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after 17 years I feel sooo lost help
April 11, 2007
7:44 pm
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confusedandsad
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hi...need some support and advice to heal...I left him six months ago and unfortunately had contact with him 2 months later(although did not go back and live w/him) after he made a million promises then after breaking all of them...he decided to go to counseling 2 months ago...he was very verbally abusive..he got physical once and i did get hurt in which it took a while to heal (hurt my back 2 bulging discs) I dont think he expected/intend to hurt me to the degree he did think he just wanted to scare me. after months of healing and still not 100 percent better... when he got angry real angry again I got sooo scared I left him. We have 2 children together Ifeel so guilty not working on this but and sad about the whole thing...even though he is in counseling I still do not trust him..not so much about the physical thing it just happened once... but he can be so mean and cruel. for example he was putting all kinds of different chemicals in my face cream.. and hair stuff... I had to go to dermatologist and get 4 different perscriptions for a period over a year and he never told me what he was doing to me... my hair kept breaking really bad...I caught him one day threatened to leave if he did not tell me how long he had been doing this..he told me after a few hours he had been doin it over a period of 2 yrs... I begged him to tell me why he did not tell me knowing I was going to the doctor and taking perscriptions for over a year to cure the rashes that would come up on my face and skin...he was sorry thats it. I know I sound pathetic but I dont understand why this hurts so bad we have been separated for six months now although he beleives that I am overeacting and that I will get over it..he says he is getting help and that these "we had problems in our relationship, and we need to move forward" I have terrible guilt about breaking up the family ...and as stupid as it sounds miss not being so alone

April 11, 2007
9:18 pm
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nmlp
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You are doing the best thing. Stay away from him! If he truly understood what he has done to you and the pain he has caused, he wouldn't just tell you to get over it and move forward. My ex said the same to me and believe me, even though he has been in counseling and claims that he has changed, I see no evidence of it. He was physically abusive to you once, but he was poisoning your face and hand cream for over 2 years. Honey, he is the sick one, and he is manipulating your feelings of love and obligation to him. Do not let him do this to you! DO NOT FEEL GUILTY! You need to realize that you have got to protect yourself and your children! IF they don't have you, who will take care of them? How old are they? you need time to heal. Six months is no where near enough time for you or he to get better. Give yourself time. Do you feel less stressed with him not around 24/7? Do you sleep? Do you laugh a little? Cherish this time with your children, take care of them and take care of you. Let him worry about taking care of himself. I just divorced my husband of 17 years, and my situation was extremely abusive. As hard as it feels, and believe me, I do know EXACTLY how you feel, time will help. There were times when I thought I couldnot get through the next minute never mind the next day. Are you in counseling? If not, find one. If you don't have insurance, call your County Woman's Shelter and they will be able to help you. I thank God every day that I had friends that helped me find my way to therapy and a good lawyer. Take one minute at a time, then gradually one hour at a time, then you will be able to take one day at a time. Honey, abuse is abuse. No one deserves to be abused. As hard as it seems, you need to take back cotrol of your life...you can do it. Do you have a pastor you can speak to? Have you reported the abuse (especially the poisoning of the personal products) to the police? Please, call the police and ask for the Domestic Violence hotline. They can help you.
I am here if you need any help. I can always talk to you. God bless...be safe.

April 11, 2007
9:37 pm
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Anonymous
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(((((((confusedandsad))))))

Men like your xh make me mad. On the other hand, my father was abusive and I loved him always... Still trying to figure things out.

I´m with (((nmlp))): TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!!

I takes a lot to realize our troubles but it takes a very long time to see beyond them and to heal.

STICK TO YOUR GROUND!!!

Truth is liberating. Guilt is not.

April 11, 2007
10:09 pm
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confusedandsad
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hi thank you for responding I know it seems pathetic and I hate myself for feeling sad about it....I did notice my anxiety level is alot less than when I was living with him although there was such a relief,the difficulties of managing are sometimes overwhelming...and scary..I do have more respect for myself when I stay away but I guess I am just afraid..I moved to a different state....I realize that I chose a guy like this due to my upbringing recently....I have been reading alot and it seems to help I cant thank you enough for responding it feels so lonely. He has been paying child support and I have a good income which is why i am so mad at myself for being so scared about the future..my one son is disabled and lives in a residential facility which is why I moved to this state..my other son is with me and is doing sooo much better he made honor roll at school and seems more relaxed. I am desperately trying to focus on the positive, but have bouts of self pity which I have difficulty with..hope this is normal, and that this feeling gets better.

April 12, 2007
6:49 am
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sleepless in uk
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Confused

Thank you for posting your story. I so understand the feelings of sadness and guilt you are experienceing and know that even though in your head you know it is illogical, the feelings persist.

