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My Story

My Story

12 years ago I spent the night with him the next morning he completely disappeared without a trace and I never heard from him again, I put it down to a one night stand, as you do.
Time passed and I moved on with my life, I completely forgot about him until Facebook was created anyway. Then suddenly the world now had a way of communicate with people that you had not seen for years, and he became one of them, I was surprised at first that he had got in touch with me after all these years.
If only I knew then what I know now, then I really wouldn’t have put myself through the two years of heartbreak which lead to me becoming so ill with stress, that my body couldn’t cope and led to my stroke at the age of 31.
I accepted his friend request and started chatting daily to him and we caught up on each other’s lives’ and we caught up on what each of us had been doing all these years. He arranged to come over and visit so that we could catch up properly, I accepted and when he arrived in the town I met up with him for a drink, that night went extremely well and we arranged to meet again the next weekend, the second time we meet was even better than the first and we seem to click so brilliantly.
The relationship began as a long distance one and he would travel each weekend to come and see me and there would be a few times that I even paid his train fare myself so that we could be together. Unknown to me at the time he still had a girlfriend at the other end in where he lived, but has you do when your smitten with someone you believe everything they say and I believed him when he said that he had ended it with her.
This man continued to sweep me off my feet and delivered to me what no other man had, he would tell me I was beautiful every day and that he was going to give me an amazing life and make me so happy, he would turn up with flowers and gifts and we would have amazing weekends and count down the days till we saw each other again.
No man had ever said or promised them things to me before and so this is why I was easily groomed by him. After around 4 months of seeing each other I was that groomed and blinded by love that I asked him to move in with me and my two children. I had lived on my own has a single parent for 11 years so inviting someone in to my home was a major turning point for me and my children.
I asked my children what they thought about us living together and they completely agreed because he had won them over too. When I invited him to come and live with us he said he would but he didn’t want to live in the town where I was living and thought we should rent a house in the countryside. So I started looking for a property in the surrounding villages around 6 miles out of town and in next to no time I found a rather large house in the country and me and the kids moved in and I changed my children’s school.
When I and the children had lived there for a month he then moved in and came to join us. Life was bless, I had a lovely house in the country, my business was still doing well and the children had settled into school and my partner treated me like a princess.
He proposed to me over the phone one evening because he said he was too shy to do it to my face, I accepted and felt on top of the world, and so we started to plan the wedding and booked our reception in the pub which was located in the village next to ours.
We became friends with the landlord of the pub and became regulars and we would often dine there on a weekend. My partner started spending more time at that pub, he’s drinking increased and his attitude completely changed. He was replaced with a nasty, horrible, selfish person that would put me down and accuse me of sleeping with anyone I came into contact with.
I would be tortured all evening after he had had a drink and he would sit at the end of the bed after rolling in from the pub (again) and wake me and make me listen to him talking complete drunken crap till he fell asleep. Sometimes it was not good enough to just have my attention, no, he would have to go wake my children up even though they had school the next day and continue to talk mindless crap to them too.
Each mid -morning would be the same, around 10-30-11am, He would ring me on his break at work, first it would be a thousand sorrys followed by tears and then a few lines of “I will never do it again, I promise”, and of course I fell for it time and time again and allowed him to tug at my heart strings and play at my guilt for thinking I could leave him.
His drinking became worse and so did he, His wages would be gone in one weekend and all the household bills would be left to me to pay, it even got to the stage where I was paying solely for the wedding! At this stage he began to give up on himself, he wouldn’t wash for days or have a haircut for months and he began to stink like a chimney with the increase of **** he smoked and stale beer in the mornings.
Some mornings he couldn’t even be bothered to go to work or I couldn’t get him to wake up due to him still being drunk from the night before and he would be laid in wet clothes where he had pissed himself and slept in them. Some mornings he would make me ring his boss and tell him yet more lies why he wouldn’t be at work that day.
I did threaten to leave him many of times, but like every portraiture they could win an award for the tears they cry and the begging of you not to leave them, which then pulls at your heart strings again, and plays with your guilt again, and is then followed by promises of them never going to do it again!, and you of course love them so dearly and want to help them and so your intentional reaction is forgiveness.
