Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

I had to break the cycle and stop the war because I’d had enough

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# It is White Ribbon Month Australia’s campaign to stop violence against women. To support this wonderful cause, Busting Out will be giving ALL PROCEEDS from Agents of Action to the White Ribbon Foundation. Please help support and empower women.

When I was a teenager I watched my Mum get physically abused. It usually happened on weekends and alcohol was always the culprit.  He was unbelievably quiet when he was sober but when he had a few drinks in him, he became very violent. He would head butt my Mum, throw her against cars, throw her up against walls – you name it. My brother and I would watch and feel so scared. I was older so I would always stop it somehow. I always hated having to face the next day and the awkwardness that we all felt. I couldn’t look him in the eye and I just had to put up with it and pretend it didn’t happen. No one knew this was going on in my house, not even my closest friends. Although I couldn’t understand why my Mum kept putting up with it, I was old enough to understood that she needed someone. He then started to become violent with my brother and I.

When I finished school I left home and moved far away. I was really scared to leave because I didn’t know what would happen to my brother and my Mum because in so many ways, I was the strong one and I was always able to stop the violence. Eventually they split up.  I don’t know the circumstances, but I was so  glad they did. I was working hard and saving money so I could put myself through College.

When I was 18 years old I meet a guy that for some reason caught my eye. I just remember telling my friend “I think I like him” and she said “BUT HE HAS TATTOOS”.  I said “I know but look at his smile!” We eventually got together and lived together. I knew he drank a lot, but drinking was common in the town we lived in. At that time I soon found out that he became quite violent when he was drinking, not with me but with other people. He was always getting into fights and saying it was always the other guys fault. On my 19th Birthday we were out celebrating. My Mum was visiting and I was filming a band for her . My boyfriend walked past me and elbowed me in the arm. When I looked at him he said I was flirting with a guy, and when I looked at the guy he was about 80 years old!

One night we were supposed to go out together but he came home so drunk that he couldn’t. When I said I was still going out he said “No! You are not” and I said “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” He came flying at me and he beat me to an absolute pulp! I ran out of the house and I hid whenever a car drove past. I saw him driving the streets looking for me. A friend came by and picked me up, but I didn’t say too much about what had happened.

The next day he came to me and was remorseful, crying and  saying I was the best thing that ever happened to him and he would NEVER do it again, he said he didn’t know what came over him. He did do it again and continued to do it again. BUT he had a good side and boy that good side was the best! Funny, charming, creative and ambitious and I just thought that if I could help him through it,  we would be OK.

The worst time was when I tried to break up with him and he told me he would commit suicide if I did. (He didn’t say it that nicely). When I pleaded with him he got really angry. I was sitting outside and he raced over to me grabbed me and picked me up by the throat and started strangling me I was just dangling as he was choking me. Fortunately my housemate came home at that moment and when she saw what was happening she stopped him. She told me to go inside and she calmly said to my boyfriend “I think you better go” and he did. She came into the bathroom where I was curled up into a ball still struggling to breathe after he had his hands gripped around my throat for so long. She put her arm around me and said nothing just held me.
(To my friend I say a big THANK YOU! )

But, I STILL went back to him! Why?  As I mentioned to you before, he was charming, he knew what to say and when to say it and I thought I had no where else to go or no one to turn to at that time. Then, one night it happened again, and this time he finally left.
I was able to leave too. I never left a note, nothing. No tears, I just left and moved on. You hear people say “I would just leave, I wouldn’t put up with that” but unless you have been in a situation like that, you just don’t know what to do at the time. Now, all these years later, I know this-
I was just a girl who thought she was an adult and although I knew it was wrong to stay with him and let him treat me so badly, it was the only love I had known for a really long time. I was scared and I had nowhere to turn. I didn’t know any different, I also had nowhere else to go. But you know what? I finally realised that anywhere was better than where I was with him. I left and promised myself that I would NEVER let that happen again. When I looked in the mirror there was new determination, new self confidence and new self respect. I knew that I would have to do it on my own!
And I did.
Then someone walked into my life, someone that loves me and adores me because I gave myself permission to be loved the way everyone is supposed to be loved.

Domestic Violence Facts:
•50% of women in their CURRENT relationship have been abused by
her partner at least once.
•Only 12% of them call the police, the others admit living in fear (I never
did, but I should have because later in his life he REALLY hurt someone they
nearly died. He needed help)
•20.8% of all homicides involves intimate partners. This represents
approximately 76 homicide incidents within Australia each year.
Everyone has a trigger, a point that they get too where enough is enough. It may not be physical abuse it may be verbal or sexual. But you can only do something when you are ready and you have the strength. But there is always an out and only you can make it happen.
If you don’t feel comfortable getting “help” read You Can Heal You Life by the amazing Louise Hay and go from there.

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