Tuesday, January 25

A snapshot into my childhood...

I don't know what got me thinking about it today, but I was, so I thought I would share. Sure we have some great memories from our childhood but it is hard to forget the bad, so here is my story...

This picture, my little brother and I, the one person besides my daughter who I would do anything to protect. 

Our childhood was different to other kids I knew. On the outside, we were one big, happy family. Our parents had the perfect relationship, and we were the perfect kids. 

If you looked more closely into our lives it was a mess. Our parents always fought with each other. Always. 

One of the first instances I can remember - We were on holidays in Queensland, I think we were in Surfers on the main strip. They had an argument, mum took off and left Mitchell and I with our father. We had to ask a police officer to drop us back to the hotel. I was 5 and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

It got progressively worse from there. 

From the age of about 8 I grew up more then my years. I was more mature then any other 8 year old. I had to be, to protect my little brother. The arguments turned into domestic violence. 

I can still remember hiding with my little brother, trying to distract him from the horrors going on just outside the room, I can remember my mum trying to explain the holes in the walls or the new bruise she had received, I can remember running with my little brother to the neighbours house just to escape, to get away from the screaming and threats.

There are two events, that no matter how hard I want to forget, will always remain the most prominent thing in my memory.

The first event, My dad in the backyard, hanging a noose from the tree, standing on the ladder, threatening to do it. My brother and I crying hysterically, my mum on the phone to someone who I presume was the police or an ambulance. He never went through with it. I don't know why he would do that in front of his own children.

The second incident, in the kitchen, on the floor, knife pressed against her wrist, threatening to end everything and for him to just leave her alone. "Touch me again and I'll do it". 

Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. No child should ever bear witness to the things that I have seen. 

No child should witness the two people who are suppose to protect them, do that.

I was 11 by the time they split up. My mum only ended the relationship when my father turned on me. Dragged me to my room by my hair, hit me hard enough to leave a bruise and called me names that no child should ever be called.

It took that long for her to wake up and see that what she was dealing with was not worth it. That staying together for the "sake of the children" was actually hurting us more than she could imagine. 

They say that children who witness domestic violence somehow end up either victims or perpetrators. 

I can say from personal experience that this rings true to me. 
This is why Matilda's father and I are not in a relationship. Domestic violence isn't just physical abuse. It is also covers emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, money control, threats, emotional blackmail.. the list goes on. 

My experience was not as severe as my mothers was. I was not going to allow myself to be a victim. I should have left when the emotional abuse started, unfortunately I waited until I suffered a mild concussion to take a stand. The first time he pushed me was the first and only time I left, and I will never go back to that. Ever. 

This is why I am not with Matilda's father, and for those who ask why I don't just have a second child with him, so Matilda has a full brother or sister, this is why.

I am happy to say that since we are only "friends" life has been a lot better. There are no arguments for Matilda to see. All she sees is her mother and father as two happy, separate, friendly individuals and that is the way I like it. I don't need to play "happy families", because we are a happy family, just a happy, separate family.

I am also happy to say that my dad has since gotten help for his problems, and although I will never forgive him for what he did in the past, we have moved on, and we are making better, happier memories. 
My mum and dad also are civil with each other, and can stand to be in the same room as each other now. My dad is very remorseful for what he did. He was in a bad place, but that is a story for another time.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can ring the Domestic Violence Line for help on 1800 656 463 (TTY 1800 671 442).
The Domestic Violence Line is a statewide free-call number and is available 24 hours, seven days a week.
(Australian number)


  1. I have tears streaming down my face at your story.
    You are so right, no child should ever have to witness what you did & experience that trauma & fear and I'm so sorry that you and your brother did. Just heartbreaking.

    You are an amazing person to be able to have a relationship with your father after that. He must have come a long, long way but even still...

    Thank you for sharing. Such a brave & honest thing to do.

  2. Hugs to you. xxx Your story is unfortunately one of many, but you have risen above it and are making a better life. xx

  3. Thank you for your deeply personal and touching story. You are an incredibly strong woman and a great inspiration for those finding themselves in similar situations right now.
    I can only imagine what you were feeling whilst your relived the experiences whilst writing about them, but thanks for your courage!

  4. Yes hugs to you for being so open and brave! And for not being a victim. xxx

  5. I have nothing to say except "Thank you" for posting this.
    It's confronting and I hope reading your story is a wake up call for anyone in that situation who reads it xo


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