Kina, Families & Addiction Trust

Abby's Story

Posted on 11 December 2016 | 3 Comments

My husband has not drunk to unwarranted nasty drunkenness for 11 years, or used and dealt marijuana for 35 years, but his behaviours and irrational thinking are still those of an addict. When he became a born again Christian 35 years ago he believes that he was instantly and miraculously healed of addiction - but he has never dealt with the underlying psychology of his addictions, which has caused untold destruction to my life and my children's (his stepchildren's) lives. He did not disclose the extent of his addictions and abusiveness towards his previous wife before we married. Lying is like breathing to him. He cannot stand to hear anything that he will take as criticism, he still tries to control me and will attack me verbally. He has never been as a real husband should be, has never been supportive of me, and in fact has lied to people about me, destroying my reputation with others, in order to protect his own reputation. I believe that he is a sociopath, as he has actually enjoyed it when other people have verbally attacked me. He used to physically abuse me and my children with the collusion and encouragement of people in the church who "counselled" us because he so successfully manipulated them. People think that he is a lovely, gentle, caring, wise, mature and respectable man. Everywhere I tried to get help, he managed to manipulate the situation so that I was further victimised, until I just gave up and stopped trying. In recent years he has changed somewhat, and has apologised for some of his past behaviours whereas before he blamed me for years for his behaviour, but even now he still does not realise how he continues to undermine me and is basically a selfish child. I have no support at all, no family or friends to turn to, and the "family secrets" and abuse that I have received when I have tried to open up and stop the pretence of "happy families" that we show to the world has kept me silent, isolated, and feeling ashamed and a fake. The twisted, abusive attitude of society toward abused women keeps me silent. I have never opened up to my family about it. Inside I am angry, resentful, distrustful of people, can't let people get close because of the pretence, and I would love to leave this irrational man-child except that financially I am stuck.


  • Abby,
    I can hear and understand the frustration, resentment and depression you are feeling. From my experience I have found that, while you isolate yourself and avoid being honest with family and friends, it is very difficult to move forward and bring about change in your life. Perhaps seeking counselling may help you to recognise why you are not able to disclose your situation to those who care about you. While seeking to cover up the true situation your husband may continue to be in denial of the destructive aspects of his behaviour.You are never too old to return to study and look at a new career that will allow you a greater measure of independence thus contributing to a more positive focus in your life. Best wishes for future change.

    Posted by Deirdre, 12/12/2016 1:08pm (5 years ago)

  • Hi Abby, I am sorry about your on-going struggle to have a life that you enjoy. Sometimes it is easier to talk to and get help from people who are not close but have the knowledge and expertise about persistent abusive behaviour. You can contact Shine or Womens Refuge (both have websites that you can look up at your local library if you don't want to do this at home). The people in those organisations will listen and help you to plan any changes you want to make in your life. You and your children are worth it and anytime is the right time.

    Posted by Michelle Brewerton, 12/12/2016 9:22am (5 years ago)

  • Hi Abby,

    I was like you in that I was reliant on an addict for financial support while wishing I could get out. Recently I made the decision to leave, after years of being scared, even though I didn't have any money. Luckily for me I have been able to stay with a friend with my toddler while I figure things out. I've applied for a benefit from the government and started hunting for a job. We've got a long way to go before we are in the stable, loving home of our own that I've been longing for but since I started making moves to help myself I feel like the universe has been rewarding me for it, not as in winning the lottery or anything, but through encouragements I've received and just the boost I feel every time I do something which even could potentially bring us closer to our goal and the knowledge that I'm heading in the right direction for the first time in ages and I chose that.

    It's bloody daunting and sometimes downright terrifying when you are thinking of leaving but sometimes the people who care about you are just waiting for you to make a genuine move before they offer support. Women's refuge are also an option. I strongly recommend talking to the drug and alcohol helpline (0800 787 797), they will understand and be able to point you in the direction of organisations who can help you.

    I'm not saying it's easy but as far as your health (physical and mental) goes, as well as your children's, there is nothing more important. You've done amazingly to survive as long as you have in such conditions but I think it's time to think about yourself. Find away to start taking your power back. Before I left I started doing things like having a second phone that only I knew about so that if I tried to leave and he broke mine then I wouldn't end up with no way to communicate. I googled things a lot so I knew what my options were if I ever did leave, even while still telling myself that I wasn't planning so as not to commit in a way which might cause me to go into a panicked tail-spin, and when I finally decided to leave I made up my mind that I couldn't afford to be proud and needed to be honest with the people I cared about, about what had been happening in my life.

    I don't live in isolation or fear anymore or walk on eggshells. I also have no job (yet) or house of my own, and I'm sharing a single bedroom with my two year old but I am free and I know that I've done the right thing. I really hope that you can start to find your power and your voice again. It sounds like it's your turn to think of your own needs.

    Be strong and good luck.



    Posted by Amy, 11/12/2016 10:43pm (5 years ago)

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