I’m seeing clearly but all alone in my camp

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2012
I’m seeing clearly but all alone in my camp
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 2:24pm

My rambling thoughts of the day (past few days)…

I’d thought I’d update my situation although there isn’t any real life updates. :smileyfrustrated:.  STBX is still in the house, not really respecting the house sharing agreement, but not being overtly stupid about it.  I feel I’ve lost my chance to get a court order to kick him out while the D is settled and finalized. 

First off, I must admit that I do feel a bit different than many of you wonderful ladies here.  My abuse was never physical and to be honest I believe 100% he would never do anything to physically harm me.  I know that does not make the abuse any less real.  From that thought, I feel ashamed at who I am, what/who I settled for.  From there I see myself as weak.  On the other hand, I know that that is all warped thinking.  Inside I feel so much better, so much happier, so much freer, and most importantly I feel hope for the future, for a happy future for me and my children.

Second thing I wanted to point out about me:  It’s ending an affair that brought me to ivillage.  My affair partner was also emotionally abusive, but then an affair is toxic by definition.  I thought about changing user names to post on this board, but that didn’t make sense, its part of who I am.  In the past year I have been working hard on myself to figure out what brought me to take actions that were unhealthy, learn about myself, what made me tick, choose healthy relationships.  To the outside world, getting a divorce seems like a hasty and rash decision, but I am so far from the person I was a year ago that staying married to STBX could not possibly in any way fit in with who I am.  I was also seeing more and more the damage it was creating to the kids, so staying for the sake of the kids was also no longer a reason.

Last night I had an appt with a DV counselor, it’s a program that is meant to help the kids who have lived in an abusive environment and help the transition through a separation or D, but we mainly discussed the overall situation.  The DV councilor asked some questions, think they were from a written form to get an feel for the situation:

Where did you meet H? Answer: A bar.

What attracted you to him?  Answer: I don’t know, nothing really, no idea.

Why did you get married?  Answer:  In retrospect, I was afraid to become an old cat lady, alone living with 40 cats.  I saw getting married, having 2 kids, a dog, a house and white picket fence as the how-to-way to happiness. 

When would you say that your H changed and started to show signs of abusiveness?  Answer: They day he got his residency card (I sponsored him) and he was allowed back in the country.

At this point, I felt ashamed and thought a: “Gee whiz, no wonder, how could you have been so stupid.”   would have followed and probably would have outside of a DV shelter.

In real life, I avoid the reality of why I’m getting a D, and that’s just with my close family.  Ugh.  They don’t want to hear about what happened, they don’t want to hear the threats he made.  I get a “you’re both grownups, work it out.”  My mom asks what’s going on and says she worries about me, but as soon as I start talking about what’s going on and what he’s doing, she cuts me off with a “I don’t want to know about that”.  I think all she wants to know is how much buying his part of the house back will cost and how much of the furniture he’s going to take.  

I’ve lost my real world allies; I don’t know if they were allies to begin with and feel very alone.  I have made wonderful “virtual” friends on the after affair boards.  I put virtual in brackets because they are very real people whose real names I know, I have just never met them.  I also don’t want to burden them with my problems, which is so different from theirs.

hth, I read your message about coming out on FB and I admire your courage and bravery.  Your post oozed empowerment.   I’ve thought many times about doing something similar with the bullying I dealt with as a teen.  I’m not ready yet.  I am afraid of the negative criticism I will face.  I also feel it is so important to do, not for me, but for others.  I was very isolated as a young girl, the bullying I received was “light” in the sense that that I was pushed away and mocked for being cross eyed and a geek.  I can’t remember any specific event that was deliberately cruel.  It was more a whole spectrum of accepted behaviours from everyone towards me, behaviours I was encouraged to accept and just deal with, including by my parents and teachers.  The isolation and rejection I felt however were very real.  I can’t come out about the bullying because of my inability to convey it’s realness vs. it’s “lightness”.  I guess it’s the same as tagging emotional abuse as “light” abuse. 

My mantra in life then came to be “I am not worthy of love and happiness”  “My only worth is what my education, (career) and intelligence can bring to others” and “I do not deserve to be in a loving relationship”.  The last one is what led me to an unhealthy life partner choice and I would justify it to myself as “Happy, don’t you see? You wanted something you are not allowed to have (i.e. someone to love you), so you deserve all the unhappiness and abuse that your M comes with”.  Today, I am SO FAR away from that justification.  

I feel that I am driving a wedge between myself and those who are supposed to be close to me, as if they don’t agree that I should be happy, are seeing as selfishness or maybe they don’t want me to get D, because of how it will impact them.  Maybe they love the old me better and then I start questioning the new me…

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 4:38pm

I am so sorry that you are feeling isolated and alone.  I applaud you for going to a DV counselor for the kids but really hope you can go for ~yourself~ too.  You sound like you don't believe how serious the verbal/emotional abuse is.   It is real.  It does fill you with self doubt and second guessing.

