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New Years Resolutions: Bridget Style

As we wave goodbye to 2012 and  a new year is starting to blossom,  I’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions which are quite similar to those of Bridget Jones! (and some private ones to that I am not going to share with you lovely lot unfortunately :p)

bridget jones

If you’ve seen or read Bridget Jones’s Diary, you’ll know it starts out with her New Year’s resolutions: lists of things she will and won’t do. Here are those famous words from one of my favourite chick flicks:

Will obviously lose twenty pounds.  

Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket.

Equally important…will find nice sensible boyfriend to go out with.

And not continue to form romantic attachments too any of the following…alcoholics, workaholics, commitment-phobics, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuck wits, or perverts.

And especially will not fantasize about a particular person who embodies all these things.

 

So…What about you, have you made any? 

 

Here are some of the most common made resolutions..

Lose Weight and Get Fit
Quit Smoking
Learn Something New
Eat Healthier and Diet
Get Out of Debt and Save Money
Spend More Time with Family
Travel to New Places
Be Less Stressed
Drink Less

 

 

And here are some of my posts that may help you on your merry way..

 

10 Tell Tale Signs You Need To Lose Weight

Wonderful Water: The Effects of Drinking 8 Glasses a Day

The Cambridge Diet

Eat Unlimited Amounts Of Food & Lose Weight

How To Look Your Best At All Times

100 Sex Positions to Spice up Your Love Life

Write an Online Dating Profile

A Single Girls To Do List

A Frisky Girls To Do List

People Pleasing: Stop Trying and Start Living For You

Stress Tolerance: How To Cope

And after your wild NYE Partaayys……The Morning After: Hangover Cures

 

Domestic Violence: My Story

Domestic Violence: My Story

My story, domestic violence, stop abuse

 

I wanted to share this story with you, its my story about the domestic abuse I was subjected to for 4 years of my teen to adult life. I suppose its good to post about something that’s closer to home, rather than shoving pretty things in your face all the time, because life isn’t pretty all the time.

 

Not many people tend to touch on the subject of domestic violence as it can be upsetting as well as something you would rather forget, but today I think its time I spoke about a chapter in my life so that I can close it once and for all and hopefully help anyone else out there that might have been or is in a situation like I was.

 

5  years ago, I broke up with the father of my child, I had been with him for nearly 4 years,  we didn’t break up because he didn’t pick his boxers up off the floor, or because he would forget to put the toilet seat back down but because he abused me, physically and mentally.

I was 16 when I met him, it wasn’t  love at first sight, in fact I didn’t even fancy him! but as he was an older man (he was 19) and he paid me the attention I decided to start dating him, he drank a lot but at the time I thought that’s what everyone did. After a few months I thought it was love, but I guess it was more of habit and he made me feel grateful that I had him. I went away on holiday with my parents for a fortnight, I missed him like crazy and when I got back I thought he had too, not long after I was approached in the street by a girl who was eager to tell me what my boyfriend had been up to when I was away and it turned out he had cheated on me… that where it all began. I confronted him about it and he turned it around made me feel like it was my fault and I felt terrible…

 

This is when things started to get worse, he made me feel fat, ugly and was always making nasty comments on the way I dressed and the way I looked, the things I said, the way I acted, danced and criticised me on everything I did, his friends did the same and I had to just take it and pretend It didn’t bother me to save my humiliation. Sometimes he was lovely to me and when he was like this, it  made it all feel worthwhile somehow and I hung on his every word…. of course this was short-lived.

When he started hitting me it was the odd push around….fast forward a few months and it just got worse.  He hit me in front of his friends, one time he hit my head off a dodo rail in a room full of people and damaged my eye socket, my face was black and swollen and I had a lump the size of a golf ball on my eye….when this happened because I couldn’t tell anyone about it I had to cry into his shoulder, he persuaded me to move in with him the next day on a promise everything would change.

