A Brave Hello...

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headlights

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A Brave Hello...
« on: September 15, 2015, 12:49:35 PM »
I'm not sure where to begin but I'll try to be as brief as possible. I have just finished ready a book called When Your Perfect Partner Goes Perfectly Wrong. I could have written some of the quotes from that book by former survivors.
Married for 16 years, have children. We were able to separate three times over the years but as a co-dependent, without finances and my old mantra of 'better the devil you know...' we are still here. And of course there are the promises, the smiles, the tears - everything is going to be okay, no marriage is perfect and so on.
I cannot do it anymore. I do not know how to avoid conflict with him. If I retaliate he breaks me. If I'm silent he refuses things...slams doors, stays out and so on. I cannot win.
How can you possibly live like that while mustering the courage to do something about it? We have just moved to a new area and yet again I find it difficult to leave the house. He stands in front of an open window or opens the door to the front street while yelling 'I am the man of this house and what I say goes. I will not walk on eggshells around you because you don't like something I have to say'... I do often feel I am going crazy. It is I who walks on the eggshells. I cannot face my neighbours when he does this. If I go and close a window he yells further by saying 'I don't give a F* who can hear me, F* them all'.
I really could do with some support. As for the above, he made one of his 'causal remarks' about a dirty stain on a new carpet. It was as usual, targeted at me but of course it was just a general comment and I have a problem.
Any support is appreciated.
Finally wrote something down.

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Bloomie

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2015, 01:54:11 PM »
headlights - Welcome!! Yes, you have written this down and we hear you, believe every single word, and we care! There is great value in writing things out and connecting with others who have been in similar circumstances. Reaching out for support is an important step forward. Living with such hostility, humiliation, and threat for so long is enough to break even the strongest and most courageous person down. I am so sorry you are in such painful circumstances. Thank you for trusting us with a bit of your story. Posting here, at first, is very hard to do and I am so glad you reached out!

Do you have face to face support from trusted family members, a pastor, counselor, friends that can be a help to you and your children as you take steps forward? Have you ever spoken with a Domestic Violence counselor? I want to give you some links to some potential further resources:

Domestic Violence Hotline: http://www.thehotline.org

Here is a link on creating a Safety Plan or Kit and a checklist for leaving:
http://womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/get-help-for-violence/safety-planning-for-abusive-situations.html

Here are a few links from OOTF info as well:

Personal Safety
http://www.outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/PersonalSafety.htm

Put Children First
http://www.outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/PutChildrenFirst.htm

To avoid circular conversations, don't JADE Justify Argue Defend Explain
http://www.outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/JADE.html

The tabs at the top of the page link to a great deal of useful info. Looking through and reading that is time well spent. We have many boards here on the forum and each has a different focus. Joining the conversations there really does help. Please keep posting and visit often and careful to clear your browser history and cover your tracks when you do visit to keep anyone from following you here. Let us know how you are doing! Thank you so much for your brave hello! :hug:

"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸

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headlights

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 03:31:55 PM »
Thank you so much. I see the link 'Domestic Violence' and almost want to shout stop...'I'm okay, it's not that bad. I often make him angry...' then i remember why I am here and why I am reaching out.

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Empty Shell

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 03:46:17 PM »
Hi headlights!

You have indeed taken a brave step in reaching out and beginning to post about your experiences. We get filled with toxins from these pwPDs and we need to purge the poison from our systems in order to survive and heal.

Post more, anything you want, when you feel comfortable and ready. we're all here to help each other!
You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you might find, you get what you need...

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headlights

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2015, 04:57:09 PM »
Then why do I feel that I am playing victim here and if he finds out he will tell me that I'm sick and trying to gain sympathy. That it is all my fault, I am to blame and then the games begin...I don't know what to do. I am currently avoiding any confrontation but i know it's just a matter of time before he seeks me out and challenges me. He has taken everything.

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Bloomie

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2015, 07:23:54 PM »
Headlights - I hope the Domestic Violence (DV) link was not too triggering and should've added something to soften that link - my apologies if  I threw you for a loop there. I did include it because from my viewpoint - which is purely from what you have written here - it may be of great benefit to talk things through with someone face to face who can help you sort through what is taking place in your home and how that is effecting you and your children.

When I first came here I couldn't even write an intro post. I was so unsure and filled with self doubts and an intense fear of exaggerating or feeling sorry for myself. I didn't really feel worthy to be here, because it wasn't that bad or nearly what others go through.  :blink: (this is the first time I have ever said this to anyone - so, yes OOTF friends I've never made an intro post) I was pretty broken down and raw - far more than I even knew. I would've said the same thing - if the PD people in my life saw my posts they would have further proof of my selfishness, my ingratitude, my over sensitivity, my unforgiveness.

