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How long before you recovered?(19 Posts)
I'm a long time lurker in need of some handholding.
I was in a relationship with my XP for 18 months. I went NC approximately three months ago. I went to the police, they believed me and I don't expect to hear from him again.
During my relationship, I learned from Mumsnet that my ex was emotionally abusive. He repeatedly called me names like fucking c**t, deluded c**t, slag, dumb-bitch, horrible bastard, psychopath, little girl etc.
He would threaten me, eg: "I'll fu**ing destroy you", "I'll ruin you," "When I snap it will be too late," "I'll smash your iPad," "I'll really burn your life down," "You'll be sorry," "I don't care about the consequences," "You'll have to call the police," "I'll make you pay dearly," etc.
He's told lies about me and lied to others about seeing me. I initially wondered what I was doing wrong and if I was overreacting to his "words." Eventually, I wondered what was wrong with him. By the end, I was genuinely scared of him and would shake in fear. More than a few times, I was vommiting with stress.
Before I went to the police, I stupidly asked a couple of his friends for help. They (of course) went back to him. He said terrible things about me and abused me further, until the police got involved. Ironically, I lost a friend and not him, adding to my sense of injustice.
By the time I went to police, I was a shadow of myself. Just after I met my ex, I sought out treatment to deal with a traumatic event (which he knew about) and his actions had caused a severe relapse in my symptoms. I was also, at that point, understandably very depressed.
I'm waiting for EMDR. I can't have counselling from Women's Aid until I have EMDR. I've signed up for groups but I have to wait. I've read Lundy Bancroft.
I wanted to know how others dealt with the embarrassment? (I was so distressed, in front of his friends.) I keep blaming myself for provoking him, by speaking to his mates and feel angry at myself for reacting with such terror, anger and distress. I also blame myself for being so naive, thinking they might help. Now, I fear going out, to certain places, incase I see any of them - coupled with my reaction at the time, I can only imagine the things he has said.
Because his friends didn't feel any concern for me, I still wonder (please don't flame me) did I overreact to his threats?
How long did it take for you to recover? I've made some progress but it's very painful still.
Any validation from some wise women would be greatly received.
Don't seem to be able to reply to this thread. I've been trying for a while!
Everytime I type out my reply, the thread freezes. Sorry OP - will try again later.
I'm so sorry you've been through this. I had a similar relationship that lasted for 6 years, followed by another similar one for 18 months. Never again!
I'd say - and you might not want to hear this - that it took 18 months to two years to get myself back on track again to the point where I wasn't obsessing about it all or thinking about it all very much.
I had counselling which helped massively (I paid for it myself). I joined the Psychopath Free internet forum which I would credit with saving my sanity.
I threw myself into a new hobby - running - and entered some races. Having to train for them took my mind off things and I met a whole new bunch of lovely people.
Going NC is brilliant and don't ever be tempted to look him up on social media. Staying NC helps to stop the obsessive thoughts.
I hope some of this helps. Well done for leaving him and for going NC. He sounds a nasty piece of work and his friends sound awful (often it's easier for people to believe that their friend isn't a complete bastard as then they'd have to do something about it). And no, you didn't overreact to his threats at all.
Hello Elanora, thank you for your kind words and experience. I'm sorry you also went through this and twice. My gut feeling is that this is something that will take a while to get over. Having never been through it, I have no idea. It floored me and I'm still reeling.
I know it's something I need help getting over, luckily I am near the top of the waiting list. I can't afford to pay currently but I don't have much time to wait.
I'm going to take up exercising again and hope I can find the motivation to do more once this down mood lifts.
Sigh, I wish I could switch my mind off from trying to process everything. Everyday my thoughts go over the same things but according to your experience too, that's normal.
I can't understand why I still care about his friends actions/beliefs about me but it's adding to my despondency.
I've seen that Internet forum. It made me panic whilst reading it! I felt he had no empathy towards me but them I minimised it. According to him, I'm the psychopath! He's the victim, in all of this X
Because his friends didn't feel any concern for me, I still wonder (please don't flame me) did I overreact to his threats?
Op, sometimes birds of a feather flock together, and it seems to be true in the case of this abusive bastard. He has chosen a troupe of yes-men, hangers-on and equally morally-bankrupt fuckwads to surround him and normalise his behaviour.
It is the same instinct which causes alcoholics to gravitate towards each other - they can feel that their own drinking is normal because "all my friends drink as much as I do."
Do you know how long you will have to wait for the EMDR? If you are coping "okay" at the moment while waiting, then hang in there, but if you are not coping with everyday life then I'd strongly suggest doing anything you can to get treatment privately, which will be a lot quicker and would put you in the driving seat (i.e. you can choose a therapist to work with who suits you, rather than getting what you're given.)
In the meantime I'd suggest treating yourself very kindly, as if you were recovering from a serious illness (which you are - your ex being the bacteria in question!) Lots of self-care, nice bubble baths, good healthy food, enjoyable exercise, spending time with positive, kind people who will support you. Don't try to bury yourself in work or fall into the trap of neglecting yourself.
