#63 An issue kept quiet; domestic abuse

The statistics say that this is one of the most under reported crimes, that nowadays one in four women and one in six men will suffer abuse at the hand of a loved one.
Maybe this isn’t a smart move, to post about what i’ve been through on a public blog but finally I feel brave enough to speak out in hope somewhere out there I can help someone who hasn’t yet escaped a situation that was once so familiar to me. It’s hard to even write this knowing there could be consequences from a certain someone, who I’m sure still traces my every movement. Maybe this will clear up why there are no photos of my daughter, why I only mention her in passing, it’s all because there is someone out there who is still hell bent on making my life a misery. I’ll mention no names, no places, no times only some facts.. I want you to know that if you’re going through what I went through, there is help out there, there is someone who will believe you and will help you.. but above all.. you’re not alone. 
The government describes Domestic Abuse as
“Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.”
and the following can be said true of a perpetrator
  • He is not violent with other people i.e. his boss
  • He is able to stop and compose himself if the police arrive or the doorbell rings
  • If he uses physical violence he is able to choose where to cause visible injuries – often in places where others can not see them
  • He damages the victims possessions but rarely his own
It’s clear to me now that I was in a domestically abusive relationship. I have had help realizing that this is what I went through, what I managed to escape from. For a long time I tried my best to ignore it, to deny it, then eventually try to move on from it but it was so life effecting that I have had to seek help. And although on paper, he has denied it ever happened, I know it did. I remember it every day and will remember it every day for the rest of my life.
The abuse consisted of mainly emotional and controlling tendencies.. but I won’t deny the violence anymore (nor will I go into it, it’s too painful to remember). I hate being called a liar, even now. I am not a liar. Why would anyone lie about this?! He used to check my phone, my emails, my social media sites, my external hard drive. He’d go through my documents and he hid my diary. He lied to my friends to encourage them to stay away from me.. I was a social butterfly and he was slowly crushing me.I loved this man so much, I never once thought he was capable of hurting me.. now I know better and I worry what else he’s capable of.
In the beginning, when it first started, I blamed everything else apart from him. I know now it was him. I was a victim.
I got to the point I seriously considered suicide and attempted it on more than one occasion. I saw no other way out. I’m only still here today because of my daughter.. she was the one who kept me trying with him and the one who ultimately swayed my decision to leave. She needed a mother who would give her the world and I knew I could not while he kept his thumb pressed firmly on my head.
Yes, the relationship was volatile, I had my moments, my outbursts but I put them down to frustration. I put them down to the fact I was a new mother, I had to struggle like all first time mothers do. Alone, since he rarely wanted me to spend time with any friends and going home to my family was basically a banned subject. I didn’t have PND, I had the common baby blues. My life had been turned upside down and the person I was supposed to rely on to help never did. I put all my savings into a house and furniture.. I saw none of it when I left save some deposit. Yet after I left he told me I planned this, that I used him to have a child. That me leaving had nothing to do with him.. I know that I was in love with him, yes I don’t love him anymore.. how can I after all he did to me? Although I did for a long time after, until I started opening up about what happened. I clung onto the idea that he’d change now I’d left.. but he didn’t.. he got worse.
I don’t want to go into more details than that, it’s horrible to relive but I thought for the sake of the idea behind the post i’d include a little bit about what happened in my situation. I am aware that no two domestic abuse cases are the same and not one is worse than other to the person it’s happening to. All domestic abuse is wrong, all domestic abuse is terrible to deal with.
But you can get out.. yes you may well have scars you’ll carry with you all your life but you deserve better. No one deserves or asks for it. I know this now. I didn’t behave any different in that relationship than in any previous relationships, yet those men never felt the need to treat me this way.. I was a good girlfriend and for the little support I have had I raised a wonderful clever child, yet I didn’t believe I was anything back then and still sometimes to this day. He made me feel so worthless. But it’s not just men who are the abusers.. more and more women are abusive towards their partners than have been in the past (or maybe these men are just finally coming forward?) Domestic abuse isn’t suffered only by women and more people need to be aware of this. 
Tell someone, make sure you have somewhere safe to go. There are refuges for women, safe houses or go to your family or friends. Go to the police.. something I didn’t do and I often regret. If there are children involved, get a good solicitor.. the laws are changing but you can still make sure you and your child/children are safe. You are not alone, someone will believe you and you can get help.
I’m twenty four years old with all this baggage.. there is a chance he’s taken away my ability to trust whole heartedly.. I’d like to believe out there I still get the chance of a happy ending. But not now, not for a long while. He destroyed my confidence to the point I feel anxious a lot of the time especially in big groups and even more so around me. I struggle to deal with anyone who has drank to excess to the point I become fearful. And the paranoia.. I used to be paranoid but this is extreme, I’m always glancing over my shoulder. I have been told that some of this might never go away. That I might always have trust issues and I might always be over cautious but I hope in time I can regain my confidence.. that I can look in the mirror and see someone worth while again. It took me years after being incessantly bullied at school to become a confident young woman, and just as it had, he snatched it away again. But I’m ever hopeful.
Please, please read about Domestic Violence. I plan on raising money to help some charities dedicated to raising awareness of violence in the home later on in the year because this is a cause close to my heart. Starting today I want to point you in the direction of a non-profit initiative helping get essentials to women suffering from domestic violence, Give and Make Up
Give and Make Up aren’t asking for you to give money, they’re asking for every day essentials for women such as make up, moisturiser, tooth brush, clothes, body lotion, shampoo.. well you get the picture, along with baby essentials. I’m half way through make a large box up to donate of unused extras I got for Christmas and lotions my daughter is allergic to with her very sensitive skin. This is something we could all do.. we all have those extras lying around we know we’ll never use and what better way than giving it to women who need it most? I know personally that even the smallest thing to do with beauty would of made my day on the day I had a fat lip or a scratch on my neck.. you have no idea how much of a confidence boost that would of been! Please please please consider making a donation to Give and Make Up, every package no matter how small will be appreciated! Thank you.

& you can read Michelle’s story here

I honestly never thought i’d be one of those one in four women.. but I am and despite all i’ve been through I hope it’s made me a better person. I haven’t written this for sympathy, I don’t need sympathy. I’ve written this for me and to try and raise awareness about Domestic Abuse.
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