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Please can I (finally) ask for help.(429 Posts)
I have been on here for 14 years under about three names. I feel like I have been living a lie offering advice about relationships and sharing funny anecdotes when my life is a fucking mess. And today, I have decided to ask for help instead.
I have been with H since I was 20 - just over 25 years. For the past ten years, my H's behaviour has become progressively worse. We have escalated from a 'bit of a temper' to what I consider to be abuse (he does not hit me). We have also escalated from 90% of the time good, 10% of the time awful, to almost a full flip. As I say, this has been going on for about 10 years and the creep has been gradual and suddenly I am in my late forties and feeling like driving my car into a wall.
This weekend, triggered by various inane actions/words on my part (mostly 'crimes' I have committed in the past - years ago - along the lines of 'being disorganised' and 'letting him down' and 'going against him' in a couple of decisions), he has:
1. Thrown all the raw ingredients for dinner all over the kitchen and then screamed at me to get out of the kitchen before he 'fucking kills me'. I left.
2. Chucked a glass of water at me and DD (14) whilst we were in my bed this morning (because DD is also in trouble for something she did yesterday).
3. Called me a cunt and fat slag in front of my children
4. Called my mum similar names to above (she died a year ago)
There's actually tons more but I don't have the energy. This is not especially unusual.
I have read every single thing I can on domestic abuse (including the Lundy book) and he ticks a lot of the boxes but not all. Our relationship began as best friends for a long time - I thought I knew him well. We dated for years before we got engaged. Everything was gentle and measured rather than the love-bombing etc that is par for the course. A few things happened to him that were truly awful but in no way justification for the way we are all living now, and this seemed to start the downward spiral. This has been like watching someone you love gradually get taken over by another person and not know how to drag the old version back out.
He drinks too much. He is unhappy. He has distanced himself from his friends and family and sees nobody and goes nowhere aside from work. He is angry and bitter and full of hate towards everyone. He paces around the house all night never getting enough sleep and he rants and talks to himself about how much he hates me within earshot of me all the time. I believe he is mentally ill but in the absence of any attempt to seek help, I think, seeing him pick on DD, I might have reached my rock bottom
DD is starting to fear and hate him.
DS (11) doesn't yet, but he is a gentle and passive person so doesn't come under fire as much as DD who challenges his behaviour and words.
I often think that this will only end when one of us dies. I don't know how to extract myself, I don't know any other life. I don't believe he will 'allow' this to end peacefully. I don't know what to do at all.
I have somewhere I could go - not really liveable long term (think pretty derelict flat but roof over your head) and not fair on the DC for much more than a few nights. I am in debt, have no access to money and claim nothing. I work freelance so have money when I work and nothing much when I don't. H has always paid mortgage and bills and I have supplemented as much as I can.
If I leave, I don't know how I can make it work. The flat has no proper plumbing and I don't have anything like the money to get it sorted. There is no furniture either. I feel frozen like a rabbit in the headlights. He makes my stomach knot and gives me migraines. He follows me around and rants and tells me off and how shit I am and I try not to feel anything and I am scared that if I allow myself to feel one little thing then I am going to feel too much and I don't know what I will do.
This is a ramble.
I feel a bit desperate and wonder if anyone had anything that might help me get my thoughts in order?
And sorry if I don't come back straight away. Sometimes H confiscates things in a fit of fury including phones/ipads/router etc.
I can't believe how mad my life has become without me even noticing
Goodness me op he sounds absoloutely vile. You know that you must leave, he's already thrown a glass at your poor daughter - what will he do next? Punch her?
You must must get help before he kills either you or your children. Even aside from the physical stuff, the abuse will destroy their souls and mental health. You need to be strong and leave.
Sounds horrific. Throwing things, including water, at you is assault and he could be arrested. Make notes on recent abusive incidents and see a lawyer asap. If half of what you say is true then he should be removed from the house immediately. You will need support - do you have friends or family you can confide in? Someone who can help fix up this flat to make it temporarily habitable? It's summer now so you can manage without heating etc for a few months. If you split then you and the kids will be entitled to stay in the house, though obviously he will need to be removed first and in the worst case this might need a court order. You will need to be strong and not waver in your belief that things will eventually be better. Good luck.
