Don’t focus on the past, you’ll miss the future

Sometimes you are in so deep you don’t ever feel like there is a way out of the dark tunnel that you find yourself in.  You feel as though your whole wide world is closing in around you and you can’t find a way out, no matter how hard you true.

Your self-confidence and worth has been sucked out of you and you feel as though you are not good for anything or anyone.

Coercive control and domestic abuse will have an impact on you but we must try and learn from it and not dwell on it.  Sometimes that’s easier said than done.  It will leave you bewildered and confused but the most important thing to always remember is, it wasn’t your fault.

Focusing on what once was, stops you from moving forward and keeps your perpetrator in control.

Although leaving the relationship can feel frightening and seem scary, it is something you can do to focus on you, learn to love yourself again and be who you want to be.

The past can never be changed, so sitting and thinking it’s your fault does nothing to change the situation but to relive the traumatic experience all over again.

Don’t be afraid to get back up to try again because not everyone who you meet in your life is your perpetrator and they won’t treat you in the same way either.  The important thing is to always trust your gut instinct because it won’t lie to you the way your head or heart will.  Learn to trust your gut instinct and your barriers don’t always have to be down.

Domestic abuse is about power and control but when you have left the relationship don’t be afraid to live again, you can get back into the driver’s seat of your life.

Your perpetrator will have poisoned your mind, telling you how you will never cope without them when the reality is, they can’t cope with rejection or you leaving them through the fear of losing control over you.

You have so much to focus on when you take the step and decide to leave your perpetrator.  It feels as though you can see life completely different than you did before, it makes you stronger.

The fear that lives deep inside your soul lifts itself and in time, slowly releases itself, taking away the heavy burden from you.  Suddenly the darkness from your eyes disappears and you get that sparkle back.  Your frown turns upside down and before you know it, you are smiling again, inside and out.  Things feel different because you have your freedom back again and time, time to be you, do what you want and go where you want without being monitored.

There is no f ear of going to bed or waking up and no fear of walking on those eggshells either.  Waking up with a smile on your face really does set you up for the day.

The sense of safety as you can speak and visit loved ones without fear of what might happen when you get back home.  You can go out and about, speaking to whoever you like and make eye contact as well.  The feeling of freedom is immense, even at home too!  Cook tea when you want, watch your favourite TV programme and sleep for as long as you want.

The sound of the key in the front door no longer fills you with dread or fear.  You look forward to inviting friends round and the kids have endless fun with their friends calling for them.

You can smile again without being made to feel guilty as to why you are smiling.  The feeling of fear suddenly turns into happiness.  You have achieved the one thing your perpetrator said you would never do, you are coping and living without them in your life and now they are feeling sorry for themselves because they no longer have you to control and you are proving them wrong.

Focusing on where you once were, won’t help you move forward with your life and right now, that is the most important thing ever, you.

You have been worn down physically and psychologically but you will rise and you will get through this.  You have survived and lived to tell the tale of a traumatic experience, from here on in, things will get better for you.

Life doesn’t come with a map showing us the easiest direction to take; we have to take the backpack blindfold.

In 2003 my life changed forever because I fell in love with the wrong person.  He was very much loved by not only his family but me too.

Looking back now, I can’t really see what I loved about him.  Yes, I was physically attracted to him and I guess to a point, his bad boy image, his scars and tattoos.

I guess you could say, opposites attract.

I worked hard and played hard, he just played hard, work wasn’t important to him, yet having enough money for cider was.

He loved his mum but hated mine because he knew she could take me away from him, if only I had listened.

Most people in our life have something happen to them that is devastating, yet they don’t put the blame on those around them for this or sit and wallow.  My ex seemed to think everyone and society owed him something.

Taking away the interior of his abusive ways, he was just a very lonely and insecure individual.

I came into his life as an independent woman with a good job, a social life, savings and friends, quite possibly all the things he didn’t have in his life and he felt the need to strip me of everything I had in the hope to make himself feel better about his own life.

During our 3 year relationship, I can count on one hand the number of happy days we had together.  Every other day was walking on eggshells and trying to keep him happy so he wouldn’t abuse me but it didn’t always work.

