||I don't know where to start my story, some would say at the 'beginning' but that would then become a novel rather than just a 'story'. I know that I'm a 'survivor' of domestic abuse and rape and that makes me proud as there were times I truly believed I wouldn't make it to the next hour let alone another day.
If I cast my mind back over the years my story began on 30th December 1991 at a Night club in Tamworth (west midlands uk). I had gone there with my friend L after a lousy first xmas without my husband as we had separated in July and I was still trying to come to terms with how that had shattered my life leaving me 'alone' with two young children. He had gone off with my 'best friend' so at that time my emotions were all over the place, with 'betrayal of trust' and rejection being at the forefront.
During the five months since our split, I had been flirting outrageously with men and even sleeping around a bit, trying to salve the hurt I was feeling; I now realise that sex can never heal an emotional hurt and that only time and therapy and a strong 'self love' can overcome it, but at that time I was in a world of pain and confusion and reacting badly to what I was feeling.
Towards the late evening around midnight I suppose, a fairly good-looking man approached me and we started chatting. He was 5ft 10, with an olive complexion and dark, wavy hair; with dark brown eyes that could melt you. He looked a lot like George Michael in his younger days and I was immediately attracted to him. I thought he was of Greek or Italian descent, but he told me he was 'half-cast' Asian and I believed him! (That was the first of so many lies) He also told me that he was 27 (another lie) and as I was 29 at the time that didn't seem too young to me. He told me his name was B, and although I knew that was a nickname I wasn't bothered about asking him what his 'real' name was. The night wore on and we ended up kissing and smooching with each other, then it was time to go and I left with L and walked to my car. He must have followed us, because I was just putting my key in the ignition as he appeared at my car window asking for my phone number. That was the biggest mistake I ever made because I gave it to him and sealed my own fate, but I wasn't to know that at the time; it was the start of an eight year nightmare.
For the first two months or so everything was great, he was charming, loving, and caring and even if I did spend half my time driving here, there and everywhere to pick him up, what did that matter???? He couldn't drive (Or rather he didn't have a full licence), and if I wanted to see him I had to go and get him from wherever he happened to be when he called me. Half the time he brought a couple of friends with him and they would proceed to get hammered on Bacardi, but that didn't matter to me either, I was content in the fact that he wanted to be with me. What a fool I was!!
The first time he showed any inkling of what was to come I should've got rid of him there and then, but like all 'victims' I chose to ignore the signs. It was a Friday night and as usual he and his mates had been over and drinking heavily; he took me upstairs and into the spare bedroom, there he started kissing me and telling me that he wanted to have 'anal' sex as that was the only way he would be able to have me as a 'virgin'. Although the idea repulsed me I agreed; I thought that a 'one time' thing wouldn't hurt and that it would never happen again.
After that the abuse started, slowly at first... criticism of what I was wearing, who I was friends with, what I was saying and then it slowly became more aggressive; slapping me hard around the face, holding me up against a wall by my neck and with each time it happening profuse apologies and swearing it would never happen again. I wanted to believe him so much, even though I knew what he was doing was wrong, that I let it slide. Just so long as it happened when my children weren't around I could pretend to myself that it didn't matter, that he was just being protective. I tried to end our relationship, no-one approved of it especially my parents who were both racist; but emotionally I was a mess and it was too much for me to take on at that time. I tried to commit suicide by taking a whole bottle of anti-depressants. B phoned me to ask me why I was splitting up with him and because I wasn't coherent eventually realised what I'd done. He still got me to drive over to him and pick him up (how I didn't kill myself or someone else i'll never know), then he drove me back home and put me to bed. I remember hearing him go out and drive off, but I was going in and out of consciousness so wasn't sure what the time was or how long he was gone. When I next awoke it was to see him standing at my side of the bed looking down at me. He started to remove my clothing and I just lay there unable to respond in any way to what he was doing. He then pulled off my pants, lifted my legs over his shoulders and proceeded to raped me anally. I started to hit at his shoulders, but I was so out of it that they didn't have any impact. I kept crying NO but he wouldn't stop, he just kept saying 'you love it really and now I'm going to make you MINE'. I can still to this day remember the physical pain it caused me, it felt like I was being ripped apart internally; by the time he finished I was whimpering with the pain of it and the degradation that somehow still reached into my mind. The following day he acted as if nothing untoward had happened, but I knew it had as my bottom was sore and ripped from what he had done.
