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When will i feel better? Support and advice about having left needed.(26 Posts)
I left my h in Jan of this year, with the kids. He was emotionally abusive, verbally abusive, financially abusive, very controlling, lots of emotional blackmail and near constant stonewalling and had escalated to pretty regular physical abuse.
I am now effectively single parenting my 6yo ds and 1 yo. I am working three days a week and get no financial contribution from ex. This is because he can barely afford the house I left him in, and we both wanted continuity for the kids. So I am taking a hit until I will go back to work full time.
I am finding it so difficult. I don't regret leaving exactly as it was intolerable and making me ill - I was also expected to do all of the domestic chores as well as clearing up after him, doing the vast majority with the kids etc etc, it was always difficult for me to make arrangements to see friends- but I remember the good times, the hopes for a happy family, the hopes for some financial stability, what could have been, I suppose.
I'm not bitter, I'm not angry but I am so very very sad and ground down. If I'm not at work and the kids aren't in, I cry and cry and cry. Tears literally just leak out of me, constantly. I don't want to make arrangements to see friends as I don't feel up to it, so I'm often with the kids alone or when without the kids, I'm alone as well.
I feel guilty for leaving; guilty for being a bad wife and homemaker; frightened for the future in terms of how to make the kids happy and secure; constantly worried about money; frazzled from parenting.
In others experience, is this all normal? Isn't this a bit excessive nearly 6 months on? What helped others in a similar situation ? Thank you
Oh you poor thing. Well done for leaving, that takes such strength.
It sounds like you are doing a great job. Any relationship takes time to get over, but you are also grieving for the loss of your home, stability, family unit, and -probably most importantly- grieving the relationship and future you always thought you could have. Don't beat yourself up that you are still in bits 6 months later- celebrate the fact that, despite being in bits, you haven't cracked and gone back to him, and manage to keep your sorrow hidden from your children. You should be very proud of yourself.
It was incredibly hard and I am trying my absolute best not to ever let the kids see me sad
Hi there lady, it is perfectly understandable to be sad and it is ok to cry, in fact the crying is part of the healing process.
You are grieving for everything that happened, for what you lost and what you thought or hoped your future would be.
Bringing up two kids on your own is hard work at the best of times, so cut yourself some slack, you are doing a great job.
Be kind to yourself. You have done a really brave and difficult thing in getting away from an abusive relationship. Please please please do not feel guilty.Yes there may have been good times, but the bad times were the reason you had to leave, and if anyone should be feeling guilty here then it should be your abusive ex.
Counselling of some description may well help you. Some employers offer counselling through an employee wellbeing scheme, or try via your doctor, or speak to Women's Aid. 're finances have you spoken to CAB for some benefits advice,to make sure you are claiming everything you are entitled to? I know it's hard with kids and work and everything else but for me exercise helped, if you can find an hour here or there to do something you enjoy,even if it's just a brisk walk round the local park.
You are not alone.You have us here on MN.Big hugs. Onwards and upwards x
Thanks resilience. That's heartening to read. It sometimes feels like such a struggle. I will try to be kind to myself and keep as fit and healthy as I can. Sometimes it's all I can do to clean my teeth but hopefully things will get easier. Thank you for your wise words, they have helped. Thanks also littlered.
I am on the waiting list for nhs counselling so fingers crossed that will come soon. I think I am getting all the benefits I can - bugger me its hard though. Thanks again x
I can't help you because I'm in the same place although we seperated very early Feb this year.
Being a single parent to 3 and working full time s such a juggle and it's the first time I've really needed to look at my money and stretch it out, my DC are older - 14 yrs through to 8yrs and they are all pushing boundaries whilst dealing with the break up in their own ways and we are all adjusting to the new dynamics.
Lots of things throw me off edge. I know I have done the right thing but I can't help crying and thinking that maybe I should just resign myself to a shit life with him for the ease of having someone else here, someone to empty the slow cooker and mow the lawn, referee the screaming over who is wearing who's top financial security over mental well being
I'm thinking of it as a year plan. I just keeping thinking, in the dark times that it must be easier a year down the line, things must get better than this.
