is there any one willing to share their story on DVgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Domestic Violence Accounts : One Thread
I am doing a research project for school on Teen Dating Violence. I need to know if there is anyone who is willing to share their story. Any story about dating violence will do. I need to conduct an interview for this project. So I will be asking a few questions. Please Email me at email@example.com. Thank you. And don't worry I will change all the names and everything like that. Tina
-- Anonymous, May 16, 2003
I have a story. I was not the victim, but knew the 2 males and female involved. The males walked, the girl is a wreck.
-- Anonymous, July 09, 2003
In this story I will describe some stages and some of the most affecting facts that make me what I am today, i hope it will help you
Here is my story.
When I was a kid I didn’t get on too well with my parents, they were from a middle upper class and appearances were more important then reality.
They never seam to be there, going out to expensive restaurants, theaters, etc, was a must, for my parents it was very important to be seen in these places.
I am dyslexic and was never that good in school, having a slow child (as my parents called me) made they uncomfortable and embarrassed.
I skipped school, didn’t have any friends and by the age of 13 was a drug addicted, my parents closed their eyes to my problems and concentrated on my sister.
I have a brother but he didn‘t count for much either.
At 17, I become very ill and had to have an operation, I was told that if I wanted children to wait a year and get pregnant or I may never have a baby.
The thought of never having a baby horrified me, I had always wanted someone to love and love me back, someone to protect, I think I just wanted to fell needed and to belong.
I become clean and obsessed with having a baby.
By the time I was 18, my older brother had left home and did not speak to my parents, I left too, my older sister stayed, she loved them and could do no wrong (to be honest she was and still is very, very good and proper).
My first real relationship
I moved into a small apartment and meet a man 13 years older then me Fernando. It wasn’t long before we started seeing each other, he wanted a young girl to show off, and I wanted a baby and security for this baby.
We moved in together and I become pregnant.
He was lovely and always very concern with me and my heath, but things weren’t going to well financially and my health was deteriorating fast, has my body constantly tried to get rid of the baby, so we decide to move to England in search of a better live financially and better health treatment for me.
After years of drug abuse, depression and various other problems, my health was very poor and the added stress of a pregnancy on the body didn’t help at all..
We had only been in England about 4 months (I was now 6 month’s pregnant) and living in a bedsite, saving money for an apartment, we were happy, my pregnancy was coming along fine, we were better off financially,everything was perfect.
Then two men in the bedsite rapped me. I wasn’t dressed sexy or acting provocative, so why was I rapped? I was 6 months pregnant.
The rapped and the succeeding police interviews had a terrible affect on my relationship; Fernando blamed himself for not being there and then resented me.
I seamed fine until the moment Arianne (my baby) was born, I felt as if my job was done and finally the rape hit me.
I become very depressed did not leave my bedroom, speak to anyone or looked after my baby.
Fernando tried to be supportive, but it was hard, by then I too blamed him and hated my self for it.
After some time of doctors, pills and nurses, I finally regain some humanity back; I start going out, taking my little girl to the park, even got a job as a Security Guard of all jobs.
However, my relationship with Fernando was beyond remedy and we parted.
We parted on good terms and had no special arrangements for our daughter, if she wanted to see him I would take her to him, if I was working late, he’d look after her and so on, it was fine that way.
In my new job, I meet lots of people as I worked in the Barbican Center in London (for those of you who don’t know it, it is an Art center, with cinemas, galleries, exhibition centers, etc).
I worked with a lot of other guards and mobile inspectors.
My supervisor was sweet, Andrew, we talk a loot and become good friends, he wanted something more, I tried, we went out for some time, but I couldn’t, I wasn’t ready for it.
Some time later, I meet one of the mobile inspectors, Pat.
Pat was very nice looking, charming, pleasant, every time he was on site he would ask for me, and we would go on patrol together.
Soon we were meeting after work, for lunch, dinner, cinema, etc, eventually I took him home to meet my daughter, she took to him strait away, it was all so prefect.
About a year or so later the friend Pat rented his room from was getting married and asked Pat to start looking for another place to live, we talked about and Pat was already spending more time at my flat then at his, so we decide to move together.
It was just perfect, but as time went by things changed, he wasn’t so nice anymore, he seamed to be mad all the time, kept coming to my work looking for me, asking me where I was, with who, why, for how long, he become more and more possessive. His last girlfriend left him, so I just put it down to being insecure.
