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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am getting ready to move to a new job and a new city and

Resolved Question:

I am getting ready to move to a new job and a new city and out of an emotionally abusive relationship of 9+ years. We are not married. I have a 13 year old daughter. I have already moved my 18 year old son out to a hotel about a month ago. The abuser has no idea I am going to move, although he has asked repeatedly when I am moving because I have not been acting like myself lately. I am not going to do a civil standby with police on move day because the law tends to favor the property owner which is the abuser. How do I best handle this situation? I cannot pack ahead of time because I can't tell the abuser ahead of time because he yells very loud and would throw me out onto the street immediately and all my possessions are in the home. He has gotten mad lately and already suggested that I get out and that he would throw my things out into the yard.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

You are in a very difficult position and you have thought this through very well. The main issue here is protecting yourself and your daughter from your ex. Emotional abuse is some of the worst abuse you can suffer because it does not show on the outside. It is used to wear down your self esteem and your sense of self to the point you are completing dominated by the abuser. The danger here is that your ex would lash out because of his lack of control over you and hurt you and/or your daughter physically.

Is there a friend you can stay with now? It may be inconvenient, but getting out now would ensure you do not have to go through the next two weeks anxiously hoping you do not have a confrontation with your ex.

If you cannot go with a friend, how about an extended stay hotel? You could put your things in storage. It is a short term arrangement, but it might be worth a try.

Do you have any male friends or relatives that you could call on short notice in case you have a confrontation with your ex? You need someone with you that could not be overpowered by your ex.

Keep the police and any other emergency numbers on hand in case.

How about contacting a women's shelter to ask about options? They may have contacts for you or offer resources to help. You can also turn to them in case your ex throws you out. It is good to have contacts ahead of time and know where to go just in case.

If you can, send your items, all but the essentials, ahead to your son for storage. Short term storage should be relatively cheap and is worth the hassle.

Once you are settled, it would help if you could see a counselor with your children. From your description of your situation, I would say you have been through a horrible ordeal. All of you could benefit from counseling and support. Here are some resources to help:

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Short term storage would not be an option as I would then have to pay for moving twice and cannot afford to do so. My son is in a very small place and I can't move my things in at the extended hotel he stays in. I have the sheriff's office phone number on hand and will make sure my daughter has it on her cell phone also,as well as my son. I'm resolved on having to stay here until the move date. My daughter and son are not the abuser's child..thank goodness.. I guess I'm looking more for an answer on how to stay where I'm at until move day and get through this... Do I just fake my old self to smooth things over for a couple of weeks. No matter hard that might be, I think I can do it, but it feels very manipulative and untrue to my character...I guess I have no other choice financially... How do I start over once moved...Rehashing all of this with a counselor is not something I want to do...I just want to bury this relationship...concentrate on my new job and build a new getting involved with activities I enjoy...join a church...although I don't want to have to explain why I haven't been in church the last 9 years...because abuser went a couple of times with me..but said they prayed too much...go figure that....
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It helps.

Your best bet is to try to get through by pretending everything is normal. It may feel wrong, but as you said this is the best choice right now for you. Other choices are not going to work.

It also sounds like you have a plan on how you want to start over. If you do not feel you need a counselor and you would be better off just forgetting about your experience, you can certainly do that. Being aware that you may have some trauma from your experience is important, though. Sometimes, people do not realize they are traumatized until things settle and they have a chance to reflect on what they have experienced. So you may want to keep your resources on hand and think about what you need later when you are settled in your new place.

Leaving your past behind and starting over is good. You may want to think about how you want to word questions about your past, however. People are going to ask where you moved from and why you moved. So having an idea of what you want to say will help.


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