I was just 8 when I became aware of the abuse my mum was suffering. I often wondered why she didn’t wear her hair nice, wear make-up well apart from occasionally needing to wear concealer or wear nice clothes. The only time she did any of this was when he was away, a bit strange I thought considering my friends mums always looked so glam every morning. That was a bit of the control he had.
I was fast asleep when I was suddenly awoken by screaming and my mum’s beloved dog barking. My biological father was attempting to put my mum’s dog in the fire. He had started with putting her dog bed on the fire and toys and continued with other items, from what I could hear he was blaming the dog for my mum going out, obviously dogs need walking. It was one reason my mum got her so she could escape.
But it was quite horrific; he put her on the lead and was dragging her towards the fire and then letting her go. It was a sick cruel game. She was petrified, had already come from a broken home, this was supposed to be a better life for her and he was being cruel because she needed what every dog needed and that was a walk.
Thankfully he spotted me and stopped and mum was able to pop her to the neighbours for the night. (Thankfully she was an amazing dog until the day she passed at the age of 15 and didn’t seem too bothered unless a man in black came near and wouldn’t go near a fire quite understandable).
But once I was up in bed it didn’t stop
I ended up with my 2 younger sisters in my room. My youngest sister was just one at the time, she was crying and asking for a bottle which he refused to allow her to have. It all seemed to be calm by the morning apart from a horrendous smell of burning and the antique gun missing from the wall. He had a licence at the time but it was revoked that day.
All I remember was my mum telling us all we would be OK and actually it was incredibly calm until a phone came from his work explaining he had threatened security and was at the police station. I don’t remember anything more until the police came and took him. He of course blamed my mum she made him do it.
He apparently had schizophrenia proven to be untrue it was a lie to get off. Which is such a horrible thing considering his mother had suffered from the horrendous illness for years.
So it went all quiet for a while. My mum made certain not to upset him, we made sure everything was perfectly tidy, even a small cobweb would set off an argument that would often become physical. The minute we heard the words “get to your room” we knew mum would be in a bad way. We waited for the door to slam or the sound of sirens as our neighbour would call them before we even considered moving.
It started to get very draining and although us kids were always fed mum often went without, as he would give her £30 a week expecting that to feed and put clothes on our backs. Thankfully our grandparents lived down the road so once a week mum would get a good meal, she was a tiny size 4 and incredibly sick. We always asked and offered her some of ours so she didn’t starve. He had that control as well god forbid she asked for more, she also had a car but he took that away as he refused to put fuel in it or insure it. Although he wouldn’t allow my mum to work to pay for these things.
But it was OK for him he got a 2 seater Jag of some sort meaning we had to walk 10 miles in rain,snow to school( I didn’t allow myself to look at a Jag for a long time) even though I knew my husbands dream had been to own one. It took 6 years for me to even sit in one. He does now own one but I drive it only if I have too. I have my own car but was also struggling to get one as although estates were better for us I couldn’t get in one due to a sick joke .
My dad had told me he put his friend in a coffin in the boot of an old car and half way down the road there was screaming and then he popped open the boot and his friend jumped out. Dad was high on drugs and I still struggle when driving behind one. My husband has to follow me in his Jag estate yet he has something that scares me to death. But we had to have one, I actually now own a 4×4 and he is attempting to sell his car as he knows it really upsets me, he doesn’t even park it outside the house.
But the worse memory and the one was where my mum actually asked for help from me. We had been out just mum,me and my sisters expecting dad not to be home till very late but there he was as we got in the door asking where his dinner was? Why hadn’t it been hoovered and then we got sent to our rooms.
The fighting started but went very quiet I happened to notice my neighbour wasn’t in so crept down to see if he had gone but he was strangling her on the back of the sofa she had passed out.
I started shouting and something made me grab the phone and call the ambulance service. I was glad mum had taught us how to do it.
He did a runner before the paramedics arrived. Mum came round but he had damaged something in her neck so we had to stay with my nan for a few weeks, she was OK. But when she came out the first thing she said was ‘phone the police if he starts shouting’. When he did that evening I did just that.
