The Outcome: The Report Of Historical Abuse

The Outcome: The Report Of Historical Abuse

This post is a follow-up of My Historical Abuse and My Decision To Report It. Wrote in 2012.

I write this now because it’s been over 2 years since the court trial ended. I have needed this time to accept it and try to find some closure. My life has moved on in leaps and bounds since I reported the historical abuse I suffered as a child. But here it is, about to be brought back to the front of my mind once again. I’ll start where I left off in my first post, after I had reported this crime to the Police..

Within the first eight months after the report, I had  been interviewed several times including on video tape in thorough detail and my family had been interviewed, the abuser was arrested and let out on bail, his family had decided to defend him and insist I was making it up, but that is their bad judgement. I didn’t expect any support from them.

I spent months waiting for the investigating officers to decide whether there was enough evidence to charge him. I was terrified and this had truly been the hardest thing I have ever  had to do in my life, every day was a struggle. I went through a mixture of emotions, anger, upset, confusion, pity, sorrow and I was grieving. grieving for the childhood I had lost out on. The realisation had hit me, I had suffered throughout my whole life, the pain and the difficult situations I had found myself in, a result of the choices I wouldn’t necessarily have had made if I didn’t feel the way I did, If I wasn’t forced to carry this burden.

The grief was similar to the feeling of someone dying; I went through the same stages. I was treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when I get ill I tend to disassociate by this I mean that I sometimes feel as though someone has taken over my body and I have no control over myself; however, I’m are still aware of what is going on around me, It’s like running on auto-pilot. I sat for hours just staring, not being able to watch TV or read a book or go out or even hold a conversation. I tried listening to audio books which helped a bit but I couldn’t even listen properly.

I suffered with the anxiety too, it was so bad some days I was physically sick, my stomach was constantly in a knot and churned every time I had to do something. I couldn’t work, I didn’t want to visit my family I’d often relive the abuse through nightmares and flashbacks and experienced feelings of isolation, irritability and sorrow. I was confused and had trouble sleeping; I suffered from sleep panic attacks too. I still do feel some of these things even now, its something I am learning to live with and manage.

It took 18 months before the case was taken to court, there was problems getting information from the Tranwell Unit, which is the psychiatric hospital in Gateshead where I lived. They needed to get all my medical records from being a child, they also needed me to have an assessment which would let them know if I had narcissistic traits, narcissists can be spiteful, dishonest and selfish and it would have been used against me if I did. I scored a zero on the assessment because I am none of those things; I’m quite the opposite in fact. There was also problems getting statements from witnesses, and we had to wait a few months for the CPS to decide if the case was strong enough to hold up in court.

During this time I began receiving help from a lovely lady at The Women’s Support Network in Middlesbrough, she was there from the start and talked me through every step of the way, she didn’t just help with the court case, she offered support with other areas in my life too, whatever I was struggling with at the time she was my first point of call. I had given up on the Primary care team in Gateshead, they had failed me.

There was no point in ringing the Crisis team when I was in Crisis, my Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) was changed and the replacements I received were useless and I was hitting a constant brick wall when I begged for help. One day in remember I had enough; I was ready to take my own life. I was at rock bottom and couldn’t cope any longer, I had started planning to take my own life and was hysterical, I received a phone call from an unknown number, usually I would just ignore it but for some reason I answered it and it was The Women’s Support Network, they talked to me for an hour or so on the phone and calmed me down. They were fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for helping me at a time I thought I couldn’t go on.

I also received a lot of help from Tyneside Rape Crisis Centre, I received counselling and though I thought It wouldn’t help I was willing to do whatever it takes to get through this horrific time. To my surprise it was great, I started to feel liberated after getting my thoughts off my chest, the lady I spoke to understood and had a sense of humor which certainly helped!

At first I was scared that I would have to go in and tell the story all over again, but it wasn’t like that, we just chatted and eventually I found myself talking about all my feelings that were confusing me, the emotions I was going through, the pity I felt for myself and the way I felt about my friend and family members and how they were dealing with the situation too. It helped me put a lot into perspective and she gave me reassurance that I was doing the right thing and it would be worth it if I just hung on in there.

