I support everything Karen has said, nothing is a quick fix, it will take time to undo all the hurt and pain but when you get through this Anna you will be a more informed woman who knows how to spot these guys a mike off. The best book you could read is Why does he do that it’s a life saver, if nothing it will give you peace in your mind right now to know ITS NOT YOU !! Be safe and we are all here for you and I’m so sorry you had to endure that today but you will as every day passes feel a little better and one thing you may find strange at first you have your FREEDOM ! X big hugs xx
I'm going to take a break for a while after this. But I wanted to let you know I'm okay and not to worry if you don't hear from me for a few days. I've had a day today and I realize I've been overdoing it. I'm still habving trouble sleeping and the anxiety is bad I think I can't just lay there. I have to do something or it's going to make me crazy. But that's not helping me heal, I know it. I told the nurse today, give me anything, I don't care anymore, as long as it knocks me OUT. Nothing they've given me is working like it's supposed to.
I went back to the house this morning to get a few things and talk to my landlord. My court advocate told me that I would get a phone call when he was released so I felt safe going. I didn't get a call. I drive right by his brother's house on the way to mine. Our houses are only about 1/4 mile apart. And he was there, my ex was! I saw him but I'm not sure if he saw me. I don't know for sure if he's staying there but I don't know where else he would go with no money and no job. His parents live 375 miles away and he can't leave the county. I didn't stop, again. I just kept going and took a different route back to my mom's. I called the courthouse and they apologized and said it was "just" an oversight. Just? I was livid.
Then right after lunch I went to lay down and I don't know what happened but I got this horrible stabbing pain right between my shoulder blades, and it wouldn't go away. It was so bad I had to call my mom at work to take me to the ER. The doctor examined me and I told him the whole story (again) and he said he suspects I injured my neck as well. The doctor actually said to me, very frantically, while looking down at my chart, "They should have examined your neck when you first came in. All they did was a brain scan? That wasn't very thorough. Why didn't they examine your neck?" Then he looked up and said, "I'm sure everything is going to be fine." I almost cried. Are you kidding me? So I'm in the hospital overnight and I have an MRI of my cervical and thoracic spine in the morning. So yes, I'm done. I'm done trying to think or trying to accomplish anything. I'm just going to get through the MRI and then I'm doing nothing for a while. My brother came in from out of town and is staying at my mom's for the next week as well, in case my ex decides to show up. He's retired military so I feel much safer with him around.
Hi Anna, I hope everything is ok with your neck, and so glad you are safe and your brother is around if you need him. Take all the time you need, come and go here as you need to.
Sadly, the justice system is not perfect and mistakes are made. It isn't right. Hospitals are not perfect either, it stinks. When in crisis, we need to find things that make us feel safe and to know that everything is going to be ok. The system is letting you down, but please know you are doing all the right things, you are strong, smart, and you will get through this. One thing that got me through..."Trust Your Journey"..meaning, you are heading in the right direction, even if it doesn't feel like it. Trust Your Journey..It will lead you to a safe haven and the peace you seek.
I will be thinking of you and wishing you the best Take a break and focus on you. It is overwhelming right now. We are here and will check in regularly to see if you need anything or just to listen and support you. Hugs to you!
I'm reading Lundy Bancroft's book right now. Or trying to. It's still kind of hard to focus right now. But I came across this and it's scary how close to home this hits. Everything "seemed" to be okay until I told him I'd had enough and got angry.
"Your abusive partner doesn't have a problem with his anger; he has a problem with your anger. One of the basic human rights he takes away from you is the right to be angry with him. No matter how badly he treats you, he believes that your voice shouldn’t rise and your blood shouldn’t boil. The privilege of rage is reserved for him alone. When your anger does jump out of you—as will happen to any abused woman from time to time—he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are."
Hey Anna, Lundy's book became my "Bible". I read it , and re-read it and read it again because I could NOT believe how my life was depicted in that book. That paragraph is so true. I also thought everything in my marriage "was fine". Once I changed the "status quo" and decided I wasn't going to be abused and used and manipulated and controlled any longer..the monster emerged and what I had been seeing? all along was a monster in disguise.
Take your time with the book. I couldn't read it all at once because it got too overwhelming. Even now, I still read it only a bit at a time. I go back and check..just to make sure I read it right, that what I thought was "normal".. really was abuse. My ex-boyfriend also did that exact paragraph. He used to get me so upset and angry and I would raise my voice, then he would speak very calmly to me and say I was the problem. I would be so stunned at what he was saying to me, that it pushed me to raise my voice and beg him to stop saying what he was saying. It drove me crazy! He used this tactic so often..it was horrible.
