Regaining my life


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Some of you may not see the need for this post, or feel I should have even written it, but this is my place on the web and although it doesn’t go with the sweet and niceties of a “Mummy Blogger” I don’t solely see myself as that.

This post isn’t to give you great answers of how to stop it happening, it’s just going to tell the tale of surviving and being happy after, this isn’t how it would work for all, but maybe this will make some of you see this can happen to anyone and even someone you know, give you a little understanding and give me a chance to finally except my past.

What am I talking about ? Domestic Violence.

It’s still such a hush subject, very few people in the world know what happened to me and those that do, do not know or want to know the full extent, it upsets me a little how little help and understanding my parents gave me once they found out, but maybe that was just their way, I am not sure I shall ever understand, so hear is my story.

I have encountered Domestic Violence twice in my life, in 2 very different degrees, one I have come to terms with, one still haunts me a little.

The first started when I was in my early teens, I won’t go into such great deal about it as it would hurt my family and that is not and would never be my intentions, but I was hit and mentally upset by a family member frequently, it was constantly excused and ignored and at the time I did not realise it was abuse, I thought it was just how things are, this may sound very idiotic but it was the case and I only knew when my life changed massively at 18.

When I was 17, I started dating R, he worked for my Dad’s competition and was a family friend of sorts, I was in a very upsetting point in my life (partly due to above) and he gave me an escape from the situation, I had been bullied through my whole secondary education, I had little to no confidence and R seemed like a sweet kind man on the inside and out. He was only 3 yrs my senior but was already in a fairly well earning job with a very kind family.

Our relationship become quite serious within months and we would stay together near enough every evening, my family liked/loved him, he came across as a very timid/gentile man, who would help my Mom with DIY and shared many interests with my Dad. He would play with my younger siblings and by all intense purposes I seemed like the dominant in the relationship.

We were happy, when I hit 18 we started the mortgage process, we were buying a new build so it took a few months before it would be ready for us to move in but it was ours, my 1st home, I felt very proud.
One day a month before we were due to move we were attending a friends wedding, I was in my usual panic mode, running late, my room was a tip and he couldn’t find his shoes, he was not amused, he was shouting at me and chucking things around the room, I spoke back to him as you do in an argument and quicker than I could even respond I was smacked to the ground with one fail sweep. I lay there stunned, I couldn’t believe he had done it, my silence obviously shocked him and he started crying and apologising, he couldn’t believe what he had done. He went on to say he had never done such a thing before and he was so sorry. I believed him, I mean he had never shown signs before.
I should have realised this was the start, but my head was not thinking, we were just about to move to our 1st home, I would finally escape a life I had hated for so long.

So we moved, we decorated, we made our new house our home and for over 6 mths nothing happened, I forgot all about that day, we had our little spats but by the whole we were happy.

I can’t honestly remember when things started to change, there is no obvious date, because that’s not how the control starts, its gradual, its so you don’t even notice, it started with spending less time with my family, followed by no revealing clothes, followed by no mobile phone, no Internet usage etc.
But I didn’t notice this, it just happened, in July 2001 I left my job working for my family, I started working for a company with an office of 6 men, this is when life really changed, I never gave him grounds to think I was cheating, or had even considered it, but now when I think back I can only assume this is what he thought, this doesn’t in anyway excuse his actions.

The arguments become more frequent, he still never raised a hand to me again at this point, but he would smash things in our home, at first just little pictures on the wall, but as time progressed, he punched a hole in the wall and smashed all my trinkets and gifts from my childhood.
Arguments would become regular, weekly sometimes more, I hated coming home and would work late, this of course caused more problems. The final straw came one day when he smashed our whole living room up and then smashed his skull into the wall, I had enough, I made him leave, I couldn’t take anymore.
I still told no one,I was brought up to keep your problems in house, so I went to work as normal and lived this way for over 2 weeks, no one noticed, as by this point I really had so little contact with friends and family and they did not even seem to care.

Then 3 weeks later, R’s boss and friend came to see me, he had been staying there as he had not wanted his parents to know, he apologised for him, said he missed me and convinced me to allow him back, this was my biggest mistake, but I don’t regret it (I shall explain why later).

