16 June 2013

domestic abuse in the public eye

Today is a bit odd for me... There is a big story in one of the national papers about celebrity chef Nigella Lawson being abused by her husband Charles Saatchi in public. No-one did anything about this woman being abused in front of them. It breaks my heart.
Now there are many people asking questions about why she would stay with someone who was obviously abusive and today I found a blog with a wonderful list of things victims are thinking. There are 20 things on this list but sadly I don't think that's all of them.
I started reading the comments underneath the article and it was all I could do not to weep about all the horrid things people had been through. My own experiences of DV are here and reading them back to myself still makes me feel silly for staying as long as I did.
But I realised I fell into some of the categories listed on the aforementioned blog and it makes me feel better to know how common it is for people to stay. I hope that I will find a relationship where I am genuinely treated the way I'd like to be, but I'm still not ready to even look.
There are so many people who suffer in silence and don't know where to turn. So this is the link to the refuge website and here is the phone number: 0808 2000 247. They are available 24 hours a day and won't force you to do anything you're not ready for. But if you have no-one to talk to, they're there.
I wish I'd had the number and spoken to them about my problems. Instead I hid and it got worse before I left (well, made him leave). I am lucky that I have a very supportive group of family and friends who have been helping me find myself again. Again, just wish I'd let them in a little sooner.
But the point is that I found that strength and I left. I got myself and my daughter out of harms way as much as I could. I protected her from the worst things and she's never had to suffer at the hands of her father. Although I know that the emotional trauma of having watched her mother being hit will probably never leave her, the positive message I am sending by trying to be strong will also stay with her.
I wasn't planning on talking about this today, I was mainly going to have a chat about it being Father's day today.
Obviously, I feel bad that I picked such a rubbish one for madam and I wish that he could try harder. But I can't change that and instead I am glad that she is surrounded by other positive male role models. The most important one is my dad.
Now, I will admit to being terrified of him when I was younger, he had a quick temper and was very shouty. But as I've grown I have seen all the things that he has done for me. I know that, realistically, I can always rely on him. Even if I feel sure he'll be cross. And he continues to be supportive and reassuring in all my endeavours. 
Basically, I wouldn't swap him for the world! And he's so good with my daughter, she feels completely safe with him and I know that he will be there for her in the same ways he has always been there for me. If it weren't for the fact he hates Fathers day (and lets not forget grandparents day!) I would be making as much fuss of him as he'd let me! Madam made him a Father's day card at school. She didn't want to give it to K. 
Sadly, he's still on holiday so, even if we were allowed to fuss him, we couldn't this year! But madam will leave him the card with her very best handwriting in for when he comes home.

Happy Father's Day to you all. I hope that there is someone in your life who is/was the father that you needed. Even if he wasn't your own... 

No comments: