A quick guide to my little families’ background.
Further to my previous post, where I mentioned that my oldest daughter has been through some hard times, I wanted to explain what those hard times were. Just to give you a greater understanding of the situation.
When my daughter was born I was married to her father. I was 19 when I married him and 20 years old when she was born. She was a honeymoon baby, well she would have been if I’d had a honeymoon..
I discovered through my pregnancy that my ex husband was a nasty, violent bully, addicted to drugs and with a taste for hitting me, that grew stronger as my pregnancy progressed. My experience of domestic violence wasn’t as severe as some people’s but it was bad enough. A few examples are, when I was 3 months pregnant and working full time, I was forced to beg on my knees for food. No joke, I had to get down on my hands and knees and beg like a dog for food after an 8 hour shift in a warehouse. Apparently I didn’t beg quite hard enough and was denied my dinner that day. Another example, I was pinned to the wall by my throat at 4 months pregnant for daring to ask him where he was going. He tried to make his fingers meet so I begged for my life and the life of my unborn child. He let me go and disappeared for 2 days. Overall I was kicked, punched, slapped, dragged around by my hair, ignored for up to 2 weeks at a time for no reason, isolated from my family and friends, and subjected to varying degrees of emotional, psychological and financial abuse (E.g: I was ‘given’ £50 when my daughter was a few weeks old to buy nappies, food, milk, his cigarettes and pay all the bills for 2 weeks, he needed the money for his habit). He also liked to disappear for days at a time with no warning, the old “I’m just popping out for a pint of milk” trick.
I kicked him out when my daughter was 3 months old. The breaking point came when he dragged me round the house, kicking, slapping and punching me while pulling my hair in front of the baby. I lost my temper and while his hands were squeezing my throat, told him to carry on while looking him in the eye. When he let go I made him leave.
It doesn’t stop there. We suffered a further 2 years of abuse from the man. I tried staying friends with him but he saw that as an invitation to abuse me further, breaking into my house, stealing my food, turning up unnanounced and refusing to leave. He stalked me. Seriously, he was seen many times hiding behind a fence at the end of my street watching my house. For almost 2 years he would arrive at 2am every morning, banging the doors and windows demanding to see his daughter till my friend arrived in his car to scare him away. He threatened to set the house on fire, blow up my car and to have my daughter put into care. He blew his chance of contact when he stopped turning up at a contact centre.
My daughter remembers everything she heard and saw. Yes, even the things she witnessed as a little baby, she remembers them all. If you spoke to her she would tell you that she remembers her dad smashing the house up and trying to kill her mummy. She vividly remembers him trying to strangle me just after her 2nd birthday while she was sat on my lap. That was the first and only time I have ever punched someone in the face. I had to do something, I was passing out.
I must also explain the incident on Christmas day 1999. I went to my exes flat to open some presents with him. I figured it would be nice, afterall it was christmas. I was attacked, yet again slapped, kicked and strangled. My daughter was sat on the floor, she was just 12 months old. When he figured that strangling me wasn’t working, he looked down at our daughter and proceeded to kick her, once, with his size 13 steel toe capped boots on. I got out of there as fast as I could with my daughter in my arms. We had to go to A&E to record any injuries. I’m thankful she was fine, I was sporting a size 13 bruise on my thigh and a bruised neck. We spent christmas day waiting for the police at my mums house so that I could make a statement. We left the area 2 months later. While we were gone he served 2 years of a 5 year sentance for stabbing 2 people at a party. We had a lucky escape.
He has since passed away and her nightmares have stopped now, so have mine if I’m honest and we have moved back to my hometown with her baby brother and sister.
In light of the above my daughter would have every reason to be an unruly, very angry little girl. Domestic abuse has been known to slow down a childs development. My daughter has defied the odds and is a well balanced, happy, polite, intelligent, well behaved child. She’s not perfect, but she is doing very well. I’m proud of her.
There is another reason that she amazes me. When she was 5 years old she was diagnosed with glue ear. She had a hearing test that amazed the hospital. It showed that she could hear almost nothing. They were dumbfounded as to how she was actually talking. She had gromits put in her ears, to little effect and eventually, when she was due to start middle school, they decided to take her tonsils and adenoids out. She was in hospital for 2 days and spent the first 2 weeks of term at home. I could only stay with her for a day because I had to go back to work, we needed the money. My mum was a god send at that time. Fingers crossed, 6 years on, we have had no further major problems with her hearing.
So, thats the quick run down of what my daughter has been through. That is the reason I want so much for her to be able to fulfil her potential and be who she wants to be. If I hadn’t divorced her father and run away she might not have been here to tell the tale.