You told me that I wasn’t good enough.
No one would love me and that I’m lucky that I have you. I would be dead without you and even my mother agreed. You were thirty-three, I was seventeen. I was nieave, I was vulnerable, I was mentally unwell. I was only recently discharged from the hospital due to a suicide attempt after being sexually assaulted by a group of men whom I did not know. I was going through police statements and not managing my trauma well. My soul was tainted.
But you, you prey on the weak. You saw my vulnerability and weakness and you reeled me in as quickly as you could. I was unhappy living with my mother at that time and you knew that. You appeared to offer me stability, love, support, and a home. Anything was better than the living hell that I was already living in right? Or so I thought. Looking back now, the red flags were there well before I started a relationship with you.
A textbook narcissist:
You were manipulative, cunning, so stupid yet calculating at the same time. You were perfect towards me around others. My words of concern about you meant nothing when your true colours were hidden from the world to see. And so I stayed, appearing to the outside world that I too, was perfect and happy.
You had three kids to different women. I was warned about you from your children’s mothers, but you told me that they were just jealous and bitter about you being with a younger woman. I believed you, I was naive. I should have known then, but I didn’t do a thing. Your kids needed me and you knew that my heart, as broken as it was, was also as pure and compassionate as they came. You knew exactly how to challenge my empathy and compassion and how to use my qualities to your benefit.
I was seventeen :
I instantly became a step mother. You took me in when I was at my lowest and weakest point of my life. Appearing as my knight in shinning armour whilst your shadow was a demon. I wanted to study and build my life back together after my assault, but you told me so angrily that
” I don’t have to, that it’s a waste of time and money. I am selfish. I am meant to stay home and watch the kids ”
So I obeyed you. I was seventeen, and up until this point, my whole life I was taught that a man needed to save me. The childhood t.v shows, movies, the books I read as a child, social media and society tells me that I need you to save me. I need you to survive. I need you to rely on. I was born for this…
I was seventeen when I was taught that I had to stay with you, that you were saving me, that I am nothing without you, and then….
I was eighteen:
Holding a positive pregnancy test in my hand.
One parent praying that I didn’t follow through with the pregnancy, whilst the other parent who was just as cunning as you were told me that I had to have this baby with you. Excitement in their face as they manipulated the situation and told me that all of my reservations about you were in my head. Reminding me that you saved me.
“You put a roof over my head”, you were the only one who would “put up with me”.
I was told that no one else would put up with me. That I am lucky. I am told that you were sorry for every time you hit me. I was eighteen and I believed it all until…
I was nineteen :
You moved me far away from my family at this point. You now have four kids. Three of which dread to see you, whilst one who is so fragile, so new, so dependant, and so unknowing about the world he was just born into . He has no clue of the man you are.
Did he realise I was gone all of the times that I was in hospital? Whilst doing as demanded by you and telling my family that I was in hospital for the pre-existing conditions that I had. We both knew that wasn’t true. I was in hospital because of you, another outburst about absolutely NOTHING. And all I could think about was my son and what you were doing with him. I’m sitting in a hospital bed, alone, scared, bruised and so anxious. I told the hospital that I had another epileptic fit and fall onto a glass candle holder, and that was why I had glass stuck in my forehead. I still remember on the way to the hospital, the ambulance nurse telling me that it’s okay to say what really happened, but I denied it. I lied so many times about my cuts and bruises that I almost started to believe the cover ups we used.
I barley felt the pain in my head, all I feel is worry wash over me. Im sweating, crying, my throat is closing in. Concerned this might be the last time I saw my son. You’re so angry at me that the thought crosses my mind that you will hurt him in spite of me. So I discharged myself that night to make sure my son was safe. I was nineteen and realisation washes over me.
You are not a friend, you are not a father, you are not a man.
You are a monster!
I stayed for a year after birth, waiting for the perfect moment to leave. Alone in this hell that you called home. I was scared to leave you see, I knew it had to be well planned, it wasn’t as easy as said to just “walk away & leave” .
But I am not afraid now, I am not afraid for I am a mother. A mother that is stronger than any monster on this earth. A mother that knows that her love for her child is stronger than any fear that you ever caused. A mother that knows her fears are nothing compared to her responsibilities and love she has for her child.
One last time, one last bruise, one last chance to manipulate your words, and one last tear shed for this mother to run. It took a very scary situation for me to realise that there is no perfect time to leave. You not only harmed me this time but you harmed my baby. And that was the moment that I woke up to myself.
I realised it was now or never. Now was my time to leave, and if not now, I might not make it to see tomorrow.
And so, I finally left.
But this mother did not run from a monster, but ran towards a better life.
She did not run from abuse and torment, but she ran towards strength and courage .
She did not run from financal ruin and shame, but she ran towards education and security.
With every ounce of her, she mustered her strength and transformed every weakness into a passion, into a strength, into independence, and into purpose . She didn’t need a man to save her, she saved her god damn self.
And she grew… wiser, stronger, fearless.
A year pass by, I am finding myself whilst remaining hidden from you. I am studying, working, battling…. surviving.
My son is my sanity, my reason, my rock. The law now says that we are safe, we are free, we can breathe. You are not allowed near us. But the fear will never leave and the law does not understand that this piece of paper that I hold in my hand serves no security to a woman who has been abused . Especially to a woman who’s child had been harmed by the hands of a monster.
I quickly learned that if I live my life in fear first, you win. If I live my life in fear first, then you still hold all control over me. And I’ll be damned if I ever let you control me or my son again. The fear will always be there, but I am no longer driven by it.
Upon regaining a new found strength and life, I unintentionally met a man. One that’s compassion is so strong that you can see it in his eyes no matter how hard he tries to shield it.
Rugged, humorous, impatient yet kind. A heart so full that he whole heartedly loved a child that he did not make but applied to the courts and claimed this child as his own. Without hesitation, he proudly gave his son his own last name.
I spent previous years chained up in a prison that you created, and then I met this man who stood by me as he helped those chains break free.
and this man fought, only this time was different.
This man did not fight with me or against me, he fought for me and for our son that we raise as a united front, together and equal. A man that is not a monster and finally is…
a friend, a husband, a father.
Through your abuse/ hatred and through my husbands love and care, I have learned 5 things that I want to express and thank you for.
1: My past mistakes and errors were only my wisdom and success of my future.
These errors have only lead me to the pure happiness and the contentment that I am in right now.
2: I am loved, I am worthy, I am deserving, I am brave, I AM ENOUGH.
3: Nothing that life throws at me will ever be stronger than I am. You think you broke me, but you didn’t break me. You don’t own that type of power.
4: My son will learn how women should be treated. He will watch me in the field of social work and he will watch me empower and advocate for violence against anyone. He will know that violence is never justified and he will stand up for violence against women. He will learn that his voice can make a difference. He will know what family unity means. He will know what being a father means. He will learn what respect, resilience, courage and compassion mean. He will know that he is safe, that he is loved, that he is valued in this world and that he too, matters.
And last but most importantly, my experience with you, the monster.
I learned that you should never underestimate the strength of a mother protecting her child! She will reach extreme measures to do what needs to be done.
You can no longer hurt me, for I now have all control.
I hold the most valuable thing that the world has to offer; self love, my son, and security .
You told me that I was worthless, turns out it’s not me that has no value in this world.