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dms511
I was married for 18 years. The first 10 years where what you would consider normal. Than for some reason my ex-husband changed. He started going out alot more and drinking...than bam...the cheating starting and he left us (we had two children at the time). That was about 13 years into the marriage. We stayed separated for about 1 1/2, though we would see each other monthly which is where the emotional and mental abuse started as he had a girlfriend during that time too. Once the girlfriend left him he moved back home...but he would continue to go out and yes still cheat. During those times, he would occassionally come home drunk and angry which lead to verbal abuse and sometimes physical. Too this day, I don't know why I even let him come back...but I did which resulted in our third child which he at first denied swearing I was the one that was out cheating. After about a year (to my knowledge) the cheating stopped, but he became addicted to another thing...gambling. Which in turn lead to us loosing our home and we split shortly after and he moved in with another girlfriend.

The above isn't why I come to this forum....I come here because I need help moving past the abuse I was dealt. I have since met a really good guy. But my past haunts me. My self-esteem is ok, although I don't look in the mirror and see what other people do...I am told I'm pretty and sexy...but all I see is plain. I do know that I am a good person and mother (my kids have been my life...perhaps too much). I tend to run and be scared whenever we have a disagreement. He has even told me I kinda roll into a ball and cringe at times. I truly love this man...but feel my past has me stuck. Has anyone else experienced this?
Moonglow
Your exact situation I havnít but being stuck in an abusive past yes. I find itís like you want to be different than you are but you just canít. Itís hard to stop the things like running away from arguments or suppressing emotions. So the easiest thing to do is find a good therapist who you feel can help you and then let them help you work through all the abuse to where you are in a healthier place.

In my own experience I learnt to be afraid of arguments, naturally because they were abusive and hurt, but I learnt to be afraid for self defense. Fear promoted me to avoid the situation. Things like running away or curling into a ball are also self defense or self soothing in the latter case. But the thing is even when the situations werenít threatening anymore I still had that perspective somewhere inside. And I still reacted the same way. The expectation was there for only hurt because thatís all I ever experienced and the pain from the past as well hurt and needed to be dealt with. So in the end itís about recovery. About learning to trust again(building actions that promote healthy trust), itís about changing the perception and expectation. Itís about understanding why you react a certain way and guiding your actions towards a healthier end. Like in an argument rather than run away do the exact opposite. Open up more, try and be honest, and ask for comfort or support. And itís also about dealing with the emotions of the past. Asking someone like your husband for comfort and support and just asking them to listen to you or to talk to you is an important part of recovery. Just to talk even with itís yourself to begin working through it all and began exploring. Began the process of feeling the emotions and changing them to feel something different.

I'm sorry for your past.
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