Help

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paddler001

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Help
« on: February 12, 2018, 01:16:36 PM »
I'm new to this forum, I come seeking help. I am 67 years old. I have 2 adult daughters. My marriage of 23 years ended 20 years ago in 1997, she was unfaithful to me and left me for another man. I loved her very much. It took some time, but I recoved from this loss. Fast forward 20 years to today. I met a woman 5 years years ago who I fell deeply in love with, I proposed to her during a romantic dinner on the beach I planned while we were on vacation in Barbados.

There were red flags early on about trust, about whether her heart was safe with me, I assured her that her that it was. She left a relationship years before we met because he was unfaithful to her. So we both had the same experience of our spouse being unfaithful.

We moved in together 3 years ago

The trust issue began to recurr to a point she was convinced that there was another woman, I am self employed and work from home and she believed that while she was at work I was out seeing this woman.

Then the abuse began, I have never in my entire life experienced anything of this kind. It's too painbful to go into detail. The abuse is physical, emotional, verbal. It comes and goes on a regular basis. Many of the 100 traits describe her perfectly. I don't know how it has come to this. A years ago I left for 2 months asking that she work on the issues that are dividing usand I would do the same.  I came back and things were good for a while then it started again.

We have had many life giving experiences together, experiences that I cherish, experiences I want more of with her. I know she loves me, she's told me so, I can't comprehend how she can be so loving in one moment and in the next moment she is triggered into the abusive behaviour.

My daughters want me to leave, my partner will say verbally offenive things about them.
 
I've told her the abuse has to stop or I will leave. I've started to look for a new place to live, I can't help but love her. She will not come to counselling with me. I've gone to therapy many times to try to find some resolution to our situation. I know I should leave, and I will. This post is a last ditch effort to save my realtionship with her, to understand what makes this happen.

Please help. 

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coyote

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Re: Help
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 02:39:09 PM »
Paddler,
Welcome to OOTF. I can relate as I went through similar stuff with my uPPDw. Coming here actually saved our marriage and my sanity. What worked for me was studying the Toolbox. Learning to set Boundaries against the various forms of abuse was critical. Other important tools for me are Medium Chill, avoiding Circular Conversations, no JADEing, and remembering the 3C's. Thye support and feedback I have received here has been invaluable also.

It can be a tough road but I love my W also and we have some great moments together as well. Fo me at least the work put into changing my responses has paid off. No more abuse and we have a great relationship. As I said all I can say is what has worked for me. I hope this helps and wish you peace and strength.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

“The only person educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”  Carl Rogers

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

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paddler001

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Re: Help
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 11:20:43 AM »
Coyote

Thanks so much for your reply. I'm at a loss as to waht to do next. I know what I need to do, but it's not what I want to do. What I need to do is leave this relationship because after more or less 5 years of this roller coaster ride of her highs and lows, her panic attacks, her mood swings, my physical and emotional health are at risk. 

I've tried everyhting in terms of my my responses to her extreme highs and lows, I have responded with reason, I have responded by saying nothing, I have respopnded by removing myself from the situatuion by leaving the apartment, I have responded by simply leaving her for 2 months last year so we both could have time and clear our heads. Time to do the work that needs to be done

I have been punched and slapped by her, she calls me the most hurtful name, her spitting in my face, her verbal abuse of my daughters. I have never responded to her in kind. I am astounded that she does not see the total wrong of her actions. She is a health care professional and works with cancer patients every day. Her professional life is exemplary, our personal life is a mess. I just don't get how extreme the differences are. She does not take responsibility for her actions, she is not accountable. She has said some of the most hurtful hateful things I have ever heard.

I love her with all my heart. What I don't want to do is leave. Only she can fix herself, she does not see that only she can do the work. I've told her I will stand by her. I am not perfect, I have my faults, however I take responsibility for my actions, I am accountable. 

Here's the way I look at our situation. I am a cancer survivor. I lost my leg to bone cancer when I was 12 years old in 1963, there was so much care at that time, family, the doctors and nurses were there to help.  I was not abandoned. I beleive she is emotionally ill, I liken her illness to a serious life changing circumstance, as mine was. I don't want to abandon her, I want to help her. But only she can help herself, I've told her I will be there to support her all the way. She does not believe she needs help, she will not come to counselling with me.

I have resisted for a long time the idea of leaving, I have come to a point where I have accepted that this is the only choice I have unless there is a radical change, I will not live the rest of my life under these circumstances.

