My Rebellion

“Rebellion (noun) refusal to accept some authority or code or convention”

Being an adult I don’t expect to be told what to do, however being an adult you have to work and at work we are told what to do. We all answer to someone even if you are self-employed; you answer to the tax man. If you are unemployed you answer to the benefit agencies. It’s human nature not to like being told what to do so we occasionally bend the rules; we rebel. We lie to our boss on a Monday morning explaining we are ill and for effect add a ‘poorly cough’ when really we just cannot be bothered to go work. Classic rule break, we are refusing to accept the code of an honest absence. Throughout our lives we break rules and usually we get away with it, because who are we hurting if we fain an illness once in a blue moon?
It’s when we break the big rules in life that make a difference. If we commit a serious crime we are sent to prison thus changing the course of our lives and not for the better. My rebellion changed my life. I rebelled against matrimony and defied the vows I made. I know that leaving a marriage and getting divorced is not a rebellion, people get married and divorced every day. However my rebellion broke a very important rule.
I had many rules in my marriage that were set by my abusive husband, I later learnt that all violent partners have these rules. They can range from the very trivial like having their tea made at a certain time to the more serious; breaking the silence or leaving the emotional prison they have taken an age to build. I often broke the trivial rules because it was natural to do so. I would roll odd socks together after being washed so he had to root through his drawer to find the matching one or if I was lucky, he wouldn’t notice and go out wearing odd socks. I would have the pleasure of knowing this and I’m not going to lie, that pretty pathetic trick gave me satisfaction. However, when I broke his rules there would be consequences. They say every action has an equal or greater reaction. Because I had refused to comply with his beliefs, I would be punished. I had to be put back in my place, rules had to be reinstated. What amuses me the most now is that I didn’t actually know what his rules were? Ultimately, I couldn’t do right for doing wrong.
I had to leave. I was so emotionally and physically tired I didn’t even pack. I stood ready to unlock my front door clutching my keys unable to move because I realised, if I leave he will kill me. The ultimate punishment to fit the crime I was going to commit. I realised there and then that I didn’t care, I had to be away from him and if he did kill me then he wouldn’t have me any more. It was a win-win situation. I walked and started my new life, I was free. Rebellion gave me happiness and freedom. Being rebellious doesn’t sound so bad now does it?

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I want to take a moment to apologise for not posting in a while. I have been busy progressing in my new life! I am now happier than I have ever been. I’m not going to lie this past year has been the hardest ever, I have reached the darkest point of my life and now I am following the brighter light that is my future. I never thought that I could start again, but I have and if I can do it then anyone can. I now have confidence, an income and a loving boyfriend. Yes! I never thought that I could love again or be loved, I thought that all men would be like my ex but they’re not and please believe me that there are good guys out there who know how to treat a women. Don’t get me wrong I did know that they exist, my father for one who is loving and kind and my parents have a happy marriage. I just thought I would never find that.

But I digress, back to my story! So, I am now married but we didn’t have our home. I guess we didn’t really think about that once we were married. I was only eighteen and immature, I guess I thought that everything would just magically fall into place. We stayed alternatively at my parents and his fathers until a week before Christmas 2008 when I was taken into hospital with pneumonia. That day is quite vague when I think back to it. I can remember waking up and struggling to breath, I suffered from asthma so I thought it was my condition that was playing up. My parents had gone out for the day so it was just me and my ex that were at home. I remember that he was in one of his moods that day, ultimately because he didn’t have any money and thus could not afford any weed. All day he was repeatedly telling my that I didn’t care. I didn’t care about him or the life that we was meant to lead together. I really was ill, I could hardly breath let alone talk so I just ignored him and tried to sleep.

My parents then arrived home around tea time. I went down stairs to greet them and my mother immediately told me that I needed to go into hospital as my lips were blue. I went to the local A&E without my husband because he ‘didn’t like hospitals’ and basically thought I was faking it. I was diagnosed with pneumonia and spent ten days in hospital on oxygen. I was released on Christmas Eve, but I couldn’t stay at home because my mother (being completely right!) didn’t want my ex to stay at their house. So, that meant I had to move into his dad’s house because I was married and we couldn’t live apart. That was the start of our marriage and I was well and truly his because I had already started to distance myself from my family.

