Choose your battles wisely.

10 May 2018
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I was married to an abusive man for 15 years. Why, you may ask. I wouldn't bother asking as I don't know the answer!

Well, I do in a way - needing someone, shame of more failure, needing to sort other aspects of my life first etc.

I am reminded of all this as I help care for a 2 year old. Adorable, delightful, a great joy but... choose your battles wisely comes top of the list with this age group.

The reason for my tale of woe is that, in an abusive relationship, I found you have to choose your battles wisely otherwise there is a continual row going on and if you aren't an aggressive person this sort of life is awful. He did beat me down mentally in this way as I was always backing down or scared of him so often chose not to fight. It's extreme control in all it's nastiness.

Pondering this line of thought I realise it applies to life in general. Which match can I cope to play in, which people can I cope to be around, which clubs to join. All a battlefield for me as I lack self confidence and am horribly shy although no one has ever believed me. I had to learn very young to hide it. My physical appearance hasn't helped. Tiny women get looked after and are allowed to be nervous. Tall women aren't. Life has been a battlefield of fighting my corner or running away when I can't cope anymore.

I nearly lost my wonderful son to his mother in law. We had always been so close. With great patience, lots of tears in private on my part and no arguments he has come back to me. A battle won.

Depression... a constant battle, but one worth fighting every inch of the way.

By the way, I won the final battle with the Evil Ex. Despite him not wanting it, I divorced him :-)

Smudge

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Bridget

May 11, 2018, 5:52 a.m.

Oh Smudge How your post brought back memories of life with a violent Father. My Mum had 5 of us and couldn't leave him as she was worried that we would be taken into care. It was only after his third attempt to kill her that she finally found the strength to leave him(plus my youngest brother had turned 18 by then). People often think domestic violence only occurs where there is poverty but please don't be fooled; my Dad was a solicitor! Over the years, I have developed such admiration for my wonderful Mum who, thankfully, lived more peaceful years without my Dad than she ever lived with him. She was a beautiful, strong and very tiny lady, who was beaten regularly by a bully (called a Street Angel/Home Devil by my Auntie). Hopefully, now that the laws on Domestic Abuse have changed, no woman(or man) will have to suffer at the hands of a Coward ever again. One last note, I could allow my experiences to make me a bitter, suspicious person, but instead I am grateful for all the love and happiness my Mum gave me and count my blessings every day. He may have stolen SOME of my childhood but he will not take any more of my life.

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Jul

May 11, 2018, 6:10 a.m.

Dear Smudge and Bridget. Domestic abuse is horrific and as you say Bridget, the abuser is a coward. However for those who abuse, they rarely see it that way. Remorse follows abuse as surely as night follows day but words mean nothing. Actions mean everything. Bullying words and actions are the meaningful reality and absence of these is meaningful reality. Nothing in between means a thing. I have never had to live with this fear. However I have lived with bullying by an outsider. I allowed myself the shame of this for nine years and would have let it carry on if someone close to me had not stepped in to physically and mentally pull me away from the situation. Bridget, your mother is a hero. I am deeply sorry you had to witness this growing up. Jul xx

Smudge

May 12, 2018, 5:23 a.m.

Bridget. I am so glad your mum managed to get away eventually. The emotional hold abusers have over someone often makes it impossible for them to break free

Valerie

May 11, 2018, 6:09 a.m.

Morning Smudge, I had hoped for a lie-in after a few bad nights,but my dogs had other ideas. I was married 10 years to an extremely volatile,narcissistic man,beat me up physically and emotionally.I was 17,he was 24 when we met.I did fight back,but ended up with the scars to show for it. He died a few years ago,and my son told me to check out the YouTubes etc.devoted to him.He had moved to the south coast,and seemed to be regarded as some kind of demi-*** in his town,a well-known person reading the eulogy to this inspirational genius.I had a good laugh! Is the toddler your grandchild? I take my hat off to you,they have never been my cup of tea,but maybe one gets more patient with age. My son and his wife cannot have children,but have 7 cats.My relationship with my son is very distant,and I can only blame my past behaviour for that.I am so pleased for you that you and your son are closer again. Really good blog.By the way,I am quite tiny,but sadly have not noticed people rushing to protect me-if only! ***

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Smudge

May 12, 2018, 5:29 a.m.

Hi Valerie the abusers have a clever way of fooling everyone outside the home. It's so sickening to see. Yes the toddler is my grandson and I look after him a lot. It's hard work but rewarding.

Jul

May 11, 2018, 6:18 a.m.

Hi Smudge. From reading Valerie's comment, I realise your son and the two year old are different people. I must stop reading so quickly. I miss out vital facts but thank you Valerie! I would agree your life has been a battle. But you are free now. Liberated. Your battle has freed you. Lack of self esteem and thinking we are to blame for our bad treatment by others is the root cause of us putting up with abuse. We examine our behavior and find fault with ourselves not the abuser's. Bravo Sumdge for writing this blog and letting us see that abuse never wins long term and the abused come out stronger than ever. Now if an abuser knew that the person s/he was abusing would eventually become a stronger person, would they even start? Jul xx

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Smudge

May 12, 2018, 5:33 a.m.

