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I am a 50 yr old gran. I would rather be doing something for someone else than typing this right now...but sadly there isn't anywhere I can, or I have lost my way and forgotten the how perhaps. Modern world does not seem to have a place for the 'unskilled' and older person.
20 years ago I met, and fell in love with someone that I still love and we managed to stay together through very difficult times as well as good times. When we met, I was a divorced mother of 5 children from a failed marriage. Strict catholic upbringing. (I needed to leave as I felt I needed to find a better life for myself and our children, and could not stay any longer with an alcoholic partner).
From very early on I recognized my new partner, lets call him George, had major anger management issues. I have regularly experienced psychological and verbal abuse in public and at home. Thankfully the domestic violence (behind closed doors) has stopped for over 2 years now. Right at this moment, as I type tonight I feel totally, totally isolated (socially) due to the progression of our relationship over the years, my own low self esteem etc. I do not have any friends of my own.
People in our life, to me at least, now feel like they have been either 'his' friends or 'our' friends. As George has a different opinion about privacy I feel the whole small town in which I live knows how messed up things are between us, and often I don't want to be in his company just to be belittled. The neighbours would no doubt have heard him yelling at me at the top of his voice, and then I would be screaming too, at times asking him to stop.
Of course this provides the perfect setting whereby I stay at home ALONE while he is out and about. George deliberately refuses to come anywhere with me...to the beach, or go for a stroll. No movies, no date nights, no phonecalls (apart from a text to ask to bring home forgotten items from town).
George has an active social life and usually where there are young, and more attractive women. I like sailing and bushwalking and going to festivals but George does not. He would rather go to a concert with his sister on his birthday than with me (as happened last year). Due to PTSD I do not enjoy going places by myself, as well as the fact that its boring by yourself, much better with someone else to share the view or a laugh.
It is hard to explain how empty I feel, but I would not be surprised to hear you are familiar with my scenario.
My relationship impacted heavily on my own childrens' lives whilst they were growing up, as well as taken a major toll on my mental health.
Unfortunately during the early stages of this relationship with George, I discovered that some of my children had also been sexually abused by a person known to family (without my knowledge etc). I thought I had been the only one as a child, and had put it out of my mind. My life fell to pieces with the discovery.
At this time in my life when I really needed a stable friendship, George promptly left without warning, and traveled overseas for 6 months.I was left to deal with a young family in crisis on my own. Court proceedings, doctors' appointments. We live in a pretty isolated area, without public transport and access to mainstream health providers was abysmal, therefore the children and myself did not receive the support we should have. With the help of one of my siblings (my brother & his wife) I managed to literally survive (as I had thoughts of ending it all). I know now that these thoughts are of course a normal reaction to trauma and stress and circumstances out of our control.
George says how I am clingy--a parasite.
I am not afraid to admit I obviously have had anger issues myself as a symptom of my own PTSD, and coupled with volatile partner. It has not been a healthy mix. Somehow we muddled along together for 20 years.
Life with George is over complicated due to having my own property, as well as the home that we built together on his vacant land a short distance from my own place. I still have a mortgage and George does not due to his father buying him the land. I support myself, pay my own bills and food, etc. George has a very wealthy family. I am not accepted by them as I am now a granma, and George has never had children of his own.
I have financially and emotionally contributed to the building up of this property, and yet George still considers it to be "his" house only. Actually I am forced to tell authorities that I am "single" and living elsewhere as I have no income and recently needed to apply for welfare--George has told me very strongly that if I told authorities that I live here as his partner (I consider myself to be his wife) he would go into their office and tell them differently.
George is reasonably attractive and is sociable. I feel I am the complete opposite and have worked very hard to deal with chronic depression and extreme (at times) social anxiety.
Trust is a very huge thing for me. Stability is vital, and I am not receiving this, and seem to have an inability at times of providing this for myself...even though I managed to buy land.
George makes it very obvious how much he dislikes helping at my property with the simple things like weeding/removing rubbish. My property has been left to crumble down around my ears while we have built his up into something valuable. I was his personal business assistant/secretary in his business for many years also.
George can be very well spoken and polite when he needs to be in public. He repeatedly tells me now to "get out of my house" at the top of his voice, meaning he wants me to move out permanently. Then this settles down and there is peace for a few days.
A new development in only recent weeks, which I am not coping with, is that he now sleeps in a separate bed and is no longer intimate. I have been used to periods of what I think is called 'sexual anorexia' where he has been distant.
At this time in my life I am ok with less sex in a relationship, and have been craving, and totally happy just with cuddles. Life to me without someone to cuddle at the end of the day is like death. Not having someone else to nurture is like I am not real anymore.
Right at this moment in time I do have the financial resources and I do not feel capable to leave this person, or this district that I love. I love this home. I know it is really hard for others to maybe understand, but as I have such a psychological bond it feels like dying. I am really afraid.
I am grateful for the love that George has shown to me over the years. I am grateful for the support (some financial and physical).
I do not want to leave. I know this is silly, but our now elderly dog who has also been like our child is to be put down soon. Extreme loss, and no safe anchorage of familiar Love.
Please forgive me for pouring out my Heart.
Bless what you are doing for so many of us. Without forgiveness there is nothing. Beneath, and beyond everything in this world there is love. It is just hard to process this physical feeling of coldness instead of warmth right now. Maybe I should start drinking a wee dram of rum. (I don't drink by the way).
I know I am strong to have traveled so far already. Just another learning after all, and re-birth. But I do not want to be so totally alone.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. It is good that you poured your heart out. That's part of the purpose of this site, to give good folks like you a place to relate their feelings, pain and process. You've covered a lot here, and I tried to come up with the best way to respond in a way that will be the most beneficial to you.
I suggest you read each of the following web pages, and follow the recommendations you find there. They were written for strong and hurting people like you, to help you to the next best step toward healing.
how to deal with abusive relationships
battered wife syndrome
You can claim authority in your life, and begin creating the quality of experience that you choose.
Believe in yourself and the goodness of your heart.
My very best to you,
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