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Moving on from an abusive relationship

(11 Posts)
PartTimeProcrastinator Tue 10-Oct-17 21:37:18

Ex and I separated just over a year ago. I am trying so hard to move on and put my life back together but it just feels as though everyday is a struggle.

I'm doing all the things I 'should' be doing, I've got a good job, I've got back in touch with old friends, I spend lots of time with my lovely DS. I still feel numb most of the time, and when I'm not numb I fall apart.

At first I felt so free when we separated. I could read a book without being told I'm stupid and boring. I've been able to watch what I want on TV for the first in 6 years. I can speak without being told that the sound of my voice irritates him. I can eat without being told i'm disgusting. I can invite friends and family to my own home without fear of making him angry.

I can lie in my own bed at night and not feel like my body is his possession. I'm not his to use when he feels like and I no longer have to make the choice between his anger or having sex again that day, knowing that it would start all over again tomorrow. I don't have to listen to him telling me i'm defective for not wanting to have sex multiple times a day, every single day.

I'm trying so hard to be strong but I feel utterly broken. I cannot look at myself in the mirror. I feel exhausted all of the time and I just feel so incredibly lonely. I feel so ashamed of what I allowed to happen, and that I let it happen for 6 years.

Has anyone been here and moved on? I feel like I need hope for the future to help me keep putting one foot in front of the other.

user1493413286 Tue 10-Oct-17 21:40:51

I can really relate to how you’re feeling. When I left my ex I was elated then about 6 months after when I’d sorted my ‘new life’ out I felt like I crashed and all the adrenaline and motivation that had driven me just went. I was lucky enough to be able to take some time off work to rest and I got counselling through my GP which although I had to wait a while for it was that which really helped me in the end

UnRavellingFast Tue 10-Oct-17 21:51:07

Also just left abusive stbx and the emotions are so huge and overwhelming, OP. I sympathise. It feels like the numbness I had to impose on myself has now gone and I'm feeling everything 10 fold. Strength and thoughts to you OP.

PartTimeProcrastinator Tue 10-Oct-17 21:52:16

That's a good description User, I do feel like I've crashed. Now that the hard work of putting the practical side of life back together is done the motivation has just completely gone.

I had some counselling in the run up to leaving the relationship and I've been thinking about going back. There are so many things I need to say out loud, sometimes I doubt my memory that some of the things ever really happened.

Teabay Tue 10-Oct-17 22:06:58

Yes. All terribly familiar.
When you were together you were probably a good liar to yourself and others - I was. Now I'm free of it, there's absolutely no way I would return, but I do feel like now I have ALL the options it's a bit overwhelming.
You will survive - 6 years of it, only 6 months of the new!

PartTimeProcrastinator Tue 10-Oct-17 22:20:29

Indeed, very adept at lying. If I didn't say it out loud then I didn't have to admit it was really happening.

I remember being at a GP appointment about 4 years ago talking about the pain and injuries sex had caused. Ex had sent me to the doctor to find out what was 'wrong' with me. There was a moment when I though the doctor had caught onto what was happening and was going to ask me if I needed help. Instead she sent me a way with a prescription of stuff to numb myself and suggested I use it so I could keep him happy without being in pain.

I get randomly angry about little memories like this, mostly angry at myself for not saying more and asking for help earlier. I guess the anger is all part of processing this and moving on though.

Hermonie2016 Tue 10-Oct-17 22:20:59

Consider the freedom program as you will get support from other people who have had similar experiences.

I think exhaustion is common as you probadly ran on adrenalin for a long time.

I am a year down the line as well and still wouldn't feel that I was recovered.Are you getting down time? I try to get outside for a walk, mediate and do yoga as it can really help.Youtube is great for this.

Just know you have come far, treat yourself well and maybe see a GP if you still feel low.

Blinkingecksake Tue 10-Oct-17 23:21:08

Horribly familiar! But seriously don't lose sight of how far you have come, massive well done!!! One lovely counsellor I saw described it as having a mountain to climb, you've done extremely well, but you've just hit a ledge on the mountain and need to take a breather, have a rest, take stock, then gather yourself together when ready for the next hike - but that the view at the top is worth it. I like that! I remember well when the adrenaline goes and the enormity of life on your own as a single parent hits. It's a grief stage and you will come through it. Just don't do as I did - jump into another relationship too soon, a rebound one at that which I now have the dilemma of ending.

I had the guilt too, just know you did what you thought was best at the time, none of us have hindsight. Just keep being kind to yourself and do lots of things for you (like watching what you want on TV - I wasn't allowed to do that either and the novelty still hasn't worn off!). Keep on going, you're amazing x

WalkingInMyShoes Tue 10-Oct-17 23:26:40

OP, your post made me so sad re the GP appointment. You are so strong and please stop being so hard on yourself - yes, you let him do this but only after he'd worn down your self-esteem and manipulated your emotions.
Please go back to your GP and be asked to be referred for more counselling. I had counselling to help me through the initial break and then again 6 months later and the latter helped me more than I could ever imagine. You are in danger of PTSD too, so talk it out with a professional. And yy to the Freedom Programme - I haven't done it yet myself but intend to.

WalkingInMyShoes Tue 10-Oct-17 23:28:25

Sorry have just realised how bad "yes, you let him do this" sounds, I was responding to you asking how this happened - the emphasis is on how he made you feel not how you responded. I hope that is clear, I don't mean to make you feel worse.

PartTimeProcrastinator Wed 11-Oct-17 06:27:22

Walking, I understand where you were coming from with the yes you let it happpen. I know there were times when I didn't even put up a fight, that I didn't ask him to stop. When I'm feeling rational I know that it's because of the fear of what would happen if I did put up a fight and being worn down to a point where I believed that I existed to fulfill his needs.

I've thought about the freedom programme, but due to my job it's really tricky to access local services confidentially. I also can't access counselling via GP. I can access through work though which I think I need to do. The counsellor I saw in the run up to leaving truly saved me I think. She was honest that the things I told her shocked her and her honesty helped me see that it wasn't normal.

Thank you for all the replys, I've actually slept well for the first time in months.

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