The relationship was very much revolved around him and what made him happy.  I learned, the happier he was, the better for me.

Looking back, I don’t think he was a happy personal at all, although this was never an excuse to how he treated me.  It can’t even be said it was me, something I said or did because he treated all his partners the same.

There is never an excuse for perpetrators behaviour, yet there must be a reason why they do what they do but they must be taught domestic abuse will not be tolerated.

A perpetrator cannot be easily identified because there is not a specific type; it knows no boundaries and many hide behind their profession, fortune and financial status.

A common reaction from others is I didn’t think they were like that, being fooled completely by the caring partner not the controlling perpetrator.  Also many victims don’t even realise they are being abused because they aren’t physically harmed.

Awareness is key.

The Hospital Visit

I’m here but you have absolutely no idea what I have been through prior to arriving.  My injuries are quite visible to you but you don’t know about the beating and pounding I have been given psychologically by my perpetrator before getting here.

It was 6 hours even before I could call for an ambulance.  He watched me write in agony and pain as I begged him to phone for an ambulance, his smile was so sadistic watching me.  I had to crawl along the floor to reach the phone, he just watched, not helping me at all.

He continued to mock me, telling me how it was my fault, I deserved it and no one was going to believe me let alone support me.  He told me if I dated to tell the truth of what really happened last tonight, he would find me and finish the job off once and for all.

I know you are asking me these questions because it’s your job, but I really can’t answer you, not with him standing by my side.  I have already programmed by him about what to say and although he seemed caring in the back of the ambulance, soothing me with his words, it was all part of his act to fool you into thinking he is a caring partner and that I’m mad and it’s all my fault.

The words I’m telling you are likes, but my soul is screaming out the truth and my deep dark eyes are begging for you to help me.  But my mouth is helping me stay alive because if I tell you the truth, he will kill me.

I know this isn’t the first time you have seen me but every time this happens he promises it won’t happen again.  I know he loves me so I believe him and I pray it won’ happen again but it always does.

I don’t do or say anything to provoke him, it’s because he’s had a bad day or because his football team didn’t win.  He loves me really, I know he does.

This isn’t the first time he has hurt me either, I don’t come every time because he is always so sorry after.  So apologetic and full of remorse.  He can’t believe he’s done it, he doesn’t know his own strength.

He’s being the caring partner in front of you, oh how I wish he really was like this all the time, not when putting a show on so he doesn’t get into any trouble.  He’s making me look bad so he can look good.

Notice how I flinch when he moves closer to me, how he is doing all the talking and I can’t even make eye contact with you because if I do, his actions toward me will be deadly.  Quite literally.

Things will be fine for a while; maybe a week or so but then things will go back to this.  It’s not always this bad, I mean, what’s a black eye and a few broken ribs, they always heal but his powerful tongue and hurtful words cut through me like a knife, twisting deeper and deeper with every single word said and he is so calm and his face tells me he is enjoying this pain he is causing.

It really isn’t just a case of you patching me up and sending me on my way so everything will be OK, the cycle will start all over again and it isn’t that simple as me just leaving.

I don’t have anywhere to go, he always finds me.  I don’t have my own money; he takes it away from me telling me I’m not capable of looking after it myself.  It I dare to leave, he has told me he will kill himself because he can’t bear to live without me.

This latest incident was because I looked at another guy.  He’s right though, why should I have been looking at someone else when I’m in a relationship with him.  He says I asked for it this time and he had to do this to me because now no one else will ever want to look at me again.  He say is if he can’t have me, mo one else will.

I just want to talk to someone, for someone to tell me it’s going to be okay.  I can’t talk to you, I don’t know if I can trust you because what if you tell the Police and they come and arrest him, you just don’t know what he will to me next.  I mean this is nothing compare to what he is really capable of.

The Call

The phone call has been made and now you are feeling guilty because they are going to get in trouble.

Maybe I shouldn’t have phoned in the first place, I shouldn’t have said anything at all, and perhaps it was my fault.

“You know this is all your fault, don’t you? It’s because you made me do it, they will realise that when they come, and they won’t believe you.  You’re just wasting their time, you know I love you”.

