Trapped in a Domestic Violent Relationship.
In light of the young woman “Gabby Petito” who was murdered in Florida most recently, the story has hit home and has opened up so many bad memories for me.
At the time of this article, being published there is a manhunt going on for her fiance “Brian Laundrie”.
Watching the video of the patrol officers when both the young woman and her fiance were first pulled over, I could relate to some of what was happening at the time.
Gabby was being very overprotective, not only for herself, but she also did not want Brian to get into trouble so she took the blame. She wanted to defuse the situation so that her partner would not be angrier once the authorities had gone.
She also blamed her OCD. (Yes I can relate to this also however if I was talking to someone to get them off my back I would use the OCD excuse).
By coincidence, I suffer from OCD and I know how frustrating this is to someone who does not suffer from it.
I used to be called “CRAZY” by someone I thought I trusted, even as I speak to today there is a stigma attached to people with mental health issues. I was told multiple times by the person who tried to control me that I needed to be locked up in a lunatic asylum. This could have been a trigger to start an argument for Gabby and Brian, as my OCD got me into a lot of arguments myself.
So it is no surprise that a recent conversation I had with someone I have known for 40 years who learned I had OCD never bothered to ring me back after he said he would.
The problem is I do not give people second chances anymore, I used to, but my mindset has changed. If someone does me wrong that is it, I will not have anything more to do with them.
If people assume that disabilities especially mental health ones are labeled as “crazy”, I have news for you being anxious, depressed, and having panic attacks are also mental health issues, so we all have an element of craziness in us.
For me at the time of my physical and mental abuse, I had lost my brother to a drowning accident and felt my life was falling apart. I believed that the person I had turned to for solace, whom I trusted would protect me from harm ended up the person who nearly cost my life.
When I first met my ex-partner in 2009 I should have gone with my gut feeling as I did not like him at first. I remembered my brother’s words shortly before his passing that I should start dating. I had been divorced for nine years and did not need anyone in my life up until that point when my parents passed away and then my brother.
My ex had heard I had come into a large inheritance and my naivety prevailed as I thought he was in pursuit of me, not my money (I was very naive and stupid), so in January 2010 we started dating.
Everything seemed fine until I heard in February 2010 my brother was involved in a freak accident in Ecuador where he sadly lost his life.
I needed my ex more than ever to help me stay sane. I did start to have feelings for him (I cared for him but was not in love, more like lust) and found when he started to show his true colours approximately four months later after my brother had passed away, whilst we were visiting my family in Poland for a wedding, I should have seen all the warning signs with his vulgarity and disrespect to me and left him there and then, but I didn’t.
On the way back to the UK he was just rude and vulgar but not physically abusive. It would be approximately a year later that he physically attacked me.
This is when my whole world turned truly upside down. I felt I was in the middle of the eye of a tornado where not only did he physically assault me, I then had the authorities putting pressure on me to have him charged. I felt my whole world falling apart and I could not cope with the anguish and the stress.
Similar to what this young woman was going through in the video I tried to defend him and say it was my fault that things got out of hand, so as not to cause further anger or cause a rift between us.
I believed then (not now), that people are not born evil and thought once the dust settled I could reason with him and get him the help and therapy he needed without getting him into trouble with the authorities. That was a stupid naive mistake I made as one can inherit narcissistic traits.
“You cannot change a person that does not want to change”.
This did not turn out well or go in my favour when I refused to press charges. I then became a target and was treated like a criminal for harbouring a would-be criminal in the eyes of the law and the authorities turned against me and threatened to take away my child.
I was in the middle of a storm and had no one to turn to. I did not trust anyone and I felt very alone. I was scared how would I cope with being on my own even though it did not dawn on me I was actually alone for nine years prior to meeting my ex, so why did being alone actually matter?
I was obviously not thinking straight. Just like “Gabby” I was afraid to lose the person I hoped to settle down with. It did not matter how many people advised me or how many people tried to keep us apart I had one goal and that was to make amends and start over, forgive and forget.
Needless to say, my ex did get charged by the Police and ended up going on remand for a week in jail but because I refused to give evidence the charges got dropped for lack of them.
I was now an enemy of the state.
Had the Police not got involved in the first place there could have been a totally different outcome and I could have easily been maimed for life or ended up dead. However, after he was released from custody his behaviour only got worse over time.
I was advised to move or go to a women’s shelter which I point blank refused. I thought why should I go on the run, move home and my business because of him. I had a woman’s shelter person insist on making them my friend and again, I did not want anything to do with strangers I just wanted to sort out the mess all by myself.
I ended with a police marker on my property and that if I was ever to call the Police or anyone else called the police, they would have blue lights blazing or so I thought.
It was hard to gain my ex’s trust after that and his anger only festered even more as he blamed me for getting the police involved even though he drew the first sword so to speak. He was in complete denial that he had done anything wrong.
