The main thing i have learnt so far is that my depression and the difficult relationship i have with my eldest daughter is that they have stemmed from my past, part is to do with the negative relationship i had with my dad as a child but its mainly down to the abusive relationship i was in from the age of 15 to 18...
In the 6 weeks school holidays before i went into year 10 i met a boy through a mutual friend. He was in the same year as me at the same school but we had never really noticed eachother before. It started out as a normal boyfriend girlfriend relationship that most 15 year olds have. I had never been in a relationship before so this guy was my first everything. After 3 months he said he loved me, we spent everyday together, wrote eachother soppy letters and thought we would 'be together forever'. Things soon turned sour though. He became controlling and started calling me names during arguments. I assumed it was normal...the controlling behaviour was because he loved me, the name calling only happened because we argued.
The first time he showed violence towards me was outside my house, we had got into an argument over whether he was going to spend the day with me or his best friend. He was always different infront of his friends, made out i wasnt important. It got a little heated and he ended up kicking me, quite hard in my leg.My sister who was there at the time told my mum but i quickly denied it. His friend who was also there, said nothing.
I remember the second time he was violent, although this time it wasnt towards me, but our mutual friend. It was over something really petty and came from nowhere, my boyfriend ended up pushing him off his bike, putting his head to the kerb and stamping on it. I was stunned and had no idea what to say or do.
Over time things between us got worse, he started spending more time away from me but didnt allow me to see my friends or decide i was going to spend time away from him. I spent the next 2 years being strangled, headbutted, kicked, slapped, fingers bent back trying to break them. He told me i was worthless, nothing witout him, ugly, fat, not as pretty as his ex girlfriend. But to me i needed him, i loved him...life without him would be unbearable.
The week before we were to start 6th form (and after he openly admitted to cheating on me with a random girl and giving his number to a waitress) i couldnt get hold of him. His mum (who disliked me) told me he was in wales with his dad. Until i showed up at his house to find him wearing a scarf. His excuse was that he was cold, but he had no trousers on... just boxer shorts and a tshirt. An argument erupted and the removal of the scarf showed a huge lovebite. His excuse for this was a male friend did it as a joke. I believed him, stupid stupid girl.
Not long after this i found out i was pregnant, at the same time he admitted the love bite was from his ex. I felt my world had been destroyed, i opted for a termination. His mum was furious with us, she wrote me a long list of reasons to abort our baby. Suprisingly, he objected, he WANTED me to keep it, he cried...he showed emotion id not seen before. He promised me all would be ok, he was sorry for cheating. So, believing his lies once again, i kept the baby and continued in 6th form.
I was 8 months pregnant when everything came to a head. He had been ignoring me, i was isolated from friends. I was pretty much alone, all i had was him. He had been treating me exceptionally badly the past few months, told me how good his ex was, how she was so much better in bed than me. Turned out, hed been seeing her all throughout my pregnancy and had even told her i wasnt pregnant, i was making it up. In a hormonal, emotional outburst i practically ran to his house to confront him. It was late, i was a mess, i had a huge bump. His mum let me in. His friend was there, playing on the computer. My boyfriend took me aside, i was calm, i asked him to explain. He hit me, hard in the face. I fell onto the bed. He dragged me up and threw me against the stair railings on the landing. His friend hid in the bedroom too shocked to do anything. I curled into a ball whilst he repeatedly punched and kicked me in the face, head and bump. Where was his mum in all of this?
Standing there watching.
A neighbour came round to see what was going on, my boyfriend soon stopped and his mum told me to get out. I ran as quick as i could to find my mum in the car, looking for me. Police were called, i was taken to hospital.
I had pre-eclampsia to go along with my bruises. The baby needed to come out asap.
We both very nearly lost our lives.
We spent awhile in hospital, my boyfriend wasnt allowed anywhere near me, he had to keep to his bail conditions while the assault was going to court.
