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Please reassure me I've done the right thing...

222 replies

NothingHasBrokenMeYet · 24/11/2019 02:03

I left my abusive husband three months ago, and we had to flee across the country.

He doesn't know where we are.

My eldest DS wants no contact with either him or his family (every type of abuse you can imagine, toward me and them).

My youngest DS is still young enough to have an idealistic view of his dad/GPs etc. He misses them, and I'm holding him while he cries, while at the same time crying inside because something which gives me so much relief (the fact that we're miles away) is the very thing causing my son stress. I feel guilty for being relieved.

I'm worried sick about Christmas. Its going to be hard anyway because they'll be away from what they know. The relocation (sudden, rushed, expensive train journey) wiped me out, and I just can't afford Christmas this year.

I'm exhausted, everything is starting to sink in now that I'm out of there, and I know I need help- but I feel I can't seek help because I can't drop the ball where the boys are concerned: they're on waiting lists for therapy, and I need 100% of my focus to be on them, seeing as I'm the only one they have know- we know no one around here and I have no family- and I uprooted them in the first place.

I'm failing like he always said I would, aren't I?

OP posts:

Namechangeforthiscancershit · 24/11/2019 02:07

Oh wow I am in awe. You have achieved so much already.

Of course you are exhausted and fearful. You would be insane not to be. But your strength is absolutely amazing.

You can do Christmas cheaply and easily. There are lots of ideas around but you are what your sons really want. Will anyone be around to back you up? Do you have local-ish friends or family members?


NothingHasBrokenMeYet · 24/11/2019 02:12

None at all. A lot of people betrayed me during the time between me finally managing to get him out and report him, and having to flee. Things were getting back to him and I couldn't risk anyone knowing our location, in case it got back to him or his family. Please don't think I'm being dramatic when I say we really would be in danger if they knew where we were.

OP posts:

NothingHasBrokenMeYet · 24/11/2019 02:13

I needed to get them safe. I've been running on some sort of adrenaline. That seems to have dissolved now we ARE safe IYSWIM?

OP posts:

rockingaroundthemulberrybush · 24/11/2019 02:14

Please contact your local Foodbank and ask if they are doing any Chrostmas hampers and ask how to get referred for one. I refer people for these and they amazing! Full of Christmas goodies and plenty to eat for Christmas day. I'd also find out how to become recipient for any toy appeals - these are now also being distributed for my area.

Do you have a worker/support worker/Housing Officer you could ask about accessing this support?


NothingHasBrokenMeYet · 24/11/2019 02:16

I have a support worker in the place I'm living atm. Its hard to explain the set up and still be vague iyswim?

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NothingHasBrokenMeYet · 24/11/2019 02:17

I will definitely ask the food bank. Thank you!

I'm so scared that DS2 will resent me for "taking away" his family. DS1 remembers what happened to me, and to him. DS2 not so much.

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Namechangeforthiscancershit · 24/11/2019 02:17

Dramatic? No definitely not the word. I promise.

Right well we are your back up. But you might need someone IRL too!

Does the place that you're living and lend itself to a bit a communal lunch? Shared decorations?


NothingHasBrokenMeYet · 24/11/2019 02:24

Thank you for being so nice!

Not really. I'm in supported housing, in a flat. I don't even know the other people here- my anxiety and mistrust of people stops me from even saying hello to them.

I also suspect that I may have PTSD.

I'm petrified because, on paper, EXH and his family would be the "better deal" for the kids: he has a job, no history of MH, and him and his family are long standing members of the community. Compare that to an addict (I'm nine months sober from alcohol) with a disability and an ED...I'm so scared they'll have grounds to seek custody, even despite the fact that the police have photographic evidence.

I've only just got them safe!

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user1493997854 · 24/11/2019 02:28

Believe me you have done the right thing . Your children will eventually understand why you had to do it,I had to do the same thing,and change our names etc.Womens Aid,social workers and the police were all amazing, but that was before all the cutbacks,but you could check where you are if they can help you. Its been 12 years now for me,I still have nightmares ( diagnosed PTSD) but the peace in my life now is worth it, and I am alive and so are my now grown up daughters who do NOT resent me in any shape or form. I really wish you and your children all the very best and live YOUR life now 💐💐💐💐


Italiangreyhound · 24/11/2019 02:35

this sounds so very hard. Please do not doubt yourself. You are doing the best thing for your kids.

Your younger son will be fine in the long run if you are meeting his needs etc. You did what you had to do.

See what local charities or churches etc do, perhaps a toy service where they give out toys for Christmas.

Good luck. Thanks XXXXX

[Edited to remove identifying info]


NothingHasBrokenMeYet · 24/11/2019 02:35

Thank you! This has filled me with hope! But I'm sorry you understand my situation if that makes sense.

The logical side of me can see the progress I've made. I no longer jump every time I spot a green car. I don't flinch every time someone reaches their hand toward me because I know it no longer means I'm going to get beaten/raped.

And if I've stayed sober through these past four months, then by God I'm sober. They've been the worst of my life (he didn't go quietly). If I can do THAT without a drink, there will never be another "valid" excuse to pick up

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Italiangreyhound · 24/11/2019 02:36

I mean you met his needs by keeping him safe.


ThumbWitchesAbroad · 24/11/2019 02:49

well done for getting you and the boys away. You have already succeeded well beyond your ex's expectations - you CAN do this.

