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Abusive Ex Teacher- don't think I will ever get over it :(

(30 Posts)
TeacherTantrum Thu 25-Apr-13 21:12:35

Hi all

Name changed for this as am regular poster and very embarrassed about this to be honest.

Never told this story on MN barely told it in real life to be honest as its pretty grim although DH, best friend and parents know.

When I was 16 through til 22 I had a really weird relationship with my music teacher. I was wholly in love with him and it was a passionate, terrible, abusive relationship. He was an amazing man- talented, characsmatic and an alcoholic. He was married to another teacher at my school.

The relationship was very sexual- he was 15 years older than me and my first. He was into some weird stuff including transvestism none of which bothered me especially and I was a consenting party to the sex, it's only now I realise how bad it was. I do have sexual flashbacks to things he did in nightmares and they make me very sad. I have a normal sex life with DH but quite scared of the idea of a dominating partner as he was and I have horrible memories of being strangled and stuff. I also get horrible flashbacks when there's anything on tv or the news about sexual relationships between pupils and teachers. That news item with Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest last year made me Ill and I was crying at the news and cringing when anyone discussed it.

He and his wife were on/off and I think pretty tempestuous themselves. I think he used to hit her and he certainly hit me sad he was just a selfish bullying coward really but I was hopelessly in love/obsessed and would have done anything for him. He was always leaving her and then they'd reconcile but it would be "because of the house" or something. Obviously now I'd be nowhere near a married man but at the time I thought we were star crossed lovers and accepted his bullshit. Luckily they had no DC (and still don't).

When I was 22 he fucked up massively and I found out he had another girl (younger than me) on the go as well as me and the wife. I also discovered I was pregnant after a contraceptive failure whilst we had been on holiday. It all imploded and he quit his job and had a bit of a breakdown and he went a bit bonkers I think. His wife found out everything and left but then came back to him. They moved away. I was a mess.... Had a nervous breakdown and an abortion and just went off the rails big style for about 5 years.

Fast forward six years and I meet him on the station one morning like nothing ever happened. He casually enquires as to wether I had the baby (er or to be more specific whether he had a six year old!) and is fairly blasé. Tells me he's back teaching and that I look well. By this point in my life I had become a teacher too and was seemingly doing well- I'd stopped drinking, had a nice normal boyfriend etc but knowing he was back sent me loopy and I became very depressed. Had some therapy and felt a lot better. Accepted a lot of things and really felt I'd moved on.

It's now a further five years later- so 11 years on and I am 33. In a very happy marriage to a really lovely man- I couldn't love him more and we are currently trying for a baby. Then two things have happened in a week to shake me really badly: first I got a new head teacher and she has come from the school he works in. Really tenuous connection but she was talking in a meeting about getting the two schools together to share good practice and my blood ran cold. Then tonight I saw him standing on the corner outside my house. Never seen him there before- we are close to a tube station so no reason to think he was waiting for any other reason than a lift- but I nearly threw up when I saw him. I have hardly seen him in all these years and we haven't spoken since that morning on the station 5 years ago.

I can't work out why he shakes me up so much: I'm physically frightened of him, he makes me shake. I hate that he still teaches and that he's still married to that poor woman (I know about that and no DCs from just general grapevine) but those things don't make me shaken or sad or depressed- but something about seeing him does.

Best friend has suggested I need answers from him as he just did a moonlight flit leaving me alone and vulnerable but I don't want to ever speak to him again- so I don't think that's a plan. Besides he probably wouldn't talk to me or have any answers. I have spoken to DH but he doesn't really get it he just tries to be supportive.

I'm quite self aware: I've had therapy, read self help books etc but just don't know what else to do about this. Surely I can't be doomed to always be scared of this man and scared of the memories he evokes?

Thanks if you've got this far. Any advice or support is appreciated... I know you're all very wise here on Mumsnet.

mysterymeg Thu 25-Apr-13 21:29:00

I don't really know what to say but didn't want to leave you unanswered. I'm really sorry that you went through such a horrible time. He really is a nasty piece of work and I totally get that you would never want to speak to him again. Please don't feel pressured into seeing/talking to him. I think fear is a completely rational reaction here.

tallwivglasses Thu 25-Apr-13 21:32:44

I'm not an expert and I can't give you any advice but my heart goes out to you. I had a relationship with a teacher from age 17-18, he too was abusive but not as bad as your bastard.

