Brave Blogger Speaks Out About Domestic Violence  

Dear Readers



Meet Emma Murphy. Emma, a 26 year old Irish mother of two and blogger, was in a relationship with the man who was the love of her life, for three and a half years. 

While pregnant, her partner cheated and lied about it. This lie later turned their lives upside down when it was revealed the other woman was pregnant. 

It’s evident from what Emma says in this video that she had been emotionally abused for some time and that started long before any sign of physical violence.

Emma’s bravery to speak out about her experience is commendable. I too was once a Mummy blogger and can relate to the abuse she suffered. I am just not brave enough to blog about it without anonymity. 

In my experience, and as it seems with Emma, the emotional abuse was the start of the domestic violence cycle. 

Emotional abuse can be considered easier to get away with. It’s often subtle and is not limited to verbal abuse as most consider it to be – emotional abuse comes in many forms. Over time, in almost all cases, emotional abuse creates a codependency between the abused and the abuser. Any reactions or outbursts from the abuser about their treatment, is often met with cries of, “You’re over reacting”, “You’re crazy” or phrases to that effect. 

Examples of Emotional Abuse include, but are not limited to, are: 

Name calling

* Unnecessary teasing described as a “joke”

* Gaslighting or creating self doubt 

* Using events from your past against you

* Reaffirming your insecurities by pointing them out

* Belittling comments and put downs 

* Comparing you to others 

* Isolation from friends and family

* Being told to behave or dress in certain ways

* Consistently not following through on “promises” and accuses you of “nagging” over simple things 

* Going through your phone, email or social media accounts without cause or reason 

* Falsely accusing you

* Putting in barriers to reduce the time you have for hobbies, sports or other activities you enjoy

* Deflecting their bad behaviour and turning it around on you

* Dismissing your opinion or thoughts on a regular basis

If you experience any or all of these regularly, you are experiencing emotional abuse. Please find the courage to get out before it turns physical. Abuse, of any form, is never okay.

Remember, there are never red flags. Only deal breakers. 

Watch Emma’s story here:


Until next time,

aDVmous 

Accuse, Abuse, Blame and Deny 

Dear Reader

I am going to share an extremely traumatising yet bizarre incident with you. It entails deep seated emotional abuse from a sociopath. While the purpose of me sharing this story is to help my readers identify the cycle of abuse, please be aware the experiences I describe may be a trigger to some of you. Read at your own discretion. 

Accuse

This time last year my life was very different to it is now. It’s almost a year to the day I was accused by my ex husband of selling marijuana through an online classifieds website simply because I just happened to stumble across some adverts selling “420”. Unable to believe my eyes, I showed him what I had discovered. At the time I wish I hadn’t shown him but this incident was pivotal to where I am today. 

Abuse

For hours I was verbally abused, interrogated and threatened all for the purposes of extracting a confession from me. A confession for something I didn’t do or even have knowledge of prior to that evening. 

As the hours went by, his accusation changed from me being a key player in an online drug ring – “Don’t worry c*@t. You’re gonna get ripped off big time. Expect a call in 20 minutes” – to “There’s no possible way you could figure out that 420 was a code for marijuana if you didn’t already have connections”. Connections? Huh? I was a stay at home mother who rarely left the house and had next to no friends. Anyway I have Facebook to thank for that particular 420 intell. Seriously. That’s how I discovered National Marijuana Day in the US falls on April 20, aka 420…

It didn’t matter what I said to defend myself, not a word was believed, listened to or heard. I was questioned for hours about my alleged “connections” yet the fact I maintained my innocence was ignored entirely. 

At one point, I tried to go to bed in an attempt to get away from him but he intercepted every move I made. I had no choice but to endure the remainder of the interrogation at his discretion and on his terms. 

Blame

I categorically maintained my innocence and pointed out that I downright refused to admit to doing something I played no part in. I will never forget the look of pure contempt he gave me before he spat out how he couldn’t believe I was *still* lying to him. The fear he put in me for his look alone still sends shivers down my spine today. 

I was astounded that even after hours and hours and hours of his verbal onslaught, he still thought I was lying. He made it clear that I couldn’t lie in bed straight if I tried and it was my fault this had happened. 

