BSc (Hons) Open Student at The Open University (Final Academic Year = 2021 – 2022). BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) Student at University (Final [3rd] Year = Currently deferred). Student Leadership Academy (Swansea University) 2020 Participant. #FutureLeaders Health Care Support Worker. Chihuahua, Chorkie, Rankin Dragon and Tortoise Mami. Currently Divorcing. On a Healing Journey. Baby Witch Learning about Wicca.
August 23rd 2021 = Primary Mental Health Assessment Day.
The dreaded and long awaited (not really, I only waited a few weeks) telephone call with my Local Primary Mental Health Team.
It actually went well. It was not my first time having an assessment, but I must say, I did prefer this telephone method, as well as the assessment itself being better, I felt more at ease than previous assessments.
I won’t go into much detail at the moment, as I want to ensure I get the right support first and avoid any further excuses and delays to my Divorce (The Divorce is on the final stage, so I can apply whenever, however, waiting on finances and property….still). But when I feel it is appropriate I will be more open. I am also very aware that people are going out of their way to look into my life and pass details over to certain people – But at the end of the day I have nothing to hide, I am telling the truth and if you want to condone abuse and violence, then do not bother trying to use the words ‘Be Kind’ or ‘Mental Health Matters.’ For those of you ‘Flying monkeys’ (Google it if you are unsure) and those saying you support mental health, support domestic abuse victims or even work in bealth services, teaching or caring industries-You are a hypocrite and should find a job in a more relevant area!!
I felt reassured that I am not ‘crazy’ or ‘imagining things’ as I have previously been told. It was a reality check for my mind, that it isn’t just physical abuse that leaves scars, but gaslighting and emotional abuse too, especially over a period of time.
I fear for those that still have the real side to experience, I fear their happiness and their lives. It is hard to adjust when you have shared your story (or part of it) and go unbelieved or not heard. There is only so much you can do.
You would think that by leaving an abuser, it would set you free from their abuse – This is not always the case.
I hadn’t really thought of post separation abuse much. I was aware of many friends, family and strangers having problems with the other parent of their child/children. Where courts or other services got involved due to problems. However, I had not really thought of it in the context of abusive relationships.
Post separation abuse, like types of abuse, can happen in so many different ways. Some examples include;
Despite being ‘free’ from my abuser, I have experienced continued isolation since leaving my home. Perhaps not in the traditional sense, however I have been isolated from in-laws, who chose to pick sides and ignore me, despite being desperate to form a relationship previously, they have been able to switch off any relationship we did have. According to my ‘Wife’ they are aware of the full story, however I find that extremely hard to believe. I have been isolated from friends, this includes ignoring messages and deleting and blocking me on social media, without even checking how I am or finding out the whole story. I am presumed to be the ‘bad one’ – I planned none of this!!
One thing I have learnt through this process is that a person can be a fully grown adult, have a partner, children, a good job and/or own their home. Yet they can be the most unkind, petty and childish people out there – especially when they say mental health is important or to “Be Kind” – then they treat me like this – I’m sorry but that is just hypocritical!!
Other ways I have been abused post separation is simply by the continued refusal to provide a key to my house, then by putting an alarm system on the property, also denying that code (illegally). Whilst I find this incredibly childish, it would not necessarily deter me from entering the property, however I am not going to do that, as even if I enter legally and get locks changed, alarm code changed and codes and keys given to the other owner, they would only be changed again. People think that because I walked away I have just thrown away my home, they have not considered the fact I left for my safety. I could be dead by now!!
My divorce could have gone through by now, however I have been advised to hold off until financial and property legal issues are sorted, just in case anything was to happen. From the very start there has been delays and lies with anything legal. With excuse after excuse.
Considering my ‘Wife’ had plans to throw me out and move someone else and her new ‘daughter’ into the house, you would think she would want this all sorted by now. I just do not understand how someone who would hate me so much and not want to be with me, or near me, would want to still be attached to me in this way!! It makes no sense to me.
A major part of my divorce I have noticed, especially in recent letters I have received are false allegations. I attended my property (as legally allowed to do so) once alone, to post some paperwork through the door – considering her Grandma had just died, I thought she would appreciate the handwritten letters, that for some reason she had packed with some of my stuff, I could have burnt them or shredded them, but I thought she would want them. Anyway, I simply got out the car, posted it through the letterbox and got back in car, locked the doors then sent my texts saying I was safe, set up the sat nav and went back home, I was in the area for a Hospital appointment. However, her solicitors have been advised that I am ‘hovering’ at the property, therefore causing issues. Considering I am a student, with no full time work and experience panic when I visit the area, I would not waste any more time, energy or money on a 100+ mile round trip, just to hover outside the house. Although I have realised the reason the solicitor may have been told this is to try and justify the lock change and alarms on the house.
