I was living with my young son and my boyfriend. At first our relationship was brilliant and I thought I was lucky to have him, but as time went on he became very controlling and abusive. I didn’t speak to any of my family anymore and as the relationship progressed I stopped seeing my friends too.
When we met I used to go and get my hair and makeup done and I used to enjoy that but he used to make comments about what I wore or how I’d done my hair so without realising it I stopped doing these things. He was physically abusive almost every day and often it felt like I had no way out. I felt like one day I just realised that I didn’t go out or do anything without his permission. I didn’t have any friends or family to tell and I felt there was nobody to help.
One day when he was attacking me, my son saw and tried to help and he assaulted him. That’s when I knew I couldn’t stay anymore.
I didn’t think it would have affected my child, he was always asleep or I would tell him to leave the room if I felt something would happen. But after I left, I realised it had affected him. He is a much more settled child now where he used to be very clingy and never want to leave me alone. Now he goes to nursery and enjoys it a lot. He does sometimes hit out and say things, but he’s going to see a children’s worker now and nursery have been brilliant with him too.
When I got help, I had recently been diagnosed with anxiety. I had also been self-harming for a while and I was afraid, it was really hard trying to open up about what had happened. The worker let me take my time and didn’t make me go into anything I didn’t want too in the first appointment. It wasn’t as scary as I thought and I had been worried that people would think I was a bad mum but everyone just wanted to help.
I’m slowly getting my confidence back, I’ve got a house with my little boy now and it’s finally starting to feel like home. I was given clothes and toiletries for me and my son when I had nothing. I’ve started speaking to my family again and we’re rebuilding our relationships. My son is happier and calmer now. We go out and do things now instead of always being in the house and he plays with his cousins when we visit my family.