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Rebecca's story

Rebecca's story

Rebecca's story

I fell in love and it was magic at first.

Three months into it there was a misunderstanding my girlfriend completly over-reacted, screaming at me & swearing.

I knew then I should leave, there was no respect for my feelings, she couldn’t / wouldn’t hear my experience. Her angry outbursts & over-reactions over the slightest thing continued, there was always an apology but no behaviour change. I would be hung up on if I ‘confronted’ things, she threw things in her rage and I was left feeling I had to walk on eggshells.

She criticised my friends & family, and called me stupid & pathetic because I’d tell her I was afraid of her.

If I said I was going to leave she would physically hurt herself. I could see she was ill, but it took me 2 years to realize I COULDN’T FIX HER.

I constantly felt afraid, manipulated & controlled by her threats, outbursts, and mood swings.

 

How I coped

After 18 months of abuse and holding all my anger in I got physical with her, I just wanted her to be decent. I grabbed her throat briefly but realized I had crossed over. Holding all my hurt in made me physically sick & act against my own values, I was ashamed, my self esteem was zero. I withdrew from my friends and felt depressed. The assertive women I was who went into the relationship had allowed herself to be controlled.

 

How the situation changed

I kept saying I would leave if her behaviour didn’t change. I had to go as far as I went but one day another fight had started, I felt ashamed as we were in a public place. In that moment I KNEW IT WAS OVER. I went away for a few days, rang her & said it was over, moved out. We had been to counselling together, and though a lot of her abusive behaviour had changed, I still felt unhealed & there was still an underlying feeling of being controlled, and I didn’t want it .

 

What helped me to get stronger

When people at work & others began to ask me if I was in a healthy relationship, I couldn’t deny it. My friends were concerned about my deteriorating health, so I got help for that. First, I got honest, then had the courage to leave once I felt better. I had people who knew me b4 the relationship, & knew I wasn’t the same person.

 

What I would say to someone who is being abused

Don’t punish yourself – I never thought I’d be in an abusive relationship but I WAS. Then I thought I’d never get out because I was scared, & stuck. Help is at hand, get honest – someone can tell you how much they love you, but love is an action.

You deserve better, there is a goldmine in all of us under hurt, take the journey to heal. Abusive behaviour from someone else is never your fault.

 

Related links

  • If you are in danger call 000 or contact the police in your state or territory.
  • For confidential crisis support in Victoria, information and accommodation please call the safe steps 24/7 family violence response line on 1800 015 188. If it is unsafe to call, email safesteps@safesteps.org.au.
  • For confidential phone help and referral in Australia, please contact 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732, the National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line.
  • For free information, support, and referrals for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex, asexual and queer Victorians and their friends and family call Rainbow Door on 1800 729 367 or text 0480 017 246 or email support@rainbowdoor.org.au
  • For support for men, call Men's Referral Service on 1300 766 491.