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Please help me find the strength to do this

(19 Posts)
dogsnfrogs Fri 07-Mar-14 16:27:03

I asked for my last thread to be deleted because I'm afraid of my P, but your replies to it gave me the confidence to believe that what I'm experiencing is still abuse, even if it's caused by mh issues and he's hurting even more on the inside.

He's been getting increasingly aggressive towards me over the last few months, but it's always triggered by something I've said or done. (or he thinks I've said or done . . .) The outbursts are sudden & violent and full of hatred (though he hasn't touched me yet) but 5 minutes after they're finished, I'm left upset and scared and he's behaving as if nothing happened. They are frightening, but the times in between are almost worse because I'm anticipating the next one.

The turning point came when he broke a broom handle and threatened me with it. Before that, he'd broken things & shaken me by my collar but mostly just shouted in my face. But it's happening more often, it's more violent each time, and the broom incident was in the morning when he couldn't even blame it on drinking.

So . . . I'm visiting family this week, near where we used to live, and I know that what I have to do is phone him from here & tell him the relationship is over. It feels such a cowardly way to do it but I'm telling myself I need to stay safe for the children's sake. They are grown up, but still need me around.

Today I phoned his old psychiatrist, who was very supportive & validated me in everything I told him, which helped me a lot. I've spoken briefly to a friend (of both of us), who doesn't know yet that I've decided to end it, but did experience one of the outbursts, so does know something of what P is capable of, and I know he will be there if needed.

I'm sorry this is very long winded, but the problem is that the house is mine from a long time ago, so Ican't just stay away. I have to get him to leave before I go back. I'm afraid he'll either come after me here or try to get at me through one of the children. There's also a high risk that he'll suicide and, while I know that that is his decision to make, I will still always feel responsible. But if I don't make a stand now, I know that I am at risk.

Please tell me I have no option but to make this call. And how to make him accept he has no choice. And a stupid detail - how to make him hand over the family dog to this friend without anybody getting hurt.

If you've read all the way to here, thank you for your patience.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 07-Mar-14 16:44:23

You don't have any option, by the sound of it, and I think you've been very wise to include several others and take them into your confidence. Are your adult children aware of your plans as well given that they may be in the firing line? As you've mentioned that you think he's a danger to not only you but himself it might be a good idea to contact the police 101 non-emergency number, tell them the story (including the dog & the suicide risk) and have them on stand-by in case he gets aggressive.

I wouldn't go back to the house until you are 100% sure it is safe. Have a solicitor start working on the divorce and financial settlement.

Good luck and good decision.

myroomisatip Fri 07-Mar-14 16:49:47

Good for you to have reached this decision. I am wishing you courage because I know how scary it is.

Definitely get a good solicitor going on your divorce etc. The sooner this is ended the better for you and your DC.

Do you think he will cause damage to your property? Have you got important documents and possessions with you there? If you need to go back you can get the police to accompany you. I have found them to be very supportive.

Nomama Fri 07-Mar-14 16:59:05

Sending you power ups and lots of courage..... liberal doses of hugs and reassuring comments....

Get you and DC safe and then worry about him and the house.

Good luck xx

ceecee32 Fri 07-Mar-14 17:07:33

My ex threatened suicide when I left. My good friends made me realise that he was not my responsibility and any decision that he made was his and his alone.
He threatened, promise to burn the house down etc but I just went away somewhere he wouldn't find me. I still remember getting a phone call off my mum the following day to say that she thought that he had done it.

He hadn't it was just bluff and bluster to try to get me to come back and to control me.

You know what you want to do, you know what is right even though it is hard. Confide in and listen to your friends and family - you DO have the strength to get through this.

Might sound a bit trite but things always work out right in the long run and once things are sorted out you will be glad that you believed in yourself.

Good luck

dogsnfrogs Fri 07-Mar-14 17:18:31

Thank you for your posts. I'm so afraid of getting this started, and of doing it wrong.

We're not married, so I'm assuming at the moment that the financial side is straightforward. What's mine is mine & vice versa.

I'm visiting family in the UK at the moment, but we live overseas so I don't think phoning 101 can help. I plan to warn the friend, who I hope will pick up the dog, to involve the police if necessary - as much for P's own protection as anything else. And I'll give him P's psychiatrist's contact details so they can be passed on if need be. Oh dear, it all sounds so dramatic. (oh, and psych is willing for P to call him, so I'll be telling him that when I call)

I haven't told the DCs yet, mainly so that if he asks them, they can honestly deny knowing anything about it. That seems safer to me, but I'm not sure at all. I also don't know whether to go to my daughter's so that I can deal with anything myself, or stay well away so she doesn't have to get involved. I've been cool and collected for the last 24 hours but now I'm starting to dither.

jumblebee Fri 07-Mar-14 17:21:45

I don't have anything very useful to add but I just wanted to say you have been incredibly brave in making this decision. I can't imagine how hard and scary it's been for you!

