Hey Anna, I love that poem you posted, that is so true! I have a book of "quotes" that I have collected over my lifetime and it has carried me through many tough times. Poetry can be so peaceful and soothing and just healing. I am going to look that book up, it sounds really good! Thanks for sharing that!
I am so glad he has been arrested!!! He is pushing the limits and he is finding that there are consequences and that counselor was so right. The restraining order doesn't work unless we call every time they violate it.
I am also very proud of you for not talking to him. I know you feel like you should tell him it is really over this time, he doesn't need to know that. If he has a brain in his head he will figure it out. If you want to tell him that, honestly, write him a letter and never mail it. We have those feelings, like we led them on or we deceived them somehow..you didn't do any of those things. And I know you feel like you owe him..but YOU DO NOT owe him anything.That is the "victim" in you who has been beaten up emotionally by an abuser. We developed those thoughts from many instances of being told that we are a "tease" or we owe them for whatever "Good" thing they believe they did for us. Abusers can't fathom that you shouldn't be grateful. In fact, their motivation for doing something is because they truly believe you should bend over backwards and thank them and praise them for being such a GREAT guy! It is BS.
I wrote my exes both letters and then I burned them. It got the words out of my head. It also allowed me to not have any contact. My ex-husband has pretty much stayed away, the ex-boyfriend gave up..but his way to get back at me was to get another girlfriend really fast. He believed that women were a dime a dozen and that most women out there would think he was a "catch", so he wasn't worried if I wasn't with him.
So happy for you that you and your mom came to an understanding. It sounds like she really was worried and only wanted to protect you. It is so hard to be a mother and watch your children hurt. Glad you and she are together and you are safe.
Karen, they're keeping him! My advocate called yesterday afternoon. My ex tried to say he was just passing by and hadn't actually stopped, and then when the judge told him he didn't believe that for a second, my ex told him how I've been out with him twice. The judge said he didn't care if we've been out together every single night, he violated the restraining order while out on bail, therefore bail is revoked and he's in jail until trial or until the case is settled. I wish I had gone this time, I really do. I'm still feeling a little guilty for bringing the hammer down on him without warning after giving him hope like I did but I know I didn't have a choice if I want to keep myself safe. I feel like I can finally breathe!
Hey Anna..YAY! Wow, that is a relief! Oh I am sure he had an "excuse". No he didn't. Sounds like you have a great judge who sees right through your ex's crap, that too is a relief!
Feeling guilty is very "normal". Part of being abused, is that feeling that it is all our fault and they (the Abusers) shouldn't be held responsible for their actions. Yes he should, he VERY MUCH should. He hurt you terribly and he will do it again in a heartbeat. Being in jail right now is the best place for him. You did nothing wrong and please believe me, he is very slick and knows what to say and what to do to get you to feel what you are feeling. It is all part of being abused and he continues to keep doing it. Doesn't matter what you said to him, you are not responsible for him breaking the restraining order. It's not like he didn't know, it's not like he wasn't aware of the consequences of breaking the order. He did what he did to try and get you to drop it, he was manipulating you and trying to control you. Abusers don't take a "break" from being abusive. THEY DON"T. They just make it look like they do so we will fall for their "remorse" and allow them to keep being abusive. The problem is, we can't TRUST what is abuse and what is not..and there is a 99.9% chance that EVERYTHING an abuser does is ABUSE. EVERYTHING. This is really hard to accept, I am a perfect example of someone who had a very difficult time believing that my exes were abusive, I didn't want them to be, but I had to come to face the fact that they were, they are, and they will continue to be.
SO glad you can breathe for a bit. Just a thought, please continue to be a little vigilant about what is going on around you. You cannot trust that he doesn't have friends or acquaintances who would be willing to get back at you for him being in jail. I know you need a break from all this, but people in jail still have people out of jail who are "on their side".
But hopefully, at least for a bit, you can relax and know that he can't bother you! So glad Anna, you deserve some rest and relaxation and a chance to process all this! Take good care of you, focus on you for now. You are who matters.
SWEET! It sounds like you have a judge who really "gets it." It has historically been rare to get violations of no-contact orders prosecuted or acted upon, so this is excellent news. You now have the upper hand! Don't let him up - keep the heat on and make sure he spends as long as possible off the streets so you (and other potential victims) can be safe.