I've been looking for an apartment. When we moved in together, I sold or gave away juat about all of my material possessions, furniture. So I will be faced with a big financial hit when/if I move since I will have to spend a lot of money to set up house keeping on my own again. I'm self employed and have spent a lot of my retirement funds on her, on us, bought her a $5,000 diamond ring [from those funds] in Barbados when I proposed to her.

However I will do what I have to do.


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coyote

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Re: Help
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 11:44:12 AM »
paddler,
Since PD is a spectrum disorder different people fall at different ends of the spectrum. This means some PDs have more potential for insight and change than others. In my case I would no longer tolerate the abuse and would have left long ago had things not changed with my uPPDw. Yes I love her but I respect and love myself more.

If you have kids to consider then that is another issue all together. Them seeing you allowing abuse to them and you is detrimental to their emotional development. I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know; just a reminder.

Again no one can tell you to go or stay. What I can say is that there are options should you decide to leave. Thrift stores, Craigslist, yard sales, are all great places to get low priced furniture, housewares, bedding, clothes, etc. I do this all the time as I hate paying full retail prices. It is hard starting over but it can be done and, for me at least, ended up being much more empowering. I understand your pain and hope this helps. Wishing you peace and strength in this journey.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

“The only person educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”  Carl Rogers

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

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Summer Sun

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Re: Help
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 12:10:13 PM »
Paddler, welcome.  I am so sorry for all the abuse you are suffering.  I was once in an abusive relationship with a UNPD, the situation was compounded due to his alcoholism.  The insidious pounding away (pun intended) at our self esteem, the whittling away of our hope and faith in the future of the relationship to the point of our own health and well being is being compromised, I lived it.

Like your spouse, my xupd did not seek help.  He would Hoover with promises of change which never occurred.  NPD’s tend to avoid help, and, blame shift, they use us up then call us dusty.  I knew if I stayed with him, I risked death, to violence, either that, or, a black hole would swallow me whole. 

It is unbearable, the pain.  I’ve experienced it, you can almost not breathe.  I hear it in your words.  I have an UNPD sibling too whom I have loved deeply.  Regrettably, my own mental health was under attack.  Once again, I had to decide whether other was worth sacrificing my life or sanity for, or to save myself.  If I looked at the crumbs of words of love measured by the Incongruency of accompanying actions, well as they say, talks cheap, whiskey costs money.  I left him with his empty words to chew on and his bottle for company.  In each case, true to PD form, I was easily replaced. 

Yes, PD’s can be very opportunistic, monetarily too.  By the time I’d left, my little nest egg had dwindled, and I had significant debt.  It took time, after I left him, I paid it off slowly, and worked towards building a new life.  I learned much from the UNPD and I was not going to repeat the experience.  In time I met DH, and this man has been a rock.  There are good people out there if we love ourselves enough to find those capable of loving us the way we deserve, the way we love them.  Respect, self control and similar values go a long way relationally.  Even when we argue, which is seldom, DH and I are always respectful and do not use words as weapons.

I appreciate your care and concern for your daughters.  They sound as if they will be there to help support you in the ways you need. 

Just wanted to let you know that healing and happiness is possible if you do leave, it does take time, and one has to be kind and patient with themselves.  Focus on self care.  If you stay, as Coyote suggests, firm boundaries diligently enforced sometimes works. 

Sending encouraging thoughts your way and wish you strength, courage, support and healing in your future.

Summer Sun
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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paddler001

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Re: Help
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 03:16:30 PM »
Summer Sun,

Thank you for your reply. Your words give me hope, give me strength. I'm sorry you had to experience this.

My heart and my head don't communicate very well, my heart says I love her so much I would do almost anthing to make this change, my head says get out. My head is speaking louder than my heart now, I've arrived at that place, as much as I don't want to arrive there. 

Can anyone explain to me how in one moment a person can be so loving, so caring, so giving, so thoughtful, can be everything I want everything I need in a relationship, everything that I have to give back to her, and in the next moment be triggered into someone who can be so hurtful and hateful. And it just keeps repeating itself over and over again. There is a period of calm, the calm beforee the storm that can last weeks when it seems change is happening, change for the better. Then the storm happens, the trigger that can take many number of forms,  where she will question my integrity, my morals, my values and it can last for a day, a week, a month where she is totally absent from our relationship.

Then the storm passes....until the next time...and it's just worn me down.

This is what happens, you describe it very well...."crumbs of words of love measured by the Incongruency of accompanying actions"....."whittling away of our hope and faith in the future of the relationship to the point of our own health and well being is being compromised"

I've tried to set/enforce the boundaries, she crosses them constantly. 

