, you might have come, you may have seen me speak.

I was told that my words really helped GPs see how best to help abuse victims get out, at the very tentative early syages.

We victims are not what others thing battered women look like, we're not stupid, low, common or poor per se.

We may feel monumentally stupid when the scales fall from our eyes, but in time we can see that it's THEY that are stupid, they have a good partner, a life, a family and they screw it up cos they have to crush and destroy it.

We don't feel stupid forever, that stops fairly quickly as we start to process what THEY have CHOSEN to do to US.

It'll be ok love, in fact it will be a lot better than OK, trust us, you and your son will be safe, happy, relaxed and will thrive. You will laugh again. It won't always hurt like this. Not for long.

ImperialBlether Tue 01-Jan-13 18:51:59

I'm worried for you, OP. Please be careful not to give him any indication tonight that you'll be going tomorrow.

Could you email your mum and dad to tell them? I would feel happier knowing they know they should come. Or would they phone up to speak to him?

What can you do tonight to keep out of his way? Will you be expected to sleep in the same bed as him?

ImperialBlether Tue 01-Jan-13 18:53:29

Just thinking about it, I think you have to report him, hard though you might find that. If you don't, you run the risk of him going for 50-50 custody.

HappyNewHissy Tue 01-Jan-13 19:05:33

Of course she has to report him. What if another victim of abuse goes to him for help, needing to get children away from an abuser...

He's unfit to be a doctor. Where is his Oath now? 'First Do No Harm?' ??? Do his wife and child not count?

Today is not the day though, Merlot will need strength and clarity. That will come.

Report it to your GP first, get it logged.

BertieBotts Tue 01-Jan-13 19:18:47

Thing is even if you did "push your luck" that's not a normal situation - I can't ever imagine a situation where my DP would physically hurt me or push me over, perhaps in self defence if I was coming at him with a knife or something! Most adults don't have arguments where they lash out at each other, even if the other is being utterly infuriating.

I agree that the police would definitely take this seriously. You don't say "My husband and I were arguing and he pushed me" you say "He pushed me so hard that I fell to the floor, my 3 year old was upset." They would absolutely see this as physical violence/abuse - it's not just about hitting/punching or a full-on beating.

The point of reporting now means that in the future if you are worried about him having unsupervised access to your son you have some proof backing up your experience of DV, so that he and the courts can't later claim that you are making up accusations of DV in order to stop him seeing your son because you don't like him. Unfortunately without a trail in place even if you have serious concerns in the future it can be hard for you to block contact if you ever need to - it seems easier for courts etc to believe the "She's a psycho bitch who hates me" line than the "I am seriously worried for my child's safety" truth angry

I'm not saying it's impossible to block contact later if you need to, and you don't have to stop him from having contact now (although I would strongly suggest you go for supervised if anything) but if you become concerned at some point in the future it's going to make life a lot easier for you if you have a paper trail.

I agree don't do anything that puts you at risk now. Please try to talk to Women's Aid in the morning though - they won't say anything to the police etc, that is up to you and your decision.

jessjessjess Tue 01-Jan-13 20:27:40

OP, I just wanted to remind you how it's harder to see this when it's your life and your partner and not someone else. If one of your patients came to you saying her husband had violently shoved her you would be in no doubt that this wasn't okay. But your own situation feels different because you love him, because you hope he will change, because you think it is your fault.

It isn't your fault.
He can't change or "get better" without professional help.
It shouldn't be to to you to walk on eggshells so things are "okay".
Loving him isn't enough.

I've never forgotten the words of a woman on another forum I go on. She was talking to a poster who said her fiancé was abusive, but she loved him. And this woman said: "Of course you do. I loved my ex husband. I loved him while he punched me in the face, and I loved him while he told me it was my fault."

It's normal to feel horribly conflicted; to ask yourself if it's really so bad and wonder if it's somehow your fault. That's what years of conditioning, of walking on eggshells, of keeping him happy at the expense of all other happiness, of feeling afraid, of feeling weighed down, will do to you.

It's normal to feel stupid and ashamed, but that doesn't mean you should feel those things; this is not your fault. Nobody has the right to behave like this. You don't shove your spouse, tell them they deserved it and refuse to acknowledge what happened. That is not okay, end of.