I'm struggling right now. I went to sleep tonight but I woke up an hour later with this pit in my stomach, feeling so empty inside. Remembering how wonderful it used to be, how safe I felt with his arms wrapped around me. I couldn't shake it, couldn't get back to sleep. I got up and decided to go for a drive and I turned on the radio and this song came on, literally 10-15 seconds later. I didn't end up going anywhere. I sat out in my car and cried until I had no tears left. I've been missing him so bad it physically hurts, and I don't know how to make it stop.
I'm sharing the lyrics, I don't know if there was some cosmic reason this song came on right then, but it's haunting me, it keeps replaying in my head and I haven't been able to relax. Good thing for sleeping pills.
Little Big Town - Better Man
I know I’m probably better off on my own Than lovin' a man who didn’t know What he had when he had it And I see the permanent damage you did to me Never again, I just wish I could forget when it was magic I wish it wasn’t 4am, standing in the mirror Saying to myself, you know you had to do it I know The bravest thing I ever did was run
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can feel you again But I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man And I know why we had to say goodbye Like the back of my hand And I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man A better man
I know I’m probably better off all alone Than needing a man who could change his mind at any given minute And it’s always on your terms I’m hanging on every careless word Hoping it might turn sweet again Like it was in the beginning But your jealousy, I can hear it now You’re talking down to me like I’ll always be around You push my love away like it’s some kind of loaded gun Boy, you never thought I’d run
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can feel you again But I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man And I know why we had to say goodbye Like the back of my hand And I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man A better man Better man
I hold onto this pride because these days it’s all I have And I gave you my best and we both know you can’t say that You can’t say that I wish you were a better man I wonder what we would’ve become If you were a better man We might still be in love If you were a better man You would’ve been the one If you were a better man Yeah, yeah
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can feel you again And I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man And I know why we had to say goodbye Like the back of my hand And I just miss you and I just wish you were a better man We might still be in love, if you were a better man Better man
Hi Anna, the lyrics to that song are very powerful! It triggered you and that is possibly why it is causing so many tears. It is you and your ex written right there in a song. It hits our core and it hurts. I spent so many mornings, afternoons, and evenings in my car crying. I still cry at times even now. There are moments when it hurts so bad, like you said it "aches". It can be unbearable.
These are the moments when we are so wishing things could be different. I remember being told by someone on this forum..probably Janine..to let the feelings come and let them go. Don't act on them, meaning don't go back. Find a way to replace the hurt for something else. It is all part of the grief you feel. It takes time to let those feelings and thoughts go.
Many good things here..you recognize what it is, you came here and talked about it, you let yourself cry and rid your body of the tears that held the pain of this loss. You released those pent up feelings. ALL GOOD. I know you may not see it that way, but finding some positive in the pain can be very helpful with our healing journey.
I remember letting it go and then trying to find something to do or think about that didn't remind me of him. I would write in my journal, or work a jigsaw puzzle, or read a really good book, or I would just go out and get an ice cream sundae(didn't do this all the time..lol) and treat myself for giving myself permission to feel sad.
There are/were a lot of "good" times. I remember many with my exes. The hard part is I have also come to not trust those "good" times..I know now that they were not what I believed them to be. I believed them to be wonderful romantic moments..what I believe them to be now were a means to him getting what he wanted. That is really wasn't about me, like I was led to believe. That sadness turns to anger and then to rage. Wish I knew then what I know now. His hidden agenda existed amongst some really good memories.
Be kind to yourself, find what is comforting to you. But also know that it is really ok to feel this way and also very "normal" to feel sad. You are suffering a HUGE loss in your life, feeling sad and aching for him are all part of that. The key is to NOT act on it. That is the hard part.
Thanks for the lyrics..they are so applicable to so many of us here! Very helpful for me to read it.
Hope you were able to get some sleep! Tomorrow is always a new day to start again, to start to have a good relationship with someone. Stay Strong and Be Safe!
