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So it's not all in my head then:( (long)

(468 Posts)
MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 17:04:15

Can't quite believe I'm writing this, but need to get it written down before I minimise it again.
This morning, DH and I both a bit tired, DS (3) acting up a bit. DH offered to take DS and dog for a walk so I could get some peace. DS was being difficult about getting his coat on and DH was acting as though his temper was getting strained. He muttered 'I don't work hard all week to come home to this!' And then pinned DS on the stone floor and wrestled him into his coat. DS was sobbing and I wanted to comfort him, bu DH snarled t me to go upstairs and let him get on with it. I would normally retreat at this point so as not to provoke him, but today I decided not to and stood m ground.

He asked me again to go and I said if he was upset he should take the dog out and clear his head, and leave DS with me. He said 'you really don't want to push me just now' and I asked why he was threatening me? He walked over and shoved me really hard through the doorway into the next room and onto the floor. DS saw this sad and ran over to me. We both somehow ended up upstairs and DH followed us up and stood there saying I was over-reacting as it was only a shove had provoked him so i deserved the shove.

I was crying and DS was upset and brought me his muslin and dummy sad. I refused to let DH touch me and he told me again I was overreacting and denied the comment about me deserving it, said I had made that up. He then took DS and went for the walk. I haven't been able to send being in the same room all day, but daren't leave in case he gets really angry and does something worse.

He has only physically assaulted me once before, 8 years ago on holiday, and was so drunk at that time that he passed out and claimed no memory of it. He can be grumpy and I feel I walk on eggshells and that I have to justify myself a lot. Since the incident 8 years ago, I've always backed down before he lost his temper, and fooled myself that he'd changed, but I discovered mumsnet 6m ago and have been reading a lot on this board and feeling increasingly uneasy that quite a lot f it applied to me.

He is not at all financially controlling, but was very jealous and quite controlling of my social life (back when I had one) and can be quite argumentative after a drink (not that he drinks much these days). He can also be loving and affectionate and we have long periods of time where everything seems fine, but I've been excusing his behaviour for a very long time and now there are really no excuses left.

Don't know what to do really. Thoroughly miserable and very confused.

TranceDaemon Tue 01-Jan-13 17:11:49

I haven't long, so I will post properly later. You could have been me 6 years ago. It will escalate if you stay, you HAVE to get out now before it gets any worse and damages you and your son any more.

My DD was 3 when she first saw her dad push me over and do exactly the same as has happened to you today.
She still remembers it.

This is abuse. You can't change him, please get help, ring Womens Aid, confide in your friends and family. Realise that you have to put your DS first now, and protect him.

Let this be the catalyst to say ENOUGH! No woman who has left an abusive relationship regrets it. Plenty regret staying as long as they did.

Make plans and make your escape, this is no life for you and your DS. A much better, happier life is out there for you. You deserve that.

jessjessjess Tue 01-Jan-13 17:18:43

It is NOT all in your head. Posting on here, voicing what has happened and admitting it to yourself is a brave first step.

Please call these people: They are very helpful, will not judge you and will be able to give you some good advice.

The things that particularly struck me about your post:

"He told me again I was overreacting and denied the comment about me deserving it, said I had made that up". This is called gaslighting, which means denying he has mistreated or hurt you, implying you're exaggerating or making it up or that you have misunderstood.

You are afraid of him; you feel you walk on eggshells and have to justify yourself; you always back down first; he is jealous and controlling; things are fine so long as he is happy. This is not in your head. It is abuse. You deserve better.

Women's Aid can give you some advice about how to leave. Please phone them, however hard it feels. Is there anyone you can talk to, e.g. a friend or family member?

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 17:26:54

Thank you both. He's at work tomorrow, so I'll try women's aid then. It really helps to be told I'm not overreacting. I'd never heard of gas lighting ip until I joined MN, but today when he did it, I spotted it straight away and it scared me nearly as much as the shove.

He's going away on Friday for a week. I'm going to go to my parents and tell them everything, then decide from there. I'm an educated, professional person, I can't believe I've been so stupid sad

izzyizin Tue 01-Jan-13 17:28:28

Your h has physically assaulted your ds and yourself.

Furthermore, your h physically assaulted your ds in your presence while you were watching and this begs the question of what he is capable of doing to your son when you are not around.

You are a victim of domestic violence as, by default, is your ds. Call the police, have your h removed from your home forthwith, and ask to be referred to your regional police authority's domestic violence unit.

Also visit and call the 24/7 Helpline or locate your nearest branch and give them a ring tomorrow during usual office hours (it's possible they'll be short-staffed and won't be fully functioning until next week).

