DH starts it tomorrow. And I am anxious.
From reading The Book I know that many of the abuser programmes that are out there are not great.
Apparently I should have been contacted prior to the start of his programme by a 'Women's Support Worker'. I don't know what they would be talking to me about, because they haven't contacted me which is already not a brilliant sign. I'll try not to form judgements at this stage though.
DH has two individual 'sessions' with the person running the programme before he starts attending the group. I'm thinking that possibly I will be contacted after these individual sessions so that I can provide my version of events and tell my story but I don't know.
Bancroft clearly states that the role of the abuser programme should be first and foremost supporting the woman, with the woman as the client. This means sharing information and providing advice on dealing with the abuser if necessary, and getting support for recovering from the abusive relationship. I hope I hear from them soon, otherwise I just feel the programme will be doomed to fail. Already DH has started making noises about the cost of the programme, and I'm sure after a couple of sessions it will be complaints about the travelling distance and who knows how long til he uses these as excuses to stop attending? When it get's hard.
Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, but with my experience and the stuff I've read I'm more inclined to say realistic.
Today, I have had contact with DH. More than in a while. We took the kids to the cinema - he took the older ones in to see one film and I took the younger one to see a different one. So, we weren't really together much, but there was still more contact than we've had before.
Afterwards we went (in separate vehicles) to the park where dh stayed with ds who had sprained his ankle and I took the others out to play. Again, not a lot of time together but more than in the last three and a half weeks. It was tense and awkward, of course. All this is new and boundaries need setting.
I've suggested that in the future we might arrange one family afternoon activity a week where we are all together. Not sure if that's for the best, or a result of my recent feelings of sadness, or what. I guess the main thing is that I follow my instincts and do what I think is the best.
I'm really starting to feel that sense of enjoyment and comfort at home that I haven't had for many years. Just a sense of coming home and feeling peace and contentment. The absence of pressure or anxiety. I don't fully appreciate it yet as it's a bitter sweet pill, combined as it is with long periods of previously-unknown solitude.
I don't know how long it will take me to fully embrace the freedom and peace AND solitude but I do know that it will come, in time.
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5 years ago