You are worth recovering and you will get through this
Hello Pocket. Thank you for what you've said. The first part of your message made me smile, something I appreciate. I think you're right but I still kick myself. It's been bothering me for months, mainly because I acted in a blind panic, rather than rationally, so I felt embarrassed and ashamed.
I'm hoping within 3 months (the EMDR.) I looked into private EMDR and they said to wait for the NHS treatment, as I'm next in line. My problem stems from being desperate to talk about it and about some things before I met him. I've been too wary to talk much in RL, expect to a couple of friends who've never been through it. His friends reactions stopped me from telling others.
I will try and be kinder to myself and care for myself more. I do feel like I've been through a lot and a bad depression. I'm too hard on myself and because I wasn't validated by everyone I've been thinking I overreacted even though deep down I suspected I hadn't. X
Hi Edie30 so sorry you have been through this. You have clearly been through a traumatic time. I am 15 years on from leaving my EA ex 'D' H so can perhaps give some perspective. I'm also now a Hypnotherapist and my now DH is the opposite of EA so hopefully qualified to help on both counts...For me it was his family who acted like your ex's friends. Not good and made me doubt myself massively too. The good news is I could not have imagined how good my life is now 15 years ago. Please do make sure you realise and say to yourself over and over again that 'there is nothing wrong with me, he and his friends are the ones at fault'. This is the truth which you know deep down and the more you move away timewise from his and his (spineless) friends you will realise more and more. You are doing everything right, getting yourself back is wonderful and you are free of him now. Being kind to yourself is something else you have recognised is important and you can do that in so many little ways that really add up for you from a walk in the sunshine, to a magazine or whatever suits you.The EMDR will help as will Counselling and /or Hypnotherapy. If you want to chat more please do message me. I am q private so prefer offline. Best wishes OP. xx
Hi Best, thank you for giving me hope for the future. I'm glad you went on to meet somebody. Right now, it's still raw and I'm sworn off men for the foreseeable future (read forever at this point.) I'll have a look into hypnotherapy. Someone had mentioned this aswell as NLP.
The self doubt has been crippling me. If it wasn't for the police thinking it was unacceptable (and of course the friends I told) I would've told myself It was OK and that it was my fault even though I knew in my heart that it couldn't be.
Honestly, it's been eating away at me and I'm touched at your responses X
The counselling should prove invaluable. Learning what happened, the patterns, your responses and how you've been programmed to act based on your own upbringing can be a very freeing exercise.
Treating yourself as though you're recovering is excellent advice. Gentle, lots of rest, exercise and nourishing food (make soup, it's a lovely thing to do and freeze what's left for the bad days).
Know that recovery is never linear and you will be very up and down. But you absolutely will recover and be stronger and wiser.
His friends are fools. Find some lovely ones of your own. Don't look back.
Thank you Jassy. I'm looking forward to counselling. I need to work on my self esteem also, as this has totally knocked my confidence. I think that staying with him suggests I have some things I need to look at.
This has made me realise that I've been too hard on myself. I'll be more self compassionate, understanding of myself and patient with my recovery. I've been beating myself up badly and it added to my depressed feelings.
I just had a small cry. Thank you for this validation X
There are lots of free online resources while you wait for counselling that will be useful reading (bibliotherapy they call it.)
Google around and read avidly. You'll find the same ideas and messages coming up again and again. It's also validating.
Good luck. You sound so brave. The hard part is over. Now you have all the fun of deciding who you'll be for the rest of your life.
Nothing unique to add. Just wanted to say, you'll be fine. Look after yourself.
I'll google that resource Jassy. I love to read, so that won't be hard. Thank you for calling me brave.
I'll fall asleep thinking about your positive final thoughts.
I was once you.
Now I kick ass and eat bastards for breakfast!
Goodnight. All will be well.
I love it and I'll hold onto your positive words. Goodnight X
I am still lost, alone and terrified. Don't know if I'm paranoid, normal or insane. The partner in question turned me emotionally inside out over a five year period, it's been about nine months. My embarrassment would have Been less if I had been more honest (was given time off work for injuries following a 'car crash' which were from a beating- but were so severe a car crash was totally believable. It's been mumsnet support that has helped me keep going - you need no validation, I hope you have support to allow you to move forward to the place you deserve to be in. Pm if I can hand hold.
Thank you Preemtive.
Hello Roundles, I'm so sorry you're struggling, I fully understand. I'm sure you're normal, these men make you feel insane. I felt I couldn't trust my own judgement and I think that's why I needed validation. I knew he was wrong but when they don't admit it or blame you, it makes you feel crazy. I understand why you didn't tell - it's frightening.
9 months is nothing after 5 years of abuse. I was depressed, scared and anxious 24/7 at the end. That's what makes me angry, that you just don't get over these things overnight and that it can make you ill. Or the abuse makes you act out and they use that to play the victim. It's infuriating.
I have some support but the counselling will be the best. I'll try opening up a bit more to my friends. I've always seen how supportive the women on here could be and I'm glad I posted
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