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PTSD from emotionally abusive relationship...do I leave now things are getting better?

K

khuang

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She sounds really abusive. To accuse you of being weak and then accuse you of fancying the staff is totally abusive. So what if she gave you a nice birthday? She is not consistent in being nice. I really think you are confused as she can be nice at times. You deserve somebody who is always kind and does not make you fear her reactions.
The woman that abused me acted in the same way which was made worse because she was basically my mom after my actual mom left my dad and had been in my life for a majority of it. She’d do nice things and let me get some nice stuff occasionally such as a book or DVD but as soon as I did something she didn’t like, she’d take it away from me and refuse to give it back and justify it by saying it didn’t deserve it. There were times where she even passive aggressively verbally abused me in public but phrased it so that if anyone heard what she was saying that they’d think nothing of it because she wasn’t screaming at me or causing a scene. Everything wrong in her life was always my fault. She had a fight with her fiancé? My fault. She broke a nail after slapping me? My fault. Even the time she was driving and ripped off the sideview mirror on the driver side after backing up and past a pole was my fault. It was even my fault that she was single for so long! And the irony was how big she was on making sure I always took responsibility for things that I did wrong when she never did the same.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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She is almost like two different people - she can be so so sweet, but is also extremely volatile. She will often take things the wrong way, think the worst and over react. This causes treading on eggshells like behaviour. She also makes many accusations, especially in relation to other women, thinking that I may be looking etc. when it certainly is not the case.

Most of my fearful behaviours are a result of "if I don't do this, she might" or "it's easier to just ...than have her complain or have an argument". She can be extremely negative and reactive.

Here's a memory - she bought some boots which had a defect. I tried to return them to the store, but was told by the Manager that they would not refund, only swap. She then accused me of being weak and she would "have to do it", marching into the store and causing a scene. She then assumed my not getting a refund was a result of fancying the girl working in there (very abusively). I now avoid the shop at all costs, in case I get the same accusation.

On the other hand, it was my birthday last week and she really went above and beyond, spoiled the hell out of me and made me feel very valued and loved (sweet side).
I wonder to what extent this good and sweet behavior comes as a result of the ultimatum she has issued you recently. She might want you to choose to stay with her so much that she is laying it on thick to keep you and convince you that she really would be the best for you over the long term and make a great mother to your children. It is easier to try and work her way into this kind of situation than it would be to try to look for someone else. Something to think about...xo, j
 
S

seancrm

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I could tell stories for hours and provide hundred of examples of incidents like this and far worse too. Sadly it doesn't stop me missing her, wanting her back, trying to please her, making excuses for her or fantasising about a happily ever after with her (and not the abusive behaviours). These are things I am trying to work through with my psychologist, as well as the inherent fearful behaviours. I literally get filled with adrenaline when I feel I'm walking along the edge of a trigger.

This is my first serious relationship, after 29 years of being single. I've wanted this to work so much that I've let her get away with so so much.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I could tell stories for hours and provide hundred of examples of incidents like this and far worse too. Sadly it doesn't stop me missing her, wanting her back, trying to please her, making excuses for her or fantasising about a happily ever after with her (and not the abusive behaviours). These are things I am trying to work through with my psychologist, as well as the inherent fearful behaviours. I literally get filled with adrenaline when I feel I'm walking along the edge of a trigger.

This is my first serious relationship, after 29 years of being single. I've wanted this to work so much that I've let her get away with so so much.
If you have let her get away with so much she knows and expects this now as it is an integral and fundamental quality of your relationship. It would be extremely difficult to change this on her end or your end. Are you going to have stronger boundaries and expectations for her? Is she going to all of a sudden want to conform her behavior to expectations and boundaries? I understand you wanting to stay in this relationship because you are afraid you might not find another one but at what personal cost?
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

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In my first relationship I was with somebody abusive. I too badly wanted it to work. I felt I had to as I had slept with him. I stayed with him and he wore me down with his abuse. To this day I have so much anger about the way he treated me. You do not have to stay in a relationship when it does not work. This is not about you trying to make things work. This is about her being abusive and manipulative. I am glad you have a psychologist. I think when we are used to being treated badly we see it as very normal and do not understand that relationships do not have to be this way.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I could tell stories for hours and provide hundred of examples of incidents like this and far worse too. Sadly it doesn't stop me missing her, wanting her back, trying to please her, making excuses for her or fantasising about a happily ever after with her (and not the abusive behaviours). These are things I am trying to work through with my psychologist, as well as the inherent fearful behaviours. I literally get filled with adrenaline when I feel I'm walking along the edge of a trigger.

