Abuse is a cycle that is difficult to break. Especially when you share children with your abuser, you still need to maintain some level of contact.
It’s more difficult when the abuse seems to end with you. They move on, get remarried, and you watch them praised for being a good husband, father, etc., on social media, and you wonder what’s wrong with you. Why could they not be those things with you? Then there is the wonder, “Did I make up those things?” “Turn them into a villain?” “Were things not as bad as I had thought?”
Yet you still have the memories of people’s response, unkindness, when you forgot to apply cover-up to the handprints on your neck, or your daughter asking why there is a hole in the wall the size of the top of your head.
You try to forget, blame yourself, move forward. Yet the necessary contact, due to sharing children, brings it all back even if it’s just visceral.
Breaking the cycle is a must, and it starts with you learning to love and accept yourself, which is probably the hardest thing of all.