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Recently freed myself from EA, wavering between happy and anxious - normal?(27 Posts)
I left an extremely nasty and abusive r/s this year. Ex is being predictably shit. It was very long term and we have dcs, one of the many good reasons to leave. He is still being highly manipulative, screams at me down the phone regularly, sends horrible texts, accuses me of god knows what. I am used to the shit and am able to step back and be calm. Sometimes I feel such amazing joy at being free, but often feel incredibly anxious and very alone (no desire to go back whatsoever, just a random alone-ness, not missing him at ALL).
I look at everyone with a very cynical insight now and can never imagine being in love again. I feel like it's a fairytale we are sold to keep us at others' beck and call, at the end of the day. I feel utterly spent and destroyed by the years of awfulness. My main priority is of course dcs and I keep cheerful and calm for them, but feel so lost and alone.
Anyone in same boat who can offer advice/ would like to share their own difficulties with this horrible situation?
I’ve just come out of an EA relationship and I’ve blocked him. We didn’t have children together so I don’t suppose that is helpful in your situation. I too feel like you - that I’ll never find life again and my anxiety is awful at times. It comes over in waves. I keep thinking that there HAS to be light at the end of the tunnel but it doesn’t feel like it right now.
Not sure if I have any good advice for you sorry - I’m trying to keep busy. My children get me through the bad days. This site helps too so keep talking. I’m having counselling and the next thing we are looking at is ‘self care’. I will let you know what that involves. My time with him was like a form of self harm and I really need to heal from it. Just wanted you to know that you’re not alone xxx
I totally get you! My ex is awful in his own way, I don’t miss him at all and most of the time just feel so happy to be free of all the crap he brought into my life.
I don’t really like how cynical I feel I’ve become though. Feel like my ex did too much damage for me to ever really be able to trust again. The thought of being single for the rest of my life makes me feel so sad but that it’s inevitable.
Hi BackToBlack and Goddess. So sorry you're going through this as well
DCs definitely a reason for me to try and have hope in this dark world. I agree, the new cynicism is not something I've ever felt so strongly before. I was always a bit naïve and optimistic. I cannot imagine myself ever trusting a new partner because I think part of the problem is me not enforcing boundaries and so the wrong men come into my life. I feel I have to spare DCs any more shit anyway and tbh the thought of being single after all these years is quite good to me.
But am also scared of the thought of never being intimate with someone again. I met ex very young and can't imagine ever taking that leap of faith again because it seems so foolhardy and risky.
Completely normal to feel this way.
Keep all texts and emails as evidence of abuse in case needed in future, but try not to give it head space.
Women’s Aid do a course, Freedom course, that helps abuse victims get their head around what has happened, may still be happening, and how to avoid abusers in the future.
In the meantime, keep looking forwards, concentrate on the DC and give yourself something to look forward to.
Onwards and upwards.
I'm 2 years on from escaping an EA relationship. You are bound to feel anxious, your world has shifted under your feet. But believe me, the anxiousness will fade.
I have minimal contact with the ex. He is a shit basically, doesn't pay child support etc etc. I have a cheap pay as you go phone for arranging contact with the DCs. I switch it off if the abuse starts. I used to tie myself in knots about it, but it really, honestly doesn't bother me now. I'm getting on with my life.
One day soon, you will realise that you haven't felt anxious in ages & just have that feeling of freedom. It's bloody brilliant.
Thank you for your wise words, Comedy and Adora. That's comforting to know. I'm looking forward to the anxiety fading and the world feeling more steady under my feet!
PS I did the Freedom Programme a couple of years ago. That, plus chatting on here and a few false starts, helped me to get out. It's such a tough leap to make, isn't it. (God knows why) :-(
Soooooo glad I did it despite all the fears. It's like having been in a private warzone where all you know is the freedom dream, fighting your corner, snatching bits of yourself to keep private from the abuser, keeping DCs safe. And then you leave and the world is a different place which can feel scarily unfamiliar. Like being on hold for years.
You're welcome, Unravelling
One thing that I wish I'd realised earlier was the fact I'd left meant that it was a new start & I was in control of my life - I had MY life back. It took me a while to get my head around that. You should be very proud of yourself, breathe a sigh of relief, keep moving forwards.
The Freedom Programme is brilliant. I think you can do it on line.
Thanks comedy. I was thinking of doing FP again now I'm free. I will look into where I can access it - it gave me such hope before. Took me a sodding long time to leave but it did help a lot. I still have the little bodyshop gift they have to us all at the end. I kept it as a talisman that one day I'd be free.