Not long after i was home from hospital we met up. I was forced to have sex with him, with stitches down below. I had to do it though, i had to prove i loved him (his words not mine). One day he contacted me from a payphone, asked me to call him the next day at a certain time, so i did. He cancelled my call. I tried again and again, what was going on? He eventually answered and said nastily "stop calling me" i was furious! He asked me to ring him! I sent a text message telling him how i hated him, how he had ruined me. That evening the police knocked at my door. I was arrested.
Apparantly, my boyfriend had never been my boyfriend, i was stalking him, harrassing him. Turns out, he had been at the police station when i rang him, he was telling them all about me, how i wouldnt leave him alone. What a coincidence, the time i was told to ring him was the time he was giving a statement.
I was distraught. I didnt bond with my baby, i didnt want to eat, speak to anyone, nothing.
Everything went to court. His mum and friend lied, said i had caused my injuries myself by thrashing about. He was found not guilty.
We soon got back together and saw eachother secretly. No one knew except us. To everyone else we were just civil for the babys sake. He had kept his fists to himself for awhile until i told him it was over asi had found out he had another girlfriend who knew nothing about me.
He punched me several times in the middle of the road infront of his friend, who once again, did nothing.
I called the police again but it was me against him and his mate.
If it wasnt for meeting my friend (lets call her Emma) i would probably still be with him now, suffering his manipulation, or maybe even dead.
Emma and i became close,she was everything i wanted to be, fun, confident, a hit with the lads, fashionable. She hated my ex boyfriend and i started to hate him too. She became my best friend and through her i met someone.
It took awhile but i got over my violent ex. He didnt like this and decided to beat up my new boyfriend. He was actually found guilty of this though. He continued to contact me using the excuse he wanted to see his daughter. He came round a few times but it became clear he wasnt interested in her but trying to bed me.
I found out he was beating his new girlfriend. I contacted her, she confided in me. I gave her the courage to speak to the police. Thankfully she got away from him before anything serious happened.
My relationship with the new boyfriend ended after awhile, but i came away confident, stronger, happier and with the strength to stand up for myself.
Not long after, i met my now husband and couldnt be happier with him and our children. My eldest doesnt see her biological father (or sperm donor as i like to call him) since she was a tiny baby, she knows about him and understands my husband didnt make her, but she loves him to bits and calls him daddy.
My violent relationship went un-noticed by friends and family for years. No one had a clue what was going on. And i am not alone.
Domestic violence is not always physical but mental and sexual too. It affects more than just the woman in receipt of the violence, friends, families and children are all affected in one way or another.
You may have read this and thought 'what an idiot, staying with him' 'why didnt she just leave him?' and believe me i ask myself that sometimes. But at the time it seems there is no way out.
* Up to one woman in four is affected by domestic violence at some stage in their life.
* More than 500,000 women are affected each year.
* Domestic violence results in the murder of more than a hundred women each year.
* Violence within same sex relationships and from women to men is not unheard of, but the vast majority of domestic violence (estimated at over 80%) is perpetrated by men on women.
* The police receive an estimated 360,000 999 phone calls each year connected with domestic violence by men against women.
* Domestic violence occurs across all ages, ethnic groups and social classes.
* 54,000 women and children are given protection in refuges each year.
* Despite the number of incidents reported, according to the latest figures prosecutions undertaken by the Crown Prosecution Service only numbered 13,000.
* This number represents only about 15% of the estimated arrests in suspected cases of domestic violence.
* Disabled women are twice as likely to suffer domestic violence and more likely to endure abuse.
(Bulleted facts from guardian.co.uk)
Purple is the coloured ribbon to raise awareness for domestic violence, along with child abuse, anti gay bullying, animal abuse, eating disorders and homelessness. See more here.
I have made my own purple ribbon for you to put on your blogs. If you are against domestic violence or any of the above, please add this and link back to this post.
Let me know when you have and i will add your name and link to the bottom of this post to show who is in support of raising awareness of domestic abuse.
Domestic violence has to stop