I would like to introduce myself and give you a little glimpse into why I wanted to start this blog and what I am trying to do with the rest of my life.
My name is Sharon, I am 46 years of age and studying online through Swinburne University. In 2009 I found myself single, alone, broke, on a disability pension and having to start my life again at the end of an abusive relationship of nearly 10 years.
In Australia, according to statistics, one in four women will be a victim of some type of family or domestic violence or abuse. Feel free to look at the stats on www.abs.gov.au but I have no desire to repeat statistics verbatim.
When I was 32 I met a man I thought was the answer to my prayers, he was employed, had his own home, was older than me, really nice and single. He was my best friend’s foster-brother and I had spoken to him over the phone through the years so when we finally met face to face, it felt like I had known him forever; there was an element of comfort and a feeling of coming home that I felt with him that I had never experienced before. He treated me like a lady; opening car doors for me, pulling out my chair, all ‘old school’ manners that previous boyfriends would have broken out in violent rashes had I suggested they use. It was such a thrill for me at the time. I had been single for four years when I met Mr Who (not his real name but it suits him much better) and I was in recovery from a sequence of life events that had left me traumatised and diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was severely depressed, in constant pain and spent most of my time in my flat, just trying to find a reason to keep breathing.
He swept me off my feet before I knew it; he took me to restaurants, the movies and friends places, a far cry from others I had dated in the past who thought eating in a restaurant meant not going via the drive-through of McDonald’s or KFC. He flattered me and fed into my insecurities about my looks, he complimented me on the type of person I was and we bonded over mutual childhood horrors. Within six months of meeting, I was packing up my government subsidised rental unit and moving into his. His was not a government unit, he was paying a mortgage on a large property out in the country, 45 minutes drive from the nearest shop and with very few neighbours.
I thought I was moving to paradise with the man of my dreams but in the end it nearly took my life.