Karen, you're right about this. It's like a death. My counselor said something to me. I told her this is harder because he's not actually dead. She said to me, but the person who you thought he was is. I didn't think of it that way. He's never going to be that person. Even if he completely changed into a non-abusive person, it could never be like it was before--or the way it felt. I've seen the awful side of him and I would never be able to feel the way I felt about him before. I realized too that it's not just the man I thought he was that I'm grieving, it's also the life I thought we were going to have, our dreams of traveling to all 50 states, of moving to the country, our future children. I thought I was finally going to have all the things I've been waiting 31 years for. Now I feel like it's been ripped away from me. I wonder if I'm being punished for something shitty I did in a previous life or something. I can't think of any other reason. It just hurts so much.
Anyway he's going to be out of jail on Monday They made a deal. Misdemeanor domestic battery, 14 days in jail with credit for time served, 1 year probation, 52-week intervention program and he's been ordered to secure employment and pay me $5000 in restitution. I'm not holding my breath on the last two. Also if he breaks the order again it's 6 months in jail. My advocate said it's a pretty good outcome. I just hope he stays away. It's hard enough without him coming around.
Hi Anna, I remember saying to my counselor how this would have been easier if they had died. Because then I would be able to really grieve and there would be NO hope of anything in the future. AND..there would be no chance of me seeing them ever again. I know my exes are never going to be any different than they are, I have gotten to the place in my life where I wouldn't go back to either of them for ANYTHING on this earth. I KNOW they are detrimental to my well being. It has taken me a really long time to get to that realization.
We do grieve the "life we thought we would have"..the "dreams". My ex-boyfriend talked of travelling..he wined and dined me, he was very romantic and charming and I grieved that..but for me now, with every "good" memory, there is a bunch of hurt that comes with it. Which then makes me turned off completely.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that you did absolutely nothing to deserve any of this. We don't deserve these jerks. For me, I went through a lot of counselling to figure out why I was attracted to the kind of guys I have been connected to. I was in 3 relationships since college (over 33 years) and each one of them was abusive. I really wanted to know why I kept connecting with the same kind of guy. I have learned my patterns and believe me it is very difficult to change them. One thing I know I do is take responsibility for everyone's happiness..meaning I do everything I can to make sure my man was happy. I NOW know I cannot do that and I find myself still doing it at times. So I connected with men who made me responsible for their happiness. They expected it.
In my current relationship, my guy makes a point of telling me often that I am not responsible for his happiness. In fact, one thing he never says to me is that "You make me happy". He doesn't expect me to do anything to make him happy. And does not want me to do things just to make him happy..to him that is lying or pretending that I want to do things when I really don't.
I was able to go back to my teen years and my relationship with my parents and figure out why I was attracted to my husband and later my ex abusive boyfriend. I was very determined to NOT repeat history.
I like that if he violates the order it is instant jail time, that helps some and the money sounds good..but like you I am not optimistic about being paid. I would be curious to see if he attends that 52 week intervention program. Many abusers are ordered to attend, but they don't change. Lundy Bancroft's book "Why Does He Do That?" talks a lot about these court ordered programs. These jerks REALLY don't see any need to change because they don't see that there is anything wrong with their behaviors. That is why the chance of change is literally less than 1 %.
I hope he stays away too. Healing is so much easier when they leave us alone. I have not seen my ex-husband in almost a year. It has been great..out of sight really has helped them to become "out of mind". The ex-boyfriend..I blocked him from FB and my e-mails and I blocked his wife also (he met her 4 weeks after dumping me). By blocking them, it prevented me from looking them up..so I resisted the urge because I really couldn't look them up unless I unblocked them. AND believe me, I unblocked them several times for about 2 years. It has only been in the last year that I have stopped and it has HELPED me SO MUCH. I really don't think of them too much anymore. They all disgust me..my ex-husband and the ex-boyfriend and his wife. I also, got to the point where I really just got TIRED of how I felt when I did think of them, it is like I just didn't like who I became when I got stuck with them on my mind. I am much happier now. It has been almost 4 years since the ex-boyfriend and I left my ex-husband over 4 years ago.
You will get there Anna-Lee, one day at a time. I can tell you it gets better, every day is one step closer to happiness!
