The Great and Mighty Oak

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fightinback
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The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by fightinback » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:00 pm

I’ve put this here in positive transitions because I want to celebrate a small but, I feel, significant victory. However, this is very much about an ongoing abuser, so please feel free to move it if you feel it necessary.

I have now dealt with all my abusers bar one. The others are in the past and I no longer have contact with any of them. I have found forgiveness for them, and have accepted that what happened, happened. They, and their abuse, are in the past and there is nothing I can do today, to change any of it. I feel I have found acceptance because I am no longer prepared to let them have their control over me; and I feel, for me, it was easier to do, because they are no longer in my life. I am no longer in danger from them. I have cut all ties, and the memories can’t hurt me anymore.

My XH is a very different matter altogether though. As much as I would dearly love to, I cannot cut ties with him because we have a 10 year old son together.

XH is very controlling and a bully. I have learnt that I have ‘accepted’ the control from him, for so long, because to me it’s all I’ve known from my abusers in the past. I thought it was ‘life’.

I have always thought of him as being stronger than me, but my social worker and care worker have worked hard with me to help me realise that he is not strong at all. It is apparently often the case that bullies often appear intimidating because they themselves are weak, and need their own control.

My social worker and care worker have instilled in me that ‘I’ am the strong one. ‘I’ am the one who has survived, despite my past. In fact, I feel strong, because of my past.

Anyway....
For the past couple of years (I think?), our son J has been asking for a particular wii game (S), partly because it’s a good game, but also partly, I think, because ‘everyone else has got it’. I have been concentrating on other things like getting him a 3ds, a quality ‘stills’ camera, etc, now he’s old enough to look after them properly. XH has refused to buy him ‘S’ because ‘everyone else has it’. He refuses to bow to that kind of pressure, which I’m ok with, because neither of us want J to be spoilt.

A month or so ago, XH told me he had bought ‘S’ for J’s main Christmas present. I had also already made up my mind to buy another wii game (SG) for J, and told XH.

I don’t celebrate Christmas. I celebrate Yule (on 21st this year), so that is when I gave my present, SG, to J. He LOVES it! He spent all day 21st playing SG. When XH called him later that day, J told him how brilliant SG is. XH spoke to me after and I could tell he wasn’t happy! He accused me of buying J the same game as him.

I explained to him that SG is an upgrade of S, but although the concept is the same... the characters and storylines are very different. Even though to both me and XH both games could be seen as the same thing, J (and his friends) see them as very very different and both are at the very top of his wish list.

On 22nd J continued to play SG, and I played some with him. Later, XH called him, and again J raved at how brilliant SG is. After some time, XH asked J outright if, in his opinion, SG was better than S!. J, as innocent as he is, and not knowing he would be getting S as well, answered yes it was. XH was furious, and slammed down the phone, leaving J really upset and confused about what he’d done wrong.

I had a chat with J. He’s very bright and by this point had worked out for himself that XH had bought him S for Christmas, and felt really bad that he’d upset his dad by saying SG was better. I told J he’d done nothing wrong. All he did was innocently answer his dad’s question, without knowing all the facts. Also told him his dad’s feelings are his own, and J should not feel responsible for them. I realise that’s hard for a 10 year old to take in, but I didn’t want him to feel that guilt. I also felt really angry that XH had unfairly put that pressure on him. He’s just a kid.

I did confirm (I felt I had to) that his dad had got him S and asked him how he felt about it. J was over the moon, but now worried that XH might change the present and he would miss out. He desperately wants them both, and promised me would ‘act surprised’ on Christmas day :lol:

Straight after, I got on the phone to XH and asked him why he left J so upset (as far as XH was concerned, I didn’t know about their conversation, only that J had come off the phone upset and confused by his dad’s anger). XH told me how angry he was that I seem to be ‘playing games’ with him, at being the ‘better parent’ and pulling the ‘better gift’ out of the bag first... and now he would have to go into central London, on Christmas Eve, before he travels down here to the West Country, to change the present.

Yes he really is childish like that sometimes.

