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How to move on and trust decisions after abusive relationship(17 Posts)
i have written a thread previously regarding my ex leaving me, getting counselling, and dealing with lots of emotions, depression and panic attacks after admitting my relationship with my ex was sexually abusive. (he left me for ow).
However, I am now months on, and struggling to cope. I have got to a point where I am shattered, and trying to see light at the end of the tunnel, and motivate myself is hard.
I am still seeing my counsellor, who is brilliant. I am looking to be strong enough to put something formal in place when it comes to contact and handover arrangements with my dd. I still struggle with these as there is still emotional abuse going on and I can't make the break from my ex.
My big problem is that I just don't know where I belong in life. It's hard to move on when I don't know what I'm aiming for. I know I'm lucky to have dd, house, good job, but I have ays when I struggle to see the point. I'm not close to family and to top it all feel that the only support I have is counselling and I'm scared of being too reliant on it.
I want to be strong, and happy, and find a place where I know what I want from life. I belong no where right now :-( sorry if this is long and doesnt make much sense. X
You are being strong! You are working through all the emotional fallout from this abusive relationship and you are doing that without family easily available to you. I am not surprised that you feel unable to move on because practical things have not progressed as much as you like, but the counselling and time healing that you are doing now has to be done and is progress in itself. Bet you feel better in the spring when the crocuses come out.
You sound a bit introspective at the moment with talk about identity and purpose and belonging. Maybe the examination of your feelings is making these questions more prominent. Are you trying to figure it all out before you are ready?
Exercise helps if you are getting anxious and introspective IMO.
You say you are 'months' on and my advice would be that this kind of appalling experience is something that takes a lot longer than months to become something you can live with happily. Finding your place in life is also quite a big concept that often involves a lot of trial and error. Counselling can be useful by allowing you an outlet to talk about this but the missing ingredient is time - and that goes at its own speed.
What won't be helping is that you are still in contact with the person who abused and assaulted you. As much as possible you have to drop this contact, put everything in the hands of lawyers and refer your ex to those lawyers rather than trying to tackle them yourself. As well as time, you need distance. Physical if possible.
Good luck but please be kind to yourself and set your expectations realistically.
Thanks for your replies.
Dadwood - yes, I am introspective and I do think a lot. All this happening means I am thinking constantantly. I guess I feel that it's been a while, and yes Im talking things through and definitely more self aware, but as much as this is good and I need to do it, it also brings up more questions and I don't trust myself to come up with the right answers or make the right decisions. I set targets for myself and then beat myself up when I don't acheive them, so yes maybe you are right and I'm just not ready? But how to know that I am making progress if I'm not aiming for something?
Cogito- thank you. I remember you advice before and it was really helpful. I do feel as though I don't belong anywhere, I have never felt like this before so it is a frightening feeling by itself. Yes - I am gaining in strength to make the final steps in getting distance and formal things in place. I think previously I made all the right sounds but was in denial about actually following it all through and what this would mean to me - counsellor called me out on this and it did help me to be more honest with myself and think things through. I know now what I have to do and why.
Regarding time- as I said to dadwood really. Im conscious of not wanting to wallow and stand still, so frustrate myself with my inability to make big steps forward. To everyone in RL I pretend to be coping. Truthfully Im scared that If I don't figure out how to be happy or what I want, I will fall deeper and deeper and just give up trying. X
Do stop feeling you have to pretend. Not all the time - that's not always practical and it can be good to have areas of life where you can park the emotions and concentrate on something else - but do confide in selected people that you are still having a tough time because, unless you say so, they will assume you're coping fine. There are no prizes for being a hero.
When I found myself unceremoniously dumped by a husband it took me two years to feel anything approaching normal. I did all kinds of things in order to distract myself and I had a few good friends that I bored rigid with my problems.,,, still took 2 years.
