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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Domestic abuse isn't always violent

This is a post that's been sitting in my mind for a VERY long time. Since I began the blog. Since I joined twitter. Since I ever heard anyone speaking about domestic abuse and felt I had to join the conversation. Which I always do. 

Domestic violence. That's the term everyone uses. There are campaigns around right now, this minute, aimed at young women, at teenagers, at GIRLS, telling them that domestic violence is wrong, and that they don't have to put up with it. 

I have an issue with this. 


Not the message - don't be silly - but with the name it's given.

Domestic violence.

You see, the problem is, that it doesn't start with violence. In many cases it never even escalates to violence. But there are so many kinds of abuse, so many women and girls, and men and boys, being abused day in day out where a hand is never raised. Where nobody gets a black eye or a bust lip. 

The worst case scenario of domestic abuse is that someone is killed. Is that someone is beaten. Hospitalised. Raped. Maimed. Tortured. Those are the worst cases. 

But they take time to build. It takes months, years, decades even in some cases to get there. 

If a girl goes on a first date and, during the awkward conversation and, while she's wondering whether to pay cinema prices for a packet of minstrels, he punches her in the face, that's pretty much a relationship killer. That guy is generally going to get arrested. That girl is not going to stay with him, date him more, let him get under her skin. 

If, on that first date, he charms her, flirts, compliments her, is a great date, makes her soar, then quietly says maybe she'd look better with less make up, then she takes it as a compliment. A bit of a backhanded one, since she made so much effort, but he meant it nicely. Right?

So after a few weeks, when she's wearing less make up but seeing him more, and he's saying that he wishes they were never apart it makes sense, is easy, is flattering that he wants her there all the time. That he wants her to spend all her time with him. It's easy to stay, not go out with her friends, skip that lunch with her Grandma, just this once, because he'll be so happy, and it's awful making him sad when he's so good to her. Right?

This still isn't when he punches her, by the way. Hardly ever. 

So she stays in, with less make up on, wearing clothes he picked out because it makes him smile, and she's falling in love...look how happy that makes him. 

One day she wants to do something different, wouldn't it be fun - and they go, and he sulks, and snaps, and is bitter - and she can't work out what she did wrong.

Every time she tries something different the same thing happens - so gradually she learns that change rocks him, throws him out of that kind, gentle man he is when it's just the two of them, at home, alone. 

When he's rude to her friends she's mortified. They don't like him at all - but they don't see the REAL him, the guy he is at home, when it's just them.

They don't see how much he spoils her, cares for her, the nice things he does, the treats he buys, he showers her with gifts and affection - they don't SEE that. 

What they see is the sulky, moody, strange man in the corner of the party sucking the happiness out of the room. They see their friend, or daughter, or sister, tense, on edge, looking different to the girl they know, watching him from the corner of her eye. They hear her make an excuse, leave early, with him, apologising. 

They miss him apologising to her, explaining how nervous he is, how uncomfortable he was because none of her friends or family like him, and he doesn't know why because he treats her SO well. 

So he slips between her and them, under her skin now.

When he says something that puts her down again, just a little, just a tiny chip in her self worth, and she thinks "this is going too far" and stands up to him he apologises, looks hurt, explains how much he loves her, how special she is, how ungrateful she's being. She feels bad. She's sorry. She spends the rest of the day, week, month, making it up to him. She can't even remember what made her cross - she's so unreasonable! 

It's always her fault. 

When he's not there, those brief periods of her day where he isn't either there or calling or texting or watching, she knows there's something not quite right here. She knows that his behaviour is odd. Off. Bad. That she needs to challenge it. 

But when she tries her words get turned upside down, inside out, backwards. She hurts him. He cries. She feels awful, just awful. They argue, and she can't really remember what she was trying to say because he's had such a difficult time and she's making his life so much worse, when all he wants is for the two of them to be together, at home, just the two of them where nobody can hurt her. He's protecting her, from the outside, from people who just don't understand what they have.

It might be weeks, months, or years. He still hasn't punched her. She doesn't even worry that he might.

She just tries and tries and tries to stop hurting him. To be better. To love him right. To love the hurt out of him. To stop getting things so very wrong and ruining the magical time they could be having, that they used to have, that she knows they could have if she could just. be. better.

He still doesn't punch her though.

Sometimes she shouts. Thinks she has something valid to say. That he's done something wrong for once. He stands over her, intimidating her. She tries to stand, to meet him face to face and have her say. 

