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To all previously abused/controlled women

(16 Posts)
Nollynoo Sat 11-Jul-15 09:26:03

I am divorcing a severely abusive/controlling man. I wasn't even allowed to do the food shop! Now I have his cc to do the weekly food shop with, but as I'm doing it, I feel stressed out with pain & anxiety as I know he would tell me off if he knew what my choices were etc. & if his lawyer wasn't breathing down his neck, he'd be complaining about the cost too. (Around £90 for three of us) What I want to know is, when you're finally free, is the stress of 'can I afford this shopping on my own?' less than the stress of knowing someone's scowling over your every move? Or will I feel just as worried as I do now because I'm learning to do it all on my own under much reduced circumstances?

redmapleleaves Sat 11-Jul-15 09:34:51

I'm so sorry to hear your situation.

But yes, though things financially aren't rosy, - I'm two years out - I feel so much happier and more relaxed. What money there is, is in my control. I can make decisions based on the kids needs and mine, even if a prom dress then means we're eating porridge for a while. I'm not walking on eggshells. I'm living my life, with its ups and downs, not focussing on someone elses with mine unnoticed.

I've got a postcard I find inspiring on the wall in my bedroom. 'This is your world. Shape it or someone else will.' It always cheers me up.

Good luck. I've discovered I like being on my own, living in my skin. I'm very grateful to have the chance to discover it. Money does make a difference, but just now I've had a cup of tea in the garden at 8am, and that is priceless.

sakura Sat 11-Jul-15 12:10:18

"I can't quite afford all the food I need" is a lot less stressful than having somebody micromanaging your days and finances. Speaking from experience.

Good luck.

But can I ask, why are you still with him if lawyers have been involved? I mean you've had to enlist outside help to get him to behave reasonably?

sakura Sat 11-Jul-15 12:10:43

oh sorry, just saw you're in the process of divorce smile

Zame Sat 11-Jul-15 12:14:42

Yes, being in control of your own income and outgoings is very liberating and feels wonderful, even if you don't have much money.
Congratulations on beginning the divorce process, you will be much happier without someone breathing down your neck constantly , I still enjoy being able to go out on my own and know that I won't come home to an interrogation about where I've been

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sat 11-Jul-15 12:23:43

Well done for divorcing this man.

Is there any way you can apply for your own card, get your own finances sorted and then he will have absolutley no idea what you're spending?

I can assure you that the stress of managing alone is nowhere near as bad as the constant scrutiny of feeling beholden to someone else! I was convinced I wouldn't be able to manage the complicated business of running a home, what with me being so inept and all. Turns out that as a very intelligent and capable woman, I've done it fine for the last 4 years!

I still do a little internal skip when I buy freshly squeezed orange juice as XH couldn't tell the difference between that and value juice, so would tell me not to buy it as it was too expensive. I had to do the food shop but he went through the receipt questionning everything, so whatever I bought needed justification, sending me back to the shop if a 3 for 2 offer hadn't gone through at the till etc. (my current DP called this 'the walk of shame'!)

In fact, it is now a little treat, like flowers, that my current DP will bring fresh juice round as a gift for me since he heard about my complicated relationship with juice!

There will be all sorts of 'freedoms' that will make you realise over the next few years that you are so much better off out of this. flowers and [juice]!

BrowersBlues Sat 11-Jul-15 13:25:55

Yes, without a shadow of a doubt. Well done for having the courage to get away from him. In a while you will realise that you can do things yourself. It just takes a bit of practice in the beginning. There will be a lot of firsts.

Accept the stress you are feeling, acknowledge it and accept that stress is a very normal reaction to what you are experiencing. It would be very odd if you weren't stressed after what you have been put through by him. Nothing is ever going to be as hard as living with that torture.

When you are out shopping or doing other stressful things just remember that lots of mums on here were in your shoes and got through it. Life won't ever be a bed of roses but you can cope and you are more courageous and capable than you think. You have survived what he put you through and that takes courage.

Put your head up and your shoulders back and be very proud of yourself. You finally have a future to look forward to. Good luck!

