Part of the trait of a victim is having your freedom of speech removed. Being too afraid to speak out.
Fearful of not being believed, of dragging others into my nightmare kept me tight-lipped for so many years.
Of course friends and family knew “something” wasn’t right yet I had become a great actress.
I had friends who witnessed things, yet nobody was brave enough to stand up and help me.
People turned a blind eye.
I don’t blame them.
I didn’t want to leave him. I just wanted him to stop hurting me.
I wanted the impossible
The empty promises and the good times always made me believe him, want to help him change.
I was trapped in a vicious and dangerous cycle.
All I had ever wanted was to bring my children up within a loving family unit and the end results were devastating. It affected my children and myself in great depths. It still does.
Staying together for the kids sake almost killed me and them.
Afraid to speak out I lived in a silent world
Always hiding how I was really feeling inside.
Painting a fake smile upon my face I stepped outside into the real world, while my fake life was kept hidden behind closed doors.
I would cry myself to sleep at night, wishing I would not wake up.
I thought endlessly about taking my own life, I admit I contemplated killing myself and my children. I could not bear to leave them. Yet I knew what life with him was like and I wanted them safe.
Life with him was that bad that death seemed the better option.
I look at my three eldest children now, happy and thriving and I feel the tears spring to my eyes, how was it that 8 years ago, I wanted to kill them to save them?
There is no doubt in my mind that had I have stayed, he would have killed me or I would have killed him.
I loved him, I hated him in equal amounts
I was too afraid to speak out but by the time I did leave him I was too broken to even care anymore.
Had he not have physically hurt our son, aged 3 at the time, I don’t think I would ever have left him. I had become so used to being abused that it was accepted, but the day he raised his hand to my kids was the end.
I am asked why I didn’t leave sooner, I don’t have the answer.
I still felt I could help him change, the good times were also there, it wasn’t all bad.
I also believed I couldn’t live without him, he had controlled every aspect of my life for 11 years, I didn’t know how to have to think for myself or make choices.
But I did leave him.
I had to let go, say goodbye to 11 years of my life.
He left for work the morning after the incident and he never stepped foot back in that house. I had the locks changed and a court order put in place. That sounds so easy, it isn’t.
But I found the strength to start again, there’s a time for love and there’s a time for letting go.
I moved area
I applied for a divorce and it was granted, he signed it.
I cried the day my divorce papers arrived. I felt a failure.
I was so angry at him, at me, at the world. This is not what I had wanted or expected in my life.
I heard he was dating again, I felt jealous. How could he just move on like that, I heard he hit her, she ended up in hospital.
I was now a single mother of three with so many emotional scars, yet somehow I struggled to provide and set up a new home for the children.
They saw their dad each weekend, supervised to start with.
That hurt. He had threatened so many times to take the children from me or to hurt them if I ever left him, but they desperately wanted to see him. He would bring them home later than the court order just to worry me.
“Daddy said to tell you he’s sorry and still loves you” the children would return home and tell me.
“Can daddy come and live with us?” they would beg me.
It broke my heart and in time I began to harden to his pleas.
It was 6 months later when I met now my husband and I am so pleased I did.
Would I have given in and returned to the life of abuse if I hadn’t? That’s the life I knew.
I am now happily married to a man who treats me the right way and I will always thank him for rescuing me and for standing by me time and time again when that demon from my past tries to destroy me.
I was too afraid to speak out for far too long.