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Still Grieving Over The Abuse
I left my very psychologically abusive ex partner a little over ten months ago. I have days, like today where I’m still grieving and feeling extremely emotionally drained.
Why do these things still affect so badly? Those words, even after ten months still cut me very deeply.
My partner would comment on my appearance by saying I need to lose weight and then rate my looks out of ten. And say “oh well, your looks don’t really matter.”
He even triangulated me and compared me to other girls. Saying ; “If it were between you and her.. I would pick her any day over you!”
He would also say things like : “It’s you that’s the problem. I can deal with my emotions. Maybe you need to realise that you are a horrible person and you need to learn that the hard way. By losing someone close to you in your life. I can’t deal with your anxiety anymore.”
“You are far too sensitive.”
“If you weren’t so anxious then I would never have said that to you. You make me react that way with your behaviour.”
“You are pathetic. You are so immature, GROW UP! I’m not going to parent you. I’m getting to a point where I don’t want to speak anymore. If you can’t deal with the stress of this relationship then good-luck getting any type of job in your dream pathway.”
I’m still traumatised from those experiences. Even though I am out of the relationship ... I still very much feel a sense of brokenness, confusion and devastation. This was my first ever proper relationship. I remember him shouting at me in the botanical gardens in the city after we had an argument near the art gallery. I remember how my heart was palpitating. And I also remember how I was shaking, crying and hyperventilating uncontrollably as he stood there yelling at me - “YOU ARE SO IMMATURE! GROW UP!”
Can relate to you experiences. I spent 5 1/2 years with someone similar. She would use all my insecurities against me, compare me to exes, put down things I was excited/interested about/in . Prolonged silent treatment was common, that and the complete withholding of any form of affection/intimacy for extended periods.
I've had depression since I was 17 years old (I'm 29 now) and managed it well. I was in the process of weaning off AD medication and found myself struggling a bit during that time. Instead of being supportive, she gave me a serve about how dysfunctional I am, how I'm not resilient enough and how she needs someone stable to be with. Ironic right?
I remember once locking myself in the bathroom, she was enraged because she demanded sex and as a result of anti depressant medication I couldn't perform to her liking. It was horrific.
She was (and still is) incredibly abusive and controlling. They are dangerous people.
Not sure if you experienced this , but I broke up with her a bit of 3 months ago. I've had long letters deleted by her itemising every single nice thing she's ever done. Most recently I've had a letter delivered that blames my response to her behaviour for the failure of the relationship. They don't accept any responsibility for their actions.
Like you, I'm haunted by the abuse. I'm trying hard to move on but I am actually frightened of intimacy of any type as a result of that relationship so I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place now.
I feel so sorry for your Ex - Wow he has enormous issues with his own self esteem and confidence. That stuff he directed towards you is an exact reflection of how he really feels about himself.
Clinical studies have proven that bullies (verbal and physical) are suffering and cannot wait to unload their insecurities onto others. The sad bit is that of course it has affected you greatly. You hung in there with loyalty for a period of time way beyond what he deserved - good on you for having that inner strength.
He will fade over time onto the memory clouds where he deserves to be, and you will fly high and happy with a new partner who loves and respects you for the independent, frivolous, interesting, and fierce woman you are.
Onwards to a happy future PF!
All the best, The Bro
Thank you all for the insightful and lovely responses. I genuinely appreciate all of the responses.
How does one heal from all of the traumatic memories though?
Deep down - eventually I know that he will only be a cloud or a blur in my mind. It just is difficult to overcome something so traumatic though.
I truly believe that trauma alters your brain and it’s development. After leaving him, a little only ten months ago, I have noticed that my brain is feeling extremely different. Things seem to trigger me, ALOT more.
Hope you are all ok.
Hello PF, (that okay?)