I share this to say that my "feelings" were wrong. I had spent a lot of years surrounded by everyone's feelings = facts and being responsible for everyone else's feelings. So, if someone said I was selfish, I was selfish. If I feared I was playing the victim by reaching out for help then I must be playing the victim. In time I have been able to think through this taking on other's feelings, or fearing my feelings are facts and approach things from a thinking place rather than an emotional place. This forum and the wise folks here have helped me do that. You belong here and this time and this place is for you to gain support and to speak your truth!

Living with a high conflict person who has a hair trigger temper is very difficult and dangerous. A technique I learned here that you will hear a lot of chatter about here on the boards is called Medium Chill and it is very handy when faced with provocative and challenging behavior. Something else that has been a great help to me is some info found here: http://bpdfamily.com/content/karpman-drama-triangle

Keep coming back and sharing with us here. You are not alone! You have shown great courage in reaching out!!!
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸

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Scout

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2015, 07:38:50 PM »
Welcome, Headlights.  Something you said in your first post really stuck out at me.

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If I retaliate he breaks me. If I'm silent he refuses things...slams doors, stays out and so on. I cannot win.

He probably doesn't want you to win--i.e., to ever be right or valid.  Then you might have expectations, or self-esteem, or be able to leave.  If you're off-balance or upset, he keeps all the power.  He seems to thrive on the chaos, and on your embarrassment and distress.

I love Bloomie's advice of learning to do the Medium Chill coping technique in the Toolbox link.  You can't "win" with your husband, but maybe you can make it less interesting for him to play the game.

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Sunny

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2015, 09:58:38 PM »
Dear headlights, I have walked in your shoes, on those eggshells!!! I believe you!! I just found this site about 4 months ago, and 1st tried to leave my N/OCPD spouse 1.5 years ago but came back for more to keep my family intact. I won't judge myself or my decision. But it is now time to go. I will say this, it took about 3 years of therapy for myself, 10 months of marriage counseling in which my PDh lied relentlessly (almost getting our sweet innocent children dragged into a shrink), and 1.5 years of gathering documents and my strength and some $$ and family support to say, "yeah I think I could try to leave!" and that was LAST week and I'm still here, oh well!!!
 
Now my target is next week. Point is, take it one day, one week at a time. Sometimes one hour. We have ALL been so off balance due to this treatment, the "swirling" that goes on in our heads, trying to understand the irrational words and behavior.

Just as an example, today on my way home for work, I was puzzling over something my h said years back, "If you got HIT by a BUS TODAY, do you know what I would do???" No, I did not!! "The EXACT SAME THING I am doing right now!" he said smugly, as he typed obsessive emails to a woman at our school he claimed he was not seeing, but he was deeply emotionally involved with.  Point being, he insulted me, he was callous, cruel, discarded me, threw ME under the bus, never apologized, but expected me to just walk away and realize I was just a speck on the ground and NOT BOTHER him because he was extremely busy!!!! So I did, I went back to my school age children, got them ready for bed, etc., but it has stayed with me for probably 8 years.

This behavior is not normal and you are not crazy. I urge you to read the traits to see what type of personality disorder you might be facing, and then how best to interact. I also have been using medium chill to interact very mildly and not engage.

This is probably too much to handle in your first foray, but look into boundaries. They are for you and your needs, to keep you safe. If you have further questions feel free to ask them on the forum, a few around my house have done wonders to distance my PDh.
Sending many hugs!!! :bighug:

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Rosemary1929

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2015, 03:50:38 AM »
I will not walk on eggshells around you because you don't like something I have to say'....

Headlights, these very same words were spoken to me! They do not seem to understand that this isn't a competition! Because I had asked my UNPDxbf and his grown son to please stop yelling, swearing at each other, I get told I am making THEM walk on eggshells! And I'm thinking, yeah, from the damn eggs you are breaking all over the place and I am feeling terrified by your behavior! But they seem to either get a thrill out of making us scared, or use the old 'You're too sensitive' label. It sure as hell isn't their fault for being angry,frightening, abusive, controlling people. There's nothing wrong with you. You are a survivor! And I will take being sensitive, civilized, kind and decent any day over their warped behavior.
Don't listen to that garbage coming out of his mouth! You are precious and have a right to live free of this craziness.
The boundary has been set. The power has been owned.

