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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5807
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Morning Kate,

Thank you for your post, you make me feel stronger about my self, I really appreciate it. I am sitting in Tesco's cafe, cappuccino gone already, fruit toast didn't touch the sides! I'll have to have a refill and seconds in a while. Poppy is at orchestra. I've been reading your post and trying not to cry, I hope I can sustain being tear free.

Today is International Nurses Day. I have just read an email from the President of the Royal College of Nurses. I am feeling bereft that I am not part of the Nursing workforce, and wonder if I will ever be able to go back to it. I'm remembering how I couldn't cope when I was on the wards last year, and everything surrounding my time off sick. If I am to retain my registration that I have just regained with so much effort, I am going to have to go back this year. That is scary. I can't do that from where I am sitting now.

Last night on the news there was a very long report on domestic violence and abuse. It was reporting on an attack on a woman by her boyfriend, who, over a period of 12 hours of sustained abuse and violence, gouged out her eyes. This happened a year ago, and yesterday he was sentenced to 5 years in a secure mental institution. She is of course blind.

I was watching this report from the kitchen, D was in the lounge. Once the report of this attack was over, the newreader interviewed a woman from the Cornwall Women's refuge trust. I was listening to her saying how important it was for women to not be afraid to ask for help, but that often they do not bc their abuser makes it difficult by putting many hurdles in their way, by manipulating...... at this point D has turned the volume right down to the level that he can just hear it, and he knows I can't, bc I am hard of hearing. I am desperately trying to hear what she is saying, but can't, it's just a hum. I can't say anything to D, I don't want him to know I was listening.

I looked on the BBC website to see if I could watch it on catch-up, I wanted to hear what she is saying. I was relieved to have found it, I wasn't sure if news was replayed, but I have watched it just now. Once the report was over, D turned the volume back up. It talks about the various agencies that are available for someone who is trying to escape an abusive relationship. She also talked about how worrying it is that many of the younger generation accept violence within their families, and that they need to be taught about healthy relationships now, to stop the viscious cycle.

It felt like a kick in the stomach, that he had realised the significance of the report, and had denied me the chance of listening to it. I wonder what it's like in his head.

I'm getting Poppy now from rehearsals, I'll be back later. Thank you so much for your support, and your empathy. It means enormous amounts to me.



You are very welcome, always.

You talked about being anxious about your ability to go back to nursing when it's time. As I'm reading what you wrote, I could not help thinking that with Dave out of your life, how much better you would feel. The stress you are under just having to deal with him and his overwhelming behavior has to take an enormous amount of energy from you. Add to that the problems his behavior creates with all the drinking, extra money, the effects on the kids (and you having to cope with that) and the time just dealing with him. With him out of the home, you could have a sanctuary. You could relax and have things the way you need them to be. You could also be in control, which just by itself would help you reduce the stress in your life.

Wow, Rose. I'm floored by your description of what happened with the news report. First, how horrible for that poor woman. What she had to endure with the abuse is beyond horrifying. It is also very telling what you saw Dave do. It tells you a whole lot about how much he is aware of what he is doing. He knows he is abusing you. But he tries to manipulate the situation by pretending that he doesn't and that you are mad instead. If nothing else, what Dave did tells you exactly what he thinks about all this. He knows he is abusive, he doesn't care that he is abusive and he wants to blame you for all of his actions so he can continue to abuse.

It also tells you that everything he says to you is motivated by his own self centered needs. It confirms that you need to ignore anything he says to you or any action he tries to take to keep you from divorcing him.

What do you feel about what he did?

I hope you have a good day today. I am thinking about you.


TherapistMarryAnn and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
You're right Kate,

I will feel stronger a less stressed when D is out of my life, I know that he is why I feel as I do. I will nurse again, but now I need to forget about it and not worry til the time comes.

Sam has just asked me to take Poppy somewhere, then come back, and take him and some friends somewhere. I didn't say I wouldn't, but I didn't jump up and down with enthusiasm. He said don't worry, I'll ask Dad (who isn't here at the moment, and may well be at the pub, who knows). I said no it's OK, I'll take you, I like taking you places, he said you didn't look like you really wanted to. I struggled not to cry, am now, he noticed and asked me what's wrong. I didn't know really, couldn't tell him why, he asked me again, but I said nothing. He was upset with me for not telling him. I think I felt upset that he wanted to ask D. Sometimes I don't understand why I have the feelings I do.

The woman described in the news report was amazing. A year on she is living independently, caring for her 2 young children. She says she feels as she has survived this last year, she can survive anything. It is described as the worst case of abuse that any woman has survived. She had been abused by him many times in their relationship, but had not sought help from anyone. He was the last sight that she ever saw. He hadn't been drinking, nor using drugs, nor was apparently mentally ill.

As I was watching the interview after the report, as the Woman's Refuge Rep was talking, I saw the volume control appear on the screen, and it became a few bars quieter. I was initially puzzled, but then I realised he didn't want me to hear what she was saying. I could have demanded he turn it up, but I didn't want to draw attention to myself, I just really hoped I'd be able to see it again.

I was surprised, but I realise I am learning new things about D all the time. I wonder if he ever thought that his behaviour was abusive, until it was pointed out to him in his lawyer letter. I felt very unsettled being around him last night, I think my anxiety and confusion was bc of how I felt about the news report, and how he acted. I felt he was trying to prevent me from gaining information that could/would help me feel safer, and help me to move forward.

When I checked out the DVAS website (local) I read all the 'team's' little write-ups about themselves, and saw their pictures. There are 4 outreach workers, and of those, I chose Ziggy, hoping she would be my worker. She has black hair with red streaks at the front!! She has a background in psychology, and is a qualified lifecoach. Ziggy says- “I’ve never had a job that’s both so challenging and rewarding in such a dynamic way, empowering people to have the life they choose for themselves!" Way to go Ziggy. I'm excited that she chose me.

I'm feeling under the weather with this virus thing. I know I have little fight for things like this. I guess I'd better rest a while.

Talk later



It sounds like you are struggling between your freedom and the fear around leaving. You know what to expect with Dave because it's a pattern woven throughout your life that has been with you since birth. Breaking it feels unsafe, unsure. But not breaking it is hurting you, badly. And underneath all the learned patterns, you are very healthy emotionally. You know what you experience is wrong and you long to be free of it.

Sam saying he will ask Dave for a ride may have triggered some of your feelings about still being in your situation. And it also could be that it reminds you of the feelings you had about him last night, the feelings you have been uncovering as you work your way out.

Oh my, that woman from the news was quite brave (just as you are!). She really endured a lot. If the abuser was not deemed mentally ill, he certainly is a violent predator. To even consider doing what he did would take a very disturbed individual.

It sounds like you didn't want to approach Dave about turning up the volume on the TV because to do so, you would have been pointing at the elephant in the room, his abuse of you. In order for Dave to continue to abuse, it must be a subject no one talks about . He does not allow it. They can talk around it, but the fact that he abuses is kept quiet. Dave must have it that way because to bring it out into the open makes it true, and he can't face that. So if you had confronted him about turning down the volume, it would have acknowledged that you know you are the abused and he is the abuser. He didn't want that to happen. He must maintain his hold on the excuse that everything is your fault and not his responsibility. It is how abusers cope with what they do.

Ziggy sounds like a great person to work with. I am glad you found her. When do you get to see her next?

I hope you are feeling better soon. What do you think you have?

Talk to you soon,

TherapistMarryAnn and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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