When he was finally sent to court he pleaded not-guilty as I expected, though I didn’t feel somewhat disappointed still. I knew I would have to stand up in court now and I was terrified. I received the date for the trial and it was still a few months away, things got worse for me as the anxiety took over and all I could think about was the fear of going to court. I went for a Pre-Trial meeting and they showed me around, I had decided I would appear via video link into the court room; this was the right decision and took off a lot of pressure.

The following Monday I attended court for the first day of the trial, My friend Limara came with me for support, she had been there from the day I reported the abuse and I will be forever grateful that she put up with me throughout the last 18 months. After waiting all morning to give evidence, it was actually adjourned until the next day. I cried because I knew I had to do it all over again tomorrow but I was also relieved that I didn’t have to do it then and there.

The following day I felt a little better about it, I knew what to expect and Witness Support where great and made us feel welcome and comfortable. My mother was giving evidence after me, so I knew I once I went in I wouldn’t see her. My older sister Sarah had come with me too. We were waiting all morning again and it wasn’t until 1pm that they came for me. Since giving my video statement I dreading having to watch it back in court, I don’t like the way I look and I hate my voice, I always fill awkward silences with inappropriate jokes and I was worried in case I had come across wrong in the statement. I was shaking, sweating and thirsty, I have genuinely never been so afraid of anything in my entire life! I sat in front of the screen and camera and was sworn in and introduced to the court room by the judge.

First we watched the video statement, it took forty minutes and I just closed my eyes for the majority, it wasn’t as bad as I thought and they had cut irrelevant bits out (thank god) but I was still cringing and sad to hear myself telling the story of a very frightened little girl whose life was ruined by the abuse she endured. I was told that the defence would then ask me a few questioned and maybe the prosecution would ask some too, I did not expect to be interrogated for two whole hours by the defence alone.

Throughout the interrogation I used grounding techniques to stop me from getting angry or too upset, I stood tall, answered the questions to the best of my knowledge. The defence tried to trick me into saying things, and putting words into my mouth, but I was one step ahead of her. I was telling the truth. If I didn’t know the answer I simply said ‘I’m sorry I don’t remember’, I repeated it over and over. She kept insisting that I was lying, to which I simply replied ‘I am not lying, I have no reason to lie, I am telling the truth’ at one point I did get angry and shook my head and rolled my eyes to stop me from saying something I might regret.

I didn’t elaborate on anything I told them unless I was 100% and I told the court that, If I wasn’t sure about something I just said ‘I’m sorry I’m not sure’ I just wanted it to be over, taking one question at a time. After two hours and forty minutes I was finished, after being such a strong woman and trying so hard to stay in control and regulate my emotions I was exhausted and I cried.
When I went back to the waiting room my Mam was allowed to give me a quick hug as the barrister had told her it had been a long time for me and I might need it, which I did. They told me I had been marvelous and so brave and they were pleased that I got through it so well under the circumstances; they had not expected it to go on so long.

Next it was my mothers turn, she was back within 20 minutes, she hadn’t been able to keep her cool as much as me and spat her answers to the defence and then left. They said it was short and sweet and she done what she needed to do. I was glad I could finally go home; I was so tired and overwhelmed.

The next few days Sarah and my cousin Leanne attended court for the rest of the trial, they were my eyes and ears and I trusted them and they heard things in that room that I have only ever told one person, the officer that took the statement. It was hard for them to hear the abuser and his family speaking about us, they lied and did what they could to get out of it.

The abuser accused my Mam of being jealous of them in the past and suggested that I was malnourished and they had just tried to help me. They contradicted their original statements, they had got dates wrong, and lied about cars they had owned, places they had lived and jobs they had had. This was after they had seen my statement, they had had time to conjure up a story together and tried to convince the jury that their original statements (which apparently proved my evidence was accurate) where wrong because they were confused and stressed when they originally gave them.

Even his defence had to question him on his lies and at one point there was even some confusion in the gallery to whether she was defending him or trying to prosecute him. When it was time for his wife and two children to take to the stand, there stories were all exactly the same. Like they had rehearsed it from a script.

