Thank you to a Vida Sheffield service user for sharing this story with us.
I sit here and start to question myself, ‘What am I doing ? Why am I still here ? Am I as useless, ugly and a waste of space (his words) like he keeps drumming into my head ?’. He makes me feel all these things day in day out. I try my best all the time to try and make him see I’m not these things but I’m starting to believe it myself. He goes out yet again and leaves us both here, its time to be ourselves .Yes, we can watch tv when we want to, play music, have a bath and just enjoy quality time on our own without worrying and walking on eggshells. It’s bedtime for my princess, she goes to bed and I make sure bath is washed out and dry so he doesn’t know that we have used it. I make sure his food is all prepared ready for him as this will only start him off and I don’t want to give him any reason to start tonight. I go around checking that everything is put away and there’s nothing out of place but then the butterflies are starting in my tummy, my palms get hot and sweaty and I can feel my breathing going eratic.
So many thoughts and images racing through my head, Is he going to be nice when he comes home or drunk and nasty? Please let him be nice tonight. My body aches right now and is very tender, I’ve got enough bruises, cuts and scram marks over my back where he seems to like to kick me if I’m sleeping when he comes in. I’m so tired and drained but I keep telling myself, ‘stay awake’. I’m watching the clock and its 11.30pm already, ‘how long is he going to be?’ I keep asking myself. Then I get the thoughts of is he coming home ?, what if he’s been run over or mugged?. So with all these feelings of worrying about us, I also worry about someone who beats and plays mind games with me all the time. Is this normal ? why the hell do I love him so much when he treats me so bad.
Oh but then I hear the key struggling to go into lock of the door, at this point I know he’s drunk, the adrenaline starts pumping through my body faster and faster, trying top prepare myself for, well the unknown really .He comes through to living room looking kind of angry and just mutters at me. I ask him if he wants a cup of tea and some food, he says ‘yes, you stupid fat cow of course I do’. I put the pasta on to boil , all the time I can feel my body shaking. He asks what have I been doing because it’s a mess here. I look around and think, ‘where?’, there’s nothing out of place. I dish his food up and take it to him on a tray, he looks at it and says, ‘ what’s this ?’, I explain with a shaky voice that its pasta and bolognaise which he told me to cook earlier. He yells, ‘I don’t want this now you can cook me something else’. I start to feel annoyed now as its 12.40am and he wants me to start cooking again. I don’t argue with him, I just get on and do it. I asked him to bring his tray back to kitchen while I was doing other things, he just said, ‘get it yourself’. I walked over to the coffee table where he had left it, as I approached very nervously he just kicked the table and everything went everywhere. My feet were hurting; toes were throbbing as the table had landed on them. I could feel my eyes starting to fill up as I was in so much pain right now. I cleaned it all up and got a bowl of soapy water to get the bolognaise stain out of the carpet. I was scrubbing it on my hands and knees when I felt a bang across my head and then being pulled back by my hair he got me lower to the floor then started kicking me so much. I tried so hard not to cry but I was in so much pain I couldn’t stop crying or screaming. Oh no, I’ve woken my princess up know and she has ran into the living room shouting and screaming at him to get off me, she’s pushed him flying across the room and onto the floor, I get up and take her back into her bedroom. We close the door and I sit behind it to stop him getting in, he continually kicks the door and screams at us to open it. All the banging, screaming and shouting has made someone call the police, so they have come and took him away. We can breath again now but I’m hurting all over.
I’m still shaking and feel very sick and just constantly crying. I feel so afraid and alone, and that I’m a failure as a mother, why does he make me feel this way when all I do is show him love and affection? Well at least he hasn’t touched my face this time so I can still go out shopping and face people, and still keep smiling so no one knows there’s anything wrong.
Everywhere I go in the flat I can smell his aftershave and this makes me very edgy and un-easy. I just wonder what time he will be released from the cells again, and what he’s going to be like towards us when he gets back.
I‘ve settled my princess back down now so I go and make myself a coffee and think well what’s gone so wrong again tonight. See if I can make sense of it all. I’m going to look around bedroom then to find my battery for my phone as when he threw it I heard the sound of it hitting the wall and breaking apart, so I know its in bits again! I know he only does it so it stops me phoning for help, but our neighbours hear it all so they phone anyway.
I’m sat here drinking my coffee, thinking and looking at the wet patch on the carpet where I tried to clean it, marks on the walls where he’s thrown things at me but missed, there’s paint coming off the walls where he’s thrown food at it so many times and I’ve washed it off and the paint is coming off as well, I so need to repaint everywhere, but he gives me no money.
It’s so quiet here now but any noise is making me jump, I’m so tired but afraid to fall a sleep. I got flashbacks of what happened tonight, and I’m so angry with myself over it.
I yearn so much for my parents to be alive and tell me what to do, I feel like a small child so frightened and scarred, I want to go back in time and feel their arms around me to make me feel safe and loved like they did when I was little. I guess the small young child came out in me now wanting them so much.
I go into the bedroom and get my folder out with my family photos in, as I weren’t allowed any photos around the flat. I lay them on the bed and stare hard at them, each picture tells a story where it was, what we were doing, and so many happy memories. I felt a tear rolling down my face, I was happy with all these memories but felt so alone right now at the same time. I tell myself, ‘ok, tomorrow is a new day, a new start and you will make this work’. Tomorrow came and went, and yes, I had been fooling myself once more. It’s just a repeat of most nights, but it was worse, as he was so angry for the police taking him away last night.
This is one of many incidents that happened over a period of three years of my life. I think the police had been out so many times now they decided to act on it and remove him from us. It was very scary at first as we had no family around us, but I had a fantastic support worker from the domestic abuse, and with her and friends and family I have started to get my life back on track slowly. They believed in me and have encouraged me all the way to get out of the darkest of places I have been .Yes , there is still so much I cant do by myself yet, but there is so much I have achieved over this past year.
We are so much happier now and content, there’s no more walking around on eggshells, and waiting for the bomb to stop ticking and explode.
I suffered financial, mental, emotional and physical abuse for 3 years, I know myself I have a long way to go, but I now believe in myself to be able to achieve things that he said I never would, and with the support off everyone that I get, I will continue to take on each day as it comes. The baby steps that I’m taking will soon progress into much bigger ones. As soon as you realise that you have been controlled and conditioned you can then take a hold of it and start moving forward.
I would like to eventually be able to get out there and help other woman going through similar problems and help them to speak up so they to can get on with rebuilding their lives. Life is looking up for me and my princess, I have goals which I WILL achieve and I will keep putting 110% effort into everything to help me to succeed in helping others and making a better life for us both.
BELIEVE………. in yourself
ACHIEVE………. your goals
SUCCEED………in your life
This is my motto that helps me to keep focussed, and you can to.
Always RISE up and speak about what you are going through, there’s no shame in it and it will help you move on in life……..