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I'm really struggling - lonely & sad without abusive ex. how long is the grieving going to take?

Discussion in 'Domestic Violence' started by Slushie, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. Slushie

    Slushie Active Member

    I left my abusive ex 15 months ago and I have hit a wall it seems, I feel incredibly lonely and sad without him. He became my entire world and I was so co dependent I think. I do try to keep busy and socialize but when I have spare time I find myself spiraling and having suicidal ideation. I miss the things about him that were good. I don't have any close friends, it's just acquaintances really who don't know me too well. I have looked and only really found that I am supposed to be grieving? I cry a lot and the loneliness is so bad it physically hurts, I have no aching in my gut. How long is the grieving supposed to take? It feels as if it's going on forever and I feel it's killing me. I don't know how to cope with this.

    I avoid telling my therapist because I don't want her to worry about me or think I'm weak.

    I'm realising that I really don't have enough support too.
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  3. Slushie

    Slushie Active Member

    *I have an aching in my gut
    Abstract and shimmerz like this.
  4. berlinda

    berlinda On the way to find out :-) Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    This jumps out at me. We feel less alone when we can share who we are with someone, honestly, not a brave front put on so as not to worry someone. The therapeutic relationship is supposed to deal with what's troubling you innit?
    mumstheword, Abstract, dulcia and 7 others like this.
  5. Still Standing

    Still Standing I'm a VIP

    I am sorry you are hurting. Loss is tough. Grieving is tough. But, not being willing to share with someone who is willing to help walk you through the hard times, makes it even tougher on you. Your therapist needs to know the depth of hurt you feel, otherwise your therapy is not the best it can be. She is not going to think you weak. In fact, she already is looking at you as being strong. It takes strength to leave an abusive relationship. You did want many women cannot do, you left. You are strong! Tell your therapist your don't have support. Also, choose one of those acquaintances and choose to plan activities together, so you are getting out. You need to build up a source of friends and why not start with one of these? If you are in the states, there is the YMCA that usually offers classes for abused women. You might find support there, too. Right now your grief is making you isolate and that just feeds into your hurt and suicide ideation. Be free to share here, also. You know that you have support on this forum. But, for the moment, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to be upfront with your therapist. I would even encourage you to send her a text, email or leave a phone message, today, so she fully understands the distress you are in. Sometimes, for me, simply sending an email to my T between sessions, is enough to relieve some of the stress I am carrying. It is nice to know someone, you trust, knows you are hurting. Hang in there. You are going to be OK.
  6. littleoc

    littleoc Making everywhere I go a better place Premium Member Donated

    I'm having a similar problem with my ex. But I tried to break off exactly a year ago now, but only did it successfully five months ago.

    I try to be patient with myself, because she did make herself my entire world. I started being more social, in safe areas, like going on group hikes or hitting up the aquarium with groups (hit and miss there, but the fish are always cool). That has helped so far.

    I also have a dog -- a service dog -- but when she's off duty and just being herself, she loves to make friends with dogs, humans, cats, etc. Humans I meet like to talk about their dogs and dogs in general, so pretty safe conversations :) and then I feel less lonely.

    I hope something here helps.
    dulcia, Ronin, Boudicca1969 and 4 others like this.
  7. Stepfanie

    Stepfanie Guest

    I left my abuser 13 months ago. we shared 2 children. I went back many many times and what I can tell you is they never change all the promises are empty. and yes all you need to he doing is grieving for yourself your ex took so much from you. It's
    normal not to have friends when you first get away you'e isolated yourself and probably the friends you did have weren't really your friends but his friends. trust me I know. I lost everything when I packed myself and kids into a tiny pos car and never looked back. I lost "friends" and material things. it was hard there were so many things I loved about that man. that' why I kept trying to make it work. but it's not worth it both of my children whom are under 10 years old watched their father break mommy's hand but that wasn't enough for me to leave it wasn't until he physically attacked my oldest for trying to protect me.. I knew it was enough.

    don't make the mistakes I did... I brought two children into the world with a monster because I thought he would change...

    as for ptsd I have it bad... night terrors and harming myself in my sleep. don't let it go like I have talk to your therapist they are there to help and if you are having suicidal thoughts talk to anyone!! call the suicide prevention hotline you don't have to tell them anything you don't want to just don't bottle it up.

    my thoughts are with you.
    remember you are worthy of love and happiness you are a warrior!
    420kitty, shimmerz, Ronin and 7 others like this.
  8. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    Grieving has no set timeframe.

    Please reach out to your therapist.

