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I need to tell someone - sorry very long post(55 Posts)
I’m sorry in advance for the length of this. I’ve never posted on one of these before. I just need to tell someone, I can’t live with it all inside anymore.
I’ve lived in an abusive relationship for over 20 years. We have 2 ds’s now 17 and 15. I met my dh when I was 14 and he was 17. I’m 35 now. It wasn’t long before the relationship became abusive, probably only 6 months in. There’s been so much and I was so young I just can’t work the timeline out in my head anymore. I remember having an argument with him and he kept shouting at me to call him a bastard. I didn’t want to but he kept shouting at me to do it. When I did he pushed me hard in the chest against a wall. He was then sorry, told me he shouldn’t have done it and told me to slap him back. I didn’t want to but he kept telling me to slap him, shouting at me over and over until in the end I did it and slapped his face. He then of course let rip. I couldn’t tell anyone, I knew what this was, I never thought I deserved it and I knew I should get out but I thought I loved him. I didn’t want to lose him. And I was ashamed, so ashamed of staying and putting up with this.
Over the next few years he ground me down. Isolated me from my family and my friends. It was me and him against the world he used to say. Things escalated when ds1 was born when I was 17 and we moved in together. I woke up once being strangled. I don’t even know why. Somehow I managed to get him off, grab the baby and run. I went to my mums, never told her why, and the next day I went back. I didn’t want to lose him.
When I was pregnant with ds2 he regularly used to kick me in the stomach, told me the baby wasn’t his. Would constantly accuse me of having affairs, cheating on him because either he knew he wasn’t good enough for me or I was a complete slag depending on what day it was. I never did, I never cheated. He’d do this in front of his parents, who knew that this went on. His mum used to tell him to stop but he never listened. They even used to do my shopping for me when I was too ashamed to go out because of the bruises. Who does that?
He never cared if the children saw or heard. My kids were conditioned to think I was worthless or capable of having an affair and leaving them or I didn’t care enough about them and my ‘family’ from the day they were born. He never hurt them. Instead it would be me who would shout at them. Frustrated and emotionally unstable I would yell at them for the slightest thing, taking it out on them because I couldn’t defend myself from him. I’m not proud of this. I hate myself for it. I love them more than anything in the world and they hate me for it. They learned that it was mummy who was the bad guy and deserved to be punched or kicked and generally treated like shit.
The beatings and emotional abuse continued, over varying time periods. Sometimes it would be weekly, sometimes even daily and then there were the good times when it might be a few months. I became a shadow of my former self with no confidence and no-one to turn to. I knew I needed to get out but I was still too ashamed to tell anyone. I knew I needed to build something that was mine that he could never take away from me. I considered going to a shelter, it sounds stupid but I didn’t want to take his kids from him. He always told me if I took them away then he’d find me and kill me. He had people watching me, watching everything I did. I believed it.
When I was 25 I found the one thing I knew he couldn’t stop me doing. I decided I would train to become a doctor. I know it seems ridiculous and completely at odds with any of this but I knew that if I did this I would have the absolute full support of my parents (who were doctors) and that he wouldn’t be able to belittle it. I’d never even been allowed to have a job before but I thought that doing this would give me the ability to get out and get out safely. It was the only thing in the world that I knew, it was what I’d grown up with. I had no training in anything, but I had left school with the grades to enable me to do it. And how could he continue to hit me when I was surrounded by doctors and other health professionals who would know the signs? I told him what I was going to do. Of course this caused what I knew it would, the name calling, the belittling. Telling me I wasn’t good enough, who would want me as a doctor he said, when I couldn’t even hold a rational conversation. And then the beating.
Up until then it would have been enough to stop me but this time it was different. I went ahead and applied in secret, had an interview in secret and got accepted in secret. I told him the week before I started medical school 6 months later. I’d planned to leave as soon as I could get enough money together to rent somewhere. I wish now I’d just told my parents as they would have helped me but I couldn’t, I was just so ashamed. 2 days before I was due to start I had a phone call, he told me he’d been knocked off his bike by a car and was on his way home from hospital. He turned up with a bandaged knee and a sling but no major injuries. He’d also hurt his back. I still don’t know if this actually happened or not. There was no objective evidence. I thought at the time he may have been faking it to stop me from starting medical school but I don’t know for sure. I started anyway and put up with the jibes about how already it was more important to me than he and the children were and what a shit mother I was for only caring about myself. He continued to have back pain, enough to keep him sick off work and then he developed depression. He took voluntary redundancy from work citing depression as the reason. I felt guilty leaving him, he had no money and no way of surviving. So I stayed, and we survived just about on my student loan. He continued to verbally and physically abuse me in places no one would see, and I still didn’t leave. How can you leave someone with chronic back pain and depression? Who threatens to kill themselves if you leave? How can you put your children through their father killing himself because your mother left him? I look at this logically and know that it wouldn’t be my fault and that he probably wouldn’t even do it but then I get overtaken by an irrational fear that he might.
