My Living Nightmare
It wasn’t until the day after the assault I had realised what he had done to me. I confronted him about it via text but he denied it. Told me it was my fault, but then he back tracked and said he was sorry. It was warm and I couldn’t hide the bruises. I had colleagues asking me what the bruises were and I was lying for him, I felt ashamed and embarrassed.
Then there was hope; my escape plan. A friend said I could stay with her with the dogs. He had been trying to get back in my good books and it was killing me to stay pleasant, but I had to, I had an escape plan. The day came, I packed up all I could and left with the dogs.
When he got back, he realised I had left and asked me to come back and when I said I needed space and I was keeping both dogs the abuse started. I was threatened, blackmailed, but I remained strong. A friend had convinced me to call the police, which I did the day after I escaped and it was the biggest relief. I had lost friends through him, he told them I was crazy and that I was lying. Having the police listen to me and believing my story gave me so much empowerment.
After months of waiting the Crown Prosecution Service decided to take on my case and he was summoned for Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). I was anxious about it as I did not know how he would plead, but in my heart, I felt I had already won.
About a month before court I was due to have my hair done. You may wonder why this is significant. This was a significant moment for me as I used to wear hair extensions. He had told me that my hair wasn’t long enough and I had convinced myself, or should I say he had convinced me that I was ugly without them and I looked more attractive with longer hair. One evening, the night before my hair extensions were due to be redone, I literally started pulling them out of my hair. One by one, I pulled out the glue. There was so much hair, but I didn’t care, I just wanted it out of my head… I remember looking at myself in the mirror and I saw ME. I looked like ME. I hadn’t felt like me in such a long time; I looked fake. Fake hair, fake nails, make-up; this was not me. It was like an epiphany, I no longer needed to look like someone else. A couple of weeks later I took my nails off. I felt so empowered.
This is a four part blog part four to follow…………
It was one of those cases where I got a chilled feeling when the lady who’d just been referred to me was describing her situation with her husband. I completed a risk assessment form (DASH) which we as outreach workers do for all new referrals. Her score was only medium risk, not supposedly serious enough … Continue reading Coercive Control