NMLP I read your posts on Ras's thread ..I was really interested to read how you managed to break free of your husband and do what was right for your children and yourself.

I am on the verge of taking the same action as you two ladies, I am finding it so difficult to come to terms with everything and take the neccessary action. I bat between thinking things will be alright and knowing in my heart they wont...I should have done it sooner but I cant change that and now I wonder if I have left it too late and if the damage to my daughters is already done.

Sin, I hear what you say about your feelings for your abusive father and I think I struggle with that more than anything. the effects on my children if we go, and the effects on them if we dont.

I am rambling here but wanted to say thank you for this thread

best to you all

sleepless

April 12, 2007
11:03 am
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nmlp
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Confusedandsad,

It is very "normal" to feel sad and have bouts of self pity. You are dealing with the "death" of a relationship, those feelings are part of the grief process. I won't lie to you, it is going to be extremely hard, harder then anything you ever had to do. But, try to look at the positives. Your son is doing better, made the honor roll; you are less stressed, and you are nearer to your second son. You say that you make a good living; be thankful. You don't have to depend on him for a roof over your head and the neccessaties just to survive. Honey, you have so, so much to be grateful for, and I know at times that it does not feel that way.

Find a counselor, it helps you to build back your self esteem. You will become stronger and more confident. Take one minute at a time. I promise, this will pass. It just takes time.

Try to find something to do on your
"down time" to do for yourself (even though with 2 children, that there is not really much time for yourself). Take a class; an exercise class, find a hobby, or plant a garden. You will feel better in doing something that you can feel proud of. Take care of you! Have a good day!

Sleepless in uk,

Nothing is easy. It took me almost a year from the time I had my husband removed from my home to file for divorce. He made it extremely difficult for me. I could not take the roller coaster ride any more. He kept promising to change, but there was absolutely no evidence of it, or that he was even trying. It was not just my rollercoaster ride. It was my daughter's also. He never moved back in, but as soon as I lifted the original RO, he just came and went like he did live here. He ate our food, he bossed the girls around, even attacked my one daughter a second time and a third. He threatened me, said that he would have the girls and I thrown out on the street, witheld funds, and he took every penny we had in our checking and savings. I make 1/5 of what he brings home a year. It was very difficult. I just decided, NO MORE! I could stay married to him, and he could continue to torment us, but for what?? To stay in my house? It is just a house, not a home. He made it a prison for the girls and I.

I finally found the strength, with the help of my Pastor, my counselor, my daughter's counselors, my friends, and my co workers, to do what would be best for me and the girls. I made the decision that there just was no turning back this time. The hardest thing I ever did was have him arrested; the second hardest was divorcing him. Realizing that he chose to treat us the way he did was the worst feeling I had ever felt, and I will never ever forget that. I don't want to feel it again, and staying with him was a reminder, every second of the day. I finally realized, I couldn't help him, but I sure as hell could help my daughters and myself. Be strong, and think about what is best for you. My ex told me once last year that he was having a hard time in his heart and his head with the atrocities he perpetrated on me and the girls. I thought that was a break through for him, but it was not. He couldn't handle facing the truth of what he had done, and continued to sacrifice me and the girls. That was the beginning of the end.

Be strong, take care of yourself, and look forward with the knowledge, or belief, that there really is something better for you and yours out there. Time heals all wounds, this is true. Hope I helped. Have a good and safe day!

April 12, 2007
11:30 am
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atalose
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I think it's natural to beat ourselves up over why we stayed so long, why we thought we had the power to change them, etc. etc.

That is the past and the past is the past. Today is your new beginning and to move forward you have to let the past go. The longer you hold on to it and beat yourself up the longer you will stay there.

I think it's very courageous of you and strong that you left and moved far away. I think you are not giving yourself enough credit for being a great mom and doing the right thing for you and your kids. How wonderful your son is also feeling relaxed and doing so well in school, that's great. You said you have a good income and that's also a relief to have on your side.

The fact you can recognize why you picked him and realize it was from your upbringing is also a great big step in the moving forward direction.

All we can hope for is to learn from the past, not repeat it and not hold onto it.

Keep all your positives in the for front of your mind not what used to cause you all that pain, that's gone, you'll never forget it but you don't have to keep living it.