Ask anything you want about the book..it was pivotal in helping me to realize what was really going on. I also read Jerk Radar by Steve McCrea..he wrote that book and many of the women who posted here shared their stories. Also, not everything in the book applied to me, but that didn't mean it wasn't abuse. It is.
Thinking of you Anna, hope you are doing OK. Stay safe.
Hi Karen. I was okay. I guess I still am, but I'm shaken up. Something happened tonight. I don't know if my fiance had anything to do with it, I keep going back and forth, between thinking it's too much of a coincidence and thinking I'm just on edge and I'm seeing something that's not there. I haven't heard from him or seen him since he assaulted me, aside from when I saw him at his brother's house, so I started to feel like maybe I'm going to be one of the lucky ones and he's not going to try anything. Well, my doctor prescribed a muscle relaxant and my brother took me to the pharmacy to get it. When we were on our way back driving on the highway, this big dark-colored truck came up behind us, really fast and really close, so close we were both sure it was about to rear end us. Then suddenly the driver hit the brakes and we got ahead a little. But then it happened again. Three times total. Speed up to almost hit us, then hit the brakes. When we turned off the highway, it the truck followed us but then the driver pulled over to the side of the road and we drove the rest of the way back to my mom's, fast. The police came and I let them know about the restraining order and they took a report, but they said it would be hard to find out who it was because we couldn't make out the driver's face--it was too dark--and couldn't get the license plate number. Add to that, I don't know anyone who drives a big dark truck. They talked to my fiance and he said he was at his brother's all afternoon and evening and his brother backed him up. So there was nothing they could do. I understand there's no proof he had anything to do with it but it doesn't sound like there's much chance of figuring out who it was. I tried to go to sleep earlier but as soon as I'd drift off, I'd see that damn truck again. I'm so tired.
I had my follow-up appointment this afternoon and I'm not cleared to go back to work. Not that I expected different after my hospital visit but it still sucks. I had the MRI on Tuesday and found out I have whiplash and a sprained muscle in my back. I have a physical job so that's out. And my concentration and focus are still really off. So my doctor wants me to rest for another week and then go back on limited duty. I called my boss and he's being very understanding about the whole thing. I'm really lucky to work for a great company. I miss it already. It would be a nice distraction right now. But I'm going to do what my doctor says and just rest.
Well that's my update for now. I'm going to try to catch some sleep.
Hi Anna..you did everything right by calling the police and reporting it. Given all you have been through...I would not put it past him to put one of his "Buddies" up to it. When I left my ex-husband and ex-boyfriend..nothing was considered a coincidence. Could it have been? Yes..but there was no reason for the "road rage"..you didn't race the guy, you didn't cut him off. It just seems too close to all that has happened to be a coincidence. This truck could have gone around you, there is usually more than one lane on the highway. AND your ex had a perfect alibi..of course. There are way too many posts on this forum of exes being intimidating and they "didn't have anything to do with it"..meaning they have friends who are more than willing to get back at a girl who did wrong by their buddy. It is very common.
At this time, keep calling the police when you suspect something isn't right. Be prepared for more to come. I know you want this to be over, but it isn't. He may use his friends, he may use his friends to post stuff on social media about you, he may get another woman in his life very quickly and post pictures to hurt you, he may use vandalism or get his friends to so he doesn't get caught. He doesn't want to go back to jail, but he isn't going to easily let this go. Abusers have points to make, they have "lessons" that they believe we need to learn and it is their job to teach them. He may try and contact you in a variety of ways, constant phone calls, texting, e-mail, coming around, driving around your neighborhood.
I would change your phone number and only give it people you trust..be careful of which girlfriends you give it to..there are also many cases of "friends" who believe the guy and will share your life with him. People are going to pick sides. Block him on social media and any friends you have in common. I blocked my sister-in-laws for over a year when I left my ex. They were using my FB posts and sharing it with my ex. These are people I trusted for over 20 years to be kind and nice. Ha. I still don't trust them and I rarely talk to them. Change your e-mail.
I know this all seems crazy and a lot to do, but your ex will find a way to get to you..either physically or emotionally. It is rare they back down. And my exes were not physically violent. They were very subtle afterwards. The ex-boyfriend took me out a date and we went back to his house and he fell asleep around 8pm on purpose, to completely ignore me. He slept the rest of that date away, I ended up leaving. That was the last time I saw him, and he was a real jerk while we were out on the date. All to hurt me and punish me for leaving him..even though he kicked me out of his house (another way to punish me).
I don't want to scare you, I know you have been traumatized so much and I admire you for all you have done already.
