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Today I face my abuser in court.

(84 Posts)
deadrat Wed 18-Nov-15 05:28:11

Today I go to court for the 2nd divorce hearing to face my severely abusive, manipulative, coercive, controlling stbxh. I feel quite sick. His behaviour has been appalling. This is the man to whom I lost my entire personality for over 20yrs, who told me what clothes to wear, who stopped me working, who never went out with me, who told me what roads to drive down, who wouldn't even let me do the food shop, who was so severely controlling one of our dcs had a catastrophic breakdown & ended up in hospital. Now I'm almost free but I'm in crisis at having to face him again. It took such an enormous amount of help for me to open my eyes & escape. I have fantasies of throwing myself off tall buildings rather than face any more, I can't cope. Learning to be myself again after all this time is a massive adjustment. I don't know whether to go into court as a lioness or a mouse. I have nothing in the world, no family bar my own dc's, everything we owned is in his sole name, the settlement will have to be prized from his death-grip. The whole thing makes me feel sick.

sofato5miles Wed 18-Nov-15 05:35:24

Wow, to get this far you have been astonishing! You have already taken HUGE steps. Try to think of this as one of the last battles. This is your time to be heard.

redcaryellowcar Wed 18-Nov-15 05:42:37

I hope today goes as well as can be expected, my mum always says when you are facing a difficult day imagine what you'll feel like this time tomorrow, (when hopefully it'll all be over??) can you do some looking after yourself eg getting a prepared meal from a supermarket, your favourite bar of chocolate/ treat of your choice.
I'm absolutely no expert in this area, but imagine that although there are practical reasons for needing settlement of cash/ possessions etc, the most important thing is your freedom from him?
Will be thinking of you today thanks

Hurr1cane Wed 18-Nov-15 05:51:47

"You just have to keep breathing"

This is a quote that helps me through the toughest times.

You've been so strong and you're nearly there. You're nearly free. Just carry on, tiny little steps, do what needs to be done, carry on the path you've started down, and one day you'll open your eyes and everything will have changed.

amysmummy12345 Wed 18-Nov-15 06:26:31

Heard this on a tv show so apologies if it sounds a bit cheesy, but when the road ahead seems harrowing, turn around and look at how far you've already come, best wishes for today, take it a minute at time xx

goddessofsmallthings Wed 18-Nov-15 06:33:51

Your dress code should be smart but sombre. If you have a favourite 'good luck' dress that's particularly colourful, wear it under a plain coat and don't reveal it until the hearing is over.

Give every impression of being a mouse but fight like a lioness for what is rightfully yours - and your dcs.

In the unlikely event that you find yourself in eye contact with the twunt give him the death stare, or blank him by looking away in a bored manner.

The next few hours will be torturous but hang on to the thought that, having come so far, you CAN and you WILL do this and once the hearing gets underway time will fly.

Rest assured that you won't be alone as there'll be a virtual army of mumsnetters standing shoulder to shoulder with you in the courtroom. smile

I wish you a favourable outcome and hope you'll hurry back with an update flowers

BastardGoDarkly Wed 18-Nov-15 06:35:43

Sending you strength for today op.

You've done amazingly to get this far! Your dc will be so much better off when this is finally over.

Grit your teeth, you can do it.


SparklyTinselTits Wed 18-Nov-15 06:42:43

Oh OP....sending you all the cyber hugs possible. flowers
You are beyond brave for facing him today. You are so much stronger than him. This vile creature who crushed your spirit will see today that your are 10ft tall without him smile
I understand how scary it must be. I was only 5 when my biological father was in court to answer for his abuse, so I didn't have to go through the court process. But my poor sister did. And she said that in the dock, he looked like a weak old man. Not the slime that terrorised us and my mum.
You have gigantic lady-balls....bigger than any cunt who thinks its ok to control someone else's life. flowers

kittybiscuits Wed 18-Nov-15 06:47:09

Thinking of you today and of your amazing journey to freedom flowers

Jftbo74 Wed 18-Nov-15 06:48:40

Blimey you are so close to tying things up. Stay strong, it's almost over.

Go in and just be very very brutally honest. Don't be a lioness or a mouse. Be calm, collected, thoughtful, eloquent, self respecting and honest.

