Fran's Domestic Abuse Story
My domestic abuse story started when I was 15. I met my ex through a friend a couple of years before but we only got together when I was 15 after being good friends. He was honest about his past and his family history. He had been in prison before and always in trouble with the police. He had heard his dad beat up his mum when he was younger until they split up when he was 6. I was young and believed everything he said, I had never been in a proper relationship before and I fell for him completely. He told me he wanted to change and that if he was with someone who loved him he wouldn't need to drink so much, do drugs or get in trouble.
He was in and out of prison while we were together, and I never really listened to his paranoia before he came out of prison, which was 15 months into the relationship. I always took it with a pinch of salt hoping that my reassurance would be enough. But when he came out we used to argue because i had had the 'cheek' to go out whilst he had been in a prison cell. If I reminded him that he was in prison for something that he had done and I hadn't done anything he would scream at me and get right in my face. I was already scared of him, in the past I had seen him beat up and hit family members but I always thought as long as I didn't do anything to provoke him I would be safe.
Febuary 09 was the first time he really beat me up. He back-handed me round the face and grabbed my throat throwing me off the bed onto the floor. He also smashed my phone to pieces and forced me to perform a sex act to him. I couldn't believe it was happening to me. I didn't know what to do, I was 16 and he made me feel like I deserved it. When I asked him why he slapped me and strangled me instead of punching me like you would expect. He laughed and replied, 'I was doing you a favour, if I had punched you I would have killed you'.
It wasn't just the physical abuse it was the emotional abuse also. Over the 18 months we had been together he had slowly managed to isolate me from my friends and family. From then, it was accusation after accusation. I had to delete all men from my phone, even people I had known for years. If a bloke looked at me in the street he would go mental at me for 'leading them on.' Most of the time I stayed in. So that he wouldn't be able to blame me for anything. He was smoking more and more drugs, and taking more and more of my money. He had isolated me further by sleeping with various so called friends, and the friends that stuck up for me or wouldn't sleep with him I wasn't allowed to be friends with because he didn't like them.
I was stuck between the person I loved, and the person that changed so much when he hurt me. I couldn't understand how one minute he would be lovely and the next he would switch. I just treasured every moment he was nice to me, and waited for the next time he would hurt me, I knew it would happen again, but I didn't care. One day I just hoped he would realise that I would love him through everything and he would stop.
On July 6th 09, he walked into my parents house and as I was walking up the stairs he grabbed my leg as I was almost at the top and dragged me back down. I smashed my head on the wall as I fell, and he started strangling me and banging my head over and over again. Shouting at me to confess to sleeping with someone else. He carried on bouncing me around off things for a couple of minutes until we heard the door bang. We stopped and went silent as my mum called up the stairs, back from her holiday. He hissed at me to not tell her anything and to shut up and let him talk.
I smiled the best fake smile I could, and leaned in to give her a hug but I was shaking so much that she knew something was wrong, he made me tell her that I cheated. I was hysterically crying and shaking and he stayed until he had put his made up side of the story across to my mum saying how I was just upset because he wouldn't take me back. I just agreed to everything afraid he would hurt my mum if she found out the truth.
So, he left with us broken up. I acted if everything was OK for 2 days, until he wanted to meet with me. My mum dropped me off at his house and he said we could get back together. As long as I did everything he said, moved in with him and let him do whatever he wanted. I was stunned, I knew he was horrible sometimes but he didn't really care that I cheated on him, he liked it because he could get more control over me, and he was threatening me, I knew it wouldn't end. I agreed, because I loved him and then left to go to work. As we were driving, I burst into tears. Struggling to breathe I whispered 'mum, I think he will kill me'.
She was obviously absolutely distraught, but I told her that he had strangled me, I couldn't tell her how much I had actually put up with over the past 5 months and the other day. I felt weak and humiliated. Why have I put up with this? Most women are meant to leave the first time. I was so scared of the situation and I knew that if he was around me I would go back to him. So, as I got into work I quit my job, with the help of my mum. They really understood and said I could leave without notice. I went to pick up my stuff from his house. He wasn't in and his mum made sure everything was gone and packed. She was brilliant. I guess she knows what it's like from being with an abuser herself, and living with him. I was going to live with family for a while. The car was packed. Then I listen to a voicemail message left by him.
I thought he deserved to know so I rang him. I told him that I was leaving because I needed to get away from him and that I was scared of him. At first he was angry saying that he would never take me back if I leave and he'll get with someone else, I was fat and ugly so wouldn't get anyone except him. When he realised it wasn't working, he was all tears and appologies he said that he would go to anger management and stop drinking. I was all he had to live for. I believed him and gave him another chance.
It was Ok for about a month. He drunk less and if he was drinking he would stay away from me. Then I found out I was pregnant. He told me that having a baby would be brilliant, he would never hurt me, he would stop getting arrested, he wouldn't cheat and he would not drink. I believed him again. But that night he went out and got drunk, when he came back he was angry and tried to start an argument with me. I went downstairs with his mum so that he couldn't hurt me. That night he beat up his step-dad. Apparently he deserved it. He bit his face so hard that blood splattered all up the walls. His mum ended up with bruises trying to protect him. I was terrified, my world was falling apart. How could he? Everything was meant to be Ok from now on.