So home he came, unlike before he was not hugely over nice, but things weren’t awful. We booked our 1st holiday together for the Spring of 2002, he kept asking me to marry him and have a baby but I was 20, I knew in my heart this was not what I wanted.

I realised I think in my heart then that I didn’t love him, let alone like him, but I had no confidence, I had gained some weight, I felt ugly and terrified, I had no idea how I could leave and he played on this.

I started starving myself again, he constantly would tell me I was unattractive, his temper rose again, he would harm himself, threaten to kill himself, I just focused on my 14 hr days at work, if I wasn’t with him it was fine, I would ask for overtime constantly.
He then lost his job and his temper progressed, he would shout and shout and tell me to lock myself in the Bathroom so he wouldn’t hit me, I thought at this point he was doing me a favour, I thought he cared about me.

Life improved again as he got work and a couple of friends, he started going out some evenings, I liked it as I would have free time to myself, home alone to enjoy my little house that  I was working so hard for, what I didn’t know was on these nights out he started to take drugs.
He would return home and wake me for sex, I was to be honest not that interested and would push this off, he would fall asleep and snore away.
Then one night this was not the answer he wanted and I awoke to him on top of me, he raped me, this happened time after time, I would cry and sob and he would laugh or just ignore it.

In the November, I started talking to an old friend again, she was having marital problems and would come stay with us at weekends, we started going out when he was out, I felt like I finally had some escapism, I knew he would not hit or shout at me whilst she was there, so for  a couple of mths life was normal, we lived quite separately, he would be the perfect man whilst my friend stayed, even cooking dinners for us, but this didn’t last too long, by now he was taking drugs at least 3 times a week and could not control his temper, this is when the locking myself in the bathroom was not good enough for him, he broke the door from it’s hinges on a few occasions, I would get kicked or hit, always where you could not see a bruise ( I never know whether this was intentional) and would lay awake all night terrified of what would happen, he would smile sweetly as I did for the outside world.

In the Jan 2002 I met Ashley at work, we would chat and talk, he was so funny and made me happy, he was falling in love with me but I explained I lived with someone and did not believe in cheating, by this point R was on one of his kind and caring stages and we were focusing on going away in the March and starting a fresh. But in the back of my mind Ashley was always there, we became good friends and would talk/text frequently (had a work phone by this point) but for me it was strictly platonic, then the evening to end all evenings came.

R had been out all day, with I thought friends, I later found out he had been seeing a girl for sex for the past month, I was at home enjoying a nice Saturday in, Ashley kept texting me, at first just chatting but then he got a little flirty, at 6pm R returned home, a little off his face, my phone beeped as he walked in the door and he started questioning me, screaming and shouting, he then grabbed my phone from my hands and looked at my messages, he saw Red, he smashed my phone, then threw me into a glass door, I screamed and screamed, he ripped the curtains from the walls, called me every name you can probably imagine, he then hit me over and over, for the 1st time I saw red and tried to defend myself, I remember all the times he had hit me, raped me and I scratched at his face, I ran and managed to lock myself in the bathroom. I knew this evening was different, I knew he wouldn’t stop, I was so scared.
He stood at the door screaming and smashing what little we had left, then I heard the front door go, now was my chance, I made it to our bedroom and grabbed the phone, then I realised he was still there,  I ran back to the bathroom making it just in time.
As he shouted I rang my mother, I screamed at her he is going to kill me, she couldn’t understand what was happening, she said she was coming over and to ring the police and lock myself in the bathroom.
This just sent him over the edge, he smashed the door in and dragged me out by my hair, he punched me to the floor and then rang my father, he repeatedly shouted on the phone that I was a slag and that he was going to kill me, I remember crying to my Dad saying I loved him and I was sorry, I thought this was my end.
He threw me down the stairs, (I shall never forget painting over my blood smeared along the walls when I sold the house) punched me to the floor and I eventually passed out, I remember the last thing I thought is he is going to kill me. There was no way any of my family would make it in time.
When I came round he was still screaming, but he had thought he had killed me, I was in a heap at the bottom of the stairs and hadn’t moved ( I now know I had been there for 10 minutes) I decided to lay dead still and pray my family got there in time. He then stepped over me and said if your dead then so should I be, got in his car and drove off leaving the front door wide open, I remember laying there for a few more minutes shaking in fear, the cold rushing over me from outside, but I was frozen with the thought he would come back. But he didn’t.