Cayote and Summer Sun your replies have been really helpful, a person has to walk in the shoes before a person can understand, you've both wlked in those shoes. I welcome any other advice you have to offer, thank you.

Paddler

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Obliviot

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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 03:46:20 PM »
The fact that she has an exemplory professional life just proves a disturbing truth this forum has taught me, which is that abuse is a choice.  At this point she knows she can literally spit in your face and there will be no serious repercussions, so there is zero incentive for her to stop the abuse. Best wishes for your next steps.

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paddler001

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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 04:03:05 PM »
Summer Sun and Cayote

I have to add that she is perfectly functional in her professional and social life with her family and friends. When our relationship is such that we demonstrate our love for one another, is functional, I couldn't ask for more. When the trigger happens, whatever it happens to be in the moment, she becomes manipulalive and controlling by witholding emotion and intimacy , becomes paranoid, neurotic, obsessive and compulsive to the total dysfunction of our relationship. And I'm not making any of this up, this is what I've been living with.

I've sought help on my own by going to a therapist, described what I just wrote, but at $150.00 per hour without a health care plan, the well runs dry pretty quickly. I am self employed so no Employee Assistance Program.

In any case I am optimistic, and wake every day with a sense of purpose and meaning. Thanks.   

Thanks Obliviot, just read your post while sending this one. You're absolutely right, I have enabled her, however that will end soon. I am making plans to leave. What I simply cannot understand is that I know she loves me, and I know this for a fact. How she can be this abusive and love me at the same time is beyond me. Can anyone explain this to me.

Your comment about abuse being a choice is a Eureka moment for me...I've never seen it that way, but that's the way it is. When you're so close to it, you can't see the forest for the trees. Will she/can she change? Since she is the only one who can change herself.

Thank you

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louisebt

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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 04:54:59 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear your story. It's especially hard as being a male victim of domestic violence (which you currently are, just putting that out there in word) is much more difficult to be believed. I have heard many stories of when the man starts to expose the violence and seek help the woman will turn it around and make out it was the man who was violent, knowing this will be believed more.

It also sounds very difficult for you as she is such an exemplary member of the community. I can imagine people working with her or her friends never believing she would act like that.

She sounds very dangerous to your physical and mental health to be living with. I'm glad to hear you are making plans to leave again.

It sounds like she has a lot to lose here (the admiration of her family/friends maybe even her career) admitting this very dark side of herself and trying to change it. I can't see what her motivation would be that would overcome that.

Hope you find the support you need here.

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coyote

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Re: Help
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 11:23:03 AM »
Paddler,
You ask good question and if any of us could explain those things we'd write a book and be rich.

"How she can be this abusive and love me at the same time is beyond me."

"Can anyone explain to me how in one moment a person can be so loving, so caring, so giving, so thoughtful, can be everything I want everything I need in a relationship, everything that I have to give back to her, and in the next moment be triggered into someone who can be so hurtful and hateful."

So no we can't really explain it. There are so many variables; where she falls on the spectrum, how invested she is in the relationship, how effective are the consequences attached to your boundaries, etc.

 All I can say is that if the abuse is a choice, and she violates your Boundaries, you have to look at the consequences you put in place when those Boundaries are violated. Without effective consequences Boundaries are useless. My uPPDw and I split for a year as a consequence to violating my Boundaries. After this she seemed to realize I was serious and things have been better since. All I can say is this is what worked for me. 
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

“The only person educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”  Carl Rogers

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

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paddler001

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Re: Help
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 12:08:53 PM »
I want to thank everyone who has offered advice and empathy thus far, it has been more helpful than any counselling I've had. You're absolutely right about men being in the minority re the victim of domestic abuse, since woman are for the most are the victims. My mother was one of those women so I know what that kind of abuse looks like. 

I am convinced that her familty and friends have no idea that any of this is happening, no idea of this side of her. I've seen the other side, that's the only side I can live with. I can cope with the everyday issues that couples deal with and at the end of the day be grateful and thankful to love her. However I can't cope any longer with extremes I've been living with. There has to be a sense of purpose and meaning in a love relationship, that doesn't seem to exist anymore.  I'm not judging her, there is a disconnect in her that allows her behavior to manifest itself in this way, only she can change this. 

As much as I love her, leaving is my only choice. It's a choice I don't want to make. As of today, there is calm, I've told her I'm looking for an apartment, that I will keep her informed as to my progress. Financially she will be responsible for 100% of our shared expenses so that she will know when she will be assuming this expenses, as I will be in a new apartment.

