How do you do it? The emotional abuse broke me down to feeling like I was completely worthless. Every time I think of it, I have panic attacks. I feel sorry for my son who was involved in the emotional abuse. I feel bad for the baby I'm carrying who has to live his life with this man as his father. I cannot deal with the memories at all. I just want to move on with my life but this man still scares me, and even thinking of him gives me panic attacks. I got a restraining order, but we'll have to go to court when the baby's born as well. He completely ruined things in my life, turned it upside down and broke my self-worth and scared me to the point that I needed a family member present when I kicked him out in the spring this year. My son went through depression over it for months. It was scary and it continues to be because he is the father of my baby I'm carrying. I wish I could just be done with him forever and not have him continuing to abuse me and scare me in any chance he gets. How do you let go and move on?
Letting go of abuse?
I still don't have the time to respond properly. I have just had one hellish of a night dealing with my ds1 who turns 11 this week. Sadly Ds1 and I were the ones most at the receiving end of emotional and verbal abuse by X. X has shifted to using Ds1 to get at me and it has left ds1 in a complete emotinoal mess. X moved out September 4 of this year.
The legacy of abuse lasts a long time. But, I know that my three children would not be the wonderful, sweet, generous boys they are if it weren't for me. I know, too, that regardless if X gets 50% parenting time, the boys will be ok because they have at least one safe home that is peaceful, structured and free.
The serenity prayer may be helpful for you to repeat to yourself when you are feeling trapped: (I"m not religious, but agnostic so I believe 'God' can mean whatever you want it to)
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Quickly, I think there are 2 things you should and can do immediately:
1. Call your local shelter or a domestic violence hotline. Call and say that you although you ended your emotionally abusive relationship, you continue to be harassed and abused by your X and you need help. They will know how to help you.
2. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Emotional abuse is especially difficult to prove and you will want to prove it if you want to keep your children away from him. Document everything he says, every interaction, everything the kids say about him or about what he says to them. Keep a log on your computer or notes in a journal with the dates and exact words when possible. This will help you tremendously!
xoxoxoxo Hang in there, mama. You are giving your baby a life in which he will know the difference between peace and abuse. YOu are so strong to have gotten away. You did it! Get help from people who know how to deal with this. It makes all the difference in the world.
Nicholeraine, I'm sorry you are going through this. But please, don't feel alone. A lot of us have gone/are going through similar situations. Do you see a therapist? Finding the right therapist can make a world of difference. Working on rebuilding ourselves when we've been torn down so low is not an easy task, but it is necessary. Not only for us, but for the kids. Some days will be better than others, but we need to consistently stay working towards our goal.
I'm going to court on Wednesday for an order of protection evidentiary hearing. My goal is to deal with him as little as possible, to avoid exposure to further abuse/intimidation. Cut him out of your life as much as possible while you rebuild.
Lots of hugs, Mama. You will find yourself again. And the new you will be stronger, and even more beautiful than the last. <3
You've already done one of the most difficult things, which is kicking him out. I'm so proud of you for taking that huge and scary step; it's very brave and you should consider yourself one step closer to healing, even though you're still feeling stuck in the thick of it.
I echo the other references to document everything, literally, just as the other commenter said. Calling the police for anything is also another excellent step to take in documenting the abuse and his harassment. Do you think you hear someone outside? Call the police. Even if it isn't him, it will show the courts that you have been afraid and he is the source for your fear. If he is following you, if he's lurking around your son's school, ...anything, calling the police gives the court more proof in your favor.
Talking with a local women's shelter may also be a good idea. Use caution because sometimes women's shelters are excellent sources of aid and other times they're not. Talking with a counselor would also be helpful. Some shelters and non-profit abuse relief centers offer classes to help abuse survivors overcome abuse and learn tools to prevent themselves from entering unhealthy relationships in the future. That may also be helpful and encouraging to you.
I didn't notice if you mentioned if this man is was a boyfriend or husband. If he was only a boyfriend, he does not have automatic parenting rights. If you were not married, he'll have to request and pay for a paternity test if he wants parental rights/involvement. Also, in most states (maybe all) parenting time and child support are two different things, meaning: just because he has to pay child support does not mean he may also be granted parenting time. In your case, I would request supervision from CPC for the safety of your children. If you're planning to breastfeed, it will be years before he is allowed to have more than two hours of parenting time with your infant. IF he gets any time at all. Request family or friends to also document information and attend court with you to show support for your case and emotional support.
Also, is this man also the father of your older child? If not, and you're not married, is anything stopping you from moving and changing your name? Would he try to find you? Or is he already moving on to another woman?
I'm sorry for what you're going through. I've several years out of an abusive relationship and while I have healed a lot..some days are still difficult. I still cry some days. I still feel afraid some days. It does get better though. You have your life and two lives to protect and raise. That is something to be thankful for. :) I read the Psalms a lot. The three I find most comforting on the days when I feel defeated is Psalm 3-, 31, and 32. If you believe in God and His word, they're certainly worth a read. :)
Thinking of you and praying for peace and healing.
I think PPs did a good job with legal resources but for emotional (on top of therapy) I really like to read and understand the dynamics. It helps me make sense of things. I really recommend 'How Does He Do That' and the site www.baggagereclaim.co.uk That site also has a great self esteem course and tons of free articles about how our self esteem gets us unto these shady relationships and how we can make better choices.
How old is your son? Support is essential. A stable job and stable support system will be the start towards letting go of the abuse. It may take some time but you will find that calm place within you. His anger has more to do with him than you. You are better than his harsh words and you are doing the right thing by making the steps towards a new future. Things can and do get better with time.