I never thought it would happen to me09:40
"I never thought it would happen to me." The words of everyone who has ever had something bad happen to them and the words which I've found myself saying almost everyday after admitting what has been happening in my life for the best part of three years.
I've seen countless adverts on TV about domestic violence, urging people to get help. I halfheartedly watched them, dismissing the message as if this couldn't really be a problem, I thought if that ever actually happened, obviously you'd just simply leave. Just get up and go. And if someone really did ever try to physically hurt you, you'd obviously just hit him back and defend yourself...and then leave. As simple as that. The reality is, of course so different to this. My old naive, innocent view of this problem has well and truly been brought back down to reality. It started almost 3 years ago and it's only now that I can admit that it happened.
Over the last few weeks I have brought myself to admit it to a few close friends, each time when I said the words out loud it felt like I was hearing it for the very first time! I always told myself that if I ever told anyone about it, then it would 100% be the end of the relationship, perhaps that was the reason I put it off for so long? If my housemates didn't hear him slamming me against the wall, throwing me to the floor, pinning me to the bed and hitting me in my face, then I still don't think I would have ever told anyone. But why would I want the relationship to continue, if violence and anger were such a big part of it. How did I get so sucked in? I was supposed to "just walk away, just leave" remember?
I spent hours crying and desperate to tell somebody, I searched pages and pages online looking for some sort of help, a helpline which I could call or just for somebody, anyone to speak to about it. For some reason I felt that I couldn't tell my family, least of all because of how angry it would make him. At the beginning he would cry and tell me how sorry he was, in the end he would just tell me that it was my fault, it pains me to admit it but I started adapting my behavior to suit his moods, when he was tense, I was scared. I would tip toe around him in desperation not to make him angry.
I used to walk through my days like a zombie, he was constantly on my mind, thinking about what he'd done, how he could do that to me, maybe that was the last time, maybe he'll change now, maybe if I'm nicer to him he'll realise and stop. I would look at strangers in the street and try desperately to tell them what was happening through just a look. Why wouldn't anyone help me? Surely they must know, surely they can see what's happening. I wondered if anyone else was experiencing the same thing? I convinced myself each time that it was just a one off, he surely won't do it again, not after this time, no way. Maybe if I just pretend it never happened then we can move on and forget about it all?
When my housemates actually heard him, it felt like a massive relief, it felt like I'd just broke through the waters surface and gasped my first breath of air after so long. I couldn't hide it anymore. And it really was me hiding it; using makeup to cover a black eye, wearing clothes that hid my bruises and telling lies about where they came from. Their horror and shock comforted me and made me feel safe. I walked away from him. For the first time since this began, I had someone else there to turn to other than him. Talking, saying it out loud, was like I say, like hearing it for the very first time. I found myself shocked at my own words, at my own experiences as bad memory upon bad memory came flooding out of my mouth. I never wanted to hurt this boy, I never wanted people to think bad of him, I was so used to defending him and there I was telling someone the truth, finally. It took me so long to take that first step and I know I never would have taken it if I hadn't have been forced. I thank the girl who saved me from the bottom of my heart.