This is the hard part. NO CONTACT..if you get a phone call and you don't recognize the number..don't answer. Don't respond to his texts, don't answer the door without checking to see who it is, don't talk to any of his friends..even ones you think might be trustworthy..you can't trust anyone like that for now. Even change your name on social media. Change all your settings and please, don't worry about hurting peoples feelings at this point, staying safe and allowing yourself time to get your feet firm on the ground is what is important.
I am sorry to hear about your neck and back. Resting is very good and I am so glad your employer understands.
Take care Anna, one day at a time. Trust Your Journey..that is my motto..trust that you are doing what is best for you and you will be ok!
Hi Karen...why do they do all of this? Harass us and try to ruin our lives. They want us back, or so they say. Do they really think scaring and using other people to hurt us will make us want to come back? I can't figure it out the logic. I'm trying to read the book but I had to put it aside for a while. I couldn't sleep last night because I kept having nightmares and reading it is just making more anxious. My brother saw my fiance's car in my mom's neighborhood this morning. He said it only went by once but my mom's house is pretty deep into the neighborhood, I mean if you're going to any public place in town, you wouldn't need to come near my mom's house.. So he definitely didn't have any business there. My brother is pretty sure my fiance was the one driving it but he couldn't say for sure. And the restraining order doesn't prohibit him from driving in the neighborhood anyway. It only says he can't come within 100 feet of me or the house. We were all going to go out for a couple of hours to watch the St. Patrick's Day parade today but I was too afraid that he would follow us so instead I've been holed up the house all day. Is this what you meant by him trying to teach me a lesson? If he's trying to scare the hell out of me and make sure I can't relax or stop thinking about him, he's succeeding. But what does he think he's going to get out of it? It doesn't make me want to take him back. I called the police and I know he didn't violate the restraining order, I only wanted them to document it. The officer said he would, but he basically laughed and said that he has the right to drive by as long as he doesn't stop near the house or verbally harass me. I just don't understand the point, unless he's getting some sick thrill out of it. And if that's true, how can I have been living with someone that cruel all this time and not have seen it?
I'm sorry if it's not making sense, the stress and lack of sleep is getting to me.
Maybe he thinks I'll go back, just to make the harassment stop?
I already de-activated my Facebook account. I'm going to change my number on Monday. I'm honestly thinking of going into a shelter for a little bit. Maybe I will be able to sleep better there, knowing he doesn't know where I am. I've got to do something, the medication isn't working I fall asleep but I can't stay asleep. This neighborhood is very quiet at night so when a vehicle does drive by, it's absolutely nervewracking. His arraignment is next week and I would like to be able to be in the courtroom this time.
Hi Anna..your question is one that baffles millions of women who have been abused. Why? Because they can. Because they truly believe that what they do and say is warranted, it is justifiable. It is the way "you" and "me" and all victims of abuse are supposed to be treated. It isn't logical. It is a lifetime of learning, watching, interpreting and deciding that the way they treat women is OK. Bancroft says "THey have a very distorted view of right and wrong". He interviewed men who said they wouldn't call their mother a bitch. "Well, that is just not something you do". Yet. They all agreed that calling your wife or girlfriend a "bitch" is ok if she did something to deserve it. There is nothing logical about that line of thinking.
Yes, they think hurting you and scaring you will make you want to come back. They believe that they own you. They also REALLY believe that the only person you should WANT to be with is them, you just need to be convinced of why. Many also use those tactics and get their friends to do it, so you go running back. Many believe that wearing you down will work. It is like a kid in the grocery store...he whines and bothers his mother for candy until she just doesn't care anymore and gives it to him. He learns that wearing you down works.
Yes, he thinks if he harasses you enough you will go back. He can then promise you he will never do it again, he will be sweet and loving and kind and generous, for about 15 minutes and then he will abuse you again.
You haven't seen it because like me...you accepted it as your "normal". You decided to not put up with it anymore. You changed the status quo. He didn't like it and now he is showing you what has always been there, but had no reason to come out until you changed the "norm". I did the same thing. My ex ran us into $50,000 in debt. He saw nothing wrong with this. He had been working in a job for 30 years..making minimal wage. He never saw a problem with it..I was taking care of everything. He would get angry with me if I missed a payment on that $50,000 loan, because in my mind he was right, I should be made to feel bad because I was not being responsible for paying it back on time. The problem here..is I finally got fed up with the fact that HE BELIEVED IT WAS FINE FOR ME TO WORK OVERTIME to make money to pay back a loan that he truly believed he had every right to take money off of. It is distorted. That is the problem. He took money off our "joint checking account"..because his name was on it, he believed he had every right to take the money. HE PUT NO MONEY INTO THAT ACCOUNT..NONE. I made all the money. He took $700 out of that account once..never said a word to me about it and when I questioned him..he was like, well, I had to buy the kids Christmas presents. This is only one example.