I think you need to speak to this new head, or at least your head of dept or someone you trust at the school. I think that fear is natural - I don't know if cognative therapy might help. So sorry for you sad

Smartiepants79 Thu 25-Apr-13 21:37:48

I'm not sure seeing him would be helpful right now as you are obviously feeling very vulnerable.
Maybe some more/different therapy?
Also try and focus on all the wonderful, positive things you have in your life. Try and talk to your husband again. Read him what your have just written.
I hope you can find some way to move past this, don't let him win!

GirlWiththeLionHeart Thu 25-Apr-13 21:41:23

I can't work out why he shakes me up so much: I'm physically frightened of him, he makes me shake

Because he strangled, hit and sexually abused you for years sad

You have every right to feel sick seeing him. I feel like that with my mums ex now as he was horribly abusive throughout my childhood.

I'm glad it isn't affecting your relationship now and it seems like you've come a long way. Maybe speak to your gp about getting more therapy? I would also think about talking to the head teacher x

Waferthinmint Thu 25-Apr-13 21:42:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeacherTantrum Thu 25-Apr-13 22:08:35

Thanks all. Some really helpful stuff there and I really appreciate it. Would you believe Waferthinmint that I went to the police in the aftermath of it all ten years ago and they were horrible? Said there was nothing they could do as I was over the age of consent and consentually had sex with him. Shocking really but I left the police station with a bit if a flea in my ear.

I think potentially your all right about more therapy and I haven't had CBT so maybe that would help. I don't know about rape crisis as I don't feel I was legitimately sexual abused really. I feel a fraud saying that.

I think what really gets me is how normal and relaxed he seems when I see him. He sees my friends, girls he taught, and is friendly and asks them how im getting on and stuff- I think he's normalised it so he can live with it maybe. It terrifies me that he's teaching still.

Not sure about talking to someone at school as I'm so ashamed of it all but it's worth a thought. Do you think I could bring this up with my GP even though its been so many years?

Cerubina Thu 25-Apr-13 22:20:05

Not only can you bring it up with your GP but I'd say you should do. Remember that you were not technically a child but he completely abused a position of trust, his actions were illegal (assault at least) and from his past history there's no reason why he will be doing any different now.

I think what you may be experiencing is a conflict that you should be reporting him and setting events in motion that will end his career, and I would say that's what should happen. However no doubt the things the police said to you before, plus fear of what that process would involve in terms of raking up your past and any publicity etc are putting you off so you feel very unsure what to do for the best - those are not trivial concerns either.

He's not a fit person to teach, let alone anything else about the way he treats women. He's clearly horrible and has a hold over anyone who gets involved with him. I wouldn't want him teaching at any school where my kids would go, would you?

A chat with your doctor would be a positive thing to do I think - get a double appointment though.

TeacherTantrum Thu 25-Apr-13 22:36:36

No I wouldn't. I'd be sick to my stomach to find out he was teaching any daughter of mine.

The problem I have it whether or not it was illegal. I know it was amoral but I was over the age of consent and the bit where I was a student happened pre the law being changed in 2003. Even with that change from what I gather its hard to get anywhere with these cases.

Just to complicate matters too his new HOD knows what he did- a friend of mine completely by coincidence- ended up marrying another teacher at his current school. He was appalled by the story and went straight to the new HOD and told her all but she apparently just shrugged and said he was a good teacher and she had no complaints so to not listen to gossip. Fair play to my friends DH who made a fuss and said it wasn't gossip and that the school should take it seriously, but they didn't.

Also his wife is s deputy head locally too and well respected and defends him to the hilt too so I just think no one will believe me. If there was a way of getting justice I would do it but it just seems impossible.

I love my job and 98% of teachers sre honest, good folk trying their best but in my experience alot of it is who you know etc and the dodgy ones look out for each other which us what I think is happening with him.

foolonthehill Thu 25-Apr-13 22:45:09

It is illegal in the same way that a doctor having a sexual relationship with his/her patient is, never mind the age. he was in a position of trust and responsibility, you were a vulnerable student under his care and protection.

You were very brave to go to the police in the first instance i sincerely hope that anyone approaching them with similar now would be treated better.

