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Just stopping by to say hi, to those who helped me re: EA ex(35 Posts)
I took a break from here for a while, to try and focus on work and myself (I found myself getting too drawn into different threads, something I used to do on the AIBU forum years ago! I'm sure many of you know what that's like.) I also felt like I was getting worse and retreated generally.
However I didn't want to just disappear either, because some of you wonderful women took your valuable time to give me advice, listen, share experiences and respond when I was feeling like my world was tumbling down around me.
One of you said that you didn't get better until you had private therapy. I am going to step up and say yes, you were right. I tried. So, so hard. To get help from Women's Aid, and a long NHS counselling/CBT list. I eventually saw a counsellor 9 sessions ago and she is lovely, very caring and is clearly very concerned for me. Women's Aid were not a good fit. They didn't have any 1:1 support and I needed to TALK. About the horrible things he did to me, about why I feel sad everyday when I don't want to, about how I feel like I'm drowning in my past when I should be living in the present and looking forward to, and enjoying, the good things in my life, of which there are many. Women's Aid put me in a very basic CBT group called "Living life to the full". I was the odd one out, both socially and with a group of women who had no understanding of mental health (absolutely not their fault) and needed it explaining in very simple terms. I tried it. I told them I needed help that ran much deeper than that. They tried to get me to go on another group, one that would teach me how not to choose a DV/EA partner in future. I told them I didn't need that. I walked away.
Things came to a head as my MH was all over the place and I wasn't sleeping. He said he could see I'd tried everything and was coming up with nothing, and said he would give me some of his savings to pay for private therapy. I had someone recommended to me who is a specialist in EA/narcissism. She saw me for an assessment within 3 days. 2 days later, I started with her (yesterday) and my life has changed already.
It's £40/session, something I could never pay regularly, but my partner has given me funds for 6-8 sessions and I think that will probably be about right. Maybe a few more, but she's so amazing that I know I will change by leaps and bounds.
We have already discussed her model of psychoanalysis and she has correctly explained where she thinks things have gone wrong, where I sit on the model chart and which parts we need to work on. We have a plan.
She is funny - she tells me to swear and throw pillows if I need to.
She's given me a useful mantra based on her assessment of my difficulties with my ex, one that I used today and it worked. You are the adult, she said, and he is the child. You have the advantage.
She said he doesn't know how to be an adult, and even when you try to speak to him like one, he acts and lives from his inner child, the one that is angry, rages and can't be reasoned with. You will drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what cannot be made sense of. You need to recognise his bad behaviour and bullying for what it is: childish insecurity.
I am both energised and exhausted. Just typing this is making me feel worn out again so I'll stop soon.
I know I am fortunate to have this opportunity. I really believe that everyone deserves to get better. I guess what I am saying is if you've tried to get help, and it isn't working or hasn't made things better, and if you can find a way to pay for a therapist of your choosing, I would recommend it. At this practice, they do have discounted therapy for those on a low income, but there is a big waiting list.
I know it is totally out of reach for many. But have a think if there is someone in your life who could gift or loan you some money. When we are bogged down with our troubles it's very easy to shoot down an idea that feels like a dream and it's also very easy to feel too embarrassed or proud to ask our true friends and family for help. If you've gone through EA you are taught not to put yourself first, but you might be surprised by how willing people are to help when you have the courage to ask.
Take care everyone. x
Great post op! So heartening to hear how you are making your way through the horror of having been the victim of an abuser - hoorah!
who's your therapist, I want her
Re women's aid - it all comes down to FUNDING. I'm sure they would dearly love to offer something less basic but the money simply isn't there. Though I hope it wasn't the Freedom Programme you refused?? bcs it is priceless, beyond price, recommended for anyone and everyone who has experienced domestic abuse (of all kinds). Please do factor it in at some stage, it is an essential in your - our! - armoury.
All in good time! So glad to hear you're finding your feet xxx
Well done Springy onwards and upwards, I found therapy helpful too (though I timed it more it work up to breaking up with my now EA EX, rather than recovering from it!!).
Hi thegreysheep, I had CBT for PND which then gave me the courage to go. She was a brilliant psychologist on the NHS. Sometimes you do get good help.
I am registered for the Freedom Programme online and have done some of it, I need to pick that back up actually!
I agree, I'm sure WA struggle more and more to find funding for what they do. I think they have to focus on danger; getting women out of violent situations safely, into hostels and helping them apply for the money they are entitled to. The groups seem pretty basic to me but I have no doubt they are doing the best they can. However, I guess I wish my local branch had told me they couldn't offer what I was looking for.
