I often wonder what my full potential might have been. How life might have looked had I not being a child of domestic violence. My first memory being about 3 years old. It was very early in the morning and as my father was a truck driver so he left for work early. I can remember poking my head around the corner and him screaming at my mother. I don’t remember what it was about because let’s face it I was 3 but after a lifetime of him being my father I can tell you that it could be about anything. He is not a very nice man who I’ve always been scared of. Anything and everything set him off, it didn’t really matter. It’s simply the case of a man who is so miserable about his life and I’m guessing who he is as a person that the world is punished for that.
I started standing up for myself not long after I had my son. Our relationship was never the same from then on and to be honest probably improved as a result. I think maybe he gained a little bit of respect for me but at the same time we worked together so when my son was about 2 it blew up in a massive way but after a few months started talking again.
I remember the day my son was taken by my mother as retaliation for a domestic violence order. Hows this for a glowing review, she not only stole my son illegally but she waited until the night before I had an operation for cervical cancer to send me paperwork. When I called her she said ‘I just wanted to make sure you had a good day tomorrow’ meaning my surgery that she was refusing to let me see my son before even though I expressed to her that I was so stressed not knowing where my son was I was afraid I wasn’t going to come out of the surgery. She could have cared less and refused to let my ex partner take my son to see me at the hospital. This is I had just taken the order out against. He ignored her and I got to see my boy so I am grateful to him for that but how is it that a violent man who terrorised me for months has more of a heart than my own mother? Mother of the fucking year!
Anyway back to the day my son was taken I went to my fathers place noticeably upset. I was trying to use the computer when I was told to ‘shut the fuck up it’s just a kid’. I turned and rushed towards him screaming at him knowing that’s all I obviously meant to him growing up ‘just a fucking kid’. He threw me across the room, grabbed all of my paperwork and threw it across the room at me. I got straight up and got but a centimetre from his face and said ‘and that’s why I let men hit me’ and then walked out. Since then things never being the same. I torment that man sometimes now when I’ve had a bad day to the point he has moved and no one will tell me where for fear of what I will do. He lives a miserable existence I’m guessing now. I will never in my life have him around to cause any more damage. He has already done enough to last a lifetime.
I have been criticised for my use of drugs in the past. I was in fairly hot water when I was 19 years old in particular. The truth is that the alternative is worse. Drugs I know are not helpful to the overall outcome. Drugs are not why I am here. Not being able to deal with the brokenness inside me drove me there. Drugs just being the temporary ‘Bandaid’ solution to them.
The following has always made me smile though. Now it has been known by my family especially my own mother who seems to think she is the pillar of all things good and pure in this world, that my father was in fact one of the biggest growers of marijuana and suppliers in our home of Redcliffe and was I’m guessing since I was about 10ish. So over 20 years. My argument has always been that had there not been people like me ‘users’ then there would be no use for him and his mass production of illegal substances. It was so big that when he eventually decided to give it up the dumping of all the evidence even reached news worthy status. ‘Illegal dumping of marijuana waste and grow room products on Brisbane’s North In 2011’.
Sorry but if we are going to be honest and point fingers then let’s all get our skeletons out shall we?
What if you received a random message from a mother through your blog one day? What if this contained a letter written by her daughter aged under 12 years old but reading as if you could have written it yourself?
You dont know my name ,but you can call me D.
Im under the age of 12 .
I am a victim of Domestic Violence perpetrated by my dad.
I have been a victim since l was 4.
My greatest fear is that one day my dad might hurt me that badly that l wont ever be the same or maybe he will hurt me so badly that l will die and go to heaven before my time .
My dad barely calls me by my name ,its buddy when he is being nice ,but when he is not most of the time l am a c@%$,slut,dog,bitch,idiot,dumb,whore,hairy f@%.
He tells me he is going to cave my skull in,smash my head in ,spitting on my face and saying with his face so red pushing his head into mine with his fist punching into his hand you know l hate your mum,l want you to know lm going to kill her one day. .
I feel scared ,alone and sad .l am used to my dad hurting me .
I am used to seeing him being nice to everyone else but different to me .
I am used to being afraid but the same time l love him.
I am used to him hurting me because thats all he knows now.
Im used to him pulling my ears so hard they become red and swollen and sometimes bruised and he has pulled them for so long they stick out.
I am used to him ripping my hair and slapping my face .
I am used to him throwing me into a couch or the floor or in a shower or into a wall.
Im used to him pushing me against a wall with his hands around my neck and squeezing my thoat the last 3 times.
Im used to him bending back my fingers or standing on my foot.