I know that this post does not describe any physical abuse, but domestic violence isn’t always physical but also mental. I now know that my ex was manipulative and he did everything he could to isolate me, But he didn’t succeed because I am now free of him and now with someone else and have a brilliant relationship with my family and friends.

Getting Married

Obviously with a title like this you would assume that this will be a happy and love filled post. However, this is not the case with mine! On the 22nd of November 2008 I married a dominator. Maybe somewhere deep down I knew this, I knew he wouldn’t make me happy, but I guess I was blinded by what I thought was his love for me. If you hadn’t already guessed my wedding day was not the happiest day of my life.

While contending with an abusive partner I also suffered from depression and still do. I would say that he has contributed to 90% of my depression with the other 10% being an ongoing issue since I was sixteen. I don’t really want to dwell on this, but I do suspect that if I wasn’t already suffering from depression I would have never married my ex and at the first sign of betrayal (the incident in my first blog) the relationship would have finished. What I am trying to say is that abusers target insecurity and build that sadness into a way of life and you don’t even notice how much you have changed until you hit rock bottom. My rock bottom was about 5 months ago when I had left my ex husband but still couldn’t cope, I had no self-worth and I attempted suicide.

My wedding was not in any way traditional or the day you had dreamed of when you was a small child. Even though I had never wanted a flashy wedding with horse-drawn carriage and doves being released from a diamond encrusted cage; I did want more than what I got. We were only engaged for six to seven weeks and only told our families a couple of weeks prior to the big day. We got married in a registry office and had about twelve people present. To be honest those weeks leading up to the wedding and actually the day itself is all a bit of a blur. Maybe my memory is saving me the pain of remembering what a huge mistake I was making and then subsequently made.

What I do remember clearly is the evening. Both of our parents had left, unlike mine my ex’s parents were separated and let’s just say not very civil. When his mother left after the wedding meal there was tension between his father and mother and subsequently my then new husband got involved. There was an argument, but I was not present so do not know what was said or done, all I got from the altercation was his foul mood. More people joined us on the evening of our wedding and they were all his friends, as I had already at this point had a fading relationship with mine. The night turned into a bit of a pub crawl and I was having a good time and yes for all my sins, I was getting drunk. All night I could feel his disapproving eyes on me and if he wasn’t glaring at me he was nowhere to be seen so I had to keep leaving the bar or dance floor to find him. Eventually he had obviously had enough and he dragged me out of the pub, into a taxi and back to the hotel we were staying in.

So we are back at the hotel, I am upset that we left the pub as I was having fun and wanted to stay longer (remember I was only eighteen) this, believe it or not, did not go down well with him. He constantly told me what a drunken mess I was and that I was now a married woman and shouldn’t behave the way I did. He also started with the sob story surrounding his parents separation and that I didn’t know what it was like to live the life he did. Obviously he was the only young man in the world to experience parental separation even though he had five bothers! It eventually got to the point where I could no longer bear the sound of his shouting and whining so I submitted. I apologised and begged for his forgiveness, I told him over and over that it was just the drink making me act stupid and that I will never act like that again. I then proceeded to comfort him, it was my wedding night after all. When it got to where I was fully undressed and ready to have sex, he pushed me off him. He told me I was disgusting and he just wanted to go to sleep and that is what he did. He rolled over and within minutes was snoring. I was humiliated and genuinely felt vile, after what seemed like a life time of replaying what had just happened in my head, I had no idea what I had done wrong. I gave up trying to work this out so I eventually just went to sleep and told myself to pretend that what he had just done never happened.

However, I wasn’t the only one keeping up this pretense. The next morning he was loving and kind and told me that he was so lucky to have me and that I had made him the happiest man alive. For the rest of the day I focused on these sweet sentiments he had fed me and brushed aside what had happened the previous night. I guess it’s safe to say that the head games had well and truly started.