Would you want to prosecute if you could?

foolonthehill Thu 25-Apr-13 22:49:36

PS I think it was in 2001 that the law was changed to make it illegal for teachers to engage in sexual activity with pupils at their school aged under 18 according to the NASUWT.

TeacherTantrum Thu 25-Apr-13 22:55:23

Um... Yes I think so. I really feel he has got off scot free and should be punished in some way but I know if push came to shove in court they'd bring up how into sex I was with him- I loved him and willingly did it for years- and also on the years after I was very promiscuous so I think that would be brought up in his defence. I couldn't do that to myself let alone my DH/parents.

What makes it even worse is that I was often a willing partner but he was so manipulative that even when I said no I ended up saying yes because he would accuse me of not loving him.

I guess too that he was my first love so 90% of the time when I'm coping okay I try to think "oh well we had some good times its just one of those things" and then I actually remember what he did and its not alright. So I suppose to some extent I've normalised it myself.

foolonthehill Thu 25-Apr-13 23:26:55

^he was so manipulative that even when I said no I ended up saying yes^. This is why the law was changed. It was a power relationship to start with, you were a pupil, he a teacher. Then he took power to extremes within the relationship and the sex.

Abusive relationships thrive on the power differential. If it was not there to start with the abuser creates it. In your case he already had power and to that he added sadism. You minimise and normalise because you don;t have anywhere else to take it. But it was wrong and he was wrong. Promiscuity is not surprising after a first experience like this, and the flashbacks etc and violent aversion reaction to his person sound much like post traumatic stress to me.

You really deserve support for yourself and to be protected from seeing this man at work. Do you think you would be able to tell the head even a little? I would also consider flagging him to the police, even if you wouldn't pursue at present...another person might present to them and make it less traumatic/individual.

My heart goes out to you.
definitely find help that you can cope with for yourself
sorry going to do an unmumsnet ((((hug))))))

Mumsyblouse Thu 25-Apr-13 23:35:23

Whether or not it was technically illegal (and it may well have been), it was completely inappropriate and abusive, I teach older students and even then would never ever ever think about initiating a relationship with them. Plus it was a highly abusive relationship, because he used his emotional hold over you to make you do things, and you mustn't feel guilty you did some things willingly- he still shouldn't have used his power over you like this.

No wonder your heart skipped a beat when you saw him, I have been in a similar situation and the flight or flight reaction is incredibly strong.

I don't know what to advise you except to be much kinder to yourself. I also found that burying my emotions about this hasn't really worked over the years, and so doing something like talking with a good friend/your husband about it or a therapist may help.

As for him, let's hope karma works how it usually works. He sounds vile and it may be worth reporting him again, even if you were over-age, for DV, as well as abusing his position of authority (as he was also with younger girl). At least then it would be on record/show in CRB checks. But I can understand why this would be stressful for you given their last response.

tallwivglasses Fri 26-Apr-13 00:51:01

He strangled and hit you when you were 16 and he was 31. Even if he built up to it over the years, that's still physical abuse which is against the law. Maybe a word with a lawyer/rape crisis might make things clearer - even if you were never to pursue the case, it would be useful for you (and the school?) to know.

I found out about 10 years after I dumped the teacher, he was still Mr Maverick, Sir - fucking his favourites.

mummytime Fri 26-Apr-13 06:26:09

Please talk to your GP and/or get some private counselling through your Union.

Leopards do not change their spots, if he had two of you when you were a teenager, he has had other "girls" and could still be a predator now. I am horrified by his present school's attitude.

But first please get help for yourself! I knew FA and would really ask you on her behalf to get all the help you can (if only to honour a very brave woman).

TeacherTantrum Fri 26-Apr-13 10:23:28

Thanks all- counselling through union sounds good- I wonder if the NUT do it?

In terms of rape crisis can anyone advise me what they do and how I go about contacting?

foolonthehill Fri 26-Apr-13 13:49:44

www.rapecrisis.org.uk/

foolonthehill Fri 26-Apr-13 13:52:43

Rape crisis have phone counsellors/support. Real life face to face counsellors and support centres. they are well versed in the law and i think employ lawyers to give appropriate legal advice from time to time. They campaign for better laws and better implementation of the law.

BUT most importantly they will listen to you, hear you and have the expertise to advise you on what may be of help and what resources are available to you.

you can call them anonymously, or use your name, they are there for you

mummytime Fri 26-Apr-13 13:57:14

The crisis helpline, I'm trying not to put the word in the first line of my reply so it doesn't show up on the thread brief bit, as I know its triggering.

