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Struggling with the past.

(7 Posts)
frigginell Mon 03-Feb-14 16:42:38

I've name changed.

I'm really struggling. This is going to be so long, if you get to the end, you honestly deserve a prize grin.

I've been with DH for 10 years, we have 3 children under 6. I had a difficult childhood, was neglected and abused, was depressed and suffered from anxiety, locked myself in my room (lodgings) and isolated myself from the world evenings/weekends until I was 22 and met DH at work.

He was my first boyfriend. I became utterly dependent on him. I had no confidence/self esteem, was completely messed up, was so so lonely - I put all of this on to him. I was desperate for his approval. I felt like if only he loved me enough, everything that came before him could be struck out. It goes without saying that it was an impossible task and he always came up wanting. He was gentle and kind at first, but he struggled with me and I could tell he was at the end of his tether.

We moved in with each other after a year. My job ended, I couldn't find a new one. I slept all day, waited for him to get home from work. Laid on the pressure. We argued constantly about sex, he had never seemed very interested - you can imagine how this felt in the state I was in - I did everything I shouldn't have done, threatened, sulked, harangued him, threatened to hurt myself. Started self harming, hitting myself in the head, hitting my head against walls, the floor. Tried to kill myself. Dh started self harming too. He should have left me then.

Then he lost his job. Then he became depressed, stressed. He turned on me, became cold, aggressive, threw things around, punched walls, broke things. I blamed myself. I felt like I had ruined his life, I probably had.

Then I got pregnant with dc1. I know. What a fucking fuck up. But something unexpected happened. I'd always felt hopeless. I couldn't find anything valuable to live for. Now I had a real purpose. It changed everything. For the first time in my life, I wasn't depressed. My own needs took a backseat, everything went in to dc1. I didn't nag for sex anymore, I didn't ruminate about any of my own problems at all anymore, which was great.

But DH didn't change, he got worse. He seemed resentful of dc1. He was unsupportive, selfish, distant, aggressive if he disagreed with me. I became afraid to upset him, I didn't want him shouting/punching things in front of dc1. I just put up and shut up, always backed down (completely out of character for me). Kept thinking that as soon as he got a job, some counselling etc he'd be fine, we could all be okay. Things seemed not too bad then, and significantly better than any of the other dysfunctional relationships I had to compare it to.

Then I became pregnant with dc2. Awful pregnancy, horrific ending. DH was a prize winning twat a lot of the time. I was a door mat. This was our worst hour. I found messages on fb to another woman going through what they were going to do to each other when they met up. I forgave him. To be honest, I had other things to worry about, I couldn't process it at the time. He said he had never actually met her. We didn't have sex for a year, I had ptsd. He forced himself on me. I cried all the way through. He got up, nothing was said. That was three years ago, and I'm questioning my memory of it. Might I have said yes? I don't know now. He says he can't remember.

Then dc3. Dh still horrible to me. Me still backing down, trying to keep the peace. Half way through the pregnancy, he seems to lighten up. He's kinder, more loving, thoughtful, tries to help more with the kids. That was a year and a half ago. Today he is like a completely different person. Incredibly patient. Reasonable. Loving. Wonderful really. I'm not afraid to disagree with him. Our sex life is unrecognizable. He is sorry for everything that happened. He says that he realized how he was treating me, and that I don't deserve to be treated that way. But he doesn't really know exactly how/why he came to this realization. He isn't depressed anymore.

I want to enjoy this. I do love him. I don't want to lose him or split up the family. But I am really really fucking struggling to come to terms with the past. Some days I'm fine, others I feel physically sick thinking about things he has said/done. We both made mistakes, I can forgive him. The problem is forgetting. Can I ever be happy when my memories of us are so full of misery? Do you think that I will ever be able to put this all to bed and move on? I feel so guilty that our beautiful dc's have us as parents. I just want to do the right thing now.

DottyboutDots Mon 03-Feb-14 19:57:44

This is a really sad, sad story. I am sorry for your loneliness and reliance on someone in a worse place than you. Make a better place for your children and stop the cycle. You sound as if you have the strength for that.

jadeddazedandconfused Mon 03-Feb-14 20:21:35

Weird I was going to post the same thing as dotty, which is how sad I found your story. I have been in a horrible situation for a long time and decided to end it. It isn't completely resolved yet but I feel so much stronger already knowing that I'm doing the right thing for me and my children.
Some days I'm overwhelmed by the decision and wonder if it would be easier to stay but I was so unhappy
I also have anxiety and have had deep depression and self esteem issues which developed after a traumatic childhood.
Perhaps a good step for you would be to go to your gp or direct to an NHS counselling service unless you have money for private treatment and tell them everything you have written here.

Wishing you strength and courage.

MyMistake Mon 03-Feb-14 20:22:52

Have you seen a counsellor at all or are you able to discuss this with a trusted person in RL?

You love him. You have had 18 good months. Can you build on that. Not forget the past but somehow put it behind you?

piklepants Mon 03-Feb-14 21:44:35

Hi op some of what u said rings bells with me! I hadn't been through all the crap u have but last yr out the blue during a bit of a moaning session/Disagreement my partner attacked me by grabbing me by the throat and shoving me around it was awful. He may have been depressed it certainly was out of character for him and I didn't know what to do. I also stayed but still think on it at times.

frigginell Mon 03-Feb-14 22:28:00

Thanks for the responses. I'm sorry that happened to you picklepants. What has your dp been like since?

MyMistake and Jade I do think that I should speak to a counselor, I haven't spoken to anybody about any of this before. I was asked to stay at a residential mental health unit after I'd taken the overdose years ago, but I refused. I really wish I had stayed now.

I do want to build on the last 18 months. I just want the anxiety to stop so that we can move forward. I try my best with the kids, but I know that it affects them. My moods are all over the place. I'm going to bite the bullet and ask the gp for some medication and a referral. I'm terrified that somebody will think that I can't look after my dc's.

jadeddazedandconfused Tue 04-Feb-14 18:31:06

Friginell well done for making the decision to ask for help. I waited a long time to seek professional advice because I was nervous people would say I couldn't cope but it's the total opposite, they want to help you to cope and will support you. Nobody wants to take away your children or lock you up, for a start it would cost too much money and create too much paperwork!
Sometimes you need a little extra support and that's where the health service and associated agencies really come in to their own.
Sending you hugs, life is really shit sometimes but it doesn't have to be a permanent state xx

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