You are doing the right thing by refusing to live the rest of your life ok fear of this man.

innisglas Fri 07-Mar-14 17:27:56

Well it might be worth getting in touch with the police in the country where your house is. I live in Mexico and the police can be quite good about domestic violence situations.

dogsnfrogs Fri 07-Mar-14 19:07:22

I don't know what the police are like about DA. I think I might speak to his GP there first. Maybe he would know how best to handle it.

wyrdyBird Fri 07-Mar-14 20:02:07

You're at a safe distance, so yes - now is a good time to take steps to end it.

Please don't consider yourself cowardly for ending an abusive relationship this way. It is sensible. You should not risk trying to end a relationship like this face to face, on your own. Where there is DV, safety must be your top priority.

If you aren't sure how to enforce his departure from your house, my suggestion would be to seek legal advice in the UK, from someone who can advise on the law in your country of residence.

In the meantime seek all the support you can here. Only you can judge the situation with your adult children; my thoughts are that you shouldn't rule out having a word with them, but these are just my thoughts.

AnyFucker Fri 07-Mar-14 20:05:21

I truly think there is no better time than now

You have RL support, you have had affirming professional advice, you are at a distance

just do it, love, take that step to make yourself free of him or nothing will ever change

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Fri 07-Mar-14 20:18:41

Would it not make sense to get the DCs totally on board with this so they can help you stay safe from him? If they were to stage an 'intervention' style happening where it was all pre-prepared and you and they were waiting for him to come home, you could all sit around as a family and you and they could say to your P that today is the day he leaves and by the way is not taking the dog. DCs stay until the locks are changed, the police are informed and it is a setup basically. Would this be too devisive? He has been physically abusing you after all!

When I was separating from my Ex, I had to enlist the use of a pair of large male friends to see that he behaved himself when he was collecting his things, so that he left his key and did not kick off too much when I shut the dog (formerly his) in the car. He was anasty aggressive sod. I changed the locks, informed the police of his previous behaviour (which was when I found out he was known to them!) and had a couple of mates stay for a few days after that. I worked like a charm.

HelenHen Fri 07-Mar-14 20:47:10

Sounds like you have it all figured out op. I think your plan is brilliant and you just need to be brave and get it done! I think you're right to leave dcs out of it. It would be nice to warn them that it's gonna happen though without asking for their help. Ya never know, they might just step up anyway but best not to expect it.

Well done on your decision though and I wish you loadsa luck!

dogsnfrogs Sat 08-Mar-14 07:58:01

Thank you all for your support. Your wise words are helping me stay focussed though god knows, I don't feel brave this morning.

I wouldn't ask DCs for their help. I need them safely out of it. But I have now told my daughter in quite a lot of detail, and it was such a relief to admit it in real life. Turns out she's been worried about the situation since Christmas & is glad she now knows what's going on. I wish she didn't - it seems like a huge burden of knowledge to saddle her with - but at least she knows now that she must take any threat of contact very seriously, and refuse point blank to see him.

I understand where you're coming from dinnae, but I'm now in the UK. He's at my house overseas, and I'm not going back until I'm certain he's gone. I wouldn't mind if he took the dog, I don't think he'd ever lay a finger on it (ironic, huh?) but last time I told him to leave, he said he wouldn't be able to take it. There's a high risk of him suiciding & the dog being left locked in the house. He's bad, I'm able to admit that now, but he's also very ill.

And yes, I have told him once before that it was over. That was face to face during the broom handle incident in my OP. He managed to talk me round that time (well, his exact words were 'I'll go, but you'll be dead first') so now I'm burning all my boats so he can't do it again.

Just got to stay strong. Feeling sick inside.

dogsnfrogs Sat 08-Mar-14 08:12:34

Oh, and Lundy Bancroft and Melodie Beatty, who were recommended to me on my original (deleted) thread, have arrived, so i have my homework all ready to make sure I never make the same mistake again (not that I plan to ever have another relationship.)

wyrdyBird Sat 08-Mar-14 20:27:07

I'm very glad you had a word with your daughter. I think it is a relief, just to say something in real life. Abusers seem to gain power from secrecy.

I really hope your friend will be able to take care of the dog. I don't think it's a stupid detail, honestly; the dog is an innocent creature and it's good that you're trying to safeguard him/her. Your STBX made an ugly threat to you: it's clear what kind of person he is.

Wishing you strength and good luck.

dogsnfrogs Sun 09-Mar-14 09:07:48

Thanks wyrdy.

You're right about the secrecy. He's used it, amongst other things, to manipulate & control me for a long time.

I'm working at the moment on when & how to get back into the house safely. I feel I need to consider all possible eventualities so I don't get knocked sideways by him pulling a stunt I haven't expected. He's good at doing that to me.

Has anyone else been in the position of having to go back to the house, not knowing for sure if STBX has left? Do you have any suggestions?

ImperialBlether Sun 09-Mar-14 13:50:24

I think you can ask for a police escort if you are worried about going back to pick up your things. Could you call the non-emergency number and ask?

I'm so glad you're getting out.

EllaFitzgerald Sun 09-Mar-14 14:02:43

Go in mob handed. Don't ever put yourself in a position where he can get you on your own. Make sure all door and window locks are changed and that any ways of getting into the home are fixed (dodgy windows, through a garage etc). If you've got an alarm, make sure the code is changed. Make sure the police are aware and ask for panic alarms if available.

Always expect the worst, and be prepared for it. Good luck.

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