I am the first to admit that I am far from perfect but I was a loyal, committed and loving wife. Even when I was struck down with postnatal depression, I still did my best because I loved my husband deeply. We had known each other for over 20 years. I never cheated, lied or hid anything that would cause me to feel guilty (new shoes don’t count). How could this man, the man I married, the man I have known for more than half of my life, possibly think I was capable of anything like that? How could he possibly believe I was straight out lying to his face after being drilled for hours on end? Is that how he saw me? As a deceitful, lying drug dealer? Why? How could he? 

Deny

I was at a loss about what I had done to deserve being treated so appallingly. As exhaustion began to set in, I started to slowly give up. His persona changed almost immediately. The moment he could see I had next to no fight left in me, he changed tactic. He lovingly told me he knew I wasn’t capable of ever doing any of that, and in fact, he was suitably impressed at how clever I was for figuring out the 420 code.

Accuse. Abuse. Blame. Deny 

It took me a long time to realise that I didn’t do anything to deserve how I was treated that night or any other night. His behaviour had absolutely nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. His preferred cycle of accuse, abuse, blame and deny was a double edged sword for me. Not only did this assist him in getting his narcissistic “fix”, but it helped him to keep control over me. 

This incident was the beginning of the end of our relationship. It was also instrumental in me recognising his cycle of abuse. This was the last night we lived together as husband and wife. As crazy as it sounds, thinking back, I can’t believe my luck that this happened. If it didn’t, I’d probably still be there today. You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from. 

Until next time,

aDVmous 

Never a Victim

Dear Reader

A victim. A phrase commonly used to describe an unfortunate soul who finds themselves in an unfortunate situation,  normally out of their control. A murder victim. A burn victim. A heart attack victim. A car accident victim. A victim of a robbery. A rape victim. All genuinely terrible circumstances and appropriately described. A victim of something awful, more often than not, a single or one off event.

A sufferer. A phrase commonly used to describe an unfortunate soul who finds themselves in a continuous cycle of an unfortunate set of circumstances, normally out of their control. A  dementia sufferer. A person suffering constant pain. A diabetes sufferer. A sufferer of depression. A person suffering grief or loss. An MS sufferer. Again, all genuinely terrible circumstances and appropriately described. A sufferer of something awful, often on a regular basis.

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As someone who has experienced domestic violence, I am often described as a “victim”. A victim. The phrase overwhelmingly used to describe a person who has experienced a horrific, one off event. The trouble is, domestic violence is far from a one off event. It comes in the form of mental, verbal, emotional, physical and financial abuse. It’s a combination of manipulation, intimidation, torment and isolation tactics used on a regular basis to instill fear and cement control. After almost 7 years together I experienced at least one, if not multiple forms of domestic violence every single day. It almost destroyed me. I suffered from domestic violence. To say I am a victim implies it only happened once.

By no means am I saying someone who is suffering has it any worse than a one off victim. Absolutely not. Everything that comes with someone who is suffering daily, or to a victim of a horrendous one off tragedy, is entirely individual to the person and circumstance, and in no way can be measured or compared. I am simply expressing my interpretation of the difference between the two words and debating the context of which the word “victim” is used when describing domestic violence, except in the worst case scenarios: rape, murder or both, committed by the abuser.  

From my experience, what most people don’t understand is that abusers do not immediately portray intimidating, angry or violent behavior. Very few relationships in the early days would sustain such abuse and certainly not regularly so it often starts off small and progressively gets worse over time. Abuse early on is often minor and played down before it’s followed up with profuse apologies, gifts and promises it won’t happen again. After all, they had a bad day and they love you so of course they didn’t mean to hurt you, right?

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By the time you realize you are experiencing domestic violence, a significant amount of time has been invested into the relationship and an emotional attachment has developed. This attachment makes it extremely difficult to sever ties particularly if there are children involved. It is also at this point many women realize they are being financially controlled, making it even harder for them to leave.

I know women who have escaped domestic violence situations and describe themselves as a “survivor”. A survivor. A phrase commonly used to describe someone who has made it out alive from an extraordinary event or set of circumstances. I got away from the name calling, the accusations, the intimidation, the threats, the physical violence, the manipulation and the continuous torment. I am a survivor of what I believe to this day was my imminent death, either at his hands or my own. 

I was once a domestic violence sufferer. I am now a domestic violence survivor. But never have I been a victim.

Until next time,

aDVmous