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Topic: Still Grieving Over The Abuse

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    23 November 2021

    Hello there,

    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.”

    And...

    “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!”

    PF.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Juliet_84
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    23 November 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur
    Your ex-partner sounds like a horrible person for the things he said to you. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. The reality is that you cannot trust the words of a person who chronically mistreats you. Their view of you is so distorted and self-serving as a way to justify their behaviour. If they saw you as a good and decent person, that would then make them the bad guy for treating you this way, and their ego won’t allow that. You will have down times for sure, you have been through a type of trauma and need to allow yourself sufficient time to heal. But the good thing is that you will know happiness again, whereas he will not, he is sick and will go on to repeat this pattern in all of his relationships. As someone who was in a domestic violence relationship with the first person I ever loved, I know how those flashbacks can devastate you. But anyone seeing that encounter would see an angry and horrible person screaming at and belittling the woman who loved him. If you can love someone like that, then imagine how you will be able to love someone who loves you and treats you with respect. Im sorry that was your first proper relationship experience but let it teach you what you will and won’t accept from people. And good on you for having the strength and courage to stand up and say no and leave that situation. I truly believe that good things come to those who wait, but I understand that the waiting can be hard. Please don’t lose faith xx
    1 person found this helpful
  3. batticus
    batticus avatar
    64 posts
    26 November 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    Hi PF

    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.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. The Bro
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    193 posts
    26 November 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    Gidday PF

    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

    2 people found this helpful
  5. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    27 November 2021

    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.

    PF

  6. mmMekitty
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    1714 posts
    27 November 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    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,

    mmMekitty

    1 person found this helpful
  7. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    27 November 2021

    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

    PF.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Sophie_M
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    6136 posts
    27 November 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur
    Hi  PsychedelicFur,

    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).
     
    1 person found this helpful
  9. batticus
    batticus avatar
    64 posts
    29 November 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    Hi PF

    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.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    29 November 2021 in reply to batticus

    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.

    PF.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Juliet_84
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    6 December 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    Hi psychedelic fur,

    You ask how does one heal from all the traumatic memories..I think it takes time, they will eventually fade into the middle distance and their power will weaken. It is also a choice, you need to decide at some point that the words of a small minded insecure man are just that. As someone who has suffered domestic violence at the hand of a partner for over a decade, I don’t particularly agree with the concept that it changes your brain, because I don’t want to hand over that much power to my abuser, it may take me awhile to recover from their treatment of me but I will recover and there won’t be a trace left of them. People can recover from incredible trauma and go on to lead happy and fulfilling lives, please don’t give this man more power over your life than he deserves. I think the important thing is to work on how you feel about you, do things that are good for your soul. If you like vintage clothes, go op shopping and get yourself some new outfits that celebrate you, I always love a different haircut to reinvigorate me. Self-care helped me immensely when overcoming my abuse. You may also see a psychologist specializing in trauma if you feel that you need it?

    1 person found this helpful
  12. PsychedelicFur
    PsychedelicFur avatar
    337 posts
    9 December 2021

    I am now understanding the concept of projection. Hurt people actually hurt people.
    My narcissistic ex boyfriend was a deeply insecure human being. And he was deeply insecure about his weight, looks, abilities/capabilities etc. So that is why he would casually throw such horrible insults at me quite frequently : “GROW UP! I don’t want to father you. You are pathetic and immature.” And “You are so embarrassing looking.” And so on...
    When he was insecure about something he had to project his issues onto me.
    I’m understanding this.
    I have been doing more research. And as of lately, I have been coming to a rather big realisation. Projection is most certainly a common thing.

    You know, there are days where I feel like I am healing. I feel like I am ‘whole’ once again. And then there are days where I ruminate and sit with my thoughts. And I could cry.

    I am overcoming so much trauma in my recent years. My mother was psychologically abusive towards me. Most of my ex boyfriends were rather sadistic and liked to see me upset or feeling inferior.

    I’m just trying to cope with everything at the moment. It’s extremely difficult.

    PF.

    1 person found this helpful
  13. mmMekitty
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    1714 posts
    9 December 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    Hi PsychedelicFur,

    You do seem to have a good grasp of 'Projection'. I imagine you will be spotting this pattern of behaviour in other people, too. It is indeed common to many people, to a greater or lesser degree.

    You this certainly is a time when you are coping with a lot of emotion & deep thinking, so, it is very important to be sure to take breaks, & not to allow this to be what you do every waking minute of any day. That takes some effort on your part, as well, planning to have these breaks, just as you have to be prepared to eat, sleep & for personal care, & things like getting outside, talking to people, all these things too are still part of your life, which you might have to keep an eye on. Then you'll have more of those days when you feel lighter, freer, like you said, 'healing' & 'whole'.

