startingmyjourney

May 30, 2011

No more hiding

Filed under: Now Surviving — by alifefullofspice @ 4:07 pm

Yesterday was such a rollercoaster. 

I was spending the day with some family that I was deprived of throughout my childhood and for many years into adulthood.

Recently I have spent time getting to know them and yesterday I decided to share with them some of the abuse I suffered, the impact it still has on me. I have never sat with an audience listening to my innermost demons. They all sat listening intently I was so relieved when they didn’t pity me, they didn’t judge me and they didn’t feel guilty. Other people’s guilt is one of the main reasons I don’t talk more openly, I don’t want to feel responsible for other people’s guilt. The family I told had no reason to feel guilty, they were removed from my life the same as I was removed from theirs, as usually happens to families following divorce.

As soon as I returned home I broke down in tears but they were good tears, I felt such relief and such a overwelming feeling of acceptance.

I know my abusive past doesn’t define me but it is part of who I am. I have to embrace who I am and allow other’s to embrace it to. A very difficult thing to do!!!

I acknowledge that yesterday was a big leap forward and pat myself on the back for being brave enough to expose myself in such a way but I also know I still have a long way to go. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready or brave enough to talk to other member’s of my family so honestly because of how they will react and that is something I really wish I could do. But as they say one step at a time so I will continue to be proud of myself for the journey I have already made and allow myself sometime before I continue on.

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May 27, 2011

The system helped my abuser take my children

Filed under: Now Surviving — by alifefullofspice @ 9:35 pm

My now ex only ever physically laid his hands on me once when I tried standing up to him. The term that is often used is ‘Domestic Violence’ but this can mislead people to believe that it has to be physical for it to be abuse. We must be aware that it can be emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse. It can be all of these, a combination or just one form of abuse so I prefer to refer to it as ‘Domestic Abuse’ rather than ‘Domestic Violence’.

After my 3rd child I knew I needed to get out of the relationship so secretly began to plan my escape. My ex had given up work so wouldn’t leave the house with me or my children so my only option was to leave during the night. I stayed up packing some essentials, got my children up and ready to leave. My ex caught me leaving, I was terrified as to what he would do but never expected him to call the Police. I thought everything would be ok, they were my children after all. When the Police arrived they spoke to my ex inside the house and asked me to wait in the front garden as I was rather emotional, I was so shocked when they came out and told me I had to leave or they would arrest me for breach of the peace. I just didn’t know what they were talking about, I didn’t understand. They said my ex had explained that it was his house and he didn’t want me there but I had refused to leave and became hysterical so he had called the Police. They then search me in front of the neighbours as my ex had told them I was suicidal and had a large amount of prescription medication. Now as I had a difficult labour with my 3rd child I had suffered complications which meant I was prescribed pain killers, the Police took these off me.

I had to leave I didn’t know what else to do, but I wasn’t allowed to take my children with me. I was told that I would need to see a solicitor about getting my children and it wasn’t a matter for the Police

It took almost a year to get the case to court, I didn’t qualify for legal aid and I couldn’t afford a solicitor. Family court was so terrifying I just didn’t understand what was going on. My ex’s solicitor took me aside to explain things to me, I though she was just being kind. My heart broke when the Judge ruled in my ex’s favour as he had been their main carer for almost a year and I had chosen to leave my children.  I tried to explain what happened to the Judge but just kept getting told to be quiet.

I now know that I should have stayed calm when the Police wanted me to leave and explain that my ex didn’t have parental responsiblity, at the time I had never heard of parental responsibility and didn’t know that unless you’re married father’s don’t automatically have it. I now have a better understanding of the how family courts work and should not have been naive enough to think his solicitor was being nice but only trying to win the case for her client. With the knowledge I have gained working with children in care I could have argued my case more appropriately.

Hindsight to me in this situation is bittersweet.

One Abuser To Another

Filed under: Now Surviving — by alifefullofspice @ 10:55 am

I was aged 16 when I began a relationship with a 42yr old man who I had known since I was about 9yrs old. For the first 9 months of the relationship it was purely platonic with the man giving me gifts and taking me out which was a great escapism from my reality. Finally someone noticed me!!!!!!!

After 9 months the relationship develop unintentionally. My Stepmom had run off with another man and my Dad had hit the bottle AGAIN!!!! So being at home was still very miserable until christmas day when I’d had enough. I had an argument with my Dad and he hit me, that night I left. I had nowhere to go!!! The man I was seeing came to my rescue and I moved in with him and by February I was pregnant.

Now the relationship changed. My partner and his family were very controlling, laying down the law as to what I could and couldn’t do, who I could and couldn’t see, what I had could and couldn’t wear and taking control of my unborn child. Expecting your first child should have been an exciting time, choosing baby names, shopping for adorable outfits and all the accessories needed. All of this was taken away from me, I didn’t have any money so couldn’t buy anything, everything was purchased for me by my partner’s family and his mother told me my baby’s name.  I received a small amount of money from Social Security and was so overjoyed I went and bought a couple of outfits for my unborn child and was so happy to show them to my partner when he returned from work. My bubble was well and truly burst when he came home and was angry that I had bought clothing and took me straight round his mom’s house. Her reaction was to destroy the outfits in front of me an image that still haunts me now.

I went on to have another 2 children with this man and his mom passed away before their birth so I was so happy that I got to name them and buy them things!

I am no longer in this relationship but I’ll come to that later.

People have said I must have liked someone taking control otherwise why enter the relationship if I was trying to escape abuse. NO!!!!!

Abuser don’t advertise the fact they are abusers they pray on the vulnerable and exploit them!!!!!

May 24, 2011

Am I angry at the wrong person?

Filed under: Now Surviving — by alifefullofspice @ 8:12 am

After my mother left when I was very young my Dad remarried. My Stepmom had come out of an abusive relationship and seemed like a very nice person. The nice lady my Dad married began to change, she had gone from a victim to a survivor then an abuser!!!!

At her hands I suffered numerous beatings that happen throughout the 10 years she was married to my Dad. She would say she beat me because she was frustrated with my Dad for being so weak and not beating me himself as I was his child, logic I still can’t figure out! I would be force-fed when I didn’t like the food then made to go without food as a punishment. Food would be locked away to make sure I didn’t get any. I was constantly neglected while my step sister’s could do no wrong and would get everything. I tried to runaway and slept a night under a bridge in a local park. The next morning was cold, hungry and didn’t know where to go so I went home. No one had noticed I had even left, I felt like the invisible child!

When I was 15 my step sister was pregnant and her boyfriend moved into our home. One evening he sexually abused me, I was so scared I didn’t know who to turn to so I just wrote a note. My step sister found the note and told my step mom. I don’t know what reaction to expect but I’m still haunted by the words my step mom said ‘Well his girlfriend is pregnant so he’s got to get it somewhere’ I didn’t talk about it again for sometime, and the boyfriend remained living in our house.

Why am I not angry at the boyfriend for sexually assaulting me????

I feel a lot of anger towards my Stepmom for the years of abuse and her reaction to the sexual abuse. Something I still cannot understand is how she became my abuser having suffered herself?  Should I empathise with her instead of blame her? It’s all to confusing!

May 23, 2011

The Road to Healing

Filed under: Now Surviving — by alifefullofspice @ 4:30 pm

The road to healing is long,
Emotions run high,
Take your time,
No matter how many sessions,
Take your time,
Let the anger out,
A victim no more,
But a survivor you are,
Be proud not ashamed,
Alone you are not,
Talk about it,
Write about it,
Let the emotions out,
People may run you down,
Call you a liar,
Befriend you too,
Feelings of isolation,
But isolated you are not,
There are those who understand,
Support you,
Listen to you,
It is about you,
Your pain,
Your hurt,
Your nightmares,
It is your healing process.

Poem by Roberto

I recently came across this poem and wanted to share it with others.

The road is definitely long and there are a lot of bumps and obstacles along the way. At times it may seem like you will never reach the end of the road and although that may be so the road will becomes smoother and easier to travel on. I am at a stage of the road where I am meeting other travellers and they certainly brighten my journey and when I get weary they encourage me and urge me to continue.

To all the travellers I have already met I thank you and look forward to continuing the journey with you. To all the travellers I am yet to meet I hope we can support each other to journey on the road to healing.

Jo

May 21, 2011

No more secrets

Filed under: Now Surviving — by alifefullofspice @ 12:34 pm

I have been struggling with how to start sharing this part of my past as I’ve only ever confided in one person until now. Well I think its time to end the secrecy and just say it so here goes.

When I has a child I was sexually abused by a neighbour on several occasions. I have always thought it was healthy for me to just force this memory to a locked box somewhere in the back of my mind. Unfortunately this just causes me to have flashbacks and in an instant I am that little girl again reliving the abuse.

I have never told the people close to me for fear they won’t believe me especially now after all these years but also if they do believe me telling them will just upset them and then I will feel guilty for causing them distress. I already know this will be the case because after I shared some of the physical abuse I suffered at the hands of my step mother this was the reaction. I was unable to deal with their feelings on top of mine so I then decided that I would not tell them anymore details.

I am very glad for the recent support I have received from people I have encountered on social networking that has encouraged me to find a voice and speak up about my past.

All abuse needs to be talked about more openly if we are gonna be able to put an end to people’s suffering.

NO MORE SECRETS

Thanks for reading 🙂

May 20, 2011

Now Surviving

Filed under: Now Surviving — by alifefullofspice @ 3:35 pm

I am starting a blog to finally share my childhood abuse and the emotionally abusive relationship that followed. I have never openly discussed some of the abuse I have suffered and have continually told myself that I’m gonna stop being a victim and just get on with it. For years I’ve tried to convince myself that this attitude was working but instead all that happened was I became more depressed and suffered from flashbacks. 

Other ways I tried to cope with my past was to hear or read other people’s accounts of the abuse they suffered so I could try to trivialise my experiences by comparing them.  I used to try to remember a happy memory from my childhood so I could try to convince myself that it wasn’t all bad.

Well now is the time to speak out, stop making excuses and begin healing.

I acknowledge I was a victim but I’m now surviving!!

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