Hi Jul. In answer to yiur question would an abuser start if they knew the eventual effects was to make their victim stronger the answer is yes....they abuse because they can...because it's all about control and they can't help themselves. They need that power over someone like a drug. I didn't however think I was to blame for my bad treatment other than not recognising his character before I married him.

Sally

May 11, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

Oh Smudge! I sympathise with what you have been through ,although not been there fortunately except at home as a child. Abusive father. So very glad you got out, and got care of your son. These topics need to be aired in my opinion. There are far too many suffering in silence. Equality is a long way off. Go well and write more. Virtual hugs and..,well done!

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Smudge

May 12, 2018, 5:36 a.m.

Sally you are so right. Equality is a long way off. To be in an abusive relationship is not something anyone wants to air so its not talked about unless you are covered in bruises.

Marmaladegirl

May 11, 2018, 7:50 a.m.

Choose your battles is good advice Smudge. When one is in the depths of a depressive episode, EVERYTHING feels like a battle. In fact, now I think about it, that's quite a good definition of depression: when everything feels like a battle. Wake up? Battle. Get up? Big battle. Put kettle on? Impossible - it's downstairs and that's one battle too far. Go to the loo and go back to bed... Depression feels like a constant battle in one's head between going on living and throwing in the towel. Luckily, for most of us there are things that remind us that feeling this bad will not continue forever - although being in that pit of despair for five minutes is too long! However, it WILL lift and then, when things have returned to somewhere near normal, that's when it becomes even more important to choose our battles wisely because, for me anyway, it's stress that tips me into depression. Therefore I have to be very careful not to stress myself and most things, frankly, are easier to just let go. A thought on abusive relationships. Sometimes people seem to think that once you have removed yourself from the relationship, then the problem is over. However, the many people on Moodscope who suffer from mental health issues now due to abuse they experienced as a child will know that not to be true. And it applies to adults too - I left my abusive husband in 2011, he was involved in my life until 2013 and I am still trying to recover, although five years is quite a short time to recover from all that (1997-2013), plus I think to a certain extent I will be permanently scarred... We are the Survivors Club here on Moodscope. Every day can be a battle (at times every minute of every day). Well done to us! If you are reading this, you are still here. We are winners in battles that are mostly invisible and that we get no credit for. I award you all with the Gold Medal of Survival in the Olympic Games of Life.

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Lexi

May 11, 2018, 12:07 p.m.

Hi Marmaladegirl. I agree - leaving an abusive relationship carries scars long after the abuser is gone. Like PTSD perhaps. I spent years in fear that he would be around the corner. In fact he would send me random notes over the years and this was before it was easy to fine someone on the internet. I am battling depression right now but as you say I am still here :) xo Lexi

Smudge

May 12, 2018, 5:44 a.m.

Hi marmaladegirl. You are right. The scars left by abuse never go away. I have to say that it wasn't just this man who abused me. Abuse isnt just physical as a lot think......the mental sort are just as bad as there are bruises that never go away in mental abuse and I consider lack of love and caring and total disinterest in a child by a parent as abuse. I consider constant criticism by a parent as abuse and it causes permanent scars

Bunnykins

May 11, 2018, 8:08 a.m.

My abusive, narcisistic ex husband has convinced my eldest daughter that due to my depression "there were just misunderstandings" He was fine; until he couldn't have his own way and could be so spiteful. He also told her that when she has a child she will probably suffer depression etc. To say he still makes me angry is major understatement. I am shaking as I remember his comments on my psych. visits. You going to the funny farm again? Also due to my germ phobias " You'll end up like Howard Hughes shut away and not seeing anybody. I just thank *** I don't have to see him any more.

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Marmaladegirl

May 11, 2018, 9:25 a.m.

Congratulations Angela! You have succeeded in making him an EX husband and you don't see him anymore. The next step is to stop him having any control over you at all. He would be delighted to know that he still makes you angry. The aim is for him to mean so little to you that whatever he has done, whatever he does, it has no effect on you whatsoever. I am not belittling everything you have been through and I predict that he will continue to try and get at you through your children - but you need to be free of him, and that includes not being affected by memories of things he has done. He will think that he is still hurting you by feeding lies to your children - don't let it even ripple your pond. Keep a clear, calm head. Your children will decide for themselves what is the truth. It is not good for your health to get rushes of adrenalin that make you shake - so find ways to put the past to bed and be cool and calm in the present, no matter what he does. He doesn't deserve to have that much importance or status in your life. He is just a worm and you should view him as such - rise above his pathetic attempts to have any impact on you. See it as completely severing all ties with him, once and for all. You will feel better for it. Good luck!

DAVE

May 11, 2018, 11:33 a.m.

Angela, Marmaladegirl has hit the nail right on the head. Rise about pettiness, and control, otherwise as Marmaladegirl implies YOU WILL GIEVE HIM POWER OVER YOU, IF you allow this to continue to enter your sub-conscious, and lie there for days, weeks, months and years.. Clear out the burdens that this EX has placed upon you, and there will reveal an inner peace and happiness, whereupon you can move on with your life and find someone who loves you unconditionally, for you. Dave XX

Smudge

May 12, 2018, 5:50 a.m.

