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How do I get out of this mess?(11 Posts)
I'm 41, I have two DC and a DH but I'm so unhappy, I can't seem to pull myself together. I'm so lonely. I have no job, no money, nothing. Communicating with my DH is hard. On the surface I have it all - I live in nice house, two children at private schools, successful husband who earns a good salary but I just don't have the confidence to get a job to give me the indolence I crave, I sit at home crying in my pyjamas everyday and I look at job sites daily but rarely apply as I don't feel good enough.
When I was at school, I was always on the fringes and wasn't always invited to parties, I had friendships but they weren't close. I always wanted to please my parents. I was exceptionally pretty and bright as a little girl but struggled from year 6 onwards. I was in the top set at a good school but always at the bottom and lived in fear of the humiliation of being demoted.
At 16 a school photographer came to take photos for my school's centenary. He was a parent. He took some great photos of me in a play and my parents decide to get some professional portraits done. I became friends with his daughter who was a little younger than me and began to model for him, gradually with fewer and fewer clothes. I was very distracted during my GCSE's and A'levels. I also got my first boyfriend at 17 and slept with him.
Shortly after my A'levels (which I did rather badly in) I went round to the photographer's houses he'd offered to teach me photography. I admired him he took good photos and had done some interesting photojournalism work in the 70s and 80s on torture. Anyway he physically assaulted me while telling me about how his wife (my friend's mother) had committed suicide when my friend was two. I'd always wanted to know what happened to her mother. The memory is still raw and vivid, I was working in the darkroom, it was hot, he suggested I take off my clothes, I was a bit uneasy but did, while doing so he came upstairs, and told me to sit down on the loo seat while he shaved off all my pubic hair with a cut throat razor. He had awful coffee breath, I then went to the bedroom with him and he fingered me, all the while talking about his ex-wife. It was confusing, I didn't want him to touch me but just couldn't say no, also my body just responded even though I didn't want it to. Just before I came, I closed my legs got up and got dressed.
Ironically my parents were away at the time and I was staying with a friend, I never liked her mother and never said anything. Next day my teenage boyfriend came around and wanted to have sex, he thought the shaved pubic hair was cool. I didn't say no even though I didn't want to, but said at the last minute, I couldn't go through with it and why. He rolled over and threw me on the floor, calling me a whore. I remember grovelling there naked saying I was sorry.
Two days later my parents returned and two weeks after that I started at University, in another country far from home. I never said anything to my parents then. At university I slept around a lot, even though I was still with my boyfriend from school, who joined me at the same university after a year. My self-esteem was low I contemplated suicide, became super thin and didn't work very hard but just enough to keep going.
Roll on 23 years and I'm still a mess, I'm never quite living in the moment. I had lots of sexual partners, over 80 I can remember, some I can't. There was another sexual assault from a colleague but I don't really remember what happened, it was in an empty house and the only reason I know he had sex with me is I smelled it the next day.
In terms of work, I had a job that was ok but I was not really that engaged with, and a series of rather unpleasant boyfriends.
I met DH 10 years ago and fell for him because he is very steady, honourable and at the time I was flat broke after being made redundant a few times. He offered such stability and love, but we've grown apart and he has little interest in sex, which I crave but equally don't want. We haven't slept together in over three years. I hate my body now which is no longer a tiny size 8.
My DC are wonderful but I feel like I'm not a great Mum as I'm often distant and distracted. DH works very hard and doesn't help with childcare. He earns a lot but his family are frugal and although he gives me an allowance it's not much, recently I've got some debt just to the kids basic things (winter clothes etc), I'm not profligate. I need to get a job and some self respect back but I feel like I'm stuck in concrete. I want to be a good role model for my kids but I just can't. I'm on anti-depressants and have a had CBT, although I've never been able to talk about what I wrote about above. I haven't even told my DH, and don't feel I can. If it wasn't for the two small people I need to collect from school son, I honestly think I'd top myself.
Sorry this is so long and rambling but I'm at a really low ebb.
Oh Gosh MyMess. I didn't want to read and run but I think you need to urgently talk to your GP again as I think you need more professional help (and help that I am definitely not qualified to give). Please make an appointment today. Right now. Please do not despair, you are allowed to be nice to yourself. You are allowed to have confidence. You are allowed to be happy.
PS: You absolutely should not need to get into debt for your DC's winter clothes! But the financial abuse is another issue. I am really very worried about you.
Oh OP this sounds awful for you.
You've been through so much.
Please call Womens Aid and talk to them on 0808 2000 247,
They are very busy but please keep trying.
You've been abused so much in your life and they can help you with local support services.
Rape Crisis will be able to help as well so give them a call.
Taking these first steps will help you see the next steps to take.
I’m so sorry that you’re struggling and I am in no way qualified to be able to tell you what you should do, but I do think you should speak to your GP and maybe speak to a counsellor. It may help to speak to your DH too. You are carrying such a burden and speaking about it will feel like a weight has been lifted, I’m sure.
I would suggest that you should also speak to him about money too as this is also clearly an issue for you.
What you have been through is terrible and is probably only being made worse by the fact you are sat at home alone with a lot of time to think about it. I really feel you need to talk to somebody, this is the main, most important, thing. However, until you a find yourself a job, do you have any hobbies or things you find interesting that can occupy you?
I really hope you feel better soon and get the help you deserve. You’re not on your own
Oh sweetheart, I relate to a lot of what you are saying. I was first sexually abused by my father as a child. My first two boyfriends in my teens were lovely guys, very considerate, but then when I turned 20 and was newly single I was sexually assaulted or raped by four sexual partners in a row. I just became convinced that it was inevitable, I didn't consider how bad it was, just the way it was. Ended up engaged to the first guy who came along who didn't force himself on me. Fortunately that relationship ended as otherwise I'd now be in a loveless marriage. My DH now is wonderful and respects my consent. I've only recently told him about all the assaults.
You are not alone but you need some help with this. It is possible to move forward and have a fulfilling life and marriage. It doesn't have to be like this, I promise you. Please seek some help xxx
I should add that what we've seen recently shows that this is not rare. It's common. And that's not meant to trivialise what you've been through but rather to show you that a large percentage of women have survived this sort of thing. We are much stronger than we think, including you. There is no shame in this - it isn't your fault.
OP. I really don't want to read and run but all I can offer is an echo of the previous posts. Please go to your GP. Show him this post if you can't tell them what's happened to you. They will be able to offer professional help and get you back to some sort of level ground. In the meantime, know that you are not alone.
It can takes years for those suppressed feelings to come to the surface re historical sexual abuse.
The years that have passed do not make what happened less of a crime.
I was sexually abused by my brother. Horrific!
Please start with your gp.
I’m sorry OP you sound like you’ve been through a lot. I do think you need to try and open up about it as it will be a massive weight off your chest. You’ve kept this to yourself for all these years.
I don’t have much other advice but I didn’t want to read and run. Also in the kindest was possible can you ask MNHQ to put a trigger warning in the title as some things you’ve written can be upsetting for other people on here too.
I hope you can find some strength to find some support in RL
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