Just needed to vent. Have moments of being unbelieving at feeling uncomplicated happiness. Then have dreadful crying attacks that just take me by surprise and I feel sooo very sad. Not missing him AT ALL but for the dream that didn't happen for me and the kids. The sadness in the world. The unfairness that some kids have stable and happy upbringings when my lovely and really special to me kids have had shit and it will probably run through their lives however much I work to support and heal b cause their dad is an coercive paranoid selfish parent. And I had kids with him. Dickhead that I am. And now I see my kids and I want to cry because they deserve th fucking best.
Sorry emotional rant over. I had to retreat to my car at work because hijacked by sobs.
Hi Unravelling, have you considered counselling / therapy? I came out of a long term emotionally abusive marriage and was so traumatised by it I had symptoms of PSTD. Mine was a passive aggressive, so not verbally abusive but insidious, manipulative behaviour that left me doubting and anxious of my own perceptions. You sound like you've had your own personal hell in your relationship and may be carrying that trauma with you.
Therapy was the best thing I ever did, taken a while to feel normal but my anxiety disappeared from talking to a trained professional. The longer you are away from your abuser the better you will feel. Promise
Hi Dacquoise thanks so much for your post. It made me cry again but in a good way. Everything is making me cry uncontrollably atm. I think you may be right. I will ask my DCs counsellor if she can recommend someone specialising in post abuse recovery. I also had to give up my ADs for health reasons and maybe it would have been better to have had them a bit longer or taper them. Thank you for your insight I appreciate it.
I really hope you feel better soon and don't worry about being 'emotional', better out than in. I was advised to have a bloody good rant about my ex husband in the car. I must have looked like a lunatic! But, do you know what, it worked wonders. That and meditation and yoga. One day at a time, one step at a time. Big hug to you. X
In a quiet moment, look at your DC and see if / how much they are better / calmer now. You will be able to see that you have made the bravest, hardest, most courageous decision possible.
You won't find many people IRL who will understand this, but there are people on here who do.
You are amazing. Similar thing happened to me - I too don't understand how I was so daft to be sucked in.
My DC are more resilient than their friends in 2.4 families, and we are all eggshell free here.
Sure, I wish it hadn't happened - being a SP
SP is difficult.
But you are doing brilliantly!!
OP: I am nearly a year out and still have moments of guilt, fear, anxiety with my EA ex. We have 2 kids together and he has them every week to stay. Their relationship has improved with him massively. Only in the last month have I really felt me and the kids have got into a groove, we have found a good dynamic, and everyone but him seems much more realxed and happy.
Last week i blocked him on all social media and he has been much better with me since (we still have to communicate r/e the sale of the house that he is still in, the kids etc.)
It has left a lasting imprint on me though. I question whether other people feel the same as he did. he was so critical all the time and angry, I find it hard to process, that every other person in my life does not feel that way about me. It all takes time, each day is a step forward. Wobbles and moments of doubt/ fear/ pain are all part of the process. Good luck, and well done, its not easy to leave an EA relationship. It can be so insidious.
Thank you for your kind words, it's much appreciated. I'm feeling less crazed-emotional this week but sleep deprivation and arsy screen hooked child not helping!
I can't cope. I need support and my family just aren't there. They encouraged me to leave and said when I did they'd be right there with me but I've had no sign of them since apart from smug 'having a lovely time' kind of WhatsApps. One of my dcs is veering out of control. He's been like that for a couple of years and it was getting better after I left with them but last night and tonight have been a nightmare. I can't cope. And now ex's fucking relatives are coming to stay with him in my house that I was driven out of because of his abuse. And for some reason I can't understand that has knocked me for six. Why should I care? And the words my ds uses to me make me want to die. I've always been his support. The one person there for him at times. Sorry for rant I just need to vent somewhere and there's no one else. I don't want to talk to friends because it's too private. I don't want to hand my misery on a plate to my smug family. So here I am venting here and I apologise to anyone having to read this drivel!
Well that was just a bad night it turns out. Since then the raw emotion seems to visit less frequently and is a little less dramatic. I'm enjoying life much of the time. I'm dreading the financial court stuff but now feel strong enough to cope at the moment. DCs are calmer and much happier.
So glad for you.Each month you will feel stronger.
All of your feelings are normal.I feel guilt for choosing ex as dad to my children as they deserve much more but they can still be amazing people..many together families have issues but its unspoken.
Hi Hermione thanks for your words, it helps. I agree many two parent families have issues and in fact I was one of those for years. I used to dream of being free all the time!
Unraveling - your child who's been difficult and aiming it at you is because he knows you love him unconditionally and you will take it and he feels safest with you. Is he a teenager?
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