Sitting there you feel your body shaking, you are frightened, shaking through fear.  So many thoughts rushing through your mind and now you don’t know if you have done the right thing or not.

Every verbal threat he ever made, threats to kill you, your children and your family come to the forefront of your mind.  Panic rushing through you as their safety falls heavily on the weight of your shoulders.  How can you be held responsible for their deaths?

“You know I love you and I didn’t mean it, but it was your fault, you made me do it.  I love you so much, please don’t do this to me, don’t let them take me away from you.  I won’t be able to cope without you.  If they come for me, I’ll kill myself, I will and it will be your fault!

Why did I make that call, I know he loves me, he’s the only one there for me, he’s the only stable thing in my life, if I haven’t got him, I have no one.  Maybe it was my fault; perhaps I pushed his buttons and made him angry.

I’m going to have to tell the Police what happened and they probably won’t believe me anyway and oh my God, what if they inform social service and they come to take my children away.  It will all be my fault for making the call because no one knows he hits me because when we are out, I hide behind my happy mask and just seems like the caring partner to everyone else.

“You know that no one will love you the way I do, don’t you.  I’m only with you because no one else wants you.  Look at the state of you”.

He’s right, I mean, look at me.  I’m a mess; I don’t know why he’s with me.  When the Police come they will take one look at me and just not believe me let alone listen to me.  What about if they take him away and I’m left on my own.  How will I cope without him?  The kids will hate me for taking their dad away from them.

“I’ll get your kids taken off you; you’re not a fit mother, taking their dad away from them. I’ll find you, wherever you go, I’ll know when you are sleeping, I’ll know everything you do so watch your back.  I’ll tell everyone you are crazy and get you locked away.”

It really is not as simple as making a phone call and that’s it things change.  So much abuse takes place as soon as the call is made and until the Police arrive and when they leave too.

Perpetrators will always be in control and calm, that is part of their character and what enables them to continue abusing.  They will always act as if nothing has happened or that it really was no big deal, whilst continually victim blaming as the victim will remain silent and not speak out.  This is not because nothing has happened or it was their fault but because it is the complex cycle of coercive control and domestic abuse.

Before even making that telephone call the victim has endured multiple abusive incidents, been brainwashed and manipulated into dropping the charges against the perpetrator and made to feel it was their fault.

A perpetrator will say absolutely anything to maintain their innocence and whilst doing this will remain in complete control.  Not only do they know how to manipulate their partner but they also know exactly how to play the system.

Blaming the victim, promising it won’t happen again and acting like the caring partner is all part of their characteristic to continually abuse their partner.

A lack of faith in the Justice System might just see a reduction in the number of calls made to the Police, the reductions isn’t necessarially because the abuse is not happening.  Victim often say to themselves, what’s the point in reporting the abuse when nothing is actually done to even remove the perpetrator or if it does make it to Court, the Justice System just isn’t strong enough to stop the perpetrator from abusing.

Giving child contact to a perpetrator will not prevent or even decrease the abuse, in fact, it will have the opposite effect as the perpetrator uses their own child as a weapon to gain and maintain their power and control.

Society seems to be under the illusion that once the call is made, the Police arrive and the perpetrator says sorry sir, it won’t happen again, that domestic abuse magically disappears – this is from the truth.

It is a complex cycle and has a huge impact on victims and their lives which is why a focus must be put on aftercare and support to help them live a much safer life.  If we don’t even make people aware of the crime and believe them when reporting it, how will they have confidence in speaking out.

 

 

 

The want to become high becomes progressively more powerful

 

Psychological dependency is common and can happen with any drug and for whatever reason; some people feel they could not cope without drugs.

 

Cannabis effects how your brain words and I fear that smoking cannabis teamed together with domestic abuse is a deadly and dangerous combination.

 

A perpetrator, although seemingly calm to others, will feel anxious and paranoid toward their partner and adding cannabis to the equation will have a very similar effect.  So for anyone living with an abuser and an addict will find it doubly dangerous and demanding.

 

Coercive control and domestic abuse is all about power and control and so too is the need to become high, it becomes progressively more powerful.

 

It is such a vicious cycle with the abuser becoming much more abusive when they can’t become the addict, the partner will be to blame for everything that the abuser cannot have.