This is my first serious relationship, after 29 years of being single. I've wanted this to work so much that I've let her get away with so so much.
I was in a relationship somewhat like this where I was lonely and allowed someone to take advantage of the situation and get away with a lot of really bad behavior. I told myself that I was choosing to focus on their good qualities and overlook the bad behavior in order to give them time and room to change. I sincerely felt that if I gave them enough time and wiggle room that they would be the wonderful person that they showed me that they could be once in awhile ALL THE TIME. Instead what happened is their behavior only got worse! It was like they knew they could get away with things with me without having to face consequences and so they did. Ultimately I think it made them respect me less than they would have if I laid down the law with them and set some expectations and boundaries. It’s nice to believe in someone’s best self based on your positive experiences with them. But if you have also seen their bad behavior and tolerated it for quite some time it is less likely to get better than it is to get worse.
 
K

khuang

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I hate to say it but you might never be happy again in this relationship if she keeps abusing you. For the last year and a half with the woman that abused me, I didn’t cut off ties with her because spending time with her was literally the only way I could watch tv, use the internet, and play my Nintendo DS. The alternative for me was to sit in my apartment with absolutely nothing to do but stare at the wall. I kept telling myself if I only did whatever she wanted me to do then she wouldn’t punish me or yell at me. But then nothing was ever good enough for her and she kept finding things to punish me for. She was even spending my money on more wine which I literally saw her do because I was in the liquor store when she did it. The last time I saw her before I managed to mostly cut her out of my life was right before Christmas and my mom wrote a check for me and I quickly cashed it and spent it all on myself for once because at the time I hardly got any money to spend on myself because all of it had to go to the woman just so she could buy more wine. I think it was also a subconscious way of saying that I wasn’t going to let her use my money to buy more alcohol ever again and that enough was enough. I just didn’t want her to basically use my mom’s money to fuel her addiction. And on top of that she was abusing pain pills and she never found out that I knew about that addiction. Acting nice is often a trap to make you let down your guard and makes it easier for you to be verbally abused.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I hate to say it but you might never be happy again in this relationship if she keeps abusing you. For the last year and a half with the woman that abused me, I didn’t cut off ties with her because spending time with her was literally the only way I could watch tv, use the internet, and play my Nintendo DS. The alternative for me was to sit in my apartment with absolutely nothing to do but stare at the wall. I kept telling myself if I only did whatever she wanted me to do then she wouldn’t punish me or yell at me. But then nothing was ever good enough for her and she kept finding things to punish me for. She was even spending my money on more wine which I literally saw her do because I was in the liquor store when she did it. The last time I saw her before I managed to mostly cut her out of my life was right before Christmas and my mom wrote a check for me and I quickly cashed it and spent it all on myself for once because at the time I hardly got any money to spend on myself because all of it had to go to the woman just so she could buy more wine. I think it was also a subconscious way of saying that I wasn’t going to let her use my money to buy more alcohol ever again and that enough was enough. I just didn’t want her to basically use my mom’s money to fuel her addiction. And on top of that she was abusing pain pills and she never found out that I knew about that addiction. Acting nice is often a trap to make you let down your guard and makes it easier for you to be verbally abused.
And “being nice” around some people
is just a reason for them to walk all over you. Pretty sad but I find this to be true. xo, j
 
S

seancrm

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I definitely screwed up and I blame myself for letting things get this far. I tried to instate some boundaries early in the relationship - she simply broke up with me. I wasn't ready for it to be over so I forgave, accepted, conceded and moved on, falling more and more in love with her.

3 years later I've had one foot in the relationship and one foot out of the door the whole time, ready to leave and sometimes fantasizing about a life alone or with someone that treats me good. I've felt very undervalued for a long time, but when the reality finally hit and she was the one to leave me, I'm finding it impossible to let go. She finally showed her love for me when it came to leaving, and to see how much it hurt her to do it was utterly devastating, but I finally felt loved.

We have a dog together (my best and only friend through this), which will stay with me for the most part, but still means that my partner has to be in my life so she can see the dog also. I don't have it in me to take the dog away from her completely. So it's not as simple as cutting ties.

Right now we are living apart. She is coming to the end of her DBT program and while apart I have been doing my best to reinstate some boundaries and even test some. I bought MYSELF a motorcycle last week, to make ME happy. She didn't take it well, but I did it anyway. We are going to try couples councelling next week to see if there's a way forwards, but at this point I have little hope. I just WISH that if we split, she could just move on and leave me and the dog completely alone to heal for a significant period of time, and then maybe, just maybe one day we could be friends.
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

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Good for you buying yourself a motorcycle. Her not being happy you did that says a lot about her character. Personally, I would not bother with couples therapy because how can that address abusive behaviour? It is not like you have issues that can be resolved by talking. She is an abusive person and that is her problem not yours. It is difficult sharing your dog but I think having her in your life will mean she always has power over you.

