Motherhood and Me DIaries, #10 Carries Story

domestic abuse survivor

Todays M.a.M Diary is from Carrie. Carrie is a survivor of domestic abuse. Her story of her start into motherhood is a tough one but she is an amazing woman who has battled so much to be where she is today. Tahanks so much for being so brave and getting involved Carrie.
Surviving Domestic Abuse.
I’m proud to say I’m a domestic abuse survivor, a battler of depression, anxiety and PTSD and I’m on a mission to help other women through Life Coaching, Mindfulness, Reiki and Law of Attraction.
At the age of 19 I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was facing motherhood alone and absolutely terrified. I had zero self confidence, no job and very little money or support. I knew I had to be the best mum I could be to this little life growing inside me, but no idea how to do it.
A male friend came back into my life and offered me friendship and support. I was very grateful for this and thought he was being kind. Slowly and without me really noticing, he chipped away at what little confidence I had and convinced me that to be a good mum to my baby I needed him and so we began a relationship. He moved me away from my family and friends and would belittle me every chance he got, telling me I was fat, useless, ugly, no one would ever want me and that if I ever left him my son would be taken away from me.
I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy and had never felt anything like it. I knew that I would always love and protect him and that I would always make sure he knew just how wonderful he was. In the meantime things in my relationship were getting worse. I had a strict bedtime of 10pm, his mum would phone to say goodnight and at 10.10pm he would leave work to come and check that I was in bed. I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone or go anywhere without him. He chose my clothes, shoes and underwear and I was constantly accused of cheating. Any money that went into my bank account had to be immediately transferred into his and I had to ask him for permission if I wanted to buy anything. He dictated every part of my life, when I slept, when I bathed, who I spoke to and when even what I ate and when I could eat it. I knew this was not the way I wanted to live my life and certainly not an environment I wanted my baby growing up in.
I came up with a plan. I knew after he left for work, I had an hour before he would come back to do his first check on me so one night after he had left for work I rang my mum, she sent my step dad and I scrambled to fit whatever I could into a carrier bag and baby bag. I grabbed my son, got in the car and we left.
When he came back to check on me, I wasn’t there. He came straight to my mum’s and I knew I had to face him. I went outside and said clearly “I’m not coming back, I’m staying here. It’s over”. I thought that would be the end of it, I was wrong.
I soon got a flat for me and my son, I did everything I could to give him the best life I possibly could and make sure that he always knew how much he meant to me. For the next 2 years my ex partner stalked me. He would park outside and watch who was coming and going, he would look through my windows, post notes through my door with sleeping tablets telling me to kill myself and follow me whenever I left the house.
On my 21st birthday some friends had come round to drop cards and a gift off for me. One of my friends had brought her boyfriend this caused my ex to start kicking my door and banging on my windows. I had had enough and went to tell him to leave me alone. He jumped in his car, reversed and drove it right towards me. I ducked around the corner knowing that his car wouldn’t fit and ran, locked myself in and phoned the police.
Fast forward two years, I had got myself a job, my son had started nursery, I had got my confidence back and I had friends again. One weekend my mum offered to have my son and my friends and sister decided it was time for me to let my hair down and have some fun. We invited friends round and had a good night drinking, singing and enjoying ourselves. I got talking to a few of my sisters friends, one of them was paying extra attention to me, he seemed nice but was a little cocky and arrogant.
The following morning as my friend and I were sat in the kitchen he came in, handed me his phone number and said “Your going to ring me later” I laughed, he wasn’t my type and I was perfectly happy by myself. He got my phone number from a friend and started texting and phoning, I can’t deny that I was flattered by the attention. After a week we were texting and talking on the phone every day and ended up getting together.
A week after that was the first time he hit me.
I had fallen asleep on the sofa whilst watching a film, woke up and he punched me in the side. I couldn’t believe it and didn’t know what was going on. He left the room and said “You won’t fall asleep again will you?”
The abuse escalated from that moment, he would hit, kick, bite, burn and cut me on a regular basis. He subjected me to the most terrible sexual abuse and made me believe I deserved it all. I got used to wearing long sleeves and jeans to hide the marks and made sure to never get changed in front of anyone.
No one knew my dirty little secret.
Meanwhile my gorgeous boy was shaping up to be the most kind, compassionate little boy. He was incredibly loving and I did everything I could for him. It all came to a head one night when we had a barbecue with friends. I had been speaking to a male friend and he had seen me. He flew into a rage dragging me to the garden kicking and punching me and screaming at me. Everyone in the house came running to see what the noise was, it took 6 people to get him off me. I was taken to the police station and told them what had happened, I knew I had to be brave for my son.
I went to court ready and willing to give evidence, I didn’t need to, he entered a guilty plea at the last minute.
I was left with PTSD, depression and anxiety. I had panic attacks and flashbacks for years but with help and support, mindfulness and reiki I’ve got through it.
I now work nights supporting victims of domestic abuse who have had to flee their homes and have my own business as a life coach, reiki practioner, mindfulness practitioner and law of attraction called Pheonix Coaching. That’s as well as having a 13 year old, a 7 year old and a 12 week old!
We are a strong family unit and my boys are growing up to be kind, compassionate, loving young men and I’m so so proud of them. We all tell each other all the time “I love you” and are always full of praise for each other. They dote on their little sister and love to spend time with her. I have an amazing partner who loves me for who I am and would never dream of hurting me.
I hope to one day be able to offer my services to domestic abuse victims as part of their recovery process.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, you can survive and flourish and go on to achieve your dreams. There is life after domestic abuse. You are not alone and you certainly don’t deserve it.
Carrie has a Facebook page in which she has set up to try to help other survivors of domestic abuse. Check out her amazing work on Facebook @ The Pheonix Project