Domestic Violence/im a victm of abuse

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QUESTION: hello
im a victim of domestic abuse     he is my second husband, i have 3 kids from a previous marriage

i married him in 2008   he is emotionally, verbally and mentally abusive  also controlling and manipalative
he has many mood swings and i never know what mood he will be in from one min to the next
im lonely isolated no money job or freinds
he treats me like dirt  we never have sex as he says the idea makes him vomit
he orders me about  demands and spends like we have lots of money
he has ran up many debts and owes thousands
he is lazy and never helps around the house
the house is so cold as we dont have heating
he is mean and nasty and blames me for everything
if he cannot find anything  its my fault   he shouts  swears yells at me all the time
has me in tears.
i want to leave  but i have no money
my self esteem has gone
i rarely leave the house
i have been to womens aid    but the shelter wont take in my kids or cats
he hates my kids and cats
i feel trapped
i cant afford a counsellor
theres a waiting list for a council house   but as i joint own this house   im stuck
i couldsnt survive on benefits
we live off his wages   not much
i want a divorce  but feel im trapped forver   please advice

ANSWER: Hi Maryrose,
I'm so sorry to hear of your situation.  It doesn't sound good, but I would imagine that what it feels like is very much compounded by depression.  You have made a very extensive list of why you can't leave and it seems overwhelming evidence.  However in reality, there are some options here but they exist in the realm of things that you don't want to do.

It sounds as if the cats are a hindrance to leaving.  As a cat owner myself, I understand that giving up your animals is very difficult but perhaps you could give them up to an animal shelter that would hold on to them until you can get settled somewhere.  In my area there are animal shelters who work with the domestic violence shelter for just that purpose.  If not, then see if you have anyone in your network - friends or relatives - that would take them so that you can escape your present circumstances.  

I am not familiar with the support services that you have in your area.  Decide what you need to be able to leave - if you cannot live on benefits then you will need to look into other ways of bringing in some income.  Perhaps you can provide in home services such as house cleaning or yard care during the times that your children are in school.

Although you are in a difficult situation, options are available, but they are often things that we would not choose to do if we could find a better option.  It is more tough when the options fall into this category, but when the need to leave outweighs the difficulty of the options, you may find yourself choosing the option.  You might consider going back to Women's Aid and get a complete list of the options that you have and then decide how you might take advantage of them.  Perhaps you have family or friends that your kids could stay with for a short time, I don't know.  Look for short term solutions at this point and once you are out and away, then decide what you need to do long term to take control of your life.

Talk to Women's Aid about attorneys that may do divorces pro bono.  If you have legal aid services, get on the list if there is a waiting list.  Your name will come up at some point.  To deal with the depression, take Vitamin D3 and 5HTP.  That will help you see life more objectively.  

There is no doubt, you are in a tough situation.  Use any means possible to change it.  If he is violent or abusive, call the authorities.  Get out of the house as much as you can so that you don't succumb to the depression.  Decide that you are in control of your life, he is not.  You may need to file bankruptcy and just walk away from the house.  That is an option, but it isn't a very pleasant one.  The saying goes that desparate times take desparate measures...sometimes, more often than not, it is true.  

I truly wish you the best as you deal with this situation.  If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me again.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you for the reply

womens aid did say there is a animal service that takes in pets until the person is ettled  but only  afew available and i would not be allowed to see the cats and id have to pay for them
i have ten  all indoor pedigrees and im devoted to them
i use his wages to pay for their keep

my kids are 18 19 21    2 in university  who come back at weekends for a part time job   all their stuff is here
the shelter dont take pets or kids over the age of 16
i mentioned this subject to my girls  who were against it  saying id be abandoning them and what about the thier job  stuff etc  and if i left id be declarng myself homeless so they said theyd have to leave uni  and theyd be homelss too and never forgive me
it is a very difficult situation
one i know cannot go on for much longer
he has so many debts  im scared he l get baliffs round
he lies   has committed fraud  shoplifitng   steals from work and sells goods on ebay using my name
he works in computers so knows all the tricks
the womens aid do have a free legal service   i have spoke with there solitcitor   who said i can onlt get an injuntion against him with proff of violence
he s not really hit me, but did squeeze my arm once which gave me bruising  and has pushed me and tapped me on the shoulder rather hard a few times    none of which i can proove  it would be hearsay
i have no freinds
i have an elderly dad who lives 15 miles away  a widower  whos house is unsafe  dated and tiny   he does not know any of this  and he would not let me stay  its in a bad state of disrepair    he s not a well man
my husband keeps saying when he dies   he s buying a new car and paying off his debts!
thats my inheritence  there not much
he s on a  waiitng list for a bungalow   which if he  gets would have to sell his house.
i feel trapped
if i got o a shelter   id lose my cats and quite possibly my kids!  all the furniture in this house is mine
he neve4r contributed.
i paly the lotto  but never win
regards

Answer
Hi Maryrose,  This does sound like it is a very difficult situation, however I was struck by the selfishness of your children.  Either they don't understand what life is like for you in this situation or they don't understand that they are old enough to take care of themselves and need to start taking steps in that direction.  

I understand that you are very attached to your animals.  However, as I said before, all these decisions are a matter of priority.  At this point, you have decided that your children and your cats are more important than you are.  If that is where you want to be, then I am not here to change that or argue that point.  However, if and when you begin to determine that your well being is more important than maintaining your current situation, you will begin to change your situation.  You will help your children to understand that they are not dependent on you and that they need to begin taking care of themselves.  The expense for the care of the cats is seeming to keep you tied to a situation that you don't want to be in.  Therefore, you have to change that...either by finding homes for the animals or by increasing your income so that you can take care of them.  

There is always a way to do anything, you just have to be willing to find the solutions and act on them.  

Domestic Violence

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Kriss Mitchell, M.Ed, CRC, CNHP

Expertise

I am able to answer questions with regard to problems that result from emotional abuse or physical abuse in both dating and marriage relationships. Having been in an abusive relationship for many years, I know first hand the feelings, the questions and the doubts we go through as we try to make decisions about our lives. Often victims of abuse have deep faith based concerns regarding staying in these kinds of relationships which I am able to address as well.

Experience

My background started as a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship as well as having family members who were victims of violence and physical abuse. I have gone on to become a professional counselor and I work with abused women.

Organizations
American Mental Health Counselors Association, American Association of Christian Counselors, International Association of Prayer Counselors

Publications
I currently maintain a blog at www.livingwellcc.blogspot.com. I also have links and currently written articles on my website at www.livingwellcc.com. You can also follow me on TWITTER @livingwellcc, or on facebook at Living Well Counseling and Consulting. My writings have appeared in The Good News Northwest and the North Idaho Business Journal

Education/Credentials
Licensed Professional Counselor, Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Natural Health Professional

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