You said you wish if you split she would move on and leave you and your dog alone. That indicates you want to be left in peace and she does not allow that.

I do not know if this will help at all but I will try. I had a relationship. I was so in love with him. It was the first time I ever loved anybody. At the beginning he was amazing and said he hoped we would get married. In time he changed and became distant. He left me several times and I would ask him to come back. He lied many times and I ended up being a nervous wreck because the least thing would make him leave. He agreed to couples counselling which was a total waste of time. He really broke my heart and it took me years to heal. I just do not want you to go through what I went through. I never thought I could be happy or find anybody else. I am now in a healthy relationship and have been for the past 10 years. I know what it is like to cling on to hope and believe we will never find anybody else but you will. You are a kind and loving person who is a great catch. You are worth so much more then she can give you. I have learned to never be with somebody who actually causes us a mental illness. There is no changing that.
 
K

katwomyn3

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This is extremely true. While I still remember when the woman that abused me was still nice and caring before she started to drink daily, I realize that I’m far better off staying away from her. I kept making excuses for the abuse to everyone including my therapist by saying that I deserved it for doing something wrong. I honestly believe that the alcohol created the change in her but I think the person I used to know is gone and I can’t make her come back ever again because this woman refuse to stick to any treatment plan and will quit as soon as she is starting to feel better. She didn’t even seem to notice that her behavior after drinking literally drove everyone who tried to support her away. Sometimes you need to recognize when something is a lost cause, cut off all ties with it, and leave it behind in the past.
If you are saying her drinking is the problem to her change in personality, then she needs to work on not being dependent on alcohol. But, alcoholism is also a symptom, and it is often a crutch for people who do not have healthy coping mechanism and issues with themselves as a person. You are saying there a time clock in your relationship and the need to have children. You have questioned, with all the issues she has and her inability to stick with any kind of treatment, why this could be solution? Anyone else on this thread, can see or somewhat agree that this is folly. It is unfair and mean to say, simply because you want children does not always mean you should have them. But, if you cannot be a good and kind person to yourself, why bring someone else to the mix. This is a personal opinion. I refuse to have children because I am not okay and I am not kind to myself. I do not love myself and do not do the things someone who would love themselves would do. That is where I am at. Let alone if I were aware that I bring pain to someone else who I am supposed to love and care, I would definitely rethink this desire to do so. You love her and that is not something you can turn off. But, you seem to be very self aware and conscientious enough to know where to draw the line for the sake of someone else who will be brought into the kind of environment you have endured. You also have power and a decision to make.
 
K

khuang

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If you are saying her drinking is the problem to her change in personality, then she needs to work on not being dependent on alcohol. But, alcoholism is also a symptom, and it is often a crutch for people who do not have healthy coping mechanism and issues with themselves as a person. You are saying there a time clock in your relationship and the need to have children. You have questioned, with all the issues she has and her inability to stick with any kind of treatment, why this could be solution? Anyone else on this thread, can see or somewhat agree that this is folly. It is unfair and mean to say, simply because you want children does not always mean you should have them. But, if you cannot be a good and kind person to yourself, why bring someone else to the mix. This is a personal opinion. I refuse to have children because I am not okay and I am not kind to myself. I do not love myself and do not do the things someone who would love themselves would do. That is where I am at. Let alone if I were aware that I bring pain to someone else who I am supposed to love and care, I would definitely rethink this desire to do so. You love her and that is not something you can turn off. But, you seem to be very self aware and conscientious enough to know where to draw the line for the sake of someone else who will be brought into the kind of environment you have endured. You also have power and a decision to make.
The woman was always a bit mentally unstable but didn’t come unhinged until the three glasses of wine after work to unwind a day habit began. She got angry with me every now and then and would yell and slap me but it wasn’t a regular occurrence until after the drinking began. The abuse then happened almost every time I was with her. Everyone that knows her agree that she was much nicer before the alcoholism began and can’t understand why she refuses to admit that she has a serious problem now that drives people away from her. Even my dad cut off ties with her and he defended her to others the most which really tells you how bad she became. She was also a functional alcoholic and could go into work the next day and do her job well and not have a drink until she got home which made people surprised to learn that she had an alcohol problem. We all think it’s a shame at what happened to her but we also know and understand that she did it to herself. I’m not responsible for her alcoholism and I didn’t shove a bottle of wine into her mouth and make her start drinking. This woman is a shell of who she used to be and I’m better off staying away from her. Sure I miss the woman that helped raise me but that person is long gone by this point in time and I don’t think that she will ever return since she refuses to stick to any treatment once she starts to feel better.
 
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