Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Severely disabled, severely controlled and having a moan.(55 Posts)
I'm 40ish husband is 50ish, been together 20 something years, we have 2 kids early 20s/late teens.
He's always been quite controlling (IMO-he begs to differ) I've never had any access to money at all (SAHM and even child benefit was signed over to him, there was paperwork, not sure if this is still possible but it was years ago) Never been "allowed" out for girly nights out on the town etc. If a mate phoned and asked if I wanted to pop over for a bottle of wine I'd always have to say "Hang on, I'll just ask him if I'm allowed". He'd almost always say yes to that (she's in her PJs, kids upstairs in bed, no strangers in her house- was fine by him, as long as I smiled sweetly, asked nicely)
I'm bit of a homebody anyway, I never really minded not going anywhere, never felt like I was missing out on my youth or anything. I liked being a Mum, was house-proud, liked "pottering" and thought that when the kids were older and needed us less me and him would do stuff together. Days out, maybe the cinema, bag of chips at the seaside, I'm a simple lass not a one for clubbing and fancy holidays or anything anyway.
I had a few girl pals I could call in for a coffee during the day as long as I told him where I was going, when I'd be back, who'd be there (I do recognise this is controlling too but tbh again I didn't really mind, I'm really bloody boring) They often did stuff together, girls weekends to Blackpool, concerts etc, now and again one would say "You know you're always welcome, we'd love to have you there but we know there's no point asking" They'd be diplomatic, never slag my husband off or anything but I'd get the occasional "Oh for once won't you just bloody TELL him you're coming with us!"...after years they just stopped asking.
There were minor instances of violence in those days but they were very few and far between. I know I sound like a complete effin' doormat but I knew what was what and I was genuinely happy. All I ever wanted in life was happy kids, a cozy home, odd trip to the park or whatever and I had it. I did part-time classes to get my GSCEs and other qualifications so I'd have a better chance of getting a job (misspent early youth unfortunately) The kids were getting older, I started doing volunteer work alongside college which coincided with a house move (at his insistence, the old house was "depressing" him, he hated it for still unspecified reasons, that's what was making him snappy/angry so he said, still no idea why) The new house was a dump so I was scrubbing, writing essays, working, painting walls, unpacking etc etc...and my health (never the best, I've always been physically weak) took a nose-dive. No one could figure out what was wrong with me so there were phsyio appointments, hospitals, tests, more tests on top of everything else. I was permanently knackered, in agony and feeling like a complete failure. Other women run homes, have kids, work full time and there was me crying and wailing after 2 days volunteer work per week. Felt so guilty and the odd snidey "Hmmph, some of us have to work full time" comments from mates and family made me feel like shit. My husband's never really worked and I know we were judged as "scroungers"...I really wanted to get a career, finally have a little money, be able to treat the kids, hold my head up...but my sodding health.
Somehow we ended up drinking at home a few nights a week "It'll help you sleep, you're in so much pain" (no meds forthcoming then as no one knew what was wrong)..."You've had such a busy week sweetheart, you deserve a treat"...and then life went to shit. His violence, moods, anger just exploded. I've no idea what was up with him in those years but he just changed so much. The drinking didn't help matters (understatement) and it got to be every night. Then life just went to utter crap and misery for years. I got rapidly worse, started losing my mobility, completed (and passed) my courses but was too ill to start looking for work. I was unable to keep up with the housework so the house started looking shabby and untidy, we were completely skint, money wasted on booze. He got more controlling, I wasn't even allowed to go and do the supermarket shops with him any more. I hated money being spent on drink but I was so weak I thought "Well he's bought it anyway, it's sitting there, I can't sleep for pain I may as well drink with him"...I'm so ashamed of myself. I think I became an alcoholic for a few years.