From then on I was the target of verbal abuse on a constant basis and he was careful most of the time that there were no witnesses to his behaviour especially my daughter who he did not trust either as both my daughter and I were two peas from the same pod. However, there were a couple of occasions once on a busy high street where I was walking back from a Garage whilst my daughter was in school where he poured a can of beer over my head on busy high street causing the hairdressers to run out of the shop to comfort me and another time in Poland where he punched me whilst he was driving the car with his elderly aunt in the back. Other than that he did everything when there was no one around.
There were a lot of incidents that stuck in my mind and as I write this article I am still not ready to tell the world what exactly happened and what he did to me.
It is still very mentally painful for me to recall everything and I have tried to suppress my mental wounds and memories knowing in time I will heal. I hope one day to tell my story to help women just like Gabby.
It is more common than people think especially in Poland as an example and by coincidence another wife-beater whose wife I happened to help about two and half years ago in a similar situation to mine only messaged me the other day to help him.
These men are delusional and considering he knows my ex-partner and what he did to me as he listened to the audio recordings I have, you would think considering he too was in a similar situation not so long ago himself, he would not be so naive to think I would help him.
Polish people stick together in communities especially in a foreign land and because English is my native tongue but I am bi-lingual that is why Poles come to me for help.
I told him I was busy for the next few months with work and told him to contact someone else. I have no intention of helping someone that beats women one day and acts like nothing happened the next.
I know none of what has happened to me was my fault. It was my ex’s insecurities that made him the way he was, not to mention that it is part of the culture in rural areas of Poland where the men go to work grafting in fields all day whilst the women are supposed to keep a tidy home, have their dinners ready and oblige to every whim.
Furthermore, the abuse is passed from generation to generation especially considering that some men drink excessively to the point they are paralytic and that is when the demons come out. Although my ex was very much sober when he was physically and mentally abusive towards me and was more subdued when he was drunk, these are the characteristics of a narcissist, a dangerous, psychotic person.
Looking back at my ex, his mother admitted she was physically and mentally abusive to her crippled wheelchair-bound husband when my ex was a toddler. So from a young age growing up, he started to have a hatred towards women and I witnessed how he pushed his elderly mother’s frail body nearly causing her to fall. I also heard his vulgarity towards his own mother who walked out of the room so as not to show him that his words hurt her and that she was crying. He never apologized when she returned just stared at her giving her dirty looks.
The last straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when I decided to put a stop to his abuse once and for all. He dislocated my knee and that was it there was no turning back. I had already collected enough evidence previously and had started to hate him (there is a thin line between love and hate). Any feelings I had for him had long gone.
I then came up with a plan, I could see that he was getting, even more, angrier with me and that there was no reasoning with him so I started to collect evidence and recorded him secretly.
Over time I managed to collect enough evidence that he would be facing jail for a very long time and with this evidence which I presented to him I gave him an ultimatum to leave me alone once and for all and to payback for all the damages otherwise, I would go to the Police. I made multiple copies of the evidence I had and told him should anything ever happen to my daughter or me, the police would go looking for him.
He knows that if he fails to pay me for everything he has broken or tries to come near me he will have the Police knocking on his door.
Yes he caused me harm and I do have memories but I can safely say I was lucky to have got away from him for good.
I have blocked him on all social media and unfriended all his friends, family, and associates. The less he knows about me the better.
Am I still concerned he may carry out his threats, perhaps if I provoked him, that is why I remain to stay civil until I am ready to disassociate myself for good?
Moving is my final goal. My businesses are online with no physical addresses so I have no worries there. There will be a time when I sever all ties with him when I am good and ready.
My circumstances and the threats he made I will not divulge until I am ready to tell the world, hence I have CCTV outside my property, had the locks changed, and am very vigilant.
I do not go out because of my mental and physical health which some of it was caused by my ex.
I have a long road to recovery and where someone asked me the other day am I in a relationship, even though I had told this person previously many months prior about my ex, this individual was oblivious to the fact that my ex has caused considerable mental and physical damage, so why on God’s earth would I ever want to get involved with anyone ever again?
I have in my lifetime witnessed my father slap my mother, my cousin being dragged by her hair by her husband. Have had my own personal experiences and have had been made aware of domestic violence in the Polish Community in the City I live in.
Abuse majority of the time is behind closed doors. People are either too afraid to get help, are too embarrassed, or simply do not know how to end the nightmare they live in.
Some people believe they can change a person (I was one of them), but in reality, you cannot change a person unless they are willing to accept your help and are willing to change.
Sometimes an assault can happen when you least expect it.
If you are in imminent danger try to get away. Sometimes talking calmly and showing you are not afraid can help to defuse the situation and then when you are confident you can leave without getting harmed leave at the first opportunity.
If you are in a situation where this happens often and you have not found the courage to leave or report the crime, secretly record the abusive behaviour. You do not have to have catalouges of episodes, one incident is enough, and then make a secret plan on the first opportunity to leave and not return. Try to have an escape plan. (In my case he was a visitor in my home so it was hard to get him to leave).
