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Please can I (finally) ask for help.(471 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
You and your children deserve better. I know and trust me I do this is hard and it’s so easy for people to say the grass is greener on the other side and you’ll get through it but the emotional pain and turmoil of your life as you know it changing can be overwhelming you have rights to say there and can apply for a occupiers order through your local court because of the abuse You are suffering with children in tow you may find it’s better to make a plan seek free legal advice and then follow it through with all you i’s dotted and T’s crossed there is a woman’s helpline for people in your situation 0808 200 0247 Please speak to someone before you end up in a vulnerable position 💔
If only these bastards would do the world a favour and just drop dead. I believe murder can be justified sometimes. I wouldn't even really class it as murder - more like self-defence, or justifiable homicide.
Can you imagine the absolute relief you would feel if these abusive cunts just didn't wake up tomorrow.....
Keep going with the Going OP. And all the others, whether female or male, who are being abused and are trying to escape from the hell that they are engulfed in.
I still don't feel that the term domestic abuse applies to me. I have no marks and I am able to function
I know what you mean . When it’s verbal anger it’s so much easier to minimise and discount it OP
Remember there is is a law against it . But I know exactly . Would be easier if they battered us . Many times I have wished partner would punch me in face as then I was would have a ‘reason’
When it’s verbal you think it’s partly your fault
OP, I have just read your posts and wanted to say how amazingly brave I think you are. You have made some absolutely massive steps and should be so proud of yourself, from telling the school, to your friend, to WA, to starting to organise your flat. You are incredible. Keep going... all these actions are going to change everything for the better X
Checking in OP. Don't reply if you don't want to, I just wanted you to know we are all still here for you. Hope you're safe.
I am still here and still coming back to this thread over and over.
It's difficult to know what to say when progress hasn't been great. Things I have managed to do are:
1. Speak to friend in more detail. She texts or calls me nearly every night at a different time to check on me. If i don't answer she has been calling H to say that she's trying to reach me about something. This has made it awkward for H to take my phone away, so he mostly hasn't been. If nothing else, it reminds him that although I don't have family, I am on someone's radar...
2. Put passports back but taken pictures of everything. Bank statements, passports, will, insurance, birth/death/marriage certificates. Everything.
3. Downloaded the App (whose name I shant mention) that was recommended up thread and started using it to record day to day incidents.
And most importantly I suppose, I've started being honest with myself and counting how many times a week, I feel so desperate that I could smash my head against the wall. It's a lot. I also tried to remember the last time I felt really, truly happy - no cloud hanging over me, no knot in my stomach... It was eleven years ago. That was a real kick in the stomach.
I will keep on keeping on for now but I am hoping that I will find the strength to take the next steps soon. You have all painted such a vivid picture of what it SHOULD be like versus what it IS like and I want it so much now. I want to have that feeling of closing my own door and feeling peaceful. Thank you all for checking on me. I will post whenever I have new things to say but I am sorry for moving so slowly.
You don't need to apologise to us. No matter what pace you go at, at least you're moving in the right direction!
Sending you hugs xxx
It must be so hard OP. I'm glad you are updating because at least with updating we know you are alive.
Are you still messaging that user who works in the police? If you feel comfortable you could leave a sprinkle of details about you with someone else (besides the friend) who could check up with you. A podcast I listen to recommends it - a folder on your computer in case you go missing, with your photos and identifying info and details of your husband. You could keep that in your friend's hands or with someone else to guard that for you.
You are making great strides and they may feel minuscule but you are making progress even compared to where you were when you made the thread. I wish you well and all the luck and success for your family and survival
I’m still here checking in on you too, I just haven’t wanted to overwhelm you with messages.
If updating sometimes feels ‘too much’ or ‘nothing to say’ just post anything to let us know you’re ok. Even just ‘I’m here and I’m ok’.
No one is disappointed or frustrated, just worried 🌷x
Listen to Hellenbackagen (& others) you don’t need to be the one to move out. There’s no need for you and your DC to go to the flat. Take your stuff from there to your friends house. Get the police involved when you are ready to leave. They will remove him. If at anytime you’re still scared call the police. They WILL help.
Don’t go to the flat, it makes you incredibly vulnerable.
I read books to calm my fears and allow me to see things in another perspective. "Awareness", by Anthony de Mellor very good. Also "Getting past your breakup" by Susan K Elliott, one of best self help books l have ever read, and l have read loads.
Listen to motivational speakers like les brown. I used to fall to sleep in bed with ear phones on listening him to him, over and over again . It did make a positive difference.
I wish you all the luck in the world.
I left my husband six years ago. I was in similar situation. The above has helped me through the transiton.
