• Madelaine

From the archive: 'After the storm' (2014)

I believe the fear that people have about leaving an abusive relationship is based around the ‘what do I do next’ moment. Where do I live? What do I do about money? Will my friends still like me? This combined with the pressure of dealing with the possible criminal process and all the other organisations is quite intimidating.

I can’t say it was easy but I can say that it was worth it. Each day, I woke up feeling a little bit more in control because each day I was one more step away from 10 years of poisonous behaviour and getting back in touch with who I really was. I left with a suitcase and a box of my memories, I left everything I knew behind and went out in the world a blank slate. There were good days and bad days, especially with the children, who were travelling on their own turbulent journey of recovery.

That moment when everyone sees what you see is something to strive for. I had huge doubts placed upon me because of accusations towards my character. At points, I even doubted myself. However, with time and patience, his stories unravelled and he was left exposed and vulnerable just as I had been.

Three years on and I am still enjoying getting to know myself. I have a new life and new hope. I laugh, sing and am ridiculous most of the time just because I never want to be dragged to the point so low and so dark that I wished that sometimes I would never wake up. I am a new person and am so thankful for all the awesomeness in my life.

It is possible. You can rebuild your home, your friends and yourself, all you need is time and love. Because that is what you deserve.


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