    It's really good to hear the positive tone in your post. 😺

    mmMekitty

    PS, you like to play any musical instrument?

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Juliet_84
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    10 December 2021 in reply to PsychedelicFur

    Hi psychedelic fur,

    Projection is most certainly a thing, you only need to look at the language used. In your ex-boyfriends case he used a lot of shame and humiliation in his language so this is the feeling that he cannot bear to feel himself for whatever reason. I don’t like to throw the word around because it gets used so much, but it’s very common of narcissists, who I believe are at the core of just about every abusive relationship. These people are incredibly insecure and this is how they deal with their insecurities, by bringing you down. Sadly it is because they actually think that you are too good, you dress too well, you light up the room too much etc that they lash out. The more you read about it though the more you understand, and you eventually end up pitying them for being so incapable of dealing with their emotions or admitting they are wrong they they need to behave this way.

    2 people found this helpful
  15. mmMekitty
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    1714 posts
    11 December 2021 in reply to Juliet_84

    Hi PsychedelicFur & Juliet_84, & all,

    I'd like to learn more so I can more quickly recognise when people are setting me up, before I feel any attachment, & most certainly, much longer before escape time & I'm scrambling for a way out of the relationship.

    Warm virtual hugs,

    mmMekitty

    .

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Juliet_84
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    12 December 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hi mmMekitty,

    There’s no one way to identify someone quickly unfortunately there are things you can do to help guard against it.
    My best advice would be to take things slow in the first 6 months, don’t allow yourself to fall head over heels quickly as they will have you where they want you then. Abusers and manipulators will love bomb you during this stage, they will make you feel like you are the only person in the world for them, that you have finally found your Prince Charming. They won’t be phony about it and they will feel completely sincere so it is incredibly hard to resist but there’s another side to them which they are hiding. Beware the people who come on too strong or move too quickly.
    They want you to fall in love fast, because they can’t keep up the charm forever, they know the mask will drop. Look at how they treat animals, people like waiters etc. how do they act when they lose their temper. They can still fake that at the start but you’ll get an idea over time. Also, how do they speak about their ex. Not always a good indicator as lots of people don’t like their ex but if their ex is the worst person in the world etc, it’s a bit of a warning sign that things may not be right.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. batticus
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    64 posts
    14 December 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    A great saying I heard recently was 'crisis reveals character'.

    You really get to see the true nature of someone when things aren't going their way.

    Also observe the way they treat other people i.e. waiters, airport staff, etc. My abusive ex, even while she was initially kind to me (lovebombing phase) was extremely rude to other people. I found it confronting but I was at that stage infatuated with her so she really couldn't do any wrong in my eyes.

    2 people found this helpful
  18. Juliet_84
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    617 posts
    14 December 2021 in reply to batticus
    I’ve seen the same thing - if you want to know the character of a person, see how they treat someone who can do nothing for them. So wait staff, random people in the street. Even animals, anyone I know who has ever been abusive or controlling doesn’t like animals (and vice versa). Just a theory but I think it shows a lack of empathy.
    2 people found this helpful
  19. Flower1990
    Flower1990 avatar
    10 posts
    14 January 2022

    I can relate to so much of what you have said in your post.... I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with a man too and we only just stopped talking a few days ago.I haven't been able to maintain no contact with him for longer than 2 months. I have been on this off again/on again rollercoaster for nearly 2.5 years now and so much unbelievable / damaging stuff has happened in that time.

    He would say things like "GROW UP - you're a child" or " You're being a baby" when all I am trying to do is voice how I am feeling. "You're too sensitive" " you should be over this already" " I haven't done anything wrong" " you need to apologise" " this is your fault" . It is chilling how they use the same words and language.

    I have been struggling with this for such a long time now and one of the saddest things about it is that I feel really alone as though no one can truly understand it unless they have experienced it themselves! I just want to say that you are not alone and it can take a really long time to heal from these kinds of relationships. I just want to be over it already and move on with my life, as you do too I can imagine. It is very frustrating! I think the only thing that will work is no contact at all with this person (not on social media, email, phone etc - erase all messages, give away gifts, destroy photos). Any memory of them will need to be erased - ignorance is bliss as they say. Not having reminders around and being present and doing things that you love and enjoy will help a lot. TIME is also a major factor....frustrating....but there's nothing else to do but wait for these feelings to pass...and they will eventually. I hope you find the love and happiness you deserve after enduring all of this.

    Take care

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