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.

I keep dreaming and thinking about Historical DV. What can i do to settle my thoughts.

(18 Posts)
ihatethecold Thu 24-Nov-16 16:11:37

Sorry if this is long but it's bothering me.

When i was young (16) I had a 5 year relationship with an abusive man.
We had a child and I was regularly hit and verbally abused.

One night I cheated on him and he found out and basically beat me very badly. I can still picture the whole event from the first punch.
He tried to stab me with a knife and I ended up with a broken nose and jaw.
I do regret not reporting him to the police but I felt like rubbish and hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I got away from him at 21 and went on to marry my now DH, completely different relationship. I am very happy and loved.

23 years later and I'm in close contact with my ex again because our DS (now 25) has developed a very severe MH problem. My ex and I get on absolutely fine and have spent many an hour in the A & E dept.
we speak most days, only to discuss our DS.

The problem with this is I'm waking up at night thinking about what happened.
I am also friends on FB with the person i cheated with. He knows what happened to me as a consequence of cheating. I was beaten outside his house.
I don't know why but i want to contact him and tell him how much that night changed my life.
Why do i want to do this?
I feel confused by all this.

NightNightBadger19962 Thu 24-Nov-16 16:25:19

I would seek trauma counselling - either through your GP or look at the babcp find a therapist website for info and details about qualifications. Depending on the nature of the nightmares, you might want an assessment to exclude PTSD first. Sorry you went through this, and hope that the difficult feelings that have resurfaced for you can be worked through somehow - but I would do it safely with a therapist before you act. Make sure the supportive people in your life know you are struggling.

ihatethecold Thu 24-Nov-16 16:37:55

Thanks Badger,

I cant do that right now, I don't have a minute to go to counseling at the moment.

I have had counseling before, Once in 1999 and then again in 2006.

I have so many commitments within the family that need to come first right now.

my eldest keeps trying to end his life and has become homeless due to his psychosis.
my youngest has been referred to camhs for anxiety, (due to her older Db's antics) so we are just starting to get support for her.

I work 30 hours a week and have to ferry my Ds 16 to 6th form every day due to living rural and there is no transport.

I also don't have any spare money to pay for a counsellor. My eldest has cost me a small fortune this year trying to support him.

NightNightBadger19962 Thu 24-Nov-16 19:04:20

Sorry - maybe to answer your question about the feelings you are currently having, you could do some research on it - this is a link for one article psychcentral.com/lib/understanding-the-effects-of-trauma-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/

And I would recommend an author like Paul Gilbert
www.amazon.co.uk/Compassionate-Mind-Approach-Recovering-Trauma/dp/1849013209/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480014005&sr=1-7&keywords=Trauma

Hope you find some more advice

ihatethecold Thu 24-Nov-16 19:16:44

Thank you Badger. That's kind of you.

Tryingmybest4them Thu 24-Nov-16 21:19:20

It sounds like a terrible situation for you. I too still have dreams/nightmares about my abusive exbf, he tried to strangle me. In my dreams I'm still in love with him sometimes, other times I'm hiding from him. People have told me this is unfinished business, I have recently been for relationship counselling alone (after a recent marriage break up) but found it useless!
I hope someone comes along with some useful advice for you, just wanted to say you are not alone flowers

ihatethecold Thu 24-Nov-16 21:25:31

Thanks trying.

It's weird because I could put these thoughts to one side and get on with life.
It doesn't affect me day to day but this year having so much contact with him has brought all the memories back.
I don't hate him but part of me feels that if I told him the lasting effect it's had on me it would help me heal.

He's never acknowledged what he used to do to me.

glintwithpersperation Fri 25-Nov-16 08:35:41

Do you think that the combination of meeting him again mixed up with awful stress might have made it rear it's ugly head? I know that my husbands PTSD was very bad when we were going through awful stress in our lives. Hope you are ok flowers

BarbarianMum Fri 25-Nov-16 08:47:51

Be a little cautious before talking to your ex about this. I can totally see why you'd want to but think through whether any relief you'd get from it would depend on his reaction. He may acknowledge what he did was wrong and apologise but equally he may be dismissive, or minimise or even tell you you deserved it. He may become defensive and angry. I'd personally think that confronting him as some part of a counselling process might be safer for you.

Equally, I do understand why you feel you can't prioritise your health right now but please don't leave it too long. flowers

ihatethecold Fri 25-Nov-16 09:01:47

In all honesty i don't think i would mention it to my ex. He is also under extreme stress with our DS.

I do think he would apologise because he actually seems a broken man right now and the problems with our son partly stems from his dad being so shit when he was younger.
He does acknowledge that.

I dont know, i just would like to make sense of this and put it away again.

Noodoodle Fri 25-Nov-16 09:22:06

OP, I had the scariest 5 seconds first reading this as I wondered for a second if I'd written a post in my sleep or something. flowers for you...I too have been having recurring thoughts about historical dv, very upsetting and quite randomly. I have no advice but I wish you well and hope you can get some peace with it soon.

ihatethecold Fri 25-Nov-16 10:34:05

Seems there's lots of us about Noodoodle.
How do you deal with it?

imip Fri 25-Nov-16 10:42:34

I was the child in a dc household and I experience the same thing. I think of it daily, it had such a massive impact on my life. Thinking about it got worse when I had dc of my own. I really couldn't understand how I developed in that household. I have siblings now with mental health issues, I've kinda managed to scrape by.

I have reoccurring dreams where I am driving away from my parents house. I'm in the driver's seat but that's actually at the back of the car and I can't reach the steering wheel or pedals (I.e., I can't get away).

I'm 45 and left the family home when I was 21. This shit still haunts me. Wish I knew a way of thinking of it less....

imip Fri 25-Nov-16 10:43:11

Dv household, not dc. It was my dad who was just a cunt...

ihatethecold Fri 25-Nov-16 11:00:42

Wow imip, I dream of driving a car and I'm not in control of it.
I have had this dream every now and again for over 20 years.

I know it usually means I'm not in control of my feelings or I've got a lot on my mind

Noodoodle Fri 25-Nov-16 11:12:15

I usually find a quiet place (if in the daytime) away from kids/husband and have a little cry then pick myself up again. Dreams are harder, they can seem so real.

But seeing your ex so much has surely triggered this for you? I don't think I'd want to bring it up with an ex though, unless it was at arms length. If he said he was sorry do you think it would make you feel better? You still had to go through it, and you'll still remember it. And what if as pp have said, you get told it was your fault, that would be even worse.

Noodoodle Fri 25-Nov-16 11:15:49

Sorry I did see you said you probably wouldn't mention it.

I also tell myself I know why it happened, it wasn't my fault, I'd never let it happen again, I'm better than that now, stronger than that now.

imip Fri 25-Nov-16 11:46:19

Yes, I must admit if I see my parents (I live abroad), everything is worse.

I'm very low contact with my parents. But my dad happened to stay with us for three days last year and it was terrible. I was a mess, so I think noodle is right, seeing your ex probably makes it worse.

Also, I find it hard if they now seem 'reasonable', you take it personally that they were never reasonable when they where with you. I hope that makes sense and it's hard to explain. I do come at this from a different angle being a child in the situation, but I think in terms of the long-term impact, there is really no difference.

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