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AIBU?

living under the shaddow of previous abusive relationship

8 replies

someoneelse1234 · 06/12/2019 19:02

I embarked on a same sex relationship when I was 18, left when I was 30, I am now 38.

I am in a stable, loving relationship. I'm in a good place in my life. I feel that the abuse from the previous relationship has left me with anxiety issues, and would go so far to say PTSD.

I want to see if getting some of the details down on paper will help me work through it.

I don't want to have that past affect this present.

It was grim.

She drank a lot, most days, sometimes a bit lots of times a binge drinker.

Slowly I became isolated from the outside world, and then eventually isolated from the relationship itself.

It ended by me having an affair and then leaving to live a single life.

I don't know the time line, but I want to put down and then leave here some of the things that still play in my mind, worries that I cant seem to let go of.

As a drinker, she was very unpredictable, sometimes having alcohol induced psychosis episodes - diagnosed by a doctor.

One episode resulted in police and the emergency doctor coming to the house with a view to section her.

When we first met, I didn't know but she was banned from driving for drink driving and was also on bail as her ex had accused her of trying to kill her by holding her under water in the bath. These charges where later dropped.

She had a big scar on her arm from where she had been stabbed by her ex.

The father of her children had strangled her and apparently left her for dead in her old house.

She had tried to kill herself a couple of times, overdose and cutting her wrists, all before I met her.

I should have run a mile, but was naive and best and looking for trouble at worst.

She had signed over parental rights to her children to the father. He was always portrayed as a villain, looking back I sympathise with at some level.

The family was highly dysfunctional, alcoholic father, he abused her mum in many ways for years, he died in the end.

I was, and still am, a sensitive person, sensitive to imagery and thoughts, but also a person who desires to fix things and make the world a better place for people, sometimes at the sacrifice of myself.

She used to say that I would find her hanging one day. She said this often. I used to open the bedroom door slowly just in case I saw it. I dreaded it. I still do. I felt dread for a long time. I still do.

I don't want to go over the financial abuse, the fact that I worked and she didn't, I supported her and her daughter who lived with us for a time. I had no money.

It became a situation where I financed her lifestyle and slowly lost mine.

Any occasion, holiday, day out, visit to my mums, all was over shadowed by knowing that she was either waiting for an opportunity to get drunk, or was somewhere getting drunk.

She threw me out once and her brother came and picked her up, I was left to get two busses to my mums with a few bags.

She would wake me up in the middle of the night because I was snoring and send me into the spare room to sleep in a single bed (which was a bit broken and propped up with a couple of books). I remember laying there in the cold and crying because I felt so lonely. After a few weeks of this I didn't cry any more, something starts to seize up. In the end I turned that spare room into what I can see now was a replica of my childhood bedroom.

I knew her friends / family mocked me, thought I was a bit of a snob. I was always an outcast, even in my own relationship I had become an outsider.

On the occasion we did share a bed, when it was dark she would pull 'scary' faces at me, and then say she wasn't. Or pretend to be asleep and make big yawn faces, something I was afraid of and still am. She would swear she wasn't and that I was paranoid. She might have her arm round me and pretend to be sleeping and then dig her fingers into my side so it would hurt. Sometimes now when my other half has his arms round me when we sleep, I still feel on edge.

When my Nan died, she was asked not to attend the funeral. When she dropped me off, she was furious and told me not to bother ever coming home.

When I did get home, it was, as usual to an empty house, with her to return in the early hours drunk and full of emotion, some rage, some sadness.

Many times I waiting till the early hours, knowing she was spending the housekeeping, and then having to deal with the fall out.

She was caught drink driving a second time, and we had to go to court just after Christmas, where they were going to tag her. She got banned for three years.

I wanted to decorate the house, it was a horrible house, I bought laminate flooring, I cant remember the reason but it wasn't right or we couldn't afford to get it put down.

I dragged laminate flooring back to the shop on the train, she went to the local pub in the car.

I sold my old uni books for about £30 because we were desperate.

I would pay for bus fare out of the copper jar to go and see my mum and dad, to who I swore everything was ok.

When I was in the bath, she would stand outside the bathroom door and whisper insults at me, calling me fat slut and worse.

I used to just brazen it out, I felt vulnerable.

I remember her saying that when she died she wanted to be buried with her family, I used to wonder what would happen to me when I died, who would look out for me, where would I go. After my family I had no one. No place. I still think about that a lot. That dread/sadness/loneliness.

She would have these episodes, and I was never sure if it was real or if she was doing it to hurt me.

She would 'confess' to going with other women, one in particular, I cant even remember her name now, and then afterwards she would say she was only joking.

I never knew where I stood or what would happen next.

I was constantly trying to do the right thing. Working double shifts in call centres.

Came home once and the window had had a brick through it, no one was in, she was in the pub. I cleared up the glass and just had no idea what to do. I was so on my own.

I started a new job the next day.

I remember starting a sales job and I didn't have any black shoes so I wore her work boots under my pants. I knew it looked ridiculous but I had nothing else I could do. I remember standing there with the new intake and knowing I looked a fool, but again, brazening it out.

At Christmas, she would go and see her children at their fathers house, I would sit in the car outside for an hour or more, on Christmas morning, in the cold, while she played family with her ex.

snide comments, controlling behaviour, years of that and you either break down or you get cold and unfeeling. I got cold and unfeeling.

