Life after abuse : It’s probably not ‘just’ you

The way I react to situations I find myself in often do hark back to the abusive relationship. Particularly those times I behave a bit strangely to the outside world.
I’ve been thinking how I’ve dropped a lot of my old behaviours but some do remain.

I wondered if I could share some just in case any woman out there is comforted by the thought they’re not alone. They’re not the only one who has been left behaving in a way that can appear odd to others.
I won’t go through the massive stuff, I’ve droned on enough about that.

I act a bit strangely sometimes. I mean I am a bit weird quirky as it is, but that’s just me. Only some of my behaviour I can reason came from that relationship, the rest is just me, genes and shit? Who knows?!

I dislike the use of my name.
He used my name. A lot. As a warning. If a sentence started with my name things were about to kick off. Even now someone starting the sentence with my name puts me on alert. Thankfully few people use my name, my family and friends shorten it so it’s not a huge issue.

My affection aversion
I don’t even mean a full blown hug. Just a touch of the hand, a squeeze of the arm I’ll back off from. The thing is this. At the beginning, I was vulnerable I’d just lost my mum. He showered me with the affection. I’d never known anyone so tactile. Despite having never really been one for physical contact I grew to like it. I enjoyed the touching, I let my guard down completely. So then when every last bit of affection was withdrawn I yearned for it. I’d try to get him to be happy with me in the hope that a soft, gentle touch would make a comeback. Obviously that would never happen and next time the guard went up it stayed there.

Indecision
I cannot make a bloody decision. Just can’t. If you ask me what I want to do for a day out or what I want to drink or even what bloody biscuit I fancy you’ll get one of the stock phrases.
“I don’t mind”
“up to you ”
” you decide”
I spent so long knowing that when a question was asked it was vital I got the right answer that years later the people pleaser in me doesn’t want to give anyone the wrong answer
It’s daft and must be frustrating as hell for people around me.

Raised voices freak me out
I can’t stand it. In my still a tiny bit messed up head shouting is a warning of trouble. It means escalation and panic and terror. I can’t even stand the kids shouting at one another.

Bed Issues
No not those kind of bed issues!!Though they are plentiful too. Just sleeping. I need to sleep facing the door, which must be open. A habit started in an attempt to give me a couple mins warning of him getting in from work. He didn’t like me sleeping until he got in but this could be 2am in the morning. If I had a head start of a door opening I could wake up quickly.

I know how silly these behaviours must sound. The thing is, once they were a survival technique. It’s hard to snap out of habits that kept you relatively safe.

If you still have habits leftover from unhealthy or dangerous relationships, please don’t be frustrated with yourself. They were necessary once. They’ll fade one day I’m as almost sure.

And, it’s OK. You’re not the only one.
Xxx

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