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Thread: Emotional Damage from history of toxic/abusive relationships -seeking insight!

  1. #41
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    Originally Posted by jennylove
    FB,

    Love yourself enough to walk away from her. She's a mess. I'm sure she's had a rough life, but we ALL have our story to tell. She wants the loser, let her have him. This is her choice. But don't you dare be her doormat and that's ex's tMy how you are acting. Why would you even consider taking her back after she chose to be with someone else? And now your offering to pay her bills? I was with a guy who dumped me to redate his "loser" ex. It broke my heart into pieces. And yes, he'd occasionally send me a breadcrumb to string me along. One day, I just completely cut him off without warning and I was "over" him within 6 months of NC. I've seen him around a few times since then and I can't believe I was ever in love with him. You'll get there, but you have to take the first step: block. Second step: hide your key!
    I guess I'm just not fully ready to give up on here because I see all the good in her, and I judge her on the type of relationship her and I had for almost 7 months - normal, healthy, no drama..etc.. It was wonderful in so many ways and she always treated me like I was the "love of her life" the entire time. She never showed me "crazy" and there were NO "red flags" that I missed seeing. None. Our time together was "roses all the way". THIS makes it very hard to "walk away" doesn't it? Because it's so hard to get my head around, and because I believe in her - based on what I know about her, and how things have always been between her and I.

    So I know she's capable, and desires, a healthy loving relationship, because she's showed me that. She got scared, pushed me away, and made tentative steps to return the first month after we broke up. Then she lets the abusive piece of sh*t back into her life shortly therafter, so it wasn't quite like the "dumped me to be with him" scenario. I understand toxic relationships, the dynamic..etc..and understand the cycle of abuse that is in play between her and this guy....and I know she's capable of breaking that cycle and dynamic, because she has before. She KNOWS there's no future there, and she KNOWS that there's no "happily ever after" looming on the horizon. She's had counselling and therapy due to past toxic relationships. She's had a few of them. She also KNOWS she has to get away on her own, and for herself. Up to her. Nothing I can do except continue to express encouragement. She needs no reminders about what she needs to do, and what an abusive piece of sh*t he is, from me. She KNOWS. It's going to end sooner or later, but it's going to end nonetheless. Just hope it doesn't take a black eye, broken nose...etc..or another trip to the ER, or getting arrested, to make her finally do something about it. Lord knows what he's telling her and filling her head with! She's being manipulated and controlled and used...and in her own house! The most frustrating that is that I know I can't do anything about changing things. It's very much up to her. Doesn't make it any easier to accept. Again, because it's so f*cked up and nonsensical. Yes, she is a "mess", as you say, and she's had many bad prior experiences with similar toxic relationships and abusive loser men who have destroyed her self esteem. You would think that she has learned hard lessons, and from talks her and I have had while we were together, I thought she had learned and had changed. Obviously, she has backslid back into a huge mess - but a mess of her own making, and a mess it's up to her to get out of.

    I am NOT being her "doormat". She has asked me for hardly anything, and she's not "throwing me breadcrumbs". She is stuck and wants out. I'm convinced of that. I also know how sad, depressed, and resigned she has become. This is NOT her. It's like she was a whole different person the time we were together. Like both her daughters have told me - I bring out the best in her, and he brings out the worst. I am still hopeful that she will come around. And I don't think there is anything wrong with me posturing myself as being her "golden boy" - the "one guy, the one good man, who isn't going to give up on her because I believe in her". Sure, that's sounds corny and sappy, but I'm quite sure she's never had that kind of person, a man like me, in her life.

    It's not about "loving myself enough to walk away". I love myself plenty and have no issues with self-esteem. I have no problem meeting new women and have a very fulfilling social life. I've been single most of my adult life and have always been very content to be alone and be "single". Problem is she came along and changed that contentment. Why? Because of the feelings.... And I"m also not in the habit of "walking away" from things I care about very easily. She has few friends, hardly any support system, so I think " cutting her off" and walking away would be the worst thing I could do in this case.

