Tag Archives: advice

What NOT to say to someone fresh out of an abusive relationship

I have had a little bit of help for this post by some incredibly brave and strong women so thank you to them firstly , you were a huge help.

Domestic abuse’s power lies in the secret nature of its being. This is why I harp on about it. Everytime I tell of my experiences the secret is broken. It’s not secret , my freedom brings with it my voice .

If you’ve never experienced it though , or if you don’t know anything about the subject and how subtle and insidious it is then how on earth should you know how to react if you learn someone close to you has been abused. How can you be a supporter without saying the wrong thing and freaking them out .

Well I’m not sure I have all the answers there. There are though some words and phrases after I had left that did me so much mental damage I almost felt I was back there , that set back my recovery and that made me question myself.

None of these would affect me anymore . I’d be able to explain but back then I was still ever so fragile .

As I always say I can only tell my story and it obviously doesn’t affect everyone the same way. Here’s the phrases that hurt me and caused me distress when I was newly out of the abusive relationship.

Why did you stay so long?

The people who asked this were well meaning. I know the question came from a good place . A worry that I’d gone through what I had so long .

To me , newly away from that though , it just showed me what I was up against . How people just wouldn’t understand. That unless you were tied up in the cellar you had the free will to leave . Your free will is often taken before any violence occurs , if it does at all. So much work goes into the perpetrator re programming your brain and convincing you that you can’t live without them. Some women suffering financial abuse cannot leave as they have no access to money . Some perpetrators physically take away shoes and keys and outdoor clothes to make leaving the house physically impossible to leave . Domestic abuse covers a huge spectrum of behaviour. Rarely is standing up and walking out a possibility.

If a guy ever hit me I’d…

Kick the shit out of him

Leave immediately

Chuck him out.

As I mentioned above , domestic rarely begins with a punch. Many of us I’m sure if we had a perfectly great partner would react differently if he just punched us in the face out of nowhere. However the headwork that is usually done previously to violence means you are filled with self doubt , you believe that you’ve done something to make him angry by the time blows are struck , again if ever .

This kind of comment to a woman who has done the most brave thing is judgy and it’s unhelpful. It insinuates that only weak women are victims of abuse , stupid women , lame women.
This could not be further from the truth domestic abuse affects every sector of society from the High Court Judge to the lollypop lady , the stay at home mum , the doctor , the checkout lady , the nursery nurse , the film star ,the teacher . It is everywhere.

You seemed such a good couple

Aaarrgghh ,do you know how much hard work is put in to ‘keeping up appearances’ to ensure no one ever knows what is going on. The shame is huge , you can’t yet acknowledge it to yourself , the rest of the world sees The Nice Guy . It’s exhausting and stressful and you are filled with fear of anyone finding out. Of course you are going to put on the show of your life !!

Well there are two sides to every story…

Ugh this one is a real gut wrencher. Yes there are 2 sides . His probably sounds way more convincing than mine too , he’s had time to perfect it and add little believable details. He’s told his so often . To his family , friends , everyone he knows . He’s told it so often he probably partially believes it himself .

Her story though . It’s fractured and it’s panicked . It doesn’t make much sense . It contradicts itself and is still vague as she can’t stand to go into detail yet. Doesn’t want to relive it and doesn’t want to upset those that love her but detailing the worst.

These were my biggest triggers to shame and trauma .

There are more though

“other people have it way worse”

“It can’t have been that bad or you’d not have stayed”

” You’re such an attention seeker /drama queen “

“You just love playing the victim”

“Well I did warn you ,I have no sympathy”

All so many things that I’m sure mostly aren’t said with any kind of malice. Just thoughtless and said with a lack of understanding , which is easy because abuse is so complex and hard to understand!

Survivors don’t expect the rest of the world to ‘get it ‘ but just maybe to do a little reading or research if you are helping someone through it . We need our supporters , our cheerleaders . We need a hand to hold and to be allowed to tell our story. Just be patient if we are rattled or affected by something that seems silly to you.

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Advice to my 15 year old self….

Todays Blogtober theme is teenagers.

I have 3 of them , so I’ve loads of material . Anyone who reads my blog knows I’ve loads of posts on there about being the mum of teenagers.

The idea of Blogtober for me though was to challenge myself to write new things. So I’ve decided to today leave my teens alone and think about when I was a teenager and what advice I’d give 15 year old me.

15 year old me was an odd teen she got her kicks from cycling to the library getting out a pile of books then coming home hopping into bed (no matter what time of day )then just read! Here’s what I’d tell her.

Kelly ,

You enjoy your own company . You always will .This is a great thing . If you can be happy alone that’s a gift. Life is going to throw 10 tonnes of shit at you but it’s going to be ok because you have a strength and a resilience that you’ve not had to draw on yet but it’s there . I promise that in the darkest of times there’ll always be a chink of light. You’ll get through.

One thing you could do to help yourself though is stop caring so much whether people like you or not. People pleasing is your thing and you’ll get to your late thirties before you realise that other people’s negative opinions just don’t matter. Save yourself 20 years of trying to change people’s negative views, if they don’t like you as you are screw them .Plenty do.

One last thing , you’ll not believe me when I tell you but your pain in the arse little sister will grow up to be your very best friend. Together you are quite the force to be reckoned with.

Oh….and we should probably talk about how you never ever ever want kids…. actually no let’s leave that!

Lots of love , Kelly xxx

I also called upon my friends to ask what advice they’d give their 15 year old selves and there are some real words of wisdom here…..some I could do to take on board now!!

Emma : You are beautiful and unique, don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.Be kind to yourself as well as others , you never know what they are going through

Colin: Travel as much as you can and never stop reading,because reading means learning about life.

Pam from pam’s bake and baby blog

Be nice to your mum,she loves you.One day you will understand she wasn’t intentionally trying to ruin your life.

Laura : Enjoy it! When you’re older you’ll realise this was one of the best stages of your life.Just wish I’d been richer at that point so I didn’t need to club with a friend to buy my pulse and could have afforded a whole bottle!

Andrea : Worry less , live more…oh..and you’re not fat you’re curvaceous and in 20 years you’ll wish you had this body still.

Sarah : Don’t be in a rush to grow up.

Adele : That first swear word that you say in anger will stay with you forever.Think before you say it.

Louise : Study! It does pay off. Your parents are always right.Stay away from carbs….oh and your parents DO know you’re pissed!

Thanks so much you wise lot!!!
What advice would you give yourself at 15 years old??

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