Nottyougin Wed 18-Nov-15 06:50:12

Keep going OP you've come so far- get through today and you're a huge way forward in your journey flowers

EliGold Wed 18-Nov-15 06:55:43

OP do you have a barrister or solicitor? I hope so. Take comfort from them. They will have been in this situation hundreds of times before. They will know exactly how to handle him and his lawyer. They will be aware of your nerves. Let them know how you feel. Unless you have to give love evidence which you would have been told about it's unlikely you'll even need to speak so go along, have confidence in your lawyers and ignore him. You are free of him. That's the most important thing. You are so close to it all being over. Just 1 more day to get through. Good luck and wishing you all the best for the rest of your life!

hesterton Wed 18-Nov-15 06:55:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lolimax Wed 18-Nov-15 07:00:48

Good luck today OP. I love what someone said further up about imagining an army of us mumsnetters being there in court with you. Do it for yours and your babies future. Thinking of you and sending strong thoughts flowers

strawberryblondebint Wed 18-Nov-15 07:04:20

I like to repeat "this too shall pass" over and over. You will be amazing. Look how far you have come. Will be thinking of you. This will be the hardest thing you will have to do for a long time. Hugs X

Sighing Wed 18-Nov-15 07:10:36

flowers go into yourself, all that strength it took to get you here is there. Hang on tight to it today.
Blow away the flinches you might have when you see them with a quick sigh. Push negative thoughts out. Flick them away with your hands as well.
Picture a soothing bath/ meal with friends or laughing yourselves silly with DC (indeed all of these).

ARV1981 Wed 18-Nov-15 07:14:30

I'll be in the mumsnetters army by your side in spirit.


PinPon Wed 18-Nov-15 07:23:01

Good luck to you today. I'll be thinking of you.

Groovee Wed 18-Nov-15 07:23:37

The idea of seeing him will be what's triggering your stress over it.

But having been in the situation of facing someone who had caused me so much stress and harm, I managed to smile and show I had turned my life around.

Good luck OP X

Rozalia0 Wed 18-Nov-15 07:27:06

I'll be there with you today, in your MN army. Thinking of you OP. fantastic that you've come this far thanks

I'm also not too long out of a similar 20 year marriage and still discovering terrible things he did. My son has nightmares about STBXH coming back.

My suicidal thoughts and feelings disappeared, though, when STBXH was out of the home.

Here's a handhold OP, we can get over this and have good lives. I'll be thinking of today. MN has wonderful support for women recovering from this kind of thing, please use it.

TheSpectreOfMorningtonCrescent Wed 18-Nov-15 07:39:32

Another stranger standing arm in arm with the mn army behind you. Your life ahead WILL be better.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 18-Nov-15 07:39:56

You won't be facing your ex in battle; you are both coming before the court as equal supplicants, not as master and unruly servant. He may have ruled his own household with a rod of iron but he is not the big boss in the courtroom. If he tries to throw his weight around he will be slapped down. Judges do not like their authority being encroached upon (not so much an ego thing for the most part, just an insistence on respect for the whole institution). His best bet would be to be ever so 'umble and ingratiating. Ugh.

We only had one court visit when XH and I divorced and neither of us got to say a single word. Hope it's something like that for you!

DelphiniumBlue Wed 18-Nov-15 07:50:09

With you in spirit x

OurBlanche Wed 18-Nov-15 08:40:35

If it is of any help, my aunt had a similar experience about 10 years ago. She stood in court with tears rolling down her face. She was very quiet in her answers, but spoke clearly. She just couldn't stop the tears flowing.

Her ex, my blood relative, said later that the sight of her like that totally unnerved him. I don't think he ever accepted quite how controlling and nasty he had been, but he did seek counselling and has always said that that picture of her still haunts him.

So be brave, you have come such a long way, you are strong, you have shown that. Today all you have to do is let the court hear the legalese and make their decision.

Good luck.

(Oh, my aunt is now a happy woman, we keep in regular contact and her life is indescribably better without my uncle in it)

Wonderwho Wed 18-Nov-15 08:58:01

Another addition to the mumsnet army. Hold your head up high, You are in control of your own life now, be strong for your DCs and remember we are all behind you.

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