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Thread: Hi, I'm new. What have I done?

  1. #1
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    Hi, I'm new. What have I done?

    I am trying to be a survivor of emotional abuse. It is a daily struggle for me. I went from being a party of at least 5 to a party of 2.
    I left my family, thinking somehow I was saving us all. I left my husband and two stepdaughters. I have gone from living in a big house to staying in a couple of rooms with friends. My son and I each have our own rooms. This certainly is not how I ever dreamed his last year of high school would be. I feel so guilty for leaving. I've tried to overlook and make excuses for many years. I kept asking him to stop. I even left before and managed to be gone for 2 weeks. I went back. All the promises of seeking help for anger management went by the wayside. By day 75 of the second chance, we were gone. Many times I wonder, what have I done, and many times I am thankful I am not continuing to put up with that crap. Walking on eggshells all the time to not push buttons to anger. It's not just me, I have a family, a grandchild. What have I done?

  2. #2
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    Hi SueAnn

    Can relate to your mixed and emotional feelings. Was surprised when I eventually left my ex (even while looking down at my not yet faded bruises) I had real doubts about my decision. Like you say "What have I done"?

    Seems from what people have shared here that emotional turmoil and doubt seem to be part and parcel of this initial post escape phase. Got real bad for me...felt depressed and guilty. In the end I went to my doctor who referred me to a trauma T. Working with her helped...made me see the situation I had left with more clarity, that it was toxic. That despite my best efforts I had no power to convert into a healthy one.

    Also realised that I was grieving. Was understandable really...my dreams of a happy ever after life with my ex were over...all my efforts to improve things had come to nought. Was good to be able to validate my feelings, express them...give myself the space to grieve for the loss of my dreams.

    As I mentioned it was a phase. Not one that passed quickly...but with work and support I came to a place of acceptance...realised that my choice to leave was based on sound reasons. Gradually I did move on...left my doubts behind and proved to myself (like many before me) that I had what it took to recover and build a abuse free and happy home for myself and my son.

    Hope my story helps...that you find peace with your decision to no longer live with or expose your son to dv.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

  3. The following 2 users say thank you to Jane for this useful post:

    Sunfl0wer (01-11-2017),weepingwillow (01-11-2017)

  4. #3
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    Thank you Jane. I think it really helps to not feel like I am the only one who has gone through this. I am feeling really guilty and of course my future dreams have been crushed. Everything we have worked for is just dissolving in front of me. I'm not even sure how to communicate with my step daughters anymore. I'm hoping they will realize that I love them and want the best for them. Not just coming to see me because they have ulterior motives. (mom isn't as tough as dad). I feel like I have been used by everyone. I am no better than the washing machine. Just in the house to do a job. No one stops to think that everyone needs a little love. Including the stinking washing machine.

  5. The following user says thank you to SueAnn for this useful post:

    Jane (01-11-2017)

  6. #4
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    Just wanting to join Jane in saying I relate.

    After splitying from most recent ex, and my husband, there was a lot of me that was grieving so so so much. Hardest part for me to detach from wasn't physically him, although that was hard as heck! What I find harder is redefining in my mind who I am. The loss of being "his wife, or his GF" was strong. My identity was tied into him. Part of my identity was step mom to his girl. That loss, two yrs later, I am still grieving. Then loss of family, his family fely like I was embraced by them. Then the loss of his culture which I began to strongly identify with. (He was not born in my country, I grew to really associate my identity with his culture) Then the loss of day to day things like me working a long long day, coming home to his cooking. Then I would have my car break down, by instinct, want to call him for help. His role was to maintain vehicles, mine maintain parenting stuff more. So my brain had to wrap around the idea of how I was gonna be without being intertwined with him in my identity. The loss was more than just of him and what I loved of him. It was also who I was.

    The hardest part by far for me was taking tiny steps to reclaim/rebuild a new sense of self without him. Learning how to buy a new set of tires without calling him was harder than just the act of figuring out how to shop for tires. It was a step to me telling myself that I am not with him, I will have to become a new me. This was a big big struggle. Buying tires meant so much more to me than the transaction of the purchase. It was me figuring out me. I was quite frightened of myself in tjis respect. Quite frightened to fail. Yet, found lots of inner resources, never knew could even exist in me.

    It got easier after I started stepping towards finding myself. But the first steps man, unbearable, unimaginable, felt like walking on burning glass with flames all around me no matter where I stepped. My feet are cooler today tho.

  7. The following 2 users say thank you to Sunfl0wer for this useful post:

    Jane (01-11-2017),weepingwillow (01-11-2017)

  8. #5
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    and again .
    No one stops to think that everyone needs a little love. Including the stinking washing machine.
    For me it began with me...believing in myself...undoing the funky messages that I internalised. To accept that I was no more flawed than anyone else. That my wits and my judgement had take a battering...but if I dug below all the self-doubt, learned to value and trust them again they would and did help me find my way forward.

    As Sunfl0wer says dv among its nasty impacts...has the power to strip your sense of self...your identity as an autonomous individual.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

  9. #6
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    Here it is considered child abuse to remain in an abusive place with a minor. The reason for that is even if they don't see anything physical they still see one person treating the other as less than human. Kids notice stuff, they pick up on stuff like "mommy jumps when daddy walks behind her", or "daddy is afraid to answer the phone when mommy calls" they don't have to be that old. This "culture of abuse" (I think is what they call it) has a negative impact on children even when the children are not beaten or belittled or anything. Laws are different everywhere, that's just how it's written here.

    imo, you did the best thing. Though the consequences stink and you have lost so much, which I'm truly sorry to hear, you have shown your son that others should be treated with respect as equal human beings. You've shown him that if someone won't treat you appropriately he can walk away and take care of himself, and require others respect him. Also shows him what kind of behavior is unacceptable.

    for you or a if you'd rather
    Currently dusting off my jumpsuit. Cover me!
    East is up.
    You can learn to levitate with just a little help.
    You're facin' down a dark hall/I'll grab my light and go with you.||-//

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