I was a year and a half into my training when he kicked me out. No warning, just told me he didn’t want to be with me anymore. The relief was overwhelming. I found somewhere to live and took the children with me. He stayed in our (owned) home. For about a month it was fantastic and I felt free for the first time in my life. And then I was lonely. I didn’t really have any friends as I’d never been able to keep any. Any friend I had made over the years I would always be told how bad they were for me, what a bitch they were talking about me behind my back or how they’d talk me into having an affair. I knew that none of this was true at the time but I just stopped seeing people to try and avoid the arguments. I had no one to talk to and I was lonely. He barely saw the children during this time. They would cry and ask for him. The only way he would see them is if I took them there. So I did. I shouldn’t have done but I thought that if I didn’t it would be my fault that they didn’t have a dad. And he got back in my head. Made me feel like I wasn’t doing a good enough job with them. Made me feel like I wasn’t good enough period. This was confirmed when I failed my year at medical school. I wasn’t good enough. I was stupid for having tried to do this. Who the hell did I think I was getting ideas above my station. I quit medical school my confidence completely though the floor and 2 days later he said i could move back in. Unable to afford my rented house now I’d have no student loans and desperate for my children to have a family I did. It was the worst decision I ever made. I was under no illusion that he wouldn’t continue to be abusive but at that point I don’t think I cared enough about myself to even care. And two weeks later it started again.
To cut an already very long story short this was 8 years ago. A year later I managed to convince him that the only way we could survive financially is if I went back to medical school (neither of us working, house repossessed). My university had held my place open knowing I was going through personal problems (although not the extent of it) and amazingly he agreed. Determined not to mess it up this time I worked hard and just shut myself off to what was going on at home. I qualified nearly 3 years ago and have been working as a doctor since. The more I progressed in my career the stronger I became and with it the abuse changed. These days the physical element is more rare, it happens once or twice a year usually when I do something that pushes him too far. The last time was about 7 months ago. Emotionally is the same as always, it swings between explosive rages of name calling and shouting swear words at me to virtually ignoring me and not talking to me for weeks at a time. And it took me a while to figure this one out but a new kind of abuse has appeared, I didn't even know it existed until I looked it up. He’s worked hard at making himself the victim, continually having a ‘poor me’ attitude and how everyone is out to get him. How depressed he is and how in pain he is all the time. How scared he is to say the wrong thing to me because, get this, he’s scared of me ranting and shouting. Scared of me not letting him walk all over me anymore? This is a man that has on various occasions broke my ribs, my wrist, my fingers, my cheekbone, made me go temporarily deaf, knocked my tooth out, knocked me out, stamped on my head, strangled me, spat in my face and numerous other things. And he’s supposed to be scared of me? He hasn’t worked since his supposed accident. Refuses to get a job and won’t ‘demean’ himself by claiming benefits. Even in the days where we had to survive on student loans and I used to beg him on my knees to help me he would refuse and go on about the fact that he had a good reason not to work as he was so unwell. Doesn’t stop him playing football with the kids of course. So now I am in what I think is also a financial abuse situation. I’ve wracked up massive debts in loans and credit cards just trying to survive. I work extra shifts on the majority of my off days on top of 60-70 hour weeks just to get by. Everything is in my name not his (including the debts). I even buy his cigarettes! I’ve tried not to a number of times but he becomes unbearable.
I know I need to leave. Since getting back together 8 years ago all I’ve done is dream and fantasise about leaving him and I just don’t understand why I still don’t have the courage to do it. I know I can survive by myself, I know I have the means to but I just can’t say the words. I’m so scared. I’m scared I’ll lose my kids, they think so much more of him than me and will hate me for leaving their poor depressed ‘disabled’ dad. It’s not as easy these days as just taking them with me. I feel guilty because he has nowhere to go and no means of surviving, even though I know this is down to him and not me. I still have the fear and the guilt that he’ll kill himself and it’ll be my fault. And ultimately I still have the fear he’ll kill me. But I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to live the rest of my life like this. I can’t bear it.