The ppl who work at WA specialise in referral - they don't have the expertise in eg MH to recognise if a need is greater. Plus, of course, funding in NHS MH is seriously crap. Did you see the pigs flying overhead when you got that psychologist? Momentous good luck op!
Re FP I do think it is much better, more effective, to attend sessions with the group. The material can be challenging - though of course liberating, as the truth is - and meeting others in the same boat is imo tremendously healing and validating. I could expound on this at length but will resist you'll be glad to hear, but imo meeting irl embeds the info in a way stark facts dont in quite the same way. And we need all the rl, relational buttressing we can get huh?
I've had more than my fair share of gatekeepers with limited knowledge and training who don't even know they are
crap lacking in essential expertise. You just have to plough on over what appear to be endless hurdles and false starts to get to the gold.
You're there op! <sigh of relief> Over time you realise ppl were doing their best, even if their best was sometimes within an unacceptably under-resourced framework. For all its faults, I am still so grateful WA exists at all - the alternative doesn't bear thinking about (shudder) and we learn a lot from the process, even if it isn't perfect.
This is a very interesting post, glad that the therapy has helped, I've always found the opportunity to vent/explore hard feelings very helpful but haven't always found the right person/money to do it- but this post has reminded me that it can be so helpful.
Please let me be clear - I'm not putting WA down, what they do is so important - but I was disappointed to wait 6 months to find out they couldn't help my particular situation.
They do much other good though, of course.
And sorry for the brevity - juggling tea and bedtime! More later.
I've had more than my fair share of gatekeepers with limited knowledge and training who don't even know they are crap lacking in essential expertise. You just have to plough on over what appear to be endless hurdles and false starts to get to the gold.
This. Exactly this! It's been so hard to plough through. I've been patient, explained myself time & time again, gone through devastating assessements & then had nowhere to take the pain... I knew it wasn't the particular worker or health professional's fault, and yet I was so damaged, every day blocked by sadness & not knowing what to do - it took me too close to the brink of feeling unable to cope.
I am so aware of increasingly poor access of pared down MH services. It's wrong, immoral. I don't know how or if it'll ever get better again.
Well done love, so very happ to hear your update!
Remember this is the beginning of the journey of the next part of your journey
I know you weren't putting them down and I do agree with what you've said. I've just been through all that shit endless times and, as you say, it is so damaging. Tis why I'm relieved to hear you've found a way yourself and struck gold - that is the BEST news - bcs imo and ime you, one, has to cobble it together yourself somehow. It is a disgrace. Even the Americans get a better deal than us re MH
but let's just thank God we are not in France...
Just thought - is it plough or plow? <irrelevant>
Ex hasn't replied to a very adult, very assertive (but polite) email yet though, which I crafted with the tools she gave me yesterday - and it's making me feel increasingly sick and anxious. Blah.
Definitely not there yet. But oh it felt good to be hopeful & normal again for a while.
Do you have to contact him bcs you have kids?
Serious bummer if so - T-shirt!
Practise makes perfect. Step at a time. It's excruciating we have to even begin to have to relate to these
shitheads men but with the right tools and support we can do it. I can honestly say it has made me largely fearless bcs, bit by bit and over time, I was able to face this fear down and see him for what he was a horrible skank
He's not going to like your assertiveness - just saying
Yes, we have one DD. I broke up with him just over 2 years ago, move out 2 months later, then hit a wall at 18 months when I realised he was still controlling me & ireslised the extent of what he had done to me. I crumbled. Been trying to get help ever since.
I have carefully forged a minimal contact order but it's still very hard. I've been standing up to him for a while now, but this was the most assertive yet. He's with withholding a reply on purpose I'm sure. Excruciating is a good word for it!
All hell has broken loose. I had had enough of him messing me about with me doing the majority of half terms (4/5 weeks) and he's had the gall to moan about missing a day of work because she's poorly, and moaned when I told him to drop her off here at 3 (which I later changed to a few hours later) because I won't be able to work the rest of the week.
This started an angry email exchange in which I told him what I was currently dealing with in therapy, namely a physical assault during conceiving and how he abandoned me after childbirth by not helping me or letting me sleep. And that during childbirth I was very ill and could have easily died without medical attention, as I got pre eclampsia and lost litres of blood. Especially as things happened so fast. If I'd tried for a home birth I might not have made it. I was on a drip and stayed for 3 days to monitor blood pressure and bleeding.
He denied the assault, told me I was creating stories of utter fantasy. He said I didn't nearly die in childbirth, I had a few stiches and was home after one day. He's said I'm just saying these things because I have to see/deal with him because of DD.
Really, I shouldn't be surprised but that was cruel.
I know not to engage. I haven't been. But this happened and now there is going to be fall out, and I feel sick.