Well, he's out tomorrow morning and I didn't expect this but I am having so much anxiety. I haven't been able to relax at all. I chatted with the national hotline this morning and that helped but the closer it gets, the more anxious I'm becoming. I tried to go to sleep early tonight just so I wouldn't be up worrying but I keep flashing to him standing over me. Just smiling, not an evil smile, just his normal happy smile. It doesn't sound like anything scary but it's giving me heart palpitations and when I did get to sleep once, I woke up in cold sweat. I don't know, I was okay until today.
I'm going to work tomorrow as usual. Most of my co-workers are men - fiercely protective men who are completely aware of what's going on, LOL - so I feel pretty safe there. I told my mom to watch out for his truck (or him in any vehicle) near her house and to call the police if she even thinks she sees him. I don't know what time he's being released - they will only notify me after the fact - but I know that he has to go straight to his probation officer's office after he leaves the jail, so hopefully I'll be home with my mom not long after he gets done with all that.
So I've got a can of pepper spray, we have deadbolts on the doors, locks on the windows and a 93 pound American Bulldog (huge baby but with a fierce look and bark). I know the one gun (that I'm aware of) that my ex owned, he's already surrendered, and since he's staying with his brother, his brother's guns had to be removed from the property as well. He's prohibited from consuming alcohol or using or possessing a firearm while he's on probation. After that he will have his rights reinstated if he doesn't have any probation violations. Is there anything else I can do tonight? Other than arming myself? I haven't ruled that out by the way, but I don't feel quite ready for that.
Hi Anna-Lee..I think you are as prepared as you can be and it is very understandable how anxious and concerned you are! You are doing all the right things from what I can see and so glad you are surrounded by guys at work who will help you if you need them.
Very glad the guns are gone. And I understand arming yourself. That is one "avenue", I never felt the need to go down, but I can understand wanting to protect yourself.
How are you doing? I am not sure of the time zone you are in, but I suspect the morning has come and gone. Sadly, I think sometimes we have to think like a criminal, meaning what would an abuser do next after spending time in jail? If he is smart..he will leave you alone. Being in jail should be enough of a deterrent for anyone to follow the law, but he has shown that he really doesn't care about the law.
I am really glad you are in touch with the hotline, they can continue to help you as well.
I think you are being really smart and all I can think to say is keep going forward, keep listening to your "gut"..it will lead you to a good place. We humans have a built in mechanism to tell us when danger is nearby. I read a book called "The Gift of Fear". It really spoke of how we are programmed to either "fight" or "flight". It is a good read or it's on audio CD at the library if you want to listen in the car(I have a good long commute in the morning, so I listen to books a lot).
I wish I had the secret as to how to relax and enjoy life, knowing there is a jerk who wants to get back at you for doing the right thing.
You are in my thoughts Anna-Lee..I truly hope you are able to relax some and get some sleep!
So far so good. No one I know of has seen or heard from him. I'm hoping I can get some sleep tonight too. I eventually got to sleep last night but it was very restless sleep. Starting to feel like a zombie which is not good with a physical job. I'm was looking for one of those guided meditations for sleep but there are so many of them, I don't know where to begin. You probably won't see this tomorrow (I don't know what time zone you're in either--I'm on the west coast) but if you have any recommendations, I'll take them.
Hi Anna-Lee, hope you have gotten some sleep. Glad he has disappeared for a while.
As for guided meditations, I usually find some that are about 20 minutes long, and specifically for falling asleep. I also listen to Pandora Radio which has all kinds of "yoga" type music, lots of nature sounds (rain storms, ocean waves, babbling brooks). Those seem to relax me as I start thinking of nature and places I like to go to and that helps. If you are interested, Yoga can help to relax you before bed. There are 20-30 minute sessions online that you can Google and do. Some are for free some are not. I practiced yoga for a while and have gotten away from it, but they have some really nice stretching ones to help our bodies calm before falling asleep. We carry a lot of tension to bed at night.
Maybe even reading a fun book before bed will help, like a nice fiction story that is about nice stuff, not relationships.
Your brain needs to find it's way again with sleeping.
Also, don't eat any sugar or caffeine like after 7pm, that will keep you stimulated and awake. A warm shower or bath can help too, using Lavender oils or soap. That scent is supposed to help relax humans.