Back then he blacked my eyes, throttled me, held a kitchen knife to my throat (for throwing stale bread away) kicked me, threw me, broke my specs hitting me in the face (then refused to give me money to get them repaired) so then I couldn't leave the house for MONTHS and months (who's going to go out in public balancing one armed glasses on their face!) Wouldn't let me have money to get my hair cut, so I looked like a tramp. Every small request turned into a battle, weeks or months of negotiations for things like a supermarket hair dye that would eventually turn into "Tell me what you want, I'll get it for you when I do the shopping"...he couldn't or wouldn't understand why I might just want to browse the shelves myself. There was always an excuse, always a PLAUSIBLE excuse "I couldn't get it last week like I said I would, there was an unexpected bill". "I know I said you could come with me last time, it's not my fault you were ill that day". He would scream at me if I answered the house-phone in case it was debt collection. I've now got a bit of phone phobia, calls to my friend got less and less, I don't blame her for not ringing me these days, as far as she knows I never bothered ringing her.
I ended up in a wheelchair, mystery illness was diagnosed (incurable, very painful, now on serious painkillers and cocktail of meds + causes multiple other health probs, lungs, GI issues, major fatigue and more) I could no longer do any housework, home got FILTHY, I got more ashamed, made excuses to not have visitors. My world got very small, just me and the laptop and a few online mates.
He begged for us to move again, the house was "sending him mad" If we moved everything would change, he'd take me out (I was housebound by this point, for no good reason other than "I thought you'd be too tired" or "It doesn't occur to me to take you out, you need to ask more/be firmer with me") He said he was going to step up and take care of me, bathe me more often, help me get dressed more often (living in my dressing gown, unwashed, sometimes unfed coz I can do very little for myself) He'd do more housework, I could apply for DLA and it would be my money to get whatever I needed to help me live a more normal life.
We moved miles away to a tiny village where I don't know anyone, I got DLA (Except I didn't. He took control of that, I never saw it) he miraculously did stop hitting me, just suddenly (no violence at all for 5 years now) I get more baths, I get fed...I still don't get out of the house but he's great at taking care of me when I'm ill, he's always buying me little treats, make up, socks, chocs. I stopped drinking totally, he didn't but even drunk he's never ever violent now.
Last year, for the first time ever (despite everything he always seemed devoted to me) I suspected him of having an emotional affair with a neighbours relative. He says I'm mad, I'm crazy, I'm a bitch for suspecting. The violence has stopped so why aren't I happy now? He says he physically takes care of me so why do I moan about being trapped in the house when I'm ill anyway, why should he be forced to go to places he doesn't want to? It's selfish of me to want the house tidy and clean when he does so much for me (cooking, bathing, sorting meds, collecting prescriptions, GP appointments) I'm never happy, he tries so hard, he's always buying me stuff (true) But I'd rather not live in a hovel and do without the clothes he buys me (that I never get the chance to wear anyway) Cleaning the bomb-site of a kitchen would be a better gift to me than a box of chocolates. Clearing piles of rubbish from the floor so the house is SAFE for me would be a better gift than body lotion...but then I feel like an ungrateful bitch. The kids hate me, they think I moan at Dad too much, it's my own fault coz I don't ask to go outside, I should stop moaning about the house (I am so dreadfully ashamed of it though, it often makes me feel suicidal) but they don't see all the times I plead and get promises that are forgotten about the next day. They don't understand why I want access to money "Tell Dad what to get when he's out, you know he'll buy you whatever you want!"...They think I'm bitter (I try not to be, but maybe I am) about being disabled, there's not a week that goes by without someone screaming at me that I'm an evil cow, but they've no idea what he's like when they aren't here. The promises that never materialise.
He's already made the effort to stop the violence, to calm his temper right down, made sure I was looked after more, so how hard would it be to tidy up and take me outside? I know he does so much for me, am I expecting too much? We had a lovely Xmas, I feel like such a horrible bitch for moaning but this pigsty got me so down, despite how sweet he was. I don't know if how much it effects me is normal. It's SO disgusting though and just looking around makes me want to scream and cry.
The switch from DLA to PIP means I've lost it and I'm fighting with the DWP to get it reinstated, there's no one able to help me get out more, family have their own lives (and think I'm happy with a wonderful husband who takes good care of me physically, I'm fed, I'm clean, he clears up my puke, I'm "lucky") I have nowhere to go, not a penny to my name, no driving license, no passport, no ID. No bank account (DLA was paid at post office-cash only and I don't know the PIN) no credit/debit cards of any kind. No friends anymore (lost touch with everyone) no mobile phone, a phobia of the landline. I'm never alone to even think or breathe (apart from now-he goes to bed a few hours before me, late into the night is the only time I get to myself otherwise there is always someone with me) I can't get myself dressed. I can't even mobilise my own wheelchair so unless someone offers to push me I am completely stuck. I just can't go on. I beg and beg and beg for change I get promises but nothing changes. I want to be the old me, the person my kids loved, who looked smart, read books, had a clean and tidy house, went outside and got fresh air, saw the sky, birds and the trees. I hate who I am it's not "me" it's someone I'm forced to be...I just want to live before I die.