 We went away on holiday and he got drunk and punched me so hard he lifted me off my feet and I woke up on the floor and one time we were at a family christening we went outside and he beat me up, again I woke up on the floor in an alleyway and 2 people actually walked around me and just left me there, I was battered and bruised and full of blood. A few times I had phoned the police and swore I would put a stop to it but I was always persuaded to drop the charges. I needed him, couldn’t live without him… or that’s how he made me feel.

I fell pregnant at 17 (whilst using the depo injection) and even now the violence didn’t stop. He pushed me down the stairs and kicked me and I had to phone an ambulance to the hospital with my next door neighbour.

When I was 8 Months pregnant my 5 year old cousin passed away, It was 7AM when I got the phone-call and I was devastated, I was sat crying my eyes out on the chair and his mother and partner where on the sofa. I was sobbing and he stood up came over and punched me so hard in the face my coffee fell out of my hand. This is one of my worst memories even though it was just one punch. What kind of Monster would do that to someone who is grieving?
Throughout our whole relationship he cheated on me, I caught him in the act, he would stay out all night and come home days later with hiccys all over his neck, girls used to call our phone for him and I was constantly being told that he was sleeping with other people and laughing at me. It was humiliating, everybody knew what he was doing and it was no secret. I lost all my friends and my family were in despair but nothing they said or did was as powerful as his promises, I was lost depressed and I believed his every word, I wouldn’t get anyone else, no one else would put up with me, his constant criticisms about the way I looked and he even made me feel crap in the bedroom as it was always in my mind he had been with so man women behind my back. it was never-ending.

 

The worse beating by far was when I was in a ‘friends’ flat, he came in drunk, I had not long had the baby by caesarean, he was angry, accusing me of cheating and took me into the passage, he was punching so hard, stamping on my face. I was weak by the end had no energy  I found myself laying in the broom cupboard with my legs sticking out just desperate for help, in so much pain. my ‘friend’ had gone out, obviously she didn’t want to be part of what was happening and decided it was easier to leave him to it without even calling the police (we are no longer friends). By now it was 5 AM and I crawled to the phone box outside rang my Mother and the police.

 You can probably guess what happened in the next few days….. oh of course he said he was sorry, and that he wouldn’t do it again. Being a desperate young girl in love of course I believed him.

There were times when I listened to the people who loved me, which gave me strength to leave him and there were time when I listened to the one person that was supposed to love me, I listened to him say sorry, I listened to him cry and tell me over and over he would never do it again, I listened too much. It was almost like I was sleeping through this nightmare and I couldn’t wake up.

These are just a few examples of the abuse I endured. The countless times I called police and never pressed charges and the times I cried to my friends and family and even ran away to Scotland and then always took him back, are times I wish I could go back to and change.

 I was in love with a monster, someone who would take his problems out on me whether it was verbal or physical, just to make himself feel better. There are people in the world that have probably gone through so much more than I have, but suffering for 4 years of abuse  was something I should have never settled for.

In the end he was sleeping with one of my ‘close friend’s’ apparently for a while. He left and because of what he had me think of myself I believed no one would ever love me, I was unlovable and I had no confidence or self-esteem, My daughter was 8 weeks old and she was the only important thing to me. So I concentrated on her, protecting her from the violence and arguments and the constant police presence because of his life of crime was my priority so we stayed with my mother who helped me through, cradled me as I cried, made me feel myself again and helped me become the mother I am today.

It wasn’t easy, after we split he still didn’t leave me alone he abused me in the street, he stabbed me in the head with a fork in front of people and he slapped me across the face in a pub when I accidentally ran into him. My nightmare seemed never-ending. In the end I moved away and met a new man who I married, though my ex  was still verbally abusive at every chance he could.  He has been absent for the majority of my daughter’s life, this was his choice. When I did set up arrangements he ruined them, turned up drunk or on drugs and didn’t care for her properly. Even through court the case was dismissed due to his lack of commitment and we were bending over backwards for him. It is just another weapon he is still using to get to me today even though he hasn’t bothered with my daughter for years. I made new friends,  True friends that will be with me forever and I am also still in touch with the friends that stood by me through everything I went through and had to sit back and watch and wipe away my tears, You never forget those times.

