I don’t want to pick faults

I don’t want to pick faults.  That is what she said to me, after all this time!  Can I have a word, I don’t want to pick faults but what you said was out of order.  For what seemed like a life time, I just stared at her whilst my brain got into gear and tried to understand what she was saying to me.

 

For three years I had suffered at the hands of her abusive son and ten years later that is what she greats me with as I walk past her in the street.  Flabbergasted is an understatement.

 

She was actually referring to a recent radio interview I took part in and because I had made a remark about him being deceased, I was in the wrong but it was ok because she knew he wasn’t always nice so, well, there you go!

 

I really couldn’t believe I was having this conversation with his mother.  It seemed like she wanted to say a lot more but I just didn’t have the time for her so I said, sorry for causing offence, she was babbling on and I was like, look I’ve said sorry and then off I walked!

 

Smiling as I walked down the street, I found it quite funny, this short but sweet conversation had just taken place.  Irrelevant that I was beaten physically and psychologically, irrelevant that my daughter even exists and what I went through but how dare I say things when family were listening to the radio station.  Even after 10 years it’s all about them and how they feel.

 

Some things never change.  But I do wonder what she thought of me.  My head was no longer bowed down; I looked her straight in the eye and spoke assertively.  Not exactly the same person I was she last spoke to me.  I must have looked a lot stronger than before.  I’d never utter a word unless I was spoken to and then it would be in a quiet voice with no eye contact.

 

I gave her a few minutes of my time, after all sometimes you have to be the bigger person, don’t you and over the last ten years, I have grown.

 

Through the volunteering work I do related to coercive control and domestic abuse, I guess I always knew they could listen or someone from their family would be hearing the things I have to say but I didn’t think I would be approached by one of them and the reason was because I said something about the golden boy.

 

Maybe she had a point, I shouldn’t have made a comment about him being deceased; well actually, I think I said something along the lines of, personally for me I’m glad he’s not here, which for someone who doesn’t understand the complex cycle of domestic abuse might think sounds harsh, but does it really?

 

For me personally, I am.  I didn’t say it from a mother’s point of view, a father, sibling, son or friend but from my own view point basically based on how he treated me and I think I’m entitled to that at least!

 

I found that the short conversation didn’t leave me feeling intimidated in the slightest, I wasn’t worried about what she might say next and I wasn’t feeling frightened at all.  I just felt, I haven’t got time for this and said what she wanted me to say and off I went on my way.

 

After almost 10 years and no contact has been made until today; it doesn’t just end and it doesn’t just stop, it does become a part of you not really leaving you.  It’s how you deal with it that’s the most important step forward.

 

Was she waiting for me to go into more depth of a conversation with her, give her my condolences of losing her son, was she expecting me to say I’ll pop round soon and have a cuppa.  What really was the point of her conversation?  Was it that she wanted me to know I was heard on the radio or was she clarifying to me that yes, her son had passed.

 

I really don’t understand why she even spoke to me because at the end of the day, her feelings really don’t bother me in the slightest, just the same as mine didn’t bother her with I sat in her living with a black eye.

 

As we stood shoulder to shoulder for a few minutes, I suddenly realised how much we now had in common…..

 

We had both lost a loved one, we were both mothers and we were both sticking up for and protecting our child, something she had done throughout our relationship and something I had done from day one.

 

I can guess my name was on the tip of her tongue when she got back home to her family which is the one thing we don’t have in common because in my house they are never given a second thought and their names never come out of my mouth.

 

She saw a completely different person in me and that was the best feeling ever!

 

He tried to make me forget where I came from

I loved my childhood, it was safe and happy, what more could you ask for?  Living with my parents I never felt frightened to ask those awkward questions, was physically loved every single day and always kissed my parents goodnight, right up until I left home in my 20s.  I was loved and I loved them; as simple as that.

 

They weren’t just my parents, they were my best friends and always guided me in the right direction, I couldn’t fault them one little bit.

 

From an early age I knew I wanted to work in an office, I was always playing with pretend telephones, writing things down and using the coffee table as my desk.  For my 8th Christmas present I was brought an electric typewriter, at 14 I was doing a night course at my local college and at 19 I got my first job as a Legal Secretary.  I wanted to become a Paralegal.

