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Fresh out of a 15 year nightmare
September 4, 2007
11:21 am
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tarad
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Hello everyone. I am going to try this to see if I can get some feedback and / or support. I am 30 years old with 2 kids (10 & 6). I have just gotten out of a 15 year relationship to a very abusive and controlling man. We lived together for the last 15 years. After many failed attempts over the years to get him out I think I really did it this time. I had him removed from the house on May 22 and on July 15th I moved into my own house without his knowledge. Although I spent many nights with him in bed thinking about how I wanted nothing more than to get out of this relationship...not that I am out I am terribly lonely and I consider getting back into the same old routine again. I have found that I dont like being by myself. I dont know who I am anymore. I dread sitting at home at night with nothing to do. I dont want to do anything. And to think for the last 15 years I had spent night after night hoping and praying that one day I would get out of a bad relationship so I could be happy. And I still feel no happiness. To add a little more to this story...Around Jun 5th I ran into an old high school friend and we started right back up where we left off. He has really helped me get through this. He is there anytime I need him. Things have been moving so quickly with him that it is scaring me a little (no sex yet). It seems like I am headed into another relationship already. I would like some advise or support on how to cope right now. I feel lost out here. I find myself trying to comfort myself by spending time with my new friend and I haven't had any time to myself. Nothing interests me. To tell you a little more about me....I work fulltime with 2 kids and the relationship I was in was very abusive. He was diagnosed with bipolar and attempted suicide 3 x's. He was more verbally abusive but sometimes he did become physically abusive with me ...a few times in front of the children. Has anyone been thorough something like this? Help.

September 4, 2007
11:42 am
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Anonymous
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I know as a child, growing up in an abusive home, I felt lonely, sad and scared, and it moreless almost ruined the life I have now...so i can relate some here. My mother was the abuser and my dad was the bystander...I don't speak to either of them now, and I never will, they hurt me and they are not sorry and they think I should get over it, I will never get over it and neither should I...that is what growing up in a abusive home did to me, and sooo much more too, I had to fix everything that was wrong in my life and I am still working at it at age 42 here as well.

I hope you find a good counselor and get the help you need so that you can find someone kind who will be nice to you and your children. Be well.

September 4, 2007
11:57 am
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CAMER
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one of my past relationships was with a bipolar man, not taking med, and tried or said he was going to commit suicide more than 10x alot more than 10 x...and there were times i felt the same way, i didn't want to be with him when i was with him, then when he was not part of my life, i wanted him back.

You have been thru so much in 15 years, its time to rebuild yourself, and yes it may be lonely, but i bet you it won't be stressful anymore. Take that alone time to read, hang out with your kids, your family, your friends...and knwo that every lil step you take, will be a better step for you.

Know that you are not alone...(((camer)))

September 4, 2007
12:17 pm
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AQueen
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I left an abusive relationship in March 2007. I got a restraining order and then I moved to a new place and entered the address confidentiality program offered by the state I live for domestic violence victims. I attend weekly counseling sessions with a domestic violence advocate and I see a regular counselor from time to time for general issues. I also attend a weekly support group for domestic violence survivors. It helps me so much! I had been abused verbally, mentally, financially, but the physical abuse was limited to a few incidents years ago.

I can't tell you how much counseling has helped me. I've been learning how to set boundaries with people. How to end toxic friendships and relationships. I've been working on lots of self discovery. Finding out why I sought out unhealthy partners in the first place because even though abusers act nice in the beginning there are red flags to look for but I dismissed anything that didn't seem right as being nervous. Now I know that was my gut telling me this guy isn't all he says he is. Something is wrong here. I've learned to trust myself more.

I've been finding new activities to fill my time. I get out and enjoy life. I read a lot, I like reading and my ex hated it when I read because I wasn't focused on him. I've learned that I sought out men like my father without even knowing it. Controlling, abusive, with addiction issues. I became codependent like my Mom. I became a total caretaker and enabler.

I urge you to reach out to a domesic violence organization in your area and take advantage of their services. The agency that I get my counseling and support group through also has a kids club for kids that have grown up in a dyfunctional household. To break the cycle, so they don't repeat what they've seen growing up. Don't think they are too young because there is even a group for 2-4 yr olds. They repeat what they see growing up. A good portion of a childs personality is formed before age 7. If they were in a unhealty home at that time they would benefit from a kids support group where they make it fun.

I also recommend finding a good counselor. Jumping into a relationship right away isn't a good idea because you aren't dealing with your feelings that you mentioned. You are detracting yourself with a relationship so you don't have to feel. There is life after domestic violence. We can feel good about ourselves and live we can be proud of. Getting counseling will help you work through core issues that are causing your unhappiness and your urge to jump into another relationship when you are clearly not ready. You haven't been on your own in years and you have to take time to adjust. I wouldn't dream of getting involved with someone and i was with my partner for about five years. I don't want to make the same mistakes again.

Jumping from relationship to relationship is a sign of a much bigger problem than being lonely. Remember life doesn't have to be like this. It can be wonderful but it takes effort and it takes asking for help when help is needed. I can't tell you how much the support group has helped me. Meeting with women that have experianced the same thing is very powerful. We don't just sit around and talk about how we were abused.

The counselor that leads the group picks a topic that we work on each week and we each check in and talk about our week and what's going on with us. Sometimes I'm fine and other weeks I'm in tears especially in the beginning. Sometimes I'm angry. The women are normal women you see in the world. There are business women, stay at home moms, blue collar type of women. The group I attend has about 8 people usually. There is another group at the same place at a different time and at that meeting there are more business women because it's in the evening so they can attend after work. Good luck.