I’m finally in a happy place now, Unfortunately my marriage ended but this man is my daughters Daddy, he has contact every weekend and loves her as much as she loves him. we haven’t been together for 2 years but he is a constant presence in her life, we are her family. We have a happy home & I am an independent women, still dealing with things from my past but I accept who I am, and I quite like it.  This is what we all deserve, you only have one life, don’t waste it on people who do nothing but abuse it.

No matter how old you are, please don’t sit down and suffer in silence. Listen to your loved ones, because its people on the outside that often see what’s best for you. 5 years on and I still hear his voice criticising me from time to time, knocking my confidence, but I’m getting over it day by day.
Silence Hides Violence… Don’t Keep Quiet.

 

This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever written , I know its a long one but once I started it was hard to stop!.. but I hope it helps someone or shines some light on the subject in hand 🙂

 

Thank you for reading

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Historical Abuse: My Story And How I Made The Decision To Report It

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I want to share with you how l came to a decision to report historical abuse. My historical abuse. By historical abuse, l mean sexual abuse that l suffered as a child from a friend of my family.

Id like to take you back to when I was younger, where it began or what I can remember from it. Firstly I would like to point out that my family was not aware of the abuse, I have the best family anyone could ask for and under no circumstances would they purposely put me in a position that could be harmful to me in any way.

The Abuser was the Husband of my Mothers, best friend ( I will refer to her as ‘The Wife’) they had a boy a year older than me, he was my best childhood friend, I used to go to their house often whilst my Mam was at work or just to play. I was approx 6 when the abuse started, it was usually when the Wife wasn’t in, he used to play games with me and I would be rewarded afterwards with usually money or sweets or to choose the activity for the rest of the day. I was always uncomfortable with the games and knew it wasn’t quite right, but I was the child, he was the grown up,  I wanted to be a good girl and do as I was told as that’s what we teach our children to do don’t we?

I remember one game in particular where he used to hide money in inappropriate places and I had to find it I remember hating it and making excuses not to participate but I had no choice, When it was my turn I used to try to hide the coins in obvious places, but he just pretended he never seen and searched my more private places instead.  Sometimes it happened when we were outdoors, he used to take us on outings and abuse me whilst we were out. I learnt to just get it over with and carry on with the rest of the day as it was usually fun afterwards.

The abuse went on until I was approx 12 years old, It wasn’t as much now but I was terrified of him, I knew it was wrong and hated him so much. He used to have to drop me off at home and I was so scared I had already mentally planned my escape route to get out of the car in case he tried to rape me, being in such a confined space with him was an awful  experience and I used to avoid being alone with him as much as possible though this wasn’t always possible. obviously I was sworn to secrecy and was told what damage it would do if I told anyone, when I think about it I was almost made out to feel Id had an affair with the Wife’s husband.

Eventually I stopped visiting as much and they moved to another town, I visited them a few times after that as I genuinely cared about the Wife and the Boy  he was my best friend, we had been friends for years and I wasn’t able to control my emotions or realise the danger I was in as I still wasn’t aware just how wrong it was. other than this my childhood was happy, so it was just blocked out when it wasn’t happening. It was one day when his step daughter came in with marks on her after ‘play fighting’  that I realised it wasn’t just me, and I just froze in horror. I never went back, I was old enough now to make the decision not to visit any more without any questions being asked.

I was extremely confused after this for a long time, and one day I was so upset I told a neighbor what had happened, I was encouraged to tell my mother although I waited a while before doing so and it was a night I will never forget, My older sister and my Mam were devastated and I can still remember how awful it was. My Mother told the School and social services and the police, but because I refused to talk to them there was nothing they could do, no matter how much my Mother wanted me too, I just wasn’t ready, though Mother knows best and I wish I would have done it sooner.

In the years to follow I went on a trail of self-destruction, When I was 13 I stayed at a friend’s house, there was another male there he was 22, He came into the front room as I was trying to sleep, he tried to get me stoned but I did not smoke and knew what he was trying to do. I tried to ignore him and when he tried I said No that I didn’t want to, but that didn’t stop him. I didn’t fight, I didn’t shout, I didn’t cry I just didn’t do anything and he forced himself on me. again I felt I had no choice, This is just what happened to me, it must be what I deserved.

