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Past domestic abuse constantly triggering my Chronic Fatigue.

(35 Posts)
Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 12:09:22

I’m posting this on relationships because it’s about my health but based on my abusive marriage.

I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue last year and ptsd as a consequence of 12 years of DV. My overall everyday stress levels I can manage and my symptoms have reduced a lot in a background level kind of way. I was able to run and play with dd etc. I only got it to this level by going no-contact with H in December.

My problem is when he contacts me Via solicitors or I have to think about the relationship for solicitors reply etc or I need to make decisions or try and sift through things for my own answers I trigger off my chronic fatigue. I’m not doing it intentionally, I don’t really feel emotional when I think about it but the memories seem to be stored in my body and it just gets triggered.

I don’t want to be like this. A letter 3 days ago from his solicitor which talked about him taking me court over dd (which I had a thread over) has triggered my body to ache so uncontrollably.

Like I said I do manage to keep myself well most of the time but can’t seem to cope with these triggers and respond without my whole body responding. I look after myself, hot baths, journals, watch films, talk etc. I’m waiting on trauma therapy.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can stop reacting like this? I’ve got a big fight ahead of me with my divorce so really need to be stronger and make important decisions.

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Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 12:13:47

Up until now I’ve avoided everything to do with him. I’ve let him live in the family home. I moved out. All he has to do is threaten me and I retreat and he wins just like in the relationship. I avoid him because he makes me ill.

I want to fight now. I want to get my house back but I’m scared because my body can’t handle him.

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NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Mon 25-May-20 12:17:29

I'm sorry to hear you've got all this going on OP and I really don't know what the answer is. Can I suggest you google adrenal fatigue - my symptoms exactly matched that and I know exactly what you mean.

With regards to the fight - go straight to court and let the judge decide. Cut out the months of solicitors nonsense - the judge will be fair. It doesn't matter what he wants - either you agree between you or the judge decides.

Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 12:22:59

We already had months and months of back and forward. I kind of new that he wouldn’t cooperate but I’ve been too tired to fight.

I probably have chemical things happening for sure.

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Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 12:24:32

The doc said I have low iron, low blood pressure, unregulated blood sugar, my hair falls out. Stress has definitely wrecked havoc.

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BreakingTheChain Mon 25-May-20 14:57:20

Hang in there for the trauma therapy OP. It's a huge undertaking but hopefully it will be so healing and positive in the long term.

I wonder have you read the book The Body Keeps The Score, by Bessel Van Der Kolk? It explains what you are going through. It may offer you some comfort and understanding, and some ideas about how to move forward.

I'm so sorry for all you've been through, and continue to go through. It's such a pity you have to have anything to do with your ex at all. Is your child having contact with him? Will there come a time post-divorce when you can cut him out entirely? Do you have an IDVA to support you?

Be really patient with yourself. Nurturing and kind, always.
It takes a lot of time and work to gradually heal the damage, but it can be done.

Well done for getting away and working on healing. You've achieved so much!
It won't be this hard forever. flowers

Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 15:35:26

Hi, thank you, yes I’ve read that book a few months back. Perhaps I need to read it again, my memory is bad and I can’t really remember it now.

Yes I have to have contact with him. In the sense that we have to sort the house, the finances and child contact. The whole lot through the court and solicitors as he can’t (being a narcissist) think about anything but himself. He’s had no contact with dd since December.

I’m frustrated because I’m not helpless anymore like I was. Helplessness was forced on me. I want to have better control over myself but it feels completely out of my control. I feel that I have no choice but to plough through it some how. I need to break the things that keep us connected.

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Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 15:36:25

Yes I have a very lovely IDVA but I don’t want to take advantage. I’m not the only person in the world.

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Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 16:02:51

I know the mind and body are linked. I definitely feel better on a general every day level, very much so now I think about it. I can laugh, which is a massive deal for me.
I’m hoping this improvement in my mental state will have a knock on effect.

But it’s him and everything about him that does something to me that no matter what I think and say to myself. I’m safe, I’m strong etc I still wake up like I’ve been running a marathon, completely depleted....Just from a single letter.

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sawollya Mon 25-May-20 16:17:21

When you are triggered by a life task that makes you feel utterly defeated, or mired in anxiety, put a moment's space in between yourself and the feeling of dejection and be aware of that space.

You are not the feeling (of dejection, or defeat, or depression).

You can tap this out on your hand,

Thumb tap - ''I am ME, I am not this feeling of anxiety, dejection and defeat'' These feelings are a response. I am not the response.

Forefinger - tap I am moving with intention and clarity towards serenity, confidence, energy, clarity (whatever feels like the you you want to be)

Middle finger tap - I welcome these emotions, they are useful messengers

Ring finger - GOAL state, short and to the point, healed, autonomous, content, living with joy.

little finger tap - SELF interested action. (not just self-care, but self- interest ).

