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Question
Posted by: Beyond Tired | 2007/12/07

Abuse - Compelled - Why?

Hi CS,
I read an interesting article a friend gave me the other day regarding abuse and the help one can seek, for e.g. I did not know there was such a thing as ecnonmic abuse, this is when someone uses your money and doesn't pay. Well this is definitely one of the aspects I experienced with the ex, he has left me financially worse off, I have now taken steps to have myself sequestrated as I ended up selling my property for a loss and cannot currently cope with the amount of debt I have been left with. I have always felt compelled to do whatever he wants, buy whatever he needs or wants, if I didn't it would end up in emotional abuse, I would be called all sorts of things, the worst under the sun and to avoid this and then it perhaps turning violent I tried to give him everything he wants. I get so angry for example when he sends me a please call me because I don't also have the money to keep phoning back, but if I don't he will continue to send please call me's and eventually from other peoples phones as well and then ultimately will pitch up wherever I am and naturally I would be accussed of all sorts of things or run down or things are broken around me. I became so scared that I was even afraid to deny him sex, that I would rather do whatever he wanted just for peace and end up hating myself just that little bit more. I still feel compelled to phone him when he sends a please call me, how does one stop this. I don't want to phone him and feel terrible if I don't, plus I am scared of what might happen. You know he took so much away from me and my children in the financial sense as well that I struggle to make ends meet and I hold him responsible, but I also know it is me, because I allow it, I don't want to, know I shouldn't, but again feel compelled to do it. Why would this be?

He is now out of my life in a way, but harassing me to visit him, I am resisting with all I can, but feel terribly guilty and sad. I wish I could be different and that things were better. I am moving into a new place soon and he doesn't know where it is, however this is no guarantee. He has gotten people to call me for my address, fortunately I have picked up on this and not divulged it, but what if I slip. My little boy is 2 today, we had a wonderful start to the day and he is so cute. I felt compelled to phone "dad" when he sent a please call me, but he didn't really talk much to his son, yeah he is small and probably doesn't understand, but I end up talking to him even though I don't want to and ofcours now he loves me, misses me and wants to be with me. My thought is, what does he want, he probably doesn't have money for booze and so forth. I am actually very scared that I will give in.

Anyway, how does one stop feeling compelled to do what someone else wants/expects from you and you do to your own detriment?

Take Care

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello BT, nice to hear from you again.
Hmm. There are many ways in which someone can hurt, harm, or bother someone else, I'm not sure whether it is always useful to call them all "abuse", especialyl as doing so can dilute recognition of the more major and harmful forms of abuse. In the situation you describe, I'd more see the financial demands and threats as part of the emotional abuse. Most abusers are rather creative in findign different ways in order to harrass their target.
Of course you know there could be no benefit whatever in seeing Him again, and many risks in doing so. What HE wants is irrelevant compared to what benefits you and your child. Dismiss any and all feelings of guilt when they occur to you, recognizing them as reflext habits he carefully trained you to feel. You should have no reason to give your address to ANYBODY else, and no occasion, therefore, to "slip". This man does not love you --- he claims to love you when it suits him, for some other reason and when he wants something. His words, again, are irrelevant compared to his actions, and those don't say "love".
CBT is a good method for unlearning these bad habits, disconnecting the triggers he built into you, and losing those feelings of being compelled to do his bidding.
Happy birthday, indeed, to the little chap !

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Our users say:
Posted by: Twitch | 2007/12/07

Hi there

I really feel for you BT. Please cut contact with this person since you are in a state of discomfort when you think about him, talk to him, see him. It is not your duty to be nice to him. You are feeling bad not him. Please look after yourself. The more he takes residence in your head the longer you will feel trapped and abused by him. Stop contact immediately.

Good luck

Reply to Twitch

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