 

Cannabis, just like coercive control and domestic abuse will leave the abuser feeling anxious, suspicious, in a panic and also paranoid – both abuse and drugs will portray a Jekyll and Hyde character.  Also, the two have been linked to serious long term mental health issues with both the abuser and victim being affected.

 

Like domestic abuse, cannabis will also have a huge impact on the family and especially the children.  Not only will they be mirroring the behaviour at home but also it will be having an impact on their day to day life too.

 

This week’s money might go on buying a new light to grow the cannabis rather than buying the new winter coat for the child.  By doing this, it will have a ripple effect on the child and the partner.  Without wearing a warm coat, the child will become ill; therefore will not be at school which could consequently arouse suspicion from the education authority and children’s services.  The partner will get the blame when the authorities get involved, bringing them into the family home and subsequently calling the Police when the hidden stash is spotted.

 

The abuser won’t be bothered that the child is ill or their partner in trouble with the local authorities, instead their main concern will be the revealing of their herb.

 

With the removal of such drugs, the psychological dependency will set in and so too will the coercive control together with complete victim blaming.

 

In some abusive relationships, it could be that the victim chooses to smoke too in order to numb the abuse they are going through and to help them deal with what is happening to them – it becomes a coping mechanism.

 

So therefore, if both parties cannot get their next fix, the abuse that might take place could be from them both.

 

Some abusers could get their partner addicted to the substance early on in the relationship as a way of getting them to rely completely upon them.  It is another way of getting them to rely completely upon them.  It is another way of gaining and maintaining that power and control over them.  For example, using it against them with threats of taking away the children because they are smoking cannabis.  The partner will then beg the abuser to not say anything to the authorities; therefore the abuser is in the position to make their partner do whatever they want through fear of not having their children taking away from them.

 

The substance will take over life, the way the abuser does.  That too is in control in the way it is needed, in the same way a victim things they need their abuser.  It also controls your life and has a huge impact on you if you don’t have any – like a victim often feels without their abuser.  It has isolated you from your friends and family but you become dependent on it, thinking you won’t be able to cope without it.

 

Cannabis effects how your brain works, making you feel anxious and paranoid are two common characteristics of an abuser.  Some people can also experience panic attacks and hallucinations as well as making you feel demotivated and uninterested in other things going on in your life.  It can harm your mental health – the same as domestic abuse does.

 

Abusers are completely uninterested in everything that doesn’t involve them.  Walking into the home of an abusive relationship isn’t about seeing blood splattered against the walls or holes in the doors with the victim sitting on the sofa with a black eye.  It’s about looking for the invisible signs, not the obvious.

 

How is the partner reacting to the abuser and what is the body language telling you?  Abusers often speak on behalf of the victim, whilst not making eye contact with anyone.  The partner might seem withdrawn and the abuser might be abusing them in front of you without your recognition.  Where coercive control is, a powerful tongue isn’t far behind and that is what can cause so much destruction.

 

The paranoia from the cannabis and the character of the abuser is a lethal combination, controlling the movements of the victim and also a consequence of smoking the drug.

 

Domestic abuse is a complex cycle; however with cannabis too, I fear a deadly combination.

Jailhouse Rock

As I opened the door, he stood looking at his watch.  I was shocked to see him but his face said it all, I was doing something I shouldn’t be.

Alarm bells should have been ringing at this point but I guess I was just so shocked to see him standing outside of the toilet door, let alone timing me.

My mobile phone was always on silent at this point of the relationship because he hated me contacting my mum.

Who have you been texting, he demanded to know.

At the beginning of our relationship I was a legal secretary but due to his isolation to control me, I soon lost my job because of his persuading behaviour not wanting me to leave him on his own.  To him, I was only going to work because I was having an affair with my boss and if I really loved him, I would stay at home with him.  I wasn’t even allowed to call in sick, so he got what he wanted, me at home so he could monitor my movements easier.

He was jealous because my boss was male and soon my driving lessons too.  He controlled who I could see and couldn’t see as well as stopping me from seeing friends and family too.

