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Why can't I get over this?(8 Posts)
I believe I was in an emotionally (and mildly physically) abusive relationship some years ago.
I am married now to a good man who does not abuse me and yet I can't seem to get over it.
To just set the scene on what this previous relationship was like, he would constantly belittle me and tell me I was an idiot. Anything and everything I did was wrong, from the way I cooked his tea to the amount of 'effort I made for him' i.e. the way I looked.
He would sit me down like a child, literally sit me down, and have long winding conversations where I wasn't allowed to speak about how stupid I was and he was only trying to help me, why didn't I see that? That he deserved better than me but he was staying for my sake because he was a good person that just wanted to better me. He would go on and on like this until I was too exhausted to do anything but apologise. He would call me a pathetic cunt, a bitch, a slag etc...
If I ever tried to interrupt or stand up for myself he would blow. He would throw things like shoes at my face, the laundry basket, he would get into my face and seem like he was going to punch me, he would punch holes in walls or rip the doors of their frames. I remember locking myself in the bathroom once whilst he head butted the door trying to get in like he'd actually gone crazy and I was thinking he will kill me if he gets in here. I think that time I'd accidentally burnt some chips for our tea. He would grab my face hard and turn it towards him and tell me to stop crying or push me if I interrupted him etc... I was petrified of him even though he never actually hurt me physically, I knew he could and he made that obvious.
He would have no problem shouting and raving at me in public either until I was too embarrassed that I just apologised and confirmed how awful I was.
There are so many other things but the sitting me down like a child and telling me over and over how stupid I was etc... Was the thing that really affected me I think. I came away from that relationship (I fled whilst he was at work one day to my parents) thinking I was really a very very stupid person. I had no confidence in my ability or my intelligence at all. I was scared of making mistakes at work etc... Because I was so stupid.
I am over it now in some ways however I do find myself being unable to have a 'healthy argument' with DH. We don't argue a lot but there are times when we do like anyone and I find myself so desperate to end it despite it being nothing like I experienced with ex, that I just get all shakey and apologetic and just need to apologise and hug him so he won't leave. DH is a good man, he doesn't shout or call me names like ex but I still can't stand any sign of tension between us, I flinch and jump and I just have to FIX IT right away.
I don't know what to do, I am so different still to the person I was before ex but it's been years now. Sometimes I feel like writing ex a letter and telling him the damage he has done to me. He was so apologetic when I left him but I know really he won't care or see it. He is always right and better than everyone else.
I think you might benefit from counselling.
It sounds crazy but I do already see a counsellor for something completely unrelated. However this is always something I struggle to bring up because I never know if I'm overreacting or not and I just struggle to talk about it out loud, other than anonymously here.
I probably should try though.
Do. Write down what you want to say and if you can't bring yourself to say it, show the piece of paper.
You are not overreacting but it is not doing you good to keep it bottled in.
From your description I wouldn’t describe that as ‘minor’ abuse (even if there is any such thing), but really very serious abuse. I’m not surprised you’re struggling. Do be kind to yourself, and I second the suggestion of raising it with your counsellor. I’m quite sure they won’t think you’re overreacting.
Thanks I guess I'll have to try and bring this up at our next session. I've tried to just forget about it and move on but quite obviously I haven't. I just wish I could stop giving him anymore head space!
You are not overreacting. Open up to your counsellor and allow yourself to heal.
You are not stupid. You left him. Can't get much smarter than that x
Maybe you are over reacting, maybe you're not, surely that's the point of having counselling? To talk things through to find a resolution to your feelings about things that have happened?
So yes, definitely mention it at counselling.
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