November on our women for women facebook community is going to be dedicated to survivors and victims of domestic violence. We will be documenting and sharing your stories to create further awareness and to let others know they are not alone.

Good morning Francesca, I’ve just ready your post on Domestic Violence and wanted to share my story.

So, the signs started a few months into the relationship… he would belittle me every now and then. Even when I knew full well I was perfectly sane, it started to plant seeds of doubt in my mind.
I started to question my credibility, my knowledge and myself as a person.
Then came the “silent” treatment. When I look back now, I can see the pattern. At the time, he would give me the silent treatment when he didn’t like that I was becoming assertive again or having an opinion, or if he didn’t like that my family were close to me. I can see now how he was slowly trying to push me away from them and convince me that they were against me. They weren’t!
Then there was the ‘unappreciative love’ that apparently I used to show. Of course, according to him, I was ungrateful for all the amazing things he does for me. Even at the time hearing these words and accusations, I knew he was wrong, I could hear the contradictions in his stories but doubt still lingered in myself and I believed that I was a very horrible person. I began to hate myself, began believing that whatever I say will be laughed at…
Once he even ordered me to give him back €5 for using his pick up truck to go to the shop down the road!!! Now I should have told him where to stick it but I believed that he was right. I was ungrateful for all the great things he does for me!
Whenever I’d go visit family, or have a family function, or even my best friends wedding… he never joined me. He was always “busy”…
I left dishes out drying, I was lazy, I cooked dinner but it wasn’t how he likes it… I was a terrible cook and no good for anything.
I washed his clothes, he didn’t like the way I washed them, he didn’t like the way I hung them to dry, he didn’t like the scented softener I used on them, I was good for nothing.
He’d go and spend a weekend with all his friends, spend over €500 and then when I’d suggest he comes with me to visit family or friends… he’d shout at me and tell me that I think money grows on trees and how hard he works and has so many outgoings and he can’t afford these things… I only asked him to go for a coffee… Jeez!!
Ohhh so many more moments but the one that really really started to bring me back to myself, was when I was pregnant… he’d threatened to hit me in the face over a bunch of dishes left out to dry over night!! He called me lazy, dirty and a waste of space. He kept on shouting and going on about so many problems of his but all I could think about was how can I allow myself and my unborn child to stay with someone like this. I had to think how I can keep my baby safe before she was born. I was so scared and all sorted of scenarios raced through my mind of how I can make it better, how I can get us to a safe place…
it took many months before I finally left him.
The final straw came when I had no say in my daughters name. He had a name that he apparently had his heart set on. I mentioned hat perhaps we can look at other names again as I wasn’t too sure anymore about the name he chose… well, he hit the roof and told me how dare I have the cheek to change her name… how dare I!!! He said I was nasty, horrible person who has no respect for other people’s feelings…
Once baby was born… things didn’t improve. He was out a lot, supposedly at work! When he was home, he very very rarely helped and if I didn’t have things ready at home, I was again, lazy, good for nothing.
I had a cSection, could hardly move, I was in pain… the only thing keeping me growing stronger was my baby. Feeding her, bathing her, being her Mother, bring her protector… I had to force him to change a nappy once, feed her, just bonding with her… and please, don’t try to tell me that because he’s male, its what they do and all those silly excuses…that is absolute bs! I know it’s difficult, it’s all new, things change around but I know many males who learn to adapt to the changes and be there. It’s new for all of us, even us mothers, we’re not allowed excuses, so why are they allowed excuses??!!
There is so much more to what happened but I’ll be going on forever telling you everything.
I left him, I was frightened, scared and didn’t know how I was going to find peace and safety but I did it! With my baby, for my baby ❤❤

Always remember, you are strong enough, you are worthy of love, you are perfectly sane and you can fight this!

Things get better, you become stronger, wiser, smarter, you begin to see, clearly see who they really are and you will defeat them. You will fight those demons.
Remember you are not alone.

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