Tag Archives: abuse

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I am absolutely honoured to host the anonymous guest post from a fellow blogger. One who wanted to share some of her own story but felt unable to on her own blog. I am, quite frankly, amazed at all this lovely lady has been through and continues to battle with her daily life. Please do show her some love in the comments.

10 years ago now my family was complete ( so I thought) I'd been married ten years and we had just sold our tiny flat and moved to a much bigger house in a cheaper area. Far from home.

It was going to be the start of good things.

But not long after we relocated things changed.

I was busy settling the kids into new schools and making our house a home while my husband was busy having an affair with a new colleague.

We split up not long after. 

I was alone in a new place with no support and an ex husband with no interest in helping with the kids.

Two years after we had moved I got into a new relationship , purely casual. It was a neighbour that had been doing jobs around the house for me. I fell pregnant ( by accident) and told the father, I made it clear that he had no obligation to stick around. 

But he changed. He became possessive of me. He wanted my be his side all the time. Didn't like me to sit by the kids. Or hold hands with them. I tried to break it off. 

I didn't want my kids to live like that!

He became aggressive and threatening.

Telling me if I finished with him he would hurt me and himself.

I stood my ground , but then one night he came round to talk and smashed all my possessions. Then he hit me.

The next day I asked my ex to look after the kids and I took an overdose.

I couldn't see any other way out.

The kids weren't safe. I wasn't safe and the baby I was carrying wasn't safe.

I began to feel really unwell and realising what I'd actually done I called an ambulance.

It turned out I hadn't taken enough pills (thank god).

I was kept in hospital for a few days, I had to have lots of meetings with the psychiatrist and couldn't leave till he was sure I wasn't going to do it again. I was discharged and in the morning I took my kids, left all our stuff behind and got a train out of there.

I went home. 

To my mum.

She took us in , but she made it clear that she was angry with me.

Coming home tail between my legs single with kids and no home.

I didn't tell anyone I was pregnant.

We had to apply for temporary housing as mum didn't have room for us.

And when I took the kids to visit their dad he told me he was keeping half of them till the house was sold (to get half the money).

He tried to make me choose between the kids. I couldn't.

He kept 3 of them.

We would be 200 miles apart.

I was living in temporary housing, with depression (diagnosed after the overdose) and now I had to fight to get my kids back.

I still hadn't told anyone I was pregnant!

At the first custody hearing my ex was told to give the kids back, and told there was no way they would be removed from me. He appealed. Which meant another 8 months apart while social services did checks and reviews.

I was getting more pregnant all the time but I couldn't connect with the pregnancy. How could I look forward to a new baby when my children were so far away from me?

When I was 8 months and very visibly pregnant mum confronted me and made me go to the doctor. I was given a scan to make sure baby was ok and flagged up for depression.

It was Christmas when the baby was due. After getting a court order to have the kids for Christmas I had to go 200 miles by train to collect them. Just a few days before Christmas Day. My GP warned against it but I had to have the kids with me. 

I went into labour the next day.

I was out shopping for presents at the time. I had to go to the hospital alone as my mum had the children.

Labour was difficult. I was alone and still felt no connection to the baby. 

I was scared that I couldn't love it.

That changed the moment he was born as soon as I held him I loved him. Although I was and still am saddled with guilt over the fact that I had been completely disconnected from the pregnancy.

I had the kids for two weeks over Christmas. It ripped my heart out letting them go back. The guilt was huge. Sending them away while I had a new baby.

In January all the social worker reports came back, all recommending the kids be returned immediately to me.

On the day of the custody hearing in February, at the court my ex stated that he no longer wanted to appeal for custody. 

The sale of the house had gone through and his new wife was pregnant.

All those months of heartbreak were for nothing. 

I got the kids back a week later!

Having us all back together was one of  the most happiest moments of my life.

We settled down quickly and for  6 years we've lived in the same house in the area I grew up.

I'm now closer to my mum than ever.