One day he come home and told me he had been sacked, it turn out the company had given him many warnings about going to the site where I was working all the time and not doing his job.
We had an argument and splapppp, he’d hit me, don’t know why exactly, can’t remember, immediately after that he started apologizing, saying he didn’t know what come over him, he was so sorry.
I wanted to believe him, I said to my self it was the stress he was under, but the stress didn’t go away and the slaps didn’t stop and all the time I found excuses for him, it was stupid of me, but I loved him so much.
Gradually it got worse, the slaps become paunches and the paunches kicks.
He would beat me, burn me with cigarettes, and drag me by the hair.
I had to ask to go to the toilet, to eat, to sleep, I could only speak when he or my daughter spoke to me.
If my daughter called me, I would have to ask permission to go to her.
He’d never let her see the beatings, but she’d hear the screams, for I wanted and tried to keep quiet, but it was so hard, it hurt so much.
I found my self trying to keep my daughter at my side so he’d leave me alone, but that only worked for a while as Arianne was only young and she wanted to go play in her room or with her friends.
How sad can one be, I should have been protecting my daughter instead I looked at her for protection.
If my daughter was at her fathers it would be so much worse, he’d experiment beating me with different objects too see witch one worked better( the one that would hurt the most, but leave the least marks), the dog led, the broom, a chair, belts, etc; just about anything for as long as it didn’t leave marks where they could be seen.
Around the head, chest and back were is favorite areas.
He’d lock me in the bathroom and leave same food, I never knew how long he’d be, so I would save the food until I was really hungry.
On day he locked me in as usual and left, but he come back soon after and notice I hadn’t eaten the food he left, without saying a word he picked the food from the floor took it away locked the door and didn’t come back for 2 days.
When he come back he opened the door starting laughing, dragged me into the bedroom and forced me to have sex with him, then went to sleep.
I looked all round but there was no food in the flat.
When he woke up he ordered a pizza and told me if I was a good girl he’d give me same, I eat the scraps he’d throw on the floor.
By now, I had no job, no money, no friends, he had droved them all away and was far from my family in Portugal, my parents were in England, but they didn’t want to know, not because of appearances, as by now they had lost all their money, and were just a normal working class couple, but because they were embarrassed and felt guilty.
I was only allowed out to take my daughter to school and every day when I returned he would say that I was with another man, that I didn’t just go to the school.
If I denied it he’d hit me because I was a liar if I didn’t denied it, then he’d hit me because I wasn’t denying it.
He’d hit me because I smiled or because I didn’t smile, because I said yes instead of no, or no instated of yes, because I got up without permission, because I looked at him this way or that way.
One time I was in the kitchen preparing some food and had the radio on, it was playing that song (oh, now, now go, walk out the door, just turn around because you not wanted anymore, etc) he come into the kitchen and started shouting ‘ is that song for me?’, I didn’t know what to do, he grab the knife I was using and put it to my neck and said ‘if you every even think of leaving I will kill you and your daughter.
That started a new way of hurting me; he’d put knifes on the coffee table when my parents or my daughter’s father come around, on my body if someone come to the door, on my neck when we had sex.
This was a new form of friar, a fear I didn’t recognized and I didn’t know how to deal with invaded my soul and my body.
He found jobs but he kept losing them because he could not work and control me at the same time, when he was working that was the best time for me, but then he found his dream job, clamping cars for the County Council, he could come and go as he please, at this point my live become unbearable.
One time he beat me so bad I could not get up, I couldn't see anything all was dark and cold, slowly I come too and got the courage to call the police.
They were very nice, but could only give him a warning at this time as I had no witness.
When he got out of the police station I wasn’t warned of it, he come strait to my flat, pushed the door down called my daughter’s father and asked him to come and collect Arianne as he had a suppress for me; then he ripped out the phone and waited.
I couldn’t make a sound I was so afraid, I could see the madness in his eyes, he was ragging.
Once she was gone he went mad.
He beat me, burned me with one cigarette after the other, told me to undress and handcuffed me to the sink in the bathroom, turned off the radiator and plugged in a fan, locked the door and left for what seamed like days.
I was so hungry and thirsty, but most of all I was cold, I couldn’t stop shivering and cried uncontrollably.
The sound of the fan seamed to get louder and louder, the cold floor felt like knifes parsing through my skin.
Finally the door opened and for the first time in along, long while I was happy to see him.
