Love does not have a manipulative agenda, Love does not demand respect but shows respect, Love always prevails even in the darkest hour. If what you are calling Love has the characteristics of controlling, manipulative, and aggression then this is not Love at all but the very opposite of it! -Nikki Stone
Domestic Abuse statistics
- One in four women will be a victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime
- About two in five of all victims of domestic abuse are men
- One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.
- On average, 35 assaults happen before the police are called
- 12% of under 11s, 18% of 11-17s and 24% of 18-24s have been exposed to domestic abuse between adults
Sources: Women’s Aid, NSPCC and Parity
‘As I always say, it’s a huge mistake to think that domestic violence or child abuse only co exists with poverty or deprivation. It lives everywhere, yes, even in those beautiful winding, leafy roads with the huge, detached houses, the security gates and the tastefully furnished rooms’ Lysa Walder (Rapid Response – True Stories of my life as a Paramedic)
How we helped a survivor of childhood abuse to see she was now a victim of domestic abuse & get her the correct help she needed…
“I don’t know what’s right or wrong in a relationship? I don’t know if the CSA has left me confused with what is normal”
“Everything is really confusing at the moment I can’t think straight any more”
“You should be able to be in full control of your body and your partner should respect you and your body”
“Not feeling like you can say no is very not okay for you”
“Is he someone that likes to be in control of all things? Because if he is, he will find you trying to change things really difficult… I’m not saying things shouldn’t be different but you may need some professional help with changing the situation you are in”
“One of the vital elements of a healthy relationship is being able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without fear of being screamed at, humiliated, put down”
“Am I over reacting because of the CSA or have I let him do it because of the CSA?”
“How do I get him to be okay with when I say no?”
“You shouldn’t need to ‘get him’ to be okay with the word no”
“It’s very hard to get him to listen without getting in a mood though so sometimes I do it for an easy life”
“But… is that easy? I know that trying to keep the peace and keep someone happy is pretty exhausting & you live on your nerves”
“Yes constantly about everything I’m on medication because I am so anxious and I was living in fear of everything, I thought it was normal until recently”
“Why would you not speak to someone from DV to get some advice?”
“But he’s not violent”
“People who are abusive LOVE to be in control and don’t like to ‘allow’ us to make our own decisions because they want and need us to be dependent on them… I bet you can think for yourself and make choices/decisions if allowed to _________ and it shouldn’t be a question of ‘allowed to’ or ‘incapable of’ he should love you enough to allow you to stand on your own two feet. Again I think the things of not allowing you to the _________ is another form of control… he controlled exactly what you did or did not do… big control issues “
Lots more conversation took place until we reached this point…
“They said anytime I need support just pop in. They run courses together with the safer places like a freedom course or self esteem, confidence, assertiveness etc so they said speak to safer places tomorrow and then let them know and they should be able to help sort a course out for me”
“I feel really positive that I can get help to be more assertive at home. I never saw it as a problem before and I thought that domestic abuse was only violence until I spoke to You and also the lady today said it was abuse”
“I know it may still be hard for me and isn’t going to be easy but I feel I can do it now”
“If you hadn’t of referred me on Monday then I wouldn’t of done it myself”
”The lady was so nice and I explained what has been happening and she said it is domestic abuse and its understandable that I have been confused and didn’t realise it was. Thank you so much for referring me”
You need and deserve at least a few people in your life with which you have healthy relationships, people whom: ☼ You like, respect, and trust, and who like, respect and trust you. ☼ Make you feel good about yourself. ☼ Listen to you without sharing personal information about you with others. ☼ You can tell anything. ☼ Allow you to talk freely and express your feelings and emotions without judging you, criticizing you, teasing you, or putting you down. ☼ Give you good advice when you want and ask for it, and who will work with you to figure out what to do next in difficult situations. ☼ Allow you the space to change, grow, make decisions, and make mistakes. ☼ Accept you as you. (from turningpointservices.org)
EMOTIONAL ABUSE CHECKLIST
Domestic Abuse & Me…
When I began this website it is was to reach other Survivors of sexual abuse and that is where my heart is…that is my reason for building ‘Tangled Web’. However as time goes by I have met many women who go on from their childhood abuse to struggle with forming healthy loving adult relationships. Not surprising to me at all…Why would we know how to establish and maintain our boundaries…why would we know that it is NOT okay for someone to raise their hand to you…if the abuse we have already suffered has never been validated and brought to justice…how do we have enough self esteem and sense of self to want better for ourselves or to believe we deserve better. However many people abused as children do go on to have a wonderful loving relationships later on. I have called this page ‘learning my lesson’ for several reasons. The first being that I have indeed learnt my lesson in that I believe I will never let a man treat me