 

You know how it is, we have hopes, dreams and aspirations of what we want to do when we leave school and sometimes we go off and chase those dreams but sometimes we have things that happen in our life that we don’t know why they happen but they do.

 

I loved nothing more than getting suited and booted for work and the feeling of self satisfaction of going to work early and working my ass off until home time, going home and then doing it all over again.

 

At 19 I was confident, bubbly and living life the way I wanted too; working hard and playing harder.  Then I met him and he tried to make me forget where I came from.

 

My parents loved me so much, he told me they didn’t.  I didn’t need a career or go to work now I was with him because if I really loved him I wouldn’t go out and leave him on his own and I didn’t need to learn to drive because the only reason I was, was because I was having an affair with my instructor.

 

It felt as though all my own personal achievements and experiences didn’t matter or have a place in his world and if I wanted to be a part of his world, I would need to get rid of everything and everyone who existed in my life.

 

I loved him, he knew that and he knew if he had said jump, I would have replied, how high.  All I wanted to do was to make him happy, I wanted him to be the reason he woke up in the morning and I wanted to be the one who made him smile before he went to sleep at night.  I don’t think he wanted to be happy at all and the only way he was happy was causing pain and misery to me.

 

He tried to make me forget that I came from a loving family, that I had close friends and that I had a life.  It was as though he tried to erase all that from my memory and the sad thing was, with his subtly abusive behaviour, he did.

 

My life changed dramatically yet his didn’t.  He came and went as freely as he wanted.  He brought his ex partners back to the flat whenever he wanted, he stayed out all night if he felt like it and he drank all day and all night without a care in the world.  He took everything in his stride and lived his life as though everything was good and right, but it wasn’t.

 

He would see his mum and family as often as he wanted but I had to pay the consequences if I even DARED to make contact with mine; one rule for him and one very different one for me.

 

As a perpetrator he made me forget about my beliefs, values and dreams; long before I was physically abused, his coercive controlling behaviour had made all these things disappear from my mind.  His possessiveness, jealousy and manipulation were action toward me as though it was preparing me for what was to come.

 

Whatever I did was ridiculed, laughed at and mocked, so I stopped doing things; including living.  I suddenly found myself in existence.  Just doing things to keep the peace, to make him happy and to try and stop him hurting me.

 

Days and nights rolled into one, sleeping for days and then staying away to see the clock round because he didn’t want to go to sleep and if I loved him, I wouldn’t go to bed, I would stay up and keep him company because that’s what a real woman would do.

 

Thinking back, everyone in my life before him, treated me with respect and spoke to me with compassion, yet he had a way of talking to me in a calm voice but making me feel like utter **** but said in such a way it felt like he did love me, he did want what was best for me and that he did care for me.  That’s the power of coercive control.

 

Before domestic abuse, if I had anything to say to a person, I would usually say it but not him; I was frightened of him.  I was scared of the consequences of my actions so I never said anything because it was just easier that way.

 

Brainwashing tactics made me see that my friends were no good but the reality was, if they had stayed in my life when I was in that particular relationship, they would have seen right through him and helped me leave him.  He didn’t want that to happen.  So he made me choose him or them, he knew I loved him so much that I would choose him over them.

 

Manipulation told me my parents didn’t want to see me happy with him and that they would do anything to split us up so it was best if I didn’t see them.

 

He tried to make me forget where I came from!

 

 

 

Paradise, War Zone

Many of us grow up and dream of falling in love, meeting the one and living every happy ever after.  Reading books like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel can give us that little bit of hope and inspiration that it might just happen to us one day.  Aspirations and inspiration of falling in love can seem so real as a child and we try and live with that dream for as long as we possibly can.  Well, until we reach adulthood at least.

 

I guess, deep down inside we still want that Prince Charming or Princess to come along and sweep us off our feet and even if we meet someone who doesn’t live up to those expectations, we still give them the benefit of the doubt because we love them and we want to live happily ever after!

