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Cognitive dissonance - I think

(26 Posts)
Squirmy65ghyg Mon 20-Feb-17 20:40:49

Not sure if that is the right term.

I was in a very very abusive relationship (EA, think silent treatment, eggshells etc) when I was married to twat exh. Ended 2.5 years ago and life is immeasurably better, DC is great, have an amazing boyfriend who loves and respects me.

Sometimes when I read threads on her I think "why does she put up with that" or "that's awful, I'd never put up with being treated like that" before catching myself and thinking ehh hold on, you were treated like that for years! hmmconfused

Is this part of the healing process or something? I find it such a strange thought chain.

Currently sorting out my divorce so maybe these thoughts are to the fore. He's fucked off and has no contact with my DC.

Teabay Mon 20-Feb-17 21:02:23

I am the same as you and can't get my head around it either.
What is this?

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Mon 20-Feb-17 21:07:36

I know what you mean about it feeling weird to think you'd 'never' do it, versus feeling 'been there, never again'.

I don't know the psych behind it, but I would say it's because you've grown so much since you were that person, it almost feels like it wasn't you?

You broke away from it and left that side of you behind, and now you have the strength to know you would never put up with it again.

jeaux90 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:10:02

Yep I'm the same. Driving home earlier I was thinking "who was that person?" Like I have disassociated with a former part of myself. It is a bit weird but I don't worry about it much.

Squirmy65ghyg Mon 20-Feb-17 21:14:14

Glad other people get it too, well not glad but you know what I mean!

Yes, Oncemore, I think at one point I let it define me and what I was capable of, whereas now I have boundaries and standards and a bit of self esteem. And I passed my driving test, which was something he said I'd never do!

My boyfriend had so much faith in me he texted saying "well done" before the end of the test!! He was the only one who thought I would pass and really believed in me. I think that has helped a lot, I'm "me" again almost?

pudding21 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:17:37

This is positive for someone just left. How long did it take to start feeling like that? I guess it's nice but weird?

Squirmy65ghyg Mon 20-Feb-17 21:27:32

Probably about after a year I think?

I was with exh for 7 years, very bad for 3 years I'd say, though compared to current relationship very bad for the whole thing grin

Sometimes I get flashbacks and I think my brain blocked a lot of it out. All my friends are having babies just now and is making for some horrible memories of how he treated me when DC was born - and if I'm completely honest a bit of jealously that their partners are kind to them etc. But I will never tell them that, they don't need to know.

When did you leave pudding?

jeaux90 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:40:40

Me too OP. I was with a narc and when our daughter was born it was at its worst. I left when she was 1. Spent a few nights with a new born locked in a bathroom because I was so scared for him to be as nice as pie in the morning.

I get flashbacks but it's like it's a film or someone else

pudding21 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:43:23

Squirmy: 9 days..... 😕

pudding21 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:44:39

Together 21years since I was 17. 2 ds's. Bad for the last three years, last year horrendous. The fog is clearing but slowly.....

Squirmy65ghyg Mon 20-Feb-17 21:50:44

Yes jeaux, that's what it feels like doesn't it? It having visitors round then the minute they leave him snapping back to treating me like shit.

Well done for leaving pudding. There is no point in being miserable or living with someone miserable. flowers

I hope you're doing okay. It is hard.

Squirmy65ghyg Mon 20-Feb-17 21:51:49

*or having visitors, not it

NooNooMummy Tue 21-Feb-17 10:57:33

This is such a positive thread.

I was worrying about how blind, stupid, gullible etc I must BE to have been with my ex. I was worrying that there is something wrong with me - how else could I have ended up in that situation and put up with it?!

Hopefully, I'll get to the point that I feel like it was another person. I'm working on it....

Squirmy65ghyg Tue 21-Feb-17 11:27:03

Yes, exactly, like there is something intrinsically wrong with YOU that someone would treat you so badly!

What helped a lot was reading on mumsnet and the lundy book, its so common yet so unspoken about?

horrayforharoldlloyd Tue 21-Feb-17 11:39:20

It is dissociative

imadeamistake123 Wed 22-Feb-17 18:34:19

This makes so much sense. When you're in an abusive relationship, it becomes normalised, like the boiling frog anecdote. When you look in on it from outside and really reflect, you don't get how you could have put up with it. But it's so insidious, you don't see its happening and get swallowed up in the emotional confusion. The collective mumsnet can see through it though!

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 22-Feb-17 18:48:41

Yes to the boiling frog! And no shit in your coffee!

Yes re the collective mumsnet. A sanity check smile

Teabay Wed 22-Feb-17 19:19:34

I've decided to do it differently, starting today! I'm calling it mythbusting.

So, I'm going to make a list of all the things that over the past 18 yrs I've been told I'm dreadful at (although I expect you'll be able to put in the actual terms of phrase used...Not as polite...)

So - allegedly I'm 'crap' at:
* Painting
* Wallpapering
* Gardening
* Crap with money
* Crap with paperwork
* Messy
* Untidy

Everyday for the next week I'm going to BUST a myth and do one of these things and I will be BRILLIANT!!

Today - I planted up two newly bought hanging baskets. I chose the plants and everything - check me out! And guess what - IT'S NOT THAT DIFFICULT!!

YAY I'm coming back to be me x

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 22-Feb-17 19:34:16

Well done Teabag! You are brilliant at all of these things and so many more. For sure.

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 22-Feb-17 19:34:28


EddyF Wed 22-Feb-17 19:49:16

It's the wasted years that gets me. Your children living in chaos and confusion. Then when you do finally leave, the aftermath of having to still deal with them concerning the children.

I wish I knew the importance of choosing a good stable man when I was younger. It protects the most important thing in your life; your children.

The lost time still gets to me. I feel robbed. I can never get my time back.

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 22-Feb-17 20:14:09

You can never get it back, but you're not going through all that shit now at least.

Very true about stability. And if someone shows you who they are then believe it.

NooNooMummy Wed 22-Feb-17 20:37:40

Teabay - I'm going to join you in the myth busting. At the back of my mind, I always knew hat he was wrong about lots of them but I politely didn't say anything and thought he just had a bad memory eg apparently, I can't cook bolognese sauce when in fact it was ME that taught HIM how to cook it many years ago. Ridiculous!

noego Wed 22-Feb-17 21:37:47

It was only through reading posts on here regarding EA (jealousy, silent treatment, moos strops, etc) that it dawned on me. Fuck that was my relationship.
And then it also took a while to get out of the ingrained habits, even after the split.

CatsDogsandDC Thu 23-Feb-17 07:35:36

I do think your mind blocks out a lot of things to protect you. I'm five years out of a horribly EA marriage of over 20 years. Most of the time I don't think about it at all, but every now and then i get flashes of memory which just stop me in my tracks.

Things like him deliberately ruining a holiday with my late DPs who I hardly ever saw, having us all running round him jumping to his (ridiculous and contradictory) whims or being utterly horrible to me whilst my oldest was a tiny very poorly baby, basically torturing me emotionally and demanding that he be the centre of attention, then being as nice as pie and a devoted dad to DC in hospital. Its only now I think that I can start to let myself remember things and see how awful he really was, a real headfuck,

While we were married I thought he was difficult and demanding but couldn't help it. Now I realise the enjoyment he got from torturing me and shredding my confidence.

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