AQueen

September 4, 2007
12:28 pm
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nappy
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Welcome Tarad,
This site is a great place to be.
To help you to better understand what you are going through and by reading what you wrote, I see that you are scared.
You have put up with a man that has been treating you bad for so long that you don't know anything else.
I think that you are stuck right now in not knowing what YOU want out of life. You have had this man to control your life for so long to where now you don't know what direction that you need to go in.
You don't need to get yourself into another relationship because you wrote a statement telling everyone that you are not sure that you are out of this relationship or not:

"Although I spent many nights with him in bed thinking about how I wanted nothing more than to get out of this relationship...not that I am out"

You need to get in touch with your self first. Then you need to see that you have two wonderful children that need you. I'm sure that they are going through something also.

If you been through something that was so terrible then you should be thanking your lucky stars that you are out and you don't have to live a life like that. No one should.
Look inside yourself for your own happiness. Can't another person on this earth make you happy, they can add to your happiness but they can't make you happy. Sometimes when we have let someone else take control of our live then we become lost.
Find yourself, See what that person like and don't like. Don't add anymore stuff to your own pile of stuff before you have clear away your pile so that you can see.
Nappy!

September 4, 2007
12:57 pm
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fantas
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Tarad, Congratulations for leaving you abusive relationship. That must have taken courage. I echo what everyone has said and especially Aqueen. You have to try as best as you can not to get into a relationship until you have done enough work to recognise a healthy relationship. Chances are you will find yourself repeating the same patterns. I think you are shell shocked from your previous 15 years and leaving your ex. You need time to feel the feelings and understand what is it that made it okay to stay with an abuser for 15 years. Therapy for you and the kids would really helpful. I'd even say it's essential. Keep us posted.

September 4, 2007
3:05 pm
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tarad
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WOW. Thanks everyone for your replys. I dont know what to say...but everyone's comments brought tears to my eyes. I have thought about counseling, but it hasn't gone any further than a thought. Like I said I'm really scared and lonely right now. I wish I could just be happy and do things with my kids and enjoy life...but everytime I am with my kids I am pissed off about life and angry _VERY ANGRY.I even find myself screaming and yelling at my kids over the smallest things. It's like I'm a raving lunatic. My dad passed away Dec 24th 05 and he was my best friend. He always wanted for me to get out of this relationship and I know that he is happy that I have, so sometimes that keeps me going forward. My EX keeps calling and calling and calling. I have an ex-parte order on him and he is begging me back trying to convince me that everything will be different. And I really really want to believe him. I want to believe that I can have a nice family. I really think (know) that i fooled myself. and i am continuing to fool myself. But how can i stop? Sometimes I just want to believe him and let him back so i can just pretend that everything is OK. I dont like the way my life is now. To tell you guys the truth being alone terrifies me. I have never been alone. I've been in this relationship since I was 16 years old. How do you start to move forward? And now to complicate things i am starting to have feelings for my high school friend. I cant stop it.

September 4, 2007
3:24 pm
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SadMike
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tarad,

You must ultimately do this on your own, but here's some things that might help:

First, don't trust your ex. You know in your heart what he will do for he has already proved it to you time and time again. You need not go back down that road regardless of your immediately feelings; they will pass.

Second, everything that you are feeling is very normal. The loss of your father, the loss of your ex, the anger, the resentment, the dispair and lonliness are making this extremely difficult for you. It will get better with time and you will learn to live "alone" and take care of your kids and not be terrified.

Third, you must avoid getting with anyone regardless of how much you need or want it or desire it or feel that you will never have anyone or anything again. Those feelings are common and normal and untrue. We all share those feelings and have (or do) had them. In a year, if you will not have gotten hooked up with anyone, and not started up with your ex and just ignored him you will be amazed at your transformation. You will be calm and able to think and reason. You will be able to look at a man logically and thoughtfully and determine if he would be right for you rather than letting your emotional state dictate your actions.

I by no means am telling you this is easy for it's not, it's actually quite hard. Doing what is easy does not build character or strength but on the contrary makes it more difficult in the end to "win." Doing what is hard will build your character and mental abilities to withstand all of these pressures so that you are able to stand on your own without someone. Then, when the time is right, a man will come along that will not be a burden to you, will not abuse you, will not hurt you and will love you unselfishly with his whole heart. And you will be ready to accept his love and not be untrusting of his advances nor worried that he will abuse you, for you will have chosen wisely.

September 4, 2007
5:33 pm
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atalose
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You have lived the better part of your adult life sitting on the edge of your seat, walking on egg shells and being treated badly. That was all you knew and became accustomed to knowing.

All that is gone now and life is scary when it isn't habit anymore.

Getting into another relationship to fix those inner feelings you are afraid to deal with is only going to lead you to further hurt and pain down the road.

At 16 I'm sure life was scary, you didn't really face any fears in life because he was always controlling you and your fears. I'm sure it was far easier to bury them, forget them and just deal with his bad behavior on a daily basis.

It's time to grow up and face life as a strong young woman not a frightened child you were at 16.

You have kids who need you to be strong and show them how to be just that. Embrace your fears not as fear but as new healthy ways to approach life.

A man doesn't make you happy and take your fears away, having a man only masks what lies underneith. Entering into another relationship so quickly will lead you down the same road of un-happiness. Until you feel comfortable with yourself in being alone, standing strong and facing life it's not going to matter who is in your life because it will always lead back to the same place you are right now.

We can't use men as band-aids for your hurts and pains. We can have men in our life to enhance what already exsists.

Please don't just think about counseling, get involved because you are worth it!!!! Stay strong and this too shall pass.

Atalose

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

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