 

A first relationship can be scary, usually because we have nothing to base it on so we don’t really know what to expect from it.  We want to be seen as though we know what we are doing so we might not even share any of our doubts with our close friends, we just go with the flow and accept whatever happens in that relationship to be normal because we don’t know any different.

 

Living with a perpetrator is like living in a war zone when the reality is; we want it to be paradise.  To the outside world it might even seem that way too but it isn’t.  It can be so physically and psychologically draining, tiring and a true interpretation of domestic abuse is, it kills!

 

To the outside world when your partner is choosing your friends for you, deleting contacts from your mobile phone and not letting you spend so much time with your family, it is seen as love, care and charming and the truth is, at the beginning of the relationship it might even feel that way to us too.  It’s like a honeymoon period, you want to spend every single second of every single day together and why do you have more male friends than female or vice versa and why do you need to spend so much time with your family when you have your partner now.  For the first few days, even a week or two and maybe for the really lucky ones a few months or a year, everything really does seem like paradise.  They dote on every word, they say the right things, they do everything for you, and they spoil you in ways that you could only image before they came into your life.  They open doors for you, they pay for everything and they treat you like the Prince or Princess you once dreamed of.

 

Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changes.

 

Things can often change when you move in together or get married, it’s as though they now have their mark on you and they own you.  Everything just changes and spirals completely out of control and you really have no idea why, especially when everything before just seemed so perfect, like in the fairytales; you were living in Paradise for a while and now this.

 

Living in Paradise you couldn’t wait to wake up to see what the day would bring, you would roll over onto your side and gaze dreamily at the love of your life as you watched them breathe and smile as you threw yourself back into the pillows and gave out a little sigh of I’m-so-happy-right-now-I-never-knew-love-could-feel-this-way but now living in this war zone made you feel uncomfortable, frightened and scared of walking on those egg shells that seemed to be scattered around you on the floor and you were frightened to step on them in case you set off those bombs in the minefield that you suddenly found yourself living in the middle of!

 

You just can’t understand what is happening, everything seemed so perfect previously and you haven’t changed or done anything differently so why does everything feel so dangerous and not like love at all.

 

Everything you do is wrong, what you say is wrong, you wear the wrong clothes, you have the wrong friends, your family hate you, you are think and dumb; why do you want to go out with friends now you have a partner?

 

Now you are living in this war zone, you dread waking up, not knowing what’s going to happen today.  Thinking back to what the previous day was like and hoping you don’t step out of line or that the goalposts have been moved.  You pray that today is a good day, that nothing goes wrong, that you don’t get abused; physically or psychologically.

 

You stop making eye contact with everyone, you walk down the street, always behind your partner and with you head held low because you hate yourself and everything about you.  Being told that you are fat, ugly and useless everyday sucks all of the self confidence, esteem and worth out of you.  You are so tired, you just try and do all the things that make things that little easier for you.  You don’t go to work, school or college, you don’t socialise any more, you don’t phone friends or family and you stop living.  You stay at home to cook, clean and carry out every single little demand that is barked at you because whilst you are doing what is expected of you it can stop you being hurt; for a while at least.

 

People think you say the wrong thing but the truth is, you don’t say anything at all, you are too frightened for all that, knowing that their verbal threats can soon become reality.  Many think you do something to spark their anger, but that isn’t true.  It can be as simple as sitting next to each other on the sofa watching the TV when something just erupts from them and you have no idea what has caused it but you can bet your bottom dollar, it’s your fault.

 

As much as we all love the safety and security of childhood classic fairytales, they aren’t realistic and they certainly don’t live in paradise.  Domestic abuse lives in a war zone and this is why awareness, education and training is vital for our next generation because without it they will be fighting a war they didn’t even know they were a part of.

 

 

 

A professional told me I was stupid

When I found the strength and courage to leave my perpetrator I no longer wanted to live in the home I once shared with him for 4 months after giving birth to my daughter.  It was me who found the rent and deposit for the privately rented house we moved into as the council wouldn’t offer us a place as we weren’t priority.  The house was in my name, that was purely for my own safety and benefit, so I could throw him out, which I did.

