I didn’t realise it was as bad as it was
Not until I was out
He was very controlling. He was very clever. He almost made me believe him completely.
He was emotionally abusive – not name calling but sly, snide comments
“Oh you’re wearing that?” “That’s a bit tight”
But I got out the other side
I started to work on my own self-confidence, joined the gym and lost weight.
I felt like it was all his way; that I had been taken advantage of.
I found the strength to take some control back.
Then abuse ramped up another gear.
The manipulation, the emotional torture.
“Don’t you love me?” “Don’t you want our family to be happy?”
He made me feel so guilty I stopped doing everything.
Stopped talking to my friends, stopped seeing people – I only did what he wanted to do.
The more I did in the house the less he did.
We used to have blazing rows at the beginning – I would scream and shout.
But over the three years I got quieter and quieter.
It was as if there was no point, it didn’t matter what I did I was never right.
He even made me feel that way about the children – like I wasn’t good enough.
I was a good parent who always did the best for my kids and my family.
But my confidence was nowhere.
I thought if I reported it he would get violent.
Several times I thought he was going to be – but it was worse than that, he was smarter than that.
He knew if he marked me he wouldn’t get a second chance.
But it doesn’t mean the scars weren’t there
I thought if I reported it, it would be an admission of failure.
But now I’m stronger than ever.
I’m not ashamed.
I’ve worked incredibly hard on my self-confidence.
The gym has been such an important part of my recovery; it is the key to my mental health.
I didn’t want to go into a room of people before – with or without him.
The gym gave that back to me.
Others need to know it’s ok.
It really is.
You can get your confidence back.
It isn’t as hard as you think.
Look at everything you have endured.
Remember who you were before it started, reclaim it for yourself.
Prove to yourself you can do it.