Well, this isn't the update I wanted to give you. He came back to the house again and he assaulted me. It's been 11 days since he got out and I hadn't seen or heard a word from him. I was trying to think positively, that maybe I was one of the lucky ones and he'd give up. I even started house-hunting this week and it has been so much fun. I've been anxious to get back into my own place. I let my guard down. So after work today I was out in the backyard, working in my mom's garden and I guess I forgot to make sure the gate was locked. He walked right up behind me. He begged me to listen, just for a minute, said he needed my help. He told me his brother threw him out and he had nowhere to go. I told him that wasn't my problem and asked him what he came come here expecting from me anyway? He asked to borrow money. Seriously. I laughed (I didn't mean to, it just came out) and I told him to get out. As I was walking away, he begged me not to call the police, he said he wouldn't bother me again, he was just desperate. I didn't say anything, just kept walking. He grabbed me and pulled me towards him and said, "PLEASE." I just said LET ME GO. He wouldn't though, he started going on about our time together and asked if there wasn't a shred of humanity left in me for him. I screamed loudly at him to GET OUT. He whispered loudly SHUT UP! And he punched me in the stomach so hard it took the wind right out of me and I fell to the ground. And then he had the nerve to say "Look what you made me do." What I made HIM do. I didn't make him do a damn thing. Thanks to you and an awesome counselor, I can say that with absolute certainty, even if haven't quite figured out how to not let him get to me emotionally.
Anyway, the dog was inside the house barking the whole time and the neighbor started calling for me so he took off, fast. The police haven't found him. They were over questioning his brother for at least a couple of hours. I don't know where he'd go, but he's probably thinking he doesn't have anything to lose. If they catch him, he'll be going to jail for a long time this time.
This was the man I LOVED. I loved him more than anything, even after everything he's put me through. I would have done anything for him. But I'm beginning to feel that anger you told me about a while back. I feel it rising up in me and I'm seeing how he's been playing me all this time, how he's used my love for him AGAINST me, and inside I'm screaming HOW DARE YOU. I'm pissed off and I never thought I'd feel it this deeply, all the way down to my core. I can't believe how many chances I gave him and he spit in my face every single time. F*ck him.
OMG!!! This is so wrong! He will be in jail as soon as they find him. What a jerk! Jerk is an understatement!
Anna-Lee, I am so sorry this guy doesn't get it. AND I know how much it hurts, and that anger? For me, it turned to hate. AND I never wanted to hate anyone in my life, but the two exes in my life weren't even good enough for that feeling.
We love them with everything we have, yes. EVERYTHING because we believe that that is how to love someone. And the good times? We believe that is what love looks like and sadly it is all a lie. Because if it was truly love, there wouldn't be any horrible bad times. He wouldn't be punching you in the stomach and terrorizing your mother and you and continuing to stalk you. He needs to rot. He continues to get worse and more violent. I am not surprised that his brother kicked him out. He is taking advantage of everyone any he blames everyone for HIS problems. I hope they find him soon and he sits in prison for a long while.
Please be careful, I know you don't want to have to live in fear, but until he is in jail, be vigilant. Call the police anytime you suspect something isn't right. There could be a "next time" and the violence can get out of hand. If he comes by again, call 911 instantly. Don't give him any opportunity to talk. He can NOT be trusted by any means. NONE.
I am glad that you had such a lovely time looking for a place to live. That joyful feeling is a sign of good things to come. That your life will get better. You deserve to have a nice home and safe place to live! Don't give up on that dream! It will happen!
I don't want to believe it but I just got a phone call that he turned himself in this morning! I don't know if it's because he had nowhere to go, or if he thinks the court will go easier on him, or if he's trying to prove to me that he's really a good guy by doing the right thing. I seriously question his motives for it. But anyway, he's locked up. He sees the judge in a couple of days. I've got a report from urgent care that my advocate is submitting too. I was still so sore on Saturday afternoon I went in to get checked out. Everything is okay, I had a CT scan and they said it's just a deep muscle bruise, but it's good I went in because now it's documented.
I am so relieved right now. And I guess I'm back to house hunting.