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headlights

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2015, 07:05:29 AM »


Bloomie - Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post. He has always played down any physical abuse so much so that to see the words domestic violence written in front of me sets off a trigger (as you said but there's no apology necessary!  just genuine thanks) - I can see him flying into a rage, pointing a finger in my face - how dare I even suggest that he did anything of the sort. In hindsight after being brought up in a dysfunctional, highly toxic home I was attracted to someone who I thought was my saviour, how wrong I was - he is no different and when I stand up for myself I hear the old 'if it wasn't for me you'd be six feet under'. I actually believed this and would apologise. I was told growing up that I'd never be anything - what a horrible cycle - feel I'm waking up from a nightmare that I may just be able to control.

Thank you for being so honest, I am so glad, relieved even that I have found others to talk to. I have gone and read about Medium Chill and I already feel liberated. A relative (the only one who I can talk to about my situation) had said similar - things like, don't rock the boat, don't get into debate, don't get drawn - I actually cried at that point and asked why he couldn't just help me leave him that I didn't want to still be playing games. Now I realise it is an extremely important tool in making a pathway to be free of him after all this time. I can't believe it may one day be over.

If it's alright I'd like to reply to the other posts too. I feel so relieved that I have you all to talk to. I shall be back later. Thank you x

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headlights

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2015, 09:41:17 AM »
Rosemary1929, Scout and Sunny - thank you for posting your comments. Means so much to me.

Sunny, I have been trying to leave for years but without financial support or help it's been difficult, I love these milestones you've put in place - gives me hope. I keep going over the years and can't help feel like I'm looking in on someone else's life. OH MY GOD - is it really that possible that you can be so naive and so low on self esteem that you believe you should be treated like that?! That you deserve it! And worse still, often apologising to keep the peace, staying for the children (because they love him) - WTAF?! Staying for the little rewards...
It is liberating to keep writing and reading here. Thank you

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Empty Shell

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2015, 01:58:13 PM »
Hi again headlights!

Then why do I feel that I am playing victim here and if he finds out he will tell me that I'm sick and trying to gain sympathy. That it is all my fault, I am to blame...

That's what a pwPD does to us. They use projection, gas lighting, blame shifting, manipulation - all the tools in their arsenal - to put everything on us. There's no accountability on their part, no taking responsibility for their actions - they tear us down and make us take responsibility for THEIR horrible actions.

In hindsight after being brought up in a dysfunctional, highly toxic home I was attracted to someone who I thought was my saviour, how wrong I was - he is no different and when I stand up for myself I hear the old 'if it wasn't for me you'd be six feet under'. I actually believed this and would apologise. I was told growing up that I'd never be anything - what a horrible cycle - feel I'm waking up from a nightmare that I may just be able to control.

Change the "he" to "she" and I could have written those words. For what it's worth, I'm a guy (hetero) in my 50s and I too have been on the receiving end of DV. Many of us (myself included) are in our situations because of abuse in childhood from our parents or other FOO members.

OH MY GOD - is it really that possible that you can be so naive and so low on self esteem that you believe you should be treated like that?! That you deserve it! And worse still, often apologising to keep the peace...

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  :-[

You are not alone, headlights. You've found a place where everyone has walked a mile in your shoes, as you've walked a mile in ours. Prior to finding this forum I had no one to talk with about any of the issues we discuss here, nobody who understood. I was very near the point of no return; this forum and the wonderful people here have saved my sanity and quite literally saved my life.

We're here for you, headlights! Keep posting, and let the healing begin!
 :bighug:


You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you might find, you get what you need...

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headlights

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2015, 05:42:22 PM »
So many healers helping others heal, thank you so much!

I'm at the stage of being giving rewards which I usually accept gratefully with the hope that tomorrow will be a fun loving day. I am trying so hard not to give in. Difficult when so called love is now being lavished on the children in a bid to make me look like the bad guy.

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tangle23

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2015, 01:29:35 AM »
Hello, I just want to say I am new here too,, and have much similar feelings too. Feel like my situation is not too bad, or I,m exaggerating. I guess that's how they have made us feel over the years. My sepArated narcissist hub is a very quiet one, he uses passive aggression and covert tactics, often makes at harder to see, especially justifying to others.

I hope you stick with your journey now your here, love and strength to you.

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headlights

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Re: A Brave Hello...
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2015, 12:56:45 PM »
Thanks, I imagine the passive aggressive type is just as bad! Sounds like one of my parents. It's utterly disgusting. I am so sorry you had to live with that.

It never gets any better. I am so sick of not being able to stand up for myself. I used to have a strong and bubbly personality - now I can't even ask him not to 'reprimand' me in front of his visiting relatives (while I cook their wonderful meals). The potatoes aren't cooked the way he said they should be cooked, I could have filled the pan with more, why did we buy this type of oil when we have clearly been told that it's not healthy...it's so f* soul destroying. Never thought I'd be reaching for a glass of alcohol of an afternoon.