I have pondered over this post for a while. Domestic Violence is something that is still very hidden and people don’t talk about. It happens and its real. It affects men and women. It also has an effect on their children and families.
I’ve been trying to think of the right words, and try to get what I want to say across without hurting any people directly involved with not only this post, but those who are going through Domestic Violence themselves. This cannot be a Taboo subject anymore and people need to speak up and speak out about it. There is ready help available, and if you are in a relationship where domestic violence is happening….please please seek help!!
Here is my story about Domestic Violence:
I’m eldest of 4 children. 3 girls and 1 boy. My sisters and I have the same dad. My mother met him when she was 14. Married at 18 and I was born just 12days before her 20th birthday. My sister J followed 2yrs later and 6years after that we were joined by C. Our family life seemed good, although I always felt like an outsider to the family. We had a nice house, nice clothes, drove nice cars, and had 2 holidays a year. Then in November 1998 everything collapsed. My dad was sent to prison. I had to grow up and take care of my youngest sisters whilst my mother had to get a full-time job.
My father called every day and we visited most weekends. He didn’t really want to speak to us children though. He always seemed to want to know what Mother was up to. In time, I stopped visiting. As the years passed, Mother decided to divorce father. She started seeing a man she met from the internet. Within weeks he had moved in to our family home. I was 15, going through puberty and did not want this stranger living in my home. I didn’t feel comfortable in my home. I was told to “like it or lump it”. I had no other option to put up with it.
That relationship didn’t last long and during a vacation my Mother ended that relationship. As soon as we arrived home, he left. She started another relationship straight away. This time it was a “family friend”. Father did not like this at all. This man was supposed to be his friend.
Within months, they were married. I attended the wedding but didn’t really want to be there. He was an ok bloke. I’d known him since I was 11, and knew he had a bit of a temper. Mother used to be friends with his ex-wife and I remember hearing about instances in the home where things would be smashed up or holes punched in walls. Is this really the life that she wanted?
I decided to leave. My dad was soon to be released from prison, so both myself and J moved in with him upon his release. I didn’t see Mother for 17mths, until after I had moved out of my dad’s place. We just weren’t getting on. I had grown up too quickly and as a result was suffering with depression at 17. I moved in with a friend for a while, then my Aunt and Uncle took me in. Mother lived across the road from them, and was at this time, pregnant with my brother. Many nights mother would spend at my aunts in tears after rows. He never hit her, but things got damaged.
After a year at my Aunt and Uncles, Mother and Stepdad brought a bigger house and asked me to move in. I agreed. After all I was 19 now and in a stable relationship with P, things would be different wouldn’t they? They weren’t. I spent my time at work and then either out, or round P’s place. Both Mother and Stepdad are drinkers. They’re not alcoholics, but did have a drink every evening. This in turn caused more rows and tempers were frayed. Kitchen cupboards ended up with holes in.
After a year, P and I got our own place and our own family began. I still visited Mother a lot and she called all the time. Most of the times when she called was to moan about Stepdad’s family and how they were treating her, and how they outcast my brother and treated him differently to my stepdads other children. I really tried not to get involved. They were not my family.
This carried on and then when I was 12wks pregnant with A in May 2010, Mother and I had a falling out. She was looking after J & K for us whilst we went out for a meal with friends. Mother and Stepdad were going round to Stepdads sisters house for a BBQ and I agreed my 2 could go. Just as we were leaving, C called and asked where we were. Told her we were 30mins away and for mother to stay where she was and we would collect the children from Stepdad’s sisters house. Just as we were around the corner, we received a call saying C and Mother had had a row and mother had walked out with J and K as well as my younger brother. Stepdad had left earlier in the evening as. surprise surprise, they had been drinking and got in to a row.
It was a short walk between the 2 houses, so we headed for Mothers house to collect the children. We pulled up and everything was dark. I bashed on the door, no answer. Called C back and was told they left 10mins ago so should be home by now. This panicked everybody. There is not a very nice estate between the 2 houses which Mother would have had to walk through. P walked to the end of the road but couldn’t see them. All sorts were going through my mind. Had they been attacked, had the children been hurt. Then we saw them walking down the road. Automatic rage came over me and I had a go at Mother for being so stupid to walk home late at night with MY children! Her response was “I can look after myself”. I couldn’t care less if she could look after herself! If she had been accosted by a gang of men, then what about MY kids in all of that! I was fuming, so I put my children in the car and drove off.