I then become worried for his safety, I am not entirely sure why, some would say guilt, Ashley and my Aunts say cause I am too nice for my own good, I rung his parents who lived down the road, they came up and got to me 1st, his mum cried and cried, she apologised saying she should have warned me, warned me of what ? It turned out R had had temper problems from very early on, once even knocking his father out cold. I couldn’t believe they had allowed this to happen, I don’t blame them, I feel sad for them, he is their child, their only son, we as parents love our children unconditionally, but he could have killed me.

My parents arrived about 5 minutes later, as they walked in, seconds later so did he, he told them all I had been cheating, they calmed him down, the only person that came to be with me was my Stepmum, who up to that point I had never got on with.
My family could not believe in their heads I think that he was the one that had turned like this, how could R be this way, he was such a timid little man, they comforted him as he cried and sobbed.

I left that night, I have never returned to him, I shall be honest if it hadn’t been for knowing their were men like Ashley in the world this post could end very differently, I had hope, he gave me strength.

This was not the end though, I had a house with him, I had to see him on several occasions, luckily our house sold very quickly, but he made my life a misery, my family never I think believed my side of the story, they never sat down and asked what my life had been like, they never helped me through the process after. They in fact still saw R and still do, he works for a company who works along side my Dad’s and he used to come into our offices frequently, this was like hell on earth.

I later found out that he had tried and did have sex with my so called friend whilst she stayed with us, he took a credit card out in my name and left me with £7k worth of debt, he went around telling everyone that I had cheated on him. His life did not improve, he lost his jobs due to drugs and since has hit the wrong woman and ended up worst off himself. I don’t feel sorry for him, to be honest I feel nothing, but I am no longer scared of him.

What people don’t realise is when you walk out of these relationships this is not the end, R had ruined me, he had taken every little piece of me and stomped on it, I felt unattractive, pathetic and useless, I do believe if I had not met Ashley when I did I probably would have killed myself.
Ashley with his support and love is how I can now talk about this and realise it was not my fault.
It was a couple of months before we got together properly, things did move quite quickly and we moved in together straight away, he made me feel pretty, he made me realise that my life was worth living, but this was not easy for us. I couldn’t think about being close to him, when we first lived together we hadn’t even slept together, I had not realised how terrified I had become of men, Ashley and I will never forget the day of what we call “The Milk Incident”, I was downstairs making a cup of tea and the milk slipped from my hand and spilt on the floor, I let out a scream, by the time Ashley had run downstairs I was no where to be seen, I had become so scared of events like this, I had shut myself in the hall cupboard and was crying and shaking in fear, Ash only found me for my sobs, as he opened the door I pleaded for him not to hit me, it took 20 minutes for him to convince me to come out of that cupboard, events like this happened for months, Ashley’s patience was amazing, he loved me, he proved that to me everyday and stood by as I rebuilt my life, we shared something that many would not understand.

Some of you maybe asking why I wouldn’t change what happened, what happened to me was awful, this post is just a snippet of events that occurred regularly, I never thought I would be the sort of person who would be abused. I was stronger than that. I am not ashamed of what happened to me, it was not my fault, I had been transformed. But without all that happened to me I do not believe I would realise how truly wonderful life can be, how you can meet someone and feel love like I do, I would not wish what happened to me on anyone, it has taken me many years to rebuild my life and I am not sure I will ever fully get there, but I am no longer scared, I would not let someone hurt me again.

Thank you Ashley for giving me the confidence and support to be me again.

About Innocent Charms Chats

Kara Janelle, Plus Size Blogging Mama. Vintage Lover, Interiors Obsessed, Chair Crazed, Collector of Much remembering to Smile as it is the 2nd best thing you can do with your mouth.

  • WhiteLily

    >I wish I could just hug you right now. You are an incredibly brave, strong, amazing woman. I am so glad you are regaining your life – and I'm glad you've shared your story. It's your blog, and if your posts helps even one woman – that's one hell of a positive thing.
    I'm crying buckets reading this, and I'm so angry you've gone through it.