He looked lost, almost sorry, that night felt like in the beginning, he helped me get dressed, gave me a hot water bottle and cooked us dinner, but never said a word.
I missed this side of him, but I new it wouldn’t last.
But what was I to do , I was terrified to call de police, as they may let him go again, I kept thinking what will I do.
By now I was hitting my head on the walls, I shook constantly and I did not seam to care must about nothing.
I thought it was me, I was ugly, stupid, dome, useless, who could blame him for loosing his temper, with such a disaster of nature.
Some time went by and my nightmare continued, some days would be better then others, some days I didn’t care, others I hated him, but nothing really changed.
I decided to tell my ex about what was happening, I wanted to call the police over and over again till someone done something about it., but I had no way to keep him out of the flat.
Since my windows had security bars, all I needed was a security door, my plan was to tell my ex and get him to lend me the money to buy a security door.
And so it was done, the night before the door was supposed to be installed I called the police, they took Pat away, they said they would keep him at least for the night, but after that it was up to the judge.
Next day the door was installed, the judge told Pat he was a bad boy and let him off with a warning not to come near me or the flat.
The judge order didn’t stop him, and I will never forget his sorry look when he come to the flat and could not get in.
He begged, cried, shouted, he said he was going to kill me as soon as I walked out of the door, but I wasn’t having it.
I went to a solicitor provided by the police, they were very good, and even through I did not tell them everything as I was too embarrassed about it and humiliated, they had enough grounds to take the case to court.
A few weeks later he was summoned to appear in court, that drove him mad and days before his appearance in court he come to the flat again.
He was raging, he through a brick trough my daughter’s bedroom window, she come crying to my room, it was the first time she had seen is valiance towards me first hand.
I rang the police, I had a restraining order against him, I nkew the police would have to arrest him.
But before the police arrived, he decided he was going to get me, he grab one of the security grids on one of the windows and with all its heart and soul he pooled it away from the walls.
When the police arrived, he was just about to get in.
He was arrested, taken to court and kept on remand for a week pending another court appearance.
I thought this was it, I could now get counseling, join a support group and start again.
But one morning as I open my front door there was a box on the ground, has I opened it my heart sank to the floor, it contained a dead rat with a note, ‘ You are next’.
I new this was from Pat, he had some strange friends, one of them come to my flat once and said to Pat ‘You should beat your girlfriend at least once a week, to remind her of who’s the boss, I can give you some really good tips’.
I went to the prison to see him, he asked if I had received is present alright, and told me to get him out or my daughter would be first.
I went to see his solicitor I could not face mine, and I dropped all charges.
The police were very nice, one officer said ‘look one of this days you will be strong enough’, I didn’t know then how right he was.
When Pat got out, he didn’t beat me or called me names. He said we were going to Ireland, that with his family around him it would be different.
It took a month or so to organize things, and during that month he was so loving, helping with the packing, babysitting so I could say goodbye to friends, etc.
We went out for dinner everyday and I began to think that maybe he was right, maybe it would be different.
I still loved him, well not him but the man he was before, maybe that man had come back.
We arrived in Ireland, the trip was long and thought we were all stressed and a few arguments started, Pat was as I first meet him.
We meet his parents and brothers everything was fine.
I remember meeting is brother Daithi and immediately felt that I was with the wrong brother.
Whenever me and Pat had an argument he would always come to my rescue, Pat did not stand up to his brother, maybe because he was more of his size.
One day me and Pat had a terrible argument and the old Pat come back in force, his mum run to one of his brothers house and refused to come back until me and Pat were out of the house.
His father was supportive, but he had to respect his wife wishes, they were both too old to have to deal with this stuff.
His father told me that Pat was the only one out of five boys like this, up until this time I did not know that he had done this before.
He told me that there had been other girls that had left him becomes he was so violent.
I resented them for not telling me before, but I suppose they don’t really know the extent of Pat’s valiance.
I grab my daughter, asked his father if he could keep my things until I found a place to stay and left.
I seat on a stone for a while, I had only been in the country for a month didn’t know anyone, nor were to go.
I had no money, nothing but the clothes I was wearing.
Pat come after me, he looked at me, grab my harm and said ‘ you are all alone, nowhere to go, no friends, no family, no money, now you have no choice, you are mine and I will do as I please.
At the time I knew he was right; Now I know you always have choices.
