Breaking the cycle of abuse
I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father and although he never hit me, when drunk, he did hit my mom and things could get pretty hectic. You would think that having had that kind of experience growing up, that I would have learnt some stuff, but when we are teens, we always think we know better and in my middle to late teens, I got involved with a guy who was much older and had a bad reputation for fighting. I just thought he was cool and being the rebel that I was, I carried on dating him against better advice. He was controlling, jealous and possessive and it wasn’t long before he started hitting me for things that were always MY fault. At first, I thought it was just a once….or twice off thing, but as time went on, I realized that wasn’t the case, but at that point, I was too ashamed to let my family know that they had been right and I had been stupid, so I kept it all quiet and stayed with him. I know that sounds really dumb, but in my defence, I was really young still and only those who have been in this kind of situation will really understand why I did it.
After him twice hitting me in public, I kinda realized it couldn’t carry on and I did eventually leave him, although for years, there was this weird tie between us and on and off, we did get back together again and I eventually had a child with him. I regret having got involved with him in the first place, but my daughter is a really awesome person and so for that, I am glad.
A while after that, I met Prince Charming and got married, much too quickly and for all the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, it turned out that Prince Charming wasn’t so charming after all and a few months into our marriage, the violence started. Again, stupidly, I thought it was just a once off thing, but when I realized it wasn’t, I also realized something else……I was NOT going to go through this again!
This time, even though I had only been married a short while, and knew people would probably talk about that, I left him. I didn’t only have myself to worry about this time, I had my daughter (a toddler) as well and there was no way I was going to put her in harm. Things didn’t go so well after I left him and he phoned me often during the night with threats and kinda stalked me for a while and I lived in quite a bit of fear, but I did get through it all.
All of this, did teach me one thing – I was NEVER going to let a man hit me again and that resolve helped me to find a really good man, someone I am still married to 27 years later. Although I wish I had not gone through the domestic violence I did, it taught me a lot of lessons that I am grateful for and I never let it bring me down.