This post deals with domestic violence and might be triggering for some readers.
When I was married, and my husband went on a rant, I would put my hands over my ears and close my eyes.
I didn’t want to remember his angry face, and I certainly didn’t want to hear his horrible words to me. I didn’t want them in my head.
You have no respect for how hard I work. I’m not getting up on the weekend for the baby.
You’re pathetic. I’ve never seen anyone ask her mum to come over to help with a baby so much because she’s tired. She’s always here!
I don’t know when you turned into such a b**ch.
Watch: Women and Violence, the hidden numbers. Post continues below.
We’d been married for a decade but things had changed a lot after our baby was born. He was desperate for attention but also angry I had changed. I was a mum now.
During one of his diatribes, I would be frozen to the spot, and feel a terror wash over me – not that he would hurt me physically - but about what’d say next. Words of abuse stay with you. You don’t forget them. And I didn’t want to hear any more of it.
His words were slowly killing my love for him. Chipping away at my heart, and my self-esteem, a little bit at a time.
The night he called me a ‘stupid vicious b**ch’ for complaining about missing book club because unexpectedly he went out for a few work drinks, I knew I would never have sex with him again.
There was no coming back from that.
I realised I’d been putting up with this for too long. Soon after, I left with our son.
What I learned next is that our dynamic wouldn’t change immediately.
After I left, my ex and I never got physically close enough to for me to have to worry about any violence. Or even spend time with each other long enough to argue.
That was definitely a relief.
But he found a new way to ensure I knew what he was thinking of me – text messages.
His text messages terrified me. I know a text message is just that. But his words were so nasty, so mean, and to see them written in a text - they stayed in my mind. They haunted me.