Oh hopping I feel for you
Yes me too feeling similar. Except I have to say, I never had any financial security with h... also he never did empty the slow cooker or reliably mow the lawn... and in general he didn't so much referee the kids as become one himself when parenting a difficult situation .. there must be glimmers for you of being peaceful and alone in the eves, and making your own choices? I am now yelping about bath depths as seriously skint and not been on a water meter for years, and wonder what on earth I have done. Why did you leave?
He was very good around the house but I agree about the referee becoming the 4th child, I often remind myself of this when they are screaming and causing chaos. Would he be helpful? No, so why do I miss someone being here? I'm not missing him, I just crave some help.
I left because although he was helpful, he was also abusive, horrible, controlling and made me 2nd guess myself all the time. I felt unloved and unwanted, like he was always looking for someone better than me. He made the DC scared and the feeling of walking on eggshells was a normal daily feeling. The final <this is it> moment was him calling me a c**t and threatening to throw me down the stars I front of our DC.
All of the above and I still think on a daily basis whether I've made the right choice, he is now very sorry and begging to come home and I'm still here struggling...
Awww I was like that too but as a pp
Said if anyone should feel bad it's him. It just takes time. What helped me was remembering all the things I couldn't do while I was with him (seeing friends/family, buying my kids clothes, leaving housework until I was less tired, lots of stupid little things). I also had taken recordings of the rants he used to have and listening to them would leave me in no doubt that he was horrid to me. As time goes on my standards of what I expect from people are returning to where they should be so now I am feeling better I am all the more horrified at what I put up with. My kids are happier and I could see that early on. Imagining them turning out like their father is my worst nightmare and helps me to feel less sad. I also struggled with spending time with people. I have made a point of spending time only with people who are lovely and gentle and kind and this has been great for easing me back in to socialising. One lovely friend also was abused by her husband and she understands what it is like but is also good for telling me to stop it if I get sentimental about my ex.
I will reply properly but hopping, read the lundy Bancroft quotes , I can't link knackered, but do read, the thread is in relationships. My ex is the 'demand man' and I know I couldn't live with it. What your xh did was despicable. Sending support xx
Thanks zumba for positive message, I'll reply more fully tomo thanks again xx
It honestly does get better. The whole dynamic that makes you stay in an abusive relationship makes you cling to the good times and minimise the bad times (like he does) and be ridiculously grateful for him being civilised is at play here. Once you get yourself back-do things you enjoy (with me its exercise, reading and doing jigsaws or even just going on the Internet without him sticking his beak in) and be kind to yourself. Also read the Lundy Bancroft book and do freedom programme but time and living your life is the greatest healer.
Oh sorry I also went to docs and got anti depressants just to help me through the worst of it. That was a year on when my upset spiked (he got a new gf and claimed he was still emotionally attached to me despite her taking him on a long haul holiday-something we had never done ). Maybe see your doc. I also wanted to have the abuse on record just in case he decided to try for custody or anything.
ladyloriana - I'm nearly 17 months in. Initiated divorce after abuse, exh never sees kids, working part time like you. The first 6-8 months were very hard. The guilt, the anxiety, the tiredness of running the ship but not wanting to let on how awful I felt, stress of divorce, especially as more nuggets kept coming out about my ex and I had virtually no family support. I nearly had a breakdown. That raw pain has lessened.
What worked for me:
- Counselling, couldn't have done it without. Have you talked to your GP about it? You really should. Or the HV?
- tiredness: about twice a week I go to bed just after the children, regardless of what a tip the house is. I deal with it the next day. I also get the kids to do more round the house and make sure they realise I'm not their skivvy. My yngest is same age roughly as your eldest and has little things to do.
- Childcare: Swaps have saved me a fortune. I look after a mum friend's children two evenings a week, she picks mine up the days I work. I quite like to have a full house and kids often have a friend round for playdate/dinner/sleepover, I found in the earlier days it stopped me from dwelling. Some days when I didn't feel up to adult conversation I used to like the chatter of small children around. Hopefully as your 1 y old gets older things will be easier.
