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This is Michelle’s Story ♥️

“It’s amazing how one human could destroy so many lives, yet still be allowed to roam free – preying on his next victim”. Domestic violence survivor Michelle.

Michelle hopes her journey from abuse will save lives ♥️

My 32 years of hell started at the age of 14…

michelle-the-red-heart-campaignIt started out when i was 10 years old and came from a broken family. My mum had remarried and had started a new life, whilst I did everything to not go home – so I was wandering the streets sleeping in any other bed but my own. My second oldest sister used to go to school with my ex-narc’s sister.

By accident I met the abuser whilst he was painting a house two doors up from my sister’s place. I was a 14-year-old child and he was a 24-year-old supposed adult. The warning signs were there – the very first time he said to me quite angrily that if he didn’t get his pot or have pot he would get angry. Being a child I didn’t fully understand this was the beginning of my nightmare life spanning over 32 years.

He was very controlling, jealous, possessive and abusive straight up.

He stole my innocence and my freedom…

By the age of 16 I had given birth to my first child without help from family or friends. I was able to see by this stage that the abuser had a drug and alcohol addiction. It was so surprising how many people would just turn a blind eye to the abuse. The abuse was  hidden – only a few of his mates would really know what he was like. After a couple of decades, it became hard for him to hide it and he was becoming more out in the open.

The days and nights became more scarier, I was feeling isolated and alone. By the age of 23 I had given birth to two more babies, still without help or support from anybody. Scared and terrified I had to protect myself and the children from his wild rampages. I had been spat on, urinated on, farted on and told only to speak when I was spat on. Black eyes and blinded by a high-powered rechargeable torch continually for six months.

Daily name calling and put downs were a ritual. I was becoming more isolated with only trips to the shops to get the bare essentials to survive on.  On most occasions I had to put back half the groceries as I didn’t have the money to pay for them – I had been stood over and robbed of my money so he could pay for his habits.

He controlled everything, including my womb…

At this stage I didn’t want to bring anymore babies into this world –  I was struggling with them being witnesses and victims to the abuse. I tried every form of contraception to avoid this situation  but unfortunately that wasn’t possible as nothing worked, it all failed. I had another three babies – not by choice. I was raped. So in total i had six children – five girls and  one boy – by the age of 35. I also had to terminate seven lives.

This had taken its toll by now as he didn’t support me or the family in anyway –  financially, physically, emotionally. The violence was increasingly becoming more dangerous. I received broken bones, bite marks where I was unable to open a car door for more than three weeks. Guns shots were fired through the bedroom door where a baby was sleeping on the other side.

I was threatened by him starting up a chainsaw inside the house – he wanted money to pay for his drugs. He ripped my hair out and dragged and threw me around the house. He kept me awake at night with threats of making me do sexual acts. Nothing came for free – if I needed the yard mowed or kids taken to school it would involve me having to have sex with him or would cost me petrol money every time I got into the car.

Not even the animals were safe – or my kids…

He was cruel towards the animals. He would beat the dog up and kick him. He slit the throat of a pig, slaughtered a sheep and skinned it, he de-clawed the cat by driving down the highway at 100kmh. He continually told me that I bred ‘cunts of kids” and he pulled their hair at the nape of the neck as he knew that hurt them the most. He whipped them with a horsewhip so he didn’t even have to get out of the chair to reach them.

He name-called them, rubbed their noses in the urine if they wet their pants, he would not allow them to shower before school if they wet their beds. My body was in continual fight or flight mode to protect myself and my adorable and loving children. I was in and out of several women’s shelters. I sought volunteer work just to have some human contact. The abuser didn’t like that idea as I became a little stronger and he was losing control.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Why I stayed! Why I left!

I stayed because I felt like I had no way out. I stayed because I had no self-worth. I was buried by the hateful words he would spew at me. I stayed because no-one else would want me. I stayed because I was going to fight to be “the one”. I stayed because dysfunction was all I knew.  I kept going back because I was convinced that love was supposed to hurt. I left because I was worn down from the emotional welts and bruises from the verbal backlash. I left because killing myself to be nothing to someone else was not going to keep me alive.

It took 32 years, but finally I am free…

After 32 years of hell I awoke one morning, by him threatening to wrap a kitchen chair around my head and I just could not take anymore violence. My soul was destroyed. Somehow I got him out of the house, and I never let him back in the front door. Don’t ask me how I managed it but I’m now in the sixth year of having him physically out of my house. It’s my fourth consecutive DV order since getting him out but the abuse still continues to happen outside of my house.

Will I ever see him face justice?

I never thought that I’d see the day that I would be free. The journey of recovery from decades of trauma continues. Dealing with the whole family having mental health issues haunts me day in and day out. Having to stand still and deal with the emotions is still so very painful. He still breaches the DV order.

There is still no justice, not a jail term or even a fine. This sick evil man is still able to walk free. It’s just criminal and justice needs to be served in order for me to move forward. It’s amazing how one human could destroy so many lives, yet still be allowed to roam free – preying on his next victim. That is so sad, so heartbreaking. ♥️

If you are in domestic violence crisis help is available from the Australia-wide telephone hotline 1800RESPECT. If you want to take part in the “Why I Stayed” project click here ♥️♥️♥️

Photograph by Sherele Moody © 2016.