    Meanwhile, I haven't put my life on "hold" for her. I'm dating, talking to new women,...etc... It's not like I'm sitting at home curled up in the fetal position pining away over her. I'm in a pretty good place emotionally actually. Just not ready to drop this matter entirely because I see the enormous potential for her and I to have another go at it a some point down the road. But it IS up to her to make those moves. Who knows? She might, and at that time, I might no longer be as interested, or even available, down the road. Time will tell. My heart hasn't told me to give up on her yet. It's that simple!

    And, yeah, I offered to pay her phone bill. She's NEVER asked me for $, ever. I offered. Apparently she's broke as a joke right now and I'm uncomfortable about her phone being off because - for her own safety and because of her daughters and grandson. What's $45 to me anyway? I make plenty of $ and it's not like I offered to pay her credit card bills, or other crap like that that dumb men do for women who don't appreciate them. She's made no attempt to use me like that. And as she told me before - "I could never ask you for that kind of money" - talking about the $500 she got from her ex, who owed he much more than that, when she was in a pinch back in January - which also had much to do with her letting him back in. So don't get the idea that I'm attempting to "buy" my way back in. Not the case at all.

    Why would I consider taking her back after she chose to be with someone else? - easy answer Because I love her! That, and from things I explained above. And because all was always very good between us and there was no "dealbreaking" type of behavior - lying, cheating, stealing, fighting, or saying of harmful things to each other. It's like things just "stopped" and were frozen in place beween us so the potential definitely exists for us to pick up where we left off at some point down the road - IF she makes the right things happen, and IF she can move forward with her life and make the postive changes necessary. And IF she could convince me that her and I do have a future together. Big IF's, I know, but when 2 people care about each other, and when the potential is there, anything is possible isn't it? So call me a fool, call me stupid, call her a "lost cause". I prefer to use the term "optimist"! Just not ready to fully give up on her yet!

  2. #42
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    And, yeah, I offered to pay her phone bill. She's NEVER asked me for $, ever. I offered. Apparently she's broke as a joke right now and I'm uncomfortable about her phone being off because - for her own safety and because of her daughters and grandson.

    You need to not enable her. if she needs the $45 and doesn't get it as a handout, she will either learn a lesson and never let it happen again, or she will go work a sidejob or find it from somewhere (i.e. no Starbucks, consigning clothes or having a yard sale) or make the other changes she needs to. By paying her bills you are involving yourself too much. It doesn't matter if she asked or not. Actually, she did ask you - people say "oh dear, i am short, how ever will I pay it?" and batting their eyelashes, you know? There are people who try to stay in people's lives by creating a reason for the other person to physically depend on them. You are preventing her from bettering herself by doing offering.

    Relationships - meaning the one you have that is one on one with a wife/girlfriend, etc, takes more than just "caring for eachother" - there is a higher criteria set for who is the right person to enter a longer term relationship with. There WAS a dealbreaker in this relationship and you are in denial to believe otherwise. She was not over her ex and in fact went back to him. And she is not on her own two feet.

    You should never hang on to someone with the criteria that they are out to convince you that you can have a relationship with them - no. You let them go. if you run into them down the road - then proceed from there - but you need to completely get out of the picture. If someday you run into her and she is walking down the street looking put together, headed towards her better job - has been single for awhile and has her head together and its by chance - maybe you can reconnect - but as long as you keep trying to hang on just a little - its never going to work and you are only creating dependency.

    Believe me, I thought my ex could change. I really did. If he could just straighten a few things out things would have been good. Or so I convinced myself. And he thought i could change in what he wanted me to be, You are doing the whole white knight thing - finding the fixer upper woman. The myth is that with just showering her with love, she'll transform. Actually, if she was 18 - sure, she might, but as a full adult, some people are always on the trainwreck track. This is her. This is how she runs her life. its not about
    "giving up" on someone, its finding someone compatible with you in a healthy way.

  3. #43
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    And, yeah, I offered to pay her phone bill. She's NEVER asked me for $, ever. I offered. Apparently she's broke as a joke right now and I'm uncomfortable about her phone being off because - for her own safety and because of her daughters and grandson.

