So I thought. Immediately after I had escaped the constant stream of text messages and voicemails reminding me it was all my fault. All I wanted was to move on with my life.
It was clear Damian did not want me to have a life and he wasn’t prepared to lose his power and control. To keep me fearful he sent me 20,160 hand written pages full of emotional and psychological abuse. Travelling to my place of work to stalk me. Enlisted the help of his parents- a failed kidnap attempt to take me back to where I belonged- to their son.
How did I respond ?
My time was taken up 3-4 times a week either phoning the police or sat in a police station on an evening reporting another letter, text message or being stalked by him.
” We need to have a bigger picture of what is going on. Not enough evidence, keep reporting ” -police officer
Every time I went to the police I went with the hope this would be the time they would help me and stop this war of terror against me. After 2 years of reporting the picture of what was happening wasn’t clear enough for the police and the war of terror was allowed to continue.
Where did I go for help ?
I had not only been to the police asking for help. I have contacted a Police Superintendent, Chief Inspector, two Minister’s of Justice, MP’s , Deputy Prime Minister and various organisations asking them all for help. I have been on my knees begging for help for this war of terror against me to stop. It was allowed continue either through ignorance or the threat of a personal lawsuit soon put an end to any offers of help they were quickly rescinded. In order to protect themselves from this I was used as a shield and so the abuser was allowed to continue with the war of terror. Accepting help wasn’t coming during this very traumatic time in my life was difficult.
What did I do ?
I could not change what was happening- I was totally powerless. The only power I did have was within myself and this is where I had control. I was at rock bottom- facing bankruptcy due to economic abuse used in the legal proceedings failing to attend court hearings and numerous appeals made by the abuser to purposely increase my legal fees resulted in £53k of debt. I was facing losing my business and being homeless.
I started to slowly make changes within myself these were difficult and challenging with the added on going pressure from the abuser. I kept my focus onto myself– I refused to be drawn back into a living a life life I wasn’t mean’t to have. I wanted the life I had always dreamt about and I started to build a foundation for a new life.
Unhappy and exhausted- I’d hardly slept in 5 years this was one of many punishments for my many failings It could be not asking for permission to turn a light on, speaking too quietly, breathing too loud, failing to complete one of 60 errands to be done in a week. The more I tried- the more I failed it was getting worse every minute of the day trying to survive and make it through- only to relive this again the next day, on and on it goes-he is relentless.
” Something had to change it was only a matter of time- would I be killed by my own hand or the abusers “
I made the decision to hire a storage locker and I started to put a few things in there important documents, bank statements, passport and work certificates. My plan was to take some clothes and whatever else I may need in preparation for when I would eventually leave him.
From the hall to the door it is 5 steps-it takes only a few seconds to take these steps. I never imagined taking these 5 steps would be the hardest steps I would take in my life. It took 3 hours for me to take these 5 steps. Subjected to emotional & psychological abuse and physically restrained to prevent me from leaving. I was allowed one phone call- I didn’t get to choose who the call could be made to- nor could I make the call- the abuser (he) did this.
He made the call to his mother- whilst I was being restrained by his father. Updating her what was happening he calmly looked at me “Can you hear her she is hysterical and she is smashing the place up” The shock of what was happening to me and they were all in this together. I wasn’t mentally insane like they had all been telling me. I didn’t know how I was going to get out- I believed I would and I did.
In hindsight-what would I have done differently in leaving ?
Reflecting back- Leaving an abuser safety is at a greater risk they will try to prevent you from leaving. No one knew what was happening to me. I did not have a safety exit plan. On reflection I did need a safety plan and I think it would have helped me.
How to prepare and leave safely ?
Women’s Aid Charity – safety plan click on the link below.
Driving the car on my own was the only time I would get to listen to the radio, hear the music that I loved and the familiar voice of the radio presenter discussing a wide range of different topic’s during their slot on the radio. On this day I got delayed which resulted in not being able to listen to the first half of the topic being discussed on the programme. The radio presenter asked everyone listening to the programme a question which surprised me because they didn’t usually do this. What came from asking this question surprised me even more.
Name 10 reasons to stay in your intimate relationship?
Right on cue music was played to give all the listeners a 2 minute interval to reflect on this. Thinking of my 10 reasons before the radio presenter came swiftly back on air to continue with the topic of discussion. All I could think of was-the garden. Watering the flowers, weeding the borders and mowing the lawn twice a week. Back on air the radio presenter asked for you to think of your 10 reasons and to remove any that are related to your home, children and pets. And what do you have remaining-I had nothing. Every day I would go to work and return back to the perpetrator.
Why don’t you leave ?
Perpetrators will go to great lengths to prevent you from leaving. What they do they build four walls around you, they start off low and gradually become higher and higher to the point you look up and can barely see the light of day. And the space around you becomes increasingly smaller and smaller there is no room to move they have you where they want you confined and trapped. Hidden from the outside world so no one can hear your cries, witness the impact of the internal / external scars you have. Escaping these walls is incredibly hard. No one asks to be emotionally, psychologically, sexually, physically or economically / financially abused.
