Mutual abuse...I know I need therapy

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Mutual abuse...I know I need therapy
14
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 11:52am

I have been out of the relationship for 6yrs and am just now coming to terms with the fact that I MUST finally deal with it.  The pain, embarrasement, sense of loss, ability to have (or want) a r/s just doesn't  go away.    Time does not heal all wounds.

Honestly?    I don't remember with clarity dates,  all the incidents, lies, manipulation.   I do remember the fear (and later anger),  disappointment when I realized I'd been lied to again and sadness.  Nor do I exactly remember when I started drinking just to blot out all the insanity with which I couldn't deal anymore.   I don't remember much about my 3days of medically induced detox at rehab or all of my time there.  I do remember almost losing my daughter because of it all.

I do remember throwing a few glass beer mugs at his head a few months after I came home.  He refused to remove the alcohol from the house.

It's all such a blur of hurt and confusion.  And when my anger surfaced after rehab and relapse - we were both being abusive.  Of course,  during the first 3yrs of our r/s, I had not uttered a word about his abuse toward me to anyone.  I was desperately(obsessively) in love with him and adored his children and the 'normal' times of our family life.  Of course, everyone knew I had been to rehab and of course he let everyone know about my rages and abuse.  Funny how they forgot my black eye and later the road rash from my hip to my foot when he threw me across the concrete floor.  (couldn't hide those)

He finally left me and I was despondent and heart broken and crazed.

It took me over a year of therapy to realize it wasn't all my fault.  I could not admit that all the prior craziness played a part.  Or that his continued abuse and my horrific reactions were all part of it.  I still have trouble with having been abusive in return.

I have trouble accepting that my oldest dd will not have much to do with me and places most of the blame on me.  Or that my youngest dd lives with her dad because she could not deal with me after he left.  (thank god her father is a pretty darn good father)

He has been in a r/s for a number of years and what little I know of it  and his life - I am thankful that I am no longer a part of his world.

But I am still reeling.  Ashamed of who I became, that I allowed it to happen for whatever reasons I had, that I am taking all the heat from my kids and not knowing how to repair things.    I just can't seem to forgive *myself*.  My kids and I had such a wonderful, close r/s filled with crafting, swimming, sledding and hot chocolate, beach trips, hiking....I was a normal and good mother ...BEFORE.

I still feel broken, unlovable and worried about so many what if's? that some days I can't think straight.   Although I have a decent job, my own home and 3/4 kids still close to me, I am not living life.   I spent years drowning myself in alcohol, received 2DUI's for my stupidity and have had a lot of time to look  around and realize how much I lost.  It was my choice to stay and obliterate the reality with drink.

I am not yet a survivor.  But I really need to close this chapter.  We have close to no contact but his presence looms large in my life.   I feel destroyed and just taking the first steps to rebuilding my life fills me with such fear.  I am no longer in danger but Fear has been ruling me for a long time.

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 11:58am

~hugs~

<3

Lorie

Nightangel
Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 12:38pm

Welcome to our board, hthr, and know that you are safe here, safe and FREE to talk about whatever is on your mind, in your heart and that has you frozen in fear.  Know that there is no judging, condemnation, or disempowerment on this board and you are free to safely speak whatever is on your mind.

WOW, entering recovery from alcohol addiction and domestic abuse pretty much at the same time, it's no wonder you feel totally overwhelmed and still angry and unresolved.  You mention that the abuser in your life refused to remove the alcohol from your home.  Is he also a still practicing alcoholic who was ticked off about losing his main drinking partner?  While we don't blame alcohol for abusive behavior, it often plays a role in it.  So, are you currently in a 12-step program of recovery or following a different path? Recovering from domestic abuse and chemical dependency are both a "one day at a time" endeavor.  You didn't get in the shape you were in overnight, nor will you recover from it overnight.  Just because we stop drinking doesn't magically erase the problems.  I hate to see you taking on more responsibility for the abuse than is warranted.  Oftentimes, the abuser in our life will turn the tables on us (we call it crazymaking) and manage to convince us that we are just as abusive as they are, when in reality, we are struggling to regain or retain our own power and right to choose, something an abuser does NOT want us to have, hence they cry "mutual abuse".  There was something in your relationship that sent you into the bottle.  Most of the time it is to deaden a pain that we can't seem to fix any other way.  It is not at all uncommon to see victims/survivors of abuse with a drug/alcohol/insert your addiction here/ problem because it hurts so darned much that the one person who is supposed to love us totally and completely hurts us, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, in every way they can, simply because they have an outsized need for control of and power over another.  It's their character flaw.