We spent a week at one of his friends house, but his friend was as bad as himself, Anne his friends wife was nice thought, we talked a loot, I had spent a week in hospital and she had looked after Arianne, we become good friends over the years.
A week later we got a flat from the local housing authority.
I was once more locked away, beaten and all I possessed was one by one broken or taken away.
For month’s all that kept me going were my thoughts of how to escape, until one day I was taken into hospital, I was once again very ill and needed an operation.
I was never so happy in my live, I called Anne and she agreed to look after my daughter for the duration of my hospitalization.
I was safe at last, I asked for a social worker and she gave me a phone number for a refuge called Safe Heaven.
I didn’t call them from hospital, I was afraid he'd hear about it and take my daughter.
The day I left hospital he come to collect me, on the way I called Anne and she said she would meet me at the flat and bring my daughter Arianne with her.
When we walked in, my dog attacked me and then run out, the flat smelled terrible and everything was destroyed, the bed, the sofa, etc.
Pat told me that he had moved into is mum’s house for the week and forgot about the dog, the poor animal and been locked for a week without food or water and had taken to bit all she could, I knew how that dog felt.
I lost it and started screaming at Pat, I couldn’t move properly because I was still sore from the operation, but that didn’t stop him making a swing towards me, Anne got in the way and Pat left.
I called the refuge, told them I had no money, a daughter and a dog I could not leave behind, they were lovely, told me to just come and bring whatever I wanted, they would sort something out.
I stayed a few days, but I didn’t see why I should have to leave all I had behind.
I’m not talking about washing machines or TV’s, I‘m talking about photographs, presents given by long lost friends or family members that passed away, this things were my live, all me and my daughter had left, I was not going to leave then behind.
I contacted the police and asked them to meet me at my flat so I could change the locks, since I was living on the first floor it should be easier to keep him out.
The police come and the officer helped me change the lock, but even thought I wanted to press charges against him all they could do was advice me to take a retraining order, and they wouldn’t even help me with that.
For 2 days after I couldn’t leave the flat, Pat was always outside waiting, I called the police, but they said he wasn’t doing anything illegal. (Nothing seams illegal until you dead).
One morning he wasn’t there, so I got my daughter dressed for school and off we went on the way back he was hiding and tried to run me over with his van. Yet again the police could not do anything because it was my word against his.
He would come to my flat and call me a Portuguese wore, tell me to go back from where I come from. (funny enough it was him that brought me to this country)
He would go to Anne’s house and tell her he was going to kill me.
If he sow me in the streets he would come up and pouch me.
But I remained strong, I liked the feeling of being just me and Arianne, we played, laugh and slept in the same bed, it was nice. Eventually he got tiered and I got lucky, he gave up and moved back to England.
I will never know how can a person be so cruel, and hurt another so bad.
With Pat gone me and Arianne began to fell safe, I started to go out with Anne and join a computer class with few to get a job.
At the local disco I meet Daithi again, we would talk and eventually become more then friends.
His mum did not accept this at the start, but Daithi stud by me.
His parents and I have a good relationship now.
Daithi is totally different, he calls Arianne his daughter, and he helps me and supports me.
Since I started going out with him, I have been hospitalized several times, he is always there for me, and when I come home the house is tidy and there is food in the kitchen.
Daithi has fallen from the sky, I can count with him for anything.
It must be very hard on him to be in between me and his brother, but he always seams to manage.
Arianne is happy and getting over her own ghosts, as I found out that she was being sexually abused by her father during all the times she was going to visit him.
Me and Arianne are very close and support each other.
Moral of the story
I’m not special or different from other women in the same situation, but if I can do it so can you.
It’s not easy, you will feel alone and lost.
Some how you will always love him and sometimes even miss him, just keep remembering the pain and you can do it.
I am still trying to deal with it, I still have nightmares and sometimes I still jump when me and Daithi have arguments.
But I now can have an argument and put my point across, me and Arianne are free to do as we please and I have put on about 5 kilos.
I can eat, sleep and do as I please.
I will never forget the pain and humiliation, it will forever hurt me, but I am free to deal with this hurt.
My parents and me are talking again and trying to rebuild some sorte of a relationship again.
I thank my boyfriend Daithi, Arianne, Anne and the women at refuge and the Samaritans for all their help and support.
If I done it so can you. If he hit you once he will do it again, get out before it is to late. Live your life to the full, be free.
-- Anonymous, July 18, 2003