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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.

marriedandwreathedinholly Wed 02-Jan-13 20:31:38

Thinking of you too. Have given dd a pep talk today (she's only 14) that whatever happens when she's a grown up there will always be a place at home for her nd that she must never live in fear of a boyfriend, partner or husband and if she thinks its her fault and feels embarassed mum and dad will always be there and will always support her corner.

I'm so glad you have year mum and dad. I never understood before mnet how important things like refuges were.

Good luck - this is the beginning of a better future not an ending.

Hugs too for your mum and dad. They are an example for all mnet parents x

NotMostPeople Wed 02-Jan-13 20:36:28

Good luck Merlot, big unmumsnet hugs to you and your parents.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Thu 03-Jan-13 00:31:30

Good luck Merlot, and well done.

TryBreatheTwinkleFly Thu 03-Jan-13 01:31:34

Good luck merlot Your post has helped me cement my plans of escape. Thank you.

saffronwblue Thu 03-Jan-13 01:38:26

Good luck Merlot- you have been very strong and will still have wobbles but hang on to that clarity.

scripsi Thu 03-Jan-13 01:53:05

Just another one adding good luck to the mix!

Also to say that you haven't really "upped the ante", your DH did this by being violent. About him being a doctor and possible reports to GMC, this is something DH should have thought about also, it doesn't negate your right to your own bodily safety, it doesn't mean that he can get away with whatever he wants. I hope when you're feeling stronger you will consider your options from the perspective of your highest good. Well done on everything you've done so far! Also for setting a good example to your DS of good self-esteem and standing up for him.

Astelia Thu 03-Jan-13 02:21:35

Thinking of you too Merlot and wishing you, your DS and your parents all the best for the days and weeks ahead.

Megan1989 Thu 03-Jan-13 03:17:47

I av similar abuse to put up wiv aswel more verbal n emotional rarely physical neva hit me but pushed me abwt n he has sed awful fings abwt our dawter its horible dnt no wot to do nemore x

mathanxiety Thu 03-Jan-13 04:21:27

Merlot -- what do you mean when you say 'regret down the line' ??

I feel shaky and raw and exhausted. I'm still dithering over reporting to the police. My parents keep telling me I'm still too upset to make decisions and shouldn't do anything irreversible. I keep thinking that I just want to wait and see how he reacts to me having left (he's at work as as yet unaware).

This is not a game, and it is not a game you are going to win. Your H is playing for serious stakes and you need to take them seriously too. Waiting and seeing how he reacts is not the way to proceed now that you are striking out for freedom -- and this is the goal for you and for your DS now. It's not cat and mouse, tit for tat, and your aim is to minimise engagement with him, not maintain it. As long as you respond to him he has the upper hand here. You need to think in terms of taking the initiative, exhausted and frightened though you are, and worried and feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders.

This is the way someone thinks when she is still living with her dominator. You are not there any more and you need to get into the mindset of someone who isn't accountable to a controller, nor responsible for his career. You can and should take the initiative. Please report what he did as soon as you can. He can deal with the consequences.

Give back to him the responsibility that is his to carry for what he did. He is a grown up and he needs to carry his own responsibility. Nothing good can come of taking care of him or looking out for his welfare. He is not going to reciprocate. He did not reciprocate last night in anything he did or said. You are not going to impress him or look good in his eyes by doing favours for him.

You need to get a residence order for your DS. You need to get a protection order against your H. This sounds like a lot to tackle but you need to do these things because you and only you can be relied upon to protect yourself. You cannot assume your H has your welfare at heart at all. In fact, all you can assume is that he is thinking only of himself -- holy crap, look at the performance he pulled last night if you need any confirmation of this, with the sobbing and the insult to your spirit and your intelligence when he wanted to know why you were still so mad with him. Please realise what a twisted horror you are looking at here, and how irreversible his choices are.

ohfunnyhoneyface Thu 03-Jan-13 07:51:25

Well done! I'm so pleased you've taken these brave steps to protect yourself and your son.

You really MUST report to the police: what if your ex goes for full or 50% custody?

MerlotforOne Thu 03-Jan-13 09:49:19

Not much clarity here this morning.

He called last night sobbing hysterically. Was on the phone for a couple of hours on and off. I found myself managing his emotional state, trying to calm him down. He has promised the earth, expressed regret, shame etc and I badly want to believe him, but there's a little voice in my head saying that it took him 2 days and a half empty house to get to this point.

Slept a bit last night and have managed a bit of breakfast and had a shower. He sent a text in our usual chatty tone, with xxx at the end, asking how I was feeling. I have replied that I have a maelstrom of feelings, the predominant one at this point being anger.

I know you're telling me to disengage, but I feel I need to see him, here. I've told him I'm not hiding this, that I won't keep it secret. I need to get my head straight, and for me at the moment that means seeing him, then him going again so I can get some perspective.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Thu 03-Jan-13 10:01:02

I can almost guarantee that seeing him will not help in any way in getting your head straight. He will go through every trick he has (being emotional, threatening suicide, pretending to be vulnerable, becoming angry, violent) to coerce you into doing as he wants. And what he wants will not be in your best interests.