I came from a home where my 2 parents hated each other. One parent pulled a knife on the other one night. When they separated it was one of the best days I can remember in my childhood . I was 15. Get out now. Life is too short. Enjoy your children . Best of luck
I don't have any family at all, no. Parents dead, no siblings.
I have good friends. A couple of them know he is 'difficult' but not the extent of the situation. I could never tell anyone.
H thinks he is above the law. I know he isn't, but he would absolutely disregard a court order, injunction or anything like that. He would be so furious and ashamed at having the police involved that I honestly don't like to think how that would end. I want it to be over quietly and without drama or trauma, but I can't see how. That's what's keeping my feet glued to the floor.
I also feel sorry for him. Not as sorry as I do for my lovely DC but, I can't help it. I think he has killed the love, but I can't help feeling that he is desperate and wishing he would seek help. He was, for many years, my best friend, good company, kind and gentle. I don't know how we got here.
I can manage without the heating but not the plumbing. There is a leak from an old boiler and every time you turn a tap on, the ceiling underneath gets soggy - bits have started to fall down.
I can feel unfamiliar panic inside me and I want to smash things and punch things and I am a bit scared of how I am feeling. I wouldn't ever harm myself because of DC but if it wasn't for them, I think that I would be considering it as a viable option, if that makes sense. Because I straight up, cannot see a way out.
We have no family between us. I have no-one to turn to and he is not accountable to anyone. That's the missing bit I think.
Elliesmommy Did you parents separate mutually? Or did one leave the other?
Ring WA a refuge for you and the DC would be better than the current situation.
What about the family home is it owned/rented/size of mortgage?
Police were called and a barring order was involved . My dad had to leave. The situation was unsafe for everyone. In the long run we were all happier. I see families where abuse is happening and people stay "for the sake of the children ". It's often a very bad idea. You deserve happiness. Your children deserve happiness.
I would sell the flat at auction if need be tbh.
How much would you get for the flat?
Can you increase your work without telling him and keep hold of the money?
I would speak to Women's Aid and ask for help. I think it's really important that you leave him asap.
Contact your local Women's Aid. Just tell them what's going on. They know all about rabbit in headlights and will coach you along. They know their stuff.
Tell your GP bcs this needs to be documented for all your sakes, esp the children.
Imo the cause is likely to be the booze, not the other way around. Addiction turns people into selfish bastard monsters. He is showing all the signs.
You have to protect your kids. Go for it, you can do it one step at a time with support. women's Aid will get you there xxx
This sounds so awful. I just wanted to say, your DC will be better off away from this situation. Kids are sponges and they pick up on everything... and I can guarantee your DD will want to see you happy. There's more damage to be done staying in such an unhappy situation. You sound lovely and you deserve happiness and to find someone who treats you wonderfully. Is there anyone who can help provide moral support?
I would see your GP and a lawyer. Get some support and perspective.
He does sound extremely ill. Do you have the same GP? it would be positive to confide in them, they can sometimes arrange to see the ill person without saying why they know they need help. But don't worry about that. Tell tour go of your terror. Look after yourself first, you sound under intolerable strain and fear. As if you are living in a prison camp.
This cannot go on. Something has to change.
Today is a day you will remember for a very, very long time.
You have taken THE most important step you ever done as a parent.
I second the advice to ride this wave of bravery, realisation and determination and reach out for real life help.
Women's Aid, GP, kids schools, your friends.
This will reduce his power and increase yours.
It may seem terrifying now but no one runs a marathon / climbs Everest / eats an Elephant at once.
One bits at a time and you will do it.
I would suggest ‘women’s aid’, like the above poster.
Can you access something like ‘time to talk’ for counselling?
You have to get out. Take practical steps like important paperwork, putting some money aside, insuring the car on your name etc.
Thank you for all the advice. I am not staying 'for the kids' - I no longer believe it's in their best interests - or at least not unless H seeks help.
