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How do you get over the grief?


Viridian Dragon
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I need some help. I have a few different problems, but they all seem mixed up and interrelated. I'll try to be clear:

 

I left an abusive relationship over a year ago. I don't want to get into details -- you all seem to know what emotional, physical, sexual, verbal, etc. abuse is. It's been really difficult. I didn't press charges against the b-----d for a variety of reasons, though I'm beginning to question that decision.

 

About 10 months ago I became involved with someone else, and we've just moved in together. He's absolutely wonderful -- he's never once raised his voice or made me feel nervous or threatened in any way. He's helped me deal with some of the stuff I've been going through as a result of my previous relationship.

 

About two months ago, we visited my parents for the weekend so I could introduce them to each other. My boyfriend was wonderful, as usual. My father, less so. He was a jerk to me right in front of my boyfriend, and my boyfriend, although he didn't say anything to my father, tried not to interact with him too much for the rest of the weekend and privately told me that I didn't need to be treated like that, even if it was from my own father.

 

I was pretty upset about the incident. My whole life I feel like I've been trying to please my father, but nothing's good enough! He treats me like a burden and a failure. He hasn't said as much, but I'm pretty sure he blames me for my previous abusive relationship.

 

I've talked to my mother about this, and she told me to confront my father about it. I've confronted my father on other things before, and nothing changes -- he just ignores anything he doesn't want to hear. I didn't confront my father because I was in the middle of exams (summer semester) and didn't feel I could deal with the extra stress at that time. Now the situation is past and I don't want to dredge it up again.

 

However, one of my brothers is starting to treat me in the same derogatory way my father treats me. When I protest, I'm just being "hysterical" or "confrontational" or "whiny". I cut off contact with my brother, after discussing it with my boyfriend. It probably won't be permanent, but I've had enough.

 

I may want to confront my father about this. (After all, if he blames me for getting into bad relationships with men, I wonder if my FIRST relationship with a man had any impact?) The problem is that since I left my abusive ex, I've been financially dependent on my parents. (I'm finishing my last year of university.) My father offered to pay for the rest of my undergrad -- and I work hard at it, getting marks good enough that I might be able to get a scholarship for grad school. But he treats me like a burden and a failure, despite my academic success. I suspect my father of emotional abuse -- I know he can afford to help me (my mother dispelled any doubts I had about that), and I live well below the poverty line. If he can afford it, has offered it, why would he treat me like a burden for accepting his help so I can stay out of debt? What sort of perverse pleasure does he get from being constantly disappointed in me? I'm considering applying for student loans, but the year has already begun, and I wonder if I should just suck it up until I graduate in May.

 

After my father embarrassed myself and him in front of my boyfriend, I've been feeling sad, and after my brother started acting like a jerk to me, it's gotten worse. I feel terrible, worthless, an utter failure. I'm exhausted all the time. I can't even go to class. Everything I do seems like a failure. I think about suicide. I can't stop crying. My boyfriend is his usual wonderful self -- patient, understanding, sweet -- but I can't help thinking that eventually he'll get tired of all this and stop loving me (much like I've been abandoned in the past), although he reassures me that he can't see that happening. Part of my brain knows he's right -- eventually I'll get over this and be happy again, but WHEN? I feel like someone I love has died, like I've been betrayed. I hate myself and life.

 

How do I get over this? I'm scared to talk to anyone -- most of my good friends are either far away studying at other schools, or back in the town I lived in with my ex (which I left when I left him). I also lost a lot of friends while I was with my ex (I'm sure those of you who've been abused will understand), and haven't really been able to make new ones -- at least, not well enough that I feel comfortable talking to them about this stuff.

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Welcome to ENA.

 

You have just opened the door to many friends. I feel for you in your situation but you need to learn to not let others control your attitude, academics and relationships. There is always going to be some form of resistance in our lives and it's how we choose to handle it which will define who we are later in life. Your father probably got tired of telling you to leave the former BF and lost faith in your ability to stand up for yourself. Being a father myself, I can understand his frustration but his disrespectfulness is inexcusable. Do everything you can to break away from being dependent upon him and focus on the positives, like your BF and your goals for good marks in school.

 

RC

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Thanks.

 

Actually, my father never told me once to leave my ex. In fact, when I first became involved with my ex, my father acted like he was glad to get me off his hands -- which I couldn't understand and which hurt me.

 

I didn't even let my parents know about the abuse (I was ashamed and guilty) until after my ex got arrested for assaulting me and the story made the front page of the newspaper (my ex was a sort of high-profile community member).

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Is there any way you can accept your fathers money and not see him or talk to him more than is nesseacary.

That way you get the benifit of him paying for school without too much interferecne with your life.

You could say you are so busy studying that you can't come home too often.

Or look into loans , especially if you are doing really good acedemically you could get scholarships.

I would put some distnace between you and your Dad for now. Have some time for you and your boyfriend to have a healthy relationship together.

Chances are your Dad won't change very much. It's up to you to figure out what kind of life you want to have and what relationship with your dad is healthiest for you.

Have you been seeing a therpist about the past abuse?

I know that people in abusive families tend to accept abuse from boyfriends more readily. HAve you explored that connection with a proffessional ever?

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