Glad you are here.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 12, 2007
2:41 pm
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confusedandsad
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hi thank you for the words of encouragement...yesterday was a very bad day for me because I put my foot down and finally demanded he put the house up for sale and asked for a divorce with all the courage I could muster...afterwords I felt such panic and the sickest feeling im my stomache it was paralyzing. I had been asking for these things for months but was not being taken seriously. I had an attorney write him a letter. I was trying to mediate everything but he just plays dirty and buys time thinking this will all go away. It took years for me to make this decision to leave I kept waiting for the change he would promise me over and over. He could be the nicest guy one minute and then could cut you up like you could not imagine. Its hard because I have to have contact with him on some level. I think an excercise class is a good idea it ....it always feels better when I do something physical...otherwise the pouding in my chest and sick to my stomache feeling take over and leave me exhausted.
sleepless I saw the effects on my son from me staying he was 13 and starting to mimick some of his fathers behaviors with female classmates/friends...it scared the hell out of me...I too thought it was better to stay so I took alot of the abuse thinking I was doing the right thing for the children...all I can tell you is that after a few months my son became a different boy , and is still changing I see it and he is happy really happy and more vocal about his wants fears and needs...sometimes I look at him and thank god that I took him away from the situation so that he can see that that is not how its supposed to be. After a few months my son informed me that he had planned on running away when we were still living with my ex. I would have never known this. I did not realize that even though he was not the target of abuse.. and I always tried to be cheery in front of him and thought he did not see or hear alot..he had and here I was thinking that I was the only person dealing with my ex's bad behavior. My son told me that he would be afraid to come out of his room on weekends because he was worried that he might do something wrong and that my ex would get mad and that I would have to pay for it....I never looked at it that way. I really would of thought my son did not have a clue because I thought I was doing a good job of covering for my ex's behavior. It seems it became harder to stay as my son got older. Writing this made me feel soo much better today and reminded me how things were hope this helps .
Sorry I am rambling on but I have been embarassed to tell people everything that has happened to me...much easier to do this way...when I read my first post I have to stop and take a breath it makes me realize how I just choose not to see the gravity of the situation while it was going on. when we left we left with the clothes on our back...I remember I had to buy a book bag and books for my son including a coat...It was weeks before I decided to show up there with a uhaul and pray that he would let me get our things I told ...Its amazing how when you stand up for yourself how quickly they back down I think he was in some state of shock...although his mouth was going a mile a minute with the insults degrading me and humiliating me in front of the neighborhood ...... I actually felt good about myself for the first time in a very long time.

I get strength from reading your responses and stories I think and excercise class would be good for me ......
I am still embarasssed to tell my story to anyone in person face to face does anyone else feel that way?

April 12, 2007
5:21 pm
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confusedandsad
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p.s. just wanted to say thanks to you guys you pointed out the positive when all I saw was the void

you validated my feelings and made me feel somewhat sane again

you let me know that someone outthere cares

thank you

April 12, 2007
6:00 pm
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lettingo
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((confusedandsad)) Like it was mentioned, you are grieving because this is a death. A death of a relationshiop, a death of what should have been, what could have been. A death of your dreams. My ex stole money and put me in huge debt and I was dying inside when I left him. I went through a horrible depression BUT I KNEW I was doing the right thing so I kept putting one foot in front of the other. It will pass and you will come out on the other side. These men rarely change. They will do anything to manipulate us back into their sick web. You are doing the right thing even though it feels aweful!

April 12, 2007
7:25 pm
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confusedandsad,

I did not tell ANYBODY about my situation for years, no one, not my best friends,not my family. My daughters and I kept it to ourselves, partly out of humiliation, partly because I was afraid no one would believe me. My ex always said that no one would believe me, that I was crazy! I did not have a choice when he gave my daughter a black eye. Then, it all came out like a flood. Don't be afraid to tell your family, to confide in your friends. If you are, try to talk to someone you trust at what ever parish you go to. If that is not an option, how about a support group? My ex beat me down for years, emotionally, mentally, and pysically. Once I was able to tell someone what was happening to me and my children, I started to understand the cycle of abuse. A coworker of mine gave me a number for the county woman's shelter. They helped me immensely. Before I even went to their office which was only 2 days after initially contacting them, they spent hours on the phone with me, listening to me, letting me cry. Please don't be ashamed, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You did what you thought was best for your family. Now, you need to go in a different direction. You are stronger then you think. The hardest thing you will ever have to do, you have already done.....you left. It is all up hill from now on. You are not crazy, you are very sane. When you marry someone, it does not mean you have to put up with any type of abuse. You deserve better then that. Truly, try to take one day at a time.

April 12, 2007
7:33 pm
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confusedandsad
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it does feel like a death it makes so much sense I my dreams hopes of the life I expected growing old with my ex gooing cross country together ..

god it makes so much sense I read it the first time but did not sink in even after 3 or 4 reads It finally sunk...

I am reading on codependence wondering why I sacrificed sooo much for sooo long Why I thought that my love for him was stron enough to help him why I did not help myself

recently he told me..blamed it on his addiction ... Told me he stopped on many occasions so I had put up with alot while he said he was stopping...He also told me that all thattime he said he was stoppin was a lie and that he never stoped those times....what makes me think he stopped now..
he keeps begging me to come back I won't
not as long as the children r in the house with me....when my son is grown and happy only then could I consider it....If I have not healed my addiction to this man by then although I would never utter those words out loud or to him only in my head

after reading alot on codependency I realize that by allowing myself to be abused I may be setting my son up for failure too or worse......make justlike me

I go back and forth from bawling to reading then getting angry and so on

I read alot here and learn from advice given to people also I am so glad I found this place...

