Thank you Claire for asking me to guest post for you I would love to share my story Overcoming Domestic Violence and Becoming You and tips with your readers and really hope that it helps someone.
I am a blogger who mainly shares healthy lifestyle articles with a big focus on being happy and healthy. I have been through lots of ups and downs in my life and hope that by sharing my experiences I can help others. As a survivor of domestic violence I have been as open and honest as I can (whilst avoiding any kind of court case for slander!) to help others to see that there can be a positive outcome.
I have been in two abusive relationships. Both were predominantly emotional abuse but also with some sexual abuse, physical abuse and financial abuse. Feel free to read my more in depth description on my blog HERE
During abusive relationships it is easy to feel like there is no way out. This is the way the abuser wants you to feel. They need you to feel trapped so they can keep their control over you. Newspapers and other media doesn’t help because we often see stories of people (often but not always women) who are killed or seriously injured by their previous or current partner. Of course the media only tell the truth and the tragic thing is there are around 2 deaths a week in the UK due to domestic violence. A story of someone surviving domestic violence is less newsworthy isn’t it? Especially as conviction rates are low as often proof is hard to come by.
All of this doesn’t mean you have to give up,
I am proof that you can be in the worst of situations and survive. I can honestly say I am much happier and stronger now and a different person to who I was when I was with my previous partner. He tried to get a gun which I believe was to kill me, he raped me, he controlled the finances and got me in debt, and he made me feel worthless. I felt trapped, I was trapped, I felt alone and like there was no way out.
Then in 2014 on New Years Day I decided enough was enough, this year my own personal new years resolution was to leave him and learn to love myself. I can’t say it was easy because it wasn’t. There were times I kicked him out and then took him back. There were times when he promised he would change and I believed him. Nothing changed on his part but I had changed. My mindset changed and I knew I could do this.
The final straw
In June 2014 I kicked out my ex for the final time. He didn’t like it, he tried to make me change my mind first by telling me he loved me, then by threatening me, then by trying to make me need him by trying to get me into trouble with authorities. None of these methods worked. Without him in the house and without him in my life I was stronger. I stuck to my plan and did not let him back, when he tried to get back in I called the police. When he threatened me the police were involved and warned him off. I made a statement about the abuse and the rapes. There was not enough evidence so the CPS couldn’t take it further but I did it. I showed him I didn’t need him and I knew what he did.
I sought help from Women’s Aid and counselling from Rape Crisis. Slowly I became stronger, I understood the abuse I suffered was not my fault and I rebuilt my life. My ex told me I could never lose weight but I did, I lost 10 stone. My ex told me that I could never be successful and work but now I am self-employed earning a living from my blog. He told me that I would never find anyone else because no one else would want me, my new man treats me like a princess and would never hurt me.
I am now in a happy and healthy relationship.
My self esteem has suffered. I still struggle quite often with my self-confidence because after years of being put down it is hard to accept you are good enough. Years later, I still have flashbacks to what my ex did and think I see him in the street when I know it actually isn’t him at all. I am still shaking if I have to go near where his family live as I worry I will bump into him. It takes time to rebuild your life but I have done it, I accept these little blips are just that little blips. Now I am stronger, I know I will never allow anyone to treat me like that again. Because I have had all the help to know my worth and know when I am being abused.
PIN ME FOR LATER
By telling my story, I hope to help others see that it is possible to overcome domestic violence. I also hope that by reading my story it opens up conversations between mums at school, friends, and family so that no one ever feels they have no one to talk to. Domestic violence is usually hidden and you may not know that someone close to you is suffering it. The more people who talk about it and the less taboo it is the better. Let’s all work together to make talking about domestic violence less awkward. Let’s make it easier for victims to ask for help and the abusers to be seen as negatively as other criminals. If you can, talk to someone about this post or share it on your social media. Teach your children about it too. Domestic violence is never ok, you can survive it, help is out there.
Here are some links and resources about Domestic Violence
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