Although initially she had been angry she is ultimately very very proud of me after all I went through and survived.

The guilt will always be with me. I didn't love my last baby till he was born, I overdosed while carrying him

But he is loved, he is loved so so much.

Not just by me but by his siblings and my mum. He is my silver lining.

My point in writing this post was a few reasons : to say that if you are in an abusive relationship getting out of it will be scary. Terrifying. But do it. 

Get help. Get out. It may seem like the hardest thing you will ever do. But do it. Get out.

If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, fear, don't go through it alone. Don't be ashamed to ask for help, to tell what you are afraid of. Do it. 

I didn't do it. And things could have been so much easier if only I had. I could have had support throughout my pregnancy.

If you come to a point where you feel like you can't go on get help call a relative , a friend , your doctor , the hospital , an ambulance. Call someone get help.

Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Things can get better!

I went through the absolute worst year of my life. I hit rock bottom. I wanted to end it. I struggled with a pregnancy I couldn't  connect to.

But now we are stronger and happier. 

Life throws crap at us but I know I can deal with it. I know I can ask for help.

I got out.

If I'd asked for help sooner it would have been easier.

Never be afraid to ask for help.

 

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A friend has chosen to share her experience of domestic abuse with me and has asked me to guest the below post on my blog but to do so anonymously.  Please do leave her any words of encouragement you may have.

Even writing this now I feel I am the one in the wrong. I just feel like everything I write will sound stupid, that I am making a mountain out of a molehill. But anyway, here goes.

When I met my ex husband I was only 17 years old. There were no butterflies or cartwheels, but he came across well and I liked the look of him and we got chatting. Given my hatred for my parents severely strict boundaries at the time, meeting M was an escape, and an exciting venture into adulthood.

I moved in with him. He shared a flat with someone else and we squeezed into the single room he had. I got on ok with his flatmate, but I always thought she fancied him. M worked nights and I was left alone every night, but I built up a friendship with his flatmate and we'd hang out together, she would cook for me and we'd watch films until I got tired and went to bed.

Eventually M's flatmate got fed up of our "coupleness" and changed the locks on us one day. We did manage to retrieve our few belongings, mainly clothes, but found ourselves homeless. We spent a couple of nights at my parents house, but then left, spent two nights sleeping in M's car and then thankfully found a studio flat to rent.

It was all quite scary for me. My first taste of real life. By the time we moved into our studio flat I had jacked in the second year of my college course and got a job. I worked in an estate agents. The money was appalling and I ended up spending every penny paying of a bank debt that M had. He paid for our rent and food. There wasn't much left over. Well, nothing.

It was around the time that I started working that M's jealousy kicked in. He started by asking me about my day, who I'd seen, what I'd done and where I had been. For me the answers were easy, I'd been at work, seen my work colleagues and clients, completed a day at work and had simply been in the office all day - except to pop to the bakers to buy a cheese roll for lunch.

He asked me these questions every day. At times it frustrated me, the answers were of course the same, I'd been at work for god sake. On one occasion I hesitated, I'd been out of the office to go with a colleague to train as a negotiator - the aim to eventually be able to take clients to view properties, rather than remaining in the office.

That was the first time. The first time that he was violent towards me. He didn't believe me, told me I was a liar, accused me of sleeping with another man. Now I think WTF, how dare you, but then I merely bowed down. I was scared, I didn't want to get into an argument, what could I say to make him believe that I hadn't done anything like that. He grabbed me, I remember I was wearing my old towelling dressing gown, he pulled at it and ripped the sleeve. I was gutted. He hadn't hurt me, but the rip of my dressing gown was enough to "hurt". He'd ruined my belongings, for no reason.

Looking back I was an idiot for marrying him. Who marries someone that does that to them in the first 12 months, and not just once. Honestly, I felt I had nowhere else to go. I'd upset my parents by leaving home so young in the first place, and when I told them we were getting married they were horrified. I couldn't then back track.