I was having support from a particular agency and I found another house to let which I really like the look of – it was over the road from the house I wanted to leave.

“You are stupid” were the words said to me.

I had left the abusive relationship I had been in for 3 years, I was a new Mother in an area I didn’t really know and now I was being told I was stupid…..just like my perpetrator used to tell me.

The house we were leaving was on old Victorian house and the one I wanted to move into for a fresh start was a modern little starter home but it was privately rented and those on benefits weren’t welcome.  I was gutted.

My dad suggested I phone up the Estate Agents anyway and explain the situation and see what happens because if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  So I did just that and a short while later my daughter and I moved in.

Of course, he went to the old house thinking we were still living at the property so he more than likely walked past our new home, but he never EVER found us.  So the reality is, I wasn’t being stupid at all but more clever, I was being clever because he would just assume that we had moved area not just over the road.

Looking back now, I feel the behaviour from that agency in particular were being less than professional when I was told I was stupid; they were just mirroring my perpetrators behaviour!  I was down, low and lacking in self confidence, esteem and worth without a professional telling me that.  If she thought it, that was fine and her right but to actually say it out loud, was out of order and it is such behaviour that can actually do more damage than good.

Words are extremely powerful and sometimes even more so coming from a professional, it could cause more doubt than anything and self blame too.  Luckily I was in a strong enough position to not listen to what she said to me and carry on with my gut feeling of what to do.

Sometimes we are the only person to know what is best for us.  We shouldn’t be told what to do and what not to do, but options should be given.  Being told what to do and what not to do is another characteristic of a perpetrator and something that some professionals fall into too.

I can understand how difficult it is for people who have never been affected by domestic abuse and they don’t understand the cycle but no one has the right to judge or tell you what to do especially if they don’t understand the consequences of what could happen.

If I had not moved and had stayed in the house we once shared, he would have been at the front door every five minutes, he would have been outside, he would have known what school to find me out, he would have been able to stalk and harass me.  By leaving, I didn’t give him the opportunity to do that.  Even though my house I moved into was on a tracker as I was still on the high risk list, I saved the Police a job of coming to my address every time I felt frightened of him knocking at the door because he didn’t have a clue where I moved too.

My decision didn’t endanger us further; it took him off the scent trail.  I didn’t really know anyone well enough in the area so if he had asked anyone where I had moved too, they couldn’t have told him.

After leaving the relationship there was always a time at the beginning where I was looking over my shoulder because I didn’t want to bump into him.  I was still scared of him.  I knew what he was capable of and I wasn’t strong enough to say anything to him at the point, however, in time, I did become stronger.

When a perpetrator knows where you live, you still live in fear.  You wonder when they will come to your door, put your windows through or be outside when you open your front door.  You are still walking on those eggshells.  They are still in control of how you think and feel.  Yet when you move and they don’t know where you live, you can finally start putting your thoughts together, you start moving forward and you start to live life a little without constantly looking over your shoulder.

Making your own decisions once you leave the relationship, can be frightening, especially when you haven’t been in control of your life for such a long time.  Society thinks it’s just so easy to leave and get on with it.  It isn’t!

Some days it is a constant battle and that is just with your own mind and thoughts which have been planted by the seed that your perpetrator has sown into your mind with their manipulation.  You have good days and bad days all of which are part of the healing process but without the correct support network you will find it difficult.

I am glad I made the decision I did.

 

Excuses Don’t Eradicate Experiences

Life is a learning curve, that is a fact.  It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from or how rich you are, everything in life teaches us something and from that we take experiences away with us.  Some experiences are good, others not so good and some we just want to forget ever happened.

 

Excuses often remind me of children and how they always find an excuse to get themselves out of trouble, like, it wasn’t me that ate the last cake or I didn’t write my name in red felt on your bedroom wall.  I like to think that adults will sway more to telling the truth rather than coming up with excuses for their behaviour, but that isn’t always so, is it?