  9. Enaila

    Enaila Well-Known Member Donated

    Your therapist is there to help....reach out and let her know what is going on. I divorced my abuser over 20 years ago and there is still a loss there, but I know now the loss is for something which wasn't meant to ever be....loss of a dream of sorts. When the grief over the loss hits out of the blue, I write down a list of five to ten sentences of things which are positive in my life right now. At first it seemed to take me forever to even list five, but it is easier now. If you only write simple sentences such as, "I am safe. I am okay," it is a start.
  10. Mee

    Mee Well-Known Member

    I think this is pretty ’normal’ reaction right? I still love mine and have accepted I always will because it's how I am. That doesn’t mean I have to think the bad stuff was normal. There even exist things like Stolkholm Syndrome for peopke who had no.love before bad situation started.

    I would be highly surprised if this was ’unusual’ to your therapist. Or your T saw you as other than who you are, complex, loving and someone who was treated badly.

    I too urge you to raise this with your T partly to understand that while this us gutwrenching its also not ’weak’.
  11. courelly

    courelly Active Member

    I don't have the experience of leaving yet, but it makes sense that it's a struggle. You gave so much of yourself to this person, and I imagine that a lot of your day to day involved focusing on him - is he ok, is he angry, etc. Now that focal point is gone. And those good times that you had with him probably felt really good. Anyone who hasn't been in an abusive situation will never really understand that part of it. I don't know if this is your experience, but for me the lows are so bad that the good feels ten times better than in a normal situation. When you think about those good times, would it be helpful to also think about whether they were as good in retrospect? Yes, he probably had some very enjoyable qualities, but wasn't there always that worry in the back of your mind that he'd turn the next day, and that enjoyable person would become monstrous yet again?

    It sounds like you've come very far, and credit and love to you for leaving him. Are there things you can do to meet new friends, like go to hobby-related groups, team sports, volunteering, or anything that puts you into a new environment and gets your mind off of your situation.
  12. Whirlwind

    Whirlwind Well-Known Member

    I am sorry you are having a tough time! I get loneliness......dealt with it too much in my life. I am out of my DV as well and I find myself without a friend. I have not had a friend in 13 years and Izero family (left home at 18 and literally have no relatives).

    I am just now meeting a few people but it is slow going.

    It took some time but I reached a point where I manage my loneliness pretty well. I put myself last in my relationship and let MY life slip away.

    You say you have some social outlets? I do things to be around people...I have a coffee in a shop, talk in the grocery and on public transportation. I also use my ample "free" time to take care of myself these days. I am exercising and joined a gym..the routine contact and schedule really helps. There is something about someone hollering Hi every time you walk in. And volunteer work...another great way to beat the lonely feeling and help others.

    Your therapist can handle her "worry" - she is a professional and trained to do just that. You don't need to worry about her...she's providing you with a service.

    Worrying about others takes the focus off of ourselves....at least for me it became a crutch after awhile....a way to avoid dealing with the warning signs I was seeing in life and in my partner.

    Another thing I do is write down the crappy awful things that happened with him. When I feel melancholy....I read them and I can literally feel the flush of anger wash over me. And then I go for a walk.....and I come back to a nice meal I make for myself.

    My nostalgia is gone every time :)

    And I make lists of good things I have done, what I am grateful for...it sounds cheesy but doing this I came to realize I am so hard on myself. Writing these things down objectifies them and then I look at what I've done each month and it is A LOT of good things! I should be proud of myself not upset!

    I hope it helps to know you are not alone....I believe loneliness is a part of everyone's life at some point. Talking here is great...how fortunate we all are to have a place to chat...someone is here 24/7. That's something I am grateful for...I remember the days before Internet and I would be so much more isolated without a place like this.

    Best, Whirlwind
    shimmerz, mumstheword, dulcia and 4 others like this.
  13. Slushie

    Slushie Active Member

    Thank you all for your replies, much of what you have said has been helpful, but I had a really difficult time over Easter and I'm glad it's over to be honest. I'm not someone who copes well alone and I know it's because my ex had me so dependent on him just like a helpless child. I think I'm experiencing complicated grief here probably. I will try to raise it with my therapist. I sometimes get the impression she wants to hurry me up so I just move on with my life as fast as possible. I am not sure she understands just how difficult this is for me. I have a tendency to put on a brave face and crack jokes which I think makes her think I'm ''fine''. I'm definitely not fine! I found some other groups to try next week, not specific to domestic violence but they are sort of wellbeing things so I am hoping to try and go to them. I also wrote a list and found only 3 positive things about my ex and about 15 negative. That was a shock. I need to stop remembering good times.

    I know he will never change.

    The nightmares have increased again and are really sapping my energy.

    I found someone on YouTube who talked about complicated grief and it made so much sense, I'm grieving my past, present and future I'll now never have with this person who was an illusion.

    One of the hardest things is being home alone and no one to converse with at the end of the day and before I go to sleep. I need the TV or YouTube on just to have other human voices so I don't feel so completely lost.
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