These are only a few things. Life is definitely more peaceful now. I'm more inward looking than I used to be. And I cry more, mostly because I can perhaps. I still feel sad sometimes, but more reflective iykwim. The guilt toward exh has gone because he's treated the kids so appalling that I've lost all respect for him. I also worked on that a lot in counselling. I am NC with him as well which has helped. I imagine that continued contact would have hindered that.
As pp said if your h is abusive make sure you record this. It's really important. Are you not going down the CMS route for support? Have you checked you have got a fair deal?
Thanks all. Really appreciate the input. I've been feeling so much better since I started the advice. Reading what lundy writes about abusive men had been revelatory. I kept scrolling through , thinking, not quite him, no - Mr Right was close, but still not it- and then I read Mr demand and it was just him to the nail and really woke me up to what I would have continued to endure. Hopping, I so encourage you to take a look. Because really it's not him you miss, as you say, it's some help. I think astrantia had excellent advice which I am going to take on, the sharing of kids pick up would be good for me I think.
He is very chanegeable - in the morning I might get an email Calling me a domineering bully, but at 4pm I might get a call asking if I want to go to a festival with him and the kids on his weekend. I gently disengaged with both. Which is new as I would usually have engaged in the madness.
I do have the abuse on record in terms of referrals and police reports. I am not getting a fair deal but I feel as though I need to wait a while for things to settle . I will address it properly.
I have the book in a drawer but not got round to reading it yet. I'm still engaging because it's easier to deal with when he is being Mr Nice, I know I'm only stalling the inevitable Mr Nasty but I honestly don't have the strength to deal with it as well as everything else right now.
Hopping keep posting on here. Keep believing in why you left. Your life is precious and valuable and you have done the best thing for your kids, and yourself. You will get through this. You are a strong, capable woman and you will be better in the long run. If you have the strength, just read the descriptors of each type of abuser. You have been conned by him. It is a tragedy to have endured what you have. But the worst is over. Can you go nc? Or low contact? Or simply disengage and feel a bit sorry for him, like a crap teenage boyfriend? He holds no real power over you. Have you had legal advice? Unmumsnetty hugs
And when you think of the emotional toll any help or niceness he gives you takes on you eventually, short or long term, that helps me to be strong .
You are a very wise women lady I know everything you say is true and the right approach but if I'm truly honest I simply scared.
I'm scared about his reaction to rejection and I'm scared at whether I'll be able to cope.
So I'm allowing emails and the odd call and I have my bingo card with me to tick off his behaviours and actions [mike] I have to focus on getting my DC back on track first, and myself and once that is accomplished I will then take the leap on inviting Mr Nice to appear, I feel in control this way.
That's totally fair enough. It's early days. Have you got things sorted in terms of contact, finances and housing? Is there a small chance he can do the narcissistic Hoover manoeuvre on you? He has worn you down. But you are still you. You are a great mum and a good person. Hold on to the facts of the matter.
Are you waiting for all your things to be sorted to keep him nice? Remember- you didn't cause it, you can't change it and you can't control it.
Sending strong thoughts your way
It* being his behavior choices. Which is exactly what they are. his choices
Don't feel guilty. You did what needed to be done for you and your children.
Doesn't he pay any child support at all?
He should take up a second job to contribute something towards his kids. Even a part time 3 nights a week or something.
Nobody should be abused, so if there's one thing to take from this - that would be it. Well done for escaping from his clutches.
My last post was a mess [blish] but thank you for understanding it how are you getting on lady?
I have a day off work today, spending it cleaning the house! He called me late last night, he was out with work, he had a rant, hello Mr truthful with a few drinks inside him. But off the back of that I've arranged a well deserved night out on Saturday whilst he has the DC, time to blow a few cobwebs away!
We have contact and Finances sorted on his terms, something else I need to look at and sort in my favour, how about you?
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