Thursday, 25 August 2011
I came across the Refuge Link whilst watching a Chase & Status music video; the song is called ‘Time’, you can You Tube it – I was not allowed to ‘share’ it on Facebook as it was deemed as inappropriate by them.
It seemed strange for me to come across the Refuge Link at this time, like most people there are significant dates in their life – A wedding Date, Birth Date – Happy dates! There are also very poignant dates for people and the end of August is one for me.
Lots of people have a ‘story’ or ‘their story’, in most cases it shapes them as adults, effects how they raise their children or can even affect their decision to have children and in a lot of cases effects people in their relationships.
I have no problem telling my story, it’s often repeated and I expect those close to me tire from it!!! But to me it’s cathartic, like mini counselling, plus maybe if you know where I’ve come from you’ll understand why I’m the person I am today:
In August 2007 I was told that my ex-partner would be released from serving just 4 weeks, on remand, in Elmley Prison for trying to stab me on my front lawn.
The Magistrates said that “He would not get the support he needed for his drug and alcohol problems, in prison”. This came after suffering 18months of domestic violence during a 22 month relationship.
Where did I meet such a person that would do that? I was working at a local pub and he used to drink there. I also partially knew him from school – he was in my brother’s year, so was 2 years older than me. We began going out together.
Things started turning a little sour after a couple of months with him, and he was living with me by then (Rookie mistake, I know).
He never had any money despite working full time - I paid for everything. One night I asked him if he was ever going to contribute anything and he went off on one about how he was in debt – his ex-partner had taken him to the cleaners over his 2 children etc. blah blah.
All lies, all total bullshit – but I believed him, like a complete idiot.
It wasn’t until someone at the pub caught him taking cocaine in the toilets that I actually began to realise where all his money went – I felt sick, I’ve never been one for that side of life, each to their own and all that, but when it starts to affect my life I’ve got something to say – so I said it… The result? He tried to bite my nose off then knocked me out with one of my best saucepans.
So now we hear you all say – right, go to the police get the help you need, get him out of your life… I didn’t. He was full of “I’m sorry, I’ll stop taking the drugs, it’ll be a fresh start..”
So I opted for the fresh start route… it didn’t work, obviously, little things kept happening. My make-up bag had some new, extra thick foundation for covering up bruises, cuts and fag burns and I felt so much out of my depth it was like I was drowning…
He used to say things like:
“The police would never believe you if you went to them now, you know, it’s been going on too long… They’ll think you’re stupid…”
“I won’t let you leave me, you belong to me now…”
So we get to Saturday 6th May 2006. We had been out for the day with his brother, had a lovely time together and yes we’d been drinking. We get home, he turns and says “I knew you’d fancied my brother” and then punches me right on the nose…. After that it’s all a bit hazy….
Apparently, so the statement says, he basically beat me around the kitchen, smashed glasses at me, burnt me and some other things that don’t require repetition.
I come to, lying on my kitchen floor with a police lady and paramedic standing over me asking me if I can open my eyes….
We do the hospital thing, I have no broken bones, they say I’m lucky I had been drinking as I was so relaxed and I passed out. I do have a fractured eye socket but I let it heal without treatment.
He was imprisoned overnight and then released on bail. He came straight to me and told me if I pressed charges he would kill my Son and my Mum. If he was capable of doing all the things he did to me then I truly believed his was capable of killing them.
A court date was given and he was released by the magistrates, ordered to get help.
I was left to it.
My family obviously offered to help but I was too frightened.
We moved to a new house with the promise of “I’ll never drink again” and he didn’t most of the time, he worked, provided me with money and I lived a half-life.
There were times when I had to grab the MSB from his bed, late at night as I knew the storm was brewing, to find solace at my friend’s house.
And then I’d go back.
No one understood why I stayed; they had no idea what he’d do. The police were no help, I was told because I kept taking him back I didn’t have much of a case for getting him imprisoned and they couldn’t risk the waste of resources on something I ‘may change my mind about’.
So we come to the last chapter….June 2007 a Saturday. He’d been out all day, I knew what was coming….
Bang through the door, demanding money so he can ‘go back out’ (in other words go buy drugs), I said no and copped it.
I was lying on the floor and he was trying to strangle me and I pretended to pass out “I have to get out – tell someone” I thought. He got off me and went into the kitchen – I saw him take the knife out of the kitchen drawer and I just ran – out of the house, banging on the neighbour’s doors and screaming for someone to help me.
He followed, knocked me down and was waving the knife about, cutting arms, my hands, my face… he was just about to stab me when my neighbour came out of his house with a golf club and smacked my partner away from me. God love him, he picked me up and took me into his house and told me the police were on their way.
The police came, I told them everything, and they assured me that was it now – he’d be locked up – alright then…..We’ll see
I had fractured ribs, a fractured arm and a miscarriage….
That was it, I’d had enough, I went and got a restraining order through the help of the citizen’s advice Bureau – I had to pay £50-00 for it!
I went back to work on the Tuesday and continued studying for my Project Management exams that were coming up – I passed by the way.
And you know the rest…. 4 weeks on remand and then let go.
I had to move back in with my Mum as was too scared to live on my own – I would wake up in the morning and find my back garden in a state, the wing mirrors ripped off my car. It just wasn’t safe.
I had no idea about ‘Refuge’ and the other help available to me – hence the link yesterday….. I’d like all of you to repost the link, if at all possible, to help raise awareness of the help that’s out there for people that have a story like mine….
It’s strange isn’t it? The magistrates said my ex wouldn’t get the support he needed for his problems – Like a get out clause or literally a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card.
I understand alcohol heightens things and can make things worse, but everyone has it in them to know the difference between right or wrong – it’s whether they choose to act on it or not.
So that’s my story – grotty isn’t it?
But it’s made me the person I am today, oddly enough.
I still make mistakes – life doesn’t come with a set of instructions, but I make sure I learn from them, try to help others not make the mistakes I did.