Angela you have made him your Ex. My Evil Ex as I describe mine. He will be angry to have been rejected by you and not have you to bully in person. Revel in that strength. I am sorry about your daughter. She is in an impossible position being torn between her two parents but she will recognise the truth about his cruelty. Just be patient

DAVE

May 11, 2018, 8:56 a.m.

Well done Smudge, you have come through the minefield, and survived. You're as good as anyone and no better, no one is better than you, we MUST engrave this upon our foreheads...With a bit of humour. I saw an 'Eaton Type' consultant at the hospital before my operation on my neck. The only thing missing was the Blue/white spotted bow tie. He was so elevated, and did ot even look at me, the senior Sister was smiling at me. In a serious voice bland, no feeling we spoke. Consultant...Do you ddrink. Me...Yes 8 pints daily. Consultant...Have you had your bowels open today. Me...Have you had yours open ? Consultant looking finally at me yes have you. Me...Yes twice. Consultant...Do you smoke. Me...Only when I rub my legs together... At this point the Sister was in hysterics... The consultant looked at me and I said I can just see you in my infants school sitting next to me, he was a jerk. But it broght a big grin upon his face as he stared into my eyes, I grinned back. I can touch type send and receive morse coded messages too..< I am an engineer, can fix most things. we parted on the same level and when he spoke he was as normal as the rest of us. Hold your head up high Smudge, you're a star, and you deserve to hold on to you kindness and caring about others, never mind what they think, say, or do. Today is the first day of your life...Enjoy it as you will never pass this way again. *** Bless and all my love Dave XX.

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Jul

May 11, 2018, 4:28 p.m.

Ha ha Dave.I think the Eton type reference may not be necessary but the bow tie and the rest brilliant!! I didn't think such consultants existed any more. You did well responding in such a way particularly as you were the patient and it was before your op!! But I think he drove you to it. You are a plucky man Dave. A survivor. Jul xx

Molly

May 11, 2018, 11:52 a.m.

Hi Smudge, it is good to see you your name here! Well done on writing your first blog and for being so open and honest. It was a real interesting read, although very sad, you fought your battles and continue to do so. You are strong and brave, more than you probably think. Getting out of an abusive relationship is not easy. My step father was emotionally abusive, he still is a control freak, he made me feel so uncomfortable, I spent most of the time in my room. He still makes me feel uncomfortable, especially when he is nice, his mood can change like the wind. I choose not to see much of him now but he had a major effect on me - low self esteem, no confidence, depression.... I was very careful when choosing boyfriends, swore I would never be with someone like him. I was lucky mainly (or selective) but I did once get caught out, with someone who was similar to him. It felt like an addiction, he treated me badly and it went against all my principles but it took me four years to completely get him out of my life and my head. It helped me understand however, how relationships especially marriages, carry on this way. It is admirable that you 'got out'. I think abusers must be very insecure themselves, to feel the need to put others down, to make themselves feel better. Selfish indeed. Thank you for the blog Smudge. Love to you, Molly xx p.s. thank goodness you got your son back from the mother in law! I wonder if she was a bit controlling herself!

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Smudge

May 12, 2018, 5:58 a.m.

Hi molly yes abusive poel are insecure and I am sure most have suffered abuse themselves. The verbal cruelty was like a drug to my evil ex. If I verbally fought back he just got crueler and crueler till I cried. As soon as I cried he would deflate like a balloon, he had achieved his purpose. Ugh. Yes my son's mother in law is a control freak. Total. When ever she is around there is an atmosphere, everyone treading on egg shells to keep her happy.

Molly

May 12, 2018, 1:17 p.m.

My step father never suffered abuse himself as far as I am aware, his parents were lovely. My real parents though, both did suffer abuse and that is why they are now both with controlling partners. I dislike the way they are both treated now, but I don't have the best relationship with either of them, as they have their priorities, the controlling partners come before their own children and always have done. My step father wasn't particularly violent but he did once bang my head against the wall several times and pulled my hair, just because I stood up for myself. That is the only violent incident I remember, mainly it was a case of not wanting me around, and ignoring me and he would do things to annoy me on purpose to try and get a trigger. My mum maintains to this day that her husband had to come before the children. Something I have never understood. As for the ex I mention (along time ago), it was again more mental games, but once I was suffering a bereavement and he was being so unsupportive, I threw a glass across the room and he physically manhandled me out of his house and threw my bag into the street and all the contents fell out. I must have deserved it for throwing the glass. 5 minutes later he picked everything up, pulled me back inside and said how sorry he was. Same sort of thing as you describe, drag you down, apologise and cry and then make you feel sorry for them. Not sure where all that came from !! xx

Smudge

May 12, 2018, 2 p.m.

Hi molly. Well it's impossible to know where the abuse originated with yiur step father but you can never tell what goes on in a family and his anger or need to control had to have come from somewhere . Did he have children his own.? Why there only was one incident...after banging your head against the wall he was controlling you and you never put yourself In the position again to provoke an attack. I read once that women come in two types, those who put their husbands/partners first and those that put their children first. I was the second sort and could never understand the first. I only threw something at my ex once. It was a moment I cherish. It was a plate of mash and fish in white sauce. A plateful. It took me ages to clean it off the sofa, carpet and walls but was worth every bit of effort for the sight of him with all the food dripping off his glasses and the stunned look on his face.