However one thing my ‘Wife’ does not know is that this whole visit was video recorded and to this day is saved and available to anyone who needs it. When you spend years with a liar, who constantly accused you of lying or saying they “Can’t remember you saying that” you learn to make sure things are recorded or noted somewhere – keeping it safe is another issue for another day.
Other allegations include me being accused (falsely I may add) is Slander on social media. It seems that despite being blocked and my Facebook page being ‘friends only’ my ‘Wife’ can still see my social media pages, whether through an extra account, or through other people aiding her – it is worrying why she is obviously finding ways to see my accounts. However, other than the false allegations aimed at me, I am not too worried, as I know I am not slandering, as everything I have stated is true and with evidence. It seems she does not understand that slander would only apply if anything I did put was false, which it is not. I have been told by quite a few people I am being too kind to my ex!! That if it was them they would have reacted very differently.
Looking back I would change the way I have reacted, I would not become violent but I would have done things a little differently. But I got out!! I got my dogs out!! There has been continued abuse since leaving and even a physical assault (also a topic for another day) I always thought I was lucky it never turned physical, but it did that day.
That day made me feel relief (and pain) but I knew in that moment that I did the right thing in leaving. Emotional abuse did turn physical, it could have been so much worse!!
When things got to a certain point in my marriage, they started getting even tougher. Nobody warned me that leaving and choosing my life would be the first step. I thought healing and getting over a break up would be the second hurdle. What I was not prepared for, was speaking up and telling my story and that completely backfiring on me.
I was petrified,but tried to stay as civil as I could, still walking on eggshells, until I got my belongings and legal matters where complete, then I could simply draw a line and move on. I was not expecting things to go downhill from there either.
I thought I would be believed. Who lies about domestic abuse? Apparently more people than you would think! For some reason, there are quite a few people out there, who think I am lying and causing problems. When I can say with my hand on my heart, that I am telling the truth.
I am (or was) always a creative person and have chosen to direct that creativity into exploring what has really happened to me. But that seems to have also backfired on me.
Now I am scared to be open again.
I am scared to tell my story.
I am worried about mutual friends because someone has been causing trouble and showing what I post to my abuser.
Despite knowing I have proof for the things I say, that they did happen and that Domestic Abuse, especially emotional abuse and gaslighting, are not talked about enough. I feel ashamed of my story and fearful of trying to be open and help others, because of the people that say it is lies and slander.
Leaving a relationship is challenging, especially so if that relationship involved a bad ending or abuse. But when people you have known, been related to through marriage, worked with or even complete strangers are being led to believe lies and that my truth is a lie, just to get some sort of revenge – that hurts.
My revenge is living. I did not end my own life.
I SURVIVED AND I LEFT FOR MY SAFETY AND I CHOSE MY LIFE.
Gaslighting is a term that seems to appear quite often now, compared to 5 years ago. It is a term that basically means a person is being made to question their own sanity and the world they are living in. It can be described as “walking on eggshells.” Gaslighting can cause a person to completely lose trust, not only in others around them, whether strangers or not, but in themselves.
In my case I truly realised I was being gaslit towards the end of my marriage (especially after I left-Everything sort of clicked). Once I knew my wife was interested in someone else. Despite me having clear evidence of the behaviour it was denied, I was told I was overreacting, twisting words and imagining things. Long story short, I was not, what I had heard and found was indeed true. However it often is the case that until a relationship is struggling, or ending/ended you really do not realise how manipulated you truly were.
Once I had left my home, so much started to make sense, I really started to come to the realisation that pretty much the whole time I knew this person, it was one big fake lie.
Many people who are being gaslit may not even realise it themselves. Which can cause problems if others question the situation they are in, simply because it will be denied. It may be “normal” to them.
The best thing to do is support them the best you can. One day they will be grateful for that support. They will need that safe person – that believes their truth.
TRIGGER WARNING – Please take care, some of this content may cause upset and distress. Reach out for support if needed. 💜
“And I your willing victim”
Sound familiar? Yes that is a P!nk song
I had heard of people relating this song, ‘Just give me a reason‘ to a (damaging) relationship. However, I had not really thought about it. If I’m honest I could not really relate, although I love the song!
Looking back now, the song is actually pretty relevant to me. From the start of my last relationship, my heart was stolen by a kind, attentive and charming person. I had been back in the country for just over a year after spending 6 months away volunteering and nearly 2 years post relationship with my first serious boyfriend, who I thought I would marry and spend my life with. Within two weeks of seeing this person, totally infatuated, I accepted a drunken proposal. Despite it being nothing like I imagined-after double checking they remembered actually asking I said yes!!
Two years later we married.
