Harriet's Story

The hope starts as soon as the first step to leave is made you just don't feel it because you are so drained so low, but there is a whole new life waiting for you when you're ready. The moment left is the moment you took back control you just don't know it yet. This journey you're on is all about taking back the control taking your life back!

Every day that your gone your strength will build but you might not feel strong yet because you are so warn out, but it will come, it took me a few years to actually feel strong, until you get to the point 11 years on you can walk past the Prick in the street and laugh at how pathetic they are and keep walking!!

When I first met my ex, you wouldn't have thought anything was wrong, it wasn't until we lived together 6 months on the emotional outbursts would start, but all the aggression was taken out on walls and doors. I'm not going to go into all the things that happened to me because we all have that story and they're pretty similar, but over the 7 years of the relationship there were lots of emotional and physical abuse, mostly when he was drunk. Sober he would be sorry even cry, me and him against the world and all that bollocks that goes with it.

I lost all my friends, all my confidence, isolated myself away from family but I always had my mum and dad, I was lucky that way. Five years in I found out I was pregnant. I was 22 I wasn't ready. I knew I didn't want a baby in this situation but it was too late. The abuse carried on got worse because now he thought he had me and I thought staying was the best thing because I was keeping my child's family together but I could not have been more wrong!!!!

2 years later just after the Christmas holiday's I found out he was cheating....again! Something just clicked in me, so I packed one bag of things mainly for my daughter and we went, before he could get home. Id left lots of times but I knew, this time this was it, this wasn't the life I wanted for my child.

By the time I left, I didn't have the confidence to go shopping on my own or put petrol in my car on my own. I always felt like nobody wanted me there, I was a mess.

My daughter was terrified of men, and if the door went she would run to hide under the table at my parents house where I was now staying. She used to go round saying my Daddy's naughty he throws things, she was 2!

He kept ringing kept leaving presents by the door and when they didn't work would get aggressive, wouldn't leave me alone. I told the Police and they went to warn him to stay away.

After a few long months I got my own Council flat, someone told him where it was and I started getting texts saying he was sat outside, etc. I called the Police. When I was with him, I never rang the Police sometimes the neighbours did, but never me, except once when he tried to take the baby out of the house when she was a few weeks old in the middle of the night. Now I was one my own, I knew I had to.

You have to to show them you're in control. If id have sat there, scared in my flat who has the control, him! Don't get me wrong, it wasn't just as easy as, 'Oh i’ll just give them a call', it took me ages to make the decision to do it and I was really scared, I was even scared the police would say, "What you bothering us with that for!?' They didn't, they were great!

Eventually I met someone else, which caused more shit off the ex but each time I would report it. This is my life now, I make my decisions and I will show you its not acceptable to behave that way to me..... More control taken back. Its hard and its long but its the only way!

I had to introduce my little girl really slowly to my new partner. She wouldn't let him push her on a swing push her buggy read her a story at first but, it was a long slow process but the day she picked him to read her bedtime story was amazing! He knows what we have been through, he doesn't know all the details there's no need.

I'm ten years on now, i'm not a victim, i'm a survivor. What i've been through is my past, its part of me but its put away now just like learning to ride a bike, or to swim... its part of you but you don't need to think about how you learnt it everyday.

I'm sat writing this in my garden, in my own home which I own with the same new partner I mentioned before. My daughter is 13 now, and I have a younger son. I have had ten years of crap off the ex but it's got less and less as he realised I don't care anymore. I have even guided his ex thru leaving him after she was with him 7 years and has a daughter with him. We are friends but he doesn't know.

She daren't tell him, she is still in the middle of all the rubbish with him, but she too, has met someone else. She is getting her confidence back and rebuilding a nice and happy life for herself. When she gets the threats she rings me I talk her down and we deal with it. I haven't managed to convince her to ring the Police yet but I think it will come.

Whatever stage you are in don't give up hope. Every situation they try to put you in, take back the control even if thats by not reacting to them! You will get there and years on u will be sat in ur garden telling your story, wondering if thats the life you really did lead and how you managed it!

The biggest hardest step is to leave and stay gone! If you’ve done that then you're already stronger than you know!

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