“He would hold me up by his one hand, around my neck. My feet would no longer touch the ground, my face would turn purple, I couldn’t breathe. I told myself this is the last time I will have my eyes open. He will be the last person I would have seen on this Earth”. – Domestic violence survivor Katie.
Katie is dedicated to changing the world for women in crisis ♥️
I had the world at my feet, then he walked into my life…
My name is Katie and I am 21 years old with my whole life ahead of me. I am bubbly, outgoing and love everything about life. I accept all types of people including same sex, religions and race, you want to know why? Because I don’t want anybody to ever feel alone. Let’s back track to the start of my journey.
In 2013, I was 17, young and free and was on my learning curve of finding out what this world was all about and being naive at the time, but what 17-year-old isn’t naïve?
At the time I made my way home from Western Australia back to Brisbane after working away, not knowing what was in store for me. At the time I was still bubbly, outgoing and loving everything about life – then I fell heavily in love with the wrong person. I could stop writing right here because it’s obvious what you’re about to read right? A bad love story that didn’t end well? I’m not going to speak softly any more. I met this guy, he was a lot older than me so I thought I was in safe hands, but it turned out to be the worst hands possible. I kept telling myself “It’s all me, it’s all me’’.
But it wasn’t me, It was just him putting his past blame onto me. I would get whipped with a belt, I was knocked out because he whacked me around my head with a shoe. Then the police arrived. I’m sure you could imagine the state of the house right? Broken fans, broken glass, holes in walls from where he smashed my head through. The police asked ‘Has he touched you?’ I replied with “No” (as you do) with cuts and bruises all over my body. He then got locked up that night and my oh my was I nervous when he returned! I didn’t take it to court, I just lied for him.
The day he pushed me to the brink of death…
He knew I wouldn’t run, he knew I wouldn’t leave him, he knew I wouldn’t tell a soul. During Christmas of 2013. He cut my neck open with his bare hands because somebody messaged me (Merry Christmas Katie) and he didn’t know that person, so what did he think?
He thought I was going behind his back. No way would I dare to do that because I knew exactly what I would have been in for! Boxing day came along and my Mum asked: “What happened to your neck?”. My response was: “I fell off a motorbike and slammed into a tree branch.” Did my mother believe me? Nope!
Did my father believe me? Nope! I tried and tried to cover it up, but whatever I tried did not do it justice. I would wait for him to get home from work. Then he would hold me up by his one hand, around my neck. My feet would no longer touch the ground, my face would turn purple, I couldn’t breathe. I told myself this is the last time I will have my eyes open. He will be the last person I would have seen on this Earth.
The more he abused me, the more I destroyed myself…
I lost my friends due to drug abuse. I got addicted to ice, weed and pills. Addicted to codeine, my attitude towards life itself changed immensely. I ended up distancing myself 100%. I kept questioning myself why? Why? I chose to be blind to it all, chose to ignore the true facts. And trust me it was the worst decision I ever made! IN 2014 I got diagnosed with anxiety, depression and anorexia nervosa all in one day – did he care? Nope.
Did I take prescription pills to get me through? Nope! In 2015 I lost three people in one year due to depression and cancer. At that point in my life I was itching for support and of course seeking it from the wrong places. I fell out with my family. I went months without speaking to them, I dropped 25kg within two months due to stress.
Oh man I wish I could take back time and take back all the bad things I ever said to my family. My sister is a life saver. My brother is my best friend. My Mum and Dad understand me like no one else in this world. I can’t count the amount of times I would wake up in the morning feeling like I’d been run over by a truck and he would be on his knees saying how sorry he was. Hmmm. Silly me I believed him.
Finding a ray of light from the darkest of moments…
I never thought I would be the girl to be writing something like this or even the girl who had to go through dirt and pick herself up all on her own. But as most say, you cannot live with regret and as random as this sounds I am glad I went through this because I wouldn’t be who I am today. Strong, independent, healthy and happy. The reason why he walked into my life was to show me depths of hurt and darkness so I could pursue a better me.
I stayed because he told me too, because he needed me, because he was sorry…
I stayed because I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I could save him from himself so I put everything on hold and focused all of my energy into him. I stayed because I felt weak. When I was so far gone there was a feeling he gave me and I bounced off this. This feeling was pain.
I was so numb that feeling any type of emotion was better than nothing. I stayed because I noticed the good side to him, but that clearly got me running around in circles and this led me to even deeper depths of fear. I stayed because he told me too. He told me he needed me. He told me he would change. He pleaded for forgiveness. I stayed because every time I would try and leave he would chase after my car or even open my door and start laying into me.
Everyone has a breaking point – this was mine…
I’m glad to be the one who got away. I scored a traineeship with a well known real estate. I was trying my hardest to hold myself together to get through each day by being the face of the office, the voice of the company and the person to ask whenever someone had an question. To be honest that was the hardest, putting on a front, chucking a smile on. When lunch breaks came, I would sit in my car and have a nervous breakdown.
I would then settle down and re-do my make up and get back to work as if nothing ever happened. One day, I was on my way to work and had a gut feeling something wasn’t right and it wasn’t. I got asked in for a meeting just be told: ‘Sorry Katie, we have decided to terminate the traineeship as we feel you do not fit the job’.
That was the day I had enough. If only I spoke up. if only I told my manager why I was all over the place. But I didn’t and this led to the loss of employment and my future career! He was at work at the time so I got in my car and grabbed every single item of mine from his house and got out as soon as I could! So please, don’t feel like you had to lie to yourself, let alone others! Ask yourself if it’s worth it?
I am healing and succeeding…
Just when I thought It was all getting better I was travelling home one day and a truck slammed into the passenger side of my car at 110km/h on the highway. This meant I was off work for three months from a casual job I had held for 14 months. I now suffer with pains in my shoulder, spine and collarbone.
I also have head trauma from when he used to smashed my head into walls. But it’s all okay now because you know why? I now work with a worldwide company as a customer service representative and to be honest, I have never worked for a company where they care about the employee. I feel like I have a second family already. I love going to work every day because I feel appreciated! So progression is being made, so many ambitions are forming as I continue to keep changing as a person, all with the help from my co-workers.
You are strong, you are valued and one day you will be free…
You are not alone, there are thousands and thousands out there suffering in silence because they allow the manipulation, lies and discrimination beat them. You don’t have to live in fear or be nervous about when will he flip out next? Has he had a drink this afternoon? We are all our own person and we all deal with different situations in our own unique ways. But together, with our bravery we can fight this together.
I attempted to end my life multiple times but did not succeed and I strongly believe the reason I did not succeed it so that I can share my story with you – to show you that you can get back to where you once left off from. Time is a long road to wait on but you will get there. Just hold on and stay strong because your story can help someone out there. Please, if you are victim, know your self-worth and be the strong woman or man that you believe you are and get out while you can. Much love to you warriors!
Keep on keeping on. You got this peeps. Love always – Katie xo 🙂 ♥️
♥️ Help Katie raise $1000 for White Ribbon by clicking this link >>
♥️ 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.