Thanks cog - sorry that happened to you. It's been a long time for me too, but only months since I've received the counselling and everything else has been raked up, so it's all still hitting me daily. Re: the coping, I have a core of very good friends, all have been there for me at various stages, but only one knows the full details of what went on and she's very busy herself, so I do hate to dump on people. Everyone has crap to deal with don't they? Hence it being down to counselling which is what worries me as that's not a viable long term solution, just praying that I will get my strength and confidence back to be able to deal with it all myself xx
Your aim in life right now is to simply to get through each day. I am going through one of the darkest periods in my life and can only cope with one day at a time. Don't try to look too much to tomorrow as today has more than enough to deal with. So try to take each day as it comes. I have spent long periods of time in councelling over the years and they all run their Course and you will both know when it is time for the sessions to be wound down so don't worry about becoming overly dependant on them.
As Cog has said, the main factor in healing and progression will be TIME and that simply cannot be controlled.
Can you sort out custody of Dd via a third party so you do not have to have confrontation or even communication with ex as this will be fanning the destructive flames in your life.
Just have a little faith in yourself now. You will regain your strength and confidence back but sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we can begin the painful, overwhelming and long journey to healing and happiness.
I agree with what Heyday has said about counselling, you know when you are ready. When I have relied on friends for emotional support for a period of time (I've not had counselling), I did not get addicted and I stopped asking for help as soon as I was able to handle my state on my own.
I set targets for myself and then beat myself up when I don't acheive them,
If you imagine equating your psychological convalescence to a physical convalescence, then you would not perhaps push for maximum performance. It would like running with broken bones while they are knitting together or washing up with burns, painful and too early.
You have to be kind to yourself! Make gentle targets. You'll get there just as fast!
I suppose I am just feeling impatient. I have no energy left to keep struggling through each day if I don't know what I'm aiming for. Just keep thinking of more and more examples of things that happened and how I didn't stand up for myself, guess I am ashamed and beating up on myself about it all. Just feel I've let myself down and there's too much work to do to get back on track. I don't know where to start. X
I think you aren't in the habit of being nice to yourself and cutting yourself a little slack.
Will you do that? You wouldn't expect to be so hard on anyone else who was in a similar situation would you.
Why do you expect superhuman recovery powers? Why the shame for not being able to deal with be bad stuff at the time? That person that you were is in the past and who you are now are slightly different. Try to forgive your previous self for not knowing what you know now.
Now make a nice cup of your favourite hot beverage and buy something nice on for yourself on the internet!
Yes you are probably right. I will try. Got counselling again Thursday thank goodness. Makes more sense when I say it out loud rather than it going around in my head all the time x
So I've totally embarrassed myself tonight. Had counselling today and made positive steps in accessing outside help to put formal contact arrangements in place for my dd. Talked it through. Admitted that as much as I need to do it I will then be totally alone as he is the only person who really knows me and not having him in my life -although for the best, will leave me no longer in denial and having to move forward on my own. I know it's the right thing to do, and hoping that it makes me free and I will be able to move on and not be dragged down, but also scared. Sorting all this will mean him out of my life, but also the support I have had from the counselling. We talked about this and about putting other things in place but I don't know what they are. Held it together in counselling as I do modest of the time but this evening am just in a panic, in tears, I don't really know why
So I emailed my counsellor, told her I am scared of doing this, scared of coping on my own, I have such weak moments, I don't see the point. Hate that Im not getting stronger through this process. I'm not coping, I don't know what to do.
I feel such a failure, why can't I put it behind me? How can I not cope on my own? I've survived all these years. I'm so confused.
So now I feel pathetic and emvpbarrassed that I have emailed her all this. I will probably feel better in the morning, and will dread going to see her next week now, gosh, why can't I be positive and happy. I do have a lot more than many and should be grateful :-(
So have calmed down now and wishing I could pull back the email I sent.
Hope you are feeling a bit better by now. Counselling is going to bring up strong feelings. It has to or it wouldn't get to the root of the problem. So that's half of it, especially as its a special session, you'll be jazzed up after it.
The other thing is that you are about to change the structures in life that you are used to at a time when you are vulnerable because you are working through your feelings. How can this not be scary for you? You have to accept that it will and power through anyway. It's all progress.
Don't worry about an email to your counsellor, they are going to be used to people's reactions being strong just after a hard session. Koko
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