I was brilliant! :D

I told XH.....
•I had no intention of competing with him or playing games.
•To put his ego away (yes I did!!).
•Of course J feels that SG is better....... J’s been wanting both games for such a long time, and now he has SG, it’s all he can focus on. He doesn’t have a clue he’s going to get S for Christmas ;)
•I’m all too aware that S will be flavour of the month when Christmas Day comes, and that’s ok with me because... isn’t it true with most people, that when you get something you really really want (or something / anything is new), it’s all you can talk about for days.....weeks....? I know I still do..... and reminded XH that J is still only 10!
•As far as J is concerned both games are completely different, even though they may appear the same to us.
•Both games are top of J’s wish list.
• J was going to get the two presents he wants most, from both his parents.
•Obviously it was up to him if he chose to change his present now, BUT if he did change it, and J ever found out that he could have had it, and then didn’t, J would be more upset than not getting it in the first place..... so if he did take S back, he would never ever be able to tell J.
•And finally, if J didn’t get S for Christmas, he was going to buy it out of his pocket money after Christmas anyway.

XH was very quiet.

I was very scared! I was waiting for him to explode!

But he didn’t. Guess he was stunned :lol:

I have never, ever stood up to him like that before. Wow! Took some convincing but J would still be getting S for Christmas...yay!

Then I told XH (because as far as XH knows, J doesn’t understand why XH was angry), I now had the task of ‘making something up’ to tell J, to explain why XH had been so angry earlier. XH insisted on doing that himself (oops!), and made up some cr*p about his license plates on his car being stolen, had replaced them, and while he was on the phone to J, ‘thought’ someone was trying to steal them again.

J’s chance to shine....

J knew his dad was making it up... but went along with it anyway :lol: XH explained everything, then J, bless him, started asking loads of questions, getting XH to explain the same thing over and over! Talk about XH digging a hole for himself :lol: :lol: :lol:

Really really hope this has taught XH to think before he acts in the future. He may have denied it being his ego, but hopefully, I’ve planted a seed.... AND I’ve stood up to him :D

All I had in my head was there was NO WAY I was going to back down and apologise for something we’d discussed a short while ago....AND for making our son happy! It’s a shame J knew what he was getting, but I explained to him, that now he’s older, that will happen more and more anyway, as he will become harder to buy for, and people will want to make sure they get him what he wants.

....And more importantly, because I have been very open and explained everything along the way, J no longer feels that guilt.

I told my care worker what had happened. She told me that now I am stronger, and feel able to confront him (albeit on the phone with some distance between us), the dynamics have changed. She said it is most likely he was stunned into silence because I have never challenged him before, and she has warned me to look out for other instances where he might try to regain that control, because he needs to (as a child does) find out what the new boundaries are.

He has already tried. When XH collected J on Christmas Eve, he told me he didn’t know when he would be bringing J back, just ‘some time later this week’. This is something that would previously have had me really upset and needing to know at least, ‘which day’. This time though... I just said “Ok, have fun, see you when I see you!” (XH has already told me previously that he needs to be back in London by Monday lol). ....and I actually feel ok about not knowing. I know his dad wont hurt him physically, and I can help J with the ‘mental’ stuff when he gets back.

I have no doubt there will be many more attempts from XH, and I must stand strong now.

I do feel stronger, and I have a new goal.

I long to be like the great and mighty Oak, standing strong, and powerful against everything that is thrown at it; and yet still offering protection to anyone who needs it.

XH has been ‘my’ Oak Tree (without the protection) for too long! ....and he is getting smaller and weaker. Yay
FB Delicately changing my name because I don't need to fight anymore.

Be true to yourself
Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it

becomingbutterfly
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Re: The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by becomingbutterfly » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:41 am

Good for you, fightinback. You go, girl. :) My little brothers are huge on video games-DS, 3DS, Wii, and saving up for an xbox720 when it comes out. So what you say about the games makes perfect sense to me-later versions of games are totally different from earlier versions, but they all are awesome.

I hope you had a lovely Yule.
"Isn't it bewildering…that everything is so beautiful, despite all the horrors that exist?" ~Sophie Scholl

Magical Thinker
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Re: The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by Magical Thinker » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:41 am

((((Fightenback))))
Congratulations! Well done.

Love,

Magical Thinker

fightinback
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Re: The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by fightinback » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:32 am

Thanks becomingbutterfly and Magical Thinker

Yes we did have a great Yule. Thank you. Hope you all had a good Christmas.

becomingbutterfly... you sound like you're a big fan too ;) There's nothing I like more sometimes, than sitting down with J and playing on the wii together. For me it's not about the game though.