I didn’t see it as control at all, I saw it as care, I thought he wanted to spend time with me, I thought he cared for me, when what he was really doing was completely isolating me so he was the one I could depend and rely on.  At the beginning of the relationship he would constantly call me if I was out.  I could never relax, always waiting for the next phone call.

He had this way of making me feel guilty when I wasn’t with him as though I should put my life on hold for him.  He was always telling me how my friends didn’t like him and that put me in a situation where I felt torn between them and every time I choose him over them because I thought they were jealous of what we had, I didn’t realise they were trying to look out for me.  Yet whenever, on the very rare occasion they came round, he would always be the charmer toward them and often flirty.

In time I became a prisoner inside the flat and in all honesty it did feel safer inside the flat for me when he wasn’t there, when I wasn’t washed or dressed or looking at anyone of the opposite sex.

I remember once, I completely panicked when someone knocked on the door and came to visit, I had to usher them straight out of the door incase my ex partner came home and he put two and two together and came up with 5.

It felt like I become imprisoned against my whole life, I couldn’t do anything without supervision or permission.  My life was no longer my own and it came to the point where I wasn’t living just existing for the sake of someone else.  I wasn’t even the person I wanted to be any more; I was moulded into someone he wanted me to be so I was easier for him to control.  I was stripped of my confidence and worth, just a skeleton of the person I once was, all for his sadistic pleasure.

I learned how he didn’t have to touch me to hurt me, he only needed his mouth and his tongue for that and his words could cut right through my heart and he knew that, he really knew that.

He knew how to plant that seed knowing the impact it would have on me, even years down the line, knowing his footprint was embedded on my soul.

Behind closed doors he knew he could treat me exactly how he want too because I would never say or do anything back.  I never said or did anything to instigate his behaviour toward me and would often sit, cowering in the arm chair like a frightened child whilst the man I loved physically hurt me – one time it was with a kettle cord around my neck as he pushed the who of his body weight down on my time 4ft9 inch frame.  There was no way I could get him off me, I had to wait until he had finished.  Sometimes it was over as quickly as it started but sometimes it felt like I was going through hell for hours.  Even when he knocked me out, he thought I was acting.  I was unconscious for a couple of minutes; he punched me, knocking me back into the armchair.

I think when he physically hurt me; it hurt my pride more so than anything, after all, a black eye fade in time. One time I think he broke my ribs but I never reported him or went to the hospital just waited for the pain to go away because tomorrow he would be sorry anyway and after all, it would never again, well until the next time.

I became imprisoned, couldn’t go out, couldn’t look at anyone, couldn’t talk to anyone – everything, to him, had such a sinister motive so it was always easier not to say or do anything.

All my ties to freedom, taken away from me.  Sometimes just breathing I did it too loud, putting something down on the side, was done in the wrong way – I couldn’t do right for wrong and those goalposts were always moved.  I could make a call, I couldn’t text, I could never do the things that I wanted to do because I didn’t matter any more.

Sex, never love making

My ex perpetrator was not the person I lost my virginity to, yet the first time we had sex, I can’t say when we made love because we didn’t, he tried to make me feel bad by saying he wasn’t the first person I had slept with.  I knew I wasn’t the first or last person he had slept with so what difference did it really make?

We were in the flat, sitting in the living room with his flat mate, when he stood up, took me by the hand and said, come on, making it quite clear what he had in mind.  The bedroom wasn’t a million miles away from the living room so his flat mate must have heard us.

Throughout our relationship sex was a huge part of it but looking back now, that’s all it was – sex – it wasn’t love making or even making me feel special but just another way to control me.

Comments such as, the neighbours can probably hear me again, making me wonder, does he mean from previous relationships or does he have someone here when I am not.  Of course, he knew this statement would get me thinking such things.

I remember on occasion whenever I wanted sex, he would fall asleep, too much alcohol obviously, but whenever he wanted it, he had it.

At first it was all exciting for me I guess, that this guy who I thought was out of my league wanted to be with me let alone have sex with me.  But toward the end of our relationship I just couldn’t bear him near me, let alone touching me.

He would never show his affection toward me when we were out in public, probably due to all the affairs he had behind my back, but he knew it made me feel as though he was ashamed of me.