They have a very distorted view of right and wrong. Sick thrill? It is sociopathic..that is for sure. BUT..he gets a thrill out of knowing that he can control you, that he is in charge, that what he says goes. AND he truly can't understand why you don't feel the same way. Why him being in charge is the way it is supposed to be. It is not logical.
You are making sense. All the people who have been abused..we have learned that ABUSE doesn't make sense. We are not problem. THEY ARE THE PROBLEM AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN.
Going to a shelter is not a bad idea if you need to feel safe. And you are probably suffering from PTSD. When you have time, finding a counselor would be a really good thing. We need to work out all the thoughts in our head. A counselor will help you to start to make sense of it all. You are doing all the right things Anna. This isn't easy and having difficulty sleeping is very tough. You have been traumatized. Maybe call the doctor again. Also, perhaps play music to help you sleep, relaxing, meditative type music. There are tons on the internet. Take a warm bath before you go to bed to help you relax.
Have no contact with him in any way shape or form. That will help you to start going forward. Thinking of you Anna, I know this sucks right now.
Thank you for answering my question. It makes more sense now. But it doesn't make sense at the same time...I just can't wrap my head around how someone can think like that. So they think they can earn love and respect by putting us down or harassing or scaring us--do they even realize that that's not real love or real respect, it's just fear? Or do they not care whether it's real or not as long as they feel like they're in control? Are they even capable of real love? It's a lot to absorb, because I still feel like deep down, there's a caring, loving man underneath it all, even if he does have major problems, even if he's dangerous for me and even if I can't be with him. I can't see him as a sociopath. I trust you know what you're talking about...it's just hard. I'm going into counseling soon, I hope it helps me to sort all of this out.
I've gone into a shelter. My mom's house was broken into yesterday, and her jewelry and some family pictures were stolen. I know it was him, or at least someone he knows. My mom lives in the most boring neighborhood on the planet...nothing ever happens. Nothing. Until this. Of course, he had an alibi. And none of the neighbors saw anything because it was in the middle of the day. The police searched his brother's house where he's staying but they didn't find anything. I'm so f'ing angry that he keeps getting away with this! And I'm scared for my mom. My brother said he'd stay with her longer. I just had to get away. I spent last night here and I feel like I slept better but his hearing is in two days and I'm not sure if I can do it. I know he's trying to rattle me. I'm sure he just loved it when I couldn't even make it into the courtroom last time. I don't want to give him that satisfaction again. I want to be there this time.
The shelter referred me to a list of counselors who specialize in DV. I'm meeting with one of them tomorrow. I hope she's good. I'm going to need some serious calming strategies for Thursday.
Hey Anna, I am with you, it is very hard to "wrap our head around" the concept of how someone can be so evil. One thing that helped me to figure some of it out is learning from the Lundy Bancroft book, that abusers have a very distorted view of LOVE. I learned that my definition of what it was to love someone, what it meant to me, was VERY DIFFERENT than my exes. VERY DIFFERENT. To them, it is THE WAY to treat someone. To them, they TRULY BELIEVE that doing what they do is RIGHT. It is a belief system. It is very hard to accept who they are.
For me, I have a very difficult time, even almost 4 years later, believing that there is a "caring person underneath". The problem is..ABUSIVE is who and what they are. It's not like they woke up one day and was so hurt that they had to lash out at the world. It has been developing over their lifetime. It is very overwhelming to think that someone we "loved" with our whole heart, truly is not caring. I remember when I had it sink in that basically my ex-husband and the ex-boyfriend really didn't love me. AND believe me, it has changed who I am and how I see men. I realized that EVERYTHING I had thought to be true about marriage and relationships, really was not what I thought it was. AND it hurt like heck. It was very hard to admit and very hard to accept. For 26 years, I believed my now ex-husband loved me. I KNOW now that what he sees as love is not at all what I believe it to be. So, to me, he didn't love me. AND I am not willing to say to myself anymore, "well, he loved me the best way he knew how". That is making an excuse for him. HE DID WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS BEST FOR HIM. HIM. Not me. It was never about me and my hopes, dreams, wants, joys. Because to him, the only person whose wants and dreams mattered were HIS.
