Domestic Violence has gained a lot of air-time recently and the awareness that it’s raising is great. It can happen to anyone, from any background and any family. It happened to me. I am a confident, strong and very loved woman who had a great childhood and a loving and supportive family. But all of that didn’t matter because I still fell under the control of an abuser.

Domestic Violence is a scary word. A word that I would not have used to describe my situation when I was in the middle of it. It conjures up images of black eyes and bruised bodies but it can be emotional, mental, financial or all of the above. My experience was with non-physical Domestic Violence. It was mental and emotional. It started off slowly and continued gradually, each time etching away at my self esteem and self-belief.

A lot of my family and friends are shocked when I use the term “non-physical Domestic Violence” to describe my situation. “but you are so strong and confident, how could this happen?”, “Wow. Was it that bad? I never knew. Did anyone know?” “why did you stay so long?” Because of their reactions I have realised that people are quite understandably scared of this term. They are also unaware of the scope of Domestic Violence and what falls under it. This brings me to the reason I am writing this post. It could also mean that women just like me are stuck in terrible situations where they don’t actually realise what is going on.

I was with my abuser for 4 years. For 3 1/2 of those years I thought I could fix him. I thought I could help him to become the person that I knew he could be. I started questioning whether I loved him after 1 year but by that time it was too late. I was pregnant with his child so I needed to give it a go. The funny thing was, I always knew that what was happening wasn’t right and it wasn’t healthy. We had totally different opinions on how relationships/love/life should be. I grew up in a household where everyone was equal and opinions / feelings were respected. He believed that there was always a more dominant one in each relationship and of course, that was the man. He couldn’t believe the women in my family were so strong and felt intimidated by it. He called the men in my family weak because in his mind they let their women make all of the decisions.

It is quite amazing how somebody is able to climb into your head and scramble everything that you have built over your lifetime. Scramble it and tell you that their way is better and your way is so so wrong. In order for them to do this successfully they have to pull you away from your friends and family, slowly forming a void big enough for their influence to be stronger. The best analogy I have read is about a frog in a boiling pot of water. If you drop the frog into water that is already boiled, it will jump out straight away as it knows that the water is too hot. However, if you drop the frog into a cold pot of water and gradually turn up the heat, the frog will boil to death. The change in temperature was so subtle that it didn’t even notice.

When I finally realised that I couldn’t fix him. That there was really no hope and my life was going to get a whole lot worse. That my son would turn out like his father if I stuck around. I started to think about leaving. But when your thoughts, feelings and opinions are being crushed, brushed aside, discounted and demeaned this can be a mammoth task. The very thought of moving, of finding somewhere to live, setting up on your own as a single parent is an exhausting thought. Then there were the threats, mainipulation and emotional blackmail that I suffered if I even mentioned that I wasn’t happy “you will never find anyone better”, “leave me and I will have nothing to do with our son”, “if you meet someone else they will probably cheat on you. I won’t cheat on you but I know what men are like”, “I will tell the court you are an irresponsible mother because you have left the cot side down more than once” the list goes on and on. When you are listening to that every day, it’s hard to lift your head up and see through the fog. But I did. I reached out to a wonderful woman called Mel Belle, from a local charity organisation called Give & Take* and she took my hand and showed me a way out.

What’s the point of my story? The point is to let women like me, who may not think what they are experiencing is Domestic Violence because they have never been punched or pushed down the stairs. That you can break-free. There are people out there that can help you get away from mental torture that you have to endure every day. You deserve to be happy. Your children deserve to be happy. Don’t think that you are alone and that there is no hope. There is always hope.

Give & Take are a charity organisation in The Hills District.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Give-and-Take/603002086458438

Posted by mom132991, 5th August 2015

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  • Glad you got out of this sick relationship with help of Give & Take.
    And good on you for not being ashamed and finding the courage to share with us.
    Hope and pray that all mums here on Mouths of Mums in a similar situation can find the courage, strength and help to break free !


  • I recently been made aware that one of my brother in law maybe passive aggressive and could be a verbal abuser. This level of DV is really complex as only the person living with this can only feel it and my sister in law tells me she is suffering ( she also has mild depression herself from up upbringing etc ) and she was brought up by controlling parents so she may not know the difference . It is really a sad , yet difficult situation to deal with and to hear it is just as bad .


  • Me too. I’m on my 6th Violence Restraining Order against my ex husband and have been separated since 2004 and divorced 4 years later. He was jailed for aggravated assault (against me).
    It made me stronger than I ever thought I could be….although I always thought it would never happen to me.
    Unfortunately I built up brick walls around myself and it has taken a long time to crumble them down and learn to trust men.
    Last VRO was taken out in April this year when I went to drop off my daughter at a visit. There was no current order in place and I remained in my car in his driveway. He verbally and physically abused me through the car window while my daughter watched in horror and she ran to the neighbours she was so scared. Another neighbour witnessed it and phoned the police.
    He has since left the state and the current VRO is in place for another 16 months. Both my girls have minimal phone contact since.
    I believe his way of “revenge” is by not paying child support and now owes over $12,000 (insert swear words here!!)


  • Yeah, so was I. Recently found out via my son ex hubby was cheating on me too. It happened, I survived, and the asshole is bald and fat now, and still renting at 47yo – Guess I win xxx All the best mate!


  • Wow what a raw story. Well done on getting out. It really does help break stigma hearing how this situation can happen to anyone. I hope things are continuously getting better.


  • you made the right choice not only for you but your child


  • So glad you are now safe xx


  • Thanks for sharing your personal story.


  • It is hard to take that first step. Congratulations.

    • Thank you! It was very hard but it was the best decision I have ever made. I have definitely not looked back since :)


  • Congratulations on getting out of the relationship. I sounds a lot of comments were made to you to control you, you have shown people you are putting yourself and child first for getting away from that toxic enviroment and that it can be done with good support.

    • Thank you. I really couldn’t have done it without the support of GIve and Take or my wonderful family and friends.


  • I am 1 year on from being taken out of a domestic violence relationship both mental and physical…You are a wonderfully strong woman and well done for raising awareness. It is a dreadful life but we can come back better and stronger and live a happy life

    • Thank you! It is hard and I was very nervous about putting it out there. Well done you for being 1 year free, it’s amazing when you come out of the fog isn’t it? I can’t believe I lost so much of who I was for such a long time. I am glad that you enjoyed my story…x


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