Things improve for a few weeks and everything becomes rosy again, you feel like you did at the start of the relationship in “the honeymoon period”, but then them few weeks come to an end and the ugly monster raises its ugly head again. His eyes will change and your stomach lunges with disappear has the fear burns up inside of you because you know full well what’s about to come.
Just like before the nightmare of living with him replays itself, you can’t do anything right and neither can the children and your accused of sleeping or fancying everyone you come in to contact with, he leers over you in bed and tells you how useless you are and why would he want to marry a **** like you? , you endure this for another few hours till he falls asleep…..the same cycle has before.
The many of times he tortured me I would of rather he hit me, because at least with a slap or a punch it is a short sharp pain that is over within seconds, with mental abuse the pain cuts through your heart like a sharp knife, the disbelief that your loving partner has turned into this animal is just so hard to bear, it leaves you shocked, scared and fearing for your life and the once happy confident person you were is now replaced with an emotionally wreak who jumps every time you hear his key in the door.
The headaches became often and the dizziness followed, I ignored them at first and just put it down to the stress of working full time, running the household and planning a wedding but then the panic attacks would kick in and I would find myself gripping hold of the trolley in the supermarket willing myself not to fall over, trying to gain control of my breathing again and hope not to pass out. The dizziness increased and then blind spots would appear in my eyes, leaving me unable to read or see in front of my face.
I visited the doctor and he could find no sign of anything wrong with me, he asked if I was under any stress and I lied and said no, he then give me advice that I should of took then, he said “if you have something in your life at this present moment that is causing you stress then do yourself the favour of cutting it out your life before it makes you ill”. …(mmmm ding dong, big sign to ditch your abusive partner there!!). I did what every other victim does and lived in denial and lied again to him and said there was nothing wrong.
By now my home was no longer a home, has you know home is where a person should feel relaxed and happy and contented and not be feared of their partner or walking around on eggshells so to not upset him so that world war 3 wouldn’t start again. He’s drinking continued and he became worse to the point where the guy no longer knew what he was doing, sinking 10-15 pints of Guinness a day had now become an everyday routine, he didn’t care who he was hurting around him has long as he had his daily trip to the pub and his nightly abuse towards me, he didn’t care and was completely in denial of it all.
I left the house early one morning to catch the bus in to town to do some shopping ,has I waited at the bus stop I could feel a panic attack arising and my breathing became short sharp breaths that felt like they didn’t even fill a corner of my lungs.
I boarded the bus and sat down to begin my journey to town, I Suddenly had blind spots appeared in my eyes again. This made me panic even more, it was now a struggle to breath properly, my head spinning, it took all my mental strength to try and stand up and walk along the bus aisle, I just managed to step off the bus when it stopped at the bus stop. I turned the corner and propped myself up against the wall.
Pins and niddles now started to shoot from my shoulder down to my fingers and my arm became completely numb. I started to panic and cry, oh god what was happening to me???. I had no control over my body and it was scaring me, Strangers in the street passed me and could see I was in an emotional state, but I didn’t care what they though, they were not in my situation right now.
It suddenly sprung to me that I had to get to the hospital which was situated up the road from the town centre; I shoved my numb hand in my pocket and proceeded towards the hospital. God only knows how I managed that ten minute walk, but I did it. I walked through the reception doors of the hospital and was greeted by a male nurse. I told him that I thought I maybe having a funny reaction to something, he took me in to a side room where there where cubical and told me to lie on the bed.
Just has I lied on the bed my right hand side completely went numb from my toes right the way up to the side of my head, My tongue also went numb, I began to panic more, the nurse kept telling me to calm down, but I couldn’t , how could I ?.. I had just lost control of the right hand side of my body, it’s hardly something to be chilled and calm about is it.
I was hooked up to an heart monitor and my heart rate was 125 beats per minute and increasing, the nurse stood to my left and repeated over and over “calm down, please try to control your breathing, because if your heart rate goes any higher you will have to be rushed to another hospital and you could go into cardiac arrest”. I took control of my breathing and my heart rate began to drop slowly, however my right hand side was still numb with painful pins and niddles shooting up and down my body.
The nurse then asked me my name, I proceeded to tell her but I couldn’t say it, instead it came out has a stutter ….Ka..Ka..Ka…, after 3 times I give up, the tears fell from my face, I couldn’t even do what we all take for granted every minute of every day, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t say my own name. The nurse rested his hand on my shoulder and said its fine I will let you rest for ten minutes and we will try again. I nodded my head has I wiped away my tears with the hand I could move.
