“I still have bad days of feeling worthless but I have my goals put in place that keep me focused.”
The Abuse Story
I was with my abusive ex for just over 2 years, although this doesn’t seem long it moved at a very fast pace. There were maybe 10 or so incidents of physical violence…. mainly pinning down etc… thank god nothing severe but most were while I was pregnant. Most of what I experienced was emotional/psychological abuse. I was moved away from my home town to a remote village to isolate me from my support network. This is when it started to escalate. Gaslighting was used very often. Being pregnant and suffering with anxiety anyway made it unbearable at times. Once my son was born it worsened severely. He used to snatch my baby off me and stop me breast feeding, threaten to take him away from me, tell me I was mentally unstable etc.
When my son was 12 days old I went to a routine midwife appointment and broke down. I showed her the bruises on my arm from where my ex had grabbed me to try and stop me picking my baby up because he was crying. Then I told her everything that he had put me through
I moved back to my home town (over an hour away) but he still found ways to get to me. Sob stories, emotional blackmail etc. Then when I finally went no contact the smear campaign started. The things he said about me and my family/friends were vindictive and vile. The hardest part is trying to stop yourself loving such a monster
It’s taken me about 18months to get myself back on track…..I still have bad days of feeling worthless but I have my goals put in place that keep me focused.
Tips for Dealing with Flashbacks
I do struggle with flashbacks and have counselling for that. Breathing exercises I learnt for my anxiety help as well. I try and remind myself that I’m free from him and he can’t hurt me like he used to.
What are some boundaries you've put up to protect yourself?
I’m not looking for a relationship. I think I need to be happy by myself until I can let someone else into my heart.
What are some techniques you use to bring positivity into your life?
I try to spend quality time with my children, making memories. I take a lot of photos to capture every smile.
Advice For People in Abusive Situations
I would say to always trust your gut instinct. Make sure you have someone you can trust to talk to. Don’t believe that abusive people will change.
What Are Some Things That Would Have Made it Easier to Leave?
I think if I didn’t have my children I would have been able to walk away a lot sooner because he wouldn’t have that control over me.
How Can Society Help You More?
I think domestic abuse needs more awareness. Abusive traits need to be taught in schools so young women (and men) are aware of these.
What Are Some Things You Enjoy Doing Now?
I enjoy going on day trips with my kids. I also enjoy helping other people who are struggling with this situation. In fact I intend to build a career out of it.
What Helps You See the Beauty in the World?
My children. Their innocence shows me that not everything in this world is bad or tainted.
What makes you feel confident?
My confidence has slipped a lot. Encouragement from my friends and family are slowly building it back up.
What Makes You Feel Beautiful?
Having treat days such as getting my hair and nails done , doesn’t happen as much as I’d like though ha
What Makes You Feel Empowered?
I feel empowered when I think back to all he’s put me through and I’ve battled through it all
***If you survived abuse and would like to use the story to help encourage others, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
*If you or someone you know might be experiencing abuse, please see my resource page for support.