Hi Di Ken and recovery
Thank you all for the support. It really helps. Yes I have come a long way in 14 months, and entering higher education is proving to be the best thing I ever did for myself, in fact one of the few things I have ever done just for me. I am actually studying with a home course but I will meet up with others doing the same locally and for tutorials. It is just great for me as I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the level of support from the university is good. I will be doing it part time so it will take me 6 plus years and I will be over 60 when I graduate but who cares, better late than never, and I have plans on moving to somewhere warm when I finish so that my health will be better.
That really struck home in not worrying about the particulars and not feeling responisible for others behaviour. Thanks for your words Ken. I can see that it can only get loads better as after a year it is so much better now. The course I am doing has made me face the psychological damage done to me in the six months before I left, and which I have not been addressing, having to concentrate so much on the praticalities of setting up home on my own, with no job and little money and has helped me see that I have no need to feel guilty about leaving my sons with their father (they are adult) because they made the choice and I have thought about the posibility whether one or both are actually p or have some other personality disorder if they will not see the reality of the situation and keep on denying the terrible psychological abuse I was subject to from them all. It has been a long hard struggle to get back into reality and stop what I have been programmed for by p, that is to blame myself. The most important thing I have learnt to do is to take care of myself and not beat myself up like I did in the past.
I know that I am past a critical stage, where there was a danger that p could have got me back and I knew that his treatment of me would be much more controlling and vindictive but I have survived this and said no and have no/little contact now. There is just the divorce to go through and the house to sell if I ever get it sold due to the emotional blackmail for me to forego my share.
I am also in a small group which was set up for the divorced and separated but the three women who turned up all were very interested in what I had to say about psycopathy, and they have recognised at least traits of this in their ex's and are educating themselves by borrowing my copy of Hare's book. It is amazing as I searched for some support further than the usual domestic violence sources and thought there was nothing but it is happening now. We are all helping and supporting each other. Added to the counselling I am getting now, which is for the PTSD, I really feel supported.
The main decision I have to make now is regarding how much time and energy I can spare on my sons as I still have to be very careful what I say, but I have stepped back and am letting things take their course more now that I have stopped feeling so guilty and am holding them more responsible and expecting more respect from them. I wonder whether being used to their fathers manipulation to avoid all responsibility prevented me from making the boys accept theirs especially when their father did not do it. It is a double whammy that time exposes more and more the damage p has done. Catching up with the past seems never ending when it keeps unfolding. It has been my studies that have helped me to distance my self somewhat. Not working probably gave me too much time to think of the past. Well thanks again everyone. I will keep you posted of my progress.