Will I ever be free of my ex?
I wanted to write today about the continuing drama and abuse that some mothers experience after a separation, myself included.
My daughter and I have been in Perth for two days now, and the hostility that I have been receiving from my ex is out of control, but the norm.
The stress that I feel when I’m in the same space as him physically affects me. I get headaches, I feel nauseas and I get sleep paralysis. If you have ever suffered from sleep paralysis you will know that it is a very frightening experience. Your mind is awake but your body can’t move and you can’t speak. Often you are gasping for breath. It is like you are trapped and it feels like you have woken up dead. It is also often coupled with hallucinations, and people can feel like there is a scary presence in the room or footsteps next to the bed, which is what happens to me. It is brought on by my anxiety and stress in being around him.
He was okay when we arrived. Although he didn’t greet me at the airport or acknowledge me in any way, he did respond when I greeted him after he’d had his reunion with our daughter.
My plan was to stay with them for a few days before going to stay with a friend. You may be curious why I stay with me ex from time to time, and why he stays with me when he is in Sydney. I will answer that question for you in a blog post next week.
Things started getting bitter about 5 hours after we arrived. I’m not really sure what changed. He and my daughter had gone out, and I had taken a nap. Since they got back that afternoon he has said about ten words to me (apart from a heated conversation that I’ll get to in a second). I should be lucky though, because when he is not ignoring me he is hurling abuse at me.
I don’t particularly like speaking to myself (and I find having a four year old, I deal with my fair share) and I do find being ignored immensely irritating, especially when my daughter speaks up and says Daddy! Mummy is speaking to you, why are you not answering her?
Until this morning I was dealing with being ignored pretty well. But when my daughter was in the bathroom this morning the same thing happened. After speaking his name about four times he looked at me, dramatically rolled his eyes and roared out: WHAT????? Forgetting what I originally meant to ask him, I changed tactic: Just wondering if there is a reason why you are ignoring me?
Our conversation went on like this:
Him: YES!!!!! IT’S YOU!!!!
Me: Has something happened to upset you?
Him: As I said, IT’S YOU!!! YOU ARE IN MY HOUSE AND OUR DAUGHTER IS ALWAYS GOING TO SEE YOU IN YOUR ROOM AND IT’S TAKING AWAY FROM MY TIME WITH HER!!!!
Me: I am doing my best to stay well out of the way. She’s probably bored because it’s lunchtime, she’s still in her pajamas and you’re watching television.
Him: F**K!!!! When are you leaving????
Him: You are SO F**KING SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH!!!!
Me: (Trying very hard not to lose my shit). Are you being serious right now? Whenever you are in Sydney you often stay with me for a whole week. I am kind to you, I am respectful to you, I make you dinner, I clean up after you, I don’t swear at you, and I do everything that I can to make sure that everything is harmonious and that you two have a lovely time together. I’m in your house for two nights and you won’t even let me eat any dinner. I have flown our daughter all the way across the country so you can spend time together. How is that selfish? You are constantly putting your own anger and feelings before your daughter, and it upsets me so much that you are so mean to me in front of her when it clearly upsets her. THAT is selfish.
Him: F**k off!
And just like that things spiral out of control. Charming isn’t it? On this occasion I did choose to f**k off because I knew this conversation was not going to be resolved and our daughter would be out of the bathroom shortly. If I’m honest, I usually do f**k off to avoid the drama.
This was a pretty mild argument too. I have been called every name under the sun by my ex, and I know it will continue for years to come. He often tells me he wishes I was dead and how sorry he feels for our daughter to have me as a mum. I am pretty good now at not letting it affect me, but I won’t lie. Sometimes I can get quite down about it, but it’s only really an issue for me when I’m staying with him, or he is staying with me.
Then I sometimes ask myself: Will I ever be free of my ex?
The fact is I won’t be able to avoid this man. Not if I want my daughter to have relationship with him, which I do. Particularly whilst she is still young. My daughter does not have it easy. She has two parents who live in different states on opposite sides of the country. And they can’t get along. It breaks my heart for her. It makes me sick to my stomach, and so angry, when my ex can’t put his hate for me aside, for our daughter.
I do use certain strategies to deal with him, which you can read about here. But when I look at how far I have come from when we first separated four years ago, I am proud of myself. I used to get so upset by his words and take them to heart. I didn’t understand why someone would be so horrible and nasty to me. I used to cry and cry after reading the latest text message or after having a phone conversation with him. Now I don’t let his words affect me anymore. I know his words are not factual. He can’t control me anymore. My life has improved so much since my relationship has ended. I am a strong individual and I have overcome a very challenging time and moved on with my life in a very positive way. And I will continue to grow as a person. I am no longer in a relationship with an emotional abuser.
And although I am grateful to him because I wouldn’t have my beautiful daughter if I hadn’t been with him, I am also grateful that I am no longer with him. And this feeling is enforced every time I am around him.
I have realised that because of this, I am free.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Are you thinking about leaving your partner but not sure how, or if you should?
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