You have been through a terrible time with that fellow. Psychological/emotional abuse like this is, in my opinion, often much more damaging than physical abuse, though I still can be triggered by physical contact. It can take a long time to heal such deep wounds, but with time, care from someone, such as a well-qualified & experienced Psychologist or Psychiatrist & with much self-care too, things do improve. We learn ways of dealing better with crisis, with the memories, the triggers, the anxiety & any other thing you care to mention - it all gets easier. I'm not convinced it will ever actually go away & not bother us evr again. I couldn't promise that. Just that, with a lot of care & support you will learn ways of living with the past experiences. They won't always be 'in your face' & such a large part of your life.
Can you list things you can do to help yourself when the memories & feelings are particularly strong? Write these things, to refer to whenever you need, & add to your list of 'tools' in your 'toolkit'.
Do you have someone you trust to talk to about any of this?
& remember, BB is here for you, anytime,
My ex partner has diminished a true sense of myself. I am suffering from a severe identity loss. And I feel like almost - a shadow of a person.Sometimes I feel numb. It’s been hard to cry about these things. Crying doesn’t come easy for me anymore. Now, I struggle to cry. I just overwhelm myself with my stressful and somewhat irrational thoughts. I then proceed to sit in silence and stare into the far distance. I also have a large intimacy problem now too. Because my ex partner, frequently made me feel super ‘unattractive’ in my skin as he would compare my body and outer appearance to other women. Plus, when we were together in an intimate form, there was absolutely no connection. There also certainly was no compassion, tenderness or care either during these times too. It was always about him and what he liked. I was deemed ‘clingy’ because I wanted cuddles and hugs. I was starved from very basic affection. Recently, I hugged a guy at university. And it was a lot for me. It took courage for me to do that.And later on when I got home, I felt overwhelmed and stressed about how I was so close to someone, physically, after a long time - even though it was just a hug. There are times when I think I am doing alright. And then there are times when I feel so defeated. I can still remember the time I was intertwined and wrapped in the heavy doona, weeping loudly and shaking uncontrollably. I was also hyperventilating and I felt quite a substantial amount of fear, confusion and stress. This was all happening while he was calling me horrible and demeaning things. He was saying phrases like ; “You are pathetic, oh shut up!” and “Grow up, you are so immature. Stop crying.” I couldn’t wear makeup around him. I couldn’t wear my vintage outfits. When we watched movies and television shows together it always had to be things that HE liked. And when we listened to music in the car, it was always the music that HE liked. Sometimes he even refused to drive me home. As he complained about the 45 minute travelling distance between us. He would make me take the train home, at that time I wasn’t very experienced when it came to taking public transportation. And he didn’t even walk me to my train either. I felt neglected, unheard and scared. Thank you for the response mmMekitty, I appreciate it!
I will try to do those things that you have suggested. Thankyou. I truly am touched. You all make my heart so happy. Much love to you all. Please take care of yourselves. X
We are so sorry to hear about what you have gone through. It sounds really tough and it is never okay for someone to treat you in this way. We encourage you to reach out to 1800 Respect 1800 737 732 for some further support. You can also reach out to Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 if you would like.
Thank you for being part of our forums, it takes a lot of courage and strength to reach out for support and we are so glad that you have done so. The community will be here to listen and chat with you.
In the event that you are feeling like hurting yourself, it is important that you take immediate steps to keep yourself safe. You can do this by:
• Speaking to your doctor or psychologist (if you have one) if he or she is available right now
• If, however, you feel unable to keep yourself safe this is an emergency and you need to call 000 (triple zero).
So sorry to hear the effect the relationship had on you. I can understand what you are going through. It sounds like your experience and mine have a lot of eery similarities. Pretty much every facet of my life was lived on her terms. Like you have described, intimacy had no connection at all. In my case my ex had almost zero interest in intimacy (sexual or otherwise) but was used to great effect as a tool of manipulation. Like you, I'm scared of intimacy now. It's just not a place I want to go any more. I hope with time and if I right the meet person that might change.
Sending positive and loving vibes to you.
Unhealed people have to hurt others.
They always need and want us to feel inferior to them.
Obviously they have extremely low self esteem...
It still hurts though. I loved him. He tried to dim my light. So disheartening.
He was so cruel, thoughtless, malignant and extremely manipulative. Such an insecure and emotionally unavailable human being.