Domestic Abuse. Always in my Shadow. By tracie
From Shy Child to Abuse Victim
Ever since being a child, I was quiet and shy and found it hard to develop relationships. My father left us high and dry. I never forgave him.
In 2007 I met a man, who I didn't fancy at first, but I was eventually charmed by his seemingly mature attitude and easygoing personality. We had a past time in common. Or, he told such.
He asked me out. We slept together on the second or third date, dispute my misgivings. Even then, he was very persuasive in his actions. Not necessarily by what he said to me. We'd been together 3 months, and he asked me to move in when he was drunk. I was a bit alarmed at how soon it was and told him I'd think about it. He knew I was living at my parents' home at the time, and I wasn't happy there. So obviously, I agreed to try it. I felt nervous about it, but I ignored my feelings of insecurity. I had felt insecure with other boyfriends before, anyway. I'd dated two very possessive men already. To me, it was normal in a partner.
The Cycle Started with Emotional Neglect
When it came to moving in, I felt more comfortable, but it wasn't for long. Sometimes finishing work at 11:00 p.m. I tried as hard as I could to get him to support me by picking me up. It was dark, and I felt vulnerable riding my bike home from work. I was conscious of the quiet and loneliness at such a time. He seemed to not understand. Also, I felt that it was putting me at risk traveling home alone at night, as it is for all women.
Once I pealed so fast that I fell off my bike and was bleeding. I'd text, and his reply was limited. It upset me, and I had nobody to assist me with moving my bike as I limped. Bruised and bleeding. I tried and tried to persuade him to help me. He wouldn't. I had this awful sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I felt anxious and very alone. And, I knew that other boyfriends would not had left me in such a situation, but I felt obliged to stay with him.
At home he was very lazy. His parents did jobs at his house while he was at work. They supported his commitment to his job, as his father wanted him to follow in his foot steps They wouldn't let him support himself. He had lived alone for 8 years, but he still went to their house almost every night for free meals and wine.
The Abuse Escalated to Control
I regretted moving in with him after a couple of weeks. He always had to be the one in control and even saw me as a lodger. Demanding board out of my wage. It made me feel small and worthless. I felt too anxious to speak up to him and explain my thoughts that it was wrong, but eventually I did when friends agreed with my opinion. They were shocked.
We went on holiday twice a year. His controlling behavior was really bad during our break if I didn't conform to his wishes and do what he wanted. I was put down on a very large scale, and my friends or family and my past mental health depletion was brought up and pulled about until I was made to feel worthless. He made me feel scared. Despite no physical threats as yet. He was very calculating.
We had a brilliant and exciting life at first. In more active weeks his behavior wasn't as bad. But the more cruel he became, the less I desired to sleep with him and be physically close. I felt obliged. I worried that if I didn't do it or hold his hand back, he'd verbally abuse me. I was scared of the prolonged taunting and bullying. It caused me to become depressed. He never took responsibility for his actions, even for small things. And, he constantly lied, which caused augments as I didn't trust him at all. And, he would try to stop me seeing friends/family by insulting them and manipulating me into thinking their behavior towards me was worse than it realistically was. And, I believed him.
Things were okay for a month or so, and I'd developed a bond with my sister's children who seemed to take to me. I wanted a child of my own. He'd said he wanted two children and to live in a big home. We tried for a baby. I got pregnant straight away. But the day we found out, I'll never forget the hour of physical abuse he bestowed upon me.