This is a man who pinned your DS to the floor and shoved you to the ground as your DS watched. Please protect yourself and DS from him.

Allergictoironing Thu 03-Jan-13 10:10:40

Read all the other threads about EA and the script, and listen to that little voice in your head. One day of those 2.5 days was probably spent working out which tactic would work best on you!

How much shame & regret did he show when he physically abused your DC & you, told you it was your fault, then denied what he'd said? Then the text this morning - he's apologised, you cared enough to try to calm him down when he cried, so clearly he's trying to suggest that everything is back as it was before the last straw incident with the chatty tone & the xxx.

If you feel you MUST see him, do it at your parents house where you have emotional backup and support. I doubt very much he would be stupid enough to try anything physical at this stage as he wants to get his nice compliant posession to come home quietly.

novembery Thu 03-Jan-13 10:22:26

First, op I think your actions in being so clear headed and getting out are inspirational. Well done.
Math, above, has it absolutely right. She has given you the best possible advice. The most crucial thing she says is that this is not a game in which you wait and see how the other player reacts. I have played a game like that with an abusive partner and it is a total waste of time- all it does is prolong the final, inevitable end, and keep you in the fog.
I have never read a wiser post than math has written. Take the initiative. If you still want to keep your marriage, that would have to depend on your dh seriously waking up to himself. If you minimise what he did by not reporting then he won't have to.
It is so hard to shake free of the fog of abuse. Love, loyalty,hope, obligation, expectations, duty, nostalgia, fear etc all keep us in the fog and stop us from doing what is best for us.
My head changed when I read Lundy Bancroft. Your dh, as a buddhist(?!), reminds me of my exdp who was, apparently, a feminist. hmm Bancroft really nails this 'type' ( can't remember what he calls them though, must dust off book!)
Stay strong. You have done the best you could for your ds and yourself.

novembery Thu 03-Jan-13 10:27:13

Ps op I used to find myself managing my exp's emotional state too. He was so upset after he sexually assaulted me. So upset that I had pointed out to him he was sexually abusive that is, not so upset that he had violated me. hmm.
Funny how the bully is the most important victim isn't it?!
Funny how their feelings matter the most.

MatchsticksForMyEyes Thu 03-Jan-13 10:27:16

My ex went through all that. Tears, regret, empty promises. Same stuff he told me last year when I went back. My dd still got kicked off the bed and screamed at before we left for good 3mths ago.
This time I've refused to talk it over with him. Because I don't want him back. You need to live your life for you. Don't take his tears to heart. It's just a ploy. He wants you back as he likes having you to control and he's using every trick in the book now he can sense he's losing his grip on you. Pm me if you want, op.

Xales Thu 03-Jan-13 10:30:50

He called last night sobbing hysterically. Was on the phone for a couple of hours on and off. I found myself managing his emotional state, trying to calm him down. So it is all still about him? Where is the sympathy and support for the woman (and child) he attacked?

This guy has kept you in a state of fear for over 8 years. You back down every time because of his temper.

Do you think he does not know how best to get into your head and make you feel guilty?

He physically assaulted you before. Never took responsibility because he 'blacked out and didn't remember' hmm

He is grumpy.

You walk on egg shells.

You have to justify yourself.

He was jealous and controlling until you gave up your social life. No he is still jealous and controlling you just no longer have a social life for it to be a noticeable issue.

The thing that has changed? He has started all this on your tiny defenseless 3 year old child. That is why you stood up to him.

A couple of nights away from home and full on show stopping hysterical tears are not going to change this. It will just show him that you will back down as usual.

As someone else said on another thread right now you are the dangerous one. You want to believe he is sorry, you want to see him, you think he has/can change. You will start to feel you have over reacted. If you talk to him he will pour more doubt and blame into your head.

You need space and time away from him so that you can clear your head of the last 8 years and more of behavior modification you have made before you can think properly.

Can he change? Yes he can. He has to be the one to do so and well in 2 days...

NicknameTaken Thu 03-Jan-13 10:36:13

Well done, well done!

The best thing is to engage with him as little as possible because it will mess with your head. Oh, I know you've stuff to sort our re child contact etc, but either do it through a solicitor or at least by email. Him sobbing down the telephone line and pulling all your strings will make it really hard to think straight (I took phone calls from my ex while in a refuge and very nearly went back to him).

You mention that reporting will mean SS involvement. Don't be fearful of this - I've had this and it was fine. A social worker visited, we had a pleasant chat, she sent a letter saying I was keeping DD safe and there were no concerns. And as others have said, it is very useful to have something on the record if it comes to a child residence dispute down the line. Completely separately, a SW is now looking into DD's welfare during her contact with her father. SS can be powerful allies in this scenario.

