Behind closed doors... when your home is your prison

I've been there. I've lived being 'trapped' in domestic abuse. I've heard the keys in the front door and felt my legs feel like jelly as though they wouldn't hold me up!

My coping mechanism was to keep busy and keep trying to be 'perfect'. For years I was in denial that it was happening to me! There had to be another reason why he treated me as he did. Was he ill? Was he insecure? Can I prove to him I love him unconditionally? The list was endless...

Are you just wanting a calm evening? You try to put the children to bed and make sure the house is in order and the dinner is cooked. A calm evening? Not a chance!

If you identify with this you will understand why I use the word 'trapped'. It feels appropriate. It fits. The reality is you are frightened and friends don't understand and lose patience with you. They don't understand why you don't just leave...

You are alone, unsupported and exhausted. Yet you are indeed a strong person, and one day I hope for you that you too can escape this nightmare. I do mean 'escape' and I don't mean 'a break'. I mean plan to escape forever and 'don't look back'.

I think friends do not realise your partner was charming when you met him and no doubt still can be, and you liked that about him. Many of us have been 'hooked' by charming men. I am certain he may have used this powerful 'charm' to hook you into thinking he may change... and unless he really wants to change and demonstrates change backed up with some form of therapy... I doubt he will change...

Domestic abuse is not something to feel embarrassed and ashamed by. This is not your fault. You didn't go out with this person to receive this treatment... it happened over a period of time. You were not to know. How could you?

Seeking support from a trained counsellor is crucial in domestic abuse situations. It's a safe place where you know it's confidential to be able to explore your hurt, confusion, anxiety and your feelings of isolation without pressure to be able to slowly find your way out of your 'prison'.

We all need a helping, supportive hand so to speak, and finding someone that will understand and let you take time, at your pace, to find a way forward.

It may seem as you read this that there are 'no choices', especially at the present time, but a trained counsellor may be able to help you with this. He or she will be able to metaphorically walk alongside you as you explore this very complex issue.

Your heart is precious so take care of it. You need to be valued and respected. You deserve to be heard. Domestic abuse shouldn't be something we should live with and be bullied into silence from our partners. It's your truth. You don't deserve this punishment behind closed doors. I hope you too will be able to find your escape from 'your prison'.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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