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I remember the first time so well that it feels like it happened this morning.  I was driving in a car with my new boyfriend when out of the blue WHAM I got a punch to the side of my head.  I couldn’t believe what had happened or why.  We were just driving along, no arguments; no raised voices; no signs whatsoever. I was left stunned and sore, but he just kept on driving as though he’d just swatted a fly.

What do you do when the person you have put your faith in to protect and love you suddenly turns on you with such violence?  Well, of course, you forgive them and think it must just be a one-off and there must have been something you did to annoy him. 

That’s where the cycle begins…” I must have done something wrong”.  Once you start down the rabbit hole of blaming yourself for someone else’s bad behaviour, it’s very hard to get back up out, if even possible at all. 

I say this happened out of the blue, but realistic, I guess there were some signs that perhaps there was something sinister lying below the surface.  I remember early in the relationship, we were meant to go out to dinner with one of his workmates and his wife.  This was to be the first time I was meeting his friends, and I was looking forward to getting to know more about this man through them.

Unfortunately, the trains were running slow that evening, so I got home from work late and was not ready to go when the boyfriend turned up.  Not a big deal, you would think, but no he stormed out leaving me behind, dazed. 

I was social back then and was excited to be going out and meeting new people.  That sense of excitement and anticipation soon turned to dread after this event and many more anti-social behaviours I was to discover about this man. 

I can’t remember what excuse I gave him that night, but that was probably the start of the slippery slope that was to become my life for 18 years. 

Stay tuned for more information on how I broke free of domestic violence and am now a SURVIVOR, not a victim.

Please feel free to leave a comment and ask any questions you may have.  I hope you will feel safe in reaching out to me because I know how hard it is to break the silence.  Give me a chance to help.

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