Marlie (a pseudonym), a mom of 2, has experienced physical and verbal abuse from her ex-husband and current partner. She is still trying to leave her current situation.
Please share more about your situation, if you are comfortable.
My world has been turned upside down for the past 5 years. I was pregnant with twins, unfortunately one passed away during my pregnancy. Once giving birth I didn't get time to grieve, I had a brand new baby all on my own as my partner at the time worked away, I then started to struggle. [They broke up and eventually she won custody].
I then had another partner that was with me during this time of fighting for my daughter in court. That lead to marriage and we then had another child. Months went by, no help with the babies at night. If I asked for any help I'd be told "it's a mother's job to do this all on her own", "I should have never married you", "I'm sure any other mother could do 2 babies all on their own." I started to believe the things he was saying was true. This went on for months.
A health care nurse visited our home one afternoon to check on our baby's health, make sure she was growing properly etc. She asked how I was doing, and I broke down and told her the situation and the things he was saying to me. She suggested to me that it was called psychological abuse and I said no it's not, isn't abuse just when someone punches you in the face? She gave me people and numbers to reach out to.
Months went by of abuse, day in day out. It got so bad one day that I had to call police - he was trying to rip the baby out of arms and held my eldest child hostage until I gave the baby over. Which forced me to call police. I stayed, thinking I wasn't good enough for anyone else or worthy of being on my own. He then did the same as my eldest daughter’s father and took the baby and left. I then had to go through another court proceeding to get again, full custody of my second child. I was starting to get my confidence back, finally!
Months went by when I met someone older, thinking it was best to go with someone more mature. I didn't realize how much drama I had walked into. In this relationship I dealt with being told I was trash, I was an annoying small dog on the end of his foot, I was told to simply not be myself, words to the effect of "just don't be yourself and we'd be ok." I had told this man my story in confidence, but he used it against me and used to say "let me guess, you are going to take me for domestic violence too, just like you did to him!?" Little did he know I didn't "take anyone." I just sought help within myself. I had my car keys thrown and broken, the toaster broken and thrown, a light bolt smashed, my baby’s sock in a pool of urine in the toilet, my mattress and daughters bed thrown in the garage, her ipad put in the shed, my teddy bears head ripped off he gave me, my cloths draw ripped out and thrown throughout the house. This led to me waking up every morning nervous as ever. Wondering if I'm going to be spoken to today or ignored, am I going to say something to annoy him, something wrong? Will I annoy him then get sworn at? Is he going to ring his daughter’s mother and complain about me again?
What is life like now?
I'm still getting away from the abuser. It’s only now I'm trying to build myself again, I'm trying my damn hardest to build myself back the confidence I have lost. I'm finally trying to leave. I've gone to leave 5 times now and he always convinces me to stay, it's a cycle! I pray I get the confidence to be happy on my own with my 2 children. It won't be easy, I know, but I'll give it my all.
What else would you like to say to any women reading your story who are currently experiencing domestic abuse?
When someone is telling you that your not good enough, please stay strong. Your self worth is much more important than trying to constantly please other people.