After this I went totally off the rails, causing problems for my family no matter how much they tried to help, I pushed them away, I was angry. I got drunk, took drugs, slept with people for no reason and I didn’t enjoy any of it, I think I was punishing myself, I was depressed, I hated myself.  I was offered counseling, once in a church, they wanted me to pray. I was 14 and thought I was too old to pray, it didn’t seem right. I suffered in silence.

Reporting the abuse was not a decision l made easily. In fact, I had thought about it on and off for the past 10 years or so. I am now coming up to 25. I believe that fear always prevented me from reporting it till now. Fear of what you may ask. Fear of not being believed, fear of how my own lifestyle will be perceived, fear of repercussions from the abuser, Fear of being responsible for destroying their family and worst of all Fear that I wasn’t strong enough to go open that part of my life I have locked away and Fear of what it would do to my already unstable mental health. These are just a few factors of fear that l had, and still at times do have.

So what helped me into reporting everything now? One of the biggest things was knowing l had the support of my family & friends, and that no matter what they would be standing with me throughout all of this, and the key element was that they believed me from the bottom of their hearts. The other key factor was it had been playing on my mind a lot recently, I had run into the Wife accidentally and it brought back a lot of unwelcome feelings. Not long after my Mother seen the abuser, he was outside a shop near her home  painting, she confronted him and he showed no remorse, he didn’t deny it, it’s almost as he was amused. In anger she also threatened to tell everyone including the company that he was working for what he had done and who he was,  and his reply was ‘I don’t work here anyway’. My mother was obviously upset and when she came out of her home again minutes later he was gone.

I guess also, my own personal growth and help I was receiving due to having Borderline Personality Disorder (Which is a result of Childhood Sexual Abuse More Info Here) helped me to get to a place emotionally that l could at last speak publicly about what really went on for me as a child. I had finally learnt and believed that l was entitled to have a voice and be heard.

Believing it was within my right to speak out was essential, l knew l would come across many hurdles where that belief would be tested to the limits, but l had to trust that those that knew me and believed in me were telling the truth when they kept telling me that l am much stronger than l ever allowed myself to believe. The truth of it was that l had survived the abuse first hand, and therefore having survived that, telling my story was never going to be as painful as living it in the first place. I also knew now that l had choices, and I was no longer that small defenseless little girl who had no way of defending herself. The biggest thing for me was my over-riding need and desire to protect other children from encountering the harm that l had received from the hands of my abusers, my daughter is now 6, the same age as I was when it began and this was to be the turning point in my decision to make the report.

I contacted  my local police force they came out the same day, myself and my friend then drove to the police station and I was interviewed that day. So this was the time everything started to unravel and the investigation began. It didn’t take many words to start it. Those words where “can you tell me how l go about reporting childhood sexual abuse?”

Was this easy to do? It was much easier than l had initially thought it would be. If anybody else is looking to report abuse, I would highly recommend that they have a friend or loved one who they feel safe with to be there with them, as support is something that is so very important throughout this process.

This was 8 months ago, I have since been interviewed on Video Tape in thorough detail and my family have been interviewed, the abuser was arrested and is out on bail, his family have decided not to believe me and stand by him, but that is their bad judgement. I didn’t expect them to.

I am still waiting for the investigating officers to decide whether their is enough evidence to charge him. I am still terrified and this has truly been the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, every day is a struggle. But I know I must stay strong, I have to move on and I know I will soon be able to do that, whether justice is served or not. I know it will be on the system so If anyone else decided to come forward and report this man at any point in the future they will be believed and the police will be aware of him.

I have received support from the Women’s Support Network and Rape Crisis Services who have been there for me throughout the whole process so far.

I will write more at a later time on how lonely and isolating it can be during the period of time when evidence and information is being collated together by the investigating officers and on what happens next.

Abusers Choose To Abuse, Don’t Suffer In Silence. You Are Not To Blamestranger