The first real physically abusive episode is one I'll never be able to erase from my memory. I was working for the Birmingham City Council at the time as a chef, and we'd had a week of big banquets for some reason or another. It meant that we were working 10 and 12 hour days and on this particular day I had been in work since seven in the morning and hadn't finished until eleven that night. It was a Friday and B had taken my car as he said he was going to see friends and then pick me up after I finished. I had called him as I finished work and stood outside the council building, I waited for over an hour for him to come and get me by which time I was furious! How dare he do this to me? It was my car not his! As soon as I got in the car I started shouting at him, I was tired and for some reason I just didn't care anymore. He just told me to shut the fuck up as usual, but I wouldn't let it go and the more he verbally abused me the angrier I got. He put his Asian music on which infuriated me even more, so childishly I switched it off; he then called me a slut and something inside of me snapped. I swiped him across the mouth with the back of my right hand, a mistake I know, but I just couldn't help myself. He started hitting me around the head and face even though he was driving; at one point he pulled up in a garage just to have an attack on me, but I didn't care and just kept on shouting at him and hitting him back when I got the chance. As we neared my house, he pulled over to the side of the road and I quickly jumped out... I had the house keys and he didn't, but he got out as well and started hitting hell out of me. Every time he knocked me down I got right back up and faced him, telling him what I thought of him and the way he was treating me; only to get punched or kicked again. In the end I was bruised, battered and dizzy and as usual I gave in, got in the car and went home.
The following day I had to phone in sick saying that I'd been in a car accident as I was so battered. I had two black eyes, chipped front teeth and bruises all over my head and arms, I really looked as if I'd been in a car wreck.
At the same time as the abuse started to escalate, my X husband was also coming after me with a battle for our children. It was war between the two of us, me against him and my so called best friend and the poor children were caught in the middle of it. I started becoming more and more depressed, yet unwilling to admit it or ask for help from anyone. When I was alone without the children or Bud, I would find myself listening to music and rocking myself backwards and forwards clutching a cushion to my breast and crying like I would never stop. I was getting into deeper and deeper financial trouble, spending money to try to cure the hurt and turmoil I was feeling inside and only causing myself more grief.
Eventually I had to sell my home in order to pay my debts off. I also had to send the children to live with their father as I was moving out of the area and I didn't want them to have to change schools. Thinking back I'm sure that subconsciously I was putting them somewhere where I knew they would be safe..... away from the abuse that I was suffering and which was becoming worse each time it happened.
As a couple of years rolled by, the abuse had escalated, it was now not only physical, but mental and emotional also. I was continuing to see the children every other week, but that in itself was torture as I was constantly walking on eggshells to try and prevent another explosive episode in front of them. B was drinking profusely now and it didn't take much alcohol to trigger him off into abusing me in one form or another. By now I'd found out that he wasn't 27 as he first told me but only 21 or by then 23, and he also wasn't half-caste, but of Pakistani origin. I'd also put up with him going out with his mates and coming back reeking of perfume, or covered in make-up and as usual he would always come up with excuses for this or else get aggressive so that I'd keep quiet.
In January of 1995 we had a dinner party for some of his family members and as usual I was walking carefully. Although he wouldn't drink in front of them, he would still have a 'power trip' by treating me like a servant or talking to me as if I were dirt on his shoe. He was bragging to his brother about his tool collection and told me to get his toolbox out of the cupboard. As I was busy cooking, I hastily did as I was told and didn't think about the way I was picking up the toolbox, I suddenly felt a searing pain in my lower back as if it had torn and I couldn't straighten up properly. I managed to get the box to him and then slowly hobbled into the kitchen (without him noticing) and stood over the sink. His sister-in-law was also in there at the time and she noticed as the tears of agonizing pain rolled down my cheeks. I quietly told her what had happened, but as she herself was in an abusive relationship with his twin brother, she knew as well as I that it was better to keep quiet.
