by Mary-Louise Lynch
Nelson Mendela on Freedom
I went out with a man I knew was danger, but I thought I could handle it. Rebellion is my middle name and there was a lot going on that I wanted to escape from. The emotional and psychological abuse started early on in the relationship. It was after he dumped me, six months into the relationship and brought a girl he had picked up on the side of the road back to stay in his Mother's house that he became violent with me.
In a gesture of romance he made a swing and came to my garden and put it up. He looked so pathetic and miserable that I spoke to him, made him tea and gave him something to eat but I was clear that I would not be taking him back. I had to go to work, his car was blocking my path, when I beeped at him he refused to move. I threw an empty plastic water bottle from my car at his in frustration. He got out of his car and came at mine with a hammer. I loved my car, it was new and I got out to stop him, he wrestled me across the bonnet of my car, threw me to the ground and smashed in my bonnet with the hammer. That was fourteen years ago.
I am seeking a safety order next week in court. I am frightened, I don't believe that that the system helps victims of abuse. We are unprotected until they are proved guilty but my abuser is so cunning. He keeps getting away with it.
I got out of the relationship but with a young baby. Since I met my now husband my crazy ex has pursued me through the courts over anything he can think of.
I have a beautiful husband and three boys but I am often not really here. I get lost in my head, full of anger and sadness that my life still has to have him in it.
so alone and unheard by the real world. My old friends aren't really interested and I am embarrassed at what has become of me. It seems that every time we are getting our family life together and my work life is opening up again, he just barges in and we are all at his mercy.
Over the years I have been hit, strangled, sexually assaulted, raped, spat at, my son has been taken without my consent, my family have been threatened with death, I've been threatened, my husband has been threatened.
I still try to make the whole situation okay and it isn't, it never will be. I thought that by trying to be civilised I would protect my son but it's true what they say, "the truth will set you free." Next week is the beginning of November, I am in court again for his appeal to vary access and to reduce maintenance. I am finally pushing forwards with a Safety Order. I doubt myself all the time and the past few days I have felt really low. Reading these stories this evening has saved my soul.
On the 1st of November I am starting to write the novel "Domesticide" for national novel writing month. I have made a vow not to keep quiet. There has to be change. The system as it is only protects the abusers. Why didn't she just leave, they don't understand the power of what happens once they get inside your head. I've had enough. I'm going to write and write and write and I won't stop until my situation is changed and I am truly free.
All I can say to anyone out there suffering, don't give up, believe in you. Trust yourself and you will find a way out. Don't keep quiet, the only one that keeping quiet protects is the abuser, there is no shame in speaking up.
That is how the world is changed.
That is how my abuser will be outed.
That is how I become free.