    You need to not enable her. if she needs the $45 and doesn't get it as a handout, she will either learn a lesson and never let it happen again, or she will go work a sidejob or find it from somewhere (i.e. no Starbucks, consigning clothes or having a yard sale) or make the other changes she needs to. By paying her bills you are involving yourself too much. It doesn't matter if she asked or not. Actually, she did ask you - people say "oh dear, i am short, how ever will I pay it?" and batting their eyelashes, you know? There are people who try to stay in people's lives by creating a reason for the other person to physically depend on them. You are preventing her from bettering herself by doing offering.

    Relationships - meaning the one you have that is one on one with a wife/girlfriend, etc, takes more than just "caring for eachother" - there is a higher criteria set for who is the right person to enter a longer term relationship with. There WAS a dealbreaker in this relationship and you are in denial to believe otherwise. She was not over her ex and in fact went back to him. And she is not on her own two feet.

    You should never hang on to someone with the criteria that they are out to convince you that you can have a relationship with them - no. You let them go. if you run into them down the road - then proceed from there - but you need to completely get out of the picture. If someday you run into her and she is walking down the street looking put together, headed towards her better job - has been single for awhile and has her head together and its by chance - maybe you can reconnect - but as long as you keep trying to hang on just a little - its never going to work and you are only creating dependency.

    Believe me, I thought my ex could change. I really did. If he could just straighten a few things out things would have been good. Or so I convinced myself. And he thought i could change in what he wanted me to be, You are doing the whole white knight thing - finding the fixer upper woman. The myth is that with just showering her with love, she'll transform. Actually, if she was 18 - sure, she might, but as a full adult, some people are always on the trainwreck track. This is her. This is how she runs her life. its not about
    "giving up" on someone, its finding someone compatible with you in a healthy way.
    What you are saying, Broken, is very sensible, as your remarks usually are. However, you know, from your own personal experience how difficult these situations are. How can I just "give up" or "walk away" from someone who always treated me like the love of their life? Someone I know cares about me (despite her f*cked up situation)? Someone who showed me what enormous potential her and I have together, and I judge her on how she treated me the time we were together? She's already made the necessary "changes" you are referring to. Over a year ago, before her and I had begun dating. She hit rock bottom with him and managed to kick him out of her life..including the restraining order she obtained. He did horrible and terrible things to her and treated her like a piece of sh*t several different times they tried being together at various points in the past. Always ended terribly, but ended nonetheless. Cycle of abuse, textbook case. So I'll ask YOU - how on earth, and why, could she return to such an involvement with such a dbag loser? How many times did your abusive ex have to prove to you that he was a total worthless abusive assh*le who will always be the same abuisve assh*le? How did you manage to break that cycle? Why? What made you save yourself? Help me to understand all of this! She's had years of therapy and counselling going back like 7 years...cause she mentioned that she feels like she wasted all of that therapy by making the extremely poor decision to re-open the door to her life to him. She's 41 years old, and she should know better shouldn't she? I would think that at 41 years of age, not 18 years of age, and having gone through all the anguish, pain, and grief that she has experienced over the years with similar types of abusive, controlling, manipulative losers, she would relish making the kinds of changes in her life she was well on the well to making when we were together. I'll say again, she never displayed any of the typical "red flag waving" and "crazy whack job" kinds of behaviors while we were together...NONE. In fact she would often tell me how glad she was that we found each other, and how happy she was to be with me, and would make mention of how I was so much different of a guy than she was used to being with - all due to POSITIVES of course. So she's not stupid, far from it. SHE KNOWS! I think maybe the term "learned helplessness" might actually apply to her situation. You tell me?

    I offered to pay her small balance of phone bill so she could get her phone turned back on. Just felt like I should offer. She didn't take me up on the offer. She's never asked me for any kind of $ assistance of any kind at any time either. She could have asked me for $500 when she was in a pinch back in December and really needed it, which partially led to her letting the dbag ex back in...he owed her $. She said she could "never ask me for that kind of money" when we talked about it last month. What's $45 to me? I make plenty of money, and I'm generous to a fault at times. Wasn't an attempt to "enable" her or "buy" her at all.