There's no need to remember dates, specific instances, or the medical detox.  You were ill, in heart, body, mind and soul.  I'm glad you are sober now and at a point where you feel safe in confronting the things that have been bothering you.  We will do our best to help you on your path to healing and hope.  Just one question:  Are you currently in counseling with someone who is experienced in dealing with domestic abuse?  If not, I would suggest that you contact your local domestic abuse agency and ask about a referral.  One of the things that you must understand before healing can happen is that YOU are NOT responsible for the abuse he committed against you, regardless of what you did as a result of alcohol.  ABusers choose to abuse and will use any excuse to deflect the blame onto their victim.  Please visit our board's website (link in opening paragraph for board) and start reading.  You will find a lot of really good info there.  Also, check into Lundy Bancroft's book, Why Does He Do That?  Inside the minds of angry and controlling men.  It's written in plain language and is still, this many years after publication, the best book I have found on helping us to understand the abuse and abusers that were/are in our lives.  It will astound you how similar your story is to the ones you read in it.  It's hit just about all of us who have read it.  While are stories are very similar, they are also each unique and different.  The common thread - we've suffered abuse and we are all fighting our way back from it, one step at a time.  Again, welcome, and feel free to post any and everything you feel you need to.  There will be no judgement from us.  Hugs, it's been a long road back for you, but just remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins, with a single step.

Mama Harmony

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 2:14pm
Thank you...I am in tears. To have *anyone* acknowledge it all is more than I expected! I am off to my gdaughters 1st bday party but would like to talk with you all some more. I hadn't ever thought or been directed to a domestic violence counselor.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 2:15pm
Thank you. I want to be the woman I was ~before~. Or even someone better, different...just not who I am and have been.
Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 3:11pm

<3

You are Welcome!

~hugs~

Lorie

Nightangel
Avatar for queen_brat
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 5:50pm

Abuse forever changes you so sadly you will never be who you were. At least that has been my experincve and I am not always happy with the changes but I am stronger then I use to be. I now speak up for myself a lot more then I use to. I still take to much crap but not half a much as I use to.

I use to trust people a lot more then I do now and some would say that is a good thing but I hate questioning pretty much everything a person does (sigh). But so many people have let me down in my life maybe it is best if I question people more?

AHHH!! I really hate abuse. Please know you are not the only one years after still feeling the effects. I have been out for seven years and it still gets me from time to time.

((HUGS)) I once or twice hit my ex. I think most that have posted here over the years have lashed out at least once. I am not saying it is right but they push and push at us and we are only human are are going to fight back eventully.

I second everything Cajun said and wish you all the best!!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 6:01pm

I just read the article about nacissism.   I think that is enough emotional turmoil for one day.  I really need to find a domestic violence counselor b/c I do believe that is the man I was involved with.  Yes, I saw some traits for myself  but so many points hit on things that, I think,  drove me crazy.

During my after rehab care, I was diagnosed as bipolar II.  At the time, I could totally see where it would apply to me.  But I now wonder if it was a reliable diagnosis or if I was just driven mad.   (I am not discounting anything but the term 'crazymaking' seems real)

 I was in an unhappy r/s when we met - and he persued me hard.  Flowers, visits to my workplace, having his sis work on me.

When I needed help - I was ignored.  Even when I needed a ride to the ER for emergency appendectomy.  And berated for interuppting his work when I needed a ride home.  (even tho he was the only person in my life because everyone else had vanished)

Thinking we had an agreement on the way any particular situation was going to be handled - and being told we never had the convo, I forgot a convo or he just decided to do it whatever way he wanted.

The schemes to make money, blaming me for not having taxes done when I am not legally capable because it's in HIS NAME,  meeting with (and telling me about) meeting his past FWB while I was working the night shift, always telling me he would never marry me - it is what it is -, the control over his sibs he had,  the friends I lost to his side only to be told 2yrs later what a d*ck he is and they were sorry for believing him.

I could go on but won't.  Have I really believed I was crazy all this time and I am NOT?   

So - I am going to stop researching until I get into therapy and can get some real perspective.

I am so happy that I stumbled from the The Single Life to here.   Emotionally drained but thankful.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 6:14pm

Thank you.  I don't feel strong.  I used to feel like a strong, capable woman.   I feel like a shell anymore.  It's all smoke and mirrors.  And it has become too hard to keep up the facade of happy, capable and independent.

No one really knows what happened to me.   I don't think.   I never really talked about it.  And when I had to go out in public with the black eye or bruises - I actually took the blame!   Said it was my fault for pushing his buttons.

I haven't given up yet.  And just by encouraging me and being able to offer support and empathy....doesn't that make you strong in your own right?

I don't know if I would have left him.   Luckily for me I was so damaged and out of control that he left.  (did I just say I was lucky for being a mess?  But he's gone and so is the drama and insanity)

You stay strong too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 6:39pm

Thank you for the support.

I am not living right now.  I am just existing.  It's take everything I have to go to work (in food service at a hospital) and be happy, playful, helpful and listen to my patients and their families issues.   When I get home I am done.   

I don't clean or do yard work.   I don't play in my gardens which I once found relaxing.   Just getting groceries and having clean work clothes is exhausting.

I escape.  I drink, smoke, play games, read, watch TV.   I don't talk to my friends or go out.  I have no healthy hobbies.

I am existing and it is an ugly existence.   

I don't want to live like this anymore.  It's time to really work it out in therapy and get it together.  For myself mostly.  Then I can be there for my kids, my mom, my brother like I should be.

If I am not the same woman as before, well, maybe that will be okay too.  Because right now, I feel like a shell of a person.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 6:40pm

sorry  double post 

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