I wanted to document some of my journey after abuse. When I first started to blog many of the experiences were all a bit too raw and painful to even think about. Only now at the other side am I able to document some of it with a more personal voice, telling my own story. Hoping it makes anyone going through the same know that they are not alone.
There were 3 things my abuser told me whilst I was in the relationship that would happen if I left. I’m sure anyone who has been in a similar situation can already guess them, these guys aren’t overly creative – cut from the same shitty cloth rings a bell.
“No one will believe you about the abuse ”
Everyone will think you are crazy”
“you’ll lose the kids ”
These three things were said so often that in the end it seeped into my psyche and it became fact in my messed up mind.
When I left, sure enough, he attempted to make all these things true.
I spoke here about having to prove I was sane.
No one believing me though, that was the biggie and coupled with the fear of losing my children it was the hardest thing to overcome.
I’d left my abuser. I’d moved away from home where we were all loved to run away to safety.
So my abuser got out the big guns.
He wanted my children removed, they’d be better in care than with me, I was unstable and not fit to look after them he’d claimed.
He’d also filed for full residence of the children at this time, I’d done the same so the court ordered a report to be written by social services to help them make a decision.
I’ll say, as I always do, I cannot prove any abuse. I have no evidence, no charges were ever brought. (Please if you are in an abusive relationship if it’s at all safe to do so note incidents, dates, times, witnesses. Only if it’s safe though and there’s no way the abuser will come across your notes.)
This put me on the back foot from the off and my trying to explain my experience to the social worker was met with much talk of “your word against his”
Having your parenting raked over with a fine toothcomb I’m sure any parent can imagine is a pretty horrific affair.
Every room in my house was inspected (I’d ran here with absolutely nothing so my house at that time was sporting a minimal vibe at best! )
I was interviewed at length about why I was stopping a father see his kids. I was told how upset he was, how he’d broken down in front of her. Course he did – turning on the tears was a very effective tactic for him. I in turn weren’t showing emotion, why was this? Well I’ll tell you why it was. It was because I was numb. Completely numb, I’d had to shut down my emotions just to survive living with the guy sobbing into his hanky currently. (One time I did cry and concerns were raised that this could be an indication I was unstable!)
My children were interviewed at school, drilled about what I fed them? What we did together? How they felt about living here? Did they miss their father?
A meeting was called IN SCHOOL! This made me sick to the stomach, I’d not lived here long I was trying to make a good impression in a new school, start afresh and now I had to sit here whilst every bit of my life and my family were discussed around a table of strangers. Thankfully school were so supportive and I’ll always be grateful but honestly I felt like the worst human being on the planet during those days. I just knew though, I had faith that if I just jumped through their hoops the truth would out.
In a positive of all this attention, the focus was also on him. He was also looked at, observed.
It went on for months that ever present worry of social services, visits and interviews and having to prove myself. It was without doubt the hardest period of my life. There were days I doubted myself. It’s unsurprising though, that when faced with the possibility of a court choosing that your children should live with him, you find strength.
You find so much strength, so much fight.
I was granted full residence of the children at social services recommendation. I felt validated by that. Yes hard questions had been asked of me, yes people doubted my ‘story’ about the abuse, yes it was humiliating beyond belief to be investigated so throughly when I’d done nothing wrong. You do whatever is necessary though. You have to.
To anyone currently going through this I know how hard and soul destroying it is. To have someone gaslight your experiences to professionals, to barely be able to function with worry that they’ll believe him and you could lose your children. Hold on tight though, hold on tight and keep your head and surround yourself with people who care for you and have your back throughout this. You and your children deserve a happy, free life and that can be there for you at the end of this.
I’m living proof of that.
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