Finding the strength to leave

Imagine a completed jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces where they should be, the picture complete. This is how I used to see my life when I was with him, like a jigsaw, that had once been whole and perfect but with each and every slap, punch, kick, bite, spit…a piece was taken away. I vividly remember explaining this to him near the end when he was having a rare moment of remorse. I told him that the puzzle was almost gone, that the pieces were running out and soon there would be nothing left.

Then there was one piece left. All alone it sat there waiting. It knew it was going, it was just a matter of when.

In 2010 I joined the Women’s Aid forum using my son’s iPod. (I strongly recommend this site to anyone still suffering. It has a ‘go incognito’ button you can press when you enter the site which means it doesn’t show up on any of your search histories.) I made friends with other victims and survivors, I shared my story for the first time, suddenly I was not alone.

This was the first entry I posted on the forum.

Biggest mistake
Hi all. Yesterday I found this forum and I already feel so much better. I am not alone. So many of your stories have hit a nerve, I have experienced that. The worst bit however is suddenly realizing that I have experienced (still am) almost everything that everyone has written, and how bad my abuser is. I will cut a very very long story, very short and tell you all a little of my situation. I met him when I was seventeen, about to start uni. The abuse had already began, why I didn’t leave the first time, god knows. I got pregnant, didn’t go to uni. All the time he would lose it and hit me, chuck things at me etc. But he would lose it over daft things, like I remember once the wash basket was ‘too full’, or one of his shirts wouldn’t be ironed properly, so the entire contents of his wardrobe would be pulled out and thrown around the room, and I’d be a dirty tramp. Anyway, time went on, we married, had another baby. By this point he had a terrible drug addiction and his very successful business was beginning to fall apart. We moved abroad for six months to get away from the drugs, but he would leave me there and go back to the UK and get on it for days at a time. I was lonely but I wasn’t getting my head kicked in at least. The separation from work wasnt working so he decided we were to go back. I fell pregnant again when our daughter was two and his drug problem was horrendous. I warned him I couldn’t cope. He would be up all night and then sleep all day. His staff at work be ringing and I had to make excuses for him, and when I tried to wake him I would get slapped, kicked, cups of coffee thrown over me. Anyway, at 7.5 months pregnant, when he was off his face, I packed some photos of my children, got some clothes and left. He was Mr I’m sorry, Mr remorseful, he promised he’d stop the drugs and the abuse before the new baby arrived. I believed him and went back. That night he did it again and three days later I told him I was leaving again. He went mad, took me on a joy ride trying to put me through the windscreen. That night I went into labour. The baby was in intensive care for a week. Again, Mr remorseful. I went home and that night, first night with our new baby, he got on it again. I was so devastated, I left again. However this time I vowed not to go back. He destroyed all of my and the children’s things at our home. Photographs, birth certificates, passports, toys, clothes, he burnt everything. He took beautiful big pictures off the walls of our children, and burnt them. I have nothing left.
I went back to him, and this is the biggest mistake I have ever made. He has lost everything, and taken us all abroad to our holiday home (thankfully here I have a few photos of my babies) He hits me every couple of days. He kicks me out of bed most nights, first demanding I satisfy him. Every now and then he beats me so badly, he laughs that I look like the elephant man. He smashed me around the head, I have bruises so bad I can’t lay my head on the pillow. This is all in front of my kids. I tried to leave a couple of weeks ago, but he told me if I left he’d kill me.
I have no money, no friends. Nothing belongs to me (as he constantly reminds me) I am trapped in a foreign country in my own live nightmare. I envy all of you that have got away, and I curse the day I made the decision to go back to him.

Created by Danni on 26-Jun-10 11:02 GMT

I became a regular visitor to the forum over the following few weeks. The other women were there for me when I posted things like this…

Thank you so much for trying to help. This must be a quick message, had a terrible morning. Blood everywhere, thought my nose was already broken, perhaps not. He’s just popped out but I quickly wanted to say thankyou to you for trying to help me. I’m still here.
Posted by Danni on 27-Jun-10 08:09 GMT

And this…

That horrible doubting feeling
Hi girls,
It’s been a couple of days since I last came on here, and boy what a couple of days they have been. To keep it short, he kicked me and kids out thurs night, no shoes, proper clothes ect. On my wander down the road, bumped into his cousin. On impulse jumped in to his car, demanded he took me to police. Well a couple of hours later and me trying to leave his cousins house, I was picked up by my husband, who now loves me to death and won’t ever hurt me again. Hmmm.
But now it’s happening again. He’s being really nice and of course girls, guess what? He’s got me thinking. Am I doing the right thing? Will he change? I know the answer’s in my head. But why are they so good at splitting our feelings and minds apart?
Oh girls, I feel so blah today. Don’t know whether I’m coming or going!

Created by Danni on 4-Jul-10 16:16 GMT

They helped me decide I was strong enough to leave and gave me courage to devise an escape plan…

Hi girls. Haven’t Been on for a while. My plan is all set and ready. Mum, dad, brother in law, all ready in the wings, waiting for me to say go. So for Gods sake, why can’t I say it now? What’s wrong with me? Yes, he’s being nice (not normal person nice) and yes, I know he will be nasty again. So why can’t I just grab the bull by the horns and say, let’s do it tomorrow? What’s holding me back? Am I that pathetic that 10 years of abuse later, I STILL think he might change?
Oh girls this is the hardest thing I will ever have to do for me and the three kids. To put them on an airplane and run away from their father, am I going to do them more damage than they will have if I stay here?

Help girls, I’m floundering, and completely sh*t scared

Created by Danni on 10-Jul-10 16:53 GMT

Then, on one July evening the last piece of the jigsaw was gone.

This was my final post to the ladies on the forum.

We’re out
Hi girls, hope you are all ok.
Its been a while since I last posted and since then its been a real rollercoaster. I had long decided I needed to get myself and my three young children away from my extremely abusive husband, but living abroad had obviously made my escape a much harder thing to achieve.
To cut a very
long story short, last friday, he assulted me badly and strangled me, I had had enough, I felt that I was at my cracking point, and with three small children dependent on me, that’s not a good place to be in your head. So I rang my parents in secret, and an hour later I was escorted by five police officers away to safety. We spent 3 nights in a hotel, locked away for our safety. In the meantime my mum was in the UK, trying to sort out a way of getting us back with the British  embassy (he had taken the passports before I left) and my dad managed to get a flight out on the Monday. God how pleased I was to see him I cannot begin to tell you! On Tuesday we travelled to the capital and after a race against time managed to book flights, get issued emergency passports and get on an aeroplane within five hours, without any issues of him stopping the children leaving the country.
I am now sitting in peace, outside in my parents back garden, I have lost the permanent knot I used to carry around with me in my stomach.
I know this is not the end. I have informed police, given statements, reported my injuries to the gp, spoken to an outreach worker whom
 I am meeting on Monday. As far as I know he is still in ****. But I don’t care one bit, I haven’t cried for him at all, only for my kids. He has made my life a living hell for the past 10 years, emotionally, psychologically, sexually, financially and physically abusing me, and now girls, he may have left me in a right old pickle, but guess what… I’m FREE!

Created by Danni on 30Jul-10 14:25 GMT

This entry is dedicated to those wonderful women who gave me strength and courage. They picked me up when I was down, even though many of them were still living in their own hell. And to Ka3n…wherever you are, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being the first to reply. I hope you are safe now too my friend.


One thought on “Finding the strength to leave

  1. Jane

    This is one of the bravest stories I have heard. God bless you, and I hope one day you will find the peace ,safety and love that everyone deserves in their life. X


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