Estrangement after emotional abuse
I was married for 24 years to a man much older then myself , an Italian man. I was naive when I met him at 23 and after a whirl wind romance got married. I had a son two years later and that is when the problems started but I felt caught.
I couldn't communicate and my feelings were never really considered. It was a relationship without empathy or reason and certainly a huge lack of support. So I got on with life. I had my daughter 2 years later. I wanted to leave and throw in the towel so many times but there wasn't anywhere to throw it!
I tried marriage guidance counselling twice but somehow he always presented himself as the victim in the eyes of others ..very convincingly with lots of tears. Privately he was a bully and could be really nasty. It was very controlling behaviour and changed for different audiences.
Hecwas much softer on my daughter who faired better, but very hard on my son and I. I was between them a lot. I took financial responsibility for the family for many years and somehow managed to cut off my own desires to get through. My son was very dyslexic too and I worked hard to support and teach him...he eventually did well at university studying music.
But once he left I realised I didn't have to do this anymore and this turned into not being able to do it anymore. I asked my husband to go to counselling again with me but for 5 months he refused.
He promise he was leaving and we agreed to divorce. He told me he didn't love me...in fact he had never in 24 years told me he loved me. He did want control though. I joined a dating site and he went mad. Also because I made it public that I was single. After a huge row in which I thought he would attack me physically I fled the house . The divorce took a year and about 20 thousand pounds to fight for hardly any assets but I got out.
My children were dragged throughout the divorce and as within my marriage I was portrayed in the worst possible light, undermined and a game played, so what friends were told was far far removed from my experience .
Neither of my children spoke to me for 6 months. I rented a flat close by but only had one visit from my daughter ( by then they were 21 and 23) . I had been focused on my career; not really because I wanted to but because my husband liked to eat, drink and be Merry never planning for the future. I felt anxious and responsible for everything but this was portrayed in a different light to the children.
I had abusive emails, more flat tyres than I have had in my life, was followed on the motorway for 40 mins with my son in the car with my ex. I felt like my son was being used as an abusive human shield . ...drawn into the abuse and absolutely unable to cope.
My son has not spoken to me in the 4 years since I left. He seems enmeshed with his father And yet damaged and torn by the years of living in an abusive relationship. My daughter is depressed with low self esteem. I deeply regret not having left when they were young...at the time I stayed for them thinking it was the best thing to do.
I realise now I had no perspective on what normal relationships were like. I am happily single but broken hearted about my son & daughter.
No mother should go through this pain. I feel a certain shame in estrangement ..people can make negative judgements as to why my son wants nothing to do with me.
However I can't begin to describe what years of bullying and hidden abuse does. I hope one day I can reconnect with my son...he doesn't reply although I make contact by text, email or voice message every week.
I move on with my life because I have to and try not to bring this to the forefront of my mind. For others out there women are incredibly strong in spirit and we can survive these ordeals.
My goodness it's tough.
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