Im used to him punching and slapping the back of my head or poking his fingers into my neck.
I am used to him pushing my head into the passenger car window .
I have watched my dogs die because of my dad.
I watched my dad grab my puppy and throw it into my mums face
I am used to him screaming in my face so badly my body and hands shake.
I am used to walking in a busy shopping center with my dad grabbing the back of my neck so hard and pushing me through the center and looking at people wishing one person would say are you okay and no one does.
Im used to pretending lm okay.
Im used to crying myself to sleep some nights just wishing we had a normal life.
Im used to people seeing my dad drive so fast in the car and yelling at me and people looking at lights but no one says anything .
I am used to the world walking by even when lm scared l might die and not doing anything.
Im scared that he will kill my mum one day.
I am used to him blaming me for everything when it isn’t my fault.
I am used to him being so nice to everyone else but not me.
I am used to him being the nicest person you can meet but he isnt like that behind closed doors and in secret.
I am.used to him lying about hurting me.
I used to protecting him by lying only to watch my dad get worse.
I am used to him going to so many groups but never changing .
I am used to my mum trying to protect me but not knowing how anymore.
This is my life .
I cant run and l cant hide.
There is no one that cares.
There is no one to help us and no one to hear our cries.
My mum has bad anxiety and protects me as much as she can but we are alone .
My mum is always sad .
I am always sad and anxious.
My dog is my best friend .
The people that are suppose to help, just dont and the police try hard but it makes my dad angrier.
I have one dream and that is to have a normal life,l am.not even 12 and worry all the time there is no peace in my mind.
I want my dad to get better but l know he never will.
I want to never be afraid of anything again.
I want us to have friends and place where l can feel safe .
I want my dad to be normal.
I want to live my life ,l want my mum to grow old with me.
I want to sleep through the night.
I want the bad dreams to stop.
I dont want to be scared of noises in the night and always be frightened .
I dont want to die .
I hope that some will look at my life and help me and my mum.
I hope someone will stop and listen before l might be gone .
I hope kids like me can one day stop being so afraid but its hard when you have no one.
Who will stop and listen to me .
Who will stop and listen to my mum.
My mum was just like me until she left my dad and now l am like my mum because everyone says my dad loves me but l dont think my dad does because we never hurt those we love.
I want to tell all the other kids out there to just hang on and dont give up no matter how hard it is because we are strong but it doesnt mean we have to be silent any longer.
I hope someone out there can hear me and will help me and my mum and just in case l cant get any help ,if anyone hurts you its not ever okay ,just run as fast as you can ,never just walk away thinking everything will change and be be okay the next day.
Hi sweetheart! Now although your letter is devastatingly sad I can see that you are probably a future writer like me. When I was in high school my English teacher told me I would be a writer. I didn’t think too much if it at the time but here I am.
I’m guessing the letter wasn’t written especially for me but it did reach me. Reading it touched me in a way you could not imagine in your less than 12 years of life. I could swear that I wrote that when I was a kid.
My life has also been touched by domestic violence. I suffered through it as a child and sadly as it was familiar it also became the relationships I found for myself as a grown up. It breaks my heart because I read your letter and wonder what I could have been like had I not had this barrier in place. One I didn’t see until a few years ago. How do I help? Well I’m not sure as only time will tell. I can though share with you my experiences and all that I have learnt so that maybe when you are my age you have spent more time living your own life and not one chosen by others.
I would love to have you write a book for schools using your story as the example. Maybe together helping others is the way we mend our broken selves and prevent others from experience similar things to us?
My favourite saying is “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Dr Seuss.”
All I need you to know for now is that this is not your fault and you are not the reason your father is this way. Nothing you could have ever done could make him act this way. He doesn’t do it because when he was a little boy he decided this is where he wanted to end up. He too may have suffered similar things during his childhood? The only thing you can do right now is make sure that you realise that this is not because of you and that you have the power to stop it from continuing. Meaning that when you have your children that you not continue the behaviour your dad is displaying towards you.
Your mum loves you and is doing her best. Sadly the system and a whole bunch of other things work against us. Unfortunately you will find in life that some things are just not fair and no one really listens.
Your mum has reached out to me and maybe together, using stories like yours we can show that domestic violence is alive and well. As long as people who can make a difference put their head in the sand it will continue.
Your letter and your story will be hard for them to ignore and I’m so very sorry honey and maybe we can make the difference.
I will never forget your letter and never forget you I promise.
Please hang in there and let’s stay in touch, maybe you can write some more to me if you want? I know I’d love to hear how things are going.
Lots of love
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....