I found The Body Keeps the score a weighty lengthy hard to relate to book. Have you read Pete walker?

sawollya Mon 25-May-20 16:18:51

@Fightingback16 we chatted the other night!

good site

sawollya Mon 25-May-20 16:20:18

richard gannon explains putting the distance between you and your response very well

Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 16:21:50

I have ordered that book but not read it yet. I put my daughter to bed and I’m lights out.

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sawollya Mon 25-May-20 16:23:58

Take it easy. Don't exhaust yourself trying to heal too quickly.
This guy Richard Gannon's fortress mental health channel is good.

Before the book arrives,
Check out
Good site with the four different responses to CPTSD and how more functional responses to triggers.

Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 16:26:10

My thoughts about him are completely disorganised, it’s takes me days to filter in the letters and then days/weeks to get over the physical consequences. I don’t really get what’s happening, I used to be a very organised person. Tax returns, letters etc were simple. Now I’m so incoherent.
All I did was leave a relationship, then I turned to mush.

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Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 16:28:56

I need to be able to do this tho. I’m going to apply for an occupation order this week. I want him out, he is destroying the house and I feel like I can do this but I also don’t know how I’m going to approach seeing him and talking to the solIcitor about what he did to me.

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sawollya Mon 25-May-20 16:35:57

You're not mush. You're in Post Traumatic STress disorder.

I used to find it much more difficult to focus on what needed to be tackled. You were in survival mode for so long. Like, you're too panicky to calmly read something. That's not a task that's suited to being in Flight mode or Fight mode. A year is nothing, honestly.

Before you read anything, tell yourself ''This is just my first read, I have time to re-read this''. So take any expectation off yourself on the first read that you will have gleaned what action or response is required. Tell yourself when you read something, I'm only reading this in my preliminary read.

sawollya Mon 25-May-20 16:39:25

OMG, he's in your house!

I'm rooting for you.

If you need help from women's aid, draft them in.

Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 16:46:23

Yes I definitely have learnt not to reply to anything the first time I read something. It takes me days for it to filter through.

I’m not going to lie I’m absolutely terrified of seeing him. Even though he is just a small man and he can’t really hurt me. But I can’t let him keep hold of my life anymore. At the moment he holds all the cards for my future. I won’t walk away from my house out of fear, that’s what he wants! I’m frustrated because inside I know I’m stronger than this.

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Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 16:50:59

@sawollya the last few weeks with him were bad. So many threats of violence. I was so weak and grieving for my dad who died 6 months previous. He ploughed through my emotions. He pushed me out the family home and told me if I returned he’d do something I regret. He locked our 2 year old daughter in with him. I went back and he was locked in the bathroom and dd was alone in the house.’I grabbed her and left. He told me if I went for the house with lawyers he’d make me suffer. My PTSD started about 6 months after I left. I didn’t have a clue what was happening. Now I’m not scared of his threats. I put a massive deposit down, £60,000.

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Fightingback16 Mon 25-May-20 16:52:57

The house looks like crap now. The only thing he has invested is in an expensive cctv system with smoke bombs. Some kind of mental mind control thing I think for me to back off it’s mine... but it’s not. Its jointly owned. So now I’m going after it!

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sawollya Mon 25-May-20 16:56:59

You poor thing. Nothing will ever be as hard as getting him out of your life. But you're out of the house now.

I would tell the social services that you're trying to get out of an abusive relationship. Tell women's aid. Tell the police.

You need authorities in your corner. You've no court date YET, if I remember.

Don't try to get through on your own. He sounds utterly insane and abusive.

sawollya Mon 25-May-20 16:58:20

Yes, your solicitor can bring that up.

Don't forget, HE has more to fear from the court system than you do.

He is living in the house you co-own. He is deliberately trying to terrorise you in to leaving him alone.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Mon 25-May-20 17:01:19

I was going to say adrenal fatigue too, then saw the first post.

I get this, when something upsets or stresses me out I get almost flu like symptoms, end up knocked out for days, with achey limbs and headache etc.

I found out via a saliva test that my morning cortisol level was massively out of range - sky high - which might explain why I would wake up in a panic at the slightest noise!!

Do you sleep properly? Your adrenal function relies on knowing when it’s night and day as the level naturally fluctuate. If you’re not going to bed/sleep at a sensible time it might make this worse.

I’ve been trying to get to bed before midnight (I was staying up until 4 or 5am sometimes!! Just couldn’t get tired, shut my eyes for hours but nothing would happen, and then it’s a vicious circle).

Doctors can be a bit dismissive of adrenal fatigue so it might be worth doing a bit of research on it yourself.

Hope you get some relief from it all soon. flowers

MarkRuffaloCrumble Mon 25-May-20 17:04:01

The doc said I have low iron, low blood pressure, unregulated blood sugar, my hair falls out. Stress has definitely wrecked havoc.

What are they doing for all that? Hopefully not just sending you away to take a multi vitamin?!

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