To this day no one knows, not even my parents. I’m so ashamed that I’ve put up with this for so long and taught my sons that this is how you treat women. I don’t know what I’m trying to achieve by posting this. I’m sorry it’s so rambling and long. I just needed to tell someone.
I am so sorry you have had to go through this. You are phenomenal for fulfilling your dream. You don't have to live like this any more. You deserve better xx
Well done for telling us. I hope it has helped a little to share it. A big congratulations on getting qualified in something that was important to you.
Trying not to think about all the history, can you explain the reasons you don't think you can leave this relationship now?
Do you imagine a time when you might be able to tell your family?
Congratulations of qualifying as a medical practitioner. Clinical training is very hard, and you have significant domestic abuse issues that place you at a disadvantage. You are a tenacious person who deserves a good life, so go get one. I speculate this is an occupational field that you are a natural at, and you will encounter many victims of abuse during your career who you can engage with authentically. You may have debts, but you also have a qualification that will allow you to clear those eventually especially if you are not sponsoring the loser. You need to contact Women's Aid who can help you with your legal and welfare issues. You should also seek counselling help as you probably have post-traumatic stress disorder after living in such an awful situation for so long.
Your partner won't kill himself and even if he did, it wouldn't be your fault, he sounds too self-absorbed and lazy to do anything drastic. Showing empathy to someone who has treated you so badly is very much like Stockholm syndrome. You need to leave, and seek legal advice concerning the children. You need to realise that by not changing, you are doing him no favours and enabling the bad behaviour. By funding everything, he is not motivated to change as he sees you as his sponsor that he can abuse without consequences.
Tell your parents why you are leaving and build your new life as a qualified doctor.
That's hard to read. God knows how you've endured this long.
You should leave. You must leave. Your children are older now than you were when he took control of you. They aren't going to learn anything new about relationships if you stay.
He's choosing not to claim benefits. He could do that. Or perhaps he'd get better?
I'm so sorry that this has happened. It's amazing you've become a doctor. I really think you can do this. I have no idea what would help but perhaps trying Women's Aid, talking to your parents and, given your fear of him, talking to police and also a lawyer (regarding civil orders you could apply for to protect you?)
You sound so strong. Leave. Your children are old enough for you to tell them how unhappy you are. How on earth did you cope for so long and train as a doctor? I am full of admiration.
Ask your parents for help, call Woman's Aid, do whatever it takes to free yourself from him.
Your kids will be doing their important exams next year. Now is the time to move on.
Wow I think you are incredible. I read your whole post holding my breath. The abuse you have survived is truly horrendous. I am just in shock from reading your post. You are obviously very intelligent and eloquent and incredibly strong to achieve all that you have despite him making it as difficult as he could. So you know you have to leave, but you don't know how. Firstly, that is not surprising, don't expect to be able to do it alone. I think you need strong support to get you out of the relationship. I'm no expert but I just think if you're finding it hard to do it alone then you need to get serious help. He's spent many years manipulating and brainwashing you, it's entirely understandable that you need help to untangle yourself from his web. So Women's aid are the 1st port of call. Show them your post. I wish you all the best, and please remember you are amazing!
Honey, you have become a doctor - academically one of the most difficult things it is possible to do. It's difficult enough when you have support and money and friends, but you have done it with two children and an abusive husband and no money. That is a phenomenal achievement. And after all that you should be able to feel you can achieve anything. You're amazing. Leave him. Just leave him. You owe him nothing. Get everyone involved that you need to have involved - parents, solicitors, Women's Aid, etc. You're still only 35. You have the best years of your life ahead of you. Don't waste a minute longer on this soul sapping low life. It might be useful for you to seek some counselling to help you along the way, but it seems to me that you should be focusing on 'how' not 'why' you are leaving.
Also I wanted to say don't assume your boys think highly of their dad and not of you. You never know what they're really thinking. I'm pretty sure they're terrified of their dad even if they don't show it, even if he never hurts them. I am sure they will feel relieved When you free all of you from this awful life. Even if it's confusing to them now, in time they will come to understand the truth, don't worry.
OP I don't have the words to express how terrible he is or how strong you have been in the circumstances. I'm sure someone much wiser will be along soon.
But I honestly think you should show what you've written to your parents. I know it sounds impossible and you probably can't even begin to imagine it. However, if you're honest with yourself might what you need right now be for someone who loves you and cares for you to know the whole truth and to help you take the baby steps that will eventually free you?
I am the daughter of an abusive husband.
