SyFoster, I really feel for you. I see.
I've known women who have been (someone might still be) in a abusive relationship and trust me they had that whole pride, serious, not making eye contact, not with anyone, def no man and would def no ex. I was like that myself while I was in an abusive relationship and as I was coming out of it. But I don't think anyone could guess that. Often they portray women in movies that when they go through abuse, mental, physical, that they are these little birds with shoulders hanging down and looking down, and while yes that could also be true, the other "image" that nothing-going-on-here can also be. Not saying she is and that is why she has even refused to make eye contact with you, but saying it could be. Also what some people don't seem to know is that narcissists or other people wanting power they can look for social power and that social power exists within religions and so I have met few people who tried to ride on that, that social status, and I noticed that other people automatically thought they were good people just because they were religious and/or had a position within the church, and believe me they were not. They also acted as if they took for granted that everyone would of course give them special treatments because they were good people (and what, the rest of us were not?). If this guy has brainwashed her with his social status, religious talk but in a manipulative way, that could by now (after 5 years) explain why she is so thin which is not her comfy-weight. I think no matter your comfy weight if you move away from that too much there is something too much going on, something.
I for sure think you need help with this, but how? I had a bad break up in the past where I ended up seeing a shrink as he gave me freaken panic attacks at the end of it, he had been abusive and I was afraid of him but showing my fear of him was the last thing I was ever going to do and I was trying to work against my own fear when it got to be too much there for a period, but that was a different matter because I did not love him so it was easier for me to move on in one way, but not from the abuse that took place, that was trickier, way trickier. Even as I knew I did not love him it was still a close call he got me back and that was down to fear and me having a low self esteem and being isolated in a way that there were mainly his enablers, even friend/s that were suppose to be mine were now his and he could manipulate them and did, to get to me. The thing working for him was that as long as I doubted my own voice, my own perseption of reality, he had the upper hand so I actually went to a shrink trying to get help as I was ashamed of myself, thinking I should be stronger than this, and that maybe I had these panic attacks as there was something crazy about me. Had he been able to still keep me while I got the panic attacks he could have convinced other people, and make me doubt my reality, that it was other factors (not the relationship in itself) that had created that and that now he was going to take good care of me, his image would be then strengthen from all this, while my ability would not be, and I knew nobody would believe me in our circles of what he was really like, they did not see the manipulation. For some reason I had a good eye and could see and would fight with him before in the past on how he manipulated other people, but when it came down to myself it was harder for me to see that. The more I saw what an ugly character he was was really when he was off guard, not thinking I could see what he was doing, saying to other people but I had a very strong instinct to see the little things and to get angry and wanting to protect other people. My anger was helping me, it was given me strength but he did not want me angry then of course so he would try to manipulate his way of doing that as well.
When he had first began dating me I was someone fun loving and positive and had lots of friends and good things going on in my life and I was for starters someone who was not desperate to be in a relationship but could at that time very well go without. I would say the mental abuse really got bad the second time around (I had left him once and he would forever punish, hate me for that, but at the time he took on the blame and apologized and got me back. then he was Mr Charming for quite some time, and then when he got me hooked and it would be trickier for me to get out, it was as if he took off a mask. Like he had planned this al along. And that was when it began. I think a part of him got pleasure thinking he could wreck me, but I also think he got aware that he went too far because then he was having trouble getting me back, and I suppose neither of us had guessed I would be able to do that, as then my self esteem was so battered, and this whole world he had built up and too he thought I would doubt my own voice, my own reality, but he had made one mistake. Just one mistake. That was initiating our trial separation (to then only say he had come to the conclusion he wanted to continue, as if he alone called the shots? No way in hell). I came to realize he had never been serious about the trial separation in the first place, it was only an action to help put me down. He had never, through the entire relationship even when acting as if he did not care about me, let me go. He had never let me go. He knew just where I was and what I was doing. Him acting as if he did not care was a role he played, but in reality he would give me things to do and have somehow his friends connected to me, me helping them with some project or me helping care for something else, even if he knew he would be away from me and he always, always had some event or something further ahead that he would tell me about, that we would go together, and there was always something there so I had to finish that something, and then something else (practical) was there that I had to finish and so on. He was circulating around me, but I did not know that, I only knew he was away and I had more "freedom". So he always knew. He had never had it in his head to let me go. It was an act. And I remember telling the shrink