    Sure, I guess "white knight" might apply. But what's wrong with that? Rather than "white knight" I guess I just want to be her "golden boy" - I already know she feels safe and secure with me, and she trusts me. She's had very little of that kind of positive in her relationship life. I just want to show her that I'm the "one good man, perhaps the only one, she's ever had that won't give up on her". And there has GOT to be some merit in that concept isn't there? And if this whole thing was just a write off and meaningless between her and I, then you would think that I would have long been over this by now. What keeps me stuck if she's a total whack job write off? I"m not stupid, nor do I have issues where I seek, or need, a "fixer upper". A big part of the reason I did let me walls down and fall for her is because she appeared NOT be a "fixer upper", but appeared normal, healthy, cheerful, well-adjusted...etc... sure, I knew she had been through some sh*t, but again, NO RED FLAGS.

    So I"m just not ready to give up on her just yet.... And when that times comes, if it does, it still won't be a matter of "giving up", but maybe a matter of "giving out". Know what I mean?

    Appreciate the remarks, and I know you say to "run, run the other direction as fast as you can..." but I still believe she will come around in time. So in light of that, please tell me what you suggest I do moving forward to gently nudge her towards making the change she already knows she needs to make...and she needs to do it for herself, not for ME. I know there's really nothing I can do, but my logical mind keeps telling me that there must be something I can do to influence her???????

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    Two words: Trauma bonding.

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  6. #45
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    Updating since it got bounced to the top of the forum category:

    We had been communicating regularly over the past month or so, email exchange, text here and there, every couple of weeks or so. Two weeks ago she blew my phone up throughout the day while I was out of town for work. She told me she "feels like running away and not telling anyone where she is...etc..etc...". Then later that night she said a bunch of intimate stuff to me about how she feels about me. Her, and her cousin who now stays with her, ended up going to my place and staying there due to high drama with the abusive guy it turned out. We had tentative plans to get together that next day when I returned from my road trip...but of course, (and as I half expected), she "ghosted" on me... Typical.

    Fast forward to this past weekend. She finally pulled the trigger and was able to get him to finally get out of her house. (Saturday). Posted some stuff on Facebook about "celebrating her freedom..life is good!", and another post where she was attempting to sell a bbq grill that had been "in her way for 6 months and I want it gone". .. He came and got that. Met up with her Monday at noon for lunch, then her and her cousin came and joined me on my boat on the river and we stayed out for local fireworks show Monday night. It felt like old times. I asked her "what finally made you get it done (geting rid of him and out of her own house). She said "you know I've been trying to get him to leave for a long time and I finally got it done...she also said "you don't know what it's like to lay in bed and wish you would never wake up because of another person being there who you loathe". So apparently, (and as I already knew) things were pretty damn bad at her place.... Hopefully she is done finally and for good! Her "ghosting" over the past couple of weeks was due to her phone being totally smashed by the abusive ex... (as he has done before a few times). According to her, without her sharing alot of details, it got very, very ugly leading up to this past Saturday. I'm not exagerrating what a total POS this guy is, either.

    So I guess I'll see what happens. I'm not under any illusions about immediately getting back together with her. Afterall, she just finally made the right move and got rid of him. Still have no doubts about how she feels about me, especially after some of the things she said to me via text couple of weeks ago. HOWEVER, just because she has made the right decision to get rid of him and move forward doens't make her any less broken and damaged, does it? Undoubtedly she needs time to decompress from the 6 month nightmare she's been through, and I don't intend to put any pressure on her, or try to lay any commitments on her at this point. We'll see what happens going forward. At least now she is available to do things with, go on dates, activities...etc..etc... Our time together Monday and Monday night was very pleasant and positive, but we really didn't "talk" about anything serious or "relationshippy". There will be time for that at some point. Meanwhile, I'm still "doing me" and living my life. I very much realize that just because she had gotten rid of the abusive POS, doesn't automatically mean her and I are going to immediately pick up where we left off before. I would be naieve to think so, right? Most importantly, she has finally made this decision for herself, and that makes me very happy and glad for her regardless of what might happen between her and I in the future. I told her that Monday. That I was very glad she made that decision on her own and made it happen.