She took our dog out once, she was drunk, he got off the lead and was hit by a bus and the poor thing had no chance. I was heartbroken. But I was the one offering the comfort. Always the giver. Always the mug.

The long lonely nights plus the internet ended up in me meeting up with a few guys, having a few fleeting recurring one night stands.

It was then I realised that when she said I would never get anyone to like me I knew she was wrong, and my world started to open up again.

I met up with a well spoken, gentle guy, I lied to him and to her, and well, she found out and sent a barrage of abuse to him. I was so ashamed.

I had a car crash and ended up with a few quid and I remember my dad saying to me 'if not now, when', so I found a flat and made my exit plan.

I left with nothing.

In fact I left with less than nothing, I certainly left with less than I came with.

My dad had been diagnosed with cancer, her mum said to me that I was contributing to his ill health by putting him through all this - leaving her.

Her mum went to visit a 'psychic' and came back with a 'message' from my nan to say she was very disappointing in me with what I was doing.

I remember our microwave broke just before I left, but I replaced it so she wasn't left with no microwave.

All that and more for years has, I think, left me with an anxiety issue, and contributed to some aspects of OCD type - very much needing to neutralise negative thoughts.

Most of the time I think that that was all in another life and I have left it behind, but I still feel under that shadow of dread. Its like I have just learnt to have that as part of my internal conversation.

How can I shut it off quietly. I'm determined for it to not taint the beautiful relationship and family that I am now blessed with.

OP posts:
Thisisanillegalbingogame · 06/12/2019 22:46

Oh love, I’m sorry I don’t have any advice but didn’t want to read and run. It sounds absolutely horrific and I’m so glad that you are no longer in that situation. Look after yourself Flowers

lexiepuppy · 07/12/2019 10:09

You are a rescuer an Empath and your ex sounds like a histrionic/narcissist.

You have had her as a Universal life lessons and she has taught you so much about what you DON'T want in relationships.

I'm sure you have been taught some valuable lessons about spotting red flags in relationships and setting boundaries so that you don't get badly treated again.

She was a person who taught you all about the bad things in life. You are done with those dark lessons and you are passing into the light.

Research cluster b personality types.
Narcissists/sociopaths/psychopaths/histrionics/ borderline.
Knowledge is power.
Also look at Complex PTSD. Look back to your own childhood to see if you are repeating patterns with challenging parents or siblings.

You are through the worst, enjoy a better life now. You have learnt those lessons .Flowers

Happygirl79 · 07/12/2019 10:12

See a counsellor.
You need professional help to move on from this not just thoughts offered from other women.
I am saddened and so sorry to hear about your past relationship and pleased to know you have escaped the abuse

Abc234 · 07/12/2019 10:35

Your very brave thank God u got out .see a councillor .you must know u have control over your life not that evil partner. Put it all in the past where it belongs . Good luck

Jjaahh16 · 07/12/2019 12:44

I really feel for you and can understand and relate to this. As others have said the only way forward is to get some therapy.
One thing I will say is do not blame yourself for the awful actions of others but do make sure that moving forward you set some solid bounderies. I wish you all the luck in the world moving forward

Oldlady52 · 07/12/2019 12:54

I took myself out of two mentally and emotionally abusive marriages, then went on to short term relationships which were equally as bad. Eventually, I pulled myself together and was alone for a while. I met my present husband, married a couple of years ago, after 20 years together. I have to admit, it hasn't been all roses, but it works. You can't just erase the past and it will come to mind in your dark times. Have counselling to help, but learn to forgive yourself

75Renarde · 07/12/2019 15:04

You poor poor love.

As others have said, you're an Empath. But let's be clear, the female ex has Narcassitic Personality Disorder, NPD. Not borderline or histrionic. Only a narc could do the things shes done.

I would be very shocked if you didnt have PTSD after that.

Ok, I think the most important thing is that you learn about yourself so you can handle the triggers. Medication will help and possibly trauma therapy.

I also recommend narcsite.com to you. The guy who runs it is a genious. I have consulted with him on many occasions. This man has saved my life, literally, with his immense knowledge of NPD. His books are the best there is.

And Flowers brave lady. You've suffered enough. Time for healing. I wish you all the best.

someoneelse1234 · 07/12/2019 20:19

Thanks everyone, for your understanding.
And for those who mentioned me being an Empath - very probably right!
That relationship ended 8 years ago, I just want to be able to let it go. I have certainly let the relationship go!
I hope I didnt make it sound worse than it was, I tried to stick to the facts giving examples of what happened rather than 'she was a bit of a cow'.
To the person who referenced my childhood, I had a great childhood, brought up in a very stable loving home. Have fantastic siblings. Certainly no throw back there.
I'm such a different person now, and have done a lot of healing. I have a great Mr, and a wonderful, beautiful gift of a son.
He doesn't knows I'm a sensitive one, but doesnt know how that period of time affected me. I mean, who wants to sit through hours of conversation about your loved ones ex? I certainly wouldnt!
I cant go back and change what happened, I dont regret the lessons, but my goodness I regret the time wasted. I am conscious of not wanting to waste any more time in that 'space'.
Maybe I still dont appreciate how bad it was, It kind of became pretty normal to me.

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