He won't let her stand. He pushes her back down, stands over her, shouts more, to make sure she listens to how badly she's let him down. It's no wonder her family and friends don't make much effort now.

A voice in the back of her mind is telling her that it isn't HER they avoid, but him, that HE makes them uncomfortable, and that she avoids seeing them so that he won't pick a fight or embarrass her. She knows it. She can hear herself saying it to him - but the words won't come out because actually, what he's saying seems so reasonable. So right. Maybe she is to blame again? Maybe she's just misinterpreted it again? Maybe they do laugh behind her back, slag her off, just put up with her. They certainly don't love her the way he does...after all, if they did, they'd be here...right? 

But they aren't. He is. And he still doesn't punch her. 

Now she is a different person. All different colours, all different sounds, all different interests and passions - all his, all picked out by him, and he's explained to her why these likes and colours and sounds are so much better, why she likes them more, and it's all so reasonable. 

She doesn't get promoted. She doesn't pass her exams. She isn't included in family gatherings. She isn't a bridesmaid for her cousin. She doesn't go on her best friend's hen night. She never goes for a girlie night away, or on a spa weekend. She doesn't dance in high heels. She doesn't see a chick flick, or pick her own pizza topping, or listen to her favourite radio station. 

She does as he decides, because it makes him happy, and when he's happy he's nice, and that's the real him...right?

She wants something that he liked last week. He doesn't like it now. She didn't notice when he changed his mind. God she's stupid. What an idiot! If she just hadn't suggested it he'd still be happy. He's standing over her again. She tries to stand up - to plead this time - but he pushes her back. That was a bit rough - she tells him so - he pushes harder. THAT'S rough. And that's what happens because she was so stupid. That's what happens when she just doesn't LISTEN. Right?

She wonders if she's going insane. If she's mentally ill. Or stupid. Or cruel. He tells her, every day, that she is. He keeps her alone, apart from anyone who might give her a different voice. Away from all the things she cared about. She questions herself, all of her self. She loses her self. She can't really remember who or how she was, before. 

Part of her wants to fight. Part of her is scared that if she does he'll be angry. Part of her WANTS him to be. Most of her just wants the early days back. The heady, passionate, headrush days where she was his world. When he was hers. 

When she does try he stands over. Pushes. She pushes back, so he pushes harder. She stands and shouts. He pushes her into a wall. She falls. He stands over pushing and pushing and pushing. 

He still doesn't punch her - so it doesn't count. Right? And it was her own fault...right?

She knows. She knows it's not her fault. But when she tries to explain that to him his reasonable tone and totally believable explanation make her question herself. Again. Until that night, when they've had sex and she's sore inside and out, and she didn't want to but couldn't explain that, when she's in the bathroom with the door unlocked because he doesn't like her to be out of his sight, when she's crying as she washes herself...she wonders. Is this how it is, for everyone? Is this how it will always be?

But he still hasn't punched her...so it doesn't count...right?

He patronises. He picks. He scorns. He is never the nice guy now. Never charming. There are no magical moments. He scares her, but she can't explain why, because if she gets it right he's kind. She's grateful. Takes those scraps. They're all she gets, so she fawns on them. 

He doesn't punch her, so she should be grateful - after all, who else would put up with her when she's so god damned stupid? Her family didn't stick around, her friends all dumped her - he's the only person who loves her enough to put up with all her bullshit...right? 

After all, he still doesn't punch her. He makes her question herself. Hate herself. Wonder who the fucking hell she even IS any more. 

But he doesn't punch her...so it doesn't count...right?

That's the problem with the term domestic violence. All THAT happens before his hand has been raised, before there's a bruise or a welt or a mark. On the skin at least. 

All THAT happens before she ever really knows for sure that this isn't ok. That this is abuse. That HE is wrong. 

All THAT happens LONG before he punches her. Maybe he never will. Maybe the day he does is a massive relief because that's REAL, it DOES count, and she can leave. But how many women do you think will leave, after all THAT, because of one punch? He's sorry anyway - she'd just got things so wrong, so many times, because she's so fucking stupid, that he finally lost his temper. There's only so much he can put up with from her, after all! Right?

It doesn't have to bruise to be abuse. It doesn't have to be violent to be abuse. She doesn't have to be battered to be abused. 