BrowersBlues Sat 11-Jul-15 13:30:01

LOL Mark at your 'complicated relationship with juice'. How sweet of your DP. Sorry for hijack OP but you see how happy Mark is, that will be you soon.

binkiesandpopcorns Sat 11-Jul-15 14:35:04

if you don't have to answer to him now, but still feel stressed by what he would have found fault with, would you be able to pick something up in your shopping that you would love, and that he would definitely disapprove of, or would that be too stressful?

GotToFTFO Sat 11-Jul-15 18:07:20

It will definitely take time for you to adjust my financial abuser was(few yes ago now) in a different style to yours but it's still a traumatic and at the same time liberating feeling when you get control of you own life again.

Good luck to you for your future flowers

springydaffs Sat 11-Jul-15 21:51:27

Oh my, it's pure bliss when you finally break through the forcefield abusers put around you. Granted, getting through that forcefield is a challenge, no question - but OH MY GOSH it is heavenly when you do! It doesn't take long, either. Try not to take too seriously your current jitters - they pass.

Someone saw me from the top of a bus and was asking everyone 'what's happened to springy? She looks amazing!'. When I had the house to myself I rolled around on the floor! I literally ^luxuriated' in my freedom.

You've got that to come, Nolly (I'm excited for you!) Hold on, you will get there. Whatever difficulties you may face now and in the future, NOTHING comes even vaguely close to the horror of being in the grip of an abuser. The best is yet to come, you'll pick up everyday skills in record time (like riding a bike, you remember quickly) xx

GinAndSonic Sat 11-Jul-15 22:03:37

In the beginning i found being free harder than being with my ex. I would have panic attacks if i bought something i knew i wouldnt have been able to before, and i couldnt make decisions at all. My ex didnt control the finances by micro managing them, but by spending on stuff for him while i scraped up money for food and clothes from charity shops for the kids.
Now, over 18 months out, i get stressed about money but its different. Its not the suffocating panic. Because now i know i can make cuts here or there to covere a shortfall or whatever, whereas before mno matter what i said, if ex wanted to buy designer jeans or go drinking he would, and the bills just wouldnt get paid.

You will be fine. It may feel harder at first, but thats the adjustment to getting back control of your life. When you come out of that you will look back and be amazed at how far you have come.

gamerchick Sat 11-Jul-15 22:08:36

When you're sorted eventually these little things will make you hug yourself and do squees.

The best way I can describe it from a personal point.

TopOfTheCliff Sat 11-Jul-15 22:19:41

You may be a little giddy at first OP, but you will settle into a new routine soon enough.
I went away for a weekend by myself soon after leaving my XH. I sat in the hotel room and thought " I could actually open the mini bar and eat the overpriced chocolate bar and eat the nuts then drink the mixers and the alcohol" and NOBODY could tell me I was wasting money. Then I realised I could buy cheap ham and instant coffee if I wanted which XH would never have permitted. Wooooo! I was free!!
I hadn't realised how controlled I had been until it stopped and I felt the freedom.
Definitely it is better to be poor and free than living in a gilded cage unable to make your own decisions.

Evilwater Sat 11-Jul-15 22:34:30

Dear OP,
Welcome to free world.
It's amazing and scary too, I'm still getting over the anxiety too. My ex was a bit different but still it WILL get better. Honest.
I can do all sorts of crazy things now, like stay up and have music on the TV.

So for the money, believe me, if we can cope with the ex's we can do anything!!!!!!!!there is a ton of advice out in MN. Just ask and a MNer will know. Why not pop over to the credit crunch thread? Or money matters?

I'm still on my path to healing, but it's totally worth it, don't go back because of fear. Maybe it's not quite sunk in yet, but I am coping, I am looking after my son, within my limited money.

Doobigetta Sat 11-Jul-15 23:25:40

There is nothing that is worth more than the freedom and security you will find when you sit down in the evening and know that no-one is going to shout at you, or be cruel, or belittle you, or hurt you. You can fight any external battle with less pain than the ones that were in your own home. Good luck. You will be fine flowers

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