I rested my head back on the pillow and began to realise full well why I was laid in this bed right now, and what has caused me to be in this state, it was his doing, all of it was !.
He arrived at the hospital 20 minutes after I arrived and came and sat beside me, all I could do was bore my eyes into him and feel strong hate against him. That’s when it became clear to me that he will never change, a little voice came from deep inside repeated it’s self over and over till it became a scream in my head “LEAVE HIM” !.
The feeling in my right hand side started to come back and I could move again, I still had pins and niddles shooting up and down my body, but at least I could move better than I did, by the time the nurse arrived back in the room I could just about speak again. I told him my name and the rest of my details, he then told me to lay back and rest some more and see how I get on in the next hour or so.
My head began to pond it felt has if a train had crashed through my head and a massive wave of tiredness hit me and I felt sleepy. I closed my eyes because I didn’t want to stare at the person who had caused me to be in this state, in fact I wished him away there and then.
Has I closed my eyes I relived everything over the last two years , the drinking , the mental abuse, the day he trapped my leg three times in the door , the one time he give me a black eye and I had to greet my kids with it on mother’s day !, the time I had him arrested and dropped the charges because I thought I could change him, the lies he told me, the empty promises to change, the constant put downs, the constant accusations of sleeping with anything that moved etc…etc..etc.…I couldn’t change this man, nobody could, he is what he is and there was no changing him.
I left the hospital nearly three hours later and went straight home to bed; I laid there for two weeks recovering from that day, finally when I did get to the doctors the results said it was a suspected stroke but couldn’t be 100% sure. Hearing the words suspected stroke was enough to give me the biggest wakeup call I had ever had in my life, I could have died because of him. !
I told him my test results just before I cancelled our wedding 6 weeks before it’s date, I then proceeded to pack all his things and chuck him out of my house. I felt no pity for the tears that came down his face; neither did I feel pity for him having nowhere to go. Something inside me refused to give a **** anymore, I wanted this man gone and out my life.
The atmosphere in the house completely changed without him there, it was so much more relaxed, I felt as if a ton weight had been lifted off my chest and I could breathe again, no more walking around on eggshells and me and the kids could voice are opinion’s without his black cloud looming over us.
Something inside me had completely taken over and it was like I was not even in control of my own actions, within 48 hours I had cancelled my wedding, chucked that horrible man out my house and found a new home back in my home town. I amazed myself by my own inner strength. I moved into my new home on the 8th of Aug 2011 and slowly started to rebuild my life. Even though you have left your abusive partner you still have to mourn the loss of the relationship and somehow find the strength each day to just go to work, tidy the house and see to the kid’s.
The pain of losing him started to fade and I started to smile again, I started decorating my new home and life was repairing it’s self slowly but surely, I started enjoying company of friends again and it was great to start feeling alive again……but unfortunately nothing was about to prepare me for what came next.
Just when I had thought my life was repairing itself I get knocked well and truly on my arse again, only this time it had nothing to do with my ex, it was to do with my 14 year old daughter, she rang me in tears one afternoon to tell me that she had been raped. My brain wouldn’t take in what I was hearing; I just felt numb, sick and shocked.
Here I was again feeling like the bottom had completely fallen out of my world AGAIN!, the next couple of months was a blur of sleepless nights, visiting rape centres and police interviews, I would find myself staring at the wall some days and questioning what the hell have I done wrong to endure this much emotional pain ?....Why me?.
Even though it effected my daughter really bad for the first couple of months her strength began to shine through and she pinned all her hopes on her attacker being brought to justice, I mean why wouldn’t he , after all my daughter was only 1 of 5 girls who had pressed charges against him. I was extremely nervous on the day of the verdict and waiting for the result was like waiting for Christmas.
The verdict completely crushed my daughter that hard she needed counselling, her attacker was subjected to a 12 month behaviour contract….(in other words a slap on the wrist !) and also to add insult to injury, the council moved his family into a council flat which was situated on the same road has out house!. So my daughter had to walk passed his flat every morning on the way to school, she started to suffer panic attacks and wouldn’t walk down the street alone, when thee attackers mother would pass my daughter in the street she would give my daughter fowl looks, has if to say she was to blame, when really she was the one who had completely failed has a parent, she had obviously taught her son that it was fine to carry on doing what he was doing to young girls…some as young as 12 may I just add!.