I just find it amazing that someone could say they love you and do you harm without feeling guilty while it is happening for such a prolonged period of time...and say they love you and they r sorry...I wonder if he would have stopped putting that stuff in my face creams if I did not find out ....due to the nature of his job i decided not to press charges because I felt the child support would serve my son better plus like my ex said it would be my word against his....

thanks for posting (((hugs)))

April 12, 2007
7:58 pm
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confusedandsad
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thanks nmlp for telling me about your story I feel for you and your daughters ... and feel my gut twisting that he could hurt a child like that. So sorry glad you girls r out and safe...((hugs))

I do feel humiliated that it is so out there the whole story that it is just so crazy that this is the man I loved for all these years....
my god, ..I knew for years before I left that it was bad but just did not realize how bad.
I wonder was this some sick way my ex would entertain himself... and why on earth would he want to hurt me in the way he did.

I will always wonder...why he did all of this....

I wonder at times if there was someone else .... why else would he treat me this way

I truly felt he wanted me to go even though he begged me to stay

April 13, 2007
1:19 pm
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nmlp
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Confusedandsad,

Don't wonder why any more. He did those things to you because he wanted to do those things. I am not trying to be mean; he is sick. Your love for him can't help him, it only enables him. Believe me, I know! Even though my ex is my ex now, he doesn't seem to realize that and continues to harrass me at every chance he can. My therapist said that it is his way of keepin a relationship with me. That is what is happening with you. It isn't about me, it is about him. Same with you and your ex...it is not about you for him...it is all about him and what satisfies him! He gets some sick satisfaction out of hurting you...probably because of some resentment he has built up for you. That is what my ex did. You have to be strong for yourself and your sons. Don't put a question mark at the end of what God has already put a period at. Do you understand? For a year, I couldn't get past the "why". Why did he do this to me and the girls? How could he say that he loves me? How could he continue to hurt us after all that we have been through? What it boils down to is that he has no conscience. He does things to strictly satisfy himself. For whatever demented reason is not my concern anymore. You need to realize that you can not love him better. You just can't. But, you can love yourself and your son better. You don't need drama, only peace and calm. You may need something from your doctor to help with the anxiety. I wouldn't go to the doctor for months. Then one day, I was at work and couldn't stop shaking and crying. I knew it was time. Pray for guidance....your prayer will be answered. Hope I could help.

April 13, 2007
3:39 pm
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Confused,

I had to jump in and tell you straight out your husband is an abuser plain and simple. You have two children and they need to be protected.
I was in a similar situation. I was married 22 years had three children. My husband both physically and emotionally abused all of us and I finally had it and quit, got divorced and moved away and am going to college to support myself. I never looked back. I see my ex occasionally and he has gotten help, he still wants me back, I think but respects my boundaries, and I dont feel the fear I felt when we lived together. The best part? He acknowledges that my leaving was the best thing I could do to stop the cycle. He acknowledge he had a problem and has done his best to get counseling. I still care for him but will never go back because of the history. I have been divorced three years and have no desire for him at all.
I am 100% happier not having to live in fear anymore.

You can do this, Confused, You need to get help NOW, wherever you can, go to your local shelter or domestic violence agency. You dont have to take this any more, you and your kids do not deserve it.

Been there and done that
DM

April 13, 2007
3:49 pm
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Desert Moon
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P.S

If your BF was putting stuff in your face cream for 2 years to make you sick, then he is a sick person and you need to stay as far away from him as possible. People just don't do stuff like that unless they have some severe issue going on, and it is unreasonable for him to expect you to just 'get over it." You are right not to trust him as far as you can throw him. I am not a professional, but i do know statistics say he is not likely to get better, even with counseling. (mine didn't, tha's why I had to leave.

April 13, 2007
4:23 pm
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nmlp
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Desert Moon,

I agree 100% with what you said!

April 13, 2007
4:29 pm
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Confusedandsad,

Listen, you need to take the first step in getting yourself and your son some professional help. I am giving you two telephone numbers:

1. The Woman's Referral Center
1-800-322-8092

2. Self Help Clearing House
1-800-367-6274

The Woman's Referral Center can give you the Domestic Violence Hotline number in your area.

The Self Help Clearing House can help you with Support Groups, Shelters, and anything you may need.

Please, pick up your phone now, dial one of these numbers and talk to someone that can help you. Even just by going in and speaking to a support person, you will gain a wealth of information about your rights, your children's rights, and they are a great source for emotional and mental support. They are both toll free numbers. Use them.

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