It seemed to shock him when a knock was at the door, he just acted so oddly, almost normal as if he hadn’t been arguing, but he was arrested for GBH as mum had been brave enough to report him when in hospital. She said no to pressing charges at the time as he had played the “I will change” card but that night put an end to it.
I remembering him coming back to the house just once. He burnt all mums clothes and anything of important to her so that meant first baby pictures of us, her nan who sadly passed 2 years later and just generally memories she had held on too.
But this was just the beginning of the recovery, my mum had no idea about what money she actually had, she had nothing, he had drained all the accounts so she was now a single mum with no money and scared. But she proved how strong she was. She got help with the finances but that was not the real problem, although she could now eat she couldn’t. She didn’t know what to do, she couldn’t relax she was diagnosed with a form of anorexia and malnutrition, no surprise when your surviving on nothing and your body has learnt to deal with it.
She was scared to have fun, laugh. But I was just about to shatter everything by telling her he had hit me and my baby sister and that is why we had to cover our legs. She had no idea as he always bathed us, obviously so she couldn’t see the bruises, but this just sent her into a spiral. I think I made it worse when I said he didn’t hit our middle sister, she was always good and apparently his reason was she didn’t look like my mum, how sick.
Mum went into severe depression and her dad had to step in and help, he was fantastic I really miss him.
She has recovered from it, got better, my step dad has become my dad and is so different and a great support.
Recovering From A Domestic Violence Childhood Is Difficult
I do worry when I get angry that I am just like him and will start to be like him. It scares me and now I am on strong anti depressants. Recovering from a domestic violence childhood is so difficult. But it does cause problems in my own marriage, getting a jag estate was just the half of it. I constantly spend money and worry my kids will not have food or what they need.
I watch my husband like a hawk if the kids are naughty, just in case he can’t deal with it although I know he can. I just don’t want my kids going through what I did. Then there was looking at houses, I turned down several because they had fires. I hate red sofas and wrought iron beds (that one baffles me I think I have blanked something out. I know my mum was raped but I cannot remember ever catching him doing that, I just don’t know).
The cars as I say, and well just antiques I have one and that is all and that is a violin. I will not allow the boys to play guns or with water guns and getting a dog was hard even though I knew it would help my depression as I had to get out everyday, we know have 2. I have taken my kids to see one of my old homes, he was learning about the past at school.
I was strong for them as they wanted to know but flash backs started and I had to get out of there I got the kids in the car and broke down, that was the house where I saw a lot and found out a lot. And also the colours of rooms, style of furniture it has to be brand new, cannot have been used, I just can’t deal with what memories they may hold.
He broke our family my younger sister is in foster care and she did blame some things on the past. I didn’t understand at the time but now I do because it affects me but in a different way. I hate him for doing that. I didn’t see her for 2 years she is now 18 and a grown woman but thankfully very close by with an amazing family who allow me to see her as often as possible and my boys adore her.
We have spoken of the past, she gets angry. I get sad.
My middle sister chooses not to say anything and blames everything on mum. She has moved 300 miles away from the area on purpose and my mum is also at the other end of the country. Me and my younger sister are the only ones in the area, I wish I wasn’t I want to get away and escape the past because 20 miles is just not far enough.
I know he found me. I spent so many years hiding, didn’t even go on the electoral roll and used my step dads surname. But he did find me last year. He posted an obscene image though my door. It was a beaten woman, I will spare you any more details,and photos of me going about my day to day business ,there were months worth.
I now have cameras in the house and my car, take my dogs everywhere if I’m not with hubby or a close friend. I am wary of men, anyone shouting and I didn’t see everything. I am annoyed it took my mum 10 years to get out I am angry with the fact she put us in that position but I do understand he had a hold on her, made her feel worthless. So I suppose I am more angry with him for what he did.
Please anyone reading this and thinking I can’t leave do it! Do it for your kids, you can it will be OK, get a good counsellor, seek support. Just get out before they kill you !!! This monster almost killed my mum don’t be another statistic there is help.
This inspirational post was written anonymously by a mum who is a member of myFacebook mums group. I have full permission to share her story. If you can relate to this post and would like to share your own anonymous post please contact me.
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