Dom Violence Privacy vs a lie

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
I'm meeting people and involved in a bunch of community stuff, volunteering etc. I'm wonderfully busy and engaged, this was how I used to be, my "normal" :-)

I thought those parts of me were gone. I suppose a positive testament to the fact that despite the trauma we're "still in there".

I'm getting to know people and as I do....they want to know me better.

I had a life, friends, career once and then it is like time stopped and I disappeared into my DV for such a long time.

I was so isolated and lonely in my DV looking back I don't know how I did it. I still remember looking at our phone and realizing I no longer had a single personal contact. It was all his in "our" phone.

Amazingly today if I want to have a coffee with someone, I just make a call. My front door swings open and shut all the time as folks swing by, my phone is full of contacts. I love it. :-)

But I have 2 big "life resume gaps" (FOO & DV). I moved to a new city so that helped a lot and I know eventually my resume gaps won't matter. I hate having secrets but I feel very protective about my past.

Folks start to realize everyone in my life is "new" and my former career is obvious -- and then the questions of why I stopped. I have a good cover story but it is a fabrication. I reconnected with someone from my past but its tricky, they knew the former me as did their family. Thankfully for now they are just happy I am "back". But the questions are getting deeper as it does.

Looking at myself I have "red flags" lack of history etc.

How do they do it in witness protection programs with a new identity? LOL

Does anyone have some experience or thoughts to share?


Whirlwind
 
You don't owe anyone an explanation about any part of your life.

After I got our of my abusive relationship, I told myself I was going to be an open book. That ended up scaring away a lot of people I would have really enjoyed being around if I could just have been a little more circumspect about what I talked about.

It would have been smartest for me not to tell everyone the whole story and not to lie, but to just not really say anything.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
I'm meeting people and involved in a bunch of community stuff, volunteering etc. I'm wonderfully busy and engaged, this was how I used to be, my "normal" :-)

I thought those parts of me were gone. I suppose a positive testament to the fact that despite the trauma we're "still in there".

I'm getting to know people and as I do....they want to know me better.

I had a life, friends, career once and then it is like time stopped and I disappeared into my DV for such a long time.

I was so isolated and lonely in my DV looking back I don't know how I did it. I still remember looking at our phone and realizing I no longer had a single personal contact. It was all his in "our" phone.

Amazingly today if I want to have a coffee with someone, I just make a call. My front door swings open and shut all the time as folks swing by, my phone is full of contacts. I love it. :-)

But I have 2 big "life resume gaps" (FOO & DV). I moved to a new city so that helped a lot and I know eventually my resume gaps won't matter. I hate having secrets but I feel very protective about my past.

Folks start to realize everyone in my life is "new" and my former career is obvious -- and then the questions of why I stopped. I have a good cover story but it is a fabrication. I reconnected with someone from my past but its tricky, they knew the former me as did their family. Thankfully for now they are just happy I am "back". But the questions are getting deeper as it does.

Looking at myself I have "red flags" lack of history etc.

How do they do it in witness protection programs with a new identity? LOL

Does anyone have some experience or thoughts to share?


Whirlwind
Do you have a therapist ? If so can you practice some stock phrases to give when this happens?

‘you know, that was a tough time for me and I don’t want to talk about it. I’m really invested in ( what you are doing now) and ( where you live now) . Do you know when this weather is predicted to change/ that lipstick is so pretty on you, what is it? ‘

closing the subject. Introducing the now that you are willing and able to talk about, and asking a simple question to let the other person have some time to process that information and move the topic along.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I did come out to my close friends and no one has rejected me. I didn't state that it was DV I just said I had a rough patch on Facebook, that abuse did suck and that there is no profile to be abused. It was very liberating and I got a lot of support from people I was mortified about not having replied to what they wrote to me and so on. It just gave them an explanation and understood it wasn't about me. I apologized for having disappeared for so long. I only had very supportive responses.

But fortunately, my great crash has survened the same moment as the pandemic. Like day for day.

