Once upon a time, there was a 38-year-old strong independent woman with a beautiful 10-year-old daughter. She met a man and their “love” blossomed. The romance grew quickly and after 3 months they moved in together. The first 4 months filled with affection and love apart from the odd little niggles like the odd comment, squeeze of an arm which was sometimes too tight, but these were quickly overcome with him plying her with kisses and cuddles and a nugatory sorry. She hadn’t been in an abusive or controlling relationship before and was unaware that this show of “love” was in fact growing into something more sinister, but she thought he “loved” her. It was a huge whirlwind and they flew out to Las Vegas and got married 8 months after meeting, embroiled in the romantic notions that this would be the start of the rest of their lives, but little did she know her nightmare was just about to begin.
As soon as they returned home that “love” grew into something very dark, the first time he put his hands around her throat simply because she had audacity to answer his phone whilst he was upstairs was to be the beginning of 9 years of hell.
The strangulation soon got accompanied by spitting in her face and the verbal abuse. Then, somehow there would be a little blinker of light and a good day would fall in and he would revert to being a “loving” husband, but as the years rolled by those good days became less and less.
One day she received a call from his “business partner” asking her if she knew where he had been the night before, she couldn’t answer the question, as with the culmination of feeling unwell and having to work the following day, she had gone to bed early. She then realised that this would have given him the opportunity to covertly leave the house, which in fact he had, and was in fact was in fact getting down and dirty with his “former business partners” wife. At this point her world came crashing down, as she was told the extent of his behaviour towards her. She felt bile rise in her mouth as she was told that at the companies Christmas party the previous year her “loving” husband had been spiking her drinks with Cocaine, she remembered that night through a mist and how out of control she felt and although she hadn’t had more than 2 glasses she really believed she had drunk too much, he even made her believe that she had ruined the night because her drinking had been excessive and she had made a show of herself, which gave him the opportunity when they got home to hurl abuse and punch her for allegedly embarrassing him in front of his staff. The following day having spent the weekend at her father’s her daughter came home. As soon as the daughter came through the front door, she was faced with him ranting and telling her how mental her mother was and that how her mother was unfit as she was nothing more than “bushed in the head”. The daughter eyes weld up and her gaze hit the floor and she just turned and went upstairs. He just smirked at her and then came over and put his hands around her throat and smirked and in a soft menacing voice proceeded to tell her that her daughter had told him how much she hated her. That night he walked out and didn’t come back until the next day. This then became a normal event, instigating an argument, walking out and staying out all night. She never knew where he was, as she was simply too scared to ask him.
As the years went on it became apparent that he was a master of manipulation and she started to see what he was doing to her daughter but was helpless and scared to because in her eyes he was plying her daughter with “love” and “spoiling her, albeit with her own money. He was trying to use her daughter as another form of “supply”. She also, knew that there was something not quite right with her daughter as she became withdrawn and had very few friends. She had also become aware that the daughter was baring witness to parts of the abuse on her. He would regularly clench his fist in front of her and pretended to draw it in to make it look like he was about to punch her mother. The daughter also heard the vile abuse spewing from him in front of her mother’s face and the disgusting names he called her. He was in fact abusing the daughter to.
She knew about all the affairs and used to wish one day he would up and leave her for another supply. If she every broached was he seeing someone else he vehemently denied it and accused her of being bushed in the head for making it up. Even with all the wishing and praying she knew he would never leave her because he was on to too much of a good thing, he didn’t work or contribute to anything she kept him financially and he bled her dry. She bought him “presents” to try and keep him happy and leave her alone, this would work for a few days but then he would revert to his vile behaviour.
When things got bad, she would go to her “go to” place a little churchyard and sit in the car and sob, that was her sanctuary. There were many times during the really bad times when she had thoughts about not wanting to live anymore and on several occasions, thought about ending it all then this would stop.
She was isolated from the “normal” world, her friends, her family, she was lonely so she compensated by comfort eating, which led her to put on 8 stone and jeez did he love telling her that no one would ever look at her again, she was a fat c**t.
The feeling of dread and anxiety every time the door was opened and he walked in, shit what was he going to do to her the fear, the dread. She had experienced it several month’s previously; when he had been on a bender. She decided to sleep in her daughters’ room to stay out the way, but that didn’t work. She heard the door slam and his footsteps on the stairs the bedroom door flung open he grabbed her hair pulled her out of bed. She managed to struggle free and follow him downstairs and brought out every ounce of courage she was shaking but she knew she had to stand up to this lowlife bully and the words blurted out “I am not scared of you”. That was a big mistake, he grabbed the top of the iron bars off the cooker and tried to hit her over the head, she ducked, he just missed. He then started to strangle her and spit in her face. He then rang his brother who apparently had alliances with a faction called the UVF and told him to get hold of his contacts get her shot as he wanted dead. She just stood there frozen, he grabbed a bunch of twigs which were arranged in a vase and hit her over the head with them blood ran down her face. That is the time she thought she was going to die. This man was nothing more than a psychopath.
Over the years she was threatened with being killed, strangled, spat at, humiliated, verbally abused, punched, kicked, lied to, exposed to substance abuse, controlled and most importantly because of his actions towards her he abused her daughter too.
The years rolled on and the abuse continued, he was staying out more and more which was the only time she felt remotely peaceful. She still kept hoping that he would run off into the sunset with another one of his new supplies but that hope faded as the years went on. One night whilst he was out on the hunt, she was watching the TV and saw a fairly new surgical procedure called the Gastric Band. Two weeks later she was having surgery, the weight dropped off and by the Christmas she had shed 6 stone.
That particular year, Christmas came and went with the usual dread. He loved playing happy families when his mother and father came to visit, but at least when they visited he wasn’t hurting her. This part of the holidays was tolerable until the time they boarded their train that’s when the dread set in.
Little did she know in a few days her whole life was about to change. The day before New Year Eve she got a call out of the blue from one of her recruitment contacts asking her if she would be interested in a new job and that they felt her CV and experience met the criteria required. That phone call was about to change her path and this would become her epiphany. She still truly she believes that the call came from an Angel.
She said to him F U you are not doing this to be anymore and at the end of January and with lengthy discussions with her daughter she packed her bags and boarded a plane to Kandahar and although this will be another chapter in her book, spent the following 4 years in Afghanistan. The first time she came home on leave she felt like a warrior and he knew she had changed, she kicked him out of the house, packed all his belongings rented a flat for him for 6 months and told him he was on his own after that.
Not long after she got redeployed back into Afghanistan she had a call from her daughter that the Ex had in fact come around to the house and terrorising her and her boyfriend (now husband) for 3 hours they were both terrified, he was using these two innocents as a temporary supply. Unfortunately, the daughter was so scared of him she didn’t get the police. But that was the last time anything like that happened.
She filed for divorce and listed on the statement of support for the courts detail about the heinous things he did to her done. He even signed it off admitting to everything but one thing he never said was sorry but they never do, because in his mind he did nothing wrong.
She still lives in hope that one day he will pay for his crimes. After all he is just criminal who thinks he has got away with it !. But one thing is for sure she is not scared of him anymore. He is not with some one who is nearly 30 years younger and she will suffer probably even more, but one day that will be her story I cannot save her unfortunately, because she wont know its happening until its too late.
My fairy tale turned into a nightmare you never know maybe one day I will get my happy ever after.
My name is Sue and I am a DV Survivor and this is just a snap shot of my whole story, one day I will have the courage to write my life story.
Never let the past tarnish your future