Hey Anna..OMG! That is weird! BUT so glad he did and he is behind bars! Maybe he got a little smart for a moment? I question his motives too! No doubt, whatever his motives, I promise you he only has himself in mind and what HE can gain from this. Let him sit and rot a bit. He is where he really needs to be. I am glad they are submitting the reports as evidence He has physically hurt you and that needs to be considered with all the other evidence against him.
I am relieved for you! At least you know where he is and there isn't much he can do from prison. Be careful though with any friends you have in common, just not certain if they can be trusted.
Exciting about house hunting!! That is so much fun and heading into a new direction and possibly healing even more, all GOOD! Enjoy every minute of looking for a new home! You deserve all the joy and happiness that comes with finding a place that is just "yours"! So happy for you that you can have some peace for a while!
A little update. My ex plead guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery. The sentencing was last week and I was there. I am glad to say I didn't collapse this time and he didn't even look at me. But he cried while he told the judge how sorry he is and that he realized that he's hit rock bottom and he's ready to hold himself accountable. The judge said he really hoped my ex meant what he said and that he was able to change his life, but I had a feeling the judge wasn't all that convinced. He sentenced him to one year. 6 months for the domestic battery and another 6 months for violating the restraining order, plus one year of probation after that. And he still has to complete the batterer intervention program during his probation. One more violation and it's a felony.
It was a big relief at the moment. I thought that feeling would last longer but the last several days I've been having a hard time. I feel bad for him. He looked awful. I've never seen him like that. And at the same time, I'm having nightmares about him. It's bizarre. I go from feeling guilty to afraid to pissed off and then it starts all over again. I don't know what's wrong with me. I felt like I was getting better and seeing him in court really messed me up. I'm still going to my counselor every week and I know I'll get through it. It's just been a rough week. And on top of that, tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of my dad's death. I miss him so damn much. I'd give anything for him to be here right now.
On the plus side I got pre-approved for a mortgage. Now I just need to find the house.
Hey Anna-Lee, it sounds like your ex got what he deserved, even though more would have been better. I am with the judge on this one, not convinced that he will change into a better person, and even if he did, then it would take a huge amount before I would ever believe that he was being genuine. I don't believe he was genuine at the hearing. Hitting rock bottom isn't what caused him to abuse you. He has been doing this probably for the whole time you have been married to him..in one way or another.
I know you feel bad for him, that is the guilt we feel, the attachment, the feeling that somehow we are responsible for what happens to them. People commit horrific acts upon each other and for some reason we feel sorry for the attacker. Somehow our brains get us to feel like they are down in the dumps and they just need "love" and they will be better. NOT. There are people on this earth who are inherently evil. AND they deserve to pay for every ounce of hurt they have inflicted on others. Because they did everything they did for THEM.
What's going on is seeing your ex has triggered all that you have been working so hard to put behind you. Seeing them brings it all to the surface and that is why it is so hard when we have contact. Even though you didn't talk to him, you were in the same room. I saw my ex-husband last weekend for our daughter's senior prom. I am really strong when I am away from him, but when I get around him, it is as if no time has passed. My anxiety surfaces, my whole body reacts and I hate those feelings. I get really tense and just uncomfortable. He didn't do anything or say anything specifically to me. He was humble and nice and thanked me for bringing her to him as he wouldn't have gotten to see her otherwise and I thought for a brief second..maybe he isn't so bad. Then I realize..yes. He is still the same guy who emotionally abused me, who yelled at me, who called me all sort of names, who ignored me for so many times, who teased me, who wouldn't say the things I needed to hear purely because he believed he didn't have to do anything I asked. It all came back, and I was only around him for 15 min. I was not myself for a few hours after that and I still am processing it and getting through it. I thought I had dealt with all those feelings...turns out, I haven't. So they can still trigger us. That is why NO CONTACT works so well. It helps us to keep healing and not get so upset as we do when we see them.
I have to see my ex several times over the next 10 days, I am back in counselling to help me deal with it all as I know how I am going to be. And you are so right, we get through it, we learn, we let the feelings come and we let them go and we keep going forward. It will be ok. Every tomorrow is a new opportunity to heal and go forward.
I am sorry about your Dad. There are times like this when we can so benefit from seeing our Dads! I believe he is watching over you and maybe he will help to guide you to that house that you are meant to start over in? Congrats on being approved for the loan! That is so awesome!