BSc (Hons) Open Student at The Open University (Final Academic Year = 2021 – 2022). BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) Student at University (Final [3rd] Year = Currently deferred). Student Leadership Academy (Swansea University) 2020 Participant. #FutureLeaders Health Care Support Worker. Chihuahua, Chorkie, Rankin Dragon and Tortoise Mami. Currently Divorcing. On a Healing Journey. Baby Witch Learning about Wicca.
August 23rd 2021 = Primary Mental Health Assessment Day.
The dreaded and long awaited (not really, I only waited a few weeks) telephone call with my Local Primary Mental Health Team.
It actually went well. It was not my first time having an assessment, but I must say, I did prefer this telephone method, as well as the assessment itself being better, I felt more at ease than previous assessments.
I won’t go into much detail at the moment, as I want to ensure I get the right support first and avoid any further excuses and delays to my Divorce (The Divorce is on the final stage, so I can apply whenever, however, waiting on finances and property….still). But when I feel it is appropriate I will be more open. I am also very aware that people are going out of their way to look into my life and pass details over to certain people – But at the end of the day I have nothing to hide, I am telling the truth and if you want to condone abuse and violence, then do not bother trying to use the words ‘Be Kind’ or ‘Mental Health Matters.’ For those of you ‘Flying monkeys’ (Google it if you are unsure) and those saying you support mental health, support domestic abuse victims or even work in bealth services, teaching or caring industries-You are a hypocrite and should find a job in a more relevant area!!
I felt reassured that I am not ‘crazy’ or ‘imagining things’ as I have previously been told. It was a reality check for my mind, that it isn’t just physical abuse that leaves scars, but gaslighting and emotional abuse too, especially over a period of time.
I fear for those that still have the real side to experience, I fear their happiness and their lives. It is hard to adjust when you have shared your story (or part of it) and go unbelieved or not heard. There is only so much you can do.
When things got to a certain point in my marriage, they started getting even tougher. Nobody warned me that leaving and choosing my life would be the first step. I thought healing and getting over a break up would be the second hurdle. What I was not prepared for, was speaking up and telling my story and that completely backfiring on me.
I was petrified,but tried to stay as civil as I could, still walking on eggshells, until I got my belongings and legal matters where complete, then I could simply draw a line and move on. I was not expecting things to go downhill from there either.
I thought I would be believed. Who lies about domestic abuse? Apparently more people than you would think! For some reason, there are quite a few people out there, who think I am lying and causing problems. When I can say with my hand on my heart, that I am telling the truth.
I am (or was) always a creative person and have chosen to direct that creativity into exploring what has really happened to me. But that seems to have also backfired on me.
Now I am scared to be open again.
I am scared to tell my story.
I am worried about mutual friends because someone has been causing trouble and showing what I post to my abuser.
Despite knowing I have proof for the things I say, that they did happen and that Domestic Abuse, especially emotional abuse and gaslighting, are not talked about enough. I feel ashamed of my story and fearful of trying to be open and help others, because of the people that say it is lies and slander.
Leaving a relationship is challenging, especially so if that relationship involved a bad ending or abuse. But when people you have known, been related to through marriage, worked with or even complete strangers are being led to believe lies and that my truth is a lie, just to get some sort of revenge – that hurts.
My revenge is living. I did not end my own life.
I SURVIVED AND I LEFT FOR MY SAFETY AND I CHOSE MY LIFE.
As a lot of us do, I head over to Google in order to check that my understanding of the word ‘accusations’ is correct. It is defined by a quick search as – what I thought it was. Which is;
I am not one to openly throw around accusations, there is one thing I questioned recently, I won’t go into it, but basically I was approached and told something and when I questioned it, the dates didn’t add up 100%, so it was left like that. However I did state at the time of questioning that I was waiting for further information to back that information up.
Today I was told I had made “many accusations” against someone. Now technically, I have made claims, but NONE of these are lies. I have been an anxious and scared mess for far too long and I refuse to hide any more. I cannot live in a heightened state of fear forever. I cannot. I refuse to.
This is a short and sweet post, really to vent some feelings, following a day that started with some production, getting some important financial things for the divorce set in place. Before moving on to going through old photos, many of them I had not seen before, with my Mam and sister. Cooking homemade meatballs and sauce and eating at the dinner table with my Mam, sister and brother, before ending the so far so good day with some messages putting me in a rather negative mindset (again).
I’m not playing anybody’s games anymore. The Whatsapp ‘BLOCK’ button has now been used. I cannot take this negativity anymore. All I was trying to do was get things moving and organise things, apparently it isn’t the most important thing to do now – despite my ex planning on ‘kicking me out’ two months before me filing for divorce. But apparently I am the one rushing things.
I just want this all over. I want to be free and out of someone else’s control.
I was sat in my home, practising my Safe Medicate (Maths for my Nursing Degree), unaware that the year ahead was about to change so much – and not just because of the Coronavirus!!
Other than the issues that came along with the Coronavirus, the last 12 months for me have resulted in me filing for divorce from my Wife.