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 01-Jan-13 17:30:09

It's not in your head because you've outlined a fairly classic scenario of emotional/physical/verbal aggressive/threatening/frightening behaviour which only improves when you back down, do as you're told, stop socialising etc. That's the attitude of trainer and dog, not husband and wife. It's not in your 3 year-old's head either if he wanted to comfort you with his muslin and dummy .... No confusion there. That little boy has more love in his little finger than your DH has in his entire body.

By rights you should call the police and report the assault. Get him removed from your home. It's damaging you, damaging your child and this kind of situation hardly ever improves, only worsens. Womens Aid can give you some good advice. They're busy this time of year so keep trying and don't give up. Do you have someone you and your DS could go and stay with?

MatchsticksForMyEyes Tue 01-Jan-13 17:31:47

My married life was v similar. Got shoved over last May because our baby ds had knocked a coffee cup over. I was persuaded to go back to him (left for 8 days), but 3mths ago he kicked our 4yr old dd off a bed then screamed in her face.
We left and have started divorce proceedings.
He is trying to distort your view of what happened. Denial/minimising is a classic tactic.
The 'good' periods are there to confuse you about what he's like and keep you in the relationship.
I decided I couldn't let my dc grow up thinking marriage was like this.
Do you have anyone you could go and stay with? Don't listen to any rubbish about him never meaning to hurt you, your op shows what he did was calculated.

izzyizin Tue 01-Jan-13 17:34:38

Abusers such as your h do NOT change until they're made to change and, even then, it should be borne in mind that courses intended to rehabilitate abusers such as those run by Respect have a low success rate.

Frankly, you're best advised to end your marriage as soon as possible and set about creating the life you and your ds deserve.

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 17:36:43

Izzy, I don't feel I can call the police - he's a Dr and a police caution would be reported to the GMC. I don't think he's a risk to others. I'm off worK this week. I can go to my parents, I think, but not tonight. I think I should wait until he goes to work tomorrow, then call my parents.

ErikNorseman Tue 01-Jan-13 17:37:42

He is an abuser. He abuses you, and your child. Please, please don't ignore this.

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 17:38:22

I'm shaky and dreading DS going to bed.

Chaoscarriesonagain Tue 01-Jan-13 17:38:45


How awful must the memory of DS comforting you be. I am so sad for you OP

I wish I had the courage to leave first time. Cogit is right, he will minimise the impact of his behaviour and begin to make you doubt the incident.

And then he'll do it again. My now ex would cry floods of tears when confronted. Not at the time though! It's all crocodile.

I had my first panic attack after a particularly bad incident. Not at the time, but the next day after the severity and implications kicked in. I belie e it's stayed with me. You don't need this for yourself and your child.

But it's hard to accept, right? I know, me too. But you have to take control and you will begin to see him for who he really is

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 01-Jan-13 17:42:20

Violent men should not be be excused just because they have an important job. You need to protect yourself and DS as #1 priority and if his career is jeopardised because he's a nasty piece of work, that's entirely his responsibility not yours. If he's this violent over something so trivial, how do you think he's going to react when you leave him taking his DS? Cooling his heels in a police station for a few hours and facing an investigation might make him think twice about carrying on the abuse after you've gone....

Chaoscarriesonagain Tue 01-Jan-13 17:47:21

Wish I reported mine to police at the time for what it's worth. I took the 'important job ' card too as an excuse.

Think about you and DS!!!

StuffezLaBouche Tue 01-Jan-13 17:48:06

I don't think he's a risk to others
This is so very awful. Why do you prioritise your own safety and wellbeing so low? What would your reaction have been if he'd violently shoved a woman in the street? Shock, fear and disgust I should think. That's what I feel when I read about what he did to you.

Call the police. They WILL take it seriously and if it affects his career it's because he chose those actions.

izzyizin Tue 01-Jan-13 17:50:57

He didn't have any concern about what assaulting your and his dc could do to his reputation/career, did he? By that token, why should you give a flying fluck if he gets his knuckles lightly rapped has some explaining to do?

Whether or not he's a risk to others is irrelavent; he's a risk to you and your ds and it's incumbent on you to act accordingly to protect your son - otherwise you truly will be stupid to let him get away with it.

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 17:51:38

I can't believe the police would take me seriously over a shove. And it was this morning, hours ago. This is the 2nd time in 13 years that he's raised a hand to me and the last time was 8 yrs ago, although I can now see that that's because I've been pacifying him.