Remember whatever he told you about your capabilities was all lies, designed to weaken you and keep you bound to him. You have broken free of that - now discard his opinions of you as totally wrong and irrelevant to you. I know it's easy to say that, but all the while you listen to his voice inside your head, he still has power over you - you need to cut that power off by ignoring the remnants of his voice, and learning to trust your OWN instincts again. You CAN do it, you know - you've already started - you just need to keep taking the steps that keep you all safe and away from him. Thanks

[Edited to remove identifying info]


Topseyt · 24/11/2019 02:56

OP, you are doing so well. You absolutely aren't failing, quite the opposite in fact. Please know that and stay strong.

Wishing you all the best. You and your boys can have a lovely and peaceful life now.


FelixFelicis6 · 24/11/2019 02:56

Remember to try and find support for your alcoholism in your new place - so important you don’t let that slipFlowers


Greenwingmemories · 24/11/2019 03:36

I'm in awe of you OP you've done the really difficult thing by getting away. There are lots of free Christmassy things you can do: going to the shopping centre for the lights and there's usually a display of some kind; a walk on Christmas Day if you've got a park nearby; playing games on Christmas Day; going to a local church carol concert etc.

This is going to be the hardest year for you. Eventually you'll be able to build support networks etc. Do any local DV charities provide any support? Can you get any counselling through the doctor or social services?

You're doing so well and you're completely doing the right thing for your kids Flowers


NothingHasBrokenMeYet · 24/11/2019 06:56

I'm so sorry, I fell asleep.

It's all a waiting game atm. I haven't been able to attend any alcohol support meetings, or even a doctor's appointment, up to now, because the DC weren't in school, and they were therefore with me 24/7. That all changed last week- now I'll have a little free time to do what I need to!

Gosh, how negative did I sound last night? That's not me AT ALL. I am so grateful just to still be here.

He tried to break me.

He failed.

OP posts:

BovaryX · 24/11/2019 06:58

I'm failing like he always said I would, aren't I?

what you have done has taken tremendous courage and determination. You have done it to protect yourself and your children and it is very clear how much you love them. You doubt yourself because you have been in an abusive relationship, but inside you know that you had to take the action you have taken. Christmas is about the marketing of an idealised perfect family free from any hint of dysfunction. It will be hard and you are bound to feel uncertain and have really challenging times, but as lots of these replies confirm, you have done the bravest thing. You are stronger than you know. It will get better. The very best of luck to you and hopefully 2020 will be the year you develop your new life.

[Edited to remove identifying info]


Pomley · 24/11/2019 07:02

You sound incredible OP, and although it must be upsetting to hear DS sad, what you have done is without question the best thing for him. It's not unusual for someone abusive to treat someone within the family well so there's more of an emotional tie as a form of blackmail; and I am sure once things have settled he will come to terms with it. Amazing on the drink as well, honestly, I cant even imagine what you have been through. I agree with a PP you should ask the food bank, or if you are in touch with a women's charity. I volunteered years ago at one and I always donate presents at Christmas, so there might be something similar you can access.


helpasisterout · 24/11/2019 07:03

Part time working mummy is amazing at arranging some Christmas or distress items for victims of DA. Suggest dropping her an email and if she could help a little it would be a start to making new happy memories for the kids xxx


NothingHasBrokenMeYet · 24/11/2019 07:06

There's a long road ahead: a court case (hopefully) for a start.

There are a lot of things he and his family will be assuming.

  1. That I'm too thick to get us halfway across the town we used to live, let alone halfway across the country.

2. That I won't last too minutes without his/their support (um- yeah, I can SORT of see why they'd think this. I not only was extremely co-dependant on him, I was also too pissed to function this time last year.)

3. That I'll be too scared to follow the charges through until the end.

13 years of marriage- yet he didn't know me at all, did he?

Last night's posts were a little jumbled, and probably made no sense. So I'll answer any question I can safely answer.
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Candle1000 · 24/11/2019 07:08

You are not failing , you have done the bravest thing and I applaud you , it’s not easy but things will get better. As my therapist told me ‘hang in there’ . You can do this , in fact, you are doing it .

Christmas is always a difficult time but you can do it cheaply, the pound shops are the way to go.

I wish you strength and happiness, give it a while and you will suddenly look back and see how far you have come xxx


TheRobinIsBobbingAlong · 24/11/2019 07:13

OP you've given your children the best Christmas present ever by removing them from that environment. As long as they have your love they have everything they need. To have done that and remain sober is an incredible achievement. If you find yourself having another wobble and doubting yourself, come straight back here so we can keep reminding you how fantastic you are.


Herocomplex · 24/11/2019 07:14

Just wanted to add my voice, I’m really glad that you’ve found some safety. I hope you find the strength you need. Well done. Get to a meeting as soon as you can if that will help.


NovemberDays · 24/11/2019 07:22

Women’s Aid - at least where I am - have support workers for children and young people and will work with them in the aftermath of domestic abuse (they also do Christmas parties for the children). If you are not already supported by them, get in touch and ask about support for DC.

The thing to remember is that leaving is just the first step in a long journey. It is not going to be better overnight, because - as you say - you still have to get through court (charges against him?) and potentially also if you are pursued for contact or residence and you still have to deal with the emotional fall-out and PTSD. So you need all the support you can get and to be gentle on yourself.

One of the hardest things to do, and this may take years, is to stop having his voice in your head and measuring what you are doing by his and his family’s standards. What matters is that you and DC are safe and you do need to trust your own judgements on their day to day life and well-being.

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