Where to start… the beginning!

Why did I decide to write a blog? Easy! This will be a form of closure for me, closure from what has happened to me in the past five years. If you have read my “About” page you will understand that this blog is about my experience of being in an abusive marriage. I recently completed the freedom programme and I guess that experience also spurred me on to share my story, that  it is OK to talk about what abuse I have experienced and I can actually gain strength from this. Strength to understand that it was never my fault and it was him who was to blame for the disaster of a marriage we had and he was in the wrong.

I met my ex husband when I was seventeen. I was a confident, fun-loving teenager. I was also very good-looking and I knew this. I knew I gained lots of attention from the boys and the result of this was that I had a few boyfriends, nothing ever really serious though it was all just a bit of fun. Like most girls at that age I was looking for that “special” someone. Someone who would fall madly in love with me, buy me flowers, take me to the pictures, all that romantic mush we all secretly dream about. Then during the summer of 2007 I found it (or that was what I thought at the time). He drove and was older than me, twenty-two at the time so that also gained big bonus points when it came to boyfriend material. I spent every day with him, he lived in the next town so had to drive to come and see me and he did every evening without fail. For three or four months he was the perfect boyfriend. He would take me out, endlessly compliment me and always wanted to spend time with me. Yes and I now know what you are thinking; first sign of control. The old “I can’t bear to be away from you, why don’t we just be together, don’t go and meet your friends…” and that was what started to happen. I hardly saw my best friend; whom I had been friends with ever since nursery and we eventually stopped seeing each other.

I however, was oblivious to what was going on. I was caught up in being in love and having a “grown up” relationship. When I look back now I see that he was obsessed with me and I him. He was strong and had status, he was known as being hard and a bit of a fighter and I guess I liked that whole bad boy persona. Boys would be kind and friendly to me, they never flirted with me because they knew who my boyfriend was, so they were always on their best behavior. In my past (short) relationships I was never controlled or dominated, I basically did what I wanted when I wanted whether they liked it or not and one night when I was with my ex I did this.

It was an old school friend’s eighteenth birthday party at a pub in the town that hadn’t been open long and I really wanted to go. A close friend phoned me and said she was going and that I could go with her, I obviously said yes straight away. I was with my ex and I told him I was going and suggested he came to. He didn’t like pubs and didn’t drink at the time so he said no but he would take me home to my parents house so I could get ready and he would then drop me off at the pub. He also insisted that he would pick me up, he would just go and see a friend in the mean time. This all seemed fine to me, it wasn’t as if I hadn’t invited him, it was his choice that he didn’t want to come. So I got home put on a dress, did my hair and make up and he said I looked nice. He then wanted to have sex with me but I said no, my parents were in the house and I had to meet my friend at the pub soon. He didn’t say anything but I could tell I had upset him, I ignored this and went to the party. He then picked me up and took me home, it wasn’t that late so I asked him if he wanted to come in for a bit he said that he was tired so he was going to go home and he would text me when he got back to his house. He never did, and I didn’t see or hear from him in two whole weeks.

I was devastated, I didn’t know what I had done wrong. I kept ringing and texting him but no reply. He then eventually text me said that he had been unsure about our relationship. He said that he didn’t want to hurt me because he loved me so much and I was too good for him. I obviously disagreed with him and told him I loved him and I was sorry, even though I didn’t know what I was sorry for. He came and saw me and everything was perfect and happy again and a few weeks later he proposed to me and I said yes.

I now know why he did what he did. I broke one of his “rules”. I chose to go to a party instead of spending time with him and then to make it even worse I wouldn’t have sex with him before I went. He was punishing me and testing me. He was testing how I would act if he stopped all contact with me. He wanted to see if I just gave up and finished it or if i would persist with trying to get him back. Unfortunately I did the latter, when I wish I had just thought “whatever, you don’t want to talk to me, I don’t want to talk to you. Fuck off!”.

But it’s not as easy as that and if you have been in an abusive relationship then you will agree with me when I say that hindsight is a wonderful thing.