I went to the doctor on the Monday and was told that I had 'slipped' my disc, there then proceeded a multitude of tests and waiting to see specialists. During this time he did seem to relent on the physical abuse, and as I was so stoked up on painkillers, I didn't really take much of the rest of it in. Finally in October of that year I got to see the surgeon and all hell let loose. I ended up having to have emergency surgery and wasn't even allowed to go home and collect some things. I phoned B at work and told him what was happening and within 45 minutes he arrived at the hospital looking somewhat shocked I must admit. He cried openly when they wheeled me down to the theatre and was at my bedside when I awoke from the surgery with tubes coming in and out of my body. He was so attentive during my stay in hospital that I thought that finally he had realised how fragile life could be and also what his feelings were for me..... I was wrong.Within a couple of months complications set in following the surgery and I was constantly being rushed back in for 'bed rest' and further tests. The pain was agonising and eventually I was handed over to the pain relief specialist as there was nothing further they could do surgically.
Another couple of years passed, during which time I hardly ever went out anywhere. I was in constant agonizing pain and the medication I was on was very strong. It was at this point that the rape started. Although I didn't have any libido whatsoever, I always gave in to B's desires. I would lie there and just look at the ceiling, trying to mask the pain that it would cause in my back, but that wasn't enough for him.
He started by using the excuse of giving me a back massage to ease the pain. He would rub baby oil onto his hands and then massage my back, slowly moving his hands down my lower back to my bum cheeks. Then he would put more oil onto his hands and move them between my bum cheeks and up to my anus. I would tell him to stop and clench my cheeks (which made my back pain worse), but I couldn't stop him as I would be lying on my front and therefore couldn't turn around. All the time whilst he was doing this he would be telling me how much he loved me and that this was my way of being able to prove how much I loved him. Once he knew that I was well lubricated he would insert the tip of his penis into me, even though I told him NO and pleaded with him to stop he would carry on. All I could do was lie there gritting my teeth against the physical pain and bury my thoughts into my subconscious to be able to get through the ordeal.
This was repeated on a fairly regular basis for a couple of years, by which time I felt more and more degraded and humiliated that eventually one night I snapped. From somewhere I found the strength to ignore the pain in my back and actually turn around and push him off me just before he inserted his penis. I told him in no uncertain terms that if he EVER touched me that way again I would tell his entire family what a dirty, disgusting person he was. It stopped him, finally, but the damage had been done and still remains with me to this day.
We eventually broke up when I found out that his family were planning to get him an arranged marriage to his cousin. It was the last straw for me, although it had been coming anyway. For months I had been feeling nothing but contempt for him, I hated him, but didn't have the strength to be able to actually let go. This gave me the excuse I needed and I persuaded him to buy his own house and to give me time to get over his and his families deceit. I had no intention of ever letting him back into my life, but I knew that I had to play it clever and do it slowly. I was also undergoing therapy at the same time and starting to re-build my life and self-confidence slowly. It took me another year or more to finally get rid of him, but I did it and I've never looked back since.
I met my present husband in 2003 online in aol chat and we got married in September of 2005. He knows all about what I went through with B and tries really hard to understand why I still have 'flashbacks' or 'triggers'. I finally marked my survival last year by having a tattoo that I designed specifically for that reason put over the middle of my back, I'm proud to be a survivor and I wanted to mark it in some way.
I'm not sure if any woman ever really 'gets over' abuse and rape, but I do know that it helps to talk about it and acknowledge it. I thank God every day that somehow I had the strength of mind to be able to get through my ordeal and I hope that one day I may be able to help someone else who is going through what I did.