 

Perpetrators, for example, always have an excuse ready for their behaviour, it was the drink, it was because their favourite football team lost or simply because you said the wrong thing.  They don’t realise that their excuses have such an impact on you as an individual.  You go into the next room, sit down and ponder what they have just said, you suddenly start questioning and doubting yourself, agreeing with them, they were right, it was me.  So after that experience, you don’t to do, whatever it was you were supposed to have done, again, you learn from that but their excuse doesn’t eradicate your experience.

 

It can’t change what they have done but it will have an impact on you and your future.  Their behaviour won’t change but it will make you see things differently.  Excuses can be more damaging that the issue that has taken place.  It’s like a constant battle inside your mind, was it my fault, no it wasn’t, but they said it was, so it must be.

 

They know their behaviour won’t have a physical impact on you but they certainly know the psychological impact it will have.  Excuses are just ways to justify their actions which are morally wrong.  An excuse is given in the hope that it is believed which will allow them to carry on an behave us in exactly the same way, time and time again.

 

An injustice is done and before our brain acknowledges it is wrong, an excuse is given which just confuses the situation so now we are trying to take in what has happened and now an excuse.  It is psychologically draining!

 

Excuses don’t eradicate experiences they have an impact on us and our future.  We are manipulated, controlled and brainwashed on a daily basis by them until we don’t see them as excuses any more but the truth so we accept and tolerate our perpetrator treating us this way.

 

Those excuses make us feel as though we are to blame, they stop us moving forward and they stop us from speaking out.  Excuses are part of perpetrators, it is part of their charm, it is who they are.  They feel it easy to give an excuse rather than addressing the issue, pinpointing the problem or changing the way they behave; it sweeps things under the carpet.  When excuses are involved the cycle will never change, it will just be on repeat forever.

 

Perpetrators are always in control and know what excuses to give and when.  They give excuses to justify their actions.  Defences, excuses and rationalizations of perpetrators are part of their controlling characteristic, often shifting the blame so they can get the sympathy vote.  Blaming the victim excuses the perpetrator but the reality is domestic abuse is never the victims fault.

 

Excuses don’t excuse anything.

 

 

 

Did your parents know what was happening?

A survivor for almost 10 years and some of the questions I get asked are the ones that seem to put the blame on me, my family or my upbringing.  It’s a damn shame such questions are put forward to the perpetrators though, you know, the ones who are actually to blame for domestic abuse.

As soon as you admit you are a survivor of domestic abuse it seems to make society feel better knowing it was my fault rather than learning about the cycle and understanding, no actually it was not my fault, I didn’t say or do anything wrong, he just loved be in control.  Of me.  Of my life. Of everything about me.

Sometimes I am asked the question, did your parents know what was happening and to be honest, I find this question quite insulting and rude, as if it were the fault of my parents!

My childhood was simply the best; I had two amazing parents and was brought up in a loving and safe environment.  You could say I was rich in love.  And yes, as soon as they knew what was happening to me, when I turned up at their house with a black eye was a complete giveaway, and they tried every which was for me to leave him.

Understanding the complex cycle of domestic abuse, society would know that leaving an abusive relationship is not easy, no matter how hard you try.  Verbal threats of, I will kill your parents, I will take your child away from you and I will find you are imprinted inside your skull and ring out every single second of every single day like a loud church bell.  Those words that come from that poisonous tongue are not just words, they are threats, threats that he is capable of making reality at any given time.  The only thing is, I don’t know when that time is going to be.  I fear for my safety, for my parents and for my child.  He could seriously harm them if I dare to leave, how on earth can I live with that on my shoulders for the rest of my life?  Could you?

When your mum, your soul mate, the wind beneath your wings, here you screaming down the phone and begging him to stop, that must have just broken her heart into a thousand tiny little pieces, knowing that no matter how hard she tried to get me away from him, he was pulling me closer and closer to him.

The impact of domestic abuse was well and truly underneath my skin.  As long as I did everything he wanted, did everything his way and did as I was told, it was be alright.  For that day at least.  Everything could change the very next day.  I guess it depended on what sort of mood he was in when he woke up as to whether he would change the goalposts for that day or not.  Living with a perpetrator means no two days are ever the same.  I could count on one hand the number of good days we had, believe you me there weren’t many at all.

Fear held me back.