You are doing so well OP. I think you are right to plan your leaving very carefully, because like other posters I think he will be very violent when he finds out. Because wherever you go, you will be shaming him.
One practical thing you could do now is smuggle some of your and the children’s possessions out of the house to your friends. Take out of season clothes, toys, photos and sentimental things for the children. Spare sets of bedlinen. Jewellery you don’t wear very much. School books from last term. Extra kitchens items from the back of the cupboard. Some tools from the garage or shed.
Only take things that he won’t notice.
Before you start actually removing things, let your husband see that you are cleaning out the kitchen cupboards and throwing out any out of date packets. Tidy a wardrobe and telll him you are putting some old clothes to the charity shop. Do spring cleaning ( as long as this won’t annoy him ).
It’s especially good if he has previously criticised your housekeeping, as he will see that you are listening to his instructions and trying to do better. Make a point of saying how good you feel now you have followed his advice and how he was right all along.
That way you have an excuse if he notices that there is some space in your wardrobe or the cupboard looks emptier. You might need to move other things into the spaces you have left - old things you had packed away in a cupboard or drawer.
I’m suggesting this because I think that your husband will trash all your and the childrens belongings when you leave, to punish you. The children will be very upset to lose their precious things.
Also it helps reduce the paralysing fear a tiny bit. Because you are standing up to him in a small way.
As you move your belongings out of the prison bit by bit, it helps you see there is freedom out there.
I have a friends who left her husband in a similar situation. She did this with as Many things as she could move without him noticing. Then we got more on the actual day she moved out . We hired a van and took things into storage in friends garages / sheds and spare rooms, because she was going into a refuge.
Another important thing you need to do now is copy / photograph anything to do with money or assets that belongs to either or both of you. Bank statements ( personal and for his business) , tax returns , savings, life insurance, cars, property .
Don’t worry whether or not it’s relevant, just copy it and store at your friends house and on the cloud.
Do your children have uk passpsorts? If not, apply for them now and get them posted to your friends house.
If the children have passports already, would he notice if you took them ? I note that he has family oversees.
He is going to be VERY VERY angry when you leave. You are right to be terrified. You can’t stop him being angry but you can take every possible step ( practical and legal ) to protect you and the children.
You might need to get legal orders banning him from your work and the children’s schools. Have you managed to get legal advice yet ?
I know this is a total nightmare by the way, something you never imagined would happen to you. But you said yourself, the only alternative to leaving is staying until one ( or all of you ) of you dies.
BTW your friend need to watch with the phone calls, if that’s a new thing. He will be alert to even the slightest unexplained change in routine.
You might need a cover story eg your friend needs your support right now because her mother has a cancer disgnosis .
Say whatever will annoy him least.
You neee to plan this like you are a spy or detective. Do nothing to make his suspicious. Don’t argue with him, be even nicer than usual.
Google ‘grey rock’.
I've just read the full thread, and I think you are strong and brave.
You can only do things at your own pace, and you've made several important and significant steps already.
Be proud of that, and know that every one of us here is wishing you strength and courage.
What you are trying to do is probably the hardest thing you'll ever do, and when you're ready/able to leave because you've been planning it you'll have a head start over him, at least emotionally.
Now you've told some people, you'll also have their support when you're ready to take things further.
I admire your courage. Keep pushing forward with your new life, no matter how tiny the steps you take might feel. A thousand tiny steps still add up!
Keep at it OP. Remember the longer this goes on the higher the chance he will work out your intentions.
No apologies, you owe us nothing, this is for your children and we just want to help if we can and see you safe and happy.
Set yourself time based goals and keep calling women's aid. It will feel a bit like jumping off a cliff whenever you leave, it isn't and you will feel better with time but safety - that of you and the children - must be paramount.
Another one just glad to hear you are ok OP. I think of you often. Keep visualizing the freedom that will come, and stay safe
You've made great strides in such a short period of time. You've been so strong, just think, it was only 23 days ago that you first posted. After all these years you really can see the wood and are finally able to admit that your situation is very wrong.
I'm glad that you have someone in your life that you can talk to. Well done on taking some steps to free yourself from this prison. Even if they are small you've taken them.
Don't apologise to us, you take care of you and yours.
I keep checking my inbox too , still here if needed .
I check this thread every day, just to see how you're getting on. You must move at the pace that you feel comfortable with - never feel the need to apologise for that.
I would echo a PP to get your friend to be careful with phoning your husband too much. He might get suspicious which could make things worse. A cover story would be a great idea to explain why she's in contact so much.
Take good care of yourself and your DC and we are all here for you when you need us .
Everyone here cares about you. Small steps can go a long way. You'll get there. Stay safe x
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