Counselling will help you to begin to start to look at all of those thoughts and feelings. My ex boyfriend was so "loving" and "kind" and "charming" when I first started to get to know him. He was a breath of fresh air. I was so in love with him, I trusted him. Well, to me, when someone says they love you, their actions ought to be loving. Hitting is not love. Pushing, shoving, calling me names, accusing me of having sex to get what I want. That isn't how you treat someone you care about. It doesn't matter how angry or hurt you are. ABUSERS..they see love as what they can get from you.
I am glad you are safe Anna. Your mom's house being broken into is just wrong. A guy who cares about you? He wouldn't do that nor would he get his friend to do it. I believe he is behind this in some way.
If you don't have to be at the hearing, maybe have a friend or relative go for you? Remember, he wants to rattle you, so think how annoyed he will be that you didn't go so he could abuse you? I am glad you are meeting with the counselor (I am thinking that is today..Wednesday). Even him just looking at you tomorrow will not be good, or my favorite tactic..they ignore us. The "cold shoulder"..that may happen too. Whatever he does, it will be confusing, one way or another. That will be his goal. Be ready for anything. The less you react, meaning don't look at him, or speak to him, or even go near him. Leave the court as soon as you are done and don't look back. If you can, don't go alone. Focus on you and you alone. Share your wants with the judge if you have to..but don't acknowledge your ex. He will want attention from you and has nothing to lose by trying to get that from you. AND he will probably try it when the judge is not looking.
Be safe Anna, that is what matters the most.! Will be thinking of you!
This is going to be short. I've been beyond exhausted the last couple of days. I'm finally sleeping at night, but also during the day. I'm actually having trouble staying awake for more than 5-6 hours. I think it's just my body is trying to catch up.
I didn't go to the hearing. I wanted to. I wanted to prove to him that he didn't break me. And now thinking about it, I don't know why. Why would I want to put myself through that anyway? Anyway, I I couldn't do it. I had told my advocate I'd be there, but while I was getting ready I was so nervous I threw up twice. She said it was okay. I wouldn't be speaking today anyway. I might have to speak at later hearing though, so I guess it's good I'm saving my strength.
He plead not guilty. We have a pre-trial hearing in 2 weeks and the trial is in May, unless they work out a deal before that which my advocate says is what usually happens. The judge extended the protection order to 60 days and after that I can get it extended to a year or more if I need to. That's about all that happened. I'm glad I didn't go after all.
Counseling yesterday was okay, but I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I don't know if it was her, or if it was just that it's hard to talk about. She told me I only needed to share what I felt comfortable with for now and I thought I was prepared but my stomach was in knots just talking about how my ex and I met. I don't know. It was a bit overwhelming. I have another appointment next week. I don't want to give up after just one session. I just hope it gets easier. I didn't think it would be so hard.
Hi Anna, I can imagine you are exhausted. Your body has been through so much trauma as well as emotionally drained. It may take some time to regain your mental and physical strength.
I think it was definitely OK that you didn't go to the hearing. I believe it would have been a really difficult thing to sit through and he would not have made it easy on you. Saving your strength, very wise thing to do. My feeling is "pick your battles". Tackling everything all at once is really hard and will drain what little energy you have regained.
Extending the order for 60 days, that is a good thing. That will hopefully give you a break for a little while to figure out what the next step will be.
Counselling isn't always easy. Sharing what you are comfortable with, makes perfect sense. There is so much that happened, and so many feelings that come with it, it takes time, courage, energy and insight to begin to sort through it. It is hard because we are facing things that cause us great pain and confusion. What you knew and believed to be about your fiance and your relationship with him has literally been turned upside down. It will get easier, but sometimes it really just takes time and giving yourself permission to feel whatever feelings you have, that takes courage. You kind of have to clear your head of any judgments or pre-conceived thoughts. And also realize that you can't talk about the whole relationship and your whole entire life in 50 minutes. Talking about one thing at a time may help you. I remember when I was in therapy, there were visits where the therapist really didn't say much at all. I just talked and she listened and I began to sort it all out. I had 3 relationships to work through, not including the one with my Dad(very controlling). It took time and there were days where I didn't want to go and days where I was anxious about going and days where I wanted to go because I wanted to figure things out. I wanted to be different and better and begin to put it all behind me. It was very painful to work through my stuff..I also had a very difficult time accepting and admitting that the abuse had been there all along, that I had accepted that it was there and didn't want to see it. Plus, part of me really didn't even realize that I was being abused.
So, give yourself time. None of it gets worked out quickly. That is why not having ANY contact of any kind is so important so we don't cloud our brains with their interference. THey don't want us to change, they want things to stay the same so they can continue to abuse, control and manipulate.
It will be ok, you are doing so good already Anna, one day at a time. Give yourself a hug, you are already on the road to healing.
