Telling my story, to make sure that others don't have their own.
(Western Australia, Aus)
I'm a mother of two beautiful girls, and now a happy, healthy 24 year old who enjoys everyday with my beautiful family. But that's not always how it was..
A few years ago I was in a brand new relationship. It was all exciting, fun and laughter.. and I thought I had found someone who was going to make me happy. Initially, he did, for the first month or so.. until I found out that I had unexpectedly fell pregnant on contraception. That's the day everything changed.
It started with a few arguments, the normal kind of disagreements like "can you please just wash up your plate if I've just done the dishes" you know the normal woman nagging stuff. Except the responses went from" sorry, I clean it up in a sec" to "stop being a stupid nagging bitch, get off your fat ass and do it yourself if it bothers you that much.
It went from name calling to verbally bringing me down and making me feel so little about myself I started to believe it. All within 2 months. The verbal abuse continued and got worse and worse until one night he came home drunk and snapped. I didn't leave the front door open for him to come home at 5.30am, so he staggered in the bedroom door, threw me around into the walls while swearing at me, throwing anything he could lift at my direction. Until he walked out saying he was going to his friends house leaving me sobbing in the corner under a broken bed frame that I was laying in 15 minutes prior. That day will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Of course, he did the whole apology 2 DAYS LATER! saying he didn't know what came over him, he would never do that to me again and he couldn't apologize enough.. Blinded by what I thought was love I believed it, My worst mistake to date.
After a week of sucking up he went back out to his friends house and drank and per usual, it had become a daily occurrence, and while I had become more and more pregnant.. he became more and more absent.
It started to become worse.. He wouldn't come home for 3 days, and when he would he'd walk straight in the front door act like I wasn't even there, turn the TV on grab a beer and be done for the night. We got to the point where I kept trying to talk to him about changing his drinking habits but would end in a one sided yelling match, calling me every name under the sun.. even ending in a butcher knife being thrown at my head, a few glasses hurled at me. One night it got so bad, having a conversation about he amount of time he was never home, and I wish he would come home for longer times and perhaps try spending more time together.. of course it was my fault.. Being told that I was the reason that he never wanted to be home. I made him sick to look at and the thought of talking to me was enough to make him want to drink.
At this point I had lost my friends.. No one wanted to go out with us, invite us anywhere or even come over to our house because HE was there. The last few times we met up with friends, we had people over and he talked to my eldest (only at the time) daughter the way he always would, despite my efforts to get him to stop. Calling her stupid and telling her to shut up and fuck off.. my best friend stood up over the table and said "how dare you think its okay to speak to her like that, don't you ever talk like that to her again and definitely not in front of me" My instant reaction in my head was.. "please stop, you have no idea whats going to happen to me because of this later". It went silent after that.. everyone continued to eat and then once dinner was finished they got their stuff and left.
That night he brought it up, after a few beers of course.. because I was unbearable to talk to sober. I stood up for my daughter and agreed with my best friend and told him that was not on! it was not okay to treat my daughter like that.. to tell her she can't sit with us at night in the lounge room and watch TV or that she wasn't allowed to talk near him. He got so angry he walked away, I stood still thinking "what now, what have I done". He came back. Pushed me into a wall, punched me in the stomach (6 months pregnant) head butted me, then pushed me into the bedroom behind the door and slammed it continuously against me until he almost knocked me out.. he pushed the chest of drawers against me so i couldn't get out from the corner behind the door. and I didn't I sat there all night, to scared to move.
His locked me out of the house for 2 days with no clothes or necessities at 9 months pregnant. Thrown glass ash trays at me, punched me repeatedly, dragged me from my kitchen to the front door and kicked me in the side until I literally fell out the door. Choked me so badly before his Christmas work function I had hand grip bruises around my neck and had to carry foundation around all day because "if i didn't cover them up everyone would see and he would tell them that they were hickey's from me going out with a guy last night" And I was stupid enough to wonder why my friends wouldn't come over.
I decided just before baby was born to buy tickets to go on a boat cruise which the year before when I brought tickets to, went sour because he wanted to drink at his friends house and was pissed "i made him leave to go to this thing" He started yelling at me so loudly and pushing the dash and telling me to drop him off around the corner because there was no way in hell I was going anywhere with him. But again I tried, and it ended worse. It ended in an argument driving down because we had argued earlier that day, I had asked him because i brought tickets, lets put it aside, try to enjoy our night and get along.. instead i picked him up from the birthday he was at before hand where he was with him friends before our boat cruise.. he was so drunk he was passed out on the front garden of the restaurant, he got in the car swearing and yelling at me for taking him home because he was having so much fun. it ended in him chocking me up against my drivers seat chair.. then grabbing a hold of the steering wheel, and pulling in right around so we did a 90degree left hand turn on Ennis Ave from the right hand lane, narrowly missing a car and driving us of the road.
This man made me think so low of myself, on the way to work one morning I attempted to drive myself off the road into a tree, just because he put in my head that I was so worthless, The world would be better without me. I was on the way to work at the hospital.. for some reason i had a guardian angel that day who stopped me as i verged off the road from carrying it out. I walk straight into work.. told the boss I won't be working today, instead I checked myself into ED for 13 hours to see the psych. He suggested i go home and try to surround myself with my loved ones.. At this point I checked myself into a Mental Unit, because I felt this was the only placed where there would be 24/7 monitoring, where i would be sage and he couldn't hurt me there.
There are many incidents aside from this.. some worse that the ones I've mentioned.. and it all ended when he came home after a business camping trip, and had cheated on me with a co-worker. That's when every inch I had of self respect left my body. When I really thought I was worth less than the shit on his shoe. He denied it flat out. Until I confronted him a friends birthday. I told him not to come home, I left.. went home and locked every door and window. He came home at 4am, smashed a window to get in.. the car out the front wasn't leaving and I became so scared I hid in the wardrobe. He tried to smash his way through the lock bedroom door. Through things at it, but couldn't get in.. he trashed the lounge.. grabbed something and went out the through the front door.
After he didn't come home for 4 days, we had made an agreement for his mum to watch my new daughter so I couldn't spend some friend time and go out for a while.. He had other plans.. on the way home from dropping her off he chased me (driving) down the freeway to beat me home after telling me if I went out, he would destroy me.. and make sure no one looked me again for being the tramp that I am. I was home packing anything and everything I could while calling my best friend to drive to my house and beat him there because if he got there before she did, I don't know what he will do to me.
My beautiful partner that I have now couldn't not be anymore understanding if he tried, he sits with me at 3am while I'm having an attack because of these memories that haunt my sleep. He deals with my depression and down days like a champion and while none of this was his fault.. he shows me every second of the day that no one will every touch or hurt me again.
There is a fairytale for everyone.. and If I hadn't of left I don't know if I would be around to have found it. We need to know that we are strong enough to know that we as humans deserve so much more, that we can walk away and find somewhere safe, and that there are people and organizations out there that are there to help us make that hard transition back to a normal life.
It gets easier. Everyday, I get better and better at distancing my memories and how they make me act.. they ruined my life, and my spirit.. but I will NEVER let it define who I am.
Let me be clear, I'm not writing this novel to destroy anyone, to embarrass anyone, to prove anything, or to seek attention/sympathy or any other feeling from anyone.
All I am writing this for, is to enlighten people.. This does happen.. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DOES HAPPEN! Hardly anyone knows about what has actually happened to me in the past 5 years.. there is a reason why, and its because I'm ashamed. But its not something to be ashamed for.. Its not your fault.
People need to Stand Up, Speak Out and Be Strong!
There is always light at the end of the tunnel, you just need to keep pushing.