Again, looking back before actually marrying I can see how I was totally attracted and won over by the charm, happy moments and love I felt. Ignoring the red flags and brief explanations for situations. Hiding myself and not telling my future in laws about our engagement, even going as far as her renting another room in the house (only used for storage) “just in case” anybody asked or visited. Because they “could not know.” By the time they knew we had moved to Wales and my ex had said she had cut out her family. I was the bad person who took her away from her family. Which was far from the truth. I wish I questioned this more at the time. Another red flag missed.
During the engaged-married phase we had good times, with very few disagreements. I shared stories, history and wounds. I felt happy and comfortable. I let someone gain my trust.
I identify with these words more so with the later experiences in the relationship, but definitely at least 2.5 years of the relationship. Feelings, events, emotions and even generalised facts that turned out to be true came out during sleep. Inconsistencies appeared, but I was persuaded that anything said during sleep was “not real” or “related to previous trauma” which I was told had “nothing to do” with myself. Everything had an explanation or excuse. For some reason, I just accepted these.
A barrier began to raise. Chemistry began to reduce, feelings changing. Nothing like the early stages of the relationship. Another major Red Flag missed.
Again, looking back, I was hooked. Love made me stay. It made me ignore anything that upset me, confused me or hurt me.
Like a circle, patterns and behaviours went round and round. Pain was fixed by promises and persuasion, kinder words, acts or gestures seemed to put a plaster over the issue. Things would plateau, before beginning the cycle again.
I was hooked.
Life revolved around happiness, experiences, sex and pleasure as well as a connection. Before switching back to negativity, tension and silent treatment. Where again, one small gesture or kind word seemed to fix things. Or so I thought.
Things on several occasions got to the point where I would sit there and think of reasons to stay. Reasons to fight. Reasons to change.
And then there is gaslighting
A person I loved. A person I trusted using my own trauma, my own insecurities and my own weaknesses to their advantage. Unknowingly being insulted and manipulated into thinking my feelings did not matter, that my concerns and genuine gut feelings were wrong. Even when having justification and evidence.
I was made to feel crazy and paranoid.
At the time I thought the stresses of life, bills, work and ill health were causing tension. Things felt empty. But yet I still was being made to believe my actions led to the situation. They obviously did not help and contributed but was definitely not the major issue. I wanted to fight, blinded by love. I thought we would be together forever. Despite looking at other couples and longing for their connection with my own wife.
Fast forward and behaviours continued, false promises made – resulting in “I don’t love you anymore.” Of course I came back within 24 hours – with the hope of change, false promises and a “mistake” being made. Yet things continued and the truth came out. There was someone else who had all the love that I was no longer being given.
Walking away was hard. But it had to be done. My wife at the time was in love with someone else, portraying me to others as someone I wasn’t.
It is amazing what information people come to you with, once a relationship is over. Finding out about things that have been said and done. Money saved away and plans to move others into my home. Expecting me to leave with nothing.
I wish I noticed the Red Flags sooner. I really do. Part of me also wishes I left sooner, before the added issue of her falling completely head over heels in love with someone else – like we did with each other years ago. If I had walked away sooner, perhaps the emotional damage would have been less?
These are just some of the reasons I find myself relating to this song more now, than following the release. I may be losing a marriage, my home and the life I knew. But I no longer have to;
Follow others rules in my own home,
Push myself when in a flare,
Ask permission to do certain things,
Play happy families,
Hide my chronic illnesses,
Sit silently while others call me the “friend” or the “partner” and allow people to not call me by my correct name or write the wrong name on cards without letting them know it is not correct,
Be manipulated, treated like rubbish and told I am imagining things, being crazy or paranoid.
I can start trying to be me again. Find myself and heal. I can find someone who does love me for me and protect me, rather than damage me.
Please note that any advice I give and explaining of processes may differ for you. I am not a legal professional and this advice relates to my situation. Please get legal advice if you need further support.
February 12th, 2021.
Having been made aware that the acknowledgement of the Divorce petition had finally been sent in, naturally I have been checking the online system daily for an update. I wasn’t expecting a quick update as it had been sent in via post, rather than submitted online. However;
After 58 days there is a response.
Things feel a bit more real now.
I was hoping this bit would have happened before Christmas. When that didn’t happen, the next date I was hoping for was by my Birthday on the 4th of February, however it didn’t happen by then either. Compared to some people I count myself lucky, many people are forced to wait not days or weeks, but months and even years to get to this stage.
I am not out to gain everything and take everything as some have been told. I want all this to be done as fairly as possible and as quickly as possible. For one simple reason. To move on.
Whilst I was not (as the phrase says) “beaten black and blue.” I have gone through an emotional hell for some time. I told a friend today I felt guilty because my pain wasn’t visible. But she explained that emotional abuse is still abuse and can be just as damaging to the mind. Part of me still feels guilt as there are others worse off than me, including people still stuck in a place they cannot leave, whilst I am more free than they am (despite still being trapped in other ways).
