As a child and young teen, I was introduced to violence and abuse from a family member. This family member would lock me outside the house on freezing nights, make me endure walking 2 hours home from school every and would make me witness recreational drugs being used. This family member was not someone from blood but who had married into it, this family member screamed and shouted abuse at me and my younger brother. The family member broke my confidence, my self-esteem and my self-worth.
Little did I realise that later in life I would suffer from abuse again…
When I was 16, at my school leavers party I was sexually attacked by a boy in my school. He asked me to go for a walk with him and sit down, next thing I know his touching me in inappropriate places. He kept reassuring me that he liked me and that I should just let him do this. I screamed ‘NO’, pushed him hard and ran as quickly as I could home. I passed many members of the public who saw me running and crying but no one helped, even to this day only a few people know of this story.
4 years later I thought I had found the love of my life; he was kind and sweet. My ex-boyfriend was someone who I held in such high spirits but looking back at it now the abuse started right from the start.
The abuser (my ex) was extremely kind to me for the first few months. He would complement me; he would stand up for me and he would buy me random little gifts.
Then 5 months later he changed but in such a way it made him look like he was caring for me when actually it was a control power, he now had over me. He wouldn’t allow me to go to work because he didn’t feel ‘safe’ with me working until 9PM.I wasn’t allowed to go to the shops without him for ‘safety’ reasons and he started to control what I wore by saying I looked fat or had too much skin on show.
A year into this relationship and I still had no idea the control he had over me. My family and friends warned me of his behaviour, but I refused to listen to them as he ‘loved me’. He twisted the story and made me think my family and friends hated him for no reason and that it was my fault they felt that way towards him. He then made me stop seeing my friends all together and I had to become friends with his friends as they where ‘safe’ and not ‘liars’. I was not allowed to see my family and he caused me to have a large falling out with my mother because he told me that she was the manipulator.
This was at a point where I lived on my own and he had started having more trust issues. He started checking my phone every day and had control over all my social media accounts because he ‘knew what men was like and that I would cheat on him with them’. He tracked where I was, and I had to update him regularly of my physical location by taking selfies on snapchat. When I had my phone for work ( the only time I was allowed it) He would check my work app when I got home to see what time I left a clients house and work out the time difference of when I got home. When he stopped over, he would abuse my pet rabbit, he would throw him around and hurt him if I had annoyed him.
I read this now screaming at the screen, screaming why did you not leave him. The answer is I didn’t see the control, all I saw was a man who loved me and wanted me to be all his; I thought that was him being caring. He had such an emotional control over me that I was no longer Alex, I was his toy. I had no confidence; I had no life and I had no meaning.
I got to a stage where I wanted to harm myself, I thought it was the only way to escape the way I felt. I didn’t know that the way I felt was because of him.
What had finally made me realise he was poison and what had finally made me escape was I caught pregnant and he caused me to miscarry through stress. He was horrified that I was pregnant and right from the start of me telling him he told me I had to have an abortion, that he hated me and this thing inside me. He would scream and cause me much stress over the months that when I went for my first scan, I found that the baby’s heart had stopped beating. I was traumatised and went into serious depression, and he just carried on being the poisoness man that he was. He said that he was glad that I lost IT (our baby) and that I would have been a s**t mother.
It was in that moment I left him, I could stand for him hurting me and having that control over me, but my motherly hormones came rushing over me and in that moment, I hated him more than anything in the world. The thing is an abuser will not leave you alone, even when you break off the relationship. He liked the control, he wanted me to be his forever.
I would stalk me, wait outside my home and my parents’ home. He broke into my house and broke all valuable items and flooded the house. He would show up at work grabbing me and telling me to take him back, he would not leave me alone.
I had to get a new job and find a new place to live for safety reasons, but then he started stalking me online and would message men that I was seeing. He was threatening them or telling them horrible lies about me, making sure I was alone and trying to get me to come running back to him. He tried to attention seek by making false accounts and try to get my attention by OD.
It was then when he found my new address and started sitting outside the house waiting for me I realised I need to phone the police. The police put a temporary restraining order against him and arrested him from his home. They gave him a warning and ever since then he has stopped and left me alone.
Nearly 2 years on and I am nearly fully recovered from the impact he had on my life. I have confidence and I am able to walk down the street without fear. I am now at university studying to become a social worker, to protect those who need it. I am feeling better about my body image, and thus have a semi big follower account on Instagram. More Importantly I am now a Finalist for Miss West Midlands , whereby I am able to support those like me with confidence issues but also to prove to myself that I have self-worth and that I can do whatever I want as long as I put my mind to it.
Miss Midlands Finalist 2020 and Domestic Abuse Survivor