Life is for living, not killing

Remember reading your most favourite fairy tale story, dreaming of being that particular princess, thinking of being a drown up and not being able to wait to meet your very own Prince Charming. 

Love is one of the most amazing emotions ever, to love and to be love is just spectacular and showing love can be done in so many different ways. 

Mums and dads can often show their love by telling us to wrap up warm because it’s cold outside or to put our seat belt on before they take us to our favorite place. 

Friends might show us their love by buying us a present from their holiday or telling us an answer to that question we don’t really understand in class. 

Siblings might let us wear that favourite top we have secretly been eyeing up o they might let us tag along to that party they swore they wouldn’t take us to. 

Love is shown and given in so many ways that it’s not always on display or so easy to see but when it’s there, we feel it in our heart. 

Sometimes the love we actually feel is often the best, a big hug from mum or dad, big brother ruffling our hair, holding hands with that someone special and that one kiss that makes butterfly feelings in your stomach. 

Love in the right hands is just amazing, sometimes just a small gesture can upt a big smile on your face all day long and leave a glowing and warm feeling all around you.  Everyone in the world should be loved and everyone should feel safe.  That should be a person’s right. 

We all have our own personal dreams and aspirations as we grow up, sometimes we follow our dreams and sometimes we don’t.  More often than not we all have aspirations for our children too, we might want them to be a teacher, doctor or nurse, we encourage them to do well at school, we hope they don’t fall in with the wrong crowd and we worry about them when they go out without us.  We often have these though patterns because we love our children and want the best for them. 

But what about those children who aren’t loved, those who are abused, controlled and killed. 

We can’t live in a society any longer where attitudes are, it doesn’t happen to people like us or it doesn’t happen where we live; it knows no boundaries, it does happen and it is happening right now.  You can’t turn a blind eye.  It might not be happening to your son or daughter but it could be to your neighbour, your uncle, brother, sisters’ best friend or one of your colleagues at work. 

Just because you can’t see any physical signs of domestic abuse, does not mean that it isn’t happening behind closed doors.   

Lie isn’t a fairytale and as much as we want to wrap our children up in cotton wool and bubble wrap forever, we just can’t.  We have to let go of the apron strings at some point and let them take their own journey in life, even if they do take a few wrong turnings here and there, that is part of life, they have to make mistakes in order to grow and more importantly learn from those mistakes. 

I think one of the most embarrassing conversations we have with our children is, “about the birds & bees” – although I’m not entirely sure who is more embarrassed – but maybe naively we might only talk about sex, it might be a quick talk so it’s done and out of the way.  Do we really sit there and talk about relationships and feelings that often go hand in hand with sex.  Surely, we don’t have a conversation that talks all good things in a relationship, isn’t it fair to weigh things out, we can’t give false hope on either side. 

Talking about domestic abuse isn’t a thing to fear because talking about it makes us aware, gives us a choice and lets us know our options. 

So many people mirror abusive behavior because they have seen it at home, been brought up to accept such behavior as normal and without conversations continually flowing, how will they know any different or ever have the courage to speak out? 

An abuser takes away the voice of a survivor but this survivor wants to give them a voice. 

After hearing about Mylee Billingham, I vowed to myself that in her name I would at least try and make a difference. Her story touched my heart because that could have been my Tegan. 

Please consider signing my petition, to get the conversation flowing, to raise awareness and to give our young people, the next generation, the confidence to speak out.

I can’t just leave

I lost my job because he constantly called at my work place demanding to speak with me, getting angry when I walked out with a male colleague or he would be waiting for me in the reception as I left work. 

It’s been so long now since I lost my job it feels as though I’ve actually lost my own identity, I no longer know who I am, my job was my sanity sanctuary but since being sacked my self-confidence has drained from me. 

How do I get another job, what do I put on my CV about why I lost my previous job, what will happen when organisations contact my employer for a reference and they say, constantly late, with drawn, could do better.  Who will want to employ me now? 