Whenever you wobble, think of your DS's face when he screamed with terror at his father pinning him down. Your idea of a "normal" relationship has become skewed. You want to save him from this.

tribpot Thu 03-Jan-13 10:39:08

He sounds very upset. Presumably he is offering to report himself to the GMC and to the police so that he can properly take responsibility for what he has done.

Hmm. No?

The fact that he then sent a chatty 'hey everything is back to normal, for I Have Expressed My Regret And Cried' text is not a brilliant sign, is it? I think your response was excellent, however.

I can understand your desire to see him, and see him in a safe space, i.e. where you need not fear physical reprisals and where you can remove him at any time. I think you do run some emotional risks in doing this so soon, however. You say you won't hide it or keep it a secret. It is obviously in his interests that you do and he may use a face-to-face opportunity to heap on the emotional pressure to ensure that you do. It would probably be a better bet to report him and then have the face-to-face conversation, but I'm not sure you're ready to report him yet.

jessjessjess Thu 03-Jan-13 10:44:37

OP, the posts above are extremely wise.

Can I just point out that he didn't call you and say he realised he needed help, had already booked himself on an anger management course but understood that you should leave him and would make this as easy as possible.

Nope. He phoned you and cried.

He frightened and abused you, you quite rightly left, and he phoned you and cried.

You have to see him as being like a drug you are kicking. You can't see him. You shouldn't even be communicating with him yourself. Not until you have gone cold turkey for long enough to see him for what he is.

You owe it to your child to stay away from this man. Please report him to police. As mathanxiety said, give him back the responsibility for his own actions.

I am afraid for you OP. your mind is not yet clear. Don't let him cloud it again.

jessjessjess Thu 03-Jan-13 10:47:53

One last thing. Please please show this post to your parents.

I know they mean well but they have no experience of DV as you say. They are telling you not to make decisions while you are upset.

But the next stage isn't increased resolve. The next stage is to doubt yourself, to consider letting him back in. You have to withdraw while you can find the strength to do so because you may lose it later.

I know they are trying to help but they should encourage you to report it to police and to speak to a solicitor, not tell you that you are too upset to make decisions.

You have to make them while upset. Once you stop being upset, the survival mechanism of believing its not that bad will kick in and you may not be able to act.

swallowedAfly Thu 03-Jan-13 10:55:57

i am so pleased you're out OP.

i think you have to get clear in your head that he has started on ds now. he had a 3yo pinned to the floor and you so knew it was wrong that you finally stood up to him after 8 years of pacifying. you wouldn't have stood up to him if you didn't absolutely know at that moment that he was hurting and scaring your child.

the result of standing up to him was getting yourself knocked over and he still ended up leaving the house with your son in that state.

that tells you that you cannot protect your son from this man - if you try he hurts you and takes your son anyway.

please realise that you responded because your instincts as a mother kicked in. keep those instincts now.

biff23 Thu 03-Jan-13 11:01:11

Have just read through the whole thread and really feel for you and your son. It's bad enough burying our own heads in the sand but where kids are involved we have to take action.

You're doing the right thing by not accepting this behaviour from your dh any longer. Your child will already be affected by his actions and you must remember this when he's trying to make you feel sorry for him.

Be strong and surround yourself with people who love you, and be honest with others as to why you have left him.

gillyglops Thu 03-Jan-13 11:06:14

I can feel the very palpable worry on this thread, Merlot, worry that you'll cave and give in to the understandable desire to make everything go back to normal. Like others, I desperately hope you can keep the strength to make your life and your son's life safe and free of fear.
If he was genuinely aware that he'd done something so very wrong, he would be phoning you to say he was seeking help and taking responsibility, but he didn't. He manipulated you into a situation where you were trying to calm him and make him feel better, for having hurt and frightened the two people who should be most important to him!
Stay strong, Merlot, and don't give in to him.

NicknameTaken Thu 03-Jan-13 11:56:22

There's something to be said for going into emotional lockdown for a while. If you let it, your love and your desire for things to return to "normal" can be very powerful and lead you to think, "Well, he's had a shock, he knows I won't stand for it, I'll go back and it will all be better. And if he starts in again, well, this time I'll know for sure and I've leave for good".

It's absolutely classic, and it generally takes women a few attempts to leave an abusive relationship. And leaving doesn't get easier, it gets harder, because you are that much more ground down, that much more confused about what it acceptable behaviour and what isn't, and that much more concerned that you've exhausted the goodwill of those who want to help you.

It really helps if you vow to yourself that you won't go back for 6 months at least. Give him the chance to show that's he really sorry and really changed. A genuine relationship would survive six months apart. To be honest, this is really a tactic for buying yourself time, and I think after 6 months your head would be straight enough to see how damaging the relationship is, how unlikely he is to change, and how much better life is outside it. But it is a journey, and it helps to break it down into manageable steps. Six months seems easier than "that's it, I'm leaving forever!"

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