Anytime I question my decision if my kids are better off, I always come back to the same answer HELL YES. But that’s not to say the fallout doesn’t affect them and can in so many ways; every child is different. You can probably bet on your abuser making it more difficult after you leave. Strict Consent Orders and keeping a record or diary was and still is my upmost priority. I have no control (no one does) of the experiences my children have while they are with him. Spending any energy thinking about this I find soul-destroying and does not serve me in recovering.
Instead all my focus is on giving all my children all the love and support they need. Sourcing and having regular external resources to assist me and them to recover and feel supported in our journey with it.
For me it is a great way to show them that we can’t always deal with feelings and experiences alone and nor should we be ashamed of asking for help. The stigma around Family Violence needs to be broken down for all ages and walks of life.
I was bullied into having a fourth child. All I could think of is I didn’t want my (third /his first) ) child to grow up alone …Because my older children were discouraged and intimidated by him to have any genuine relationship with their younger sibling, so I reconciled my decision to go ahead. I was daring enough to explain my reasoning to my ﬁancé one day in a rare show of deﬁance. Even though I made a choice to prioritise his own child, he still saw it as a betrayal because he was no longer ﬁrst with me, how dare I prioritise his or my children over him!
I was still giving him what we wanted… yet he was livid, so my last pregnancy and the birth of my fourth child was a complete ordeal. I happened to ask one of my midwives to request he not be allowed at the birth, to induce me early because I would rather give birth alone, she made notes and held my hand, but in the end he was there — appearances were everything to him. I vividly remember him losing his temper and snapping at me in the hospital corridor ( of course while no-one was around to see it) all I could manage was “please I’m sorry but I cant do this with you angry at me “ I was apologising to HIM for being in labour, being in pain , asking him for support.
I kept trying to make him calm so I could get on with delivering our child.
This zero amount of empathy from him I can still recall quite vividly to this day.
It saddens me as I remember I could only let my older children have cuddles with their new baby if he wasn’t home. I’d like to say I woke up to myself at this point, but no I would stay in this futile relationship for almost another 2 years. I thought I could shoulder all the abuse he steered towards my older kids, I would frequently say to him
”be angry at me , take it out on me but please not them” What the *$#@ was I thinking?
As much as I tried sheltering my children from his abuse, I felt it was best to have a single parent than a constant bad example to follow. How can I teach my children to respect , love and have healthy boundaries in relationships while they are constantly seeing the opposite in their home? Even the Law is changing but not in the way you probably think. Women who continue to stay in a DV relationship where children are subject to abuse can now actually have their children removed from their care.Regardless if I Agree or disagree ,my heart breaks for those that ever have to face this reality.
I don’t think I will ever get to a place anytime soon where I can say “ WOOHOO we made it!! ” …to quote another victim and friend “it” ( the abuse) never leaves you … and she is 15 years down the road and happily remarried. That’s not to discourage you by the way. I told you I would be upfront and honest about my struggles. I do know that when my children are with me I have 4 very happy , healthy children who love spending time together.
We are best friends, we laugh and have fun and share everything ; the ups and downs, one in all in! If that’s not winning I don’t know what is.
Did you know that we are the ﬁrst to run a prevention program? Love Bites program runs in local High Schools because we believe it’s an extremely important step in reducing this devastating repeated cycle of violence. We want to help you.. AND your children!
We are here to help guide you YOU ARE NOT ALONE.