Am I upset?……….Deeply
Am I hurt?……….Very
Am I showing it?……….No
Is there a reason for that?……….Yes
The reason for me not showing my sadness and hurt is simple. I was expecting it. I knew things were tough and I knew, despite thinking things would change, they never did and never would-not in the way that results in a happy marriage anyway. What I did not expect was the lies, sneaking around, cheating and gaslighting that came along with the ongoing problems.
This image was taken around a year ago, at my 29th Birthday Meal. It may have a filter applied to it, but I am smiling, I look happy and during that meal, I was happy. However, behind the smile, behind the shining blue eyes lay a secret. I wanted to be dead, I wanted to hurt myself, I wanted to grab my dogs and go somewhere we could never be found. My antidepressants were, and still are, at a high dose. My anxiety sky high and self esteem pretty much non-existent. I hate speaking to people, going out and have more bad days than good. I doubt everything I say, I do. The clothes I wear and decisions I make. My pain and fatigue flares (which led to a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) where pretty much never ending. I have been programmed to think everything I say and do is wrong. My gut instinct, that proved to be correct, was and often still is even doubted.
I will never doubt my gut again!!
I am now sitting in my, still legally, jointly owned home, here for the purpose of work, alongside going through the house, sorting out my possessions, packing and working out what needs going through to decide ‘who gets what.’ Within a couple of hours of arriving here, the pain and fatigue flare hit. I am not saying I’ve had no flares since leaving, but my second day here was more or less wasted as I could not move. Proving to myself that extreme levels of stress does result in a flare-also helping to explain many flares that have happened over the last few years. So far in 2021 my flares have been minimal-I put this down to factors such as leaving a toxic environment and relationship. That may sound harsh, but the reality is that it was toxic. No good for either of us, especially myself.
I sit here, mid-afternoon, staring at piles of things that still need going through, a hallway that needs clearing and the box room being the only 100% gone through room (with the exception of a box by the door that just needs moving out, a black bag and 2 bags of recycling I need to put outside. I look at these items thinking that they make up nearly a third of my life, married or seeing one person (we were engaged 2 weeks after starting to see each other and married on our 2 year anniversary). Some items I had before, some gained during this time. Some of my items I will take with me and either keep or destroy, larger items will either stay here and never be seen again by me and others will stay here as long as possible, until I have to put them into storage. That itself will cost me a lot of money, that I will need to find.
I will be losing my home. I pretty much have already. I cannot help but compare myself, many people I went to school with are buying homes, getting married, engaged or having children. I’ve lost my trust, marriage and home- I will be divorced. It definitely is not how I saw myself at 30 when picturing my future as a younger person.
You may ask “Why is she sharing this?” My reasons could be listed below, but I am only going to give one reason here, my main reason, which is to share my experience, well some of it, normalising a less “perfect” portrayal of people online. We only ever seem to see celebrity news or “perfect” lives online and in reality people are going through a tough time. People are being forced to keep quiet or portray themselves as happy or show that nothing is wrong.
I am speaking up for myself. I refuse to hide anymore. I have spent too long being quiet, saying nothing or only saying what I was allowed to say and I have been hiding my true self because I was told “they won’t understand” or “it isn’t worth it” and resulted in people not liking me or seeing me in a different way, criticizing me or even shouting at me and talking badly behind my back to others, all because they are not seeing the real me. So I ask you kindly, if you are reading this and do know me. Maybe now is the time to talk to me, get to know me now, with no other influence on how I act, what I say or do and then form your own judgement. It may take me some time to build myself back up, but I will be ME again.
The World cloud above contains 100 words, phrases, signs of domestic abuse. I could have gone on and on but had to stop somewhere. Abuse takes many forms and it is not always a Man doing it to a Woman!!
According to the ‘Office For National Statistics’ Crime Survey for Wales and England‘ the figures estimated 5.5% of adults aged 16-74 years old experienced domestic abuse in the last year (Year ending March 2020). That works out to be 2.3 million people. 1,288,018 domestic abuse related incidents were Police reported, although Greater Manchester Police are not included in this figure. Although 41% (529,077) of these incidents were not then recorded as a crime, the other 59% (758,941) were recorded as a crime related to domestic-abuse.
BBC News reported an 80% increase in people contacting them during the first 2020 UK Coronavirus Lockdown. Many other social media and News sources have written about the impact of lockdown and Coronavirus on abuse and how it has worsened during these times.
They also provided the below services; (click here to see the publication)
For information and support on domestic abuse, contact:
Police: 999 press 55 when prompted if you can’t speak
Refuge UK-wide 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247
Welsh Women’s Aid Live Fear Free 24-hour helpline: 0808 80 10 800
Scotland National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriages 24-hour helpline: 0800 027 1234
Online webchats and text services are also available.
I aim to raise more awareness and write more about this when I feel the time is right for me, but please get some support if you are experiencing abuse or something doesn’t feel right. Please do not go through it alone.
In the UK you are still legally allowed to flee abuse if your area is in lockdown. Women’s aid offer some good resources and things to consider during lockdown and Coronavirus – click here.