    One question I do have is: How to proceed with her now that she has finally made the break?

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    I'm happy for her, big step 1! As for you, proceed with caution, she's left him before and went back to him. Give things some time to settle. Think back to when you have been in a miserable relationship, it feels euphoric to break up with that person. But as time goes on, you may start to miss them and remember all the "good" about them instead of the bad. Take it slow. And don't be her "counselor". I don't think it would be right of her to talk about him to you. He's not your problem, and you aren't her therapist.

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    All I'm going to say further is that I think you should read this article and be sure you do not fall into the category of becoming an enabler. And I do not say that to try and make you wrong or have a go at you, but this article is a pretty good non-judgmental one on how to help people without doing everything for them so they never change or do anything from themselves. Having worked with abuse survivors I can tell you that it is crucial this girl learns to stand on her own two feet and handles her own life. And that you work on ways to let her do that and to stay sane in all of this, so that you both are emotionally healthy. Because at the end of the day that's really what it's all about. Two people who not emotionally healthy will not be able to overcome their issues together, they will simply fall into patterns that never change.

    Read the article link and just see if it helps at all. I'm not judging by the way, I've seen it all and had an alcoholic father, so I know all too well how easy it is to cross the line from helping them to doing everything for them, and not being able to tell the difference.

    I really think you do care, I don't get any maliciousness on your part towards this woman. You really do want the best for her, but it's hard sometimes to see how to go about that. This article might at least shed some insight into that. Good luck, I wish you both the best.

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    [QUOTE=ParisPaulette;6847677]All I'm going to say further is that I think you should read this article and be sure you do not fall into the category of becoming an enabler. And I do not say that to try and make you wrong or have a go at you, but this article is a pretty good non-judgmental one on how to help people without doing everything for them so they never change or do anything from themselves. Having worked with abuse survivors I can tell you that it is crucial this girl learns to stand on her own two feet and handles her own life. And that you work on ways to let her do that and to stay sane in all of this, so that you both are emotionally healthy. Because at the end of the day that's really what it's all about. Two people who not emotionally healthy will not be able to overcome their issues together, they will simply fall into patterns that never change.

    Read the article link and just see if it helps at all. I'm not judging by the way, I've seen it all and had an alcoholic father, so I know all too well how easy it is to cross the line from helping them to doing everything for them, and not being able to tell the difference.

    I really think you do care, I don't get any maliciousness on your part towards this woman. You really do want the best for her, but it's hard sometimes to see how to go about that. This article might at least shed some insight into that. Good luck, I wish you both the best. ]

    Thanks for your input Paulette! I appreciate it. I did read the article you sent the link for. I don't see much of anything that would label ME as an "enabler" - don't really fit the profile laid out in the article. I've always been good with things like boundaries, not making excuses for people, and telling things like they are. One of my favorite phrases is: "I'd give someone the shirt off my back...but only if I thought it would fit them". Does that make any sense?

    All this time with her I have been pretty detached and have NOT gotten directly involved in the drama connected with her situation. All I have done is expressed that I care, I'm here for her, I'm supportive, and let her know that I believe in her. She has not asked me for anything either. From Day 1 I have realized that it is up to HER to get herself squared away. Up to HER to rid herself of him, get him out of her house, stop allowing herself to be treated like sh*t, and up to HER to change her situation and break free of the cycle of abuse. And I've also told her at least once that she needs to do this FOR HERSELF, not due to any feelings between herself and me. And I realize how hard that is to do after reading up on things, and after utilizing resources such as this site. And I'm smart enough to know that just because she has gotten rid of him and finally gotten him out of her house DOES NOT necessarily mean he is finally and completely out of her life. I also think she might be one of those people who thrive on drama as well. She may actually enjoy the drama, however negative.... She's not a "victim" in the classic sense of the word. She is a victim of her own bad decisions and poor choices. She told me back in April that she feels like she had "wasted years of counselling going back her ex-husband by letting the abusive ex back into her life". She said that. So she knows the dynamic here, and she has had the counseling she needs to "fix" herself, yet it didn't take apparently, did it? Or she wouldn't have sabotaged a healthy and thriving relationship with me and wouldn't have allowed the abusive douch*bag POS ex back into her life would she have? Just because she is getting free of this situation doesn't change the fact that she is damaged and broken as a person does it? I'd be naieve to think so, right? And strip away this whole "abusive ex" scenario that has just played out, her self esteem and insecurity issues still remain undoubtedly. And those are separate, albeit very related, issues that she still has to deal with.

