CONTENT WARNING: Abuse, domestic violence, drug use.
Today on the blog, Paige shares her story. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Paige gave me her permission to share this story with you all.
My early twenties were spent much different than my life now. I was newly single after a 5 year relationship and had a two year old son.
When I was about 20 years old I met a new guy, and that relationship moved quickly. Almost immediately we lived together. Not long after he told me he loved me. Three months into our relationship was when everything changed. He hit me for the very first time. Of course, immediately after he hit me came the “I’m sorry baby, I will never do that again.” And then he bought me a ring. Little did I know that ring was just another domestic violence control tactic.
After that our relationship drastically changed. Not for the better. Drugs and alcohol became something that was often chosen over our relationship. But, I believed I could change him. That I could be the person he would leave it all behind for. So I stayed.
We lived with his family at the time, because of the partying that took place in our previous house, we had complaints and moved. On a weekend, like any other, he decided he wanted to drink. His family was out for the night so it was just him and I home. He left somewhere and came back a few minutes later. I was sitting on the couch and he came out of the bathroom acting completely different. Unlike I had ever seen him before. He started questioning me about my phone, asking to see it, yelling, and then ripped me off the couch, pulled me into the bathroom and locked the door. He then turned his back and used IV drugs, cocaine to be specific. I froze, this was something I had never been around, something that was insane to me. But he wouldn’t let me out of the bathroom.
After being brought back to the living room, I noticed him locking the front and back doors. He then started with the accusations that I was cheating and planning to leave him. I got up and tried to walk out the door because I was scared and that’s when it started. The choking, punching, kicking me while I was on the ground, sitting on top of me with his hands around my throat… threatening that if I left he would kill me. My phone was no longer in my possession, he made sure to smash it after not finding any evidence of my “cheating” because he was angry, I MUST have deleted it all. I did, at one point, try to fight back. I punched him. Quickly realizing that fighting back only meant I got hit harder.
After about 8 hours of being locked in this house with him and beaten when he would get angry, I managed to run out the front door with no shoes on and scream for help. We lived in North Central, nobody helped. I was just another girl being dramatic and I MUST be drunk right? After he successfully destroyed everything in his path he left, because I was “causing a scene” and he did not want the police to come.
A few days later, my family in Ontario bought me a plane ticket to get me out of the city. My son and I got on a plane and spent a few weeks there. They thought me being away from him would help me get over him and they wanted to ensure I didn’t go back.
Guess what I did the second I got back to the city?
I went back.
My son, who was about 3 years old at the time, spent half his time with his dad. I lied to his father and said I wasn’t being abused. He never did anything in front of my son so there wasn’t anyone to confirm it. We continued to share custody over the years.
Not long after we got back together, I was approved for a house with Regina Housing. Perfect! We could now be happy, on our own, and our relationship would be great. This was my way of thinking. I had completely forgotten about the beating I had taken at the hands of the person who “loved me.” I had all the excuses in the world for him. And he had all the right words for me. Promises of changing, never hitting me again, he would get a job, he would do everything in the world for me.
Nothing ever changed. The next couple of years were spent going through similar situations of being beaten, for no reason. I alienated my entire family because they knew exactly what was going on and I refused any help. I had nobody and that’s exactly what he wanted. He had all the control.
Three years into our “relationship” I became pregnant. He was excited… for a week. Then Friday rolled around and he wanted to party. The baby was no longer his. I cheated. I was then pushed down the stairs, thrown against walls… he even went so far as to hold a used needle towards me and said if I moved he would stab me with it… all before he stole my bank card and left.
My pregnancy was spent trying to convince him I didn’t cheat. All while he was living with another woman. He would pop in here and there. Just to make sure I never moved on. To make sure he still had his control over me.
I was not myself.
I was unhealthy, stressed, depressed, manipulated, broken down. There was nothing left of the girl I once was.
I went in to premature labor with my daughter. She was six weeks early. He was there for the birth, surprisingly. She came by emergency c-section and looked EXACTLY like him. He left that evening. I was in the hospital with my 5 pound newborn baby girl when my phone started ringing.. over and over and over again. Answering only meant listening to him scream at me and accuse me of having someone else there. Yep, he left the hospital after my daughter was born and went and got high.
I took her home 3 days later, he moved back in 5 days later. We had a family, I had to give it a chance right?
Five weeks later he left while we were sleeping and after five weeks of sobriety he went and got high, came home, woke me up and started beating me. All while I was holding my 6 week old baby. I don’t think I have ever been punched in the face quite as many times as I was that night. My body was used to protect hers. I was terrified. I feared for our lives.
He kept saying over and over that if he couldn’t have me nobody could and that if I left he would kill us. He was on top of me hitting me in the face and body.. over and over. If he had missed my face and hit her she would absolutely not be here today. I woke up and texted my sister after getting my phone from under him while he was sleeping. She sent the police, he was arrested and I wrote my very first statement against him.
My daughter saved my life.
That was the last time I was ever beaten by him. I truly believe my daughter saved my life. If she wasn’t here, I’m not sure I would have ever left.
People often ask, why didn’t you leave sooner? Domestic violence relationships are unlike any other. The manipulation, lies, gaslighting, promises.. it’s a vicious cycle. I was so beaten down mentally, emotionally, physically.. I believed I needed him at first. And after I knew I didn’t, I was scared to leave. I was scared that all of the promises of finding me and killing me or hurting my family would be true. I stayed, in my mind, to protect my life.
Healing from Domestic Violence.
It took a lot of years of working on myself to get where I am today. I am still healing. There are things that still need to be worked through. I realized I wasn’t alone. That there is support and people to help you through situations like this. It isn’t as hard as your brain has made you believe. Yes, I still struggle to this day, recently diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD. I have triggers and I have bad days. But I also have great days. Days where nothing is more than a distant memory of my past. Now I am married to the man of my dreams who is not only patient with me but he understands. I went to school and I now have a great job working for the government and three beautiful, healthy and happy children.
I will always be a work in progress but I can proudly say that I am happy, I am loved, I am safe and most of all, I am alive.
My story was put into words before ever becoming a brand ambassador for The Babes Club. And I’m not just saying this for show but these boudoir shoots have changed my self esteem IMMENSELY. I never thought I would love myself the way I do now. After going through something so traumatic you think you’ll never find yourself again. But I have to say, starting these shoots in early 2019 changed my entire perspective of myself. I LOVE me and everything that has made me who I am today.