Do you want to know something funny! There's a reason why XH thought both games sounded the same. He bought SG! so he's got to change it anyway. He's an idiot :lol:

Had a phone call from my son yesterday. He's really enjoying himself playing with his cousins (less time with dad)!... but can't believe it. He was really really upset on Christmas day and desperately wanted to phone me. XH wouldn't let him! XH wouldn't even give him a hug. J had to ask his aunt. It's things like that, that make me angry.

Usually J takes his mobile with him, so he can phone me if he needs to. This time I forgot to pack it. Told J, if he gets upset again, to hug a pillow, and it'll be me hugging him back.
FB Delicately changing my name because I don't need to fight anymore.

Be true to yourself
Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it

Fleur
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Re: The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by Fleur » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:19 am

Wow!! Fightinback, I am so impressed with your posting here. What a truly great and mighty oak you are

Thank you for sharing such an exciting part of your journey

Really happy that you have made such positive transitions

You sound a very insightful Mother. J is blessed

If ok, I send a congratulatory hug - well done, Fightinback

Kind regards
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

Jonesy
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Re: The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by Jonesy » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:08 am

Waaaaaaay to go fightinback!
Bursting to open my window and cheer loudly on your behalf... hope you hear me from up here.
You are important

Email: jonesy@isurvive.org

fightinback
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:36 pm

Re: The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by fightinback » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:38 pm

Thank you ((((((Jonesy)))))) and ((((((Fleur))))))

Hugs are always very welcome. I LOVE hugs :D So does J :D He's getting a very big one when he gets home.


XH is still testing me.

Through J, I learnt that the duplicate buying is now my fault. Apparently XH planned to give J SG all along. Wow. Honestly didn't see that one coming. It did make me angry, but... I'm not going to do anything about it (yet).

I've only heard this through J and, as much as I believe what J is telling me, if I approach XH now, he will deny it, make J feel bad, and potentially ruin the last few days of J's time there. He will also hit back at me and knock my confidence, which is what this is all about anyway. I will keep it in mind, and if XH brings it up with me, then I know I can say something with confidence because I've had chance to think it through; and without J (or potentially any other relatives, where they're staying) being involved.

Not that long ago, I would have reacted to this without thinking. Wow! That's something I've done a lot throughout my life... react, get knocked back, then spiral deep down into depression. A legacy from my past, where bullies have controlled me, and played with me like a toy. ...Now, it's staying in the past where it belongs.

It's so not easy, but I'm holding the Ace card at last. I'm in control. And that makes me happy :D

This mindful stuff really works :D (and I haven't even started the course yet!). Just found out this week that my care worker will be running it :D :D so I know I'll be in very good hands. I've learnt so much from her already.



Hearing you loud and clear Jonesy. Can you hear my WOOOOOO HOOOOOOO back?


WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO :lol: :lol: :lol:
FB Delicately changing my name because I don't need to fight anymore.

Be true to yourself
Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it

Fleur
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Posts: 13378
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:23 am

Re: The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by Fleur » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Ahhhh!! Well done (((Fightinback)))

From what you wrote, it is clear that EH thought he bought one game, you the other

Coming from a sense of power, you can remain cool, calm, collected when or if he mentions anything - your anger has time to flare, be dealt with , so clarity of thought can occur

I am glad you and J like hugs. Also happy for you both that you share in playing games - the actual games I mean - not the mind tripping stuff

English is such a dynamic language, sometimes even most innocent remark has double or multiple meanings

Just a random thought - if you loosely script your conversation in a few ways, imagining various reactions/responses, might it help to retain calmness by having some "lines prepared earlier"?

Each topic will be different, naturally. My H has a few "pet" remarks designed to put me in my place, which is to say he is always correct/superior

Does not always happen that I can state my position fairly - anger and other things cloud issues - but I figured if he could use same old lines, then so could I

Pleased you have mindfulness working for you - your worker must be a lady of many talents: counselling, teaching for start

I hope you enjoy course and discover you have many ways of handling difficukt situations

Feel sad that your son is caught up in adult circumstances. Think J shall grow into very steady oak sapling, able to fleibly bend in stressful times but never break as he has your loving protection

Can you see how far along your healing pathway you have progressed? Seems awesome to me

Shall we celebrate by dancing on the city's rooftops?