    Sending you all lots and lots of love and hugs.
    T x

  • Freddies mummy

    >:( What a hurrendous thing to go through 🙁
    Despite all you have been through you have come out it of it a truely lovely lady & i have alot of admiration for you.
    So glad your lovely partner supported & helped you through it all & you are now in a happy relationship.
    Sending you massive hugs xx

  • Ashley Spencer

    >I am so touched by this post not only because it is my incredible wife but that she is in a point in her life where maybe just maybe she is moving on. Such a strong woman and inspiration to many! xxx

  • Snoo and Me x

    >Just needed to say in more than 140 characters how moved I was by this post. I found myself reading on with tears running down my cheeks. You have been so brave to write this post, especially knowing that it may be read by family and friends- I could never do this. I blog about my experiences with DV but I do so anonymously as I could never speak so frankly knowing it might be seen by those who know me. Be proud of yourself for surviving this dreadful time in your life and achieving so much for the wonderful family you now have. Ooh, I am also your newest blog follower btw ;o) Lots of love to you xx

  • Cathy

    >You are such an inspiration honey, I have worked with victims of dv so I can appreciate how long it can take for people to be able to openly discuss this issue. Never blame yourself, focus on your gorgeous family and cherish every moment, you are one wonderful lady x x x

  • Sonia

    >I love you xxx

  • Snaffles Mummy

    >I know how much you have toyed with even writing, let alone publishing this post so well done for finding the strength to do both.

    How I wish you hadnt had to experience a life filled with violence. I am so thankful that you do not seem to blame yourself for what you have been through.

    When you are feeling down and doubting yourself look back at this post and see just how far you have come and how strong of a person you are.


  • emma

    >wow hunny i so get why it was an arghh do I don't I post. But you are so brave and I hope that writing it freed you even more. How wonderful that you got a great fella, it will give hope to so many. x

  • mugofdecaf

    >I think it is definitely best to accept your past and know how it has made you the person you are now, than look back with continued anger. Ashley is one heck of a knight in shining armour; thank goodness they do exist in this world x

  • twopointfourchildren

    >what a brave woman you are, that must have been so difficult to relive and write down. Sending you hugs and hope that life continues to get better and better for you and your lovely little family xx


    >i left my first husband for similar reasons. i could never write about it as they were dark times and long in my past. his family choose to ignore the way he was, even though his mother had gone through similar experiences with his father. i never told my parents, they don't live in the uk so need never to know and more the reason for me not to write about it now. i met oliver within a year of telling my first husband to leave i am forever grateful for this.
    well done for breaking free and starting your new life one you will treasure x

  • Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three

    >Oh Kara, I can't believe I missed this post, you are so incredibly brave and I am sitting here in bed with tears streaming down my face.
    Well done you for breaking free and you sound like you have married the most wonderful man in Ashley, who has helped you move on. Now you have the two most gorgeous babies to show for it, look how far you have come.
    You should be so proud of yourself Kara, and this post although terrible and awful that you went through all this, has made me admire you even more.

  • Mummy Mishaps

    >goodness what an amazing post and how brave of you to write it all down. you went through such a truly awful time and i am so glad that you have met someone who sounds wonderful and has given you two children and a future worth looking forward to and one that will make you very happy.
    it always amazes me what people have to endure in their life – well done again (hug) xx

  • Catherine

    >Kara, You are such a brave woman to have written this post … it annoys me so much that victims of domestic violence feel ashamed to speak out because they do nothing wrong … and if your post helps just one person walk away from an abusive relationship then that's fantastic. But aside from that, I am so delighted that your husband has shown you that decent, honourable men DO exist. You are such a lovely person & deserve all the happiness in the world. Sending you virtual hugs xxx

  • Mum2BabyInsomniac

    >I have just read this with tears streaming down my eyes. I am so sorry you had to go through it but I can also understand why you feel like it had to happen to reach where you are now and I am so happy that you met the amazing guy that you deserve. That must be so upsetting that your parents still see him, it's not at all the same but my mum still sees someone in our family who she believes did things to her and possibly her kids, it feels like she has chosen him over me and that isn't a nice feeling. I guess some people find it hard to accept that certain things happen in life. I think it's great that you shared this, not just for yourself but for anyone else has suffered and can read this and realise that you can get through it. You are a mega brave lady. Thanks for linking up to Love All Blogs xx

  • Heidi @Him_me_three

    >What a heartbreaking post. I'm sat here in tears. Well done for posting it, it's a brave thing to do.

