B's Story

I was in an abusive relationship for 6 years. It began when I was 19 years old. Six years of my life I spent with someone who I did think I truly loved and loved me back.

There was always excuses for his behaviour, which made me see past it.

He had mental health issues, drug addictions, so it was always the excuse for his actions. I spent 6 years scared, walking on eggshells, having every move or word questioned, my phone taken and searched, accusations made of cheating, threats against mine and my families lives, at times physical handling which made me scared for the unknown of how bad it was going to get one day.

All of it would come and go, but could change at any moment. Things could be fine, then literally 5 minutes later a switch flicked and there were holes in walls, name calling, smashed up belonging, you name it. To then 5 minutes later back to the happy, loving person I knew.

I knew I needed to get out, but I didn’t think I'd ever be able to be free.

Wherever I went he would just find me and threaten me or guilt trip me until I agreed not to leave him like many times before. I would have to hear things like if I leave him he will hurt himself, putting that on me that what if he does something, it's my fault... No one will ever love me or want me like he does...

After 6 years, an engagement, but life going no where, I decided enough was enough. I started to confide in people, share the truth of my life, and I decided I just had to do whatever it takes.

I wanted to live again and feel free and safe.

So one day I just did that. I told him it was over. I told him to leave me alone. I told him if he came near me or contacted me, I would go to the police. I made sure he knew I was serious. I heard from him a few times, but surprisingly he let it be.

It took a while, but I stopped looking over my shoulder, I stopped feeling scared, and once the sickening anxiety and fear left my body, I realised just how bad those 6 years affected me, that I didn’t quite realise while living it.

It has been 3 years since I made that decision and l just cannot believe how much of my life I lost. My whole youth. Things still affect me to this day, or trigger and bring back those same feelings and anxieties. The experience made me who I am today and I know just how strong I am, but no one should ever have to learn it that way.

Kristine Ross