I need to stand up for myself & notice when I’m being disrespected…

My choices in life have led me to allow others to disrespect me. I’ve allowed it and just stopped noticing when it is happening. So then I don’t stop it from happening and it just keeps continuing.

How did I find out I was being disrespected? I told my man some things that were said to me (that I thought were funny ). When he heard what people were saying to me he could not believe that I would let people disrespect me like that.

I was confused at first, thinking these people were just being silly, just Aussie larrikins, didn’t really mean what they were saying…

But, when I took time to think about it , I was shocked to see that people don’t respect me as a mature respectable woman.

Of course, a lot of this behavior is because of my own behavior in the past. During my last relationship (mental and physical abuse) I would try to cover up what was happening at home by over exaggerating my love life to somehow make others think I had this amazing relationship and exciting intimacy.

This was my mistake!!!

Some people only remember me this way because they haven’t seen me since my life has changed. Not their fault… but I have changed and I need to set them straight if they speak to me in a disrespectful way.

Trying to be someone I’m not has backfired… so much so , some people still treat me like the fake I was.

Unfortunately, I still don’t know who I am. But I sure know who I’m not.

I NEED TO STAND UP FOR MYSELF

Many of my friends know what I went through and know how I’ve changed over the last 2 years and have seen me grow and mature and slowly move on from my nightmare. They never bring up things from my past or think it’s funny to mention embarrassing things I may have said or done. My real friends respect me.

Still in discovery mode…

E. x

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When I realised something needed to change…

After I left my husband, I was contacted by a guy I went to high school with 20 years ago. He looked ok on his fb profile and was a single father. I agreed to meet him for coffee. I remember being nervous and then thinking he was a little strange (stupidly I put it down to him being nervous too).

I saw him a few more times, he was caring and didn’t try to move the relationship to fast. I thought he was charming. He was unemployed, but said it was only until his child went to school ( I thought it was very sweet that he chose to spend time with his child before school started ). He lived in an apartment under his parents house, I was living with my cousin, so I couldn’t judge that.

I went overseas early in the relationship, he was very supportive when he left me at the airport. Halfway through the holiday he started to get jealous and mean when we spoke… I told him not to be silly . When I got back we resumed our relationship and I moved in.

He then started to get back pain and leg pain and intimate times were difficult for him. I wanted to help him, I felt like I needed to do for him what I didn’t do in my marriage . I looked after him, cared for him, spend every minute out of work with him and searched for cures.

He started to accuse me of cheating on him at work. He would ask where I had been, why I was late, why I went to work early etc…

One night there was an incident involving his child and mine and his Father told me I couldn’t have my children there anymore. So I found a house big enough for all of us. My bf refused to move in full time, he started sharing the cost of food and utilities because he was there all the time.

After 2 years of ups and downs and many screaming matches , he hit me! He would throw burning cigarettes at me, glasses of coke and spit at me.

WHY DIDN’T I LEAVE?

He had met me at a very vulnerable time, I was feeling guilty about leaving my Marriage. He knew this and started to get into my head from the very beginning. Got me to trust him and believe everything he said. 

He did it so well, I had no idea it was happening. I tell friends it was like voluntarily taking my brain out of my head and handing it over to him. I kept going back for more.

I feel so stupid now.

After leaving him I put a dvo on him and went into hiding. Work was my safe place until he tracked me down. He waited at my workplace for me to leave and then he wanted to talk, I let him… he handed me a jewellery box… Yes!! Can you believe it?!?!? He wanted to propose with a ring , I assume I paid for. I told him not to even think about it.The only time I saw him again was at court.

This is a very short version of the worst 3 years of my life.

The week I left him a woman lost her life at the hands of her jealous partner, within two weeks another two women were killed by their partners in my city . These were the ones reported on the news, since then the laws on domestic violence in Australia have changed drastically and there is no tolerance for it. I’m extremely lucky, I believe that he would have killed me sooner or later.

I now have a wonderful, caring, loving man , who I sincerely love with all my heart. 

E.

Starting from the beginning …part one

This one is going to take a while…

Well unlike The Eve of Creation, I started life like everyone else, being born into a loving family. I was the first child for a religious couple in the late 70’s. A father who was raised by two very dysfunctional parents and a mother raised by very strict European Christian parents.

The time when choice didn’t really matter

My earliest memories are of being in church surrounded by sounds of hymns and prayer, then playing with the other children in the car park of the church grounds. This was the fun times. Family (quite a few members of the church were my immediate family, aunts, uncles and cousins), friends and new faces around all the time, for a young child this was exciting. 

The time I realized there were choices but it was easier to do what others thought was best for me

At the time, probably around the age of 12, I had no  idea I was doing it but I started to worry about what others thought about me, especially my parents and the church. I started saying yes to things I really didn’t believe in and really didn’t want to be a part of. And when it came to performing in front of people (choir, plays, narrating) I hated it and became so stressed about trying to look the part and not letting people see the real me. I became this girl who stayed under the radar, didn’t take risks ( accept fight with my sister or watch tv instead of doing homework). I did subjects at school that were mainstream (good subjects for a girl). Many decisions were made for me, I stopped fighting it and just accepted others knew what was better for me. This is where I tell you that parents do their best and do it from love and from experience. I’m not telling you this to blame my parents or others in my past. People do what they can.

To be continued…

E.