They then brought in their own witness, a girl that I couldn’t remember but was apparently sometimes there too, they thought it would help if she told them that she was there too sometimes and was unharmed, but it turned out when she started to speak she confirmed some of the situations that I had told them about, like when we went up Eston Hills Strawberry picking. The abuser denied that he ever took anyone up there, but this girl said that she used to go on day trips berry picking sometimes, which confirmed what I had said.

It was a week and a half long trial, it was only supposed to last 3 days. I never thought he would get found guilty, you always hear about these people getting away with things and justice not being done. But I will never forget that phone call, Sarah being a drama queen that she is, was crying loudly and just said ‘he was found guilty’ he had originally been charged with 11 offences but was only convicted of 2 due to there being insufficient evidence for any of the other charges, though I know they knew I wasn’t lying.

The relief just flooded out of me, it was a feeling I had never experienced before in my life, it was like years of carrying this weight had been lifted of my shoulders. At this point I didn’t care what happened next, I was just relieved that I was believed, that what I had went through had been worthwhile and no matter what happened to him, he would be known to the police and I may have saved another child from going through what I had been through. I was smiling, properly smiling and I felt like it was over, it was all over finally and I could have a life now.

The sentencing came six weeks later; he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for one account of indecent assault and one of gross indecency. He was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for life and a Sex Prevention Order that means he can’t go near parks or schools etc. When I was told of the sentencing, I didn’t feel happy everyone thought I should, I felt sad. I cried and cried, I felt pity for his family as even though they lied about me and stuck by my abuser, I knew to do such thing, they must love him so much and there lives had also been ripped apart, I know it is his fault and it’s his choices that have done this, but I was sorry that they had to get hurt too.

I felt another emotion too, what I can only describe as guilt. I was given a gift I suppose, of being able to put myself into someone else’s shoes and trying to understand why they do things and how they must feel. I thought about how mentally disturbed this man must be to do what he did and maybe he was suffering mentally too, whether he realise it or not. I believe to carry out acts of abuse you have a disturbed thought process otherwise you would know it’s wrong and wouldn’t do it. I also thought about whether it might have been something he grew out of as he grew older, it was nearly 20 years ago when this abuse started, maybe he now realised how wrong it was? Though if he had surely he would have admitted it or shown some kind of remorse?

I had also spoken to a friend who had been in prison, he told me some stories of the things that go on in there and how pedophiles were treat and it was horrific, I felt like I had subjected a man to this, yes, he is a monster, but two wrongs don’t make a right. I felt like I was just as bad, like I had taken revenge, but that wasn’t my intention.

I never wanted to cause anyone any suffering or misery and I have nothing but pity for his family. I just wanted to free myself of the torment I had lived with and make people aware that this man was a danger to children, to his grandchildren even. I know that he had to pay for what he did. It was illegal and morally wrong and damaging. I have to take a step back sometimes and remind myself of the bigger picture, it wasn’t me that he abused, this strong, brave woman, it was a little girl, like my young Daughter, vulnerable, confused and scared.

Its now February 2016. This month he is being released from prison after serving 2 years and 3 months of his 4 and a half year setnece. He may already have been freed as I write this as I wasn’t given exact dates.

His suffering and punishment are over.

But my suffering isn’t, I will never be freed.

 

Brian Bennet, 61, Saltburn. 20p Sex Abuser. Report by Evening Gazzette
Brian Bennet, 61, Saltburn. 20p Sex Abuser.
Report by Evening Gazzette
Vigilantes – Causing More Harm Than Good?

Vigilantes – Causing More Harm Than Good?

I have seen enough in the news of people being wrongly accused of being sex offenders, paedophiles etc. Innocent people have been beaten to death, set on fire, chased from their family homes and committed suicide from the stress.

In some cases all one has to do is use the word ‘paedophile’ or state that the person in question has been grooming their daughter/sister/brothers dog or whatever, and the world is against the accused. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? I appreciate that in some cases guilty people are also wrongly cleared of such offences and that is terrible, but all we can do is hope that if that is the case the truth will eventually come to light.

