I was with my husband for 9 yrs. He was a colleague at a local supermarket where we both worked the night shift..we were living together within months of meeting, he left his wife & home to be with me..He was clingy & unusual but seemed intelligent..a former heroin addict..he was obsessed with suicide, punk rock & sex/porn..he weighed approx 8 stone, tattooed, rotten teeth, scars from needle use on his arms & huge scars on his chest where he self harmed in a similar way to Sid Vicious. Our relationship involved us both drinking a lot of lager & listening to a lot of his music & talking into the small hours..he never helped with chores or domestic responsibilities..he bestowed me with compliments from the outset..he seemed tuned to my most intimate thoughts..He called me his ‘soulmate’..I had children from previous relationships..we have 2 sons together..now to outline some of the abuse: I have good reason now to think that he was drugging me during the relationship (I’ve never used illegal substances & was very naïve in re of drugs & their effects although it is fair to say I liked a drink)..I’d wake up after ‘unexplainable’ blackouts..I was always ill..chest infections, sore throats, diarrhoea, paranoia, developed ocd, chest pain, heart palpitations etc..my GP suspected angina & told me to watch how much I drank..I felt poorly but continued to work all the same..He was very sexually demanding, I’d wake up to find him having sex with me, he’d film me (sometimes asleep under bedclothes) He was obsessed with pornography..I don’t want to go into all of the sexual abuse but he raped me on one occasion..pinned me to the bedroom floor with his hands around my throat..immediately afterwards he denied doing it!.. I felt so low, worthless & betrayed after the rape… he told me to cut my wrist if I felt so bad; so I did..I ended up with 37 stitches in my left wrist & a mental health diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ as a result because I did not disclose the abuse to the GP or psychiatrist..he’d never let me out of his sight..I was isolated from friends & family..he was jealous of my other kids & anyone who tried to befriend me..he didn’t like any other man looking at me..made me paranoid about what I wore..he hid debts, hid porn (blaming my daughter for it), gambled, changed my name, ran up my credit cards without my knowledge whilst at the same time stashing money in the form of shares for himself..I was forced to feed a family of 5(6 at weekend) on less than £35 wk..he said if I ever left him or cheated he’d kill me..he very nearly succeeded was always overly “nice” and has every personality trait of a sociopath..If I complained he’d either minimise the issue or blame me..he’d look at me with death in his eyes..I stopped complaining but became increasingly ill..In 2010 he told me I no longer needed to take my anti-psychotic & anti-depressant meds.. I ended our relationship several months later after an incident where he groped me, asking “is this what you want?” & punched me to the ground..He called the police telling them I’d fallen..about 2 weeks later I believe he got into the house (as he still had keys), laced my food/drink with something that caused near heart failure, lungs filled with fluid, severe dehydration & approx 6 mths of paranoid schizophrenic symptoms..(on research from internet I believe that methamphetamine is a possibility), my teeth & hair fell out, I was so ill..hospital never carried out a drug test!! They put me on a alcohol detox & said I’d suffered panic attacks & ‘adjustment disorder’ due to the breakdown of my marriage!! He got into my home, moved stuff around, left a paranoia inducing play-list on my Ipod, left distressing items such as notes, cards & newspaper cuttings, poured corrosive over my belongings, left underwear in my drawer that wasn’t mine, left strange items in the loft that I’d never seen, tampered with the car, left windows open, switched off washing machine at the back, bombarded me with paranoia inducing texts & calls..heavy breathing on th phone, stole items..tealights strewn over my garden, turned up at my door quoting passages from the bible..turned up at medical appointments, accused me of ‘sending people after him’, tried to have me sectioned, phoned me in the mental health unit laughing & taunting; saying I’d never see the kids again..I walked 30 mile out of the mental health unit to get back to my kids..police picked me up..there was a huge carry on at the hospital because he’d changed my name..they had no record of me & thought I was delusional! …he snatched our kids giving me no address..so much more detail I have not got down on here..I’m so damn lucky to be alive…I have flashbacks, nightmares & anxiety..I continue to fight for residency but have such little proof of the abuse..I get minimal child contact & struggle to provide for the time my boys are here on single person benefit payments..He has not worked a day since taking the children..he claims benefits..my children are unkempt & not cared for properly but again I have little proof of this..I have sent complaints to police, social services, hospitals & psychiatrists, who were all very sympathetic but unhelpful..I believe he wanted me dead, he’d even manipulated me into signing my will over to him, I found paperwork of a life insurance policy I’d never seen..It was like something from a Steven King movie..the severe paranoia was absolutely terrifying..I felt so un-believed until I went Women’s Aid..I was too scared to come out of my bedroom & use the rest of my home at first I barricaded myself in…Now I’m a volunteer at Women’s Aid..I hold service positions in AA..I am abstainant from any alcohol for more than 2yrs..so that hospitals will never make the mistake of misdiagnosing me again! I still have to meet this man to collect my kids..I’m not afraid of him anymore..I am free & safe today & hope my story reaches out to help someone else.
Interview By- Arome Ameh (The Priest)