Talk

Advanced search

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.

Recovering from abuse, one baby step at a time

(3 Posts)
aLeafFalls Sun 24-Apr-16 11:10:52

Without going into loads of detail, I'm a year or so separated from a very abusive husband. Nearly 20 years of it.

As time goes by I recognise more and more the ways I live and things I do because he insisted on it. Not going along with his rules meant anger escalating to violence depending how quickly I backed down.

One of his big things was my appearance. He was happy to spend plenty of money on my clothes (which he chose), makeup, hair cuts, jewellery. Might sound great, but it wasn't, it was another set of rules. The length and shape of my nails, brows, style and colour of my hair, getting sent back inside if I left the house with no lipstick.

So today, I'm mostly cleaning the house and a bit of shopping. I've just got dressed and put my make up on. Second best foundation, one coat only of mascara, no brow colour, no hair product, just ran my fingers through it. No jewellery. I still look "groomed", but I'm happy with it. I haven't felt some inner compulsion to Red Carpet prep myself for the day.

A tiny thing, but to me it's significant progress. I'm proud of myself. I'm slowly, slowly rediscovering myself. Typing this out has actually made me cry. Good job this is waterproof mascara! I will recover.

Anyone else taking baby steps?

GymBergerac Sun 24-Apr-16 14:25:06

Not these days but about seventeen years ago. Things like wearing my grotty scruffy jogging bottoms at the weekend just because they were comfy, and I could because he wasn't there to tell me I looked disgusting. Being able to sleep in soft squishy pyjamas rather than having to be naked so he had "access" all night angry
Going shopping and not watching the clock every minute because he used to time me.

You keep taking those baby steps, enjoy them, you'll get there!! flowers

ForgivenNotForgotten Sun 24-Apr-16 18:16:55

Blimey, I've never worn brow colour in my life grin

I am doing the opposite in terms of the way I look, and starting to make a bit of an effort for the first time in a decade. ExH didn't really like me looking nice, I think he felt threatened by it. I have been slobbing around in knackered jeans and horrible charity shop jumpers for ages. I still use charity shops (can't afford not to) but have bought some dresses, and I even had my eyebrows threaded for the first time ever last week.

It doesn't matter if the kids chalk all over the garden patio. It doesn't matter if I leave the washing up until the morning. I am allowed to listen to music that I like sometimes. I am allowed to play the piano. I am allowed to study, and to work.

It takes ages to recover, I think. It really is one step at a time.

Good on you for only wearing one coat of mascara. In these small things we build our freedom every day.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now