Molly

May 12, 2018, 3:44 p.m.

Yes he had two kids from his first marriage but didn't bother with them until he got cancer and then all of a sudden he wanted sympathy and they came running, I however could not provide the sympathy he required. My brother in his second marriage to my mum, feels the same but does what is required and won't really talk about it. He didn't treat him well either. No love lost. I suppose it depends how happy you are in yourself and your life as to whether you let it go or not. It's interesting to hear other stories. I will remember in future, if ever needed (hopefully not) that a plate of food is more effective :-)

Smudge

May 12, 2018, 4:38 p.m.

Molly. I am not sure about how one 'let's things go' maybe some of us are better able to bury them. Your step father obviously just didn't want kids around, just slaves to be useful ...cant vouch that a plate of messy food will always work lol

The Gardener

May 11, 2018, 12:31 p.m.

Smarting from visit to house agent - because of Mr G's condition I have to get a 'judgement' to go through with house sale - say can't get done before October! Really fed up, potential client will probably go off boil long before then, because only at acceptance of offer stage. My problem, but not able to 'choose' this battle. Smudge, nothing worse than living in an abusive relationship. My parents had an awful marriage, and he shouted horrible at my mother and I, but never physical. Mr G is awful at the moment - but I looked at my 1974 diary (then married 20 years) and I note a lot, for me and the kids, that we never got a word of praise - upset the kids quite a bit, whereas everything he did was perfect. I thought it was a grandparent's right to have access to grand-children, whatever the situation and relationship of their parents, it is in France - a local family did it - all very unpleasant, hope it did not rub off on grand-child when he eventually saw his granny. I have to sit tight and do what I can do well - but the score on the interest and enthusiasm cards remains rock bottom. Sorry for personal moaning, Smudge - you need the sympathy. Your remark about being tall is most interesting - I have always been regarded as the 'toughy' undaunted and ready for anything. People still won't believe that 'the last straw' can apply to the strongest. Thanks xx

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Molly

May 11, 2018, 1:57 p.m.

I agree Gardener, some battles we cannot choose, depression, we do not choose, house sales - they are a nightmare. I do hope yours does not fall through. No control over some situations. Mr G, that was not your choice, my husband's health, not a choice. I have had a battle with the benefits system, we are both unwell, they do not make it easy! I know I am barking up the wrong tree with regard to Smudge's blog, but life is tough and it is a good reminder that you give, that the one's that appear strong, may well not be xx

Lexi

May 11, 2018, 2:09 p.m.

Too true, Molly and TG. Whoever originated the phrase "we're never given more than we can handle" should be punched in the nose.

Molly

May 11, 2018, 10:43 p.m.

Lol Lexi, but we DO handle it, we have no choice really, we battle on !! We can do it xx

Smudge

May 12, 2018, 6:02 a.m.

You are right lexi. Some are given one battle too many. Too many battles etc. Hang in there 're the house sale Gardener. It's not a battle for you to fight, it happens or it doesn't, it's a horrible time.

Leah

May 11, 2018, 8:48 p.m.

Smudge, What an honest , helpful and moving blog. You write so clearly and expressyourself so well. WElldone for your first blog, I hope there are more to come. I also think sometimes we are in the middle of a battle we have not chosen. You have given me so much to ponder on. Thank you Leah

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Smudge

May 12, 2018, 12:33 p.m.

Leah. Most of our battles arent of our choosing, it's just that life presents battles rather than us looking for them, and we have to choose which ones we accept. Does that make sense?

Benjamin

May 12, 2018, 9:38 a.m.

As an aside, being 6'4" and male, I recall many times attending dances and such as a 'utility date' for some of the taller women I didn't necessarily know well. On the whole, I found them kind and soft-hearted (not necessarily soft-headed). It's a sad thought that they may not have felt they had people in their own corner during life's combat.

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Smudge

May 12, 2018, 12:15 p.m.

Where were you Benjamin, when I was too tall for most of the men of my generation Even though I Am only 5'8"???? It seemed the small men were attracted to me and the tall men to short women . However that wasn't the only problem being tall, from a very young age a tall person stands out and you can't hide, as you would love to do if you are shy. Also one is expected to be bold and unafraid if tall. How bonkers is that.

Benjamin

May 12, 2018, 5:03 p.m.

Understood. As my daughters seem destined to hit 6'2" or beyond, I suppose I need to think more on this topic. I do know something about the expectations of the tall. Apparently, I'm intimidating, for instance.

Smudge

May 12, 2018, 6:02 p.m.

Exactly. She has a good dad to love and help her obviously but so many think tall is good and strong and brave etc etc. Maybe she has a lot of confidence in which case she will be ok and it will stand her in good stead to be tall but I was terribly shy and when, aged 18, a man asked me to get a product off a shelf I was mortified.

Nicco

May 12, 2018, 9:48 a.m.

