So I’ve just got home from a maths lecture and we’ve all been sat talking about relationships all night. As I’ve sat and thought about all of mine I’ve realised just how bad they’ve been. I’ve always been really open about my relationship with my baby’s dad but the relationship I had after that is one then I’ve never spoke about because It’s such a touchy subject but I feel like I’m ready to talk about it.
I met Andrew in the summer of 2013. We had a bit of a whirlwind romance and after knowing each other two months and being together for one month we decided to move in together. It was the first time I had ever lived away from home so obviously it was a massive step for me. We were really happy at first, obviously we were still in that honeymoon period and just wanted to see each other all the time. My parents were always really strict so I could never have friends over or have a party or anything while I lived at home, so obviously I enjoyed my first bit of freedom as any teenager would and had parties all the time. I loved this at first but It soon became very boring. Andrew was constantly in and out of work so we struggled for money a lot of the time, despite being in debt we would still have people over on the weekend and Andrew would spend every penny we had. He would literally leave us with nothing so I would have to borrow money off my Mum and Dad every week. I hated doing this because I’ve always been an independent person so this started to cause friction. I got a job working as a supply teaching assistant in a nursery and I started bringing in a reasonable amount of money, which of course Andrew would spend. After arguing for about three weeks non stop he got a job working on a oil rig doing repairs when it was in the docks. We now both had good jobs and were earning good money. We still however had nothing every Monday morning. Andrew decided to quit his job and become self employed. He had no idea what he was doing and the business he tried to set up with a friend completely failed. I took a second job working in a nightclub to try and keep us above water. I was now working 8:00am till 3:30pm every week day at the school and I would work 9:00pm till 4am monday, wednesday and sunday and then 9pm till 5am on a friday and saturday. As you can imagine I was exhausted all of the time. I did this non stop without a day off for months. I came home one night after working all day and night to find that Andrew had been out drinking all night, spent all our money and had cheated on me. He arranged to meet a girl he used to work with, bought her drinks all night with my wages and then took her back to my home and slept with her. After this we broke up.
We weren’t together for just short of a year. During this time I had met my babies dad, got pregnant and was around six months pregnant before I seen him again. When I did see him he looked and acted so different. He told me about how his life had changed and he wasn’t partying anymore and he had really settled down. Me being the mug that I am believed him and we got back together. He told me he would raise my baby with me and we would be the loving happy family we were meant to be. He moved in with me and my parents until the baby was about a month old. Every big moment in my pregnancy and after she was born he managed to ruin. He started drinking heavily in the month that she was born but he kept using the excuse ‘its Christmas and we’re celebrating’.After we moved into our own house again the problems started. I really started to resent him and I had no real affection towards him, we were never intimate, we argued all the time and to be completely honest he never really bothered with the baby. He got a job working with one of his friends and he was working 6 days a week. Towards the end of our relationship he would finish work and go to the pub every single night. He would stay there until it closed and then come home drunk. I would wait up for him and we would argue. This was my life for about four months.
There was a couple of times when he came home and he was violent. He once put his phone between his knuckles and punched me in the head. It hurt like hell for about a week. I would ring my dad crying on a night asking him to come round and help me get Andrew to bed. My Dad is an amazing person and I know he would literally do anything for me, I had to be so careful to make sure he didn’t see the violence. I was embarrassed, I didn’t want people to think I was failing and I knew that I wouldn’t leave him so if they knew what was going on it would just make things really awkward.
The violence, the drinking, the arguing I could easily put up with. I obviously never wanted to but I kept telling myself that I would never find anyone else and I didn’t want to be alone. It was once the sexual abuse started that I completely broke down. I never wanted to be intimate with him because I hated him so much, I would say It never felt right after having the baby and it hurt but he didn’t care. He would force me to have sex all the time. I would lay there silently crying just wishing I would die. I wouldn’t move an inch, I felt disgusting. I just wanted to rip all of my skin from my body and burn it. I hated my life so very much. He would say to me ‘I hate you, you make me feel like I’m raping you’ I think this was to try and convince himself that it was okay to be doing it. This wouldn’t happen every night. Some nights he would force me to do other things and would shout at me and grab my arms to make me do whatever he wanted me to.
This made my depression worse than it’s ever been. I had the most beautiful baby girl and all I could think about was suicide. Having her there was literally the only thing stopping me. The days felt like weeks and the weeks like months. I didn’t leave the house for almost five months because my anxiety was so bad. I was being a terrible mum and all the life just felt like it had been drained out of me. I started taking anti depressants and my GP sent me to a councillor. It was talking to her that made me realise that I had become a shell of the person I was and I didn’t like it. I knew I had the ability to change things and then one day I did. I had received a text from a mutual friend saying Andrew had been cheating on me and I used this as my escape route. I asked a friend to come over to supervise me and make sure he didn’t talk me out of it. He left and within a few hours I’d packed all of this things and got my dad to take it all to his parents house. I haven’t seen him since.
The things that I have been through this year are horrendous, but I’ve come through the other side fighting. I have never been more determined to make a good life for myself and of course my beautiful daughter. In the short time we have been alone things have dramatically changed and everyone around me has commented on it.
Andrew was a monster and I let him take over my life but I can now see that it wasn’t my fault, I didn’t deserve it and I didn’t have to put up with it. I can’t stress enough how important it is, if anyone at all is going through this to take that first step by admitting these things to yourself. Tell someone what is going on and be strong!
I now feel like I could get through anything that life throws at me. I have come a long way and I’m going to keep going up!