He promised me that every week he paid the rent on his property, I knew it was paid on a Friday because that’s when he demanded my wages for me.  I couldn’t really understand why I kept getting rent arrear letters, the house was in my name as were all our bills, it was the obvious option really because I was the only one working.  His money was his plus he needed if for his beer.  I was in rent arrears and in debts with the bills soh ow could I leave, I don’t have any money.  I can’t ask him to lend me any either, he always likes to see my receipts and every item that I have brought, he likes every penny accounted for. 

I don’t have my own bank account so I can’t eve save any money even if I wanted too, any spare cash I give to him, he needs his beer. 

I have no job and no money, I am in rent arrears, I can’t get on the council list and I won’t be able to get into the local refuge because I can’t leave my dog with him and they won’t allow me in with my dog.   

People around me, I don’t mean friends or family as he made me choose between him and them, he said they were no good for me because they didn’t love me the way he did and they were jealous of what we had, I guess he was right, they were always telling me he was no good for me  But people around me, knew was happening to me behind closed doors the bruises were quite clear for all to see but I guess because I always seemed okay, never said anything different and never said anything about him, people thought I was ok.  Maybe they assumed I said the wrong thing, I said something I shouldn’t have or I wore something that I wasn’t allowed too and that’s why he gave me a black eye, it’s as though they condone, accept and tolerate his behaviour toward me. 

And what about the children, if I left the marriage they would blame me for splitting up the family.  I would be seen as the one giving up.  If I did leave, I know he would make it difficult for me to see the children or even worse, those verbal threats to take them away from me, would become a reality.  I know what he is capable of and he would do just that. 

He has to be in control all the time and everything has to be his way.  Even when I go out, if I am lucky enough, he bombards me with calls and text messages, I think he just misses me really but it’s so embarrassing, I can’t relax and it’s as though he is constantly checking up on me, wanting to know who I am with, where we are and what we are saying to each other.  Sometimes it’s just easier to stay at home. 

I’m so isolated so I can’t tell anyone and no one will believe me anyway, everyone thinks he is just so charming and to a point they are right, well, he was so charming when we first got together, he couldn’t do enough for me.  We can’t even walk down the street without people stopping to say hello and to speak o him and no one ever says a bad word against him. 

Sometimes it feels like I am fighting a losing battle I can’t speak out or report it because most of the toe he doesn’t leave any physical marks, all scars he leaves behind are living psychologically in my sub conscious mind and I have to carry the heavy burden of his words and actions every single day of my life. 

If I just leave, I know he will come and find me and he consequences of me leaving just absolutely petrify me because I know what he is capable of.  It might sound a little strange but living with him, I always know what his next move will be.  He has little tell tale signs that tells me when something not so good is going to happen to me.  If I leave the environment that I am in lI am not going to know anything around me and I will constantly be looking over my shoulder, wondering what will happen next.  Anyway, it’s not like I haven’t tried to leave before but he just begged me to stay, he promises me he loved me and I know that he does, it’s just that I press his buttons sometimes and I make him angry, it’s my fault.  Even the Police tell me to just leave, I’d have to see him anyway because Judges like Dads to see their children but on the other hand I have social services telling me if I stay with him they will take away my children.  

With all this going on around me, trying to be the perfect wife and mother, trying to stop stepping on eggshells and trying not to do the wrong things, although I don’t really know what the wrong thing is any more because every day he moves his goal posts and what was acceptable yesterday, isn’t okay, it feels as though I am in the deepest darkest possible place I can be in, with no way out. 

Don’t you think that I want to leave but ask yourself, if I do leave, will that really make the abuse stop?  Will his abusive behaviour completely stop? 

Domestic abuse is all about power and control, with all abusers, male and female, always doing things to gain and maintain that power and control.  That need, does not simply stop. 

Two women, in England and Wales, are killed each week by a partner or former partner. 

Having our confidence, self-esteem and self-work completely destroyed, teamed with isolation surrounding us this having no one to rely upon anyone other than our abuser and often mistaking their control for cause because there is a thin line between the two, leaving is never an easy option.  To leave is to dice with death.