Sorry, coming late to this. A lot of what's been said here resonates with me. Seems like my entire life has been a battle - bullied at school, violent father, cruel mother, & been stuck in an emotionally (& sometimes physically) abusive marriage for 36yrs unable to get out (though made several attempts) because of disability & finances, & inherited a very controlling & domineering mother-in-law. My late cousin stopped speaking to me because, as she'd twice left husbands with only the clothes on her back, she thought I could do the same. Although she was a staunch Christian, she judged me as being very weak, whereas I always thought I was choosing my battles. My mother never left my father till the day she died, despite having a fully furnished flat she could have moved into which made me so angry. She was afraid he'd kill her if she left him. He's now 92 so I'm trying to look to his welfare which isn't easy. I dont want a funeral when he dies as I couldn't cope with his friends spouting their praises, but I know my name will be mud if I don't. For me, emotional abuse is worse than the physical because it's not visible, but I was told a few years ago by a female police officer, when I'd tried to press charges for my husband, that because I'd retaliated I'd get arrested too (I'd kicked him to get him to back off) & she said it wasn't as if the bruises were all over my face (I'd got extensive bruising to my side & cracked ribs). I wanted it recorded in my medical notes so went to my doctor, only to be told they don't get involved with domestic disputes. I said I didn't want him to get involved, just record the results of his physical examination. It's like living on a carousel - things go better for a while but seem to lurch from one of his moods to the next. Looking back, no wonder I'm as ill as I am, physically & psychologically. Sorry for moaning.

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Smudge

May 12, 2018, 12:31 p.m.

Oh my gosh Nicco..what a chapter or abuse you have suffered. It's not weakness to not be able to find a way out of these situations, we are trained, brainwashed from birth to behave in a certain way, to accept the unacceptable. It's not till we are free from it that we can see the way clearly and see it all for what it is...its the getting out that is so extremely difficult when one is told what to think and feel. Who can ever behave rationally when swamped by emotion, which you are when being abused. My mother set me up to be bullied and not see the abuse for what it was until I was immersed in it. She enjoyed me being abused by my Evil Ex. Most of the abuse was verbal but he hit me 3 times. The last time his hands round my throat. I was careful not to push him to the extreme after that.!! I had always said, as most people do, "if a man hit me once I would be gone" then I was in the misdt of it and had somehow lost this clear path I had presumed I would follow. I won't comment on your cousin. I so agree, verbal abuse is crippling and the unseen scars never go. I am shocked you didnt get support when you had physical wounds. I would hope these days it would be different but it's still a man's world. I am so glad you write on here.

Molly

May 12, 2018, 3:53 p.m.

Nicco, bad bad experiences there, the ignorance of it, covered in bruises or a broken leg, everyone takes notice. Mental and more than often judged. When I explained I had a bad step father and step father, I knew people thought that it must be me. At 49, I should be over it but the abuse actually continues, as I offer visits and invites and they are turned down. Due to partners influencing. It's hurtful. I won't bother anymore. Anyway no words for you really just felt I wanted to respond xx

Molly

May 12, 2018, 3:55 p.m.

Step father and step mother that meant !

Nicco

May 12, 2018, 5:54 p.m.

Thank you, Smudge. Yes, it's never cut and dried. I've had hands round my neck, too - a truly terrifying experience (& I've seen my father do it to my mother, too with a similar vow never to marry a man like that but it doesn't always manifest itself til later). The influence my husband's mother had on him was horrendous & she has a lot to answer for - she made sure she wouldn't lose her other son to marriage. That influence is still there which is what makes it so hard. She's in her 90s now as well. Thanks for your blog & for your understanding.

Nicco

May 12, 2018, 5:57 p.m.

Thanks, Molly. (My phone'so doing the usual & not replying in the right places!)

Smudge

May 12, 2018, 6:10 p.m.

Nicco. Sadly the influence never goes away. My first fleeting emotion when I heard my mother was dead was relief. I was free of the criticism, guilt, influence etc blah blah and although I have found a new fragile self respect with the emotional abuse gone, I hear her words all the time in daily living. Maybe it's too strong a word but this minute I feel these controlling people are parasites living off the kind people, training vulnerable children to be their emotional punch bags.

Molly

May 12, 2018, 11:28 p.m.

Smudge, yep, I agree, I don't think they can help it somehow. It is one of the reasons I did not have children, I would have gone the opposite way, caring too much etc, decided not to take on the responsibility or bring them into this cruel world. I feel I lost out but anyone who says it is selfish not to have children, I think many have children for their own needs and they are the selfish ones. Sorry about your mother and to you Nicco for your experiences, it is interesting to hear other stories xx

Smudge

May 13, 2018, 4:48 a.m.

Molly do people REALLY say its selfish not to have children. How extraordinary. Surely that's a personal choice and to bring a child into the world when its not wanted is so very wrong. I am sure some do have children for selfish reasons yes.

Molly

May 13, 2018, 12:36 p.m.

Yes, have you not heard that before. I suppose it is 'expected' well it certainly used to be didn't it, maybe not so much now. I think people think there is something wrong with you if you don't have children! It wasn't really a complete choice as I always thought I would - the time was never right, then as the years went on I talked myself out of it for several reasons. I got married quite late in life, husband didn't want children, early menopause, and that was that! Sometimes I feel sad it did not happen.