As you said coyote, your partner realized that you were serious when you left, and there was a change for the better after that.

I really beleive that if you let go of someone you love, and she loves you too, if it is meant to be... it will come back.  Only time will tell.

I really appreciate all of your feedback thus far, I welcome any other support you have to offer. Thank you so much. 

 

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Summer Sun

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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 12:37:30 PM »
Paddler, I am not a professional so unable to answer your question concretely.  All I can do is offer my experiences, insights and take always from my readings.

If she is exemplary at work and with family, yes, the abuse is a choice.  I experienced this too.  People would be shocked to know “he” was violent and abusive at home.  My UPDb is also the star of the family, everyone adores, they have no idea how mean and hurtful he is to me. 

It may be helpful to understand the “why”, but I have gone down this road too.  If we know “why” it psychologically gives us hope that there is a possibility that things can change, that there is a “fix” to go with the “why”.  Would knowing about her abusive upbringing (not saying this is true) that created her PD help you navigate the abuse?  Without her seeking help and change herself? 

I remember once, myself, having an emotional breakdown not long before I married DH.  I couldn’t understand it, because I should have been at the happiest point in my life.   My T pointed out to me that it was finally “safe” for me to process the accumulative pain, losses, grief of my life that had been repressed.  You are probably a “safe” person for her to abuse, take out her frustrations, whatever, because you take it, you stay, there are no real threats or consequences.  Does knowing this hold any assurance of change, protection, safety for you and YOUR needs?

Does knowing translate into a long time pattern being reversed?  You know what to expect.  The cycle of abuse.  The love stage heart clings to and wants to believe, the abuse stage where intellect and intuition warn of danger.  I have had the heart/head disease for a long time, still do struggle, my heart yearns for the love, acceptance, attachment to FOO, but head knows, it hurts, it hurts.  Head knows I can’t change them, or control them.  I can’t change the people in my life, but I can change the PEOPLE I choose to have in my life.  It is sad.  We must process the sadness, the losses, the various stages of grief to the place of acceptance.  It is a journey.  A sad, difficult, lonely journey.  Unless you’ve walked it, others have difficulty understanding your grief.  We are here to help, please surround d yourself with as much support as you can such as a T, pastor, DD’s, friends, groups.  Know your positive traits and attributes and use these for self talk when self doubt may arise.

Hugs,

Summer Sun

"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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paddler001

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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2018, 05:18:18 PM »
Summer Sun,

Your experience makes you a professional, you have lived what I am living. Your comments are a mirror image of what I'm experiencing.  I know I have the emotional intelligence to realize I will change this, since the only person who can is me. I know I can't change her, only she can, in 5 years it hasn't happened. When the relationship is functional, I have hope, but it's false hope and I know that. 

You articulate this so well, all you say makes so much sense. It is such a relief to get this outside of me in this forum, I've stopped taking to almost everyone about this. Really makes it clear what I must do. I'm feeling a greater sense of  peace and calm knowing I'm not alone in this.

Many years ago as child when I had cancer and lost my leg to it, I felt so isolated since there was no one I could really speak with about how this felt, I was 12 years old, and as I grew older into adolesence and as an adult the isolation alwys seemed to be there. Then I met people at the prosthetics centre who had similar experiences and it really made a difference to compare notes, there was emotional healing well after the physical healing knowing there was someone to talk to.

This forum is the same, thank you all so much, not ready for the dialogue to stop yet though, I'll be back.
Thanks so much everyone.

Thank you so much Summer Sun...
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 03:54:45 PM by coyote »

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Summer Sun

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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2018, 12:36:58 PM »
Paddler, I am sorry for your loss of leg, the cancer, the feelings of isolation at such a young age.  Yes, the support of others with similar experiences always seems to help with growth and healing.  It’s like finding “our peeps”.  Even without such traumas, in the hierarchy of human needs, we all need to feel a sense of acceptance, belonging, understanding, love. 

I want to mention that I too stopped talking to people about the behaviors (back then I didn’t know it was called abuse) that we’re tearing me apart.  I looked for answers and advice from others, others who mostly couldn’t understand.  Some just aren’t interested or have capacity to listen to others problems.  The ones that did listen and would tell me to leave, and I didn’t, and then did, again and again between Hoover’s.  The point is, I could see they cared but couldn’t do it for me, that they didn’t understand my heart/head disease, and over time, to spare them my agony, I just stopped talking about it as who i used to be silently evaporated under a cloak of gray.

