It seems a whole lot harder to date or find love after domestic violence. Sometimes it it seems impossible to just find a man to speak nicely to me. After a whole host of bad relationships it seems as if maybe I’m destined to be lonely and broken forever.

Last night was late night shopping in town. As I wondered the stores I noticed these women in David Jones. Two middle aged friends casually purchasing new outfits. With their fingers dripping in enormous jewel encrusted rings they handed the attendant their purchases. One was a Valentino dress worth $2,400 and I wondered, are they happy at home? Surly money can’t make you happy? It might negate the arguments that come from lack of but I would think it would open up a whole host of different issues rather than only be a positive.

I remember how I struggled to just be allowed to purchase kitchen foil when we were about to run out. It was difficult to get anything really while grocery shopping if he didn’t think we needed it. I did work so I was able to spend my money freely but as he controlled the weekly shop by saying yes or no to anything that landed in our trolly I eventually didn’t bother and just followed along side instead. I would just get what I knew we needed on my own another day rather than push the point.

I know if I was to ask for a $2,400 Valentino dress even if we had the money the answer would not have been yes!

The first time I went grocery shopping after we split was almost scary. I didn’t realize how so much of my confidence had been taken away. I remember getting a small trolley full of things that were pointless in the end and I didn’t need just so I could get out as quickly as possible or before I had a panic attack. It took some time but I, even now wander the isles slowly and enjoy the experience. If I wanted to look at a new product or anything before by the time I turned around he had made it 2 isles over and I’d have to run to catch up.

The first time I went to cook a steak I remember thinking ‘I can’t cook this’. He had taken over the cooking almost completely and even if I tried to cook sometimes he would make some sly underhanded comment and then nudge me out of the kitchen while taking over. So how was that first steak I didn’t think I could cook? It was beautiful and perfectly cooked. I then thought to myself ‘ok that was a fluke’. Turns out it wasn’t a fluke as the next one and the next one and the next one were all the same.

So when it comes to dating have I just lost my confidence or have I just followed similar patterns since? I have not been I. A relationship for quite some time, partly because I need to concentrate on myself and getting to where I want to be. At the same time I wasn’t not dating for that reason, nothing had really come along in which I wanted to put my time and effort into and even not looking has honestly ended in disaster as even my male friends who have been a constant in my life have gone feral!

Was the answer under my nose the entire time? Or at least since I saw an old friend recently? My so called knight in shining armor who rescues me and shows me all the respect I’ve been looking for in all the wrong people? This is something I have questioned recently about a certain person whom I have known for many years.

It’s strange how although I have had similar initial feeling for this person as I have had for all the wrong ones i’ve tried so hard with in the past. This ‘nice guy’ never seemed to leave as much of a lasting impression as the not so nice guys. Why is that? Am I seeking out familiar patterns so that in the end the result is I am punished and can prove to myself what I really think on the inside? Which is that I am not worth love?

Twice now, broken hearted he has rescued me and gotten me to safety. He has been a shoulder to cry on and someone who reassured me of my worth. He listens to me, he’s interested in me and the things I am doing and he doesn’t make me feel like I’m not worth something.

Is it just me or does everyone have this friend? He’s cute, he’s smart, he’s funny, he’s sweet and you are drawn to him but he always gets passed over because he doesn’t treat you horribly? He doesn’t ignore your calls or make you doubt yourself and your worth? He remembers things you tell him or experiences you had over 10 years ago because he is obviously interested in you, even if nothing more than just a good friend.

A little while ago I had a thought, so why not him? Why have I been punishing myself for all of these years and looking for what? Someone who is all of the above? Someone I have a lot in common with? Someone who seems to challenge me but doesn’t make me feel small instead think about things more deeply. Well he pretty much covers all of those bases.

Realizing all of this, have you ever had that awkward conversation or not had that awkward conversation with someone you have known for a long time. Is this the answer for us? Noticing the ‘nice guys’ who may or may not have been there the entire time? How easy is that to do or do we have to be retrained?

Ok so I’m pretty sure that I had ‘the conversation’ with this supposed nice guy? You know the ‘I like you’ akward one that’s weird coz you’ve known each other so long and you’ve only ever just been friends! I think I did! Or at least I wrote it in my letter! Monday is the day. Either I have worked out the difference or he is a very good wolf in sheeps clothing. That could just be the self doubting part of me talking .

For the most part it’s been a long time since I felt this way. I got a call today from him to let me know, Monday he is back. I told him I had Monday off and he tentatively said that he has my number if I don’t make it there to see him as he arrives home. Is it possible that he too faces the same struggles as I do? That his little voice of self doubt doesn’t think he’s worth being there for as well?

In any case I wanted to jump down the phone and say ‘of course I will be there’. So I head down to meet up with him when he’s back and the rest will be what ever it will be.

This new voice of mine albeit very load it would seem kinda takes up a lot of my time. Along with that comes my son and my new job. I have very little time in which to offer someone so I hope that doesn’t place a barrier or force it into impending doom.

The good news for me at least is I have stopped being a person who will put themselves aside so much. I want to stand on my own two feet for my son. I guess if it is to be there shouldn’t be any issues. If not at least I am still my own number one and in the end what will be will be but at least I will be able to cook a steak!

The scariest thing at this point is what will he think of me when he realized what I’ve become? I am a shell of my former self, getting better most days but still in no way something other than a broken little bird with a ways to go. Can that be something to love or too much hard work?

I am a mother of one, artist and blogger from Australia. I write children’s books and want to introduce awareness education for children in all schools. This is my journey from domestic violence and beyond. Where it will end up is anyone's guess. Share in my story....

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