    Lots of hugs xxx

  • Notmyyearoff

    >Your post made me go totally cold, I can't believe you went through so much with such a horrible man. Even in this century people are so reluctant to talk about it that you don't even know how much someone is hurting on the inside, let alone the detail. You are an amazing woman and you've come so far. Your hubby sounds an equally amazing man. Sending hugs your way. Cx

  • Vikki @ Mummy’s Cheeky Monkey

    >Oh Kara, i'm writing this with tears streaming down my face.You are so incredibly brave to have written this post and i have nothing but admiration and respect for you. Your story is heart breaking, gut wrenching and one that i'm sure goes on unknowingly in a lot of homes. Thank you for being strong enough to share it with us, you really are a true inspiration and so glad to hear you have found such an amazing man in Ashley. xxx

  • Mammasaurus

    >Well done for writing this all down – people will read this and support you x
    I too suffered domestic violence and rape and by writing about it on my blog did I really began realise that it's sadly something that so many women have to go through.

    It leaves emotional scars though and now you are in such a better place in your life that although you can't forget you can move on.

    For me it was everyone commenting 'I can't believe x would do that – he's always so nice' that upset me and made me not want to write about it for so long – I assumed everyone would feel the same and judge me.


  • Steph

    >I'm so sorry to hear all of this, words are not enough really but I'm glad to hear you have someone to help you through it now. You are very brave and you can help others get through it.

  • Mummy and the Beastie

    >What a truly amazing and brave post to write. I am such a believer in writing everything down as it most definitely helps with the healing process. What a terrible terrible time you had but it does prove one thing and that is that you are an extremely strong person who has come out of it the other end. I am not sure in life why such dreadful things have to happen but to see you happy and contented now can help people realise they can find happiness and escape violent relationships.


  • Mrs McGregor

    >What a brave post. I had tears streaming as I read it. Well done for being so brave, in more way than one.

  • Mum2Four

    >Wow – I always knew you were an amazing lady but now I know you are so much more than amazing! You are such a brave woman for telling of your experience of abuse.

    This post has reduced me to tears – so hard knowing that a lady as kind & caring as this was subjected to such awful treatment, by a bully who prayed on the weak.

    I am so pleased that you had a knight in shining armour to rescue you.

    I hope you can all live happily ever after now.

  • Karen

    >You are one of the lucky ones huni. I'm so pleased that Ashley has restored your faith in humanity and that he makes you truly happy. Well done for having the strength to post this. I too experienced dv although on a much much much lesser extent and had a knight in shining armour show me that there are still decent men around. Big hugs to you xxxx

  • Strawberry Blonde

    >This was so heartbreaking to read and incredibly brave of you to write. I'm so glad that you have such a wonderful man to share your life with now – he sounds like one in a million.

    Nic x

  • Sian To

    >You truly are an inspiration .

  • ChelseaMamma

    >You brave, brave lady – I admire you're strength and honesty. It's sounds like you have a wonderful husband in Ash.
    My mum is in an abusive relationship but has never found the strength to leave. I got out when I was 18, but he is still a bully even now!

  • Looking for Blue Sky

    >Well done for everything you have survived, I got out too xx

  • Fishfingers for tea

    >My brave, strong, wonderful friend. I'm so proud of you xxx

  • Oh you strong, strong woman. I have no words really, i read this in horror, all the while thinking what an amazing person you are to have put this awful experience behind you and found a better life, and to have built yourself back up. You wonderful woman, that is all I can say. Honoured to even know you xx

  • Em

    How horrendous! I don’t know what to say. Well done for getting out, for trying to put it behind you and for sharing your story. You are a strong, brave and amazing woman

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  • Kara I’m just reading this story following watching your recent youtube video. All I can say is wow, it just highlights how incredible and strong you are for coming through all that and out the other side as amazing as you are. So much love xxx