Domestic ABUSE. Not domestic violence. That's already too late. We need to educate these young people long before a fist is raised what is right, what is wrong, what is crossing those lines, where it could go. What the warning signs are. What you can and can't do. What you do and don't have to put up with. 

Not just domestic violence. 

Domestic ABUSE. 

Please use it. Please share it. Please, please spread that message. Don't let it get too late for anyone else. 

* I have had an incredible response to this post and haven't been able to reply to everyone - thank you all for sharing your stories. 

I saw a fantastic article on the slow burn of abusive relationships and want to add the link here. 

Red flags and how to spot them

107 comments:

  1. Powerful stuff...... That is all.

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    1. How very true ,people dont realise mental and verbal abuse is just asdamaging as the violent abuse

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  2. I have goosebumps. Incredible piece of writing. I will share it. Sending love.

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    1. Thank you - the more people who can share the more widely the term domestic abuse will be used.

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  3. You just made me sob, you could of been writing about me from the age of 21 to 25.
    x

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    1. I'm sorry to have upset you and brought back bad memories. I'm glad that it's your past and not your present.

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  4. This made me cry. This is exactly how it is and you're right, people need to know the signs before it's too late.

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    1. The more we talk about it, the more the term domestic abuse replaces domestic violence, the more people we can help.

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  5. Domestic ABUSE. It also happens to men. My partner was abused by a female, she broke a marble chopping board over his head and nearly killed him. At the time he wasn't taken seriously because "it only happens to females" it took ten years and some good friends to get him out and now it's over a decade since and he still bears the scars from it. I have to call him out when he's acting in a behaviour that was instilled in him by her. It's taking time but he's worth the time.

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    1. It's a long journey but I'm glad he escaped and that he has you to help him back to who he really is.

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  6. Brilliantly written, and absolutely right- abuse takes many forms.

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  7. A very good post, fantastic but uncomfortable to read. Much like the book, Into The Darkest Corner, which I'd like all girls to read before they start serious relationships.

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  8. Damn woman, this is the problem. If people can't see physical results then it doesn't seem to matter, which is just bollocks.
    So well written and as someone who was in an abusive relationship, horrifyingly realistic.

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    1. It's a long road and because it isn't talked about so openly people don't think that what's happening 'counts'.

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  9. Amazing post Elizabeth, has sent shivers through me. I have been with that man, it was scary to feel myself back there and the different way my life could have gone had I not got out.

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    1. I'm glad it's all behind you now. I love you xxx

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    2. Love you too and I'm glad now I've read today's post that this has helped lift something in you. x

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    3. It really did - it's a good feeling knowing that it lifted something in others too.

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  10. This post is amazing. So amazing.

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  11. Shared it twice. Fantastic piece of writing xx

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  12. Fantastic post - although shame it has to be written.

    I consider myself an intelligent, savvy woman. I'd been through physical abuse, I "know" how to recognise the signs. Still found myself being emotionally knocked back, knocked down, undermined. We don't have to live this way, we don't have to put up with it. We are strong.

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    1. Most of the people being abused are the people who swore they never would be, that it couldn't happen to them. It isn't the weak who fall victim. It's not the flawed or broken. It is anyone. Everyone. It sneaks up on people.

      I hope that you're away from it all now.

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  13. so true and bang on the money - it isn't violence it is slow insidious ripping someone apart little by little or as a friend said who suffered this bleeding to death by a million tiny tears

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    1. It's heartbreaking to know how many people are living it right now who could walk away, if only they knew that the tiny voice shouting from the very darkest corner of their mind is right.

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  14. Such a true and honest post. I know this feeling. The constantly being out down and being made to not feel good enough make it really hard to leave the person.

    I think more people need to read this and understand how much more to it there is x

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

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  15. So true - every word. Very well said.

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  16. Me too. My ex still doesnt accept he did anything wrong. .cos he didnt punch me.

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    1. Well, that's ok then! Or not!

      We know better. I'm glad he's your ex.

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  17. I see so much that I recognise in this. I know it's not normal. I know it's wrong. The telling me my family don't care, that my friends hate him for no reason (they've told me their reasons), the undermining & criticism.
    I tell myself that it's because he's unwell, that he will go back to the man I knew but I know he won't.

    This gave me a jolt. I will be leaving, I'm not ready yet but I find myself picking out the plates I like, the colours I'd choose for furniture if it were entirely my choice. My new home will be loud & colourful & full of life.