So has you can see I was yet again a completely broken person, I had no one to turn to and no one to understand what I was going through, by day I was wearing the brave mask for my child and by night I was crying myself to sleep with heartbreak.
I decided to plunge myself into decorating my house, at least with work, decorating and bringing up the kids this would keep me busy and keep my mind active so that I couldn’t dwell on my current emotional state. I started unpacking some boxes which I had not yet unpacked due to decorating and in one box I found one of my ex- partners books which he had brought with him when he had moved in with me, the book was called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I was about to throw the book in the bin because I didn’t want anything of his in my new house, but something stopped me and I turned the first page and began to read it, I couldn’t put the book down and within two days I had read the book completely, the book introduced you to the law of attraction and explained that if you saw the positive in even the most negative of times you could attract more of the positive to you.
I began to turn my thoughts around and started to think positive, my emotional state of mind improved and positive things were attracted to me, I met my current partner Matthew and the light at the end of the tunnel started to become brighter. I started researching into The Secret and found out Rhonda Byrne had made it in to a film. I bought the film on DVD and since watching that film my life has done a complete turnaround.
The film led to me to one of the teachers in the film, his name is Jack Canfield who is a multi-million pound selling author, coach and motivation speaker in America, and he has broken the Guinness world record for having 7 book titles on the New York Times bestsellers list in just one day.
I became Jack’s student on his success principles coaching program 4 short months ago and in that time I have re-programmed my thoughts, actions and feelings, read 25 books so far and I also enrolled on a Bob Proctor 6 week programme. I have written two books already and this will be my third. I have started my own campaign for domestic violence in which I conduct workshops and seminars to teach other survivors how they can also turn their lives around, and I will fight to have domestic violence taught in the educational system, so that the younger generation is then aware of what is right in relationships and what is wrong. This could then save the lives of the next generation, I have also signed with an international media company and my story is about to go nationwide in magazines, papers and T.V.
I will continue to proceed with my work and continue to fight no matter what!. My goal is to run my own coaching company and to turn around the many lives that are destroyed by domestic violence. Also even set up a housing scheme for survivors, so they can live in a safe environment till they get back on their feet and I will continue to use my experience to fuel my fire to do so.

So if I can do it, then so can you!
I am a survivor not a victim!

Kate Gardner
Join me in my campaign at www.facebook.com/freedomandempowermentcampaign
FreedomandEmpowermentCampaign FreedomandEmpowermentCampaign 31-35, F 1 Response Aug 10, 2012

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I wanted to start by saying this story has been very insperational.<br />
I have been a victim of abuse for most of my life. Any where from emotional<br />
Sexual and the most recent physical. Although your story is not the same<br />
As mine it really helps to hear that atleast some of us have a happy ending.<br />
I have been diagnosed with ptsd and manic bipolar and not only struggle with that<br />
But two children lol. Being "disabled" is a fulltime job and so is having<br />
Two kids...so basically I work 48 hours a day ;). I try very hard to stay<br />
Positive but catch myself lashing out on my "light at the end of the tunnel" due<br />
To flash backs. I have just recently figured out that that is what is going on.<br />
I never noticed because I black things out...just finding that out too.<br />
Anyways I'm writing this to tell you thank you for sharing this and I'm glad your alive to <br />
Help the people that are still dealing with recovery

Michaela,
Thank you so much for your kind words, my story one of the many domestic abuse experiences I have had. I too have had physical, mental and sexual abuse in my life time and it all started at the age of 13 years old. It took me till I was 32 to actually have a normal reletionship. I had a crap childhood and my parents were alcholics, I know what you mean by flash backs , I suffered from them too when I was in my mid twenties, which led to my drink and drugs problems. I became that depressed that I tried to commit suicide too.
I really hope you find a happy ending like me, I seem to gain more strengh though the people who I help through my campaign and I have started coaching people, seeing the hope I have given them really makes me happy and gives me an inner peace. I know how hard it is, I have been there.
Keep them positive thoughts flowing and I hope the very best for you and your children.
much love
Kate xx