Earlier this week we shared a blog with you highlighting how writing can be beneficial and help the healing process. We would like to end the week by sharing with you part one of a survivors story. The process of writing and sharing her journey has been a positive and cathartic experience for this amazing lady and now we want to share it with you.
Over the next few weeks we are going to share Debbie’s story. It’s a story of fear, control, isolation and threats but one Debbie and we hope may help others to escape domestic abuse. In the first part, she explains how her partner very quickly started to control her every move…
“All I ever wanted was just a small home, safe with the children…”
I had two boys from a previous marriage, my own home and car with a good credit history and no big debts.
I met HIM through a neighbour, felt fairly safe, as they knew him. HE seemed very nice, offered to buy me a mobile phone within a week after meeting him, which I could not afford at the time. I was very impressed with that, but that should have been the first sign. He phoned me constantly to check where I was and what I was doing.
This new relationship progressed quickly, within a few weeks HE moved in with only a few black bin liners. Straight away he wanted to change furniture and new things were purchased jointly. He later suggested we move to a bigger place, which ended up being nearer to his family and friends; however, far from my family, friends and support.
My house was rented out to a friend and their family to help pay for this ‘larger house in a nice area, near the local school, with lots of potential.’ I was very isolated – away from friends and family and with no home to return to. Looking back, I think he had a hidden agenda.
The home improvements were very slow going with HIM starting the decorating but then finishing the night at the pub. HE worked away often and came back late, demanding fresh chips. HE was very jealous of my boys and ex-husband. HE would make a point of showing off new clothes whenever my ex came to collect the boys, by leaving shopping bags in the living room so that these could be seen when the boys were collected.
“mocked me in front of his friends”
HE did buy me lots of nice things, including a new car. Prior to that HE mocked me in front of his friends about my car being rubbish and through insistence, he sold my car and ‘bought’ me a new one. The new car and mobile phone however were to be used at his discretion. HE wanted final say of when and where both the car and phone were used. HE had total control.
HE drank most nights after work, although he did run his own engineering company, which later went bust. I was very surprised when ‘my car’ was repossessed, as I thought this was already paid for.
HE did not have many friends and was quite unsociable. HE drank most mornings and evenings whenever we went on holiday. Holiday time was HIS time, not family time. I was left to do my own thing with my boys, whilst HE drank and went out on his own. HE would ring home on most Fridays to check who was home and would say that he would not be coming home.
HE would be away on a regular basis; however, HE ensured that I knew HE could check on me at any point on HIS weekend ‘away.’ The locks were changed once when I went to a friend’s house. I was only gone for six hours and returned to a house with new locks, with nowhere to go as my own house was leased to my friend.
On another occasion, one Friday night, when he was supposed to be away, I decided to accept an invitation from the headmistress and was only away for a couple of hours but again was unable to get in the house; as it appeared he had been home, realising I was not there, he left his key in the door, so that I could not get in. I had to ask to stay in the headmistress’s sofa that night – it was so humiliating.
HE would regularly suggest we go to his sister’s and then HE would go for a drink without a word to me. Leaving me there stranded with no transport or phone – it was so uncomfortable and awkward.
I tolerated this, as I didn’t want another failed relationship and didn’t want my boys to have to experience regular arguments.
Things went from bad to worse…
In the next part of Debbie’s story, she explains how she was abandoned on a holiday only to return to find the entire contents of her home had been sold. Read more on Monday.