    Actually, SHE fits into the "enabler" profile more than I do. She has a history of letting others, especially terrible human being boyfriends; walk all over her. She is constantly letting family members take full advantage of her kindness and generosity as well, and has a history of doing that with them. She let's her daughter sponge off her and walk all over her as well. She has difficulty setting boundaries for herself, and that's often been obvious.

    So moving forward I am guarded and wary. Yes, obviously I love her, still IN LOVE her for the most part. Still believe in her also. We'll see what happens. I see the good in her I know she fails to see in herself. Certainly she needs time to heal from this situation and before considering any kind of commitment or revisiting a "relationship"; she needs to be 100% free and clear of this loser, and 100% "over it". And she'll need to show me that she is. Meanwhile I "do me" and continue to date others. Right? At least that's how I think it should work!

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    Thought I would bump this up and perhaps give anyone who wishes a chance to loudly say "I TOLD YOU SO!"

    Last post was in early July. She had gotten rid of the toxic abusive manipulative loser. Her and I started doing things together, going on dates, slept together a couple of times,....but all the time she was still talking to the POS after she got him out of her house. All the while assuring to me that "I had nothing to worry about from him...she's made that mistake twice and wasn't going to make it again.blah blab, blah...". So I started being very cautious and less available to her after I found out she was still talking to him. She kept texting me and calling me, and we'd see each other occasionally. This went on for a few weeks. We had some deep talks and she really opened up to me. Actually talked about her past, her emotional damage, cried about a few things...etc..etc... Thought things were headed in the right direction. Then around 10 August, she just stopped talking to me.... One day we had a pleasant phone exchange, a couple days later she doesn't return a call or a text....???? So I stopped contacting her. Then a week later it pops up on Facebook that she is "in a relationship" - with the toxic abusive POS she has an active restraining/order of protection against! He had tagged her as that status and she allowed it. So rather than get all pissed off and confront her, or say anything at all, I just let it go..... A mutual friend of ours confronted her though.... And she told that friend how much she "loves me", ,but she just has to see where things go with abusive guy...how she doens't want to be alone....how she's not a quitter...and how they (her and abusive guy) are going to go to counselling and build something great...even though she knows they have a horrible past together...blah blah blah". So at that point I was just like "okay, this is it....no contact..." So no more calls, texts, emails, or anything contact of any kind....and I held to that for over 2 months! NO CONTACT FROM MY END WHATSOEVER! DONE!

    Late October - she stars blowing up my phone with "fishing" kinds of texts, liking and commenting on my Facebook posts...etc... I don't respond for a week, then finally texted her back. Then the last weekend in October she blows up my phone calling me. Wants to get together. We get together and I don't ask her any questions about anything. We just spend a pleasant night talking and visiting, felt just like old times. We slept together of course. It was very nice, and she seemed like a different person - Purposely didn't ask her anyhtning about abusive POS either. So we exchange texts and emails for about a week...then she "ghosts" on me again..... This was early NOvember. Just stops responding to texts. Once again, I"m like "DONE". MORE NO CONTACT.