    Thank you <3

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    1. What he does to you is not ok. How he makes you feel is not ok. You cannot love him better. He isn't going to change. He was never the person you fell for. He pretended, he lied, he tricked you.

      Leave the plates. Leave the books, the photos, the clothes. Leave him. You can find new things in your new life. You can. You will. You will never be alone. You will find yourself, your place, your people. Away from him.

      I left everything when I left. I walked out of the door, posted my key inside and walked away. I had my purse and a friend to stay with. That was all I needed. That is all you need.

      Everything else is his stuff.

      Please leave. Please email me on mommatwoblog@gmail.com - please don't stay and hurt for another day. Please don't for one nanosecond believe you deserve him treating you like this, or that you need to put up with it. You don't need him. You're already stronger. You KNOW that.

      Stay in touch.

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    2. I agree that leaving now is the best option. However we will always be here for you whenever you do pluck up the courage to go. We hope it will be soon, and trust us when we say it is the best thing ever to get out. There is a life on the other side. There really is.

      I wrote about a similar thing in 2011. I don't know if you saw it at the time, but it's here (hope you don't mind me sharing a link, feel free to edit out if you don't want it here.)

      http://thefivefsblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/broken.html

      My ex only hit me once and I know he wouldn't have done it again because I dialled 999 and the police came round even tho he pulled the phone out of its socket. That wasn't the issue; he destroyed my self esteem and made me feel worthless. I know it was a load of cobblers but somehow part of me believed it and I spent my whole time constantly fighting with myself inwardly. In the end, work sent me on a secondment far away so I effectively had to move out for work and that gave me the boost I needed to make a break. I don't know if work understood what was going on but it was really them that saved me from him.

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    3. Thank you for commenting Kate, and sharing your story - and thank you for leaving that relationship and moving forward.

      It is so, so hard, hard to even believe yourself, let alone anyone else, that what is happening is real and wrong and that you can walk away. It's terrifying.

      But you can. You can and one day you will. I hope it's soon.

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  18. Poignant and very truthfully observed. Shared on FB and Twitter.

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  20. I'm sorry, I had to delete my comment because I realised that last comment I put was a bit careless. I still try to be very vigilant in my day to day life to ensure he doesn't have reason to turn up on my doorstep!

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    1. Thank you for commenting, for sharing and for caring x

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  21. i left with nothing but my children after 8 yrs of abuse...there is a silver lining for those who escape, its just finding it...

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    1. Well done for finding your way out - I'm so pleased that you did. I hope that your present and future are happy, healthy, whole. Thank you for reading x

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  22. hank you, excellent, well written, well thought out and emotional post.

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting

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  23. Wow, great post. Thank you shame I have to hide behind anonymity even now.

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting - I hope that it's all your past and not your present. If it is please don't let him be your future. x

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  24. I was going to say too that it can be the woman who can be the abuser and even when it never gets as far as physical abuse, but "just" emotionally abusive or controlling behaviour it can be so destructive. Great post, off to share.

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    1. Thank you, and you're absolutely right. I have follow up posts planned around other areas of abuse, and focusing on men being the victim as well - we need to challenge the stereotype to help ALL victims of abuse. Whatever form that abuse is taking.

      Thank you.

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  25. Brilliantly written, definitely sounds familiar to me with an ex. He did turn to violence and I still found myself wondering if I had caused it in some way. At least I got out and have gone on to have 3 kids with a very loving man. Well done on covering the subject.

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. It's an awful place to be, and so hard to get away. I'm glad you did and that you found a happy, healthy relationship.

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  26. Powerfull, something to think about it...it can happens to everybody,I was "lucky"/strong or wherever....

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    1. Thank you for reading. You were strong - lucky means it wasn't YOU who walked away, and it was.

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  27. The best post I have ever read on this subject, and it could so easily have been me. Luckily, I had somewhere to go, so I got out, and never looked back.

    I will share this everywhere I can.

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    1. Thank you for reading and for sharing. I'm glad you escaped a life like this - it's just such an awful place to be, questioning yourself every day, wondering what you're going to do wrong next. Thank you.

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  28. A good, brave post. Thank you, Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing your story. Which is also my story, and so many other people's stories.

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    1. It's a story that happens every day to all kinds of people and it's devastating. If we can help, we should. Thank you for reading.

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  29. Thank you for sharing this. I'm astounded that there are so many of us who have gone through this. I so often feel alone, that there isn't anyone to talk to about it - not least as he didn't hit me, so in part I don't feel it was *real* abuse. Even now I still find things in life that validate things he said or did and it's hard to stay on top of those, to remind myself that they're not true.

    Thank you, for sharing so openly

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    1. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment - and for realising that it IS real abuse, with or without bruises. Psychological damage lasts far longer than a bruise might.
      The times his voice echoes in your head, that's wrong. You left and are better for it. Never forget that you won x

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  30. lovely read and very true u get to a point where u are scared to leave but I did it 20 year's ago got stabbed and was really scared I still are now still wake up at night crying and shaking good to talkk

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    1. I hope that you're in a safer place, and happy that you were stronger and braver. I hope that you have support around you to help through those times it hurts.

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  31. Brilliantly written, you could of been telling my life story from the age of 15 to 23.

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    1. It's shocking how many people have lived that life.

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  32. Wow. Very powerful post. So very very true

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  33. So hard to find the strength to leave him. Even harder to understand how I then ended up with another one just like him. Felt like irrefutable proof that #1 was right all along that it must've all been because of me. After all I was the common denominator right? Still think that sometimes even now, yrs later, with #1 and #2 thankfully nothing but very bad memories. They rarely left any bruises either.

    What a great post.

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    1. A massive number of people who have had one abusive relationship will have more, because the damage stays with you and you feel you don't deserve better. But you DO. Thank you for reading.

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  34. Very powerful stuff and thank you for this insight. I am involved professionally with young people and it would be great to share your post with them. Would that be ok with you? My sister has been in the same place and i was one of those family members who withdrew from her cos of her partner's behaviour. So regret this as she died young and before she had recognised what was happening to her. He took her away from her loving family and she never managed to get back before it was too late. There was no punching involved.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your sister. Please do use this in your work, as widely as you possibly can. If you want to email me on mommatwoblog@gmail.com to talk more about it I'd be pleased to help. Also if you follow the blog there will be more posts coming soon with more information.

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  37. What a brilliantly written piece. It is exactly like that, EXACTLY! I am 16 years on from escaping what you have described. It took a long time for the violence to start, but I was already a weak shell of myself by then. I am still ashamed of what I put up with, but I'm thankful every day that I had my eldest daughter who was the catalyst for me to get out. At 14 months old she was being affected and it was this that gave me the strength to get the hell out, which didn't come without a lengthy struggle, but I don't doubt that she saved my life.

    I hope your writing helps someone to recognise they are in an abusive relationship or see a friend/family members is and gets the help they need. x

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, and for sharing your story. I'm glad that you escaped that life and took your daughter away. You've given her something very powerful by doing that.

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  38. Reading your article, all the memories just flooded back. I was in a relationship for nearly 10 years, and should have walked away after 3, but it took another 7 for me to have enough courage. It was the best thing I ever did, and I would urge everyone to look and find their inner strength and walk away. However, I know it has to be done on your own terms, and come entirely from you and nobody else. Although there will always be a support network there if you need it, and usually in some surprising places.

    An amazing article, that I will make sure I share, as I hope it inspires other people to walk away before it could potentially be too late.

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    1. Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing your story and thank you for sharing the post elsewhere. The more people that can read it the more chance there is that it could help someone.

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  39. Brilliant post, so well written. I have had a very similiar experience to this and your post brought it all back to me. Psychological and emotional abuse is not highlighted enough in my opinion. The scars of being controlled by another last longer than any bruise. I was caught up in a relationship where I was cut off from family, friends and felt I was a different person. The only way I got out of it was by going to work one day and never going back. I still don't know what made me do it that day but I am so glad I did. It is only thanks to my true friends who never forgot about me and were there for me when I thought I'd lost them for good that I managed to pick myself up and get to where I am today. I agree more needs to be discussed about relationships to younger people; that you don't have to lose your friends and your identity; that it's not about pleasing someone else - it's about being in a relationship that let's you both be who you want to be, about mutual respect, and most of all, about people loving you for who you are, not what they think you should be.

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    1. Thank you for your insight - and I'm glad that you escaped. I hope that you found yourself a happier place to be and that you're living the life you deserve to now x

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  40. Great post! Loved it, felt it. Shared xx

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    1. That's a lovely thing to say, thank you x

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  42. My wonderful, kind husband once hit me, very lightly, on the cheek in his sleep when he was having a nightmare. It hurt a little bit, although not very much.

