Michelle's Story

I am a single mum of two beautiful children and after a few years separated from my ex husband I decided to get back out there.

In 2018, I thought I had met my soulmate. The first date went really well and we were inseparable ever since. The first six months were great and all of a sudden things changed and I found myself in a toxic relationship which led to physical abuse. It started with the name calling, “a c***, a b**ch, a psycho,” when I just sat there.

The belittling and control followed on.

I was told the clothes I couldn’t wear, and how long I should be out for if I went out with my friends (which was a rare occasion). He would grab my phone and search it and ask who I was talking to every time my phone went off. I asked him to stop and he told me if I left him, “you would never meet someone as successful as me with their own business and house. You will be on your own, but I can meet someone a lot nicer than you.” One night I felt my hair being pulled. He had twisted my hair around his hand and said “if you don’t move it won’t hurt.”

Why I stayed, because I loved him and thought I could change him but things continued to get worse.

I was close to my dad and he would start saying, “your Daddy’s little princess, he’s a c***." I was shaken and upset. I work full time and attend university to complete a degree in teaching. I was told, “you’re too stupid to become a teacher. Why aren’t you getting 100% on your assignments. I would.”

Again, I stayed but every second with him I was destroying myself.

One night he took the duvet off me and I tried to get it back but I wasn’t strong enough. I was punched twice in the back and I cried myself to sleep.

I felt so alone and didn’t feel like I could tell anyone.

One afternoon I had enough and all of this built up. He called me “a psycho” and told me I had mental health issues and I needed serious help. I couldn’t take anymore and got my things and walked away. I stayed strong and ignored his phone calls and messages after.

A year on I’m my happy old self again.

My message to others is know your self worth and any signs of verbal, emotional or physical abuse, get out of there. Everyone deserves a life to be treated right and to be loved.

Kristine Ross