Of course, there were many ok days. These always dilute the bad.

We married in March 1994, a month before my 19th birthday. He got drunk on our wedding night and the day after we headed off to Tenerife for our honeymoon.

Most women enjoy their honeymoon wearing slinky little bikini's, sunbathing, sipping cocktails and of course enjoying their husband's company. I spent mine having to make sure I covered up - making sure that no leg, chest, arms were on show. I also had to make sure I didn't smile at any waiters or barmen when we were out, and I looked down whenever someone spoke to me. I couldn't risk him thinking I was flirting.

I behaved on holiday and didn't have to pay the price, but no one can keep that up all day every day for the rest of their life. I could never have stopped talking, looking, living.

The years went on and my ex husband began drinking more heavily. We had better jobs and had bought a house, we were comfortable. We travelled abroad twice a year, but the luxury holidays were much more about him having a good time than me. I still paid the price for looking in the wrong direction. His anger at me not towing the line had progressed to physical attacks. His main thing to drag me out of bed by my ankles when he wanted to question me further about my actions.

He prevented me from contacting my family at times. I could phone my mum and dad, but only when he was there. He didn't like me seeing my mum when he wasn't present, even when I was on maternity leave with our son.

I left on several occasions. Before our son was born I walked out plenty of times. I usually just ended up walking round the block, thinking about things, then realising that I had nowhere to go and no one would believe me, so I may as well face the consequences and return home. After our son was born I left a couple of times putting him in the pushchair, but never left for longer than a walk round the block.

I did try once, in the early days, to tell my parents. My timing was all wrong. It was New Years Eve and I'd had a couple of drinks. I was annoyed because he kept kicking me, not hard, just constantly kicking gently whenever I laughed. As if telling me I shouldn't be enjoying myself. I got fed up of it and blurted out to my parents that this is what he was like, hitting me all the time. I became hysterical and left to walk home. I think M made up some excuse and made out I was drunk. I 'd had a couple of drinks, but I wasn't drunk and everything I said that night was true. They didn't believe me anyway, so life went on.

Life went on, and got worse for a while. The incidents of him dragging me out of bed by my feet increased. He would poke me - he'd jab me hard with his finger on my arm or my thigh. He'd argue with me and approach me so that his face was in mine, teeth clenched and angry.

He became especially angry when I started work at an army camp. Even at the Christmas parties - that he was invited to - he would become jealous, and on one occasion threw a chair at me in the hotel bedroom because he was sure I was sleeping with a 45 year old married colleague. I was no more than 21 at the time.

But he never actually hit me. He never punched me, he never slapped me, he never clenched a fist and hurt me. Surely I couldn't accuse him of domestic violence or abuse? Yet as time went on he became ever more suspicious of everything I did, and of things other people did.

Near the end of our marriage we had our phone calls monitored, I was having to collect our post from the sorting office as he was convinced members of our family were stealing our post, and we had our locks changed on several occasions and he was sure that my family were stealing my keys and coming into our house.

M's drinking became a huge issue. He got drunk before my brothers wedding and created a huge scene because he didn't have cluff links for his shirt. My family started to see a little of the real M. He caused me such grief for not getting the order right with the suit hire people that I actually ended up passing out after my brothers wedding ceremony and was violently sick for the rest of the day and night. He then proceeded to get drunk further at the free bar, leaving my elderly grandma to care for our 7 month old son while I was ill in bed. One thing's for sure, if my family didn't believe me before then, that day certainly changed their views.

When I left him 18 months later he couldn't understand why. I told the solicitor most of what I had been through and although M contested some factors, he signed the divorce papers and we worked out a contact plan for our son.

I still feel wrong saying that I suffered domestic violence. Did I? I've merely given a snippet here of the incidents that occurred over a period of 12 years, but in my view they were significant. Years of unhappiness and a feeling of being trapped, and a consistent feeling that I would never be believed.

 

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