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How to get over this

(11 Posts)
Snow123 Mon 05-Sep-16 18:13:24

It's quite long sorry in advance... Around five years ago I was in a very brief albeit intense relationship, I left after it became clear he was developing abusive traits. The night that I left he was very aggressive, he pushed me over and I banged my
Head which left me feeling frightened, he also didn't let me
Leave the flat for quite a while. For the next three years he harassed me online, spread lies about me and contacted friends and family to try to cut me off. He flipped from sending nice messages to threatening and abusive ones through all types of means. Eventually he moved to the town where I lived and the contact intensified, and I kept seeing him around - often too much to really be a coincidence. One night someone tried to get into my flat when I was in and although I don't know for sure it was him- I felt like it was.The town wasn't in the uk and the country it was in had different laws relating to harassment so I couldn't really do anything about it. I moved back to the Uk as did he and a lawyer sent him a letter warning him to stop contacting
Me. He did contact me again back in January but since then I've heard nothing.

The problem is I can't get over it. I hate being at home by myself during the day, when I do go out I'm scared of being followed and I often panic if
I think someone is following me, even though in all likelihood they're just walking in the same direction. I'm married to an incredible man with a newborn baby and I feel I should be happy and enjoying this time but I can't. My husband works a way a lot
So when I'm home alone I'm frightened (our living room has patio doors and I'm terrified someone can see in) I don't even know what I'm scared of any more- I feel if he found out I had a baby the harrasment would resume but as he was never violent to me when we weren't together I know I'm being stupid.

 I also feel like I can't trust anyone because I obviously am a bad judge of Character
so when I meet anyone through baby groups etc I don't want to get to know them in case there's something wrong with them and they'll behave in a similar way. At the same time I feel incredibly lonely  I know I sound quite mad

Basically I'm asking if I need to get a grip and how to get over it? 

ImperialBlether Mon 05-Sep-16 18:16:42

He had a lawyer's letter and still contacted you? How did he contact you that time?

I'd be tempted to get a dog, OP. And I would also, for peace of mind, get some sort of CCTV system set up. It's not that I think he's lurking around, just that it might help you to actually know he's not.

Do you know where he lives and works now? Was he from this country, but working abroad when you met him?

Snow123 Mon 05-Sep-16 18:46:06

He emailed apologizing for everything but he's done that so many times it stops meaning anything. He's from the opposite end of the country to me but I don't know if he's there now or where he is to be honest as I block him on anything he comes up on.

CCTV is a good idea- will look
Into it. I just feel like I'm making a big deal out of nothing and embarrassed about how much it's affected me. X

Snow123 Mon 05-Sep-16 21:52:55

Bump

flapjackfairy Wed 07-Sep-16 22:40:07

You are not making a fuss at all. What you went through was traumatic and it will take time to recover. Counselling may be helpful to enable you to offload some of your fears. I suspect that having a newborn baby will be adding to your fears as the need to protect your child will be very strong and you may feel you have more to lose if that makes sense. Congratulations on your new arrival by the way and I am glad you have a nice man to support you. Try to focus on the positives if you can and take any practical steps you can to feel safer. Dog and cctv are good suggestions and maybe blinds at windows etc would help you feel more secure when you are alone in house. Take care and enjoy this special time

Hidingtonothing Wed 07-Sep-16 23:10:50

You have no need at all to be embarrassed about how much it's affected you OP, I had a one-off traumatic incident, nothing like as prolonged and scary as what you've been through, and it still affects me now, 3 years on. It's better though, the fear does fade with time and I agree with flapjack your feelings will be being heightened by your newborn. I would take any and every practical measure possible to make yourself feel safe, not because you aren't but it really helps control your feelings if you feel protected. Definitely get some blinds or curtains up at those patio doors, I hate that feeling that someone might be able to see in when you can't see out at night. CCTV is a great idea and not as expensive as you might think and it's worth getting your local police crime prevention officer round to advise how else you can beef up security. Dogs can be a blessing and a curse IMO, I wouldn't be without mine and they do make you feel protected but my DH works away a lot too and it sometimes makes me worse if they bark at night (usually because they've heard a cat or fox in the garden) even though I know I would be grateful for the early warning if the noise they've heard really was something to worry about. Really you have to work out what will make you feel safe, my doors and windows have extra locks and for a long time after the 'incident' I had to have a baseball bat or similar in pretty much every room blush I wouldn't necessarily recommend that but it was what I needed to feel safe at the time. I also bought a defence spray for while I was out and about, it's not pepper spray or anything so perfectly legal but it made me feel more confident to go out, a personal alarm is another good idea for when you're out, you just need to get one that doesn't keep going off at inopportune moments like mine did wink

Snow123 Fri 09-Sep-16 09:27:28

Thank you so much for the replies- it really helped me writing it down to realize that it's not normal behavior and I should stop minimizing it to
myself. I just can't believe how much it has affected my entire life to the point where I don't want to answer an unknown number on my phone or the door if I'm not expecting anybody. I don't like to speak to my DH about it too much because I don't want to worry him more but i think ive been bottling it up for too long. I've been referred for counselling so I'm waiting for that to start. I just wish I knew where he was but then I think does that make me as bad as him?

SandyY2K Fri 09-Sep-16 09:41:27

Why would you be embarrassed by it?

I'd be petrified in your position too.

Does your husband know about all this? I hope you've told him so he can support you.

The CCTV is a good idea. Hopefully as you have changed surname it won't be as easy for him to seek you out.

He's clearly an abusive nutter.

keepingonrunning Fri 09-Sep-16 10:10:31

It is a big deal, you are not being stupid. He has been violent since you split up, by intimidating you and causing you psychological distress. Ask your counsellor about complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
Another practical tip is gets some pea-shingle gravel laid all around your home, the sort that makes a scrunching sound under foot. And I think a barking dog is an excellent deterrent (as long as it's more gun dog than chihuahua).
I recommend phoning the police on 101 to put them in the picture, explaining the history. Ask for the domestic violence unit. They are much more proactive on this kind of harassment and abuse than five years. They can log your phone number so if you ever phone from it they come round in 5 mins instead of half an hour. They should also be able to give you tips on personal security.

keepingonrunning Fri 09-Sep-16 10:13:02

Also, get a spy hole fitted on your front door and a chain.

mummytime Fri 09-Sep-16 10:35:43

There are also plants which will deter people from climbing over fences (cotton Easter is one), you can google burglar preventing plants. I would also get blinds or a curtain ASAP.

I've known people who jump whenever post is diverted because of past debt issues, experiences do affect us often deeply.

And until you get councelling this might help http://www.anxietycoach.com/overcoming-panic-attacks.html

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