Nicco

May 13, 2018, 7:26 p.m.

Smudge & Molly, I actually think some people should not be allowed to have children - I know that's controversial but it's how I feel. My 36yr old daughter has always been adamant she doesn't want children because she doesn't think it's fair to bring a child into this world as it is, &, despite the fact that I would love to have grandchildren, I have to respect her decision. What has actually helped me with coming to terms with that is the fact that I do not want to be like my mother-in-law who never slept with her husband since the birth of their 2nd son because (his words) she blamed him for not giving her a daughter &, not only did I take her 1st son away from her by marrying him, I went & had the daughter (my only child) she always wanted which is why she hates me so much. I am determined not to be as bitter & twisted as she is. Because of her behaviour, my daughter refuses to see her (& so does my husband) so she has effectively cut off her nose to spite her face & fulfilled her own prophecy because in her eyes i have kept them away from her - I never have as my door has always been open to her as I would never deny her seeing her grandchild, but she refused to visit us because she couldn't have her ridiculous manipulative tantrums when off her own territory, & she wouldn't let her husband & other son visit us (more tantrums on the one and only occasion they managed it). My daughter also fully acknowledges that she's too set in her ways & doesn't have the patience to have children. She has a friend who has 3 children uunder 5yrs old who she enjoys seeing regularly & that's enough for her which I, in turn, fully understand. I couldnt have any more - it took me 5yrs to get her as, it ws discovered afterwards, I only have half a womb so she was a bit of a miracle. I was very depressed after her birth with severe postnatal depression, not helped by my mother-in-law running me down & te?ing me i was doing everything wrong at every opportunity. I think maybe my sheer determination born out of anger is what has kept me going all these years but it's hard not to allow that anger to be destructive & consume me, & its also hard not to use old coping strategies (alcohol & overdoses) as a way of trying to control the awful overwhelming feelings that come up when that happens (anger can be triggered in the present by injustices in the past). So that's my current challenge - to find alternative, safe & acceptable ways of coping with that anger which never seems far away from the surface. Sorry this is another ramble but I am grateful for being able to write here.

Smudge

May 13, 2018, 8:03 p.m.

Nicco. Your anger at all the terrible things that have happened to you is totally understandable. Sadly anger is destructive but you recognise that. Bitter twisted controlling people are impossible to ignore if you aren't the same sort of person. I totally believe some people shouldn't have children. They use them as ***** and status symbols. They try and live their lives through their children, wanting them to achieve to make them look good. It's hideous,

Molly

May 13, 2018, 9:45 p.m.

Nicco, I agree, the *** of the child definitely should not matter, what also annoys me is the ones that have babies to get a council house and then have more kids to try and get a bigger house as they moan they are overcrowded in their accommodation and I wonder why they had several children if they cannot afford or accommodate them. What a strange thing though about your mother-in-law, how can anyone be that shallow! People amaze me. I am trying not to get angry about my past but it is not easy, you have done well to quit the drinking, unfortunately I have not, and I have had a health scare recently (need further tests) but it has not stopped me drinking wine. No need to be sorry, keep rambling, I find it interesting. Love Molly xx

Nicco

May 14, 2018, 10:55 a.m.

Molly, I had a health scare specific to my kidneys so I cut down a lot. I haven't completely stopped (a couple of sherries in the evening or an odd glass of beer is better than several bottles of vodka a week). But the main thing that helped is that actually the booze stopped working - none of the desired effect (anaesthetising emotional pain), just had the horrid effects every time (extreme hangover) whichadequate me feel a while lot worse in the long run. For me, wine (& whiskey) are awful to get drunk on because they affect me terribly - I was once hospitalised after drinking several bottles of wine & thought I was going to die so, since then, I rarely have it - maybe a glass with a meal in a restaurant occasionally. Try not to beat yourself up too much about it - you will find your own way through it, I'm sure, by finding other more pleasurable coping strategies. For me the evenings are the worst so i sit & watch tv while colouring intricate patterns & mandalas which I hope to post on the jigsaw puzzle site jigidi.com (it's a really fun site with a great community, is free to join - though you don't have to be a member in order to browse the beautiful puzzle pictures people post & solve them if you wish), & doing tapestry stitching - I've done a chair seat cover & am now attempting a foot stool!) I find coping strategies have to have an end result, a goal, or I don't do them. Also, I find its so easy at the time to convince myself that a drink would be a good idea, but i have to keep strong & remind myself that one won't be enough despite my resolve so I'll end up feeling worse in the long run & i try to remember how hellish the hangovers are. It's hard but doable. I know AA say it's better to stop completely, & i have done that before, but for me where I'm at right now I find its working for me. Sending understanding hugs. x

Nicco

May 14, 2018, 11 a.m.

Thanks Smudge. I agree. (Sorry, I think my phone's doing the usual & not putting my answers to comments in the right place.

Smudge

May 14, 2018, 2:40 p.m.

Nicco. I have just read your letter to Molly. I am so full of admiration. X

Molly

May 14, 2018, 8:37 p.m.