Even so, we moved into a hostel together. He went from bad to worse. He thought that I worked in as a prostitute, when actually I worked as a carer for elderly people. He would try and kick me in the stomach saying that he wasn't the dad and he would strangle me on a regular basis, he said that if he ever found out that I had cheated on him even if my son was his he would kill the baby infront of me and then kill me. I had become so terrified of him that every time he shouted at me I would have such bad panic attacks that I would be sick. I kept everything a secret because social services already wanted to be involved because of previous violence and if I was seen to be putting my child in danger they would take him off me when he was born and I really couldn't see how bad it all was.
The physical abuse began to occur daily, and his drinking and drug taking was out of control. I used to pray to god that he would get arrested or go and cheat on me because I couldn't bear the thought of him coming home and hurting me. He would lock me in the house, and I could not escape from him at any time. If I told him to leave he would just refuse, there was nothing I could do.
Then on the 15th of January 10, me and my ex went to a friends birthday party. He was very drunk and doing drugs all night. He was already getting angry by the time we left. Luckily after some shouting he passed out on our single mattress still fully clothed. So I slept on the sofa. I was woken up by my ex because he had wet himself, I started blowing up the other mattress and he said he would sleep on it with me. I said no and that I would sleep anywhere he wasn't, I then went to put the urine covered duvets in the washing machine and sat back down. He went mental saying that if I didn't get the duvets he would smash my head in. I tried to explain that they had to be washed but he didn't listen. He got up and picked up the coffee table pouring a glass of water all over the blow up bed. He then picked up the glass walked over to the sink, then turned and threw the glass at me before flying towards me and banging my head against the wall and strangling me.
I'd had enough. When he had finished I jumped up and ran to the bedroom dialing 999 I could barely get the words out before he started biting my wrist and wrestling me for the phone I managed to get the address out before throwing it accross the room. I thought it would make him leave, but it just made him worse. He threw me onto the bed and smashed a mirror over me, I was just screaming 'no, the baby' over and over again but he just turned round and said fuck you and the baby and threw himself over me, I raised my legs to cover my bump and he just strangled me. He wasn't going to stop, I could feel myself blacking out and had to stay focused to protect my unborn child, somehow I managed to turn over onto all fours but i was trapped into a corner. He then grabbed my hair to pull my head back, he bit my head in three places and carried on biting whilst he tried to shove his fingers down my throat. I clenched my teeth but he cut my gums open and managed to get his fingers into my mouth. I bit as hard as I could. I couldn't feel the pain of him biting me anymore, I was numb. Finally he gave up and walked into the kitchen. I walked behind him, unlocked the front door and locked myself in the bathroom. He had gone to get a knife, there was no way I would let him get to me now. He was screaming at me saying he was going to cut my baby out of me.
The police got in and arrested him, he pleaded guilty for ABH and got 3 years, and a 6 year restraining order. He did 18 months of his sentence. I am slowly making a new life for myself with my son, he hasn't tried to see him and even though he tries to get back into my life I won't let him. I refuse to be a victim, I am a survivor. I have learnt that the bully doesn't get there amusement from beating you up, the pleasure comes from knowing that you'll be scared of them for the rest of your life. I refuse to let him break me. I will move on with my life and as I'm growing, learning going somewhere in my life he will remain in the gutter where he belongs. I refuse to hate him because hatred leaves people bitter and twisted, just like he is.
I feel that I needed to share my story to help me progress, I want others to know they are not alone and the best thing I ever did was leave him, if your still in the situation, it doesn't get better. It is hard, I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety to this day, but it's worth it and does get easier in time. I am so happy now, and have been out of the relationship for two years, I will never look back.
In This Section:
Domestic Violence Stories
In Love and in Danger is one of the only books available on dating violence and abusive relationships that addresses young adults directly. Includes facts about dating violence, tips for how to tell if your relationship is abusive, information on why dating abuse happens, and what you can do if you are being abused by (or are abusing) someone you love.
To order in the US: In Love and In Danger: A Teen's Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships
To order in the UK: In Love and in Danger: A Teen's Guide to Breaking Free of Abusive Relationships
Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven is the book to accompany the Freedom Programme in the UK. This book should be compulsory in schools - the information is so clear and so obvious and such an eye-opener! After studying domestic violence issues for years, this is the one book which finally enabled me to click it all into place and answer all my whys. Just read it:
To order in the US: Living With the Dominator (Kindle version only - and well worth buying a Kindle just to get this book!)
To order in the UK: Living with the Dominator: A Book About the Freedom Programme: 1
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Real Rape, Real Pain explores though the eyes and feelings the actual impact of marital and imtiate sexual abuse and marital rape. A must read for anyone who has experienced this intrusive and long-lasting form of intimate violence. The book does not just describe and explain, but also helps set us on the road to healing:
To order in the US: Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for women sexually assaulted by male partners
To order in the UK: Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for Women Sexually Assaulted by Male Partners
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