Oh god op I have no words that can help you. You write so eloquently and you're clearly very intelligent. I couldn't leave your post unanswered. Hopefully someone more helpful will be along shortly or may have already posted by the time I do.
this is probably one of the most upsetting stories I have read on here.
I'm concerned even the 'old' you was controlled.
God that sounds horrendous. I don't know where to start with advice.
If you are severely disabled you must be under the care of GP, doctors, social services? Could you start there by telling them your story and asking for support to get out?
You need to contact Women's Aid.
You CAN leave this arse of a man. You can get your benefits paid to you. You can get direct payments so you can employ decent carers to support you.
Please please contact WA. You can do it by email if you don't have private access to the phone.
I'm so sorry for the abuse you are enduring. Who can you talk to about this? Is it possible to speak to your GP? You deserve so much more,Op.
Although you say he does a lot for you, he still sounds very controlling and abusive. Did you know a law was being passed today which gives more support to people who are being emotionally abused, this includes not having access to bank cards!
I can't understand why you have never had access to money, what a pig.
You sound as though you have been through a hell of a lot.
Being able to go outside is not an abnormal request and I can't understand why he won't take you outside?
Oh my gosh op this is just awful please please ring women's aid - or contact them via their website - and get some help. Also try "contact a family" - they generally help families with disabled children but if you explain how utterly desperate you are they may be able to help. They have been very good at giving advice to us about help with our severely disabled son.
Also - could you fake something to get you into a and e and talk to someone there? I know it sounds drastic but this situation is drastic, you need to get away from your dh. He's controlled you for far too long.
Please note as well that it makes absolutely no difference if he is violent now or not - in the eyes of women's aid etc he is still an abuser as he is financially and emotionally abusing you so don't let the lack of violence now put you off contacting people.
Omg. You poor thing.
You need to leave this abusive cunt. You are in an abusive relationship, and there ARE people to help you.
Jesus, what a sad post. Please speak to Womens Aid or your GP. You could be so much happier, be comfortable and have interests.
Tell your family the truth, ask them to support you as you move towards a better life without your husband.
On a practical note OP, how have you 'lost' your DLA in the transition to PIP ? The only way he can 'deal' with any of your DWP business is to be designated as your appointee, which would require you to give permission when a DWP visiting officer to visit your home and see that you are either incapable of looking after your own affairs or willing to allow him to handle your affairs. This however would not preclude you from being assessed for the PIP. How did the assessment take place ?
I am so sorry to hear about your situation.
I agree with everyone else. You can get out and you must, but I can imagine it probably seems terrifying and impossible to you.
I think if you can get to a hospital and make it clear what's going on, you can get help.
Are you ever alone enough to call women's aid?
Oh my gosh, that is awful. You poor thing. Please phone women's aid and ask for help. You could be so much better off, in all aspects of your life, without him.
Speak to women's aid, they will help you to get out.
Can women's aid care for someone severely disabled?
I'm not asking to discourage, it's just I think this situation is not rare, so I would like to know.
Agree woman's aid. You are being emotionally and financially abused and neglected. You deserve more.
I feel under qualified to offer advice.
This is one of the worst cases of abuse I have ever seen here.
OP you need to get out. Please contact women's aid as others have said.
Calling the Helpline
The 24hr freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge) is available on 0808 2000 247 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It is answered by fully trained female helpline support workers and volunteers who will answer your call in confidence. All calls to the helpline are free from mobiles and landlines.
Before you call
Be sure that you are safe when you call the helpline. This means that the perpetrator of the abuse is not in the same property as you (even if they are in another room, the garden or asleep).
The helpline worker needs to ensure you are not overheard to keep you safe from harm. It’s important to be aware that the perpetrator of the abuse may overhear your call and any information provided by the helpline worker.