Oh God, I don't know what is wrong with me. I talked to him today. I was finally back at work, everything was going good, and he shows up, right at the end of the day. He was parked out front when I left. At first I said no, I told him to leave or I would call the police. But he won again. Why is so easy for him to suck me back in? He started in with, "Hey, it's me, remember? The guy you said you loved, the guy you were going to marry?" He said it was the alcohol and drugs and he's been clean since that night, he said he couldn't take another sip or even look at it after he realized what he had done. He said he'd give his life if he could undo that night. He said he wasn't asking me to come back, just to talk to him. I got into his truck...I can't believe I did that. We talked for about 5 minutes, mostly me telling him I did love him and still love him but I can't live like that, I can't live in fear of him, and him promising he was going to change, and then I said I had to go. But I agreed that we could talk more this weekend. I just didn't want any trouble. I went back inside my work and I threw up in the bathroom. I had to have my mom come and get me because I started to have an anxiety attack and I couldn't calm myself down. I'm so angry at myself. I was doing so well with keeping no contact and I blew it. I'm sure he's very happy with himself right now. I'm sure he thinks he's got me, and I feel like it's my fault for giving him that hope.
Hey Anna, please don't beat yourself up over this. They are so very skilled at sucking us back in, We still love them, even after all they have done. He is trying very hard to get you back, to confuse you.
It wasn't the alcohol and the drugs and I would bet he hasn't been clean. He is going to tell you what you want to hear..that he has stopped using alcohol and drugs because he knows you want him free of that stuff. He isn't going to tell you he has been drinking and doing drugs..that isn't what you want to hear. He can't take another sip or even look at it after he realized what he had done. He knew exactly what he had done when he did it. He is blaming the drugs and alcohol for his behavior..those things didn't make him abusive..it made the abuse worse. "He would give his life if he could undo that night"..that sounds so nice and wow, he would sacrifice his life for you. No he won't..but he knows you want him to be so dedicated to you and him..it's a tactic. Of course he is a great guy, so much that he would do anything to change the past. NOT. Again, he thinks he knows what you want to hear, he is doing this to manipulate you. They never ask if they can come back..my ex-boyfriend said the exact same line to me, almost verbatim. He was so nice "Oh, I don't think I have any right to ask you to get back together, I just want you to think about it". The abuse came a few hours later. He accused me of lying, of being a "f*cking nutcase". Because I rejected him and said no.
It is ok, we all make mistakes with the exes. They are so good when it comes to getting you back.
Everyday is a new day, a new opportunity to be NO CONTACT. This is one place where you can be dressed however you want.
Hi Karen. I've been afraid to post anything because I feel so ashamed about this. It's 2 days until the pretrial conference and I don't know if I can go through with this. I don't mean the conference--I don't even have to be there if I don't want--I mean the whole thing, the prosecution. I know it isn't up to me, it's up to the district attorney's office but I wish I could drop the whole thing. I was just out with him this last weekend. We were supposed to meet up and talk, or that's what I promised when I saw him at my work last week. I never planned on following through. I only promised him that so I could get out of there without starting a fight. He started blowing up my phone Friday evening and all through Saturday morning. I had decided to go to the Verizon store and get my number changed and I found him parked just down from my mom's driveway. I stopped, why i don't know. 10 seconds before I saw him I was bent on going no-contact for good. I've replayed it in my head over and over and I still can't figure out what I was thinking.
We ended up having lunch and then went to this lake where we used to spend time when we first met. Nothing happened, we just talked and he said the same things he said to me that day at work. He was sweet and funny and reminded me of how things used to be. As soon as I got back home I regretted the whole thing. I know I could report him but how would that look? However stupid it was, I went with him voluntarily. In my own car, but voluntarily just the same. How much of a threat would they believe he really is, when I met with him not once, but twice,after being granted a protection order? What is WRONG with me? A couple of weeks ago I couldn't stand being in the same room with him, I was getting sick and having anxiety attacks. Hell, I had an anxiety attack Saturday night when I got home.
I'm still in love with him though. I've tried to deny it to myself and everyone else but I can't anymore. I'm still in love with him. I also fear him and have anxiety attacks when I see him. But I still want to be with him. And it's not because I'm convinced he's sober or that he'll never hurt me again. I know that chances are he will. But I want to believe he won't. I want him to be the exception to the rule. I was so damn determined, I swore I would never take him back. I even had convinced myself of that. Remember? I couldn't believe that he actually thought his harassment would get me to want to go back. Now I don't know what I want. I feel like I'm losing my fucking mind.
I found a new counselor. I'm supposed to see her tomorrow. I hope she's good. I'm a hot mess right now.