He is a good father. Mn doesn't agree with me, but he is. Not a good person, but a good father to us.
A terrible , horrific bully of a husband. I don't think he's capable of loving those who aren't his blood in a weird fucked up way.
I was taught to have little respect for my mother when I got older and realised what he was, I pitied her. I wish she'd left. He's old now, too weak to hurt her. She's left caring for a man who never loved her, who never cared for her.
Leave him. With or without your children. You need to. Don't end like my mum
this is step 1, you have done it now and you can manage step 2 as well. Tell your family next so you have their emotional and practical support and then step 3, you leave. Debts are unimportant, you can sort those out later. It's only important that you keep yourself and your children safe. You can do this!
Well done for becoming a doctor, this just shows how fantastic you are - he has worn you down. Leave - you are not responsible for him. Your children are old enough to know the truth
Phone womans aid - tell your parents - think how you'd feel if this was happening to one of your children
In the last hour my sister has told me her husband is abusing her. She's shown me the photos and the scars. I am completely shocked and devastated for her. They have no dc so it's a bit different but honestly please tell your family. I can't tell you how awful it feels that I didn't know and didn't help her. She's moved in as of tonight for however long she needs, I can't wait to spend my time looking after her, God knows she deserves it and so do you.
Wow. You know you need to leave and the strength you've shown is amazing, so you can do it.
I think overcoming your hurdle in telling your parents is the way out, because then you will have more support in starting a new life.
How is your relationship with your sons now? Maybe in terms of what they have seen and been taught it needs to not be a taboo for them, and when you've left him you could broach it in the form of a letter to them to start a discussion so they can read and process in their own time
OP you are amazing to get qualified as a Doctor under these circumstances...trully inspirational.....now you need to atke a deep breath tell your parents, they will support you to leave...LET GO OF THE GUILT>>HE IS VILE.....if your daughter was in this situation what would you say/do to help her?
If this was a good friend what would you say/do to help?
That is what you need to do for yourself....
stop worrying about him and start hating him for all the terrible things he has done to you, it will give you the strength you need...he will NOT kill himself, it is a tactic to keep you his mealticket and punchbag..How dare he.
I am beyong livid after reading your post on your behalf, you can leave and cut him out of your and Dcs lives you know....l expect they hate him too.... show them that it is not acceptable to treat a person the way he has treated you, set the example and show them how strong you are.
Can you not talk freely to your DCs about how scared and unhappy he makes you and how wrong it is?
Op l wish l could transfer my fury at him ,to you to give you some strength to go, but l cannot so please listen to all of us here and make the change.
Good Luck and stay safe
I am astonished and full of admiration for all you have achieved. Stand back and look at this as we do - you have raised children and succeeded in a very difficult career, despite all he has done to you physically and emotionally. He is completely incompatible with your 'other' life and the life you want for your children.
You are right to be scared about leaving him as this is possibly the riskiest time. I would urge you to put plans in place and document everything. You will know who you can trust and who will help you.
You are in debt now, you will be less so without this man and funding him. If you leave very soon ie this week then next Easter would be a completely different and happy one for you, try to visualise that.
First off you are amazing
If I were you ( and I was in very similar situation) learn on thing,these men don't go long before they find their next victim.. ..he wont starve.
You may be shocked how quickly he sorts himself out id the message is strong...you wont be back. My stbxh was abusive..It took a long time to see that..more emotional and verbal. But now has Mil, sil, New ow running around after him...funny no friends left to do this!
You have a bright future..for you and dc's. He is responsible for himself. ..easier said than done.
Start by letting parents read your post. Then take ALL the he'll offers. Don't let misguided shame or worry control you now. Good luck x
You are amazing.
I used to know a professional lady who worked all hours on the orders of her abusive, work shy twat of a husband. She died of cancer in her early fifties, still married to the arse.
Life is short and you have the best of your life yet to come! Don't waste your time and energy on this turd.
I was going to post that I think you're amazing but see loads of others have beaten me to it. You really are though. You can absolutely leave him and never look back.
Please get rl support to make this happen. You've come so far alone but having people stand with you will propel you the final bit.
Wishing you all the strength in the world.
please please please tell your parents.
don't tell him you're going to leave. get everything in place and walk out the door. he is dangerous and highly manipulative. when you leave an abusive relationship you're at your most vulnerable. don't underestimate his anger at losing his punching bag.
you can do this.
you are everything to him: he is completely dependant on you and will do everything he can to keep you where he wants you.
be very very careful.
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