Me too Smudge, Nicco is a great inspiration. I know how hard it is. Especially when not working or leaving the house, it is too easy to have a drink. Nicco, it is great when you find someone that understands, thank you. I am too easily judged for it. If I get upset about something or someone's actions, they think I have been drinking. Easy cop out that really. I just have flare ups of anger or upset and usually for good reason. Of course alcohol can accentuate whatever mood we are in but there is alot more going on beneath the surface. I find it helps me to have a drink, as long as I do not go stupid, and I also do not get hangovers (which I did), maybe a bit tired, especially as I do not eat much, but vitamins are helping a bit with that. I like the on-line jigsaws and I downloaded another game today, just to pass the time. I like quiz games. I would do alot more in the way of housework and DIY if my energy improves and my husband isn't sitting there all day. He is so bored himself and not very mobile, he is even more frustrated than me, he does not use the computer/Ipad (only to play games). He has lost his personality really since his first stroke. I worry about him constantly. We are trying to care for each other. Life is tough. Back to the drinking, it is the only thing I look forward to on an evening. You have done so well. I have tests in June, pretty scary really, the last few years have been taken over by my mental stuff and many other things, my physical health got neglected. Thanks again Nicco xx

Smudge

May 15, 2018, 5:22 a.m.

Molly. When you have as much going on in your life that you are trying to deal with, as you have at the moment, you have to tackle one thing at a time. It's impossible to deal with them all at once so don't beat yourself up over any of it. X

Nicco

May 15, 2018, 11:02 a.m.

Molly, I agree very much with Smudge - you have so much on your plate at the moment you can't tackle everything. Considering the situation you're in i think you are doing admirably, especially with your alcohol intake as you have a good awareness and are controlling it better than you did, which is really good. I totally understand about the inertia as I suffer from it myself. I look at all i have to do & get so overwhelmed most of the time that I give up before I've even started. I know I should only take one thing at a time rather than looking at the whole picture as it seems like everest but, when feeling so depressed & anxious & in a lot of physical pain from the ME & fibro, as well as emotional pain from the past which can get triggered by something anger-inducing happening in the present, this is so hard to do so I tend to grab my coloring book as it's easier to sit & do that as it keeps my mind off things. I know what you mean by an evening tipple being the one thing you look forward to because when things are very rough i feel the same, but I must be a bit stronger as sometimes I can hav one in the afternoon instead of waiting until the evening which, for me, i know is only a step away from my going back to full on daytime drinking which I really don't want to do as my intelligent brain tells me this is no solution, despite what my emotional self may be telling me. I really feel for you as regards your husband's health, too, Molly. For all my husband's faults, he is at least a 'doer' & is thankfully able to do things - it's one of the ways he uses to avoid painful issues in his past & in our marriage but we'd be in a far worse situation if he didn't do what he does (washing, ironing, cooking, shopping) which is easier now that he's taken partial retirement as he only works 3 days a week (involving leaving the house at 6am & a long commute to London, getting back at 8pm) so he has long weekends now & has taken an allotment which he's always wanted to do & will be somewhere he can escape to when he needs to. I can only try to imagine being in your situation, it must be really hard. What about contacting social services with a view to getting some help in the home? I had to do this a few years ago as we weren't coping when I was very ill & my husband was still working full time. Because you both are ill I'm thinking this must surely be available to you. They helped with housework & there was a subsidised NHS laundry service which i used for sheets & towels. I think I accessed it through my GP at the time. Maybe it's something you could perhaps explore to take the pressure off a bit. Also, getting myself registered as disabled helped open up other opportunities like carer goes free at the cinema with a cea card (form available from cinemas), the same with the theatre & places like the zoo, so I'm wondering if that's also something you could maybe explore & perhaps get done for your husband as he's had a stroke. It was just a thought. I'm feeling down & frightened atm as have doctor appointment this afternoon - been diagnosed with nasal staph aureus which is proving nigh on impossible to irradicate & think is also spread to ears & lungs - been complaining about it for years & only now being taken seriously. Looked it up on the net yesterday which, while educational, was quite scary! Sending another hug for now.x

Nicco

May 15, 2018, 7:55 p.m.

Aww, Smudge, I think we are all here to help each other & if I can use some of the experiencesort in my life to help a few people, even if only a bit, then it has the effect of transforming them so it's a two way thing - I get helped too.

Molly

May 15, 2018, 8:27 p.m.

Thank you Smudge xx

Molly

May 15, 2018, 8:52 p.m.

Thanks Nicco, you are really suffering, I hope you got on okay at the appointment. It sounds like you have alot to put up with, physically and mentally. My husband has had three strokes in the last three years and has no use of his legs anymore (separate to the strokes). I do claim carers allowance but I am not sure who is caring for who. He probably does more for me than I do for him. He didn't get enough points with PIP to qualify for a blue badge and he was refused ESA after his assessment. Just makes me angry. Had to fill in all the forms again for myself and if I am refused after my assessment we will have to sell the house. Moving on, Social Services were brilliant however, they gave him a recliner, and a seat to sit on to wash and offered him a stair lift as well but he is managing to go without that at the moment as we had a downstairs toilet put in (he was peeing in a bucket). He had an operation on his back which has helped a bit but his legs are not coming back so we are restricted and we don't go out unless we have to and I am not feeling sociable anyway, regardless I don't like to leave him. Anyway enough of all that. Thank you for your suggestions and ideas, and for sharing things with me. Don't go on the internet! When I googled the tests I have to have next month, I convinced myself I have cancer! Thanks again Nicco, hugs back to you xx

Nicco

May 16, 2018, 4:23 p.m.