I hate him so, SO much.
Dust yourself off. Put this behind you.
It was a mistake - simply bcs you are assuming that, underneath all that cruelty and spitefulness is a human being. WRONG. He may look like one and talk like one but he has no intention of being humane. He enjoys winding you up too much, he gets off on it. Sad but true.
I know that's a harsh thing to say op - I know how hard that is to face. But you are barking up the wrong tree - he is a sick man. No reflection on you - all he's done is nothing to do with you, he'd do it to anybody. It's what he does.
Get the right help, comfort and support from others - it's not going to come from him. He is one single bod amongst the billions currently walking on this planet...and he is cracked: you will never get from him what you deserve, which is love, kindness, compassion. He isn't capable of it - though you deserve it.
You have it from me, though - I'm so sorry you went through that darling
Perhaps see it that he has a disorder [NOT that you should feel any compassion!], some basic components simply aren't there. Not everybody is all there, and he's one of them.
You, however, have the full pack. You deserve love, kindness, compassion, understanding, comfort. Get it from people who have it to give lovely xx
Perhaps see it that he has a disorder - I agree, this is the way to sanity. It ties in with what your therapist said about him being like a child: we're looking at arrested or derailed emotional development.
I disagree about the compassion, though. Compassion doesn't mean giving in, it's more like 'reasonable adjustment'. If we know someone's incapable of understanding our point of view, for instance, we stop trying to explain it to them. To my mind, it's similar to the way you alter your language when speaking to someone with poor English. Taking a compassionate view on this is good for you, it's nothing to do with yielding ground. It keeps you emotionally healthy.
Thank you all. I feel so broken by this since yesterday. I think you're right, he has a disorder. I shouldn't have even tried but I was angry & fired up from feeling empowered by my new therapist & I was furious at how little he appreciates what I've done to cover holidays & half term because they landed on "my" weeks while he gets to swan off & not worry about juggling.
It doesn't surprise me that he would deny the assault (he tried to say I was still on the pill - I wasn't - I was jet lagged & exhausted from travelling back from seeing a family member near death & he forced me to do it in that weakened mental state) but to say my recollection of my birth was utter fantasy, and to show zero compassion for what I went through - that was a kick in the stomach I hadn't had in a while.
I shouldn't have gone there. But bloody hell, it hurts. I have a small but stubborn side of me that wants to make him listen & I have to get it to understand that is never going to happen, & it's pointless. He has truly shown his true colours this time - ugly, dark and depressing.
My LO is very poorly this week soni'n not sure I can get to my therapist by fingers crossed. I could really do with it to try & unravel this.
Thank you all again. I got a buzz last week from my amazing session but this has shown me I have a long way to go, strength wise.
Sorry for phone typos. Juggling peppa pig dominoes, marbles & drawings as I type.
Sorry to hear you're having a wobble, ohso. Don't worry, just settle in and let it pass We can't control everything - but we do know everything changes.
It's normal for averagely well-adjusted people to feel a seismic sense of shock when we begin to realise just how different the world looks through different eyes! It's one of those things that we know theoretically, if we're neurotypical & have developed theory of mind. At various later points, we get personal insights into the minds of others whose view is massively at odds with ours. Doesn't matter how good your theory, it's still something of a body blow. And then there's the realisation that most of those others don't understand your perspective and won't (or can't) grasp that theirs is not the only one.
Can we alter other people's minds? Not unless we're manipulative bastards and willing to invest a lot of effort in mind control, no! We can explain ourselves and ask them to think a bit more flexibly. It's their choice whether to listen and to hear. Going back to my languages analogy, you can't force 'em to learn English or to teach you their language.
Something to bring to your therapy, maybe? I hope you and DC feel well enough for your next session.
I'm trying to understand what you're saying in relation to my situation Giltack. I do understand that the world is full of people with different views and mind sets. But this is about the reaction of a man I ended up living with for 10 years, and when I confronted him with what is essentially sexual assault and who then told me I was fantasising about my horrible birth (and his lack of help from thereafter) - that's what madee feel sick. I had no idea he thought so little of my birth. His mind is clearly so boggled by either mental health problems or former cannabis use that's it's a sieve.
I probably shouldn't have bothered but I am still angry that he will not acknowledge or apologise for the horrible things he's done. I even said I'd considered reporting the assault but that I felt it would be too painful & too long ago now to drag up through the official routes.
Why does he get to get away with it and quite possibly repeat his behaviour, and I'n the one having to have therapy paid for as a gift to try & mend me? This I will bring to my next session. Anger. Last week was relief at finding a therapist who understands me.
Unfortunately it's chicken pox so not looking great for getting out. I will have to dig deep to hold out.
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