Be prepared to not get through immediately
Due to high volume of calls, it is not always possible for a caller to connect immediately to a helpline worker during our peak times of 9.30-3.30pm Monday to Friday.
The voicemail service provides information on safety and alternative sources of assistance and allows callers to leave a message to be called back. Message are checked regularly and calls returned if it is safe to do so. If you’d prefer not to leave a message, you may find it is easier to get directly through to a helpline worker between 7pm and 7am.
Have a pen and paper or something to write on
The helpline worker may give you telephone numbers of relevant services or of refuges, or a reference number for your call.
Leave a voicemail
If you are calling on behalf of someone else, don’t leave their details on the voicemail system. The helpline will never return a call from a third party.This is because we cannot guarantee that the the person is alone and safe, or that they have given their consent for the helpline to call them.
Who can call the helpline?
What can I ring the helpline about?
I’m not sure it’s domestic abuse. He hasn’t hit me yet, or it was only once.
I’m not sure I should call, I’m not in danger
Is it confidential? Will you tell anyone else or ring the police or report me to social services?
What's the core purpose of the helpline?
What kind of advice is given via the helpline?
What kind of response is given to emails?
I don't speak English can you still help?
My hearing isn't very good on the phone. What should I do?
Will the number show up on my phone bill?
Is it free from a mobile?
What happens if I get put through to voicemail?
I have already called once, can I call again?
Who answers the phone?
The person I spoke to last was really nice; can I speak to her again?
What other information is available to help me?
The Survivor’s Handbook, covers every aspect of seeking help and support, including how to make yourself and your children safe, your legal rights and how you can help a friend experiencing domestic abuse.
It also provides practical information about your housing options. The range of refuge and other domestic abuse services available to you and information about how to look after your physical and mental health.
There are also specialist domestic abuse services and helplines available. Find your local service
Oh dear, I am so, so sorry to hear you are suffering so much. It is truly heartbreaking. Please contact WA and ask for advice, tell your family and your friends how your husband is really like. They must help you, they really must. Show them this post. You deserve so much better
Op you deserve so much more than this life, you have made a brave first step by posting on here, which shows you have realised this is all just so wrong.
Make the next step by calling WA
This is the saddest, most tragic story I've ever read
Please pick up the phone the next time you are alone ( whatever time that may be ) and ring someone. You need to find out about and assert the rights that you have been so cruelly stripped of! Ring WA like others suggest. They are a great 1st line of contact and a wealth of info. I feel like you should be copying what you've posted here and sending it to them or the Citizens Advice, Social Services etc etc, send it to everyone who is in a position to help you. It gives the whole history of your ill-treatment, abuse and suffering right up to the present.
Email it to your GP....ANYONE! Nobody could fail to be moved by what you've written and many are in a position to help.
You 2 kids are also abusing you and enabling your husband. I guess it's learned behaviour due to living with this shithead their entire lives but this just adds to your suffering! You are a prisoner, 100% reliant on them 3....no bloody wonder you're suicidal!
Please, please....if you can't use the phone, due to your phobia or constant presence of others, email your above post to as many people as you can. I would include any old friends you've lost contact with, family etc.....people will be horrified at the extent of your suffering and the entire background and history. You WILL get responses and people WILL help because you matter. You have the basic rights to have a decent, safe environment and to have your simple wishes met, just like anyone else. It's not like you're asking for much!! Just to have YOUR money in your bank account etc etc....Christ, and the fact you would like to get outside like any normal person....You are entitled to SO MUCH. But you need to start the ball rolling with making contact.
Nobody can help you if they aren't aware of your predicament and us on MN can only do so much in cyberspace. You need Real Life help. So please just start by sending your post to as many people as you can think of. They will prioritise your case, I'm certain of that. All your rights have been stripped by that evil fucker, it's time to get your life back!
Oh and btw....why hasn't he investigated getting you carers in to help? If you're both on benefits you're entitled to something. You need to start with what you've got. So make contact and ask for help using your laptop late at night. Start tonight.
Ocean, your post has me in tears. You deserve so much more. I hope you get all the help you need. x
Join the discussion
Please login first.