    Before I met him, I was with an abusive man for a very brief period of my life. Luckily for me, this happened on the other side of the world and I was far away from everyone I knew. This way, he couldn't get between me and them. Although I was very broken, I always knew I could never introduce him to anyone in my 'real life' at home, because of the way he was. This helped me to remeber what he did, and who he was, was wrong. I also had an easy escape route; I went home and he couldn't come after me. He never hit me. Once he threatened to break my face with a pair of pliers, but he never did hit me. I knew that he soon would, and that I would think it was my own fault if he did, so I left.

    His threat hurt much more, for much longer and on a much deeper level than my now loving, beautiful husband's accidental punch in his sleep. It is not the actual physical pain that is the worst, is the intent, the malice, the hatred behind it that breaks you down.

    Thank you for writing this post. I read it a couple of days ago and have been thinking about it since, so now I read it again and shared. It is brilliantly written. X

    / J

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    1. I'm so glad that you could recognise what was happening and walk away before it smothered you.

      You're absolutely right about the intent, the malice that breaks you down. The hatred isn't for you, it's for themselves, for something in their past that made them this way - but you are who is subjected to it. It's a terrible, slow way to die inside. Like drowning in intent.

      Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing. Thank you for leaving him.

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  43. Wow. Stumbled on this via Mum on the Brink and am reminded why bloggers are so important. Will share and re-share - amazingly powerful post. x

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    1. Thank you for reading and sharing, it means a lot

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  44. Brilliant piece of writing! I too was a victim of Domestic Abuse; abusers have such a similar profile it's scary.

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    1. It all stems from their own abuse and passing their pain forward - it's a familiar pattern, and horribly destructive

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  45. Brilliant, important post and thanks for writing it.

    "Maybe the day he does is a massive relief because that's REAL, it DOES count, and she can leave". To think this thought is a terrible point to reach, but it can make a person wake up and see the situation for what it has become.

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    1. Thank you for reading. It is a terrible point to reach - but I think a real one for many victims.

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  46. Elizabeth-

    Someone shared the link to this post with us over at bandbacktogether.com

    I came, I read, I cried. I was her.

    I'm not sure if you're familiar with our site but we'd greatly love it if you would submit this post. I know a lot of our readers could benefit from reading this.

    Thank you.
    TiaMaria Reed
    The Band Back Together Project

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting - I'm going to follow your blog now, I have more posts on the subject to follow so will connect with you with those too. Thank you.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for submitting and following. I KNOW your words will be powerful help to our readers.

      Should you ever want to volunteer, please don't hesitate to email me: tiamaria@bandbacktogether.com

      Thank you again.

      Delete
  47. After more than 30 years away from an abusive relationship, your words brought it all back. I have been with a gentle caring man who says "You can do whatever you want, I'll be here" for more than 20 years now and your words still gave me the fear. Everyone reaching puberty should read this, and all parents should be teaching their children that they cannot possess another human being they can only share a life with them.
    Thank you for writing. I am sharing

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  48. I read this with my hand over my mouth - and lived it too. I wrote about this distinctive difference too if you want to see it http://oldersinglemum.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/knickers.html
    But I didn't write it like this. I'm so glad you've managed to do it - it means he no longer has anywhere near the same degree of control over you - which is fantastic. They get under your skin and into your heart exactly as you describe and you end up increasingly isolated. Very well done for spelling this out so brilliantly X

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  49. I have just posted the link to this post on Mummy Whisperer's Problem corner about a woman whose husband wants to have a baby with another woman and them all live together - you might want to comment personally, though http://mummywhispererblog.com/2013/02/problem-corner-should-i-let-my-partner-have-a-baby-with-someone-else/

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  50. MommaTwo this is a brilliant post, I hope that the woman who asked for my help reads it again and again. I'm so glad that Anya/oldersinglemum posted it as a comment.

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  51. Hi. Was incredibly moved by this blog post. It is incredibly well written. I hope you don't mind but I posted a link to it on my FB page. I've just been writing a bunch of stuff about bullying (at school), about how if the bullying is physical we all know where we stand but if it is verbal there are a lot of blurry lines. Exactly like you describe so brilliantly here. This piece will stay in my mind for a long time.

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I adore comments - chat away! I've had to change settings to stop anonymous comments after a mad spate of extreme spamming (anyone want an ab toner? I have many links...) apologies if it causes issues