I’m not writing this blog to gain sympathy or as some form of therapy; I see a therapist every two weeks and I absolutely recommend it for everybody. I am writing this blog because I passionately believe there is still too much silence in our society around domestic abuse. I can no longer be part of the silence.
I had already been seeing a therapist for a few years before I left Mr Who, but without his help when the relationship hit crisis points I would not have made it this far. I will forever be grateful that I have an understanding and supportive therapist that I can afford because of the way Relationships Australia support those in the community that need help. For the first few years they bent the rules and instead of receiving 6-12 free sessions I received much more. Now I pay an agreed sum each fortnight, agreed because when they worked out how much I should pay on my income, I couldn’t afford it; we negotiated and I still get to see my therapist fortnightly.
I have PTSD. Not from an abusive relationship although that certainly didn’t help; it stems from few traumatic life events that I’ll talk about in other posts, I don’t want to focus on that this time.
I have a burning need to stand up and speak out about a couple of forms of domestic abuse that are often dismissed as less important or less harmful; that is verbal abuse and mental and emotional abuse. Never in my relationship was I hit but I was constantly threatened with being homeless, told that I would never survive alone, nothing I did was ever good enough, told I was an idiot, treated like a sex slave, my art was ridiculed, my talent/skills mocked, my every opinion ridiculed and corrected, too many to list and too often told. Nearly ten years of being treated like a brain-dead imbecile tends to rub off slowly but surely until you believe it.
I once believed I could do anything, that I could be anything but life got a bit rough for a while, I took some wrong turns and then I forgot. The hardest thing I have ever done is leave Mr Who and make my way on my own, but no matter how lonely I get, or how depressed I get, or how often I eat toast for dinner, I know I’m better off now, free and safe.
It’s been a year since he turned up at my door and it’s amazing the difference a year of no contact can make. It’s been a good year, I love being free.
Take care, stay safe.