What has triggered this rant, is a series of articles I have read in the news and on social networking sites. I read stories about how being wrongly accused has affected peoples lives not just the court cases & harm they have come too, but the way it affects their mental health for the remainder of their lives, their jobs and their relationships with their family’s and friends. Once accused it often stays with them forever. After all, there is no smoke without fire, right? Wrong.

Sometimes these accusations go horribly wrong, like the man beaten to death and set on fire in 2013 after being wrongly accused of being a sex offender. I saw a Facebook post that had a picture of a man, clearly disabled alongside a message that read ‘This guy has been grooming my daughter and looking at her photos, share this and let everyone know who to watch out for’  it turned out the man in the picture was actually blind and this had not been the case.

I then read about the paedophile hunter that had posed as a twelve year old in order to trap a suspected paedophile and then shared his videos of his investigation online in attempt to name and shame the suspect. As a result the suspect committed suicide, which in my opinion isn’t justice.

I’m not saying that the man in question wasn’t in the wrong, he had gone to meet what he thought was a teenager, his intentions were clearly wrong and he should have been punished. On this occasion the hunter was correct in identifying a potential offender, but maybe if the he handed the video and evidence straight to the police rather than go on a mission for his own glory then things would have been different and he would have been brought to justice the proper way. By making the videos public, it  jeopardizes any ongoing police case, gives the suspect warning to get rid of any potential evidence and puts further people in danger. 

It also doesn’t mean he is going to be right about every suspect he takes to the internet to expose. Lives are being shattered, families are being targeted via inboxes and telephone calls. Why should an innocent family be subjected to abuse, they shouldn’t be it’s not their fault. These videos, images of suspects should NEVER BE POSTED on a social network.

Not only is the hunter putting himself in a dangerous position by taking this on himself, but he is breaking the law and had previously been warned that he was compromising investigations, yet he carried on doing this himself. It makes me wonder what kind of issues this guy was going through in the first place to become a self proclaimed ‘paedophile hunter’.

So, what is it with people trying to take the law into their own hands? Thinking it’s OK to expose people and ‘name & shame’. These ‘do-gooders’ should consider the reasons that we have trial by jury. The fact that someone is charged or accused does not mean they are guilty, or innocent for that matter.

Even in the cases where people have been proven guilty of these offences, is it then OK for us to take matters in our own hands? is it up to us to punish them?  having someone tortured or hounding them into committing suicide is not how it should be dealt with. Two wrongs do not make a right. I mean, where does it all end? Is the next step for the public to start tackling muggers, or people they perceive as muggers?

Dont always believe what you read on social networking sites, it could be people out for revenge, it could be edited images/videos. If you believe that you have information that you think that can help bring a criminal to justice then call a professional and let them do what they are trained to do.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) say ‘We understand the desire to protect children but any member of the public who has information about child sexual abuse, online or otherwise, should get in contact with the police so we can investigate and bring people to justice.’

We should also be taking more action to  educate youngsters about the PANTS  rule & the dangers of speaking to people online etc. Sadly this wont stop these things from happening. But if a child knows what to do in a situation or knows the boundaries, we can try and prevent it happening as much as possible and hopefully bring the offenders to justice in the correct way.

Want to talk to your kids but dont know how? check out these blog posts

Stranger Danger

The PANTS Rule

Talk PANTS And Help Keep Your Child Safe From Abuse – The Underwear Rule

Talk PANTS And Help Keep Your Child Safe From Abuse – The Underwear Rule

Driving home over the busy Tyne Bridge this week I heard an advert on the radio that immediately got my attention, it was a campaign advert from the NSPCC regarding ‘The Underwear Rule’,  it’s a campaign designed to show parents a fun way to make their children aware of the dangers of sexual abuse without scaring them.

I have previously blogged about the importance of ‘Stranger Danger’ which is an important conversation every parent should have with their children, but sadly it’s not enough to keep our children safe, most abuse is closer to home.

It’s every parents’ worst nightmare to find their child has been touched inappropriately and no family wants to think it will ever happen to them.  But as the statistics show it does happen to one in 20 kids, and nine times out of ten by someone known to the child.

If we are to tackle this issue we must prevent it before it even starts, to do this we must educate our children about staying safe and speaking out.

The Underwear Rule is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from abuse.

We know talking to your child about private parts can seem difficult, but you can have simple conversations about keeping safe without using scary words or mentioning sex.

NSPCC have developed PANTS as an easy way to teach children that their body belongs to them and to talk to a trusted adult if they ever feel scared or upset.

They’ve also created a child-friendly guide and other useful advice that can make talking to your child easier.

Learn the Underwear Rule and you’ve got it covered

PANTS is an easy way for you to explain to your child the key elements of the Underwear Rule:

P-

Privates are private

Be clear with your child that parts of their body covered by underwear are private. No one should ask your child to touch or look at parts of their body covered by underwear.

If anyone tries to touch their private parts, tell your child to say “no” and to tell an adult they trust about what has happened.

In some situations, people – family members at bathtime, or doctors and nurses – may need to touch your child’s private parts.

Explain that this is OK, but that those people should always explain why, and ask your child if it’s OK first.

A-

Always remember your body belongs to you

Let your child know their body belongs to them, and no one else.

It can be helpful to talk about the difference between good touch and bad touch:

Good touch is helpful or comforting like a hug from someone you love.

Bad touch is being touched in a way that that makes you feel uncomfortable.

No one has the right to make them do anything with their body that makes them feel uncomfortable. And if anyone tries, tell your child they have the right to say no.

This can be a good time to remind your child that they can always talk to you about anything which worries or upsets them.

N- No means no

Make sure your child understands that they have the right to say “no” to unwanted touch – even to a family member or someone they know or love.

This shows that they’re in control of their body and their feelings should be respected.

If a child feels confident to say no to their own family, they are more likely to say no to others.

T- Talk about secrets that upset you

Your child needs to feel able to speak up about a secret that’s worrying them and confident that saying something won’t get them into trouble.

To help them feel clear and comfortable about what to share and when, explain the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ secrets.

Bad secrets:

  • make you feel worried, uneasy, sad or frightened
  • may be asked to be kept in exchange for something
  • bad secrets often have no end time.

Good secrets:

  • can be nice things like surprise parties or presents for someone else
  • will usually be shared in the end

It’s important that your child knows the difference because ‘secrets’ are often an abusers greatest weapon in stopping a child from telling anybody about abuse.

Phrases like “it’s our little secret” are their way of making a child feel worried, or scared to tell someone what is happening to them.

S- Speak up, someone can help

Tell your child that if they ever feel sad, anxious or frightened they should talk to an adult they trust.

A trusted adult doesn’t have to be a family member. It can also be:

  • a teacher
  • a grandparent, uncle or aunty
  • a friend’s parent, or
  • ChildLine

Whoever they feel most comfortable talking to, reassure your child this adult will listen, and can help stop whatever is making them upset.

The more your child is aware of all the people they can turn to, the more likely they are to tell someone as

soon as they have a worry.

Remind your child that whatever the problem, it’s not their fault and they will never get into trouble for speaking up.

NSPCC – Tips & techniques for talking

After school

If your child has learned about relationships or personal safety, ask what they remember – it will give you a starting point from which to begin more detailed conversations.

Talking over the TV

TV can be a great way of opening up tricky topics. Though we might sometimes wish our children hadn’t heard something in the news or on a soap, it’s best to address the point head on rather than dismiss it, or pretend it hasn’t happened.

The bedtime routine

When you’re getting your child ready for bed – or helping them tie their shoelaces or get dressed – you could talk about times when a trusted adult might need to touch them.

Driving it home

Car journeys are a great time to talk to your child. They’re in a comfortable setting, with limited distractions. If you’re on your way to school, you could ask about who they would tell at school if something was upsetting them.

Question time

Don’t shy away from your child’s difficult questions. Reward their curiosity by speaking to your child honestly. Talking frankly will make the subject less shocking, and you’ll show yourself to be someone they can confide in.

The PANTS rule for Kids
The PANTS rule for Kids

For more information cclick here to visit the NCPSS’s Page and download some friendly guides for you and your children.

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