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Domestic violence survivors: How long until you stop being scared/stop thinking about it?

(54 Posts)
puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 27-Apr-13 13:32:39

Hoping to speak to those who have come out the other side and have moved past these feelings.

It's been a year since I left, and I still think about it every day. I'm scared every day and I cry about it frequently.

I'm tired of feeling like a victim and want to be strong. To be able to talk about it without crying, and live my life without fear.

Sorry this isn't really a nice topic for a saturday afternoon.

LittlePeaPod Sat 27-Apr-13 13:38:20

Couldn't read and run. You did the right thing. I am an adult that grew up in a violent household. My mother like you had the courage to leave and it was hard. We lived in Scotland at the time and she moved us (3DC) to England to get away from the evil bastard. It was the greatest gift she gave us and herself. It took time for all of us to adjust but god I owe my mother for her courage and respect her strength.

Stay strong, you did the right thing and dealing with the aftermath is never easy but god it does not and will never make you a victim. You are far from a victim. You are acouragous woman learning to deal with a very traumatic time. Good luck for your future thanks

LittlePeaPod Sat 27-Apr-13 13:39:46

BTW, I still get upset now and so do my siblings and my mother. But it's a lot better. Stay strong.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 27-Apr-13 14:14:16

Thank you LittlePea, I'm sorry you had to experience it as a child, but well done to your mum for moving away smile

LittlePeaPod Sat 27-Apr-13 14:56:13

Well done to you for been so brave. I wanted to share so you could hear it from someone that understands so you can see it does get better. smile. What we go through make us the people we are. Keep your chin up and be proud of your strength and courage. smile. I know it's not easy....

Imdoingthis Sat 27-Apr-13 15:37:09

I stopped feeling scared when I realized he wasn't so 'powerful' as I used to see him, slowly I could see I had nothing to be scared off when the court didn't give him residency of the children etc but it did take a long time to stop feeling at risk from him.
These fears are deep within us and don't just go away when we are physically free of them.
It will get better and it does take a long time to get to were we want to be.
Have you considered or had any counseling x

Hissy Sat 27-Apr-13 17:02:59

Puds, well done! congrats for staying out for a whole year too!

I have to say that I threw myself into healing myself, I did the Freedom Programme and attended a DV support group. I also paid for counselling for myself.

All that running around and expense really did pay off.

I will say though that on some level I know that there is still much to heal yet, as certain things trigger me. The Phillpott Case for example, he terrified the shit out of me and I didn't sleep the whole night after watching that programme about them.

Bottom line love, if you don't tackle this, it won't go away. You do need to seek out counselling, or a support group. If you are in Hampshire, I may be able to refer you to one, but otherwise, contact your local DV support services, WA etc, perhaps even the Police DV unit for advice and see if they know of a group.

You need to be with people that understand you, that know what you have been through, then you will understand that this happened TO you, not because of you.

Keep posting too. I found MN Vital in my recovery.

Let me know if I can ever help eh?

MeAndMyGirl Sat 27-Apr-13 17:28:10

It takes a great deal of strength to leave. I left my ex 5 years ago who was violent. I agree that in time you will view him differently and he will not seem as powerful. However personally i do think the way i behave has changed, some for the better, some not sure. I would say my way of coping with the fear is to ensure i am never ever in that situation again. I am safe now and that is my power if u know what i mean and i would never ever let a person make me feel unsafe again

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Sat 27-Apr-13 17:29:43

Hissy is totally right you need to fully concentrate on healing yourself. Can you do the freedom course. It perfectly possible that you are suffering from PTSD you know. google it in relation to domestic abuse.

Support Support Support

The Philpott case terrified me too. He was a classic "abuser" type wasn't he. There but for the grace of god go I.

Nerfmother Sat 27-Apr-13 17:36:45

Thirteen years on here. Spent a long time grateful for no contact and too scared to tell anyone (ESP people who knew him) in case he found out. Terrified when there was contact that he'd kill dd or allow her to come to harm. Only once I remarried, got a job and found out he was with someone else did I feel safe. I still avoid talking about it all. Now I feel really safe but it took about five years in all. I suspect it is different for everyone and depends on if you get looked for? Well done though, you are safer a year on, then when you left or were together I believe?

Desari Sat 27-Apr-13 17:40:17

I used to volunteer for the National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247) and they are really good - you can call them 24/7 and they will offer emotional support and can also refer you on to local outreach services. Many local Women's Aid centres offer one to one counselling and as someone posted above, you might find the Freedom Project helpful and a good way of meeting people on different stages in their journey.

Hope that helps x

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 27-Apr-13 17:44:39

Thanks everyone.

I guess my real issue is that no one knows about it. He lives down the road from me and I see him nearly every day.

I have to find a way of not being scared of him but whilst still seeing him.

I am currently trying to get CBT.

ItsYoniYappy Sat 27-Apr-13 17:46:26

It's been almost 3 years for but just over a year since I cut him off.

I don't talk about it a lot now, I have PTSD so my head is messed up from it, I've done Freedom Programme, many one to ones with WA all finished now, next week I start attending a trauma group weekly.

I'm not scared anymore, I am still angry and very hurt, letting go of the hurt seems to be my problem. I detest him but it still hurts to think of him treating me that way. I would advise you to get some counselling.

Hissy Sat 27-Apr-13 17:48:58

I still shudder tbh, the evil of that man scared me through the telly!

I now realise that my ex did all that he did through a feeling of weakness, not power. a powerful person, with self confidence and selt esteem has no need to tyrannise another human being, he knows if they want to leave, they can and that life will go on, that they will go on.

