Forever Moving On

by Cindy
(Victoria )

I have always been a sucker for love and from the moment I started my first relationship I just never wanted them to end. I endlessly wished someone would love me and stay with me forever, but when I found that person it wasn't what I imagined it to be.

I hated breaking up with people, and I couldn't wait to meet someone I could spend the rest of my life with someone who would never leave me. At 17 I was hanging around the city in a circle of friends drinking, doing drugs and everything in between. I met a guy who was a bit older from NSW. He was hilarious and was so great at making friends. From the moment I saw him, I felt shy and like I wanted to talk to him, and I wanted him to notice me. He did not, he spoke a few words to me, and I laughed at whatever jokes he was telling. I remember he was practically homeless and I enjoyed his company, so I bought him lunch. He was always getting in trouble with the law but I liked that about him also the fact that we were total opposites made me like him even more. I continually wondered how he could do things without fearing consequences and part of me envied that.

One day I saw him stealing from the 7/11, and he got locked in something compelled me to stay behind and wait for him even though I barely knew him. He started living with me after he informed me that my ex-partner was cheating on me. I was distraught, and in my time of need we ended up dating one another. Things with him were great. We were staying at my mum's, and she loved him. We spent our time playing video games and doing speed. I can't pinpoint the moment when things changed. I can't even remember much of the relationship. It seems to be a blurry nightmare.

I remember my companion's ex-girlfriend calling and telling me that when she dated him, she wasn't allowed to leave the house. She wound up talking to teddy bears. I didn't understand, and I thought she was just dramatic. This first disturbance was in 2009, and I had no idea what family violence was, but I wish I did.

One day my mate ran off and said I shouldn't be with him and that I deserved better. This incident happened before any abuse, and I told him I would not leave him. He yelled at guys who looked at me. I thought it was a little embarrassing, but I knew he did it because he cared. Then, he started joking about having kids, and I brushed it off until he told me that I should get off my depo shot, as it was ruining my body and he informed me of all the dangerous side effects, so I agreed. I got a prescription for the pill, and he ripped it up. I asked him to wear protection he told me ' would you wear a bag over your head,' which was his joke. I thought ok we should be fine, but I fell pregnant.

Needless to say, after three months there were numerous arguments. The man I was dating was occasionally taking heroin, which he knew I hated, and I was pregnant. He got into punch offs with my family, and he stole my stepfather's credit card details for our game. He got kicked out. I was pregnant, and I followed him, then he accused me of stealing his drugs all the time. He went through my clothes on the side of the street then forced me to the bathroom to get naked and squat. I was mortified and embarrassed as I was crying the whole time.

We stayed with friends. He tried to stab my hand, and he told me I was cheating on him all the time. He threatened to kill himself if I left him. It got so much worse. I kept thinking of situations that would happen, and things we had to look forward to that would make it better. My gut hurt the majority of the time and being pregnant didn't stop the relentless beatings for 'talking back' and having an opinion. I went anywhere with him because I knew he had a hard life and that all this was happening because he doesn't know if he can trust me. I spent so long trying to make him believe me. I slept at Southern Cross station with him and various other places. He told me my friends don't care about me because if they did, they would have tried to contact me.

He went to juvenile prison right before our son was born, and he told me to be home for his phone calls and visit him every weekend and write to him every day. Our letters were great. Everything was great again. I thought by doing all of this I was making him trust me, proving that I was trustworthy. He got out, and our son was born, nothing changed.

It got to the point where he would drag me along the hallway by my hair because the baby was crying. I had time periods where I was able to leave the house, and when I came back, he would check my undies and girls discharge. He would slap me in the face and accuse me of cheating. At first, he would say sorry, and then he didn't care. He took all my bank cards and only he could use the money. I remember trying to leave, and he pulled our son by the legs. He would lock me in the room with our son if he was crying and slap me if I came out always reminding me to not feel sorry for myself because other women have it worse. I believed him. I thought I could change him. I enjoyed playing games on the laptop with him and watching YouTube, and I loved his personality, but I hated him. The blank expression of coldness and darkness of the eyes that came over him when he hurt me. I would plead and beg for him to stop. I cowered. I feared if I maltreated him back he would beat me worse, and I wondered what I had done to make someone I loved so much not care if I live or die. Then he would joke, "it's okay if it's not a closed fist" and quotes from once we were warriors. He punched me in the nose on my birthday. He always tried to avoid my face and gave me packs for the bruising. Every mobile phone I got he smashed. He called me a slut all the time and said nobody cared about me but then managed to tell me I'm beautiful every day, which in a sick way balanced it out at the time. He threw a phone at me while I held our son and it almost hit him in the temple. I had enough, then but he said I let him hurt me in front of our son so if I told anyone DHS would take away my only reason for living.

I thought "why me" most days and wallowed in self pity. I won't lie, I tried to leave various times seeking the help of my mentally ill drug addicted mother who would always send me back. Every time my abusive partner would tell me our relationship would get better. But, as soon as the front door shut, the abuse worsened.

The final time I remember was before I finally left. The perpetrator picked me up by my throat off of the kitchen floor, and I couldn't breathe. He called my boss and told him I couldn't come in to work on my first day of work since he made me leave school. He always accused me of lying, and that he took a course and can tell when someone is lying.

I went to a refuge but felt it was too extreme, and I wasn't in that bad of a situation, so I left. My abusive partner said, "you don't have it as bad as my ex, I knocked her fucking teeth out." I departed to go to work, and his friends were there that day. He called me saying I abandoned the family. But, I didn't return. I worked hard to get my son back, only to have him kidnap him before his second birthday and take him interstate. He told me I couldn't know where my son is unless I come back to be a family with them. Lucky, my son was at his mum's who didn't know me and had been abused by my partner also. So, when he went to jail, she gave my son back after my ex-boyfriend told the court that I was a bunch of horrible stuff, which they didn't believe.

He continues to play on my caring giving nature, but I do not respond I went to lawyers who told me my story was too extreme and the magistrate doesn't want to hear that. I tried to get the police to help me who told me there was nothing they could do, twice despite texts threatening to kill me and an intervention order. But this was 2012, and I'm glad to see change now however unfortunate that the help was not there for me everywhere when I needed it.

My ex-consort texts and tries to call every day, despite no response by me for four years. He tells me he is going to the army and wants to see his son. The guy is now missing from the mental hospital and has left me with three grand worth of debt that I just finished paying off from TV's that he hocked, but I am happy. My son and I are alive and well. My son and I are doing things we could never have done with him.

I now have an exciting new boyfriend and new members of the family. I still deal with the impacts of abuse, but there is bigger and better world out there. I now know what family violence is and will educate my kids to see the flags.

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