SO this week was White Ribbon Day. Awareness for domestic violence against women.
I am all for this 'awareness' day BUT I think it should just be AWARENESS FOR ALL VIOLENCE.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, MEN, CHILDREN & ANIMALS.
I'm NOT down playing the importance of raising awareness of domestic violence against women.
So much so that I thought I would share with you my story of domestic violence that not many
(if any ) of you know.
I was 22.
I had very little self esteem and confidence due to instances in my life up to this point (that's another blog post)
I met him when I started bar tending at a new bar.
We instantly clicked.
He was hilarious, charming, lovely and told me many many times how wonderful & gorgeous I was.
We became serious.
It was great working with my boyfriend at first. We would joke around and laugh and it made work fun. I hadn't laughed that much in ages.
It began after about 4 months of a fantastic relationship.
He would grab me by my upper arm very very hard behind the bar and whisper into my ear "I see you looking at that guy. Don't you fucking look at him".
We would go out after work with a group and he would be smiling & laughing at everyone but as soon as we were alone he would stab his finger into my forehead and put his face right up to mine and hiss "Don't you fucking LOOK at anyone! You are a fucking SLUT".
I had NO idea why he was doing this. I have never been a flirt or acted sexy in my life.
Then he would suddenly flip back into awesome BF. Everybody LOVED him. Everyone would tell me how LUCKY I was.
One night I finished work at 2am & we had organised for me to go back to his unit as he had the night off. I got there and knocked on the door. I saw his bedroom light go on. .. but he didn't answer the door. So I called out for him to let me in and knocked again. His light went off and he left me locked out. I had no money to get a cab home and it was winter and freezing.
I pleaded for him to let me in but he wouldn't . I ended up curled up on his door mat sleeping on the balcony. When he opened the door in the morning he was all loving and calling me a silly duffer and saying he didn't hear me. I convinced myself that was true.
This would not be the last time he locked me out.
One night at work he grabbed my arm at work & pulled me into the back room and shoved my hand under the steam spout of the cappuccino machine and got right up into my face "I see you looking at THEM. I hear you talking about ME and laughing at ME. You slut I'll fucking burn you".
Suddenly my bar manager appeared and he let me go. "is everything ok here?" "Yes" i replied not making eye contact.
He was eventually fired from this job because he smashed a pint glass on the bar & threatened me with it. He was escorted out by security and banned from the premises.
Did I leave him?
I believed that I WAS a little slut & I was in the wrong. If only I hadn't have done that thing, looked at that person, said that thing, smiled at that customer.
I took to working double and somtimes triple shifts because work was the only place I was safe. I would sleep in the change room or eat room. But, no matter what time I left he was waiting.
Literally waiting outside all the time.
He would go through phases where he was boyfriend of the year for about a month. He was amazing. We would go out for dinner. He would tell me I was wonderful and that he loved me.
I started to believe that I must be going insane. How could THIS wonderful caring man be a monster? No no it MUST be me.
Then it would come back.
One night I was having a shower and he decided I had been in there too long. He stormed in & dragged me out of the shower, naked & wet & threw me on the floor and started stabbing his finger into my forehead with his nose & mine almost touching. "What are you doing in here??? Why are you taking so fucking long??"
The weird thing is that we rarely had sex. He wasn't interested. I took this personally and believed that I must truly be awful & hideous if he wasn't even interested in me sexually.
By this time he was living with me in my shared flat with two other girls but because I was a shift worker & was working 12 hours + a day I rarely saw them. They loved him.
He was so charming & funny and would do things around the house & housework.
They told me that thought I had scored a great bloke. I was so lucky.
One day we were walking along near a park and he was talking to me about something and I was lost in my thought of how not to piss him off today when he grabbed me, swung me around and screamed "Fucking RESPOND when I talk to you!!"
I started crying and saying sorry sorry sorry.
He responded by throwing me into a chain fence and getting up into my face again telling me how pathetic I am.
Then suddenly it was like he switched and he would say softly" oh baby come here. I'm so sorry. You are amazing. Let me give you a hug".
We are now about 8 months into our 'relationship' and I have now lost the strength to fight anymore.
Almost exactly 9 months to the day I get home from work to find him in the kitchen.
His eyes are BLACK. I know that look.
He has a piece of paper in his hand.
"What the fuck is this?" He snarls.
I reply that I don't know.
"It is a note from Peter at work asking if you are coming to the staff barbecue".
"YOU ARE FUCKING PETER AREN'T YOU YOU LITTLE SLUT!!"
Something happens in my brain. Everything suddenly gets very very clear and it is like someone has turned up the clarity and colour in the world.
I feel.............. very very calm.
I have decided that it is over. I am ready.
I am ready to die.
"Yep. Yep I fucked him & all of the other blokes at work"
His eyes widen & get even darker.
"We stand around and talk about you & we laugh at you. You are a huge joke. You think I love you. I hate you. I'm using you and you are the one who is pathetic".
He storms around the counter to me with his fists balled up tight.
I feel............. nothing.
I am not frightened. I am relieved. It will soon be over.
He puts his hands around my throat & slams me into the wall and begins to squeeze.
I... begin to
I am so happy. And I can't stop laughing even as I start to see pin pricks of light floating around me.
He releases me & collapses to the ground.
Heavy loud sobbing.
He curls up crying.
I stand over him.
I feel....... STILL.
I tell him to get his stuff & get out.
He looks up at me. .. says nothing & goes upstairs.
I calmly pour myself a glass of wine and sit at the table.
After half an hour he comes down with a big suitcase packed.
He calls his father. Does not look at me and doesn't talk to me.
He walks out the front to wait.
I close the door & lock it.
I go back to the table and drink some more.
I never saw or heard from him again.
about 6 months ago. 20 YEARS LATER.
I walked into the coffee shop next to my work & he was there in front of counter.
I couldn't breathe.
I about faced & walked out.
I haven't seen him since.