Even if my parents didn’t know what was happening to me, that doesn’t condone his behaviour at all.  What about the fact that his parents, his siblings and his family?  They all knew what he was like, what he was doing and what was happening to me but all they ever did was beg me to go back to him every time I left because “he wasn’t a bad lad really”.

It’s as though society is too afraid to ask these questions to the perpetrator because, they are a pillar of the community, because of their job title or bank balance, society just doesn’t understand that these are all the things that blinds you to see what is going on.  So when we do speak out, we aren’t believed because of who they are, they are seen as the caring partner not the controlling perpetrator.

Parents aren’t to blame for domestic abuse, perpetrators are.  Pure and simple.

 

I breathe you in every single day

Every day I breathe in your toxic attitudes, behaviour and words to me, taking it all in just like the oxygen that I breathe.  I don’t realise the potential danger or affect you are truely having on me because you aren’t even putting one finger on me, not on my body anyway.

Your actions don’t seem to match your words. You can be so caring., loving and sensual with your body but your tongue is just so dangerous with all those hurtful words that come from it.  How can you love me and how can I not see you don’t really love me at all.

I wake up every single day praying that today is the day that is going to be different, that the goalposts won’t be moved, that I “won’t do something wrong” and that you have changed, like you have always promised me that you would.  That day just never seems to come.  No matter how hard I pray. I do pray you know; I pray for change, I pray that today you won’t kill me and I pray that one day I will leave this all behind.

When you tell me that you love me, it’s like music ringing in my ears because that’s all I have ever wanted from you; you to love me the way I love you.  You know which buttons to press, you know I love you and how I hang on your every word; that is the power and control you have over me.  Yet I breathe you in every single day, blaming myself, denying it’s even happening, making excuses for your behaviour.

At the beginning of our relationship you never physically hurt me, not one but I didn’t realise that you were abusing me with your words.  Isolating me from friends and family wasn’t because you wanted to spend time with me but a way of taking away my life line from me, making it difficult for me to speak out.  Telling me you wanted to spend time with me but wording it in such a way that if I didn’t stay with you, you would hurt me.  Everything I did, to you, there was such a sinister reason for it.  I only went to work because I was having an affair with my boss and I waws only learning to drive because I was having an affair with the driving instructor.  Little did I know, you locked me in the flat to stop me doing these things because you were stopping me living, you were stopping me from living in the real world, from talking to people, people who wanted to help me but you made it seem that you were the only one I could ever rely on and once you had isolated me from everyone, you were the only one there for me.  In a sinister and dark way.

I could get lost in your blue eyes and hang on every single word you said, if you had told me the sky was green and the grass blue, I would have believed you.  Everyday I breathed in your manipulative, your controlling and verbal threats; those words stored themselves deep inside my mind, rising to the surface every now and again, it was like you were underneath my skin, I just couldn’t shake you off.

Even when I left you, I still breathed you in every single day, you were like a nasty smell that was lingering around in my nose.  In time I learned how to control those thoughts and feeling, learning that it was never my fault, that you were the one who were always in control and you chose to abuse; I didn’t choose to be a victim.

 

Blind Fury

He just couldn’t seem to see what he was doing to me, unable and unwilling to understand the consequences of his actions.  It just came so naturally to him, like second nature as though it was acceptable.  It was as though he was disregarding me deliverately and pretending not to notice the impact his behaviour was having on me.

He was blind with fury as though he was so angry that he couldn’t behave reasonably.  But was he angry or just bitter?

Everyone seemed to have done him wrong, his parents, his family, the mother of his child, everyone.  He made out everyone was against him, always hurt him and life for him was so bad and difficult that no one could ever possibly understand because he was the only person in the whole wide world who had experienced something bad in his life.  It was as though life owed him something.

He would refuse to accept this his behaviour toward me were abusive, he told me he loved me and only said these things because he was the only one who loved me.  He couldn’t understand why somedays I left him, even though I loved him, really loved him, he couldn’t see why I had to get away from him.  He couldn’t see how I loved him so much but on the other hand I was absolutely petrifed of him too.  He was unable to see what he was doing to me.