I am sorry he got to you. And I am sure you feel ashamed, and I have no doubt that you are still in love with him. I also have no doubt that he was sweet and funny and brought up all those good feelings from the past. This is what they do. We want to believe them, that they will be different. We want them to be different because we crave those wonderful sweet times. Those good memories, those memories that they bring up to try and cover up all the horrible things he did.
If you can, don't try and stop your feelings or deny that you are still in love with him. It takes a lot of energy and pain to stop a feeling. What we can do , is let the feelings come and then let them go. Put your energy into that. Those feelings don't go away over night. You have loved him a long time, and honestly what I believe happens is we have to grieve the relationship, almost as if he died. It is a loss. The relationship, the marriage, all of it is a "death" as a result of us leaving. And it hurts. It is so easy to go back because we want those good times again. We tell ourselves that "all the good can outweigh the bad". We almost believe it. I can tell you it doesn't outweigh the bad.
All that you have admitted is good, it is good to acknowledge the feelings you have. Feelings are feelings, we can't control them so much, we can't deny them, we can't stop them from coming. In fact, our hearts will feel one thing and our head will tell us something completely different.
And those feelings, the confusion, the questioning of what you want, it is all coming back up because of being with him. I believe he manipulated all of this meeting you had, he knew what to say, he knew how to say it and... I hope not..but I have a feeling he will use it against you in the hearing. He will bring it up to discredit you. It is kind of like an alcoholic who sees the bottle of alcohol and they just want one sip, even though they swore they would stay sober and never touch the stuff again. It is an addiction, and taking that little "sip" puts them right back into being confused. A little sip of alcohol will do that to a recovering alcoholic.
Take some deep breaths, perhaps seeing the counselor and talking to them will help you to begin to process all of this. Everyday is a new opportunity to go "no contact".
I would also encourage you to call your court advocate or the DV Hotline and talk to a counselor so you can be prepared if you decide to go to the pre-conference. Anna..he will hurt you again. If you decide not to pursue the protection order, that is your choice. I know this is so hard, it is heart wrenching. But, if you drop the order, he will win. It will open the door for him to hurt you, and he will and it will be worse than it has been. He knows he can wear you down and he is doing it. He knows what to say and what to do and he already knows that you will not uphold the protection order. He knows you are bluffing.
I know you are having anxiety and feeling sick. Your body is screaming at you to be careful. I can't tell you what to do. I can tell you to not beat yourself up over this. Go forward, you have an opportunity to do something different. He abused you when you saw him Saturday night. It is a tactic abusers use and he is very good at it. He is still abusing you. He hasn't all of a sudden changed.
It will be OK Anna-Lee. You can still go and change your phone number, you can still go No contact. I remember taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, but I was still going forward even though it didn't feel like it. So are you, you are still going forward. Don't give up, TRUST YOUR JOURNEY Anna -Lee...don't give up. This is not easy, not in any way shape or form. But you have that strength inside you to keep going forward. Listen to your gut, it is telling you all the right things.
Karen, I did it. I changed my number. I'm going to go through with it. I have to take a stand sometime. I'm sick of living like this. One shitty relationship after another, starting with my mother. I've left her house. We got into a huge fight this afternoon.
I skipped my counseling appointment today. I just couldn't deal with talking about everything that's been going on, and how much I'm messing things up. I rescheduled for next week so I haven't given up entirely.
But I told my mother. She could tell something was really wrong and she wouldn't leave me alone. I was afraid to tell her. I thought she was going to go ballistic. She surprised me though, at first anyway. She's not the most empathetic person, but she seemed to be trying to be supportive. Then she starts telling me I'm crazy if I'm even thinking about going back to him, asking if I've forgotten what he did to me. Then she walks out of the room and comes back in and comes at me with the pictures they took at the hospital. I was given copies but I'd never looked at them. She put them in my face and yelled at me, she said "Look at those and tell me how you can call that love!" I was so angry with her, I told her it was too bad no one took pictures of me when I was a kid and SHE left marks all over me. I know it was out of line but so was she. She asked why I was bringing up ancient history. She thought we'd worked through all of this in counseling. I told her I guess I'm just not as "over it" as I thought. We went back and forth for a while and I stormed off. I feel awful. We have been able to work through a lot through family counseling and I have noticed a real change, I really think she's trying, but every so often I feel like I'm still dealing with the mom of my childhood and this was one of those times. I just didn't need it right now. Now I'm sitting here wondering if I overreacted. I don't like the way she went about it but I think her intentions were good. I think. I wonder if this is why I'm so confused about my ex. I can't even make sense of my relationship with my own mother.