If I can get through this evening, I'll call my parents and leave tomorrow. I have my phone on me, if he gets nasty again I'll call the police. He seems pretty shell shocked to be honest. Not made any eye contact or attempt to apologise since I rebuffed him on the landing. We're being civil, sort of, but this isn't what he expected to happen and I don't think he knows how to act.

He's a practicing Buddhist ffs!

TurnipCake Tue 01-Jan-13 17:52:42

OP, I am a doctor - if he did to a patient what he did to you and your son, he would be hauled up in front of the GMC and quite rightly racked across the coals.

You are both at risk right now, please take whatever measures you can to protect yourselves

TurnipCake Tue 01-Jan-13 17:54:40

Buddhist by name only. My ex kept a whiteboard of inspiring quotes to himself, about bravery, courage etc and the loser was the biggest coward I know. Actions speak louder than words.

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 17:55:53

Yeah Turnip, I'm a Dr too, I know. I'm really sorry but I just don't have it in me just now.

I hear what you are saying about DS, but I really don't want him to witness another scene like this morning, so I currently feel I'd be better just sneaking away tomorrow.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 01-Jan-13 17:55:58

"I can't believe the police would take me seriously over a shove. "

Yes they do. Especially when the physical aggression has been witnessed by a small child. Domestic violence is taken extremely seriously.

MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 17:57:34

Chaos, why do you wish you had reported at the time? What would it have changed?

jessjessjess Tue 01-Jan-13 18:01:48

OP, if it is reported to the GMC then that is his doing, not yours. You didn't choose to be a victim. You are not responsible for his behaviour.

I know it's a very lonely feeling when it's you vs. a partner who says you're overreacting. Talking to the police about what has happened, what crime has been committed and what they can potentially do might help you feel more resolved about things, if that makes sense? I once insisted my friend call the police after her partner banged her head against a doorframe and there was something about the police saying: "This is assault and it's not okay," that made her realise it wasn't all in her head.

Re this: "I'm an educated, professional person, I can't believe I've been so stupid"

You haven't been stupid. You have been abused. It can happen to anyone and unfortunately being intelligent or educated is no protection against it.

People think they would be able to spot an abuser because they consider the full picture of how that person might act. But you don't get to see the full picture when you're in the situation; it happens little by little. Chipping into you little bit by little bit. Knocking you down bit by bit.

I felt so stupid, so ashamed, so humiliated, coming out of my relationship with my ex, because I'm intelligent, educated, a feminist, how could this happen? But now, years later, I can see how he ground me down, so I thought it was all my fault. It wasn't. Anyone can be taken in. Anyone can be abused. It is not your fault.

OP, the police WILL take you seriously. I have sat with a friend who called police after her now-ex pushed her into a doorframe. They were kind, sympathetic, helpful and understanding. Because they knew, as I'm sure you know, that a kind, loving partner doesn't randomly shove his girlfriend or wife one day, that it's part of a bigger picture of abuse.

That said, I think you are better off aiming to do something you feel you can do. If, right now, you have it in you to leave, but not to call police, then do that. Because it's better than doing nothing. But please do consider speaking to police, maybe start by calling 101 and asking for some advice.

HappyNewHissy Tue 01-Jan-13 18:02:44

Very good advice here Merlot, we'll be here for you for as long as it takes to get away from him.

I'd like you to go to YOUR GP and report this, get it logged, get checked over. I understand your reluctance to report him to the police, yes of course you ought to do this, but you need to think about it for a day or so.

go the the Doctor first, ideally one that doesn't know him, get it put on your records, it may be needed to help protect you and your DS in future, it'd be an insurance policy.

Basically, unless he plays ball with you, you have this against him, if it's not recorded, you can't prove it, and he will smooth talk his way out of it all.

He knows that if this comes out, he'll be a Doctor no more, that is a HEFTY bit of leverage you have, make sure you keep it in your arsenal just in case.

Once you have been to the Docs, then please make initial appointments with ALL the decent solicitors around your area and take advice on your situation. If you consult all of the good local firms, NONE of them will be able to act for him. His Reputation will mean JACK SHIT. It will be one less weapon he can use against you.

This is hard to accept, but these are very simple things you can do, without him knowing to protect your wealth, your home, your life and your child, just in case.

Get copies of bank statements, savings etc too, and keep them safe. You can do all this while he is away.

Then you will be in a position of knowledge, and knowledge is power.

so sorry you have had this happen to you, but you do know that it was inevitable. You have been managing him for the last 8 years, he wasn't getting his fix.

Please read Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft. It will really help you see the dynamic here and see clearly that none of this was your fault, not ever.

jessjessjess Tue 01-Jan-13 18:03:57

Sorry, repeated myself a bit there - forgot to preview and edit.

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