I was at court that morning to get my little girl home, she was a train journey away from me. I was only 17 and I was going out of my mind, I was losing weight, I couldn’t eat.
Constantly worried about her and what was going on when I wasn’t there. He was only supposed to have her a weekend but he got angry lost control and didn’t return her for a week, didn’t text me to tell me what was happening. I had no choice but to call the police and find out what I could do, this man had been mentally abusing me since I was 15 and attacking me, shoving me, showing me his fist, throughout the whole pregnancy and relationship. It was bad, really bad.
I had no one on my side, my mum didn’t believe me my own father had abandoned me, everyone would say its nothing or think I was making it up. I had one friend when I was pregnant who I don’t talk to now haven’t for 7 years, saw how he was first hand. She was a local hairdresser, it was one of the only places I could go to. I was controlled a great deal and I started to talk about the truths behind closed doors with her, he hated that, I had a friend to slowly confine in and slowly stopped me seeing her too.
I remember when I said I didn’t agree with something and he threatened to put my head through a car window. He said if he even caught me having a cig he would force a full packet down my throat and make me swallow them. I remember him saying one time I needed to be awake when he returned home because he would need sex. There where so many strange remarks and things said but at first never seemed as bad or dangerous.
It wasn’t until 2015 that controlling and coercive behaviour became a new law. Unfortunatly, I was in 2012 and mental abuse in relationships wasn’t really as recognised as it is today.
You never climb into a taxi thinking you will get attacked or mugged, you assume you will be safe. Just the same as you never enter a relationship thinking you will be hurt, and I don’t care what anyone says, mental abuse is extremely damaging.
Not something you can completely erase from your memory.
People assumed because I was young, and had a child, I was stupid. In fact I was the one who seeked a solicitor in the first place to arrange contact arrangements, as I couldn’t cope with doing them on my own without the support and structure. I was studying Law as an A Level and I was learning a huge deal about family law, my teacher happened to be an ex lawyer and would guide me in the right direction if I needed any answers.
My solicitor was sloppy, and the case was terrible. In the end it was the, social services and police that supported me and made sure that things where as safe and normal as possible.
She came back home safe, it was hard to think I let her go. As a mother I have a duty to ensure she is always safe always clean, fed, happy healthy.
Times where hard I was young, college student trying to better my life, yet, the state made it harder for me to do this, and simply designed it in a way where it was difficult to come away from it. There is still little support for parents who study, young people from my experience.
I enjoyed being a single parent at that point, it was fun and although I had the critisims daily and the bad mouthing the horrible comments.
As I have got older it’s just made me think that those people where so bitter and twisted and how sad of a world it is for them, that that’s how they thought and acted.
Judgments from people who had no idea the journey I had gone through or anything at all about me.
I was just automatically brushed as a slut for having her at a young age.
I didn’t think that years and years later I would get these terrible flashbacks, of being pushed onto the mattress on the floor whilst 5 months pregnant.
Pushed and shoved up against walls, if I fell asleep even towards the end of the pregnancy, he would force me awake, he didn’t like me asleep.
There are things I have seen and I have felt and places I have been in situations I have been in I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy to be in.
The further away I got from these bad places I felt as if I had been reborn and given a new life.