    First week of December - repeat above paragraph basically. She took me out to dinner for my bday on 4 December, brought me gifts, paid for dinner. Spend the night. We talked all night. She told me about how she was in counselling and talking about things like self esteem, self worth, boundaries....etc..etc.. ALL topics which fall into the types of issues she has. She genuinely seemed much more cheerful, happy,. and relaxed than I had seen her in awhile. Like the person she was during the 7 months her and I were orginally together. So we have an awesome night. Then a week later she "ghosts" on me again and I know she's back hanging with the POS. Again, NO CONTACT....thru Xmas. Sent her a smart ass text on Xmas night - Wishing her a Merry Christmas -with a meme attached that said "Don't f*ck up your present f*cking around with a past that has no future". She didn't respond. lol

    So a few days later, on Thursday Dec 28th, she starts blowing up my Facebook, and then sends me a few texts..... Guess what? She has a broken leg. How did it happen? Take another guess? Abusive ex knocked her down with his car door, then proceeded to run over her leg. Then he left her there in her drive way and drove off. Luckily her daughter came home a few minutes later. It was 5 degrees in Central IL that day, snow on the ground. He broke her leg in 2 places.
    So of course she turns to me for support and help? I took her food, meds, booze, water, ice...candy...etc..etc... Told her I was there for her and that she knows that. So she's called on me a few times since for ride to doctor and other trivial assistance. I was 100% there for her, and she talked to me like she always has....very affectionate sweet, also talking how she has "felt a huge dark cloud lifted from her"...how she is "looking so forward to the new year, a new her"...etc..e.tc... And she's been posting alot on FB with meme's about "self worth"..."making changes"...you know, all that "self help" stuff that many women are always posting....

    So over the weekend HIS car was at her house at least one time.... Just happened to be in the area so drove by. And she claimed to be sick all weekend.
    But still no real change in her texting behavior....still affectionate, friendly... So maybe I"m reading too much into his car being there.
    But now after she texted me yesterday morning telling me she is on way to Doc appt for her leg ..and me texting her back asking her how it went.... havne't heard from her since yesterday morning so sh's just left me hanging AGAIN!

    So I have no idea what's going on with her. I fear the worst. That despite ALL obvious reasons NOT to, she's letting him manipulate himself back into her life....after running her over with a car! She's a textbook example of the "toxic abusive relationship" who just can't break away...even though she wants to. And I know she wants to.... All I know is that I"m tired of being treated like I'm the most important thing in her life to her one day, then treated like I don't even exist the next. :( This woman is 42 years old too.... really old enough to grow out of her childish issues, stand up for herself, and make the changes in her life she has repeatedly talked about making. And above all, have the common sense to be finally and permantently done with a toxic, abusive, and now obviously dangerous loser who now, on top of everything else he has done to her over the years, has finally BROKEN HER BONES!!!!! GRRRRRRRR! He needs a baseball bat taken to the side of his pathetic head is what he needs. But if she refuses to do anything, and keeps letting him back in, what good would that be? Not worth it. I have too much to lose.

    So many of you guys who took the time to post last spring/summer on this thread. I thank you. Anyone have anything to add, I am all ears. I'm sick of it. Ironically I DID actually start to really get over her between August and late October when I was standing firm on my NO CONTACT.... I made new friends, dated a few girls, had fun as I always do...and took a huge step for me - I bought a house! My first home at age 50! So I let her suck me back in back in October...then let her ghost...same with first week in December.....now this latest. I just don't know what to do or how to deal with it. I am pissed off and angry with her, of course, however, I'm not one to say mean and hurtful things. I keep my anger bottled up. I know she is damaged and broken. I know she has issues. I know I can't fix her. But still? What have I dont to deserve to be treated as an emotional crutch /fall back guy....when the other guy is a toxic, abusive, criminal sociopath! This is what my logical mind still has difficulty getting my head around.

    Why can't she just walk away? Sh*t! At the rate she's going with him, refusing to sever ties, she's going to end up a statistic and Candace Cameron will be playing her in a Lifetime Network movie...and yeah, trying to be funny, but this whole thing is no joke, at least not to me. :(

  11. #50
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    Originally Posted by Vexna
    Two words: Trauma bonding.
    YES! I think this very much spot on applies to her situation! Great article. I've just read it 3 times and it's uncanny the similarities.