Stripping me of everything I once stood for, my family, my career, myself, he tore me down piece by piece until all that was left was a skeleton of who I once was.  He thought nothing more of being so verbally abusive to met that it tore my heart into pieces, hearing such cruel words from the man I loved and who claimed to love me.

I had never met a man before who was so angry with the world and everyone in it; bitter and twisted.  At the beginning of our relationship I felt sorry for him, my heart ached when he told me how his ex partners had treated him and prevented him from seeing his own children.  I believed the stories he told me about how he paid maintenance and travelled hell and high water to spend time with them.  Of course he only told me what he wanted to tell me, he told me the things that he knew I would “fall for” and be sympathetic toward and probably say a bad thing or two about his ex partner.  Little did I know, he was just blinding me with lies to make it easier to abuse me later down the line.

He was manipulative, controlling, possessive because he was abusing me not because he was loving me like I wanted him to.  I mistook his coercive control for his love and care.  How very, very wrong was I.

He was blinded by fury and I was blinded by love.  I let my head and heart control my gut instinct, I made myself believe that he loved me.  I convinced myself that things would work and that we would live happily ever after but toward the end of the relationship,three years later, I knew that day would never come.  Not because I didn’t want it too but because he didn’t want to change.  He saw nothing wrong with his behaviour, he was always right, everything was always my fault, no matter what I did.  As long as he was in control, then he was happy, he couldn’t give a rats arse about anything or anyone else around him, as long as he was OK.

How dare I bring him down to such a level, the lowest of the low I was, how dare I drag him down.  He was completely oblivious that he was dragging me down, right down to rock bottom but he wouldn’t accept that fact because if he did, he would be admitting he was a perpetrator.

Even when I left the relationship, his abusive ways never died out, they never left him, he never changed.  He didn’t want too.  I’m just thankful that I’m not blinded by fact that all men are like him.  Not all men are perpetrators and not all men that I meet will want to abuse me.

Push yourself

The sunshine shining through the curtains didn’t make any difference neither did the tweeting of the birds outside my window.  It was another day dawning but even that didn’t bother me.  Lying down back in bed, further underneath the quilt, covering my head, trying to block everything out but it wasn’t working.

Why wouldn’t my mind just switch off and let me forget, why couldn’t he just leave me alone and stop messing with my head, why was I even thinking about him!

That was the thing, he was under my skin and living subconsciously in the back of my mind, he just would not leave.  No one saw the struggle, not the real one, they just saw me with a smile on my face as I walked down the road, they didn’t see the sadness that was hurting me on the inside.  The couldn’t feel what I was feeling.  They didn’t see what I saw when I looked in the mirror.  They couldn’t understand how much I was hating myself right now.

You don’t have to be in a a relationship with your perpetrator to be abused by them, they are living deep inside your soul long before you find the strength and courage to leave them but the sad reality is, they don’t leave you.  Not for a while at least.

Domestic abuse isn’t “just a slap” then “you leave” and “live happily ever after” it is a complex cycle that no one can fully understand, unless they have lived through it themselves, you simply cannot understand it from the sideview.

It changes your life completely and then it takes you time to rebuild it, you live through good days and bad days, some days will be filled of denial, other days you will still feel love for your perpetrator and other days you just won’t understand anything at all.

Every single day you have to push yourself to do the simplest of things, just to get out of bed in the morning can be a struggle, you don’t know who to trust or how to trust, you become frustrated at anything and everything but you don’t really know why, everything becomes so hard and difficult.  But that’s your life, that’s how your life will change, whilst your perpetrators life will carry on regardless.

Learning to love yourself is hard, you really have to push yourself to do it, because you have.  You can’t live in the past because you will never move forward.  Take one day at a time, step by step and things will become a little easier.

Sometimes we have to push ourselves way past our own limitations because if we never push ourselves, how do we know how far we can go?

As strange as it might sound, when we live with out perpetrator we sort of feel safe because they are like our rock, a bad rock but still a rock because their isolation has pushed our friends and family away without us really knowing yet when we leave them we feel out of comfort zone. You really are stronger than you think and until you push yourself, you will never know hoar far you can go.