An abuser is terrified of not being loved/partnered, cos it means they are truly shit.

Of course they are not, but that's what they are driven by. They have to destroy us, often bright young things, attractive, warm, popular, successful, friendly and caring, in order for them to feel stronger than us and to steal the light they see in us so that they can bask in it.

I now look at my Ex as a pathetic man, weak, insecure, stupid and out and out mean. I genuinely can't imagine what on earth I was thinking even giving him the time of day.

I think the fact that I have changed so much in the last 2 years (am happier and healthier emotionally than I have ever been in my life) means that I am a different person.

This different person wouldn't fall for that crap again, I KNOW i am worth more and I will DEMAND that I am treated properly or I'm OUT...

I have already rid myself of a right controlling nutter, and about to end it with a nice man that isn't into me enough, after a year, because I know I deserve to be loved, not to be with someone cos it suits him... angry

I know that whatever situation presents itself, I can handle. I can spot an abuser, I can bin him. If I see behaviour that I don't agree with, I can call it out, If I see that I am not prioritised, or important enough I will end it.

I love myself, I deserve to.

So do you.

Please do the therapy, please don't hold back in doing ANYTHING and everything to heal, and to kind of give yourself the insurance policy to guard against this ever happening to you again.

You really are worth that.

We all are to be honest.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 27-Apr-13 17:52:31

How do you know if you have PTSD?

I am so mad at myself for letting it happen and i'm scared or having a new relationship incase it starts again.

foolonthehill Sat 27-Apr-13 17:58:13

It's faster the less contact you have.

sadly contact through the children (though no physical contact via Skype) refreshes my memory on a weekly basis sad

Happily 18 months on I had a morning this week where for the first time I felt like "me" whoever that may be, and was not thinking about him

all the best puds.
It may be a hard road but at least it's our road.

LittlePeaPod Sat 27-Apr-13 18:03:39

Puds. I agree with those that say you should speak to someone. You will be suffering from traumer. Living in a violent household isnt easily forgotten.

You have nothing to be angry with yourself for. He was in the wrong hi did wrong. You didnt let this happen. You did nothing wrong. You should be proud of yourself for having the strength and courage to say no more and end it.

I have never been in a violent relationship so I can't say I know where you are. But I was the youngest of three that watch Dave (evil bastard) abuse my mother in front of us for years. But like you she had the courage to leave him.

I admire women like you who have such strength.

ItsYoniYappy Sat 27-Apr-13 18:05:35

Pud I was diagnosed after thinking I was having a nervous breakdown but went undiagnosed for maybe a year.

I cannot sleep, unless I take my pills to knock me out, when I sleep it was of him, then him and his g.friend, then when I moved house I would dream of him looking for me under cars, if he tries to contact me, I dream about him. I also suffer hyper-arousal. (jump around a lot at slightest of noises)

I have a lot of anger for myself for not leaving many many years ago.

My ex's g.friends dc were removed from her, then their baby, he is not allowed near my DC - 5 DC all in some way related back to him and he isn't allowed to have any of them.

Hissy Sat 27-Apr-13 18:05:39

Pudds, if you take the time to heal yourself, it WON'T happen again.

I felt exactly like you do, Everyone here felt the same.

But when you invest the time in yourself (and it took me 6m to start that process) it really pays off and fast.

yes you have some painful days facing up to things, but if you have read your Lundy Bancroft, you will know that none of this was ever your fault.

You have read Lundy Bancroft Why Does He Do That, haven't you?

You are not ready to have a relationship with someone at the moment, you need to have a relationship with yourself first, work out who you are and where your strengths lie.

We all got mad with ourselves, the anger is part of it, you have a right and a need to feel and express it. This was done TO you, not because of you.

Everything you are feeling is normal, we have all felt it, and we all NEED to feel it.

Fool I worry actually that the LACK of me having any contact with the FW is why I may have buried stuff and why Phillpott triggered me so much... Any opinion on that? I'd love to know if this is the case? I may have to go back into therapy for a bit if that is the case... £_£

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 27-Apr-13 18:05:59

Thank you LittlePea i'm not feeling very strong right now though sad

ItsYoniYappy Sat 27-Apr-13 18:06:34


*dreamed of him

My mind is on constant go just now, I miss out words, I need to stop touch typing

ItsYoniYappy Sat 27-Apr-13 18:09:20

tbh it was when I started no contact I got PTSD

I have asked others how they got rid of their ptsd, some revisited the abuser. I have seriously thought of it, just to see him for the horrid little man he is and not what my head has created.

foolonthehill Sat 27-Apr-13 19:55:39

triggering. I think even the healthy, healing mind is capable of being taken back to both good and bad places by particular stimuli.

I can be transported to my primary school by the smell of wax and sawdust, to a moment of pure fear by the unexpected smell of oil. Just because we have looked at, treated and dealt with the emotional fall out from our past does not mean that we will never experience the feelings again...but rather that we are equipped to deal with them when they surface. I think it is only a problem if we spiral back to that place and fail to use or cannot find the tools to restore ourselves.

we carry our past with us, but it should no longer have the power to rule over us. We look the fear, trauma, anger or peace, love and happiness in the face but move on, experiencing our lives as they are now, empowered by the lessons learned.

It is only when we are paralysed or removed from the reality of now that we have a problem and need further help.

foolonthehill Sat 27-Apr-13 19:57:58

Its...PTSD often appears when you return to a safe place, not sure overloading with the feared stimulus would be recommended...quite a dramatic "kill of cure" approach!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 27-Apr-13 20:16:34

I'm not sure I have a safe place. Maybe I need to make one.

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