I see it in the media after a woman is beaten black and blue by her partner, online when her friend’s abandon her for no longer hanging out with them, and In day to day conversations… ‘ Why didn’t she just leave?’
And I feel all of the pain and fear and misunderstood judgement of those women, because I was one too.
As a domestic violence survivor, sometimes I have even asked myself that.. but I know that scared, withdrawn, broken me wasn’t me at all, it was him controlling me, warping my mindset and diminishing my self worth.
I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but it is still a difficult and painful subject which is also misunderstood by many. But I want to give a raw perspective of a domestic violence victim so others can understand and some relate, because I’ve yet to see an article addressing that reality.
I met him when I was young, naive and insecure. He swept me off my feet and made me feel like nothing else in the world mattered. He was older than me and more experienced in the world, I couldn’t believe that this guy who was way out of my league took any interest in me, let alone pursued me and wanted to ‘love’ me. I fell and I fell hard.
Soon he moved into my house with my family where we shared a room and were inseparable, I began to miss more and more obligations, appointments and events just to be with him. I always felt like I had to keep working to make him love me.
Things move quickly, he became my everything and it seemed I became his…so much so that he started getting more jealous and possessive by the day.
It started with ‘get off your phone’, ‘who are you talking to’, ‘show me your messages’ and led to banning me from messaging any type of male, friend or family, not allowing me to go out along or to catch up with friends and eventually taking away my phones and snapping them and destroying them, I went through about 5 phones in less than a year,
And it was always me who had to apologise, fix it and pay for the repairs. Because it was my fault, I had made him angry.
Then I became the object of which he would let out his anger. It started with pushing and shoving, yelling, screaming, belittling me, and I just sat their crying feeling powerless.
Because if this person who loves me so much says I am worthless, ugly, fat, disgusting it must be true, right?
And my self esteem crumbles even more, then the more these anger fuelled outbursts and hateful words would occur the more I believed him every time he told me that no one else would ever love me or want me.
Finally he became so brazen to the point that he didn’t care who was in the house or who heard his behaviour. This is when everything started spiralling downhill.
I jumped out of a window to get away from him when he bailed me up in the room, pushing, shoving, yelling, threatening and stood in front of the door to lock me in like a caged animal that he had power over. I jumped out the window and ran and hid behind the first car I saw, I was so scared.
He found me, grabbed me hard and was screaming in my face, and that’s when I lost it. I fought back for the first time, I pushed him away stood up and yelled ‘F##k off!! I am so sick of you pushing me around and treating me like shit threatening me!!’.
And he threw me on the hard cement and dragged me along it with force. Silly me, why did I speak up? Best to keep quiet next time.
My family became aware of the toxicity that was him, but they never knew to what level.
It came to a head when he challenged my father one day, and he was told to leave, and I went with him and left my family…because I loved him, and who else would I find that loved me?
We moved and stayed with his family 40 minutes away by bus.
This is where he had full control, and I was far away from anyone who loved or cared about me, and that’s exactly how he liked it.
It hit me like a tonne of bricks. His fist pummelling down into my hip while I lay on the bed.
Tears trickled down my face from pain as I sat there in disbelief. The first time he had hit me with his fist.
But It was my fault, I had made him angry.
He became angry that I was crying and blamed me. Then explained that it was an accident, he apologised and said it would never happen again. I believed him…stupid me.
From there it became a miserable twisted cycle of him lashing out and having all control and me loving him so naively thinking that I could change him.
‘Why didn’t you just call family?’
I thought about it almost every day, believe me, all survivors did.
But my family would make me leave him or scare him off and in my fragile mind at that time that was the worst thing I could imagine.
Come 2am one morning he kicked me out, packed my stuff and started walking down the big hill to the bus stop bawling my eyes out. Unaware that he had decided to chase after me, he ripped my bag off my shoulder and threw it while I watched all my belongings scatter over the grass and then felt the force of him throwing me to the ground and watching me as I slid down the hill.
He stormed off and I sat their in disbelief that someone I loved so much could do this to me. I cried and cried and cried. And I sat there for a good 30 minutes or more looking at the phone in my hand willing myself to call my dad, I just wanted to go home and feel safe. But I didn’t. Still to this day I don’t know why I didn’t make that call, it just goes to show how much power he really did have over me.
I took the 30 minute walk down to the secluded bus shelter wondering if someone would attack or kidnap me and no longer caring. I sat in the toilet’s at the shelter scribbling violently on the wall about hating myself and wanting to die.
After another hour I picked up my stuff and walked back home to him.
Why? Why? Why?
I don’t know, I felt helpless and alone, and I had no friends left to go home to anyway because he made me cut them all out of my life.
So I went back to the most fucked up thing I knew best.
I don’t think I ever would have had the power to leave him, thank god he did it for me. I was destroyed emotionally and mentally.
But I survived.
It took me a long long time to try and move on and repair my life. Something I’m still working on today as I find my insecurity or fear he instilled in me leaking it’s way into current relationships now and then.
I look back and 100% believe If I stayed in that situation I would be another statistic, he would have killed me one day.
If you or someone you know are currently a victim of domestic violence please know, he won’t stop. It will get worse. It is not your fault.
Keep fighting my warriors. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are loved. And you are Enough.