Past is past, so I thought…

Generally, from my experiences; past partners are not something you talk about with your significant other. I’ve always thought that the past was irrelevant; the present and the future are all that should matter. Unfortunately, he did not agree with this and went snooping.

I’d been in hospital for an emergency day surgery on a cyst, nothing major. He’d waited at the hospital for me most of the day and when I was allowed out of recovery I knew that something wasn’t right, he was distant and short spoken. I was still fairly under anaesthetic affects and in a fair bit of pain. We got to the car, and he began yelling ‘Why did you have to be such a slut!’. Of course, I had no idea where this had come from for him to then go on that he’d been through old messages on my phone between myself and an entire two ex boyfriends. He apparently had major issues with the sexting nature of these messages, it’s pretty normal to be facetious with your significant other right?

He yelled the same words at me over and over for the entire forty minute drive home. I wasn’t really in a state of comprehension so all I could do was cry and apologise. I look back and wonder why I let things continue after this, I really had no reason to be apologetic. He had gone looking for trouble, the messages were all from before we’d met and they were so far down the inbox I didn’t even know they were there. Who goes scrolling down an iPhone message inbox just to go find what you can delete from your own phone? It’s the past so it shouldn’t matter.

This day was when his abuse began. It started with control, he made me agree to cut off all of my male friends. He had it in his head that every male friend I had just wanted to get with me. The next day, he took me to change my phone number, to be sure that I cut off all the people he didn’t want me to contact. In hindsight, I question why I obliged to this but I loved this man, I saw a future with him so thought it was an easy sacrifice to make so he was happy and trusting.

If only I’d realised this was just the tip of the iceberg.

The perfect beginning, it starts small

You’ll always hear professionals say that domestic violence (DV) starts small. Everyone I knew thought that I was the most confident person who would never tolerate a violent partner. They were wrong.

In the beginning it all seemed perfect and I didn’t see it coming. Many people wonder how could someone so confident be so naive? Because it does, in fact, start small.

We met when I was taking leave from a degree that I was apparently good at, I’d always had excellent grades. It’s been seven years now so I don’t even recall why I was taking that break. After we’d been together for a while, he learned I wanted to return to university. He seemed very supportive and wanted me to focus on full time study.

I was working a job I didn’t love and had met this man who had swept me off my feet. He encouraged me to leave my job, and ‘we’ decided that we could afford to live very comfortably solely on his income. At the time, I thought that gesture made him the most wonderful man in the world. I just wish I’d seen his ulterior motive.

It turned out, that wonderful gesture was only the beginning of his controlling behavior and eventual physical violence. I had to leave that degree, and it’s unlikely I will ever go back due to the PTSD effects my life with him caused. Whilst this brief return to study was the beginning of the hardest time of my life, it was also the perfect beginning of some friendships, two ladies who have become life long friends.

It can start small, so small that nobody will see it coming.