I couldn’t talk to her again. She had made me very angry that she could put my children in a situation like that, and panic me! I was pregnant and did not need the added stress. I didn’t have any contact with Mother. C was working one day a week for P, so I picked her up every Tuesday night, and dropped her back Wednesday evening, but did not go in and did not talk to Mother. Then when I was 18wks pregnant, I had a missed call from C. We had just arrived home from having a meal out, and found that P also had a missed as did the home phone. Panic came over me!
I called C back and she explained that Stepdad had gone off into one the night before and they were at my Aunts and could I go there. I jumped in the car and drove right there. Despite not having seen mother for 6 weeks and being angry over what happened, I still dropped everything for her. That’s what’s families do isn’t it?
I arrived at my Aunts and got told what had happened. They had friends over for a BBQ, and the men decided to go to the pub after. One of the friends children had become unwell and the wife had wanted to leave but couldn’t get hold of the men. The wife and C decided they would go to the pub where they were supposed to me. They were not there. They were found in a local strip club. C was rowing with Stepdad in the car park when one of the strippers was trying to interfere. The wife and C got in the car and drove off. They told Mother what they had seen and fuming, as you would be having been told your husband was in a strip joint, locked the front door. Stepdad returned back and Mother refused to let him in, so he took it upon himself to kick the door in so it fell off its hinges. Rows happened and he punched mother. C tried to step in, so she got grabbed by the throat and shoved against the kitchen counter. The rows spilled out into the street. Stepdad took this opportunity to headbutt C so hard that she fell to the ground. He broke her nose. She was 17 years old at the time! A minor! This all happened in front of my 7yr old brother. Neighbours came out and called the police. Stepdad did a runner and hid for 3 days until he was found hiding at a friend’s house. He was arrested for Domestic Abuse. Both Mother and C pressed charges.
Mother got abuse from Stepdad family for calling the police on him. Stepdads own Mother, told her that she had it coming and it was her own fault! No one deserves to be treated as a punch bag! It is no one’s fault except for the person who is throwing the punches! They should be held accountable for their actions!
I told Mother she had to leave him! There is no way she can go back to him now this has happened! What if they’re not so lucky next time! But, she did what a lot of women do. She went back to him. I told her that this was her choice, but my children will not be going to that house and will not be seeing him again. She told me that it was unfair and that he was their Grandad. In rage that she could take this man back, I told her that he was not biologically related to them and I was protecting them by not letting him see them. The response I received from her will haunt me forever, and I cannot believe that ANY Mother could be so vindictive and nasty to her own child. My mothers response was “You’re off your head. Your children need protecting from you”.
I did not sleep for 2 days out of fear that Mother would call Social Services and make up lies to try to get my children taken away. I was 18weeks pregnant and now fearing for my children. My mother is vindictive and manipulative and I wouldn’t put it past her to make up nasty, spiteful lies just to hurt someone.
I now do not have any contact with her at all. She sends the children cards and presents at Christmas and Birthdays. I wish she didn’t. She has never met A, and she never will. I would have been willing for her to carry on seeing the children, but she blew that chance with her threats or Grandparent rights against me. She can take me to court for all I care, and I would like to know of 1 Judge who in his right mind would allow such a vile woman and her wife-beating husband within 2 feet of my children!
C no longer lives at home. She was made to drop her charges by Mother after being told that our brother would end up without a father if she didn’t. She regrets her choice.
My worst nightmare is receiving a phone call telling me that Mother is dead and that he has killed her….. and I believe he will, one day.
If you are affected by Domestic Violence – please seek help! There are many people you can contact! Below is a little list I have put together….Please do not suffer in silence!
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247
Or if you are a man experiencing Domestic Violence, please seek help! Just because its not the ‘norm’ doesn’t mean its right and should be tolerated or accepted!
Men’s Advice Line -0808 801 0327