Next Stage - Physical Abuse and Terror
We were having tea at his parents for the first time that week and had a couple of drinks. I had missed a period, so I decided to do a second test. It was positive. I was excited but worried at the same time. While his controlling behavior and mental abuse hadn't gotten bad again, I didn't know if I really wanted the baby with him. He got really drunk and told his parents. His mum was hesitant. She didn't say why. We had talked about her son's behavior. She didn't like him as a person. She told me he had thrown plates in their home. He got more and more drunk. When we got home we fell out over how drunk he was. He wouldn't have any water etc. He started being verbally abusive and stood in my face. I pushed him back a bit and shouted back. He walked out to the hall and slipped over and couldn't get up. He came to me in the kitchen and restrained my arms while he punched me in the face and on my arm. He didn't know what he was doing and blamed me for him falling. He lied saying that I pushed him and that it happened before he fell in the other room. He pinned me against the sink, restraining my arms. Then, he kept wrestling with me, trying to push me around. He commented that I should have expected him to hurt me, as a family member had been in secret services. I was a few weeks pregnant and had to go on holiday with him in 2 days. I wanted to escape, but I felt tied to him and unable to leave. He was off to work until we went away. I was terrified.
The atmosphere on most of the trip was awful. On the second day I couldn't stop loosing blood. I realized I'd miscarried. I ignored him as much as I could. He tormented me with comments that he didn't want the baby and that it would get taken off my back. He said I wouldn't be able to care for it by myself. I barely spoke for most the day. He would always twist things. I tried to hide my tears. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. I hated him and decided that I had to leave him when we got back after holiday.
The reality of what had happened became clear when we got back to the house. I was reminded of the abuse when we entered the house and reminded of the atmosphere that made me weary and insecure. And, I did not want to be there. I was afraid of what might happen next.
He rang me three times a day and checked up to see who I was with, what I was doing, etc. I wrote an ex-boyfriend a note and posted it, telling him briefly what had happened and that I needed to escape ASAP. I found a flat to rent near his. I was working and taking all the spare hours I could to cover the costs so that I didn't have to see my abuser much. I even did nights. But, I couldn't concentrate and got mixed up with procedure, so I got sacked. I had confided in a supervisor. She was nice and advised I get help for the abuse. But I didn't know who to go to, except my old boyfriend who still cared for me.
I tried to settle in the flat and stop myself going back, but I gave in. He was very persuasive.
I got pregnant again. He promised to behave responsibly and assured me that he really wanted the baby this time. We had tried for 30th. He refused to have it tested and said it was me. I thought there would be some way of sorting our situation out.
Now pregnant I thought I had to make it work and keep together for the baby. When the baby was born, the father kept turning up late for visits with no apology or call. I discovered that it was because of his binge drinking with family. I was hurt and upset. I felt ill. I was very anemic. I burst into tears and confided in a nurse one day. She looked after my baby.
He tried to put the baby in his new car seat when he was asleep. My sister told him off. When her and my parents went home, he was nasty and blamed me again. I had to ring his parents' house and tell his dad. His dad took his view. I was left to think that he wasn't collecting us the next day. That night he was talking to himself in the bathroom. After following me to get ready for bed, he came up behind me and put a bag over my head to suffocate me. I fought with him. Our baby was directly behind him. I had to remind him twice to help stop him harming me. He had already joked about suffocating me with a pillow to stop me shouting at him in response to his mental abuse. And, he left our child alone while he pushed me around the hallway to try and get me out the house. He told me he was going to make us homeless and adopt our baby and get me locked up in a mental hospital.
He made our baby cry. Slamming doors and kicking his moses basket etc. One weekend he threw a ceramic ornament at me in the glass conservatory. He had previously thrown a glass at me when I was 8 months pregnant.
Stalking After I Left Him
He stalked me after a couple of months. The police only warned him. I went to mediation to sort contact. His parents supported him. I felt betrayed. His parents and him returned drunk after I had left them alone with my son. It really upset me. I had to stop contact when he ran out of their house when me and my new partner took him there for all day contact. He couldn't tell us what was wrong. Social services advised I stop contact when I told them everything. My new partner was very supportive.
My abuser took me to court later for contact.
I reported the abuse and neglect. It was the 3rd time I'd tried to get an interview for the domestic violence. The interview lasted 2 hours. He didn't get charged, but the bail was a wonderful way to stop him from stalking me again for 3 months. I found out later that their excuse for not charging him was that they thought I was lying about some of it to manipulate the decision on contact. But, I had not lied. He got no charges when he should have got ABH.