as I have in the past. Secondly the abusive men in my life have wanted to teach me a lesson…that I ‘need’ them and that I am ‘nothing’ without them…what I actually learnt is that I deserve better than to stay in an abusive relationship taking whatever rubbish those people chose to throw at me. My own dad was a highly respected man with his drinking pals…at home he was something of a tyrant…returning home from the pub and smashing up the home…throwing every piece of food out of the fridge because it was not what he wanted to eat at that time. How my mother kept all her children fed and watered is a testament to her, no easy task in those circumstances. Mum used to take us all out of the situation and walk in the park for hours with us or take us to friends. Returning home when she knew the raging tyrant would finally be sleeping off the drink. However dare anyone disturb that sleep, you would really know about it. Once when I made a noise (as children do!!) he said he would kill me…another time I remember being dragged down the stairs by my hair. Another very vivid memory is of me sitting on the doorstep outside…dad used to turn the electricity off at the mains and I hated the dark…the street light was lighter than inside the house and so I found my comfort there. I would also climb in under the table and pull all the chairs in around me, that was my safe fortress. Sometimes my mum would throw the towel in and say she was leaving and he could have everything (that meant us too!). I would go get my hair brush and ask mum to brush my hair…that was my way of keeping her with me, in my little girl logic if she was brushing my hair she wouldn’t leave me. My father is not the man he was and I try to make the best of what is here and now. I had 2 abusive adult relationships, the first with an alcoholic who was like living with 2 different people. The second whilst he never hit me, he spat in my face and used words to wound. I have learnt love does not stamp on you…love does not spit in your face…love does not tell you lies…love does not tell you to go and hurt yourself. I decided to make this additional page to share another part of who I am, where I have come from in the hopes that it will speak to you. I also want to say I have talked about the abusive people in my life as male because they happened to be so, however women can be as violent and abusive to a male partner…it cuts both ways. The following poems are reflections of what I thought and felt, they are not necessarily what I feel and think today…thank goodness…we can move on.
Please see our resources page for further organisations that may be able to help you too… http://www.thistangledweb.co.uk/need-help-now/
Daddy was too busy to play
Busy Drinking his children away
He liked things to be just as he pleased
Daddy liked to laugh at me and to tease
He liked quiet and he liked to shout
I never understood what the fuss was about
I cannot recall ‘I love you’ or a single hug at all
Or ‘how are you’ and ‘how was school’?
I don’t think my dad was much of a daddy to me
I don’t know what he wanted me to do or be
Maybe I will just call him dad instead
Because he is still my dad by just one thread
I wish I had a daddy to cherish me through and through
Someone to say ‘I am proud of you’
Someone to show me the way to go
Even sometimes to tell me ‘no’
But daddy was too busy to play…
Busy drinking his children away.
Daddy will you ever love me?
Who is it you wanted me to be?
You cannot trade me in
Tell me what was the nature of my sin?
I am grown up and you don’t know who I am
Daddy have you ever loved me…
I don’t think you can.
You fathered children and yet you were father to none
You filled our lives with rules and chased away the sun
You have given me nothing to make me feel warm inside
For you were this mass of anger form which I would run and hide
I want to say I hate you but to hate is wrong
So is having a child and making her feel she did not belong
You were supposed to be a daddy not a cold selfish man
To love you unconditionally, I just don’t think I can
Right from being small you caused me fear and pain
Will I always feel the same?
People think I should love you because you are my ‘dad’
Well you scorned parenthood to be ‘jack the lad’
You don’t deserve the joys children can bring
As far as I am concerned you don’t deserve anything.
Going to walk
You have them
You have it all
You do it all
Mummy will you
Brush my hair
MY FORTRESS…UNDER THE TABLE…
I painted this picture during art therapy in my 20′s…it looks like a child’s painting…a stark reminder that the things we expose our children to can stay with them for years to come…and that they do not have the ability as children to process what is happening around them…therefore children can make up their own reasons for the events happening around them…a common one is to blame themselves…I put this picture here to let you know that you need to keep yourself and your children safe…exposing them to this damage can be carried within them for years
Wish I could share with you, implant in you the gift…
The gift of insight I gained whilst getting battered
When holding onto him and his love seemed to be all that mattered
Wish I could show you how yours will not change in the way you
think, dream and hope he will
So you did not have to suffer whilst waiting for your fairytale to become real
Wish I could prove to you how strong you really are
Before he drains the very lifeblood out of you, pushes you too far
Wish I could show you what I learnt whilst I thought was in love
with him and he with me
How you are so enslaved yet you think if you stay with him one
day you will both be free
Wish I could show you what love really is
A gentle hug, a helping hand, a soothing kiss
Wish I could show you what I failed to see when I was standing
where you stand today
Please don’t take the abuse…not for one more day.