He says I need to change, that my views are warped and I have never been taught how to parent. He is endlessly screaming and shouting because apparently he is trying to save us all from ourselves..
I have been trying to take action for so long. It's one of the reasons I have never posted before. I know how it is on MN, you reveal something, people tell you (quite rightly) you need to leave, but then inertia and panic set in and people get cross with you and tell you to think of the children. I so want this living nightmare to be over but I just feel like I keep running into obstacles. I think I would have a chance if I could make the flat work. It is in our area, close to DC school and even though it's a mess, it's somewhere they know.
I can't do a refuge. Not because I don't think they are brilliant or I think it's 'not for me', but because this is the kind of step that would trigger an outpouring of rage from H. Because he would consider this to be shameful and overly dramatic. He is not very enlightened....
I know him so well and understand what makes him tick. That won't work.
Oh my goodness, please ring Women's Aid. The hotline is 24 hours and 7 days a week.
He is abusive. Emotionally, verbally and throwing things is physical too.
Given that he has threatened to kill you, you have to leave. The thought has crossed his disgusting abusive mind
Op. I will come back and comment properly later with practical suggestions but for now please know that people are think of you
And can you say what part of the U.K. you are in? There may be some posters who can help with local resources or the practical side of things. I know that if someone in my neck of the woods was in trouble I would try my best
I want it to be over quietly and without drama or trauma, but I can't see how. That's what's keeping my feet glued to the floor.
The sad fact is that you won't be able to improve anything without putting yourself in the firing line. You say:
I am in my late forties and feeling like driving my car into a wall.
So you're suicidally unhappy.
And I often think that this will only end when one of us dies.
Which one of you do you think will have to die? Because it could be you - or your DD.
Re-read your own words. You are desperately unhappy, as I would be living your life.
You're going to have to take action. I'd consult a solicitor who specialises in divorce to establish what you can expect financially.
You can't change your DH. That's a given. But consider what your behaviour is doing to your DC, especially DD.
Consider your part in this rather than DH's. OK you're scared, but you are allowing your DC to suffer emotional abuse from their DF. You will gather the courage you need once you realize that you are the only defence your DC have against this horrible man.
Every time you tolerate his abuse you are teaching your DC that his treatment is acceptable and normal. You owe them a better role model.
I did actually go to the GP a while ago. I told her that H was drinking too much, being aggressive and seemed to be teetering on the brink of some kind of breakdown. She was amazing and conjured up some false reason to write to him reminding him to make an appointment about something. He ignored it. She then called him and said she'd like to see him for a 'routine' appointment. He ignored it. She then called me and said she didn't know what else she could do other than refer me to counselling.
I am in the horrid flat at the moment. It's empty (unsurprisingly) and I have a key. It's cold and bare but it's better than jumping every time I hear a door open.
I am trying to make a list of all the things that he has said and done over the past ten years but it's so long and horrific, it's making me feel sick. I feel like I have been sleepwalking.
He’s going to rage however you go about this. What practically do you need? Can you just make a small strep and get quotes for the plumbing?
Oh dear OP, please listen to all the practical advice here. You really need to escape and take your children away. I would be gone the minute my DH threw something at my child. Please you need to leave.
Now practical issues. OK so you have a place to go, not ideal but better than this. A friend of mine who had an abusive dad has just published a memoir where he recounts the day his mother left his abusive father, in the 1970's in Ireland where no woman had any rights. The neighbours helped them move a few bits of furniture and they never went back. The children were so happy - it took years to get financially stable but they had a happy home. This is the most important thing.
Perhaps people could help you redecorate and repair the flat? DO you have any friends who are good at DIY? My DC help me to paint rooms - they can manage this from about aged 11.
Please do not wait another day, take yourself and your dear children to safety.
Please keep posting here OP. I am sure many people on here will support you - perhaps some even IRL? If you lived near me right now I would collect you, house you and help you to paint and redo that flat. Can you get new locks on the door of the flat and prepare to move in while he is at work?
Then when you are safe you can ask for more legal help on here and IRL.
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