Abusers try to isolate us.  Mine did a terrific job of this.  When I quit seeking support and sympathy from others, it played right into his other isolation tactics.

It sounds like your head/intellect is in charge, you’re aware your heart breaks, will continue to ache, then heal.  The grief cycle has a life of its own.  It sounds like we are each survivors and I wish you all the happiness and love you deserve, that all you so freely and generously give, will be returned to you, in time, tenfold.  Believe in you.

Summer Sun
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 03:39:19 PM by coyote »
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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paddler001

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Re: Help
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 04:16:29 PM »
Summer Sun,

Thank you for your reply and understanding. So eloquently stated. Emotionally drained, but optimistic. WIll be off the forum for the next week, taking time off from work. Need to clear my head. I'll be back. Thanks everyone so much, thank you Summer Sun.

Paddler
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 03:40:25 PM by coyote »

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Heartacheagain

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Re: Help
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2018, 05:48:21 PM »
Wishing you strength!!

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paddler001

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Re: Help
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2018, 02:07:37 PM »
Hello All it's been a while since I've been here. Was hopeful that things would change between she and I, however the abuse continues, verbally and emotionally, she hasn't been physically abusive for a while now, but her words really hurt.

The last verbal assault, was the last straw. I'm leaving her. Still love her, but love is not enough.

The best is yet to come.

Paddler
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 03:40:47 PM by coyote »

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coyote

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Re: Help
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2018, 02:12:05 PM »
Wishing you peace and strength on this part of your journey.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

“The only person educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”  Carl Rogers

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

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Summer Sun

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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2018, 02:29:03 PM »
Paddler, I’m sorry that this has not worked out more favourably, but so understand the point of being “done”.  It takes much to reach this road. 

I wish you courage, strength, comfort and support.  Surround yourself as much as possible with those that DO love and care for you.  Access to T, post here as much as you need.  You may want to consider preparing yourself in advance to deal with any potential Hoover’s?  It is common when we push or leave, they pull or Hoover.

You are not alone.  Yes, the best is yet to come.  Love yourself first.

Summer Sun
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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paddler001

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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2018, 02:52:59 PM »
I will definitely have peace, not being subjected to her verbal abuse when she is triggered will be a welcome relief.

Speaking of verbal abuse, I was thinking that I must sound like I'm crying wolf to close family and friends about the verbal, emotional and sometimes physical abuse she has subjected me to.  Then you second guess yourself and wonder if anyone really undertands how serious it can be. So, knowing that our time togehter is limited, since we've both found apartments, I recorded with my phone the last two tirades I was subjected to, for what end I don't know. Probably since if there was any need to prove my claims of abuse, I would have it. And now I do, the words were some of the most profane, hurtful and abusive she's ever said.

So help me out with this. I think she said this for the effect and drama, what she said was at the height of her screaming panic attack, is "I'll put a gun to my head"  Now I know that sounds pretty serious, and I'm pretty certain she'd never do that, although this is not the first time she's said it. Now, she/I/we/ have no gun, we are Canadian eh. So I'm pretty sure this was for the drama factor.

So an intervention is necessary. My close family and friends know of our troubles, however I'm about 99.9% certain her close family and friends do not have a clue of what's been going on behind closed doors. They do not know this side of her personality, of that I am certain.

So I messaged one of her brothers to tell him that I am leaving his sister because our issues seem irreconcilable. Didn't say anything about her abusive nature and personality, many of the 100 traits apply to her to a T, enough that she fits the profile. I did not trash her. Told him that I was concerned about her well being, but did not mention the "gun to the head" statement she made. I'm convinced she will sanitize the reasons I'm leaving her to her friends and family. She works in health care and is highly regarded and respected in her profession. I told her the truth needs to be told, and that if I become aware that the whole truth is not being told, or that untruths are being told about me which puts my integrity, morals, values anad character in jeopardy, that I wlll ensure the truth will be told.

 So back to the recording, and this is my question. Does anyone think that making to known to her family is an appropriate thing to do?

I liken our situation to a family who is dealing with a drug addicted member of that family, having a family intervention clearly states that we are your family, we love you, and we want to help you. In our case it's psychological help she needs. They won't believe me if I simply state the truth, it's heresay, but you can't dispute the recording.

Any advice would be helpful, thank you.

Paddler

Thank you Summer Sun for your words of encouragement. I will be here as much as needed, I feel a sense of relief when here.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 03:41:15 PM by coyote »