” No reason to stay is a good reason to go” – Stella Eden
If you are experiencing abuse or know someone who is experiencing abuse and needs help and support in England 24 hr National Domestic Violence Help line t-0808 2000 247
After 18 years I slumped to the floor in an exhausted heap. Thinking what has my life become, constantly adapting to the growing demands of a volcano that would erupt several times a day if they were not met or to their liking. Who would remind me constantly throughout the day of my many failings and how useless I am as a person (emotional abuse) My only hope at this time was-help was on its way but when it came and opened the door then locked the door behind them, it was clear it wasn’t coming to help me-it was coming to help the perpetrator. What happened to me during those 3 hours (physical, emotional and psychological abuse) revealed the picture I hadn’t seen coming-all three of them were in this together (perpetrator and their parents)
No one outside knew what was happening-how he would shout at me every day. There was no escaping the destruction he would cause smashing the furniture around me and shouting out my name every time they punched the walls. I was forced to bear witness to this all because I forgot to buy a pint milk. The daily list of where I was going to be throughout the day and what time had to be confirmed with a sent text message to them. Preventing me from sleeping because I was showing signs of having a bad attitude this was turning on the washing machine without asking for permission, smiling, laughing without their consent and breathing too loud or looking at them when I spoke to them (psychological abuse). Humiliating by restraining me (physical abuse) to prevent me from going to the toilet and forcibly pressing onto my lower abdomen so I would urinate on myself. To isolate me further to stop me from leaving they refused to carry any money because I was their personal bank and if I did not buy what they wanted they threatened to smash the entire contents of the shop. This resulted in myself having a credit card debt of £3k (economic/financial abuse)
Growing up in an environment that consisted of domestic abuse is all I ever knew. To be shouted at and made to feel guilty was normal every day life for me – I had never experienced unconditional love. The only difference with the perpetrator which I had never experienced was they noticed me. And wanted to protect me and care for me- finally someone who loves me but it wasn’t love or caring it was domestic abuse.
How would you recognise if you / someone was in a domestic abusive relationship ?
If you are reading my blog and you connect with my experience or if you are scared to go home. And can not freely express who you are or say how you feel because there will be consequences for doing this resulting in either verbal threats, physical or sexual violence or using emotional / psychological methods this is domestic abuse.
Please seek help. Women’s Aid 24 hour help line- free phone Tel 0808 2000 247
Immediate danger call 999 and ask for the POLICE
‘Love wants to hear the sound of your voice hear your laughter and watch you grow to be the person who you choose to be’ -Stella Eden
One hand over their mouth, eyes closed tightly whilst their other hand waves frantically signalling to stop this conversation dead in it’s tracks before it goes any further. The fear of acknowledging this could be happening in an area where the live. This is one of many responses I have had and what caused this? A subject no one likes or wants to talk about because it is horrendous- domestic abuse.
What is domestic abuse / domestic violence ?
Abusive power with controlling manipulation and threatening behaviour. It is a repeated pattern of cycle abuse using various forms of abuse –
Harassment / Stalking
Economic / Financial
Domestic abuse / domestic violence is also about humiliating and isolating you to keep you fearful and hidden away from all the great wonders of life and from everyone in society. Their power and control is so important to them they will go to great lengths to keep it and to keep you under their control by using any forms of abuse.
Sadly it is not going away it is global and it is goes from one relationship to another. In our lifetime it is estimated 1/4 women and 1/6 men will experience domestic abuse in an intimate relationship. It can happen to anyone from any social background in all genders.
The more we openly talk about domestic abuse this becomes part of a regular conversation we all need to be having at work places with friends and family. By doing this we are all facing it and rising to help those who need to understand and recognise domestic abuse is unacceptable.And those who are in desperate need for help but are too afraid to ask or do not know they are being abused. Start talking about domestic abuse never be afraid to ask is this domestic abuse- you may save someone’s life.
Together we can make a difference- Stella Eden
If you are experiencing abuse or know someone who is experiencing abuse and needs help and support in England – 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline
Hey I am Stella. Welcome to my blog-Stella’s Open Road Trip. It is about my own personal journey of self-discovery and how I transformed my life completely around- after 18 years of emotional, psychological, physical and economic abuse. The devastation of this had greatly impacted on my physical and mental health- I could barely speak, scared of my own shadow and fearful of everything.
After my escape I made a promise to myself my life had to be better and I wrote one word on a piece of paper. I carried this everywhere with me, inside my pocket, handbag or holding it in my hand and this gave me my motivation and this was the start of Stella’s Open Road Trip. And I grew beyond what I imagined I would be as a person, and now I am living the life I have always dreamed of.
Join my journey-Stella’s Open Road Trip and discover useful tips and information what helped me recover from the aftermath of domestic abuse. A few topics I am going to be blogging on-
Alternative ways to a better health
Guest blogs to inspire and help along the way
And the journey doesn’t end there-there is more. I hope by sharing with you what helped me personally -it may help you too.
Absolutely-because at some point in your life you will know someone who is in an domestic abusive relationship. It maybe a friend, the person who serves you in the cafe, work colleague, family member or YOU !
Domestic abuse it hurts you, it can kill, it isolates you, it will try and destroy your future. The impact of it is devastating on the physical body and mental health. Openly talking about domestic abuse and making it part of a regular conversation everyone should be having, and just by doing this you are already raising awareness. No one should have to live in constant fear trying to survive the next five minutes and the next. Abusive behaviour is unacceptable. And for our future generations to end this we can all make a difference-it is time to end all forms of domestic abuse.
Also in my blog there will be;
What is domestic abuse?
Recognising the signs
How to help
‘Together we learn, we grow and we inspire each other”-Stella Eden