    People often stay in abusive relationships because of something called 'trauma bonding' — here are the signs it's happening to you

    Lindsay Dodgson

    Aug. 17, 2017, 6:46 AM 270,101
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    trauma bond
    ian dooley / Unsplash

    People often don't even realise they are in an abusive relationship.
    It can be hard for others to understand why someone stays with an abusive partner.
    It's often because of something called "trauma bonding," where you become addicted to the hormonal rollercoaster an abuser sends you on.
    Those who have never been in an abusive relationship struggle to understand how people remain in one for so long. If somebody was mistreating you, "why did you stick around?" they ask.

    For survivors, this can be a really tough question to answer. The lucky ones escape, and stumble upon articles or books that give them the terms to be able to understand what happened to them, and thus describe their experience. Other times, though, this doesn't happen, and people might not even be aware they were in a relationship that could be classed as "abusive."

    This is because we are conditioned to believe abuse is always physical. On TV and in films, we see characters who are obviously evil. They are violent to their partners, shout at them aggressively, or even murder them in a fit of rage. While this does happen, it's not a true representation of the abuse many others experience.

    According to therapist Shannon Thomas, author of "Healing from Hidden Abuse," psychological abuse is insidious, and it occurs a over time like an IV drip of poison entering your veins.

    It starts with an off-hand comment here, or an insult there, but often victims brush these moments off. This is because abusive people are great at pretending to be everything you're looking for in a partner, and they love bomb you with affection. Victims tend to believe this is the abuser's real self, and when the mask starts to slip more and more, they believe its "out of character" and it must be their own fault for making their partner angry.

    People stay in these relationships partly because they are trying to win back the abuser's affection. However, Thomas told Business Insider that victims also become biologically attached to their abusers through something called "trauma bonding."

    It's like an addictive drug.
    It's a bit like becoming addicted to a drug. A psychologically abusive relationship is a rollercoaster, with punishment and then intermittent reinforcement of kindness when you "behave." This means the body is going through its own turmoil, with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, paired with dopamine when given affection as a reward.

    "You have this back and forth, and the body becomes addicted," Thomas said. "When we’re looking for something that we want, that we once had, which is a connection with somebody, and they are playing cat and mouse where they are pulling it back and forth, then the body really does become dependent on having that approval."

    This hormonal rollercoaster really takes its toll on someone's body. Victims might find they break out in acne, even though they've always had good skin. They might have chest pains. Thomas has said that in her practise she has even seen her clients develop autoimmune disorders.

    "Their bodies start to shut down, and they start really struggling with chronic pain, migraines, and some arthritic type pains and conditions, and they just can’t fight infections as well," she said. "The body really can only take so much stress."

    Victims stay in these relationships despite of the stress on their bodies, because often it isn't clear to them what the problems really are. Through gaslighting, control, and intermittent love, the abuser has their partner backed into a corner of self-blame and desperation of trying to win back the affection of the person they love.

    Unfortunately, for many people, when they try to leave these relationships they are so bonded to their abuser that they return. Others don't try to leave at all, and are only freed from the clutches of the abuse when they are discarded.

    An abusive relationship with a narcissist or psychopath tends to follow the same pattern: idealisation, devaluation, and discarding. At some point, the victim will be so broken, the abuser will no longer get any benefit from using them. They may have totally bankrupted them, or destroyed their confidence, or worse, and they move on to their next target.

    However, once they are gone, the victim — or survivor as Thomas calls them at this point — can finally start coming round to the idea they were abused. They can grieve, and finally see the damage that was being done, and realise it wasn't their fault.

    That's when the healing can really begin, Thomas says, and the survivor can realise that they were targeted not because they were weak, but because they had so much to give.

    These are the signs you might be in a trauma bond with someone, according to Psych Central:
    A constant pattern of nonperformance — your partner promises you things, but keeps behaving to the contrary.
    Others are disturbed by something that is said or done to you in your relationship, but you brush it off.
    You feel stuck in the relationship because you see no way out.
    You keep having the same fights with your partner that go round in circles with no real winner.
    You're punished or given the silent treatment by your partner when you say or do something "wrong."
    You feel unable to detach from your relationship even though you don't truly trust or even like the person you're in it with.
    When you try and leave, you are plagued by such longing to get back with your partner you feel it might destroy you.

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