I guess he was my sexual controller, using the love I had for him, against me.  He knew I would forgive him and that forgiveness was just a green light for him to continue to abuse me.

Of course he loved to flirt right in front of me because after all he didn’t really care about me, let alone love me but if I dared to look at another guy there would be hell to pay.  He never really made me feel good about myself either, often telling me I wasn’t a real woman because I couldn’t even make him hard and how I disgusted him.

Such cruel words have a huge impact on new relationships too, even though you know not everyone who you meet is your ex perpetrator but those words don’t just disappear, they are still with you.

I guess the way he made me feel was his way of telling me I was there for his needs, not mine.  Being told such things makes you feel insecure about yourself and you start believing that you’ll probably won’t be able to satisfy another guy anyway so what’s the point  trying to form another relationship?  You still feel inferior and not because of the people coming in and out of your life but because of that one person you loved, treating you so badly.

I remember the first time I found a porn video in the bedroom and after that he often had sex with me whilst watching it.

We never wore a condom and I remember feel so degraded when I had to go for a HIV text, even though I was the one who had never cheated.

Another time I remember him saying, here have another baby, as though in his eyes that’s all I was good enough form.  An object to satisfy his needs and not a person to be loved, feeling owned, powerless and manipulated.

Although I was never raped, he still had control over me and knew because I loved him so much I would tolerate it.  The man I genuinely loved simply used and abused me for his own satisfaction because he knew he could

Being brainwashed and isolated into believing you are worth nothing, you really do believe it and through this behaviour you think you have to put up with it.  It has a knock on effect too, you lose confidence in yourself and you don’t believe anyone when they pay you a genuine compliment or you automatically wonder why.  I guess my own self worth now is because of the person I was once with.

I’m the king of the castle and your the dirty rascal

I remember this from school and I guess back then, it did give you a sense of power with you being way above your friends, high up and looking down on them.  I guess back then, it was just harmless fun, just words and only a game.

Only this type of behaviour as an adult is far from childs play.  It’s dangerous and damaging.

In a relationship, the king of the castle will be just that and expect their partner to be their slave doing all the menial tasks, ordering for the jobs to be done.  Complaining, bitterley demanding that housework is a womans job, implying it’s beneath him to be doing it and making us feel guilty for them doing it.

Even if they do help, they will still do it in such a way that they are controlling us, make it seem as though they are doing you a favour.  Making a point of doing things, telling you they are taking the trash out so you thank them for doing so, yet they expect you to do the housework with no thanks at all.

Undermiming you by telling you that’s not the way it should be done or taking over from you because you are doing it wrong.  Put me downs instead of praises.

Things will often be left for us to do.  I remember leaving my ex perpetrator numerous time and when I went back the washing up was always waiting for me and to save confrontation, I simply got on with it, whist patronising comments came from the living room when the reality was, he knew I would wash up and clean up as soon as I got back because it was expected of me.

Thinking back, he nevre helped with the housework and was mortified I didn’t know how to cook, yet I was always the one cooking – believe me, I learned the hard way.

When we think of a King, it’s a ruler, these Kings are controlling, belittling and manupulative with no ones intentions at heart but their own.  Maybe they were mirroring images they witnessed as a child or are still living in the past and are under the illusion, women stay at home to look after the house whilst the “man of the house” and I use that term loosely goes out to work – mine couldn’t even do that!

Moving into his flat was something he make quite clear from the beginning, he probably felt it was my duty to thank him by being his housekeeper.  It got to the point where as soon as I got out of bed, I was cleaning something as though I had to prove to him that I was capable.  If I was doing what he expected from me, it might stop the abuse.

Maybe he didn’t want me to go to work in case I neglected my housewife duties at home, perhaps he thought I was incapable of being a working woman and a housewife or maybe he knew I was capable of both and didn’t want me to put him to shame by doing both.  The King of the castle might not have had his tea on the table on time or maybe he just wanted to show his authoritive side.

The King of the castle makes use inforerior to them and degrades us by dictating the chours to us, this puts them in control, wearing us down so we just get on and do it rather than expecting him to do it.

They probably think the cleanliness of their castle reflects on them because if it were left to them they would no doubt be living in a tip