Si in terms of work my cover story is that. The CV gap is more than explainable. Corona. And it partially is. I still did a few things. Which looking back now I don't even understand how it was possible. It was a nightmare.
 

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
No therapist any more. The side stepping I am good at, what starts to happen is it deepens and I don't want to "red flag" my history by referring to it as something not to discuss.

The trick is I'm getting to know people and they start asking more in depth and how to explain my lack of connections.

I got kind of stuck the other day and realized more of that will come. Right now I'm throwing the lack of friends into the "divorce casualties" headline.

That ended up scaring away a lot of people

My experience too. It is too much and too intense even if I just offer the glossy part.

It is not that I won't discuss it ever, but I don't want people to get to know me through that lens. My "truth" is like a friendship year 5 conversation.


not to lie, but to just not really say anything.

That's the trick though. It works initially but later I sidestep so much it is not cool.

I was asked on a date and it hit me later if I ever did, what the heck would I even say? You want to meet my friends, family? Um......

I'm a walking red flag.

I hated this when I was young, trying to cover for my lack of family, support etc. And darn it here I am round #2 and I'm old enough rarely do folks press on earlier years but I've got another "resume gap" to deal with.


 

EvenStrongerNow

MyPTSD Pro
How do they do it in witness protection programs with a new identity?
Just like how you're doing it. When the questions get too personal, I just simply said, "I don't feel comfortable talking about that." or "with answering that" In present times, now that I'm no longer in that situation, I just simply say, "I have a traumatic past and there are some things I can't talk about, but there are so many other things to learn about me". Is it uncomfortable? Yea, it is, for you and for them, but the emotionally healthy will for the most part stay in your life.
 

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
Everyone's posts are helping, I needed to "chew" on this with others so appreciate it.

Thinking about this and working "backwards"

Too close for comfort questions = inevitable & a matter of time

Problem: I don't want to talk about it because I think it will affect their view of me

Maybe that is how to address it when I get "stuck" just refer to a difficult marriage and that I don't like to deep dive into it because it is the past and not reflective of who I am (or who I will be as a friend/partner etc.)

emotionally healthy will for the most part stay in your life.

Thats a good point, and maybe the upside of this uncomfortable "crossing point" also weeds out the non emotionally healthy.
 
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That's the trick though. It works initially but later I sidestep so much it is not cool.

I was asked on a date and it hit me later if I ever did, what the heck would I even say? You want to meet my friends, family? Um......

I'm a walking red flag.
Think about it like this: getting to know about your past is a privilege that has to be earned.

If I'm dating you, and I like you, I'm not going to be put off by your gentle refusal to talk about your childhood or family. If I'm emotionally mature, I'd pivot to talking about something else. It might even interest me and make me want to get to know you better.

Your job is to get comfortable with not talking about it with strangers and acquaintances. Who cares what they think? And that means no more phrases like "walking red flag." We all have different boundaries. Yours are held more closely, and that's completely OK.
 

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
getting to know about your past is a privilege that has to be earned.

That's a great viewpoint! 😊

We all have different boundaries. Yours are held more closely, and that's completely OK.

My boundaries were crushed for a long time but I'm reasserting them these days and I'm probably rusty and it feels awkward to me and perhaps barely noticed by others.

Good points and very much appreciated.

Whirlwind
 

joeylittle

Administrator
If it helps -
Maybe that is how to address it when I get "stuck" just refer to a difficult marriage
This was my thought, and you can cap it with - but that's all behind me now. "I was in a difficult marriage, but that's behind me now". The end. Anything that gets into "I'd rather not discuss it" is unnecessarily vulnerable, in my opinion. If someone follows "behind me now" with "oh, I'm sorry" - you can say "don't be" and pivot the conversation back to them. If they are so lacking in social cues as to say "what happened?" - then something along the lines of "I'd rather not get into it" - and change the subject.

And honestly? It just takes practice. It really does get easier.
 
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