The other ladies here will be much more able to give you solid advice and point you in the right direction.  I am very new to the healing process but wanted you to know I hear you.

I do feel empowered.  Still scared and unsure but finally realizing what happened to me, the long term effects and that I just don't want to live like this anymore.  I am out and safe and that is a huge difference from what you are living.  Everyday you are seeing him, living with him, dealing with him and it doesn't sound like it's working all too great.   Please, find a DV counselor for yourself.   

I understand the low self-esteem, being unable to rely on your own instincts because your thoughts are so twisted and trying to downplay how bad it is just to survive.

I wish you all the best.  You have a lot on your plate with the affair, abuse, kids, friends and family being distant.....take care of yourself.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2000
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 7:53pm

In my own situaion, I knew something was wrong but was not willing to say I was abused because he did not physically hurt me. It was not until we moved into the house we recently lost to foreclosure that I started realizing YES I was an abused individual....First, my neighbor realized what was going on the first time she met my husband right as we were moving in. She was a trained military nurse so she saw through him like a window. Instead of telling me as much she befriended me and made sure each converstaion ended with her saying "you are a smart lady" or "you are a good mom"...reaffirming statements I had not heard from my own husband. ... It took several years before I realized what was going on but I did finally connect with the fact yes I was being verbally, mentally and financially abused. The final eye openig was when I was on a different message board that Queen also visited and at the bottom of her signature was a follow me to the Domestic Abuse board....which I clicked on it out of curriosity. After reading several different stories, I could easily admit YES I was indeed being abused. That was the beginning of my future. It took me several years before I took action, and to be honest I am still dragging my feet on the finaly closure which would be divorce. 

It is hard to accept the identity of being abused when there are no bruises or broken bones to go along with the lable but the reality is the damage is far deeper and far more detrimental because there are no physical signs to help people identify you might need help or be in harms way. and the scars that are left are deeper and more disfiguring than a cut or broken bone....

It is still hard for me to accept any kind of assistance from programs that were designed to help people like me simply because I know I am not in physical harms way and I dont want to take resources that can be there for someone who IS in harms way. 

So even though I no longer have my angel neighbor who reached out to rescue me from my pit of hell, I stay in touch with her. She was sad to loose us as her neighbors but was glad to see us leave for a life that no longer included my husband abusing/neglecting me and the kids. ... and yes I stay in touch with her even if we now live 30 minutes away from her.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 10:23am

wow; If I had to write what you guys wrote I would have written the exact same thing... I have been out since 2007 and the damage although is still here in my psyche but hard for me to remember the abuse exactly as it happened..

I also was never physically beaten.. Ex at the beginning did punch holes in walls and smash things and throw chairs at me.. The verbal abuse was horrific but I also th ought that was normal because my dad did that to my mom..when we were growing up.. It took me about three years into marriage before I realized something was wrong.. I lived in a gorgeous house with the white picket fence and the new cars and the vacations and the nice furniture and all.. but behind closed doors my counselor told me I was a battered woman.. I never wanted to believe that because I never got hit in face or anywhere else.. but yes I was verbally, mentally and financially being abused.. It wasnt until I watched an episode of Dr.Phil where he had this topic and that was when I was like a deer in the headlights.. I was like omg that is me and I need to find a way out.. It took another 6 years for me to find my way out of that situation....and it was probably the hardest and the most heart wrenching things I ever had to do.. I was so in love with this man and we had a great life and it was my second marriage and I was determined to make it work.. In the end It didnt work and I kept distancing myself from ex more and more and the love turned into hate and then indifference..anc then we just became sort of acquaintences..

We eventually divorced in 2007 but I did decide to live with him while going through the divorce.on adivce from my lawyer.. She said dont trust a sheep in wolf's clothing because if he wasnt good in marriage he wont be good in divorce and you could wind up losing everything to him.. So I decided to live with him in a sep. room while we were getting the divorce.. He already had replaced me with a new victim and yes it was tough but as stubborn as I am I stuck it out for one half years. I also would have been homeless so It was okay living in house.. Only thing that his kids hated me when they came over and blamed it all on me  and would never imagine what type of person ex was.. I later through counseling and books and studing human behavior realized I married a type of sociopath and abuser and a man who has narcisstic personality disorder.. I was like what?????????????? How the heck does this happen?? I later learned that I had unresolved issues with my dad and family and it was  cycle repeating itself and it had to end.Hoping and praying that cant happen to me again but never say never.. Well? I am way too wise and old now to think this type of man will come into my life again.. I can see right through people now and my gut and intuition are so high I can probably be a psychic..

Anyway;; thanks for sharing and letting me share.. The healing process has been such a blessing for me and being healed is probably a gift I could never repay.. I thank God everyday for my life even though at times I am ungreatful but you guys put it all back into perspective for me. .Thank You