Just Like Clockwork

October is a weird month for me, emotionally. One the one hand it’s pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I’ve suffered five miscarriages. Three of which were fathered by my ex (rapist/abuser for those just joining the saga) and two with my current husband. That sents a somber tone for the month. I’ve worked through the grief cycle for each loss, so I no longer grieve for my angel babies, but the mood is still serene as I reflect. On the second hand, it’s also domestic violence awareness month which ties into the abusive facet of the relationship with my ex. On top of both of those other things, every two years my ex goes through an identity crisis that varies in severity depending on what’s going on in his personal life at the time. I have no idea what’s going on in his personal life right now, but I can sense the shift and tell how much effort he’s putting into his cyberstalking. It’s a reliable pattern. 

In the past, he’s either lashed out at me or become extremely reckless and ended up hurting himself. I don’t know whether to call his behaviors truly self-harm since it seems more like he just loses focus and gets more easily distracted leading to legitimate accidents that hurt him. It’s pretty much a coin toss which side of him will make an appearance in the middle of his crisis. He has at least one alternate personality that surfaces every once and a while and that alter is dangerous. I’m not concerned with him or his mental state any other time, except for biannually October-December. 

So that’s kind of in the back of my mind, which creates the internal conflict of my own: why the hell I give two shits about the man who raped and abused me. I’d say it’s my PTSD throwing irrational thoughts at me during a traumatic anniversary cycle, except these events are currently still happening. He’s still shifting every two years, and with his shifts come the potential for him to lash out at me or my family. This isn’t something that happened IN MY PAST. This is CURRENTLY HAPPENING so I don’t really know what that means. 

I’m coping as well as I can. These emotional issues haven’t interfered with my outside life at all. They’re just flitting around in my head and I don’t really have a good place to share them aside from here right now. I’m trying to keep my venting off my personal website to keep him from obsessing over it. I don’t know that it’s really working, but at least I’m making the effort. *sigh* Thanks for listening everyone.  


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30 comments

  1. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Outofashes813,

    Thank you for coming back and sharing an update with us. I’m sorry to hear that October is a hard month for you. It’s hard when things like this are brought to people’s attention because, despite the good that comes with awareness for these issues, it can be very triggering for people that have gone through specific situations. It must be really hard to have an internal conflict about caring about someone who raped and abused you. It’s hard to let go of someone that at one point you cared about and at one point cared about you, even if in the end they hurt you. I can absolutely see that you are making an effort to cope and it shows how strong you are that you are working through all of this. Please come back with updates.

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

  2. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    Hey there,

    Thank you for continue to share your story with us and that you are able to cope with sharing here. I’m sorry the month of October is a difficult one for you. We are always going to be here for you and If you ever need anything please reach out to us.

  3. Samantha Harris Volunteer

    Hi Outofashes813,
    Thank you so much for continuing to share your story. I’m sorry that you have to go through this. It’s understandable why October would be a hard month for you. I’m glad that you’ve been coping okay, and that you are able to get your thoughts out here with us. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  4. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    Thank you for coming back and sharing an update with us. I am sorry that October is such a hard month for you. It is understandable and valid why it can be a bit weird. I am really glad that you have AVFTI to share how you are feeling with! We will always be here, ready to listen, any time! You most definitely are making an effort and I think you should give yourself some praise for that! Your emotions are valid and I think you are doing an amazing job with everything. I hope that everything with your ex is not an issue again, but please reach out if you need anything! Text VOICE to 741-741 for a crisis textline to speak with a trained volunteer anytime 24/7. Always remember to put yourself first and be kind to yourself. You are doing amazing! Stay strong! <3

    -Natalie

  5. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Outofashes813,
    I’m so sorry about the losses you’ve suffered, and I can’t imagine how difficult the grieving process was. I’m really sorry that your ex has been cyberstalking you and lashing out at you and your family. It’s not right at all, and it’s unsettling that this is a pattern. It can be difficult to have these conflicting thoughts about someone who hurt us, and your feelings are valid.
    I’m glad that you’re doing better and that you got to spend time with your family! That can help when we’re going through difficult times. I hope things keep getting better, and I encourage you to be kind to yourself. We’re here for you whenever you need to talk, and I know you can get through this.

  6. Kayla Volunteer

    Outofashes813,

    Thanks for coming back and updating us on your life. This sounds like a somber time and I’m incredibly sorry. Miscarriage is a devasting event in so many peoples lives that I don’t think gets acknowledged enough. Just know we hear you and are thinking about you, and sending you love.

  7. Shannon Volunteer

    Hey Outofashes813,

    Thank you for sharing with us, we are always glad to hear from you. I’m so sorry for the losses you have had, and for what your exs behaviour. I read through your comments in the thread and its so nice to hear that you are feeling better and creating nice memories with your family during this month. we are always here for you! Be kind to yourself

    Shannon

  8. Amysue43 Volunteer

    I’m glad that you shared your story here. Sometimes writing your thoughts and feelings down help to release all that tension and confusion. In regard to your story in general, I feel that you are conscientious and have put work into your self-awareness and those around you. You are very strong in your actions and working together with your current husband through your differences and concerns. Your husband might benefit from some of the coping skills you’ve acquired if you’re willing to share with him. For the seasonal changes of his personality, perhaps doing some research on how such could be managed or supported by the spouse (yourself).

    Stay strong! <3

  9. Jordan Volunteer

    Dear Outofashes813,

    Thank you for updating us about what has been going on. I cannot imagine how difficult of a month this must be for you, I hope that your current husband and the rest of your family is good support for you during these difficult times. As for your ex-husband, I am so sorry. It seems as though you can never fully move on from the trauma that he caused you because he seems to always find a way to insert himself back into your life, making things rather difficult for you. I cannot imagine how this must make you feel regarding your own personal safety, along with the rest of your family. Is there by any chance anything that you may be able to do legally to try and prevent him from being around you and your family? I am not entirely sure. However, I’m sure you’ve already done your research on that and have tried to look at various things that you may be able to do. If you need anything, we will always be here for you. I hope things get better soon. Sending my love and many hugs your way <3

    – Jordan

  10. Harton.13 Volunteer

    Hi Outofashes813,
    I’m so sorry for everything you’ve been through. Forming a boundary between yourself and someone who caused you trauma can be so much harder than it should be, and the fact that you’re having trouble distancing yourself is totally normal. A lot of what is happening seems outside of your control and none of it is your fault. You don’t deserve to be put through this periodically, and I hope you can find some more safe, effective ways to distance yourself from him and cope with these emotions so that this time of year doesn’t have to be so painful for you. We are all rooting for you here at AVFTI and are always here if you feel like you need to share again.

  11. Lizzi

    Hey Outofashes813,
    I’m sorry that this month is so hard for you, and it’s understandable that it would be. You’re being reminded of so much loss and trauma that you’ve previously experienced, and I can only imagine how difficult that is. Reading this, you answered my very question. Why do you still care about your abuser? Why do you care about his mental state? Why is he even someone you still keep tabs on? I’m sure that a lot of this is rooted in the trauma and it’s not as simple as just letting him go and forgetting his existence. I just wonder if you worked towards cutting him out of your life completely, would that help with your healing. You don’t deserve to be cyberstalked or struggle more with the PTSD from him or have him lashing out at your and your family. I’m glad to hear that you’re still coping with it, and I hope that you can get some relief from him.

    1. Outofashes813

      Hi Lizzi,

      I don’t keep tabs on him. He’s only in my life via cyberstalking and occasional vandalism or petty crime. Part of my struggle is allowing myself peace with the fact that I *DON’T* know his true mental state. I just know his pattern of behavior when he’s unstable from past experience. For all I know he could just be creeping around more lately because he’s bored. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’ve taken all the proper steps to cut him out of my life. He’s just not having it. I understand those issues are his responsibility and not my own, but I do still worry.

  12. Megan Volunteer

    Hey Outofashes813,

    I’m sorry that you are going through this right now. It is completely understandable how this time of year is hard for you. I want you to know that we support you and rooting for you as you make it through this difficult time. It makes sense that you are still concerned about your ex because you said that it’s possible that he could lash out at you or your family and you are concerned for your safety and theirs. Is it possible to block him on social media and make it so he can’t find you or stalk you? If it is, that might help ease some of the concern.

    Also, I read your reply to the comments and I’m glad that you are feeling better. An afternoon at the orchard with family sounds amazing! I wish I could do that but I just moved down south and they don’t really have orchards down here. As you probably already know, we are always here for you and are wishing you all the best.

    Much love,
    Megan

  13. Outofashes813

    Thank you everyone. I appreciate your support. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough evidence to get a restraining order against my ex and since we were never married I can’t get a protection order either. His family is aware of his struggle, but I’m not in contact with them anymore. It’s just easier that way. I’m feeling a little better about everything. I spent the afternoon with my husband and kids picking apples and pumpkins at a local orchard and enjoying the cooler weather. Life will balance out again soon. Thanks again so much. I love my AVFTI fam. <3

  14. dzreid Volunteer

    Hello,
    It takes strength & courage to withstand what you’re experiencing & have a safe place to share! Thank you for sharing. I can relate to miscarriages & an abusive ex. October was very hard for the longest time for me. I spent lots of time working with my therapist so I was able to resolve those struggles I battled every October. I’m sorry to hear that you still have to put up with what you do. The feelings & questions you may face are normal. Take some deep breaths. You can do this!
    Dawn

  15. musicislove

    Hi,

    Thank you for sharing with us again, I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time right now. Being stuck in that kind of cycle is so hard, and even though its current, with how long you’ve had to suffer I wouldn’t shy away from calling it PTSD. Please be gentle with yourself this month, since it holds such a bad feeling it’s important to focus on you and things that will help keep your spirits up. Can you talk to anyone that knows your ex that can help him so that you don’t feel all of the stress on you? We’re here for you so come back and share whenever you need.

    Delaney

  16. brodie_james Volunteer

    Hello friend,

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of your story with us. I’m so sorry that this is happening to you; I can relate a little bit about having an abusive ex, but I can’t imagine having an ex that routinely tries to contact and lash out at you and your family members. I can imagine it’s not only hard to be forced to think about him (and potentially the abuse from him) so regularly, but then even more difficult to be on alert in case he decides to interact with you or your family. It’s like never being able to be free from reminders of your domestic violence and abuse, and I’m so sorry that he is preventing you from finding peace in this already solemn time of the year for you.

    I’m really proud of how resilient you’ve been, especially in the face of your ex-husband’s reliable pattern of abuse. One thing I thought of while reading your story was something that another response suggested: have you looked into the possibility of filing a restraining order or a PPO (personal protection order) against him? Especially since you know that this cycle happens so consistently, it might be just that extra layer of protection, and potentially peace of mind, for you and your family moving forward. Even just reading your story, I can tell you’re such a strong and resourceful person who’s been through so much in their life and continues to keep going, and those are all incredible strengths!

    Thank you so much again for sharing your story with us here, and please feel free to reach out to us again if you find you need any more support in the future.

    Cheers,
    Brodie

  17. tayestlack Volunteer

    Hello love, thank you for sharing your story with us, you are so strong. I am so sorry October is emotional for you and that you are stuck in the middle of your ex’s crisis, have you thought about contacting his family or someone who could help him? Don’t forget to make time for yourself and focus on you too. You’re not alone, we’re all here for you. If this month continues to put more emotional stress on you, please reach out to us. Have a lovely day and keep staying strong

  18. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hi Friend
    Thank you for sharing your story and it takes alot of courage to express yourself. Have you looked into filing a Restraining order or involivng the police. If there is anything you need please let us know and keep us posted. I am so sorry for all your miscarrages. Hopefully things workout for you and Just know we are here for you.

  19. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Outofashes813,
    I’m sorry that your abuser keeps coming back into your life. Is there any way to maybe get a restraining order or tell the police? You having to worry about him isn’t helping your recovery process. You do not deserve to have to deal with him. You are married to someone else and you shouldn’t have to worry about a crazy ex abuser. If there is anything we can help you with let us know. I’m sorry for all of your miscarriages. Maybe you can try to adopt or have a surrogate. Hopefully things will work out for you. Let us know how things work out. We are always here for you.
    -Alyssa

  20. Edjay Volunteer

    Hi Outofashes813,

    It seems like October is associated with a lot of emotions for you. It’s totally okay to feel conflicted with regards to your ex. As others have said, it can definitely feel like a struggle to feel empathy for abusers. It’s also normal to feel cautious, especially when he’s had a history of lashing out at you or your family. It’s good to hear that these issues haven’t interfered with your outside life. It’s understandable you want to keep some things off your personal website. Please don’t hesitate to reach out again if you need it. Take care.

  21. Jess Volunteer

    I’m sorry that October holds so many rough memories for you. You’ve been through a lot and what you feel is valid. Many of us struggle with feeling empathy towards our abusers. That doesn’t make the abuse you endured any less valid. I’m sorry that you’re struggling with those feelings. We are always here for you. If you need to vent or if you need something specific, please let us know. We are here and we believe you. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3
    -Jess

  22. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming back to share with us. I’m sorry that October is such a tough month for you. I know it’s really confusing and annoying to feel empathy or feel anything for the people who hurt us-I have definitely struggled with those feelings, too. It doesn’t make what they do/did to you any less painful and harmful. I hope that venting here was helpful-we are here for you.

    Erin

  23. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    Thank you for reaching out to us. We are always here to listen whenever you need us! Your feelings are completely valid. Keep on staying strong and doing what is best for you and your own mental and physical health. Stay strong <3

  24. Jevati Volunteer

    Hi Outofashes813,

    That’s definitely a difficult situation for you to be in, but I’m really glad you came here to update us and share your thoughts and feelings. I know it can be meaningful and important just to get it out there.

    It’s totally valid for you to still worry about him, especially given the ongoing situation, and it actually makes total sense for you to be thinking about him and the shifts that could be coming up. Cyberstalking is very serious, and I’m glad you’re taking the steps you need to feel as safe as possible.

    Also, I’m so sorry for the miscarriages you’ve suffered. I’m sending gentle thoughts to you and to your angel babies. Please let us know how we can continue to listen and support you.
    – Jev

  25. kelly Day Captain

    Hey, Outofashes813. I’m sorry this is such a rough month for you. I can understand why. Thanks for sharing what’s going on here, I hope it is helpful to get that out of your head. Writing helps me a lot when I have compulsive worries and thoughts that I can’t really share with anyone else.
    I also know how tough it is to care about someone who hurt you. It’s hard to hold those two versions of him in your mind. We want to see things in black and white, but it’s not that simple. People we love and care about can also hurt us and it’s hard to acknowledge that.
    I think it’s great that you can recognize these months as a difficult time for you. I think recognizing and acknowledging our feelings is a big step in healing. Remember to take care of yourself during this time. Your safety and mental health comes first. Let us know if we can help in any way.

  26. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    Thank you so much for trusting us with your story. I’m sorry for your loss and the horrendous abuse you’ve received in your past. From the outside, it seems you are a very empthetic and generous person. So you potentially feel concern for your ex because you are empathetic and naturally want what’s best for someone you’ve shared a significant connection with. This is not a character flow, but rather the side effect that comes with being a wonderful, kind person, like you are. Relationship expet Matthew Hussey provides useful insight into how to move on from these emotions. Potentially he is helpful. I wish you all the best and please continue sharing with us. We are always here for you.

    Ryan

  27. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Outofashes813,
    Thank you for trusting us enough to hold these difficult thoughts and feelings for you. I am sorry that you are experiencing them and that you continue to be affected by someone you no longer choose to have in your life. I am sorry for the loss of your angle babies; you have a lot of strength to have gone through so much.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  28. zelda Volunteer

    I’m so sorry for your losses, and I’m so sorry that you’re going through all of this right now. If there’s anything I can do to help, please feel free to reach out to me. Even though you’re going through a lot right now, you don’t have to go through it alone.

    1. Outofashes813

      Thank you, Zelda. I appreciate it. I’m doing okay over all. Just a lot on my mind. You being here to read and respond has helped a bunch. 🌼🌸