Why do I still feel stuck? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-11-2011, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The thread about celebrating newfound single freedom got me thinking-- why am I not feeling it? I had STBX removed from the marital home 3 months ago for domestic violence. He is staying elsewhere, but most of his stuff is still here, and it is his earnings that pay the bills (in the form of court-ordered maintenance and child support). He is in a non-voluntary treatment program for domestic violence and sees the kids only supervised visitation, so i have the care of them 24/7, same as before. He worked and was away a lot, so I am used to being by myself. We homeschool, and I am still planning to stay home with the kids this year, and also getting my ducks in a row to apply to grad school, so I can become self-supporting in the future. I helped him to build his career, so I think I am owed support for at least a while.

 

We haven't done the dividing of the things. I am still wearing the ring. The kids and extended family are all hoping that we will reconcile and he will get to come home in a few months. This would require an entire psychic change on his part; so far he is still denying the abuse and blaming me for the situation. Other than money being tighter and our future more uncertain, the only change is that he is not here. I don't miss him at all, which surprised me and maybe goes to show how much our relationship had deteriorated, but I don't really feel free, either. I have been hoping for a long separation so the kids and I can stay put for as long as possible. Now I am wondering if that puts me in emotional limbo. Feedback, anyone?


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#2 of 12 Old 08-12-2011, 12:27 AM
 
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I can't really offer any advice or shared experience, but I can tell you that I feel for you and I also feel a bit stuck and I am much less attached comparatively, so it makes sense to me that you would feel this way.

 

I was engaged to my child's father before he left when I was four months pregnant. It was not as bad as your DV situation, but it was a very unhealthy relationship and he has a similar mindset to your STBX... not interested in taking any responsibility for his part and blaming me for everything. I don't miss him either, but I still feel stuck. It helped for me to stop wearing the ring, but I can also understand why you wouldn't want to. Sometimes though, I put a different ring on my ring finger just to have it there because I feel like being single isn't what I really wanted and I don't want to be single even though I don't want to be with him. As weird as that may sound, it helps me sometimes to wear a ring, but not his ring.

 

I offered to help him move his things when he left to go stay in a sober house (he's been "sober" for many years, but never really acted like it), but he only took a few things and left a lot of stuff behind. I threw away the things that were easily replaceable after he didn't come back for them with repeated phone calls, and I kept a few personal things that our son might like to have later in life (mostly artwork that his father created or owned). Maybe putting some of the items that you no longer need into storage would help a little?

 

I am a firm believer that changing my physical environment helps my mind to follow. Of course, this leads to the rearranging of furniture probably a little too often, but whatever works, right?

 

In any case, hugs are definitely in order, mama. hug2.gif

 

 


Moo.

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#3 of 12 Old 08-12-2011, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hugs much appreciated. There are not many people left to give me hugs, and maybe that's part of the problem. Almost no one knew about the abuse, and whether from shock, disgust, or disbelief most of my family and friends are MIA. I am seeking support and making friends, and it definitely helps, but new relationships lack that feeling of connectedness/history.

 

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Sometimes though, I put a different ring on my ring finger just to have it there because I feel like being single isn't what I really wanted and I don't want to be single even though I don't want to be with him.


Exactly! Thank you for that.  I wouldn't say that your situation is not as bad, by the way. What hurts the most is that he is choosing this self-centered behavior over me.  He doesn't value me or the family we created enough to be willing to see it, and he doesn't actually love me (not capable).  The worst part of domestic violence for me has not been physical attacks (which were infrequent) but feeling manipulated and devalued as a person.


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#4 of 12 Old 08-12-2011, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I am more depressed than I realize.  And no wonder I don't have that sense of moving on-- I am living in the "forever" house that we chose together, I wonder which of our things I will need to part with eventually even as I am still using them,  I even feel sad about homeschooling (which I love) this year-- all of these things feel possibly temporary, possibly not, and definitely connected my married life.  Even if I wanted to make a sweeping change in these areas so life would feel different, maintaining this structure is what is best for the kids right now.

 

I know that I sound like a glass-half-empty type of person right now.  I prayed that we would be able to hold on to a semblance of normalcy and now I am griping about it. 


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#5 of 12 Old 08-12-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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Have you tried talking to the women in the surviving abuse forum? That might be a good place to start working through your feelings and situation. So much of it is textbook so there will be others there who can at least give you some cyber support and have been in your situation.

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#6 of 12 Old 08-12-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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I second what ZoeyZoo said... I didn't realize there was such a forum (cool!).

 

For what it's worth, it's not personal. It's actually not something they consciously choose. It's a pattern of mental illness that they don't even understand themselves. That certainly does NOT make the behavior okay, for your STBX or mine, but for me, that makes it easier to understand. I kept thinking, why would he choose this life?, but when I realized he wasn't choosing it anymore than I was, that it was just a habit (addiction, perpetuation of a cycle we had both been brought up with, etc..)... and then I finally found the strength to make the change that he couldn't, I broke that cycle for my son. You are doing that for your children too. Go, mama, go!!
 

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What hurts the most is that he is choosing this self-centered behavior over me.  He doesn't value me or the family we created enough to be willing to see it, and he doesn't actually love me (not capable).  The worst part of domestic violence for me has not been physical attacks (which were infrequent) but feeling manipulated and devalued as a person.



 


Moo.

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#7 of 12 Old 08-12-2011, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's not personal--  tremendous point.  I keep forgetting that, and it is so helpful to be reminded.  I take it personally, and then I get fatalistic thinking and all seems bleak.  Whew!  

I am waiting for approval for the SA forum-- thanks for the suggestion!

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#8 of 12 Old 08-17-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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I am coming from a similar situation...my stbx is gone, and we haveno contact with him at all. He was the primary bread winner, so I now have no income and was forced to move in with my mother while I complete nursing school. I will be done in december, but the pressure is horrible. I now know that I HAVE to finish in order to support my kids. In order to pass, I have to maintain a 73 average. I just feel like I am in limbo now. I am jealous of my friends who are in stable loving relationships. While I dont miss my x completely, I miss when times were good with him. My sons miss him horribly, but they cannot see him. I dont know what to tell them. I got rid of my rings, but mostly b/c I needed the money. It was a big shock to me to go from renting my own house and being independent to being dependent on my mother at almost 30 years of age. It has made me feel inadequate and like I am not caring for my boys. My step-dad treats me like a child and is constantly questioning my parenting even though he never had any kids of his own (i.e. telling me that I should spank my children even though I dont believe in spanking). My friends seems to be more distant, as does my family. I think it's b/c they dont know what to say to me. I have one friend who has been wonderful thru all this...but it's just not the same. I keep getting told to count my blessings, which I do...but it's still hard...I know I could be in a shelter right now, but it's hard  to have that thrown in my face and feel like I am in the way where I am now. Just have to hope I get thru my nursing program.

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#9 of 12 Old 08-17-2011, 06:41 AM
 
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Wow, I went off on a tangent there and never got to your point. I will quickly since you already read that ramble above. No, I dont feel a sense of freedom at all. I know that my boys (and my daughter, but my boys are the ones I am caring for now, as my daughter went to live with her dad who is not mystbx) and I are better off without him, but in a way with this looming over me, I feel trapped under it. Like for everyone who knows, it looms overhead, waiting to pounce....

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#10 of 12 Old 08-17-2011, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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it looms overhead, waiting to pounce....


Yes, and I think part of that is not being able to start over independently.  You are staying with family, and I am in the marital home but paying the mortgage with alimony that is basically temporary.  Right now, I can easily pay the bills but I don't know when that will end (months, years?).  I plan to go back to school, but it will then be years before I will be self-supporting.  You are going through this huge transition and still forced to maintain your focus on school so that you can be self-supporting in the near future.

 

So part of me thinks, how could we possibly expect to feel free at this time?  Another part of me says that freedom is a state of mind.

 


and then when we get to the ocean
we're gonna take a boat to the end of the world

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#11 of 12 Old 08-17-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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In the case of abuse I don't think it's so much freedom as you had in your single pre-children days. But there is definitely a freedom of not having to deal with whatever tactic your ex used to control and manipulate you to get his way on a regular basic. In the short term though it feels like a lot of work to sort through belonging, move, etc. as you get reestablished.

 

I also recommend the book Why Does He Do That for your situation.

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#12 of 12 Old 08-17-2011, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I have separated myself from his control.  I have also separated myself from the loving marriage that I thought we could have, and that is a dream that is dying hard.  We've been married 16 years-- clearly I am an optimist. eyesroll.gif

 

Great book rec-- I have read WDHDT and it gave me the courage to follow through with leaving.  Lots of other helpful books, too, but that was the best.  Getting lots of face-to-face support as well.


and then when we get to the ocean
we're gonna take a boat to the end of the world

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