Oh Molly, what a lot you have on your plate. I can't believe you didn't get a blue badge - I would appeal regarding your points & get your doctor to write a letter to the council who provides them. Also, to expect someone to pee in a bucket is terrible - even prisoners get better treatment - thank goodness you'v now got the downstairs loo. I think the powers that be make it difficult & refuse, hoping that we'll give up & go away because it's more work & energy to appeal. I've had to appeal several times & was petrified last year when it changed from dla to pip but was pleasantly surprised to find that (in our area anyway) the system had changed for the better & there was much more respect shown. I didn't agree with a few things when I got the report letter, so I rang them & told them what I didn't agree with & they took it on board. If you do have the stair lift installed it will count towards your points as they seem very hot on appliance use, so list them even if you don't use them very often. You also have to tell them what it's like on the worst days (on a rare good day I can mow my lawn - won't be able to walk afterwards though, & on bad days i can't even get out of bed). They should be helping people to have a better quality of life - that in turn lifts the spirits & brings back hope & some interest in life. Do you have a Welfare Rights or Centre for Integrated Living in your area? I got the CIL involved & they filled out all my forms for me - i find that if an authority like that gets involved, you are more likely to get a better result as they seem to hold more sway than if you just fill in the forms yourself. My brother's partner had a massive stroke from brain aneurysm removal & ended up with memory probs & they've had a terrible time because she's fit & able physically but not mentally, & the powers that decide these things don't seem to understand how that affects her at all as she can't be left alone to do certain things & can't go out on her own. I do hope things improve for you both soon. Sending another hug. x Ps - sorry, my phone doesn't always put my reply posts in the right places! I'm also grateful to smudge for allowing us our shares in her page.

Molly

May 17, 2018, 11:56 a.m.

Thank you Nicco for the advice and support. Just realised that I said my husband has no use of his legs, which was a bit of an exaggeration, he can walk, but not very far at all and he can't bend easily or lift anything heavy. He also has memory problems, he will forget what we have spoken about a day previously! What joy. Life is tough but we plod on. Not sure about CIL, but I have done the forms now. I hear many stories about the **** DWP, they do not seem to understand at all. We have worked all our lives and just need some support in the hope things will improve but they may not. It is a real worry when you have little money coming in, just makes me more anxious than I already am. My doctor said that is one of the reasons people are homeless because of the benefits system. Better go and buy a tent! Thanks again. xx

Molly

May 18, 2018, 4:16 p.m.

Nicco, regarding Smudge, she just didn't feel the site was for her. She is okay though, we keep in touch by email, so one good thing came out of it, as she wasn't really here for long xx

Smudge

May 12, 2018, 4:44 p.m.

Molly...as we have agreed before...one never really 'gets over' mental scars, as if one has broken a leg, it's just that some times people can maybe bury then deeper or if lucky learns to live DESPITE the scars but ignore anyone who tells you to 'get over' the harm done. Scars are scars. No one would dream of telling you to 'get over' a physical scar after all.

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Molly

May 12, 2018, 11:46 p.m.

Smudge, so true, mainly people ask how my husband is because of his mobility issues and physical health. If they ask how I am, I usually do not bother lying. People do not want to hear about that though, perhaps they do not know what to say. I suppose it becomes like a stuck record. They want to hear you are fine or that the scar has healed. I have noticed that if I say I am fine and say something good, I get a response, if I say I am not fine and things are bad, people disappear. Such is life, I am still not prepared to lie though. I am not prepared to be a fake. I may have gone off the track here! Just my thoughts as they came. It is all about physical appearance I suppose, like when people say, "you look well" or "you look tired". Why don't they just bog off! :-) xx

Nicco

May 13, 2018, 7:32 p.m.

Molly, I know what you mean. I keep saying I'm going to get a t.shirt that says, 'looks good' on the front &, 'feels ****' on the back!!

Molly

May 13, 2018, 9:32 p.m.

Yay, I love that t shirt idea :-)

Molly

May 14, 2018, 8:39 p.m.

Smudge, sorry to fill your page up with stuff !! Hope you don't mind xx

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Smudge

May 15, 2018, 5:17 a.m.

Molly. Why should I mind. Of course i dont mind ! It's what this site is here for isn't it? X

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Nicco

May 15, 2018, 11:03 a.m.

Thanks Smudge!

Molly

May 15, 2018, 8:55 p.m.

Yes you would have thought so, just the only way you can chat is on someone else's blog and I wondered if that was disrespectful to the blogger xx however it seems I am already disrespectful to bloggers so that is a huge contradiction in terms on my part xx

Smudge

May 16, 2018, 6:04 a.m.

Molly we do have to be careful of the feelings of others but equally where can we speak as we feel except on here.?

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