You are leaving because your partner was aggressive towards your son. Your son was crying. Your partner was angry with you for wanting to comfort him and violently pushed you, then claimed you deserved this.

This is what you need to remember tomorrow when you start questioning yourself, when you wonder if it's really as bad as you thought, when that doubting voice he has put in your head starts telling you that it's your fault. It's not your fault.

MatchsticksForMyEyes Tue 01-Jan-13 20:31:01

^^agree with everything. It took me 7 years to realise all that.

Chaoscarriesonagain Tue 01-Jan-13 21:18:04

jess the article on the abuse cycle is very helpful and true

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 22:35:52

Thanks Jess. I'm in bed, alone, full of doubt.

We ate dinner in virtual silence, then he held me and said sorry. Nothing else, just 'I am so sorry'. We sat and watched tv and I pretended nothing had happened. Then we came to bed and I lay here frozen until he offered to sleep in the spare room.

The thing that gets me is that I don't pacify him at he expense of all happiness. in general we have a pretty honest relationship and he does listen, take things on board, modify his behaviour. He is generally considerate of my wants and needs. We are a pretty good team, it's just that when he's in a bad mood, I do the eggshells thing. It's not every day, or even every month, and it has got less and less over time. I just feel, as you say, that I shouldn't have to feel scared when he gets angry or frustrated. That's not right.

tribpot Tue 01-Jan-13 22:38:06

Look at it this way. You're so scared of his reaction that you couldn't risk removing you and your ds from the house tonight for fear of reprisals.

That, if nothing else, demonstrates what's wrong with the relationship - with him. The blowups may be intermittent, even infrequent, but you have to live - always - with fear.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 01-Jan-13 22:56:28

"We are a pretty good team, it's just that when he's in a bad mood, I do the eggshells thing."

You're in grave danger of rationalising this away. Careful. You're getting the 'shit sandwich' at the moment. Nice behaviour... shit behaviour... nice behaviour. Designed to make you feel relieved it's over & make you so grateful things are back to normal that you give him another chance. You're probably not even conscious how much you pacify him any more because it's second-nature. As tribpot says... someone who hides under the covers, pretending to be resting, frightened that they are going to be overheard on the phone is not someone who is in a 'good team'. Good luck.

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 23:09:40

You're probably not even conscious how much you pacify him any more because it's second-nature.

This is what gets me, that I feel I have no perspective, no sense of normal any more, if I ever did. And yes, things would be completely back to normal now if I let them be, and it's so damn tempting, but I keep remembering how frantic DS was, and I can't let it go.

The thought of telling my parents, or anyone in RL, is terrifying at the moment. There's no way back from this once I've done that.

tribpot Tue 01-Jan-13 23:21:08

There's no way back from this once I've done that.

Yes, that's the point. At the moment you are inside the conspiracy of silence, you are colluding with him to keep this from your family, the GMC, etc. It's 'safe' because most of the danger is internal and you know how to manage him 99 days out of 100. It's at the expense of your own soul, but you know how to do it now.

But that doesn't change the fact that it did happen. That your son saw it. In a year or two he will be at school. He could tell a teacher, or another parent. Now suddenly he has to be inside the conspiracy of silence as well, aged 4 or 5. That can't be.

And your parents find out eventually anyway and are devastated both that it happened and you didn't tell them - just as you would be if, god forbid, your ds ended up in an abusive relationship and didn't tell you.

The effort involved in keeping the secret becomes greater and greater - for you. For him, as long as he ensures your silence, he's golden. No problems for him. And he already knows how to heap the emotional pressure on to you, he's doing it now.

This is why the posters above are telling you to get out before you reach the next stage, or the next.

You must make this real. This happened. Denying it can never help the situation.

When my ds was about your ds' age, we were playing football in a friend's garden and my friend kicked the ball at me and it hit me in the legs. Of course a complete accident, it barely hurt at all, I'm sure I didn't even say 'ow'. But my ds insisted on standing in front of me to protect me from this again - that's how your ds feels now. My thing could be laughed away. Yours can't.

Chaoscarriesonagain Tue 01-Jan-13 23:27:26

merlot tell your parents!

They will understand

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