I actually did reach out to my dead brother’s girlfriend to hide and she turned her back on me.
Things you should.
- At the first opportunity go to the police, especailly if you have children or are in imminent danger.
- Prior to fleeing delete all of the abusers friends, family and associates off all social media accounts and block them. (Tell your partner your account was taken down by social media for sharing something that goes against their policies, not that you closed it as that will make the abuser angry).
- Give all the people you know nicknames and change their real names to the nicknames on your phone should the abuser insist on going through your phone to see who you phoned last or who had phoned you.
- Change your passwords on everything.
- Arrange to stay with someone that is not the obvious person on the list your abuser will go and visit.
- Let all the people you know in your network, your friends, family they have nicknames and that if they get an unknown call from the abuser to not identify themselves. The only risk is ther abuser may recognise their voice.
- Save some money put a few pounds/dollars aside each week so that when you are ready to flee you are able to do so without any monetary difficulty.
- Keep all your important documents together, passport, driving licence etc so that you have no worries they will get destroyed by the abuser and you have them to hand in an emergency.
- Have a bag packed ready to go. (Make sure your abuser does not clock on what you are up to. Do not make it a suitcase more a like a large handbag, small holdall or backpack)
- Be careful who you talk to and trust.
- Cover your tracks.
- Invest in another phone with another number so that if your abuser uses his acquaintances to phone you it will be more difficult to track you down.
- Keep your accounts private on social media and do not accept anyone you do not know as a connection, as your abuser could easily set up a fake account just to trap you or get an unknown friend to spy on you.
- Do not be ashamed of your situation, many women and men are going through domestic violent relationships right now as we speak. Tell your neighbours to be aware of loud noises or raised voices.
- Do not try to fight or retaliate in a volitile situation, instead try to stay calm and quiet to try and defuse the situation and once the coast is clear and the situation has calmed down make an excuse that you will go up the road to buy a bottle of wine or some beer giving you the opportunity to leave in a safe manner. Say it is a peace offering to start over. Do not try sneaking out as that will relight a smouldering flame.
They say an apple does not fall far from the tree and knowing I had a police marker on my property when a boy threatened my daughter a couple of years later I phoned the police. After 10 minutes of no sounds of sirens in the far distance and no police to my daughter’s rescue, I phoned again and the operator turned around and I quote “we are sitting at the end of your street waiting for you to phone us”. Imagine the seriousness of the call every second mattered so if my daughter and I were in imminent danger I do not believe the police would be in any hurry blasting their sirens to rescue us. Like I said before, I think I am now an enemy of the state because I did not press charges.
Going back to “Brain Laundrie”, this is only my opinion, he is most probably very scared and insecure and I believe and this is something my ex’s mother said to me all those years ago, if I were to press charges and, my ex was going to face jail, he would most probably kill himself and she would blame me. It is a vicious circle that I believe started with her narcissism towards her husband in front of her child who turned out to be a narcissist.
As for the whole “Brian Laundrie” case, I am sitting on the fence just like the rest of the world but if my child had killed their partner or was in serious trouble with the authorities I would try to persuade them to turn themselves in. I certainly would not go on a camping trip as a family and I would try and give all my support to the person’s family of the child that was murdered. There are too many unanswered questions and I do hope they find Brian alive so that this can bring closure to Gabby’s family.
What is the worst that can happen for Brian apart from the freeboard and lodgings he will indefinitely have if he is sent to jail if it was accidental or manslaughter? If on the other hand, it was first-degree murder then that constitutes the death penalty in Florida, but even then I would try to rehabilitate myself and help mentor other people with narcissistic problems before I met my maker.
There is a lot of outcry because of so many other missing persons in the USA and the rest of the world but the focus is on one person to be found preferably alive to be made an example of.
The way I see it, Gabby would not have died in vain and instead become a symbol and sacrifice for women all over the world to get out of abusive relationships before they meet the same fate as Gabby.
Gabby should be made a Saint by the Vatican.
More needs to be done to spread awareness of the dangers of abusive relationships.
“My condolences to Gabby’s family and thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time”.
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Renata is a businesswoman and published author. She primarily focuses on helping people with disabilities to startup businesses and offers Digital Marketing, Website Creation, SEO, and Domain Brokering.
Renata Is A Disabled Entrepreneur.
She Has A Condition Called Cerebellar Atrophy, and Also Suffers From OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
She is an advocate for Mental Health, Motivational Empowerment, and Personal Development. She tries to find support for vulnerable men and women in abusive relationships.
Renata is the Editor of DisabilityUK.co.uk Online Journal, iRenata.com, UKDomainBrokers.com, CymruJournal.com, and RoathLife.co.uk Online Magazine.
Renata has a large network of over 10K connections on LinkedIn, compromising of Directors, CEOs, Millionaires, Billionaires, and Royalty. https://www.linkedin.com/in/renata-b-48025811/