I think the NUT mainly use the Teacher support network. Good luck!

CabbageLooking Fri 26-Apr-13 14:02:26

Teachertantrum this is awful and the thing that makes me most sad is your clear feeling that you were in some way to blame because you enjoyed elements of the relationship. You are not to blame; you are the victim of abuse.

I'm so sorry that the police were not sympathetic the first time round; they should have been. Would you consider speaking to a solicitor to find out whether he did break any laws? (I realise you were over the age of consent but if he hit you, etc then he may be prosecutable for ABH or something like that?)

It may also be worth contacting the Local Authority rather than the Head of the school; perhaps the Child Protection Officer (he sounds predatory so may still be a danger to children).

I hope you get some help to get over this and get the closure that you need.

TeacherTantrum Sun 28-Apr-13 14:44:22

Thank you all. Apologies for the late reply I have been on a school trip this weekend.

There has been some great advice here and I hope that this will get me through my "nervousness" for want of a better word of confronting in a real sense what he did to me.

I wonder if anyone has any experience or knows of anyone who successful fought a teacher who was sexually abusive and what happens? One of my very close friends is also a teacher now and I showed her this thread and we discussed but our overwhelming feeling was that nothing will come of my complaining about him and not to get involved in it because I will be called a liar. I'd like to think this isn't true but this is what I think will happen.

Grinkly Sun 28-Apr-13 15:08:29

Do you know who the other girl was he was going out with when he went out with you? If a second person was willing to come forward it would mean you would be more likely to be believed.

I think the policing policies have changed (think J Savile) and if you approached the local police and asked to speak to whoever deals with underage rape/ rape and see how you get on with them. Advice and information is what you want initially.

Him loitering outside could be because he is still a weirdo or he is, in a way, threatening you perhaps in case you speak out. Anyway it's not good and probably you will have to take this further rather than brushing it under the carpet.

Namechangejustforthis Sun 28-Apr-13 15:21:54

I had a relationship with a married 30 something teacher from about the age of 14 until I left school at nearly 17. He was clever though and never made any sexual advances until I was 16. I was unhappy at home and vulnerable and he took advantage. Years later (I was in my early 30s) I was discussing him with an old school friend who I thought knew about it. She didn't and was astounded.
About 6 months later I was contacted by the police. This old school friend had drunkenly told an ex teacher of ours when she me him in a pub. He had reported his colleague to the school who contacted the police. At first I wasn't going to say anything but I phoned my headmaster after the policeman hinted that school had had other concerns about him. The head was frank and said yes, they had no proof but were concerned that there may have been inappropriate behaviour with other pupils in recent years ( he was still teaching at the same school). I decided to make a statement to the police but because of the law back then, the fact that he waited until I was 16 meant he couldn't be prosecuted.
The head and his deputy came to my house and took a full statement from me. They then confronted him and began disciplinary proceedings. This rumbled on for a while until eventually, on the advice of a union rep, he resigned. They also said they were going to take it to the GTC? To stop him teaching anywhere but I'll be honest, I don't know if it happened. He retired anyway.
I had kept letters, cards and gifts and was able to produce them and a couple of my old school friends wrote statements to support what I was saying ( they couldn't confirm everything but enough)
It was very stressful and brought up lots if uncomfortable memories but I'm glad I did it.

Mondrian Sun 28-Apr-13 15:32:33

I think I was emotionally abused by my manager at work. I was 28 and had recently started at that company and he was 15 yrs my senior and an old hat, long irrelevant story but it all ended in him leaving the company as I had the backing of the chairman. For many years I felt the same as you at the sight of him, it was unavoidable as he is also a relative and would also pop into him at trade shows and business meeting now and then.

Nowadays I have no problem with him, I never backed away from meeting him even though I really didn't want to, I never had it out with him either - I just lived my life and didn't let him get to me. The way I saw it was that he was fucked up and I wasn't so no reason to be as nasty as him. However I refused to see my self as a victim even though the episode had a negative impact on my finances, I just put it down to having gained a very important lesson in life at an early stage so in some ways it ended up as a valuable experience.

Not sure if this helps but best to seek professional help in dealing with this situation.

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