This happened to me…

Right now I am shaking and am trying to stop bawling like a baby. I’ve been hearing about some of the accounts of domestic violence that friends of mine have been through. This of course triggered the mother of all flashbacks. I now feel like one giant, raw nerve ending. Everything hurts so fucking much. 😦 Every single breath in is a struggle. The pictures are still there inside my head and I cannot wipe them away. Oh please make them go away.

I don’t feel able to speak up to my friends about my experiences now. How can I? They are all raw and upset following the sharing of their experiences. How can I make things worse for them? I simply cannot and will not be that selfish.

But I have to get this out. It’s eating away inside me like some toxic substance and it needs to be expunged right now. Can I find the strength to do this? I honestly don’t know.

Things started out so well. After a shitty and abusive childhood, he seemed like my knight in shining armour. He was kind and treated me like a queen. I had never known a man like him before. It started to change very subtly. He would “suggest” (in other words tell me) to wear certain clothes, to wear certain make up and to wear my hair a certain way. Pretty soon he told me to dye it blonde. I did. Then he wanted me to have acrylic nails – again, I did as I was told. Fairly quickly I could look in the mirror and barely recognise myself. I hated it. It wasn’t me.

A couple of my friends tried to tell me that he was bad news, but by this time I was head over heals in love and I accepted my new appearance was needed to keep my man happy. I turned on them and told them to mind their own business.

Then I started my nurse training and very rapidly things started to change. He was constantly accusing me of screwing doctors (despite me telling him we were in school and nowhere near medical staff). This got worse once I was on my first ward placement. My first shift was a late, so I didn’t get home until almost 10.30. He asked me for sex the minute I got through the door. I asked him if we could wait until tomorrow as I was super tired. That was that. He hauled back and back handed me across the face so hard that I went flying onto the bed. Then he pulled down my tights and knickers and raped me while I was still in my uniform. I just lay there feeling numb. I couldn’t believe the love of my life could actually be so vile and do such horrible things to me.

From then on, things continued to get worse. He isolated me from my friends by saying why did I need them when I had him? I would be timed when I went to the local shop and if I took too long, I would be punished. I was broken down with words. I was fat, ugly, stupid, worthless and many other bad names too. If I didn’t give him sex when he wanted it, he would rape me. I was pulled around by my hair, had an eyebrow piercing ripped out, urinated on, beaten ferociously and pretty much treated like some kind of subhuman. I used to lay awake at night with tears running down my face and wishing with all my heart for him to stop. Why? Even having babies didn’t stop him. I used to wish for death because it was the only way I could think of to make him stop torturing me.

Then one day I ran. The kids and I are free now. We all bear mental scars from the hideous things that this man did to us. But we are free. But it has to be said – this happened to me.

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