You are draining the life out of me
Why won’t you just let me go free?
Why do you want to hurt me so bad?
What do I do that makes you so mad?
I loved you with all the love I could give
Now I am begging, pleading, screaming
That you will take your hands from my throat…
That you will let me get out of the door…
That you will let me live.
My feelings of love for you faded and died
When you got drunk, hit me and lied
I thought you were all I needed to feel okay
I thought I could love you enough to make
your alcoholism go away
I thought it was all about me getting it wrong,
making you drink
But now I realise that was what you wanted me to think
To feel sorry for you, to forgive and forgive
When do I get my life to live?
F-forget what you did, how can I?
O-r why should I even try
R-easoning with you, I’m tired of trying
G-o get the help you need
I- cannot help you, you need to know that
V-iolence is never acceptable…
M-e I did you no wrong
E-verything I have taken, I won’t take anymore.
Look long and hard at what you did to me
Look until you feel shame and agony
See the panic in my eyes
See the part of you I despise
Listen to the screaming, can you hear?
Listen to the pain and the fear
Look long and hard at what you did to me
Then set us both free.
Thanks for telling me I am nothing, but I knew that already
Don’t think I have any grand ideas or illusions about me
I don’t know why you are hell bent on bringing me down
You don’t know how many times I have hit the ground
I know what I am, I live with me every day
Maybe it is from yourself you want to get away.
Seeing someone you love stuck in an abusive relationship is so very painful. Especially when you have been there and learnt your lesson. But they stay in their prison of domestic abuse and nothing you say or do can make them walk away from it. They won’t leave until they have had enough, sadly for some women they will literally die trying to stay and make it work. I will never forget the pain I felt of my friend opening her front door to me and me seeing her big black eye…seeing the bruises all over her…then she takes him back. I wrote this for her…
Oh my babe what is happening to you?
Has someone done you wrong, what did they do?
The roses in your cheeks, I’ve watched them fade and die
Now through walls I hear you cry
I want to warm your heart encased in ice
For what do you pay this price?
Concern and frustration lingers
You are slipping from me, like sand through fingers
Oh my babe are you lost forever?
Everyone thought you were oh so nice
They saw a happy couple and they didn’t see the price
The conversation when we were on our own
We were seen as two but I felt so betrayed and so alone
You spoke at first with words so beautiful, full of promise
You placed on my tears a silent, tender kiss
But none of it was true, none of it was real
It was all for what you wanted, all to get your deal
You smiled in public, screamed at me at night
You talked like a charmer, fooled the world we were alright
You held my hand in the street, chained my soul in your lies
You talked of marriage and children, it was all a disguise
‘Great bloke’ that is what people around us said
All the time my hopes lay dying and dead
You never laid a finger on me, yet you beat me up inside
Close in public, in private so far and wide
Inside of myself where no one could see
See the mental bruises you reigned down on me
The way your angry words tore open wounds in my mind
The battering of every word that was twisted and unkind
The echoes of what you said that played over and over again
I would rather the physical pain
Sounds crazy but physical pain has a time frame to heal
People can see it and in seeing it to them it becomes real
& Still today those words can echo through time & remind me…
of the man who everyone thought was oh so nice.
A part of me remembers
A loud unexpected noise
The slamming of a door
The raised voice of a drunk
& my body remembers
I freeze and then panic rises
I suddenly feel so small
Small and terrified
My mind goes into overdrive
The noise is not here
The threat is not here
The screaming is not here
I am safe from everything I heard
It is just that part of me remembers
Remembers what you did
Remembers the thud of your fist
Remembers the breaking of glass
Remembers the hand on my throat
Remembers the slap across my face
Remembers the tone of your voice
Remembers the look in your eyes
I can breath a little easier again
Until the next time…
…a part of me remembers.
Love is happy, joyful and bright
In caring and giving it takes its delight
Love sees no race, colour or creed
It only sees what the heart needs
Love does not intentionally cause pain
It seeks out the sunshine, does not dwell on the rain
True love does not cause a bruise or a physical ache
It binds together, it does not break
Love is not selfish, love is not about ‘I’ or ‘ME’
Love does not stand for captivity
Love is happy, joyful and bright
In caring and giving it takes its delight.
The touch of your hand
Tells me you understand
Tells me of a love so real
Tells me you want and need me so
Hold my hand
& Never let them go.
Let me tell you about your kiss…
You make this rag doll feel like a princess
When you look at me with loving eyes
I see the hope of a rainbow in our skies
I miss you like crazy when we are apart
Miss you so much deep inside my heart
You have awakened my soul once more
To a love I thought lay forever behind a bolted door
You don’t know how much those words mean to
the little girl inside of me
I have waited so long to feel the way you make me feel
Best of all is realising this is not a dream
This is oh so very real.
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