Existing in an abusive relationship you lose so much time. Things pass you by, there are events you can’t attend, you miss out on making memories and significant occasions no longer exist.
Days become blurry and most of the time you don’t know what day of the week it is, you’re just lucky that today isn’t the day you die. However, living with an abuser you eye is always on the clock, for example, you know when your abuser wants their tea on the table or the time you need to be back home before them, you learn these things along the way because they can help keep you safe.
But you do lose time, I missed out on so much; Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, Christmas, New Year, Wedding Anniversaries.
I remember going to my cousin’s funeral; it took me all my strength to leave but boy oh boy, did I pay for it afterwards. We had gone to the pub and I was accused of having an affair with a life long friend and it ended with everything being my fault.
I was with my ex partner for 3 years and because of my experience of the previous funeral, it was just safer for me not to go to another. This resulted in me missing out on going to my sister-in-laws funeral, who died of cervical cancer. Can you even begin to imagine the guilt that ripped through my heart? When my brother needed me the most, I wasn’t there for him.
Domestic abuse really does make you feel guilty for so many different reasons and you carry that guilt around with you for so long. Guilty for staying, guilty for leaving, guilty for parents, family friends and loved ones watching you suffer, guilty for missing out, guilty for surviving. It’s such a burden to carry such weight around with you, but in time, it does get easier.
After missing out on so many milestones it takes time to rebuild those relationships, including that with my own mother. My childhood was amazing and I was so lucky that my momma was my best friend too. We would often got out together, shopping, cinema or the pub and I simply adored her, she was the strongest woman I knew.
I know for a fact how much domestic abuse destroyed her life and made her ill watching her daughter suffering without being able to do anything about it.
Birthdays aren’t important when you are in an abusive relationship, you don’t plan a night out, you don’t get any birthday calls or texts, presents are non existent, pretty much like you really. The thing is, when you are in an abusive relationship, you no longer matter. It’s all about your abuser and you just do what you an to keep safe.
Christmas is no longer a fun festival but instead one full of fear. No Christmas tree, decorations, lunch or pudding. It’s just another day where domestic abuse doesn’t stop.
You don’t ring in the New Year with Auld Lang Syne, even though you pray the New Year will stop the abuse. You don’t ring in the New Year at midnight, there’s no celebration, it’s just another day.
Those 3 years of domestic abuse controlled my life and took so much away from me but I didn’t see it at the time, I only saw it once I found the strength and courage to leave the relationship. Even though I was a victim and did nothing wrong, it is me who lives with the guilt. The guilt of falling in love with the wrong person.