Q:

I'm lost and need advice

Hi Jude, I am 27 years old, in a relationship or was. I have been physically abused for the past five years and had taken my partner to court twice for violent abuse. Went through counselling sessions where he denied there were problems. He gets drunk all the time and comes home causing problems. I have had to call the police to remove him recently because I was scared he will beat me again. We have three kids together. He runs me down, calling me an ugly b**** and that I am fat and I should be ashamed for using his money. He leaves me feeling sad and lower than ever. Many times he comes back acting all nice then he starts all over again. His friends and family have turned on me because he tells them he's the victim and I'm ‘sick' in the head. Police have told me to leave him and I do but he comes back trying to be all sorry. I am soft hearted and gullible. However, I want advice from you. I'm not feeling high in spirits right now. We don't share the same bed together as he would rather sleep in the lounge. We don't eat together and rarely go out together so I'm assuming he only wants a place to stay and someone to do his house work. When I tell him to leave he hurts my feelings by running me down then claiming what's his in the house. Can you please give me some advice as I'm lost and need advice.


A:

Thank you for your question. I do want you to know that what you are doing in taking him back many times is actually quite normal for a lot of us women in situations like yours. I would have to say that you are doing well at this point because you have identified what you believe his intention to be (you said ‘so I'm assuming he only wants a place to stay and someone to do his house work) and that is good. That is partly acknowledging and identifying the situation for what it is.

I would like us to focus on you because you and your children are the priority. I would like to tell you that there is absolutely no way are you ‘sick' in the head or fat or ugly. Please believe that. This is what some men do to us to try and make us feel bad about ourselves so they can control us.

I suggest that you make contact with an agency in your local area that offers counselling and programmes that support women through these times. I would also suggest that you talk to someone about getting counselling and support for your children because they have also been affected by the abuse you have been subjected to and it is now a proven fact that children, even if they are not directly on the receiving end of the abuse and only witnessing it, will be affected by it. So there is an urgency here in not only getting you help and support but also your children. We definitely don't want your children to grow up and repeat this cycle of violence and its effects so intervention is crucial.

Let's talk a little more about you. For you to have been through this violent abuse for five years it would have worn you down and taken you to a place where you do not believe you deserve more, which I am very clearly reading from your question, otherwise he wouldn't be able to come and go as he does. That is a belief that is not true and never will be, just like you being fat and ugly.

Our goal for you is to get you to a place where you very clearly and strongly know what you deserve and what you don't deserve and are strong enough to get violence out of your life. Unfortunately we can't do this on our own. We need someone to walk with us, again here's the reason why it is important to find that ‘right' someone to work with. If you ring 0800 456 450 they will tell you what's available in your area. These people are very understanding and caring and they do not judge. They are there to help you, they want to help. 
A lot of agencies offer programmes where women can go and learn about themselves, about family violence and its effects, how to keep you and your children safe, parenting programmes, all sorts of programmes that can help us become stronger and help us learn to value ourselves.

Is the house yours or his, or both, or if you rent it, is it in your name or his? If it is yours or is in your name and you seriously don't want him to keep coming and doing what he's doing to you maybe you could look at getting advice on this when you talk to your support worker. You have rights, please know that and if you're not quite at that point right now to be able to say to him to stay away or even take out a protection order, it's information that you can sit on until you are strong enough to act on it. I wish you well and please know that I believe in you. You can do this, not only for you but for your children.


Jude

 

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