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This is Natasha’s Story ♥️

“When he was angry you could see his eyes glaze over, they changed and just looked black”. Domestic violence survivor Natasha.

Natasha’s still trying to find the woman she was before abuse ♥️

I never thought this could happen to me…

natasha-the-red-heart-campaignWell, what can I say, I never thought id be the one in this situation. I’m not a saint either, but this, this was different. I really don’t know where to start or how I didn’t see or realise that it could happen to me.

Was I really that naive? I met him online on a dating site. He was four hours away but we seemed to really hit it off – similar interests, kids the same age and we would talk for hours on the phone about everything and anything.

His phone was a pay phone where he lived (I thought this was odd ) but he explained it away.

This awesome guy had a dark past…

After a few weeks of phone chats he said he was passing through on his way further north to his cousin’s birthday and did I ‘want to meet up’. I agreed and he was awesome – a really nice guy, good looking. He seemed very “normal”. We had a great time and he left for the party and was passing through four days later, so we met up again and that was when he told me he had a history.

He had been in jail, was a former drug addict and had put himself into a rehab straight out of jail. I had started talking to him whilst he was in rehab. So that explained the public phone. He was on the tail end of the program was moving down to live with his uncle and work but wanted to be upfront with me. He showed me his record –  It was long. Alarm bells should have been screaming at me.

It stated drugs, theft, assault – the list went on. But I thought surely this man whom has be so open about his past and wanted me to be aware and answered all of my questions; who had even admitted to assaulting his previous partners (more alarm bells that I ignored) would never do any of those things to me.  He had changed and all of those things were done when he was on drugs and he was clean now, Plus he was on parole and reporting every week, so my logic was ‘it’s OK, he won’t be like that with me’. How wrong was I.

That anger… That look in his eyes… That fear. It was real…

We had been living together for a while and would have the usual ups and downs that most couples do but there was one thing that was different about him, When he was angry you could see his eyes glaze over, they changed and just looked black. This one day we were having an argument, we were in the kitchen and he was fuming, he got right up in my face yelling at me and he had that look in his eyes.

I stood my ground looked him in the eye told him to stop and that he didn’t scare me and his stand over tactic won’t work. Inside I was freaking out. Next thing I know I was pushed so hard I flew into the fridge and slid down it. I sat there shell shocked, crying.

Then came the apologies, the ‘it’s jail’ excuses, that I ‘provoked’ him and I thought ‘well, I guess I did’. I stood up to him and said I wasn’t scared even when he was standing toe to toe over me yelling. Eventually I accepted the apology and said ‘if you ever lay a finger on me again I’m gone’. He never did put his hands on me like that again.

My five years of mental and sexual hell…

Instead it was the start of five years of emotional, mental and – the one time – sexual abuse. Others may say it was more than once for the sexual abuse though from a narcissistic man who supposedly loved me. Even though I should of left earlier we stayed together and eventually got married and had a child. Prior to getting married he would be fine one minute and the next turn.

That look would come in his eyes and the name calling would start –  that I was just this or that and not really worth anything.  I was the one making him like that and he was never like this with anyone else – that he was this placid man and I just provoked him all the time or pushed his buttons. He would stand over me screaming – the spit from his mouth would spray over my face it was so venomous. This continued constantly and depression soon followed – I started believing the things he would tell me I was.

To everyone else he was just a great, kind, funny guy…

To the outside world he was this kind, quiet, funny man that would do anything for you and because he was like this to the outside world he would play on it and be horrible while we were out when no one was around. I don’t hide my emotions well and would either be quiet or say something that would make me look like I was such a bitch to him or cranky all the time because I was quiet.

I really thought I was going mad. When I was pregnant with our daughter he had a work Christmas party and we went. As soon as we got there he left me sitting with the other women who I didn’t know and took off with the boys. I think I saw him twice through the entire night and another man tried to hit on me. When we were leaving he was saying what a great night he had and did I have a good night and I laughingly said ‘yeah, I even got hit on by some guy with this big belly’. He lost it – said I had disrespected him.

That I was his wife and to take him back there and show him who it was. I said ‘no, you’re drunk don’t be stupid’. He kept on about disrespecting him and calling me names, then jumped out of the car and took off. I had to drive around for over an hour to find him and he still abused me.

The abuse took its toll on my body and my mind…

After we got married and had a child I got sick due to stress and other factors, our bub was a bit sick in the beginning of her life and he would say ‘I’m trying to find something wrong with her’ and ‘I’m going to make her sick’, ‘stop taking her to the doctor’ etc. I lost a lot of weight, my hair was falling out and I wasn’t in a good place.

When she was eight months old we went to visit his family  for Christmas, we were in the middle of nowhere this one night and had been fighting and I was really sick – vomiting, dizzy – and needed to lay down and he got angry that he had to tend to bub and said I was doing it on purpose so he couldn’t spend time with his family. I told him to go outside with them ‘I’ll be fine’.

He told me to just leave bub there and come out but I couldn’t I could hardly move. He went out came back in and I was lying on the blow-up mattress on the floor in the room and he walked in abusing me. He kicked the mattress hard, narrowly missing my head. I eventually needed to go to hospital due to being so sick. He still abused me even after they admitted me. I was stuck in a place I hated and had no escape. I wanted to leave him then and there but I didn’t.

He thought sex would fix everything – so he raped me…

As time went on he started breaking things, smashing them, kicking doors in and my depression was in full swing that I admitted myself to hospital. I had had enough, I didn’t want to be here. Plus I had chronic back issues. He would say things like ‘why don’t you just hurry up and die? or ‘I should of given you the noose’. He would stand over me. He even blew snot in my face. Always after his tirades he would apologise, but put the blame for his actions back on me. And he thought sex was the way to fix everything.

I didn’t want anything to do with him, but would eventually give in and oblige so as to save another argument. On one occasion my back was really playing up and painful and he wouldn’t take no for answer and again I gave in but not long  into it I said ‘stop I’m in too much pain’ and I couldn’t move to get away he had me pinned. I kept saying ‘stop’ and he didn’t.  He just got rougher and I was in tears. He didn’t care and continued till he had finished. I couldn’t walk properly due to the back pain and for a split second he seemed to care and helped me walk. Then said ‘I didn’t realise you were in so much pain’ and ‘I couldn’t help myself’ – ‘I’m sorry’.

He scarred in me in ways you could never imagine…

There are so many moments I could talk about, the lies, deceit and narcissistic behaviour and abuse, but I’m just glad I finally got out. One of the final things he did after we broke up was call me at 3am in the morning, then drive my car straight into a tree. Even after the break-up he still wanted to emotionally and mentally hurt me. He wanted me to hear him kill himself. He survived with minimal injuries.

It’s been two years since I’ve been in the relationship and to say it hasn’t scarred me would be a lie. I’m still single and very much wary of men now. I have worked so hard to get to the point I am now in my life just emotionally and mentally. I know that I deserve so much more and maybe one day I will find that – but for now I’m still working on me and getting the old me back. ♥️

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.