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For anyone desperate to leave an abusive relationship but reluctant to move into a refuge

(300 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

TimeForMe Fri 26-Mar-10 19:33:00

After many years of living with a miserable, abusive bully I finally had enough and called Women's Aid for help. They were wonderful and put me in touch with my local refuge who were equally as wonderful. Within half an hour of making the call I was found a place in a refuge which I gratefully accepted. I had a few things to organise so arranged to go in the next day. A mini bus was sent to collect me, DD and all the belongings we could manage to take. Upon arriving I was greeted with a smile and a welcome cup of coffee. All my belongings were unloaded and taken up to our room. DD was shown around by the child support worker then taken to the play room where she had a brilliant time playing while I had a weep and a chat and filled in all the paperwork. From the moment we stepped inside that door DD and I were supported and taken care of like never before. From that moment I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders, it was like stepping into heaven.

For years I had thought about ringing Women's Aid and asking for help but the thought of a refuge put me off. I had a vision in my mind of what it would be like, the kind of people that would be in there. I couldn't have been more wrong. DD and I have our own bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. We share a lounge with the other ladies in there along with a laundry room which has the most fantastic washing machine and dryer!! grin The refuge is clean, it's warm and it's wonderful! The support workers are fantastic and have helped me every step of the way with everything, claiming benefits, housing applications, counselling and supporting DD. Whatever I need they provide.

The main reason I put off going into a refuge was because of DD, I was worried about how it would affect her. How I wish I hadn't worried and had done it sooner. DD has flourished. Away from the abuse and the tension in the house she has really grown in confidence and is a happy, smiling, laughing little girl. I thought I was protecting her from the abuse, I thought I hid it well but since moving to the refuge, since seeing the changes in her I now know different. I wasn't really protecting her, she was, in her own little way, taking care of me. Now she has a happy, relaxed mummy she has no need to do that and so can enjoy being a little girl, probably for the first time in her seven years. It's wonderful to see smile

The reason I wanted to start this thread was to try to reassure anyone who thinks they are trapped in an abusive relationship, really not wanting to go into a refuge, they have nothing at all to worry about. Nothing to lose but everything to gain. You won't be judged, you won't be questioned, you will be welcomed with open arms and taken care of. You will be free to talk until your heart is content and cry as much as you like. You will have someone who understands what you are going through and all those problems you thought were too big to handle will suddenly seem small because you will have someone to share them with, someone to help you. You won't have to answer to anyone, you can come and go as you please, totally free of abuse.

You can stay as long as you like too. The support workers are just that, support workers. They don't try to influence you either way. If it's just a break from the abuse you need and then you choose to go back, that's fine. If the relationship is over and you want to stay until you are rehoused then that is fine too. It may be that for the first time in a long time the decisions are all yours, you are in control of your life!

If you are in an abusive relationship, tolerating it because you think you have no choice, because you think a refuge isn't for you, I hope my post has helped you in some way. I didn't think a refuge was for me either but it turns out that it is more of a home than the house I lived in ever was.

notevenamousie Fri 26-Mar-10 19:36:47

TFM - well done you, for looking after you and your beautiful DD, and thank you so much for such a heartfelt, inspiring post.

kyotokate Fri 26-Mar-10 19:41:11

What a lovely positive post. Well done TimeForMe and what a great example you re to your DD. KK xx

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 26-Mar-10 19:41:32

What a brilliant post.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

I am so glad that you are happier now, and wish you the best of luck for the future. You sound like a loving, strong woman, and I am sure you will succeed in what ever you chose to do from now on. smile

kyotokate Fri 26-Mar-10 19:42:10

are not re

GypsyMoth Fri 26-Mar-10 19:42:34

Refuge I went to was similiar..... Run by ministry of defence and SSAFA. They were excellent and I quickly got re housed in nice house in nice village. Best thing I ever did!

nickschick Fri 26-Mar-10 19:44:24

Time for me - you and dd are gonna be fine I can just tell,you are growing in strength as a person and soon you are going to look back and realise how you made it through.

I admire you and wish you all the very very best.

Sometimes being a mum means you have to make very hard choices- sometimes choices you make arent the easiest made the right choice and well fuck it gonna hug you (((u))) smile.

saddest Fri 26-Mar-10 19:47:16

tartyhighheels Fri 26-Mar-10 19:47:51

I just wanted to say well done - this was a huge leap of faith and you made it.

I stayed for a long time with someone who was abusive - and if i knew then what i know now i would have done a lot of things differently.

Courageous lady, