Belfast Telegraph

My violent hubby left me numb

Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona answers your problems

Dear Fiona, For most of my marriage I was an abused wife who ended up in hospital many times. However, I stayed for the sake of our children and even became numbed to it all.

The problem is that my husband has now died of a sudden heart attack and I feel depressed, despite the fact that I hated him most of my life. Why is this?

Housewife, Belfast

Dear Housewife,

Abnormal reactions to abnormal situations are to be expected. Initial feelings of fear and disgust at the abuse inevitably gave way to apathy, or blunting of the emotions, in which you experienced an emotional death as a defence mechanism.

Feeling like a liberated prisoner, you could now be experiencing a form of ‘disassociation’ which often occurs in conjunction with post-traumatic stress in survivors of domestic abuse.

You’re in need of emotional care and undoubtedly your self-esteem has been shattered by years of abuse, contributing to your depression.

Please contact the Womens’ Aid Federation Northern Ireland on 0808 2000247 for further advice on starting this new phase of your life in which the possibilities are endless.

Belfast Telegraph

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