Hi Anna..Kudos to you!!! I know it took a lot for you to get to this point smile at yourself for changing your number!
What your Mother did..very harsh. I can see how it would anger you and upset you. I can also see that she is trying to protect you. People who yell, like my Mother who yelled at us kids all the time, are hopefully just trying to love us. My mother is this little Italian lady who would yell about everything. She was driven by her anxiety that she suffered from. I got yelled at for my grades, for my messy room, being late for dinner, even once for admitting that I called a friend a B****, we weren't allowed to cuss. My Mom thought she was helping.
What you said to her , was what you were feeling. That whole interaction with your Mother is talked about in Lundy Bancroft's book..it's near the end. He refers to it as "secondary abuse". Meaning, those who are trying to be supportive..actually end up doing the same thing the abuser did. When I was kicked out of my ex-boyfriend's house, my sister came and "rescued" me. She helped me pack up my stuff and moved me to her house. She went on a few days later to basically yell at me for contacting him, telling me I was crazy for doing that. A while later, I was still grieving all the losses from the ex-husband and the ex-boyfriend and she basically told me to "get over it" and move on. She didn't understand why I was still having trouble.
Secondary Abuse happens quite often. One example for me was, I had a colleague who said to me "How did you let that happen?" Referring to my ex-husband and ex-boyfriend and how they abused me. I work in Healthcare..she couldn't believe that I would let that happen. It hurt like crazy when she said that. People try to be supportive..they don't realize that they are being just like the abuser, by telling us how to feel, or what to feel and when; by blaming us for feeling sad, blaming us for going back or for even wanting to, they don't understand why we don't hate the abuser as much as they do. They tell us how we should be feeling and what we should be doing, but they have never walked in our shoes, they don't know what it is like to have the person you love the most in the world tear you to pieces..both physically and mentally. They claim they would never be in that kind of relationship. Almost like it is our own fault that we are where we were being abused. It is really hurtful and in some cases very traumatizing. In one of the last chapters, Lundy Bancroft talks about how we need to tell those who care about us what we need them to do. I had my sister read the chapter. She wasn't happy about it, and I think I hurt her a bit. BUT..I had to stand up for myself, I didn't need someone else yelling at me because I wasn't doing what THEY believed I should be doing.
I don't believe you overreacted. You are still being traumatized, what she did triggered the past. It was way too familiar. Just because you all worked through those issues of the past, doesn't mean your brain still doesn't remember how to react to being "abused". Your brain doesn't know that your Mother yelled at you 1 day ago or 10,000 days ago. To your brain..it is all the same.
The relationship you have with your parents has a huge influence on who we are in relationships with. Through counselling, I was able to sort through the relationship I had with my parents and how it related to me ending up in 3 abusive relationships. The feelings I had with these men, were all similar to ones I had with my father who was very controlling when I was growing up. My mother was very submissive and had anxiety and was insecure at times. She would back my father even if she didn't agree with him. If he said something and that was the "final say"..she would uphold that. And I know now that there were times she didn't agree. My parents had very very high expectations for me and standards they set. I couldn't reach those standards and fell short of their expectations. What was really hard for me is I kept trying, I never felt anything I did was good enough. I could come up with 25 solutions to 1 problem and my father would get on me because I didn't come up with 26. This type of stuff with my parents went on in my life until just about 3-4 years ago when I finally told them I had had enough of their judgments, and criticism, and abuse. It stopped them dead in their tracks. My parents are pretty decent people and I love them. They are 85 and 80 years old at this point and for the most part harmless. They don't bother me anymore as I basically see right through their comments and such. I have come to terms with it. BUT I also learned that how I chose my partners(I had 3 major relationships) were as a result of my upbringing.
I am happy for you Anna..keep going forward! You are smart, strong, and good. He is not. One day at a time, it will continue to get better!
My ex has been arrested. I'm back at my mom's. She and I patched things up. She said she was sorry and she was just scared for me. Anyway, he came back to the house again yesterday. He parked just outside like before. I guess changing my number wasn't enough of a hint for him. I almost talked to him. I felt like I owed it to him after last weekend and the meeting before that. I felt like I led him on and I should at least tell him it's really over this time. But I don't think he'd have believed me anyway. I've let him back in too many times. I remembered the counselor at the hotline told me it doesn't matter how many times I let him get away with violating the restraining order...he's still in violation the very next time and I can have him arrested. So I called the police and they got him.
He sees the judge tomorrow and hopefully they'll hold him for a while. My advocate said it could go either way but the judge may just release him with a warning because this is his first reported violation and there was no contact between us.
I have my appointment with my counselor tomorrow. I'm keeping it this time, I promise!