I have been warned that it can be harder to leave and divorce, than to be married. So I have been bearing that in mind, so far the advice has been pretty relevant. Although I do still note I am luckier than many others, but things haven’t moved very smoothly so far.
One thing I have experienced-Which I am sharing to raise some awareness to those going through a similar situation and one thing I also warn you of.
Prepare for the telling of lies so YOU look like the bad one. (No matter how nice they seem).
Also be prepared for people to come forward with behaviours, things said or seen. Don’t be angry at them, they had their reasons for not coming forward. Usually it is because they were made to believe you were the problem.
This week I came to our jointly owned home. To sort through things, work and cat sit. I would like to point out that this week, my wife was not at the property, so I felt safer. Part of me was anxious and scared that she could come back any time, however due to other events, I was reassured that this was unlikely to happen. I planned to sort out so much more than I have, however when looking at the piles of boxes and thinking, I had to go through every single item in every single box, as they had just been put in my room without being gone through. So even though only two bedrooms are done (apart from one bedside table unit) it was actually more work than it looks. Although this does mean I will have to sort other times to come and sort things. Whilst also finding cheap van rentals and storage- I can keep some items and boxes where I am, certain larger items such as my piano needs storage.
The next stage to divorce is applying for a Decree Nisi. Still meaning I am married, but once this is issued the 6 week and 1 day countdown to applying for the final Decree Absolute can start-which means we would then be divorced. Whilst applying for the Decree Nisi it needs to be decided whether a hearing needs to be done in court. I have been told, as well as reading online that in the UK the majority of cases don’t need a hearing, but I will just have to wait and see. The date that the 6 weeks and 1 day until a Decree Absolute can be applied for will be on the Decree Nisi documentation.
During tough relationships you need to make sure you are safe. Despite what may be said, by leaving an abusive relationship (emotional or physical abuse) you should not lose the right to your home. The home can be looked at by legal professionals, it matters that you are safe.
As previously explained, the reason I am sharing my experiences is to raise awareness, offer advice and a real life account of divorce and things that come along during a divorce. The purpose of my accounts are not to lie, share false information or make me look like a good person as there are two people in a marriage. I am being honest. Writing also helps me feel like I can support others that may see this and be in a similar situation, as well as help me process things in my own way.
TW (Trigger Warning) Discussions of bullying and suicide.
As I have found myself with a lot of spare time this week I have been trying to keep up to date with the news and one topic seems to be coming up more often than others and it has really hit me….
Seriously, what is wrong with the world? Why must people hurt others so much it makes them want to be dead?
A 14-year-old boy has ended his life in Wales this week due to bullying in School. I’m sure that this is not the only death this week due to bullying, especially in younger people and children.
Other young people are reported to be afraid of returning to school following the Summer Holidays because of bullies. Schools have bullying policies but are young people really being protected.
I was bullied when I was in school, towards the end of Primary School and in Secondary School. It possibly played a part in my anorexia in Secondary School but I sought help for the bullying when things got to a certain stage (most of the time but a lot of incidents went unreported because it was just too much effort to report). It really affected me and quite often the only thing done was a discussion between bully and teacher, sometimes with me present-nothing seems to ever be taken further. Not that I am saying that every time someone is bullied it should go to the police, but when we live in a world that is seeing an increase in Mental Health difficulties and awareness, suicides and the carrying of weapons such as knives and guns, we never know when things will get really serious or how long it will take someone to be tipped over the edge. Some people will brush bullying off their shoulders and their feelings build up over time , but other times that first instance or first severe threat or comment can result in the end of a life.
I will go further into bullying in later posts but there is an increasing level of stories about bullying in schools, homes, streets and workplaces and many of us are suffering and the bullies get away with it. Often bullies get away with their actions because of their status, their family or the fact that they have been in a company for a long time and ” would never do that” – even when other staff have reported it. One situation I have experienced is being treated badly and having a witness to this, but then this person has been spoken to and denied it and they are believed, even though I had a witness to the incident. It is incidents like this that make me not like people (and I like people!) but I have been let down and treated badly so much in life, one thing I hate is if I witness a bully, bad treatment, ‘slagging off’ or gossiping and talking badly about someone, it takes a hell of a lot of persuasion for me to make a good impression in my mind about that person, if you are one of these people I often hold a grudge against the person, you won’t know it, because I remain civil (unlike a lot of people) but secretly I do not trust you and do not like or respect you as a person.
I do not respect bullies. I will be civil and treat you with general respect – because that is the type of person I am. But I will not like you and probably not change my mind.
I am glad that Heads Together have started a campaign regarding workplace bullying.
I recommend a visit to this page, and encourage workplaces to use this also as the number of people who have experienced bullying in their current workplace is a huge 48%!! Here is the webpage the page also directs you to;