that no he had not been interested in me for a long time, had withdrawn from me, had better things and better people to be around and that now he was sick of me, that I irritated him by my presence alone, and so he initiated this trial separation and I thought for sure now it is over, he has found someone else or not, but he has let me go. No. He had for sure not! I think it irritated him that a part of me was harder for him to crack than what he had thought and that I would not take the bite when he would be irritated or angry with me but stay calm, look him in the eye (you always look people in the eye as an equal) and not make his stuff about me, not take on the blame. It had been one of those things when I had been like this silent mirror when he had tried to blame his irritation on me, that was clearly about him and me saying something like "If you feel this way so be it" or something of the sort. I did not make it mine. He hurt me but I did not make it mine. It wasn't my stuff, simple as that. It was his. Had it been my stuff I would have apologized and I remember at first I was so close to even apologize but something inside me just went "No", that I knew this was about him, and how he described me and how I made him feel was not how other people in my past had and would have described me and they, the memory of that, of the good stuff they had told me, and how well I was treated by other people in general, just made me think "No". That he was in clear minority. He had overestimated himself. I also in that moment saw his ugliness and I have later thanked God for that moment because it made me see him for what he really was, not the image he had tried to sell me and the image some enablers saw. I am sure those who saw what I saw were no longer in his life or at best at a clear distance (like one of his parents was who I think knew what he was really about), they weren't there to support me but had they been they would go yea you're right, he's doing ugly things to other people and to you and you should get on without him, best thing you can do for yourself. But they weren't there. I was either isolated or I was with his enablers. And that was it.
That breathing spot I got, that was all I got. But I had to make it count, so that I could get the hell away from him. I am sure had I gone back he would be Mr Charming again for some period, and then again the abuse would start. They want control above all, and they can't get no control unless you don't give it to them but you have to have enough clarity, strength to do that and everyone cracks up sooner or later if they are constantly, and I was constantly, under this mental abuse with no help to get from our surrounding. If I thought I am the weak one, I am the one who has failed him, us, he would still have me in his power. But fortunately for me I went to see a really good shrink who knew abuse when she saw it and knew what had happened to me and told me I was not crazy. He did not know about her. She was in my corner. And so I was standing up. Finally standing up. And then I was out and I never returned.
I have never been as underweight as I was while in the relationship with him and as I was going out of it. I was so underweight that when i was to try something new in a store I could not find anything in my size and the woman working there told me for me to find that I had to go over to the children's department. That was one of the clues I had, one of my Aha moments when I realized he was killing me. he was not around, but I was dying right then and there. I made a decision then and there to start to eat. I had been so wrapped up in everything I had not really studied my body in the mirror.
While in the relationship everything was going on in cycles/phases with him, the whole classic abusive-patterns, these cycles/phases existed no matter what I did, I could not avoid them and he had targeted me so I was being drawn into this even as I was trying to fight it. People thought I was so lucky. That he gave me everything. That how dare I say something bad about him (one time when I did try, a cry for help and my so called best friend turned on me). So if she is stuck in something like that it can be extremely hard for her to get out and just as me and him had the "perfect life", the "perfect image" (he was taking good care of his image, socially, professionally, image was everything) I was so gaslighted I doubted my own inner voice, I had moments when my reality-check was really working, got a good pulse on that one, but then other times when I was sort of in this fog and I couldn't fight it.
Your situation is so different, but perhaps it could help you to talk to someone, maybe someone professional, maybe family, if you haven't tried family so far yet?
Pardon me for "saying" it, but lots of guys do not talk the way I think women talk about their heartbreaks, break ups with other women and I think the way some women talk can help the one going through this really tough period of her life.
There is trauma, heartbreak, and what seem to me obsession. Given it has been 5 years and time is slipping you by, I think the trauma is so deep that you do need help to get to the next step of the process of healing. Some people do this as if it is the most natural thing to do, and I envy them actually, but then again maybe it has not been trauma to the extent then that you have and am going through, as well as stuff I have been through in the past or it has been that I am simply someone who can and have been stuck on one of the steps on my way to healing and just stuck there - for years. I thought "healing" was just something that was suppose to have by itself almost as time went by and so did life and I would forget. I did not have much of a clue, besides I did not know what exactly to do, besides from the ugly stitches I had made myself in a hurry before in the past while stuck in it, but turns out they even got lists for these type of processes and healing.
I understand you only want her back and that would fix everything, but you really have to take care of yourself right now, when you are at the present without her.
Last edited by asearcher : 23-06-2022 at 05:28 AM.