Family and Friends Forum

Social isolation

Tink

Member since
April 2019

1 post

Posted Sat April 6, 2019 7:02amReport post

Does anyone else struggle with the isolation? I suppose I have come through the other side of my husbands offensive and we are now dealing with the payback order and rebuilding our lives; I never realised how much of an affect it would have on everyday life - from things like finding new employment for him, to increase costs for car insurance, house insurance etc to childcare where he has been asked by nursery not to collect my child. The thing I struggle with is the unfairness of it, like I am being punished for something I never did; I had no idea what had been going on and when the police / social services eventually told me 24 hours after the arrest I have never been so shocked in my life, my world fell apart in that moment. For my own reasons although I did separate for a few months and relocate my little one and me; I decided to try and work through and rebuild our family but I am struggling with how to rebuild my life socially, I don’t know if anyone else is in the same situation where they have lost friends who they considered close friends who either supported you through the early stages of dealing with what has happened or made it clear that they couldn’t cope with what had happened and have ‘ended’ their friendship. I struggle with forming new friendships but never know how to deal with what my husband has done; I don’t want to broadcast what has happened and am still living in the same area therefore I want the minimum of people to know but it feels like a lie that your new friends don’t really know you or you have to ‘hide’ aspects of your past or ‘lie’ about things like if social services are over for a visit, or the police turning up for their checks; so when someone asks how was your weekend I don’t particularly want to say actually my Friday night was spent with the police checking my husbands electronics and then Sunday was spent with my children while he is at community payback. Following the birth of my newest little one I’ve recently been diagnosed with post natal depression and joined a local group on Facebook but have yet to go along to a meeting as I don’t know how to ‘share’ or if I want to due to the impact it could have; a few of the members have connections through the nursery etc. Is anyone else struggling with the social side and how are you getting through it?

Maria

Member since
September 2018

259 posts

Posted Sat April 6, 2019 7:36amReport post

It's very hard to get used to a new way of living, trying to work out how things will work and how to have a normal life. I feel like my freedom has been reduced, I've stepped back from social situations. Luckily I wasn't overly sociable before, in some ways I like the fact i have to say no if I'm invited out. Yes the feeling of living a lie takes some getting used to, and wherever I go someone seems to bring up the subject of sex offenders or similar, they have no idea what's going on in my life but for a split second I worry. My partner is hopefully moving back into family home soon so that kind of restricts me and life we need to find a new balance. I still socialise during the day and just don't mention my personal life in any way, just talk about the kids and family life as though it's normal. I put no pressure on myself to make new friends, you don't need to be best mates who know all about each others lives. My very close friends know and remain our best friends. Some days i feel really angry that I have been handed a sentence for a crime I had nothing to do with, it's something that will take time to move on from. Dont hide away and dont put so much pressure on yourself. Go along to the meeting, go to baby groups, get out and enjoy yourself, yes we have to keep a little secret but everyone does that for example no one chats with new friends about domestic violence, mental health, or any other issues in their lives. Go and chat about your kids and other things. For me i guess i divide friendships into different categories, family friends who know and we can all socialise together, mum friends who I socialise alone with and hardly talk about my personal life and I would never tell, and others who i talk to but assume im unsociable because i always so no to social events. Taking steps to resolve the post natal depression will hopefully help to make you feel better and more confident.

Onwards&upwards

Member since
October 2018

375 posts

Posted Sat April 6, 2019 7:38amReport post

Hi Tink

I am nearly 4 years post Knock & it is the isolation I have struggled with the most. It is flipping unfair isn't it?! I had no idea what he was doing & been a law abiding moral citizen all my life yet I have to be mysterious about my past to protect my children from his crime.

I lost friends through all this too & have seriously struggled to make meaningful connections with new ones: I am building a support network though. I am also developing a tougher skin & am prepared to choose to distance myself from people who don't support me in the way I need them too. I tell enough of the truth so I don't feel I am lying but nothing which could be gossip.

As you have a little baby New Mummy Support is sanity saving therefore it would be great to meet up with them. Look this is just a suggestion from what you have said: I get the impression your partner is taking positive action to address his addiction & finding moving forward hard. Could you maybe "confide" in a couple of the Mums that your partner is struggling with depression, which he is getting help for (you can even say he attends a Self Help group) but it is tough on you sometimes as you are under a lot of pressure to keep him/your children cared for. Some weekends you "didn't do much really" nice & vague even though actually stuff happened. Mental Health is something generally people don't ask too many questions about but lots of people understand how much it affects family life. It can even explain why he can't do nursery pick up as you could say he "simply can't"...friends will start rallying around. Then when you learn who you can really really trust then you can tell them Why he is depressed: layers of an onion but you have been as authentic as you can be.

Our world's are different but we can be happy xx

Rainbow

Member since
January 2019

153 posts

Posted Sat April 6, 2019 10:28amReport post

Hi Tink

I feel the same. Those friends that do know only know part of it but I feel I have to keep my head down as they may say things to people. I feel I cant be myself and I'm being judged by social services. There is no right or wrong way to deal with this otherwise the professionals would give us a sheet to follow. I had a stupid conversation with SS. They just want to hear the correct things never mind that I do know how to safeguard my children etc. There will always be a risk, not by my husband but by everything in the world. Crossing the road is a risk etc. Does that make me a bad parent? Sorry going off on one here lol x

Rainbow

Member since
January 2019

153 posts

Posted Sat April 6, 2019 10:30amReport post

Maria, can I ask, you say your partner is moving back. How did SS take it? Has his finished his sentence? Is he still on sex register?

Maria

Member since
September 2018

259 posts

Posted Sat April 6, 2019 1:23pmReport post

Yes my partner is on the sex offenders register and has only recently been sentenced. His offence is a communication one not images. We have always been honest about wanting to remain a family, it's been a really difficult time and social services have been a nightmare at points. Since the start he has had access supervised by me and will remain supervised when living at home. Social services give no advice or help we have worked very hard to get to this point, I'm not going to get over excited until hes actually home. I've had to challenge social services a few times but have always done everything they have asked and more.

Madeleine

Member since
November 2018

38 posts

Posted Sat April 6, 2019 11:22pmReport post

I do think sometimes it would be so helpful to be able to meet up with the other women in our shared situation. I have lost all contact with my grandchildren whom I saw regularly and it leaves a big hole in my heart and life. It’s hard to read of mums struggling with young children alone and I would love the opportunity of being able to help, without the assumption of guilt by association for deciding to stay with my partner. Even though we has absolutely no idea, and had our worlds turned upside down it does feel as though we women serve a sentence all of our own.

SallyBlue

Member since
March 2019

83 posts

Posted Mon April 8, 2019 11:14amReport post

Tink, I'm over 4 years in and I still struggle everyday. I still get angry and frustrated as to why I have this massive burden to bear and he gets it so much easier!

I used to have friends, now I don't. My best friend who stuck with me during it all text me when she was drunk saying my life is too dramatic for her and its stressed her out and made her sick. It really annoyed me as I rarely spoke to her about it, her problem really was I couldn't drop everything to go drinking with her or take her places. I suffer anxiety so making friends isn't easy for me especially in my 30s!

When it comes to school I have to take the kids, pick them up, go to parents evening on my own etc and I hate it. I never got a lie in as I always had the kids yet he could sleep all day if he wanted. Until I started my voluntary work it was a long day every day in my own company. Even planning certain things is tough, some family members refuse to acknowledge his existence so I cant take him with me to places. It makes weddings, birthdays and funerals very difficult. I see everyone with their other half and I'm there like a little loner.

With your PND everything can be amplified, I speak from experience as I had it bad after my eldest, so you're going to feel it. Visit your doctor or health visitor whenever you need to. It's a horrid illness that feeds on your insecurities.

Bethlou23

Member since
December 2018

383 posts

Posted Tue April 9, 2019 9:15pmReport post

Hi all,

i am completely with you all. Life has been completely hard this week. I am really struggling getting back to work and feel that my husbands offence is being used though not directly said. I really want to be back to my normal life to be earning money and not off sick. I am going to have to get the union involved. I truly feel very uncomfortable. I Know now I am going to ha r to look for another job but it feels bad when I wanted to go back to work but they are not accommodating me.

I also feel the stress sally as a single parent. Yes I have a mum who is lovely but she never asked to be a second parent to my daughter. I really don’t want to take advantage of her.

I had the knock on December so been off for four months and into the 5th one it’s still very raw.

I am not living with my husband we have separated. I will apply for a divorce soon as I think he and I can cope with that added stress. The relationship as it was has broken down but it’s so painful I can’t just move forward.

Bethlou23

Member since
December 2018

383 posts

Posted Tue April 9, 2019 9:19pmReport post

Tink

my doctor has been so supportive and kind to me. She has to abide by the rules of professional conduct and confidentiality. She had been so helpful. Sally is right it might be worth going to speak to them about your feeling.

My real name is Sharon

Member since
November 2018

3 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 1:17amReport post

My knock came around 7am on Friday 27th Sept 2018, when getting ready for school run, I answered the front door in my nightie with my 10 year old daughter behind me, wondering what on earth was happening. I thought it was some sort of joke. Since that time, our lives have changed beyond measure. I somehow got my daughter to school after they had arrested my husband whilst she ate her breakfast in the kitchen. I came home from school run to numerous forensics going through every cupboard, drawer and wardrobe in our house. The police officer left behind then told me of his charge and my life, as I knew it, fell apart. I thought they would take my daughter away from me - my first and I hope, only every brush with the law - I was so confused by his charge and it's ramifications. I complied with everything they asked and I must say, they were professional and kind. After some hours, my husband returned home and told me a fraction of what he wanted to tell, he was delusional and still lying to himself at that time. We all still reel from this. Very soon after this I had to tell my daughter that Daddy had done something very silly, that I was very cross with him and he was going to live at her Aunties. A few weeks later I then had to tell her this couldn't be fixed, Daddy would never live with us again and yes, we were getting divorced. She does not know he cannot legally live in our family house and have unsupervisered contact with her - I would hate her to figure this out.

Now Easter 2019 approaches. Still no news from the police and as desperate as I feel, I think of the images these men view, the lives these children, have to live. I find this really hard to separate as the majority of offenders have children of their own and that some are very unlikely to do anything against their own so why do view it on others. Their morals and values are so contorted it is so hard for partners to comprehend.

As the mother to a daughter that I love dearly and have watched her family life fall apart, social isolation is so hard. Not a conversation you strike up over coffee. Continual lying over why a 20 year relationship has ended so quickly. Losing your best friend at the drop of a hat. Not being able to answer "what did Daddy do that was so wrong".

What an utter pile of crap we are left to deal with...Sorry for my negatives, I will heal, I know I will and so will we all xx

Andrea

Member since
September 2018

165 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 5:44amReport post

Sharon - thank you for sharing your story. I don’t know how you have coped waiting so long but it sounds like you are doing amazingly well caring for your daughter. Things moved more quickly through the courts for us and my children had just become adults but I identify completely with your emotions. I cannot understand how on earth he could have looked at those images especially considering he has a daughter of his own and he knew what the consequences of being caught would be yet was prepared to sacrifice his family. My heart aches for the children in the images. So many damaged lives.

Everyone says that we will survive and that it will get better. I still can’t see that at the moment but I hope you are right. Wishing you and your daughter much love. Xxx

Onwards&upwards

Member since
October 2018

375 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 8:04amReport post

Hi Sharon

It is such a tough situation to live with & we can't be my to our friends like other women can who have decided to divorce our parents...you are not being negative by opening up here as we do understand.

I still struggle with the man I knew in the real World & the person he became online. My ex didn't tell me the full extent until Court. The affect on their own children's childhood is instant as soon as the Knock happens. And it feels overwhelming to think about the innocent victims in the photos.

Reading your story so similar to mine I wish I could meet you for coffee, provide a non judgemental ear, share the unfairness of our situation & the positives I have build for myself Post Knock xx

Tracey

Member since
December 2018

333 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 9:43amReport post

Hi everyone

I'm the same, social situations are really tough for me but I was a real people pleaser and found it so difficult to say no to anything, this situation has made me day no for my own sanity so that's a positive for me, one in an ocean of lies and deceit!

I'm also so so lucky as I've recently made contact with another lady going through the same, but different if you know what I mean. We meant and just hugged, it was like she knows and actually makes me tearful just writing this. Anyway we've met once and walked our dogs for a couple of hours and we're meeting again in a couple of weeks. Having someone understand is amazing, I said it many times but I wish we could ask meet and help each other. I have a picture in my mine of what you all look like and I'm probably totally wrong!!

Stay strong lovely people, it's tough, it's crap and it's wrong that innocent people are involved but in my case I'm glad because those poor children have got one less person (my husband) looking at them, as I know you all feel the same but the fallout!!!

Xx

Andrea

Member since
September 2018

165 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 12:31pmReport post

Yes - it would be so lovely to be able to meet. As this crime is so common I often think maybe I already know someone in the same situation but as we are unable or unwilling to share our stories we don’t make the connection we really need. Perhaps some of us here already know each other ‘in real life’ but just don’t realise it. X

Jayne G

Member since
March 2019

107 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 1:21pmReport post

Andrea, that's SUCH a good point. I honestly had never thought about the fact that someone I know might be going through this. I must confess that, before this happened to me, I probably would have judged another woman in my shoes - how could you not know it was happening? Why are you still with him?

It's been a rough week for me. My step children still have no idea that Daddy is in trouble, or that he can't be with them unsupervised; I'm supervising contact and they're none the wiser, which is good. I still can't shake the feeling of claustrophibia in my own house - I can't even go for a wee without forward planning to make sure that the kids aren't left alone with their Dad.

I also decided therapy wasn't helping this week - my therapist said that, if my partner has been looking for gratification elsewhere, it means there's something missing from our relationship and that I need to take a look at the attention I'm giving him. I.e. this is MY fault! I took that really hard, but have reflected on it since our session and I can't go back there to be told that his poor actions are my fault.

Bethlou23

Member since
December 2018

383 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 3:08pmReport post

Jayne

thats sounds so wrong. You are not responsible for another actions only they are. I feel my husband had an intimacy disorder and was so secretive as he never trusted his parents growing up and just couldn’t break that cycle when he had everything he needed!!! I don’t blame you for not going back. As onwards and upwards have said earlier you need to shop around for good therapy.

Sharon welcome to the forum. Ask anyone anything and don’t feel bad about being negative sometimes we have to let the anger out.

tracey so pleased you have found an Alliance in another, especially if you can go dog walking together.

i hope one day this mental disorder won’t be so stigmatising and the men can get help earlier. But unfortunately sometimes they have to hit rock bottom to really understand how morally wrong their actions were

xxx

Bethlou23

Member since
December 2018

383 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 3:13pmReport post

Andrea.

i think your right given the sheer numbers of men committing this offence we must know others in our position. Even if it’s a friend of a friend. I think ea h and every one of us have become more empathetic and non judgmental since this has happened to us. I also feel we say we are survivors as if we didn’t survive we would become bitter and life is too precious to treat others with anger at the world.

Tracey

Member since
December 2018

333 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 4:56pmReport post

Jayne

I can't believe anyone would say that, I'm so sorry to hear it and it must have knocked you.

The insensitivity of that person is astounding and they obviously have not idea about our situation and what it involves.

Please don't think you are ever to blame, you are not, you are innocent!!

Much love xx

Andrea

Member since
September 2018

165 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 6:20pmReport post

Jayne - I am so sorry to hear of your experience. That really was not a helpful response from your therapist and I think you have taken the right decision to leave. I do hope you find some more understanding support elsewhere. I know how hard it is not to be blaming yourself and although I still find it hard not to feel guilty my sensible head tells me that none of this was my fault. I hope you can recognise that you are in no way to blame. Even if there are problems in a relationship he did not have to deal with it in the way he did. Sending you love and support. X

Onwards&upwards

Member since
October 2018

375 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 7:17pmReport post

On Wednesday I had a meeting with my youngests Primary School Head Teacher. She gave me no details whatsoever but did share that there is another family in the school dealing with the exact situation I am. I have not been able to get this anonymous woman out of my head! She is a Mum who I understand has recieved no support & has felt very isolated/judged. We have kids in the same school AND she has an older one in the High School mine will be going to. I want to speak to her...actually no, it's more than that, I want to be her friend!!!

The first counsellor I met said to me just after I found out the charges for the first time "so the main purpose of our sessions is to help you come to terms you were married to a Paedophile" errr what? She attached the P word to the father of my children...kind blown. She also said to me that unless I addressed the underlying reasons why I chose him in the first place I'd meet another bad one. Needless to say I stopped seeing her. After 1 further mismatch I met a fabulous counsellor who gave me a safe place 1 hour a week for 9 months to begin to process what had happened & how I wanted to live life forward. I have been back for 4-8 week blocks a few times since. None of this is down to anything we did or didn't do: respect these mens autonomy...their choice made without influence or prior knowledge therefore it is not on us. I hope you don't give up on counselling as it can be positively powerful.

Onwards & Upwards xx

Andrea

Member since
September 2018

165 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 7:49pmReport post

Onwards and upwards - will the teacher be able to help you connect with this other lady? I am sure she probably feels the same way and would appreciate your support and understanding. The isolation is one of the worst things to deal with and I know I have distanced myself from friends because of the situation. X

Jayne G

Member since
March 2019

107 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 8:37pmReport post

Onwards & upwards, well done on persevering and finding a counsellor who was right for you. At the moment I think I’m still too angry to go back to the drawing board at this stage. I will, but not right now.

I think the thing I found the hardest was that this was meant to be a professional, non-judgemental person, and being judged by her just made me think I don’t stand a chance with the chance of not being judged by anyone else. Does that make sense?!

This forum really is a godsend and I genuinely appreciate all of you ladies.

The situation with the school must be really hard - surely there must be a way of them connecting the two of you, if you both consent to it? Xx

Madeleine

Member since
November 2018

38 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 9:54pmReport post

It would be so helpful to be able to meet up with eachother. I wish LF could arrange some kind of safe get together for us.

Onwards&upwards

Member since
October 2018

375 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 10:27pmReport post

I am not sure if she could due to the whole confidentiality thing to be honest: this afternoon I emailed the Head Teacher giving her my mobile number to pass on but I think it is going to be no. It is 2 weeks of Easter Holidays now though so it'll be interesting to see if anything happens when we get back xx

Onwards&upwards

Member since
October 2018

375 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 10:37pmReport post

Hi Jayne G

A good counsellor will never make you feel judged or actually give advice. This is your journey not theirs so their role is to be sounding board, reflect back key points (picked up through verbal or non-verbal communication) & paraphrase what you say to provide YOU clarity. Once a trust relationship is established then it might help you to be challenged to give you an opportunity to explore how that feels in a safe place: prepare you so you can deal with it if it happens in another environment...however your counsellor either professionally misjudged the timing of pushing you out of your comfort zone OR acted unethically within the therapeutic relationship by making an inappropriate statement. Either way they have lost a client.

I hope you do feel able to reach out again when you need extra support xx

Tracey

Member since
December 2018

333 posts

Posted Fri April 12, 2019 11:05pmReport post

My counselor said on 2 occasions that my husband was a sociapath, I found that really judgemental, she didn't know him and didn't appear to understand the situation even though she's worked with sex offenders and men in the same situation as my husband!!

I'm now waiting for counselling through relate which isn't about my marriage which has broken up but is about trying to help me move forward!

Xx

Mabel

Member since
June 2019

71 posts

Posted Mon June 17, 2019 12:39pmReport post

Hi Tink

wow I could have written your post myself! It really sums up everything I feel.

I really really struggle with social situations, tho like you I haven’t told many people and since my son is 11 now we don’t have play dates anymore luckily.

I confided in one friend who promptly dumped me never to contact me again!

I absolutely dread anything at my son’s school as I’m not sure if my friend has told anyone else & I literally feel sick if I have to got school! His sports day was cancelled last week and I was really pleased! Sounds terrible but I was absolutely dreading it!

I just manage by keeping a very low profile and luckily I’m not bothered about this at all, but it is very very hard pretending everything is fine with my few close friends, who don’t know. I am so scared to tell anyone after my friend dumped me.

I keep myself busy in the house and watch lots of rubbish tv during the day!

This probably hasn’t helped you much but I completely know how you feel 100%

Mabel x

Bubble

Member since
February 2019

16 posts

Posted Fri July 5, 2019 5:18pmReport post

I wanted to reply to say i've isolated myself purposely. I don't believe it's particularly healthy or the 'right' option but it's an option that's helping me to survive at the moment.

I confided in a couple of friends, another 'friend' found out via his 'connections' in court (very confidential). I live next door to these people but no longer communicate in a non-superficial manner. I don't want to be reminded what has happened. Any time they ask me about my husband or ask me how I am, I don't want to answer it as it's not just a fickle question anymore. This is my perception.

My family all live in another region. I have some work colleagues who I am friends with (acquaintances) but would not see outside of work. I no longer trust people through this experience. And that is funny, as I am still with my husband who committed the offence. I contradict myself but this is what this situation does - you havent got a clue what you think about things at times.

I feel I cannot offer anyone anything. Friendship feels like a burden to me, as there are expectations. I think I believe if I stop engaging with people and fail to be friends with anyone, I will be left alone and people will not ask anything of me. You see - if I lose any more, I might crumble away or break completely.

I want to be in the middle of nowhere with no-one around for miles. Ultimate denial.

lee1969

Member since
June 2019

150 posts

Posted Sat July 6, 2019 3:33pmReport post

Hi bubble the post you have written has hit a note with alot of us I am sure. I know it has definitely with a couple of us as it could be written about any of us. The isolation is foreboding and scary and how we cope so we can't have any more heartache!! Mine was very public and I lost many so called friends so now I have closed ranks around me and my family I will not allow anyone else to get hurt in my family. As for me I would love to live in the middle of nowhere not because I am in denial but I need the peace and the quiet especially in my head xx but and this is big but reach out to the people on here they have truly saved my life and become friends that are my strength. Also one of the ladies, asked me to reach out to you as your post broke her heart so please know that your not on your own xx there are ways and means of connecting with us and its the best thing that has happened to us in a very long time xx you are not alone we are here for you!! Xx sending lots of love and hugs huni xx

Bubble

Member since
February 2019

16 posts

Posted Sun July 7, 2019 2:45pmReport post

Lee, I just want to thank you. I have been in tears on and off since reading your reply. It means a lot and to know others care and'get it'. I haven't experienced that yet and it's overwhelming (but in a good way).

lee1969

Member since
June 2019

150 posts

Posted Sun July 7, 2019 7:53pmReport post

Oh bubble I didn't mean to make you cry I just want you to not you are not on your own and now you don't have to be. We are here if you ever need someone hun xx

Jayne G

Member since
March 2019

107 posts

Posted Sun July 7, 2019 8:04pmReport post

Hi Bubble,

I’m so sorry - I read your post a couple of days ago, but weekends got me are manic as I have my stepkids here and need to supervise contact. But please know you’re not alone. I too have cut myself off from friends and family, because it’s easier than lying and I’m not ready to share my story with them just yet. However, this forum and the ladies on it have genuinely kept me going. I don’t know how I’d be coping without it. It’s the only place I feel free of judgement and where I can be myself (an odd concept when using a pseudonym and hiding behind a screen, but it’s true!!). We’re all in this with you. Don’t give up. Xx

Bubble

Member since
February 2019

16 posts

Posted Mon July 8, 2019 8:31pmReport post

Lee - they were good tears. Believe me. x

Thank you Jayne - I started back at work today and am glad for the distraction. I seem to stay more positive when i'm busy or distracted. Weekends are the worst and annual leave. I am sure that makes me weird. I hate being at home and hearing people having barbecues, kids playing, people chatting and laughing. I am probably the only person in the hot weather with all the windows shut - blinds angled to the point of nearly shut but not to the extent that people think i'm weird. Trying not to see people walk about in their perfect carefree lives (naive of me, in that I know we all have our problems). I hope I get more relaxed but at the moment i'm doing it. xx

lee1969

Member since
June 2019

150 posts

Posted Mon July 8, 2019 9:53pmReport post

Bubble my windows are all shut and have actually put up plastic frosting on my windows so no one can look in so I know exactly what you mean!! But my home at the mo is my safe place until I move xx so your not on your own huni xx

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