Excited for you
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

Fleur
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:23 am

Re: The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by Fleur » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:35 pm

P. S. I omitted the "x" in flexibly bend - in case you were wondering
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

fightinback
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Re: The Great and Mighty Oak

Post by fightinback » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:30 pm

Thank you Fleur

I hadn't thought about lines that he uses. I think I've been so caught up in myself before now, I've just reacted. I'm going to have to listen very carefully. It really is an interesting thought. Thank you. It's sad that our abusers always 'have to be right' ;) You've done well to recognise the same lines in your own H, and I applaud you for throwing the same tactics back at him.

You've reminded me that my social worker told me to try using the same lines..."become a broken record, and they'll get bored". And never ever give a reason, because it gives them something to cling onto and fight back with. Just say "No...I'm not going to/I wont etc" Never "I can't" because that also gives them a reason. She said it works very well with her own H :lol: ...and the "No you're not having", works well with kids too :lol:

As for my own rehearsed lines. I've never done well with that before, but who knows. I feel like I'm waking up and seeing the world differently. I can be whoever I want to be. Maybe it might just work if I try it now.

English is an interesting language. I've often wondered how people actually go about learning English as a second language. Boy it must be so confusing. I applaud them all.

And.... when I talk of the 'past' in my last post, I don't just mean the 'distant past' of the SA, EA, rape etc. I'm also talking about last week! It was only 6 days ago that I first stood up to him. Wow. Every day is truly a new day. A potential to make a new start. Anything can happen if we make it. How cool is that 8-)

My care worker, gp and I often talk about how far I've come. I think my care worker's favourite line is "In x weeks, I'm going to remind you of this, and you will see how far you've come". Unless something significant happens like this, I don't tend to see huge differences but... if I look back to when I started this healing journey, boy what a difference! Sometimes I have to just force myself to look back, and that gives me a boost.

I can so see major differences in people here too. We are all growing. And we're doing it together. I think it really helps sometimes to be reminded of how we used to be at the start of our healing journeys, but not too much that, it's all we're focused on! We have to look forward too ;) We are all making powerful differences every day, no matter how big or minute. Every single.... 'thought' even... counts. It all adds up....like pennies. You can't have £1 if you don't have all the pennies to get you there. Every single penny counts.



I too feel sad that J is caught up in this but, it is also helping him in so many ways. He is only 10, and very sensitive himself, but he is so so smart. He can see clearly the games (not wii :lol: ) his dad is playing, and 'plays along' with it himself. He's brilliant! The way he handled his dad's story about the car licence plates, was so so funny.... and there are many other instances just like that one.

The poor kid has already suffered at the hands of bullies at school. I changed his school about 3 years ago, after he was held down on the floor and kicked and punched by four boys. Despite the four boys admitting to it, and writing letters of apology, the deputy head managed to convince all 5 of them, that they were all lying and it didn't happen, because there "was no bullying in their school" :roll:

He has had a bit of trouble in his 'new' school, nothing serious, and has handled it very well (on his own). And only in the past term really, I've seen his confidence grow so much; he now stands up to his dad, and the kids at school in a much more confident way. He is truly blossoming, and I am so honoured to be there with him right now. His teacher has also noticed, and is very proud of the young man he is becoming. Despite being one of the youngest in the class, his teacher has told me, J is also one of the most mature. He has no worries about J going up to secondary school next September (unlike some of the others :lol: ).

XH will learn the hard way in all this if he carries on, because J will tell him he no longer wants to see him. It's starting to happen already, with J telling him over the phone he would rather carry on playing, than talk to him. XH will lose his son if he doesn't start being nicer to him, and yes, I do feel sad about that, but it's J's decision, not mine. I've always encouraged J to make his own decisions, and be there for him totally if it doesn't necessarily go his way. Despite the EA, I've had personally from XH, I've also spent so many (too many!) years trying to help J see XH's side, making excuses for XH, trying to keep their relationship alive. I can't do that anymore. It's up to them now. J is old enough to know what he wants, and make his own decisions. And he knows I will always be there for him, whatever the outcome. It's time now for XH to stand up, and be a man!

In a way I am glad J is seeing this and being a part of it. My own abuse made me the person I am. His abuse, and a supportive mum, will turn him into an even more amazing kid than he is already :D He will be one very great and mighty Oak tree :D .
FB Delicately changing my name because I don't need to fight anymore.

Be true to yourself
Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it

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