If you push yourself, it teaches you a little more about yourself, after all you are only in competition with yourself.  You have an inner strength inside you that is just wanting to burst out and live life again.  Your life.

Your perpetrator will have crushed you down physically and psychologically, always thinking you will be that vulnerable person they once moulded you into but the day will come when you believe in yourself once again and you will push yourself forward and you will keep on going without ever looking back.

I’m scared!

The world around me suddenly feels so very diffierent, like I can’t cope anymore or I don’t know which way to turn.  All the decisions I seem to have to make now are so much harder than before.  I don’t know what to do.  I’m scared.

What about if I make the wrong decisions, what about if I can’t cope and what about if I go back?  Maybe my perpetrator was right, no one will want me now, I’m broken, I’m damaged, I’m no good for anyone!

Feeling lost, lonely and isolated are natural emotions to be going through once you have experienced the trauma of domestic abuse, it’s exactly how your perpetrator wants you to feel, so you don’t leave them, so you don’t cope without them, so you go back to them.

In a strange way you sort of feel safe with your perpetrator because you know what signs to look out for when the abuse might take place but when you leave the relationship and are no longer with them you find yourself constantly looking over your shoulder and wondering, what’s going to happen next, it’s about the not knowing.

It is difficult once you leave because you are worried about what might and what could happen but it feels as though you have to learn to live all over again because nothing seems to make sense anymore.  You don’t know who you are, where you are going or how you are going to get their, that’s from the impact domestic abuse has had on you and your life.  It’s how your perpetrator has made you so reliant upon them you can’t see a way out of the darkness you might find yourself in.

Leaving feels as though you have lost your way and you don’t know which direction to go in and the trip ahead is a long and winding one but it’s not impossible.

Feeling scared, frightened, alone, afraid and as though you want to go back are all natural emotions that will take time to overcome.  You have to learn to love yourself again, have a relationship with yourself and learn to live again.

You suddenly feel as though you can’t cope but that’s not because you can’t but because you’ve been brainwashed to think that way.  Physically and psychologically you have been broken down, piece by piece, bit by bit, drained of everything, wore down making it harder to leave, harder to leave and harder to survive without your perpetrator.

When you leave you still doubt yourself, you are still in denial that it ever happened and you still believe that your perpetrator loves you but the reality is, they don’t, they just love to abuse you.  They love the pain they inflict on you, they love you to wince as they humiliate you, they thrive on hurting you but disguise their behaviour in such a way that it is seen and felt as love and care, which makes it so much more dangerous to just leave because you blame yourself.  You feel them under your skin, you eat, breathe and sleep your perpetrator, suddenly your world stops existing and everything revolves completely around them and it is so very hard to break that cycle, no matter how hard you try.

It’s even hard when alone too, you seem to go so far on your own, but you lose your way and feel as though you can’t cope alone and you want to go back to the arms of the abuser because you don’t know any different, the only difference is, when you go back the abuse might stop for a week or two, maybe a month or two but it will still happen again and again, it won’t change, no matter what your perpetrator tells you. Their behaviour won’t change, they don’t want to change, not for you.  They thrive on being in control of you, they love having power over you, they don’t love you, they love to abuse you.

I’m scared, doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you are brave enough to leave, it’s about knowing when enough is enough and when you deserve so much more.  I’m scared, I’m not afraid of showing you I can and will survive without you.  I’m scared, is saying to your perpetrated I can do this without you, you don’t own me and you won’t hurt me anymore.  It’s about taking babysteps forward and never looking back.  Being scared will only make you feels stronger for what’s to come.  Taking the first step forward is always the hardest.  It doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you take that step and don’t ever look back.  Yes it’s going to be dark, yes it’s going to be hard and lonely but you can do it because if you go back you will never break that cycle, they will always control you.

Feeling scared will stay with you for a while but then that scared feeling will turn into something much more stronger until one day, you don’t feel scared anymore, it will feel as though you are getting back the control of your life that you once lost.  It isn’t about feeling scared any more but you could say you become definant, determined to survivor without your perpetrator.  Life doesn’t have to end after domestic abuse because life really begins after domestic abuse.