A day in the life lived once upon a time….
Where do I turn to now?
My family? no.
My friends? no.
Womens Aid? no.
The Gardai? definitely not.
The Courts? a complete waste of time.
Who is left? me, just me.
Just me; I have never felt so alone and afraid.
Why so alone you might ask?
My family is still reeling from the shock that I have separated from a man they have known as a gentleman all the years He has been in my life. They cannot comprehend that any man would raise his hand in anger towards a woman, never mind this man. My family, who grew up in a different culture, now find it so hard to understand a situation where someone can grow up in a culture of alcohol, verbal and physical abuse. It is an alien life they cannot even begin to imagine. I don’t know if I have explained clearly enough how afraid I actually am of this man, esp. since our separating from Him. Plus they are 3 hours drive away, might as well be in another country.
My father, God love him, thought he should sit down and talk to Him, reason with Him. Try to convince Him that time is a great healer and that He should move on with His life for His children’s sake. But I wouldn’t let it happen. I want more from my family than mediation, because I know ‘talking’ isn’t going to stop Him from verbally abusing me or threatening my life or making my life a misery. My mother, although strong for me, has a wee gra for Him and finds it hard to see any side other than the side she had seen all these years.
My friends have known Him as a gentleman too; the fun-loving wonderful brother, son and father. It is hard to comprehend His ‘other side’ when not faced with it personally. They have been so wonderful though, with phone calls and offers of babysitting. I even have keys to their homes for ‘just in case’ times. I have stayed over in their homes a couple of nights too, plenty of wine and blubbering. But there are only so many nights I can do that. There is only so much about Him they can listen to too.
Womens Aid is a wonderful help line and service for that first ‘go to’ person when in a horrible situation. But there is only so much they can do. They steered me in the right direction with information about Protection Orders and Safety Orders and going to the Gardai.
I have my own Garda now, which is very restricting because he might happen to be off duty when I need to speak with him. But I have no confidence in the Gardai. They let me down when I needed them so who do I turn to if I feel threatened and scared for my life? I don’t want to be another statistic, another woman let down by the Gardai. I did everything right. I went to the Gardai after an assault and made my statements.
I went to court, and sat in the witness-box across from the man I once said ‘I do’ too. The tears flowed as I described what had happened to me, what He had done and how I was afraid He would do it again. I was lucky, He didn’t deny anything.
The judge spoke to Him, telling Him off like a school principal would talk to a bold student. Warning Him that His behaviour was unacceptable and that the 5 year Safety Order he was imposing on Him was a wake up call to Him to NOT put me in a position of fear ever again or threaten my life verbally or physically. He was to keep the peace, and the only contact He was to have with me was in regards to our children.
That gave me a little hope, for a few days.
That was until He broke the Safety Order and frightened the shit out of me (another story). I went to the Gardai, made a statement and you know what? NOTHING was ever done about it. Twice He broke that Safety Order, and twice I went and made my statements. And they never ever spoke to Him about it.
I have begun to realise that after making the huge move to break up with Him that the only person who can help me keep away from Him is me. I have prayed for all kinds of help – someone, anyone to make this man who is emotionally and psychologically torturing me to stop. But there has been no one who can, so I have had to turn to myself.
After one particular abusive text message I said to myself ‘enough is enough, why am I letting Him abuse me over and over again and again’ so I replied to Him saying that the only reason I would text Him ever again was if it was regarding our children. I told Him I didn’t want to speak to Him again either, unless it was an emergency regarding the children. I have arranged with His family that any time He wants to see the kids He has to go through them so that I will never have to be anywhere near Him. I will drop them off with a relative of His and pick them up without ever having to see Him. His family have no problems with this arrangement.
I have stopped answering His abusive text messages, and the ones where He is telling me how much He still loves me, and I’ve stopped answering His phone calls and for the first time in years I feel like I am in control of my life.
I am the only one who can stop this bully from doing this to me. I have finally stood up to Him and I feel so much better. I am ignoring His pleas, His messages, His calls and His threats of suicide. I have taken back my own life and become single and independent again. I have myself and two young children to care for.
I don’t need to feel responsible for the adult male I have separated from any more.