I was never beaten, flung across a room. I was never given a black eye or had anything broken physically – unless of course you could call my heart being broken. That was broken many times. As far as physical assault went I was only ever poked. Poked with one finger, right on the front of my shoulder or sometimes poked on my shoulder at the back, poked and made to rush along. Poked if I couldn’t get the children ready on time, poked if I didn’t have the tea on the table, poked if I wasn’t up to scratch, poked if the house was messy. I was never helped in those moments just poked. I’m sure you consider me lucky because I was never beaten.
I was never beaten just tutted at. The tuts would make me feel guilty like I wasn’t up to scratch. Tut and an eye roll but I wasn’t beaten. I was never beaten but I received silent treatment and smirks. I recognise it now as signs of power control. Those in control like to think they’ve got the upper hand by upsetting your emotions, I think they call it ‘gas lighting’. They have no thought as to how they are making you feel. But I was never beaten, just poked, just tutted at and ignored. Frequently ignored or told I was stupid or asked who I was listening to now and told that I shouldn’t listen. Only listen to him because he was always right.
I was never beaten but I had no control over my own money and if I wanted to go out with friends, I had to “ask.” I was never beaten but I was manipulated, financially raped and left to fall. Left to fall with his children.
I’m sure many women have an ex like mine? He still uses the above tactics. Minus the poking. Still uses the silent treatment, still thinks he’s better than me, still uses the children as a way to keep me in control, he knows that I look after the children and he doesn’t have the same duty. He still controls my money in a sense because he provides the minimum he can to keep himself in bigger things. While I scrimp and put pennies aside. Pennies for our children. I have a life that involves our children, he has a life that involves himself. While I’m struggling for every penny that I have and put our children first, he lives in a luxurious five bedroom house but then he warned me that he wasn’t going to let me live in luxury and that he would see me on my knees. He enjoyed his wedding that cost over 30 grand, holidays three times a year in exotic locations and doesn’t take the children. Except for maybe a holiday every other year, they sit in a villa and do nothing. I’m told that he gives me the silent treatment because he’s filled with guilt. Filled with guilt for financially raping me and neglecting the needs of our children. One of our children has had enough he now stays with me 100% of the time. I worry about those sort of effects upon my child. I know that I still feel the effects to this day. But today I got my child’s school report and it filled me with delight.
I know that many women or indeed men are in my position. We want fairness for our children. We want our children to have a nice life but we see that we are the ones having to make the sacrifices while the other partner makes none. We are the ones turning up for parent’s evening, sports days, extra activities and we are the ones putting our hands in our pockets to provide. We are the ones who tread carefully instead of gushing into our new relationship. I ask myself what would have become of my children if I had done the same? Because I could have quite easily done just that. I was not short of offers and I could have put myself first and let my children tag along for the ride. But who knows I might have had a story about being beaten? It made me sad. Until today when I received my child’s school report. It was a glowing report for my star of a child and it made me think how the sacrifices to my career and social life have been worth while. Through the times of darkness when I’ve questioned whether I’ve made the right choices. Times like today have enhanced in my mind that I have.
It takes strength to stick your ground when you are on your knees. It takes courage to go your own way when you are doubting yourself the most. But for anybody who has an ex like mine. Ok so he never beat you but he tried and succeeded in controlling you. Carry on raising your child the best way that you know how to. Listen to your inner instincts and you won’t go far wrong. I tell myself for what my child doesn’t have they still have me and I do my best.
On a positive note. Single-parenting is a wonderful way to gain control over your own life. It is a wonderful time to get to know yourself and learn exactly what you are capable of. You become the boss of the home and the boss of your finance. I no longer have anybody financially raping me or controlling my finances (ok so there are children). You have nobody to tell you what to do or in my case nobody to poke me. I relish my life for that reason and this week I went out and had my hair dip-dyed because I could. I had nobody telling me that I was far too old to be going for a young hairstyle as my ex used to or nobody telling me how I could spend my money. It took me many years and a battle to get my own freedom. Ok I have not the same freedom as my ex but I’m certainly free from him. I certainly have freedom of choice and I like it very much. I now have a partner who doesn’t poke me but hugs me. I now have a partner who doesn’t tut or think he’s better but encourages me. He doesn’t leave me alone but stands by my side. He talks far too much to ever give me the silent treatment and I’m never having to be careful what I say. He takes everything at my pace and never puts me under pressure. I don’t feel anxiety when I’m near him. I guess sometimes we all need to go through our uncertainty to come out the other side and recognise the certainty.
Who else has an ex like mine???