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inhindsiteramblings

My story of 'life after leaving'

Loving the body I’m in…

FB_IMG_1444306397588My daughter said something that stuck in my mind. She has been looking for work and I had noticed an advert in the window of a very swanky ‘Pandora’ shop. Her reply was ‘No – you have to be pretty to work there!’. My other daughter has had a crisis of confidence whilst trying on new clothes during a recent shopping trip. ‘Even the bloody poster¬†in the changing room showed a skinny person!’.

I am of course extremely lucky as all my children are beautiful – clearly I have very strong genes ūüėČ ! But joking apart – they are all beautiful. But to think that my lovely daughters do NOT view themselves like this has come as a bit of a shock if I’m honest! But then I started thinking…

I find that I catch my reflection in shop windows and think ‘Bloody hell I’ve actually left the house looking like that!’. I wear make-up everyday (a dear friend of mine advised me never to leave the house in middle age without lipstick – she is of course right). But even my make-up routine is depressing! I don’t mind wrinkles, but I do mind blotchy, flaky,saggy skin! I’m also fat – yes I need to admit it. I eat too much and don’t do much exercise. I also take nasty drugs that cause bloating (I cant however entirely blame my weight gain on that!). I look at other ‘shapely’ woman and they look good and fat but I don’t. They look content and at ease, buxom and beautiful and I look flabby and old and dreary. My hair is falling out (that is medication) so I avoid the hairdressers – I try and make do and am actually considering stopping colouring it! It will be white and grey – patchy like my skin!

However this feeling isn’t new. When I listened to my daughters I tried to think of a time when I was truly content in my body and face. I couldn’t! I wasn’t unpopular at school and in fact had endless boyfriends (that’s a whole other story!). But I lacked confidence and often felt totally out of my depth. I am actually quite shy by nature but manage to cover it well! Again, my dear friend only really noticed this following the break up from the Twat. She had invited me to her Street Party and I was almost frozen with fear – she saw it and looked after me, so now I know that she knows my secret shyness! I’m OK with strangers – happy to talk to people on the street, especially in queues. I’m happy in meetings as there is a focus for conversation. I am NOT happy with half knowns – for example in a pub with Mr M, where he might wander off. I would find it almost impossible to approach someone to talk too – I’d pretend I was reading or studying a picture on the wall,¬†and wait for him to return and rescue me! Mr M made me join the local WI ( its good honest – nice cakes as well) so I went. Now this is really hard for me – the first meeting was fine as everyone was a stranger. But the second and third meetings became increasingly more difficult -who should I talk to, who should I sit by? At one meeting I¬†had started to wear glasses and had changed my hair – no one recognised me! I felt totally crestfallen – it was awful! It wasn’t until the end of the meeting when one of the lovely ladies came and introduced her self- and then realised who I was! Everyone was very apologetic but my worst nightmare had come true!

It’s been worse since the Twat. His behaviour was often unpredictable, especially when out with ‘friends’. This anxiety has now been replaced with hyper-vigilance. Hyper-vigilance is a symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is crippling. My son suffers from PTSD and his hyper vigilance made it almost impossible for him to leave the house, and also to be alone when trying to sleep. He used to watch for shadows through the cracks in the door, worried that his dad would appear! I am the same. I still become anxious when it is dark outside and the curtains are open – is he watching? Sometimes when I’m out I suddenly feel extremely vulnerable and find myself constantly scanning the room. This added stress makes it even more difficult to be confident!

However I digress. Positive Body Image – my daughters struggle with it, and so do I! But the thing is this. My daughters look like me, and they are gorgeous, people comment on our similarities, and I am not being totally biased when I say that they really are lovely girls; lots of people say it.

SO

If my daughters are attractive and they look like me, then when I was younger I must have been attractive too! In fact when I was younger I looked extremely similar to my eldest daughter and she is lovely! So I must have been ‘pretty’ in my youth. However was I ever happy with my body? I remember being very skinny and very tall, with hair that I couldn’t control! I hated my lack of boobs and had ‘boob envy’! Then in my twenties I was on constant diets because I felt too fat! However following the break up of my first marriage¬†I became thin again – a constant diet of bananas, coffee and cigarettes – work like a dream! But at that time I didn’t care how I looked.

I did, however LOVE my body during pregnancy! It was a wonder and a marvel – I had this swelling tummy that moved and kicked, as well as an amazing chest, sometimes ready to burst! I revelled in my changing figure and loved every minute of it! Even after the births I was happy to be soft and flabby but with amazing boobs. I think this change in attitude towards my on body was due to the huge amount of respect I had suddenly had for my ability to not only make a baby and give birth, but to feed a baby after the birth and help it to grow! It was a wonderful time and I fully immersed myself in it. However slowly the doubt crept back in. So now after 3 babies and almost three whole years of breast feeding, my body will never be pert again! But why do I care so much? And if I care so much then how can I teach my daughters to love themselves? I’m not sure it would be appropriate to encourage pregnancy as a way to love the amazing female form but somehow I need to reconcile my lack of confidence so I can share this with my girls! And it’s not about deciding to loose 3 stone and live of a fruit juice diet ( although I can be extremely determine when i put my mind to it). As this wont solve the problem – I will simply find something else to dislike. It’s a battle against time for me – I am ageing quickly ¬†(chronic pain and illness will do that) and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being dissatisfied with my painful and broken body! I want to love happy the body I’m in.

So – I don’t have the answer, but someone out there might. How can we teach our daughters to love themselves if we don’t love ourselves? Why cant we look at ourselves like we look at our daughters and love ourselves unconditionally? Answers on a postcard please …

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Why here? Why now?

I have seen many therapists and counsellors (as have my children!) and as yet it I haven’t healed.

I have listened to wonderful and sensitive Psychologists work with my children session after session. Never pushing or probing, always quiet and attentive, always remembering and always positive. My children, my poor damaged children, have grown into independent and strong, empathetic and understanding young adults and teenagers. My pride and love for them is limitless. But hearing their stories¬†has shattered me, listening to their descriptions of the abuse I thought I’d protected them from¬†has been heartbreaking. This has continued in relentless repetition with each one of them. And all along the way I¬†listen, I hear and I feel helpless.

Guilt isn’t a big enough feeling. I know that every mother who has lived through Domestic Violence feels the same as I do. The horror of the memories are repeated as different stories by each different child, family member or friend- with the common theme of my central role. The past follows me and haunts me. There is no fresh start. He wont allow it. He is at the fringes of my reality – forever trying to find us.

But I digress… Why here? and Why now?

I cant seem to heal. I am strong and extremely resilient. I can say this with pride as I am still here and still living and loving so it must be true! I am writing this now as I need to get it out. Out of my mind, to find the words to make sense of it all.

I’ve tried to put my life in perspective. I remember a counsellor once saying to me after I had briefly describe my story so far ‘Bloody hell – I don’t know what to say’ – it didn’t fill me with too much confidence, but actually is the reaction I’ve become used too.

I’ve tried reading the Bible – to find answers (I’m still pursuing that one – it does go on somewhat!). I’ve read¬†endlessly¬†stories of great tragedies and loss. These have been blogs and books (The C word comes to mind), about illness and death, personal tragedies as well as genocide during WW2.¬†My reading list – for any of you who also suffer from Insomnia follows – its chronological which probably illustrates my mind set! My gift to all of you xx.

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Well here we are… at the beginning of another choice ( good or bad remains to be seen ;-0 )

I’m not really sure how to start… perhaps why?

Why….?

Because somewhere along the line I have lost myself. Or perhaps even more worrying – I’ve never found myself!

It might be the case that for the first 40 years of my life (a depressing fact in it’s own right) I have been defined by someone else.Someone I love once said to me ‘I am defined by my job’ – I was appalled at this at the time! How can someone be defined by what they do everyday? In hind site I have been defined by a few very bad choices and then very good choices throughout my life. The effect of these few bad choices has seeped throughout my entire family, my health, my job and career, my children, my finance, my relationships and my friends.

Sometimes the planning to leave followed by the leaving itself is the easiest bit. Its after the leaving that matters.

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Source: | inhindsiteramblings on WordPress.com

Can you donate the price of a pint ?? 

http://www.justgiving.com/Lesley-Davis-dryathlete2016?utm_id=121

Child Maintenance 

Grrrrrrr!

I don’t want his money – however as my working life has been suspended I am really aware that in the future some time Tom might need money! You know for Uni or something!

Ages and ages and ages ago I made a claim to the then child support agency who wrote to him.

 He ignored it so they made an assessment – he then didn’t ignore it (I think they assessed something like ¬£45 a week). He claimed that was rediculous so sent in his income etc. 

Now I’m fairly certain that he didn’t declare it all – I say this as I know that he doesn’t declare it all to the tax man either ! So they made another assessment based on his figures -it was more! 

I never received a penny.

The service then changed to Child Maintenance -where you can opt for no support (sort it yourself) or some support or total support (I opted for this – they do all the leg work and take a %) 

So it started again and they heard nothing. That was two years ago. Then 3 weeks ago I received a text saying that they had received a child maintenance payment and would be sending it to me !! £150!!! OMG !! New tracksuit and trainers beckoned for Tommy !!

I called them to check it out and they had found his bank account which was full to brimming! So much so that they had assessed weekly payment to cover current payments and arrears – ¬£150! 

The next week I received £15

Last week I received ¬£0. He’s emptied his account. 

The previous payments now stand at £8000 owed too.

Strangely at about the same time some old friends of mine began receiving messages from him – asking them to get ‘the money I owed him ¬£60,000’.

I’m sure some of you may have seen the connection in timing! 

But how can I possibly owe 60k? I wonder if he thinks that he was supposed to be getting paid a salary for being abusive? For not working? For spending my money? For using my credit cards? For leaving me with ¬£40,000 worth of debts (which I have paid off entirely on my own!) So I wonder. .. 60k??

Perhaps I should ask for an itemised invoice !! We were married for 2 years -¬£30,000 per annum? 

But what about my payments then? If he wants 60k then what should I get? It was my house -he lived there for free. I worked, he played golf. I did the child care, so did relatives – he did the odd day. I bought the food, I paid the bills, I paid the mortgage. Do I also get to pay him too? 

For what?

For having an affair?

For being abusive and threatening?

For being a Narccissist?

For causing PTSD, anxiety and depression?

And what has he ever given us since leaving ?? Lies, ‘the taking’ physical abuse, the list is endless. 

And he thinks he deserves 60k – he deserves something.. but not that !

Can’t sleep, scared to sleep

I’m sharing the bed with my goegoeus boy tonight as he was too scared to fall to sleep. 

It hasn’t happened for some time but last night he had a nightmare – about his father.he woke in the night feeling very scare, then woke again terrified and crying – then the pa ic set in and he couldn’t control his fear.

Think about that for a moment . He had a nightmare, about his father. It was so frightening  that it resulted in a panic attack ! He’s 12.

To be clearer still – his father was the nightmare. He dreamt that his dad had taken him again. 

How can it be that any child is so frightened of a parent that it causes them nightmares? And how can we fix it?  How can I make them stop?

It could actually be a legitimate fear. His father could find us and take him. It could happen.  He still accepts absolutely NO responsibility for any pain he has caused – instead he continues to contact friends, aquantances demanding they contact me as I allegedly owe him money ! Blaming me for everything saying I’m mentally unstable.

I don’t and aim not, by the way.

So he still rages and vents and lies and makes demands. He has NO idea of the damage and hurt he has caused, his lies are now his truth and he believes them.

The truth we live with is different. By beautiful boy was too scared to fall asleep tonight because he has nightmares about his father.  

Slowly rambling …

So I’m still rambling a bit – but I’d like to think that I’ve managed to move on and that the Twat no longer features in my everyday life.
The consequences of his treatment of myself and my family are still very real on a daily basis but we are all managing to move on rather than to blame or to hate or to weep.
But we all have associated illnesses that are still with us, and echos of which will be with us for the rest of our lives.

Every week something happens that effects one of us – and that in turn effect us all. A phone call to a friend, a ‘sighting’ due to PTSD, the feeling of being watched.

I am still on many domestic abuse sites – trying to support others if I can. And the one thing that continually strikes me is how long we suffer for. And how the abusers don’t!

They say they do – they can’t help themselves. They still need to know where we are and what we are doing. (My ex still seems to need to know my holiday plans although whenever he has, he has threatened to ruin them – but he is still asking – still!)

Many of the woman who suffer through this, constantly struggle with the idea that ‘he’ has moved on and that they can’t; that ‘he’ has found another partner/victim often leading to more children very quickly. That he is financially able to live his life whilst they pay debts, pay for their children, pay for court, pay for counselling, receiving no help. Sometimes having to move and leave friends and family and start again.

It isn’t fair. And nothing can console these woman. Eventually the change will come when the clouds drift away and the sun begins to shine on your face, then your heart then your soul. But it’s a long journey with many rain storms on the way, and hurricanes and tornadoes! But eventually we all notice a rainbow – a small one at first but slowly growing, the sky clearing, the rain drops sparkling and then the sun on our face, in our hearts and in our souls.
image

Thank you Twat!

Well I haven’t blogged for ages because things have been happening so dammit fast that I haven’t had time to stop and think. And without thinking there is no hindsite !!

Source: Thank you Twat!

Thank you Twat!

Well I haven’t blogged for ages because things have been happening so dammit fast that I haven’t had time to stop and think. And without thinking there is no hindsite !!

Cold Turkey

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Source: Cold Turkey

The more I read the less I know!

I am part of a Domestic Violence Facebook group and the stories that are told are frightening to say the least. The recent BBC Documentart ‘Behind Closed Doors’ brought back some horrific feelings for me. However these stories¬†are also frightening due to their similarities! It’s as if there is a script that certain men (and I’m sure woman) follow. The word ‘Narcissist’ appears a lot – however with it implies some sort of excuse.

‘I am a narcissist, I can’t help it..’

‘I see a ‘red mist’ and can’t control myself’

‘I’ve always been like this – I can’t help it’

No. You are simply abusive.

As time passes more memories have begun to jump into my head. Something will happen, I’ll see or hear something and I’m right back there. For example, we were watching the film ‘liar liar’, Jim Carey’s character (the lieing Dad) was playing a game with his son called ‘The Claw’, where he pretends his hand is a claw that attacks his son. How cute you might think, but it make me queezy! Tom, who was sat next to me said – ‘Dad used to do that too – he said it was his game’ it wasn’t, it was copied, he’s a liar liar! Then, out of nowhere I suddenly remembered something The Twat used to do – he used to run his hand over my face, from top to bottom, in a tender loving way. So does John Travolta/Nicholas cage in Face Off! FFS! Was it all a pretence?

This is apparently extremely common – abusive men copying behaviours from films as they are unable to genuinely create these behaviours themselves. If that’s the case then perhaps they do have something ‘wrong’ with them? But being a sociopath or narcissist is still no excuse for abuse!

I also remembered the first time I left (yes, there were a few) and actually went to see a solicitor. I told her my story and she showed me a piece of paper. On it was an outline of a man and around it a list of behaviours

Mr Wrong – the abusive man …

  • shouts
  • sulks
  • smashes things
  • glares
  • calls you names
  • makes you feel ugly and useless
  • cuts you off from your friends
  • stops you working
  • never admits he is wrong
  • blames you, drugs, drink, stress etc.
  • turns the children against you
  • uses the children to control you
  • never does his share of the housework
  • never looks after the children
  • expects sex on demand
  • controls the money
  • threatens or wheedles you to get his own way
  • seduces your friends/sister/anyone
  • expects you to be responsible for his well-being

Wow! Well he hit all of those. She then went on to explain that the list describes Mr Wrong – Mr Abusive does this and more – and neither of them should be married to you! Or anybody actually!

I went back a few years later and asked her to file for divorce on my behalf. She was right, and I had been wrong. I couldn’t mend him or make him better. The better I became the more controlling he became. The more successful I became the more destructive he became.

It is, however a subtle journey. From the tender moments taken¬†from ‘Face Off’ to the ultimate ‘taking’ of my son had taken nearly ten years. Slowly eroding my friendships, slowly isolating me from my family, slowly controlling the money, slowly becoming more aggressive and violent.

One of the most difficult things with ‘life after leaving’ is hindsight. In hindsight, it looks obvious that things were wrong, friends have actually said that they knew something was wrong. In hindsight why did I fall for him in the first place? I knew who he was after all!

Another difficult thing is the loss. The loss of the years that were spent living with him. The loss of friendships that have been lost. The loss of my health and my career. The loss of the innocence of my children. The loss of time and energy that the whole thing has taken up – not just for me, but for my friends and family too. And this will sound weird but the loss of the love that I thought was real!

The one thing that did keep me going, that kept me staying and not leaving,¬†was my belief in his love for me. He told me he loved me and needed me and couldn’t live without me. He cried and screamed and fell apart. But all that was a lie too. His tender actions were copied from films, his love turned into accusations of abuse and mental health issues, the love from his family turned into more accusations of alcoholism, abuse and controlling behaviour. All of it was a lie. All of it was so that he could get what he wanted, live the life he felt he deserved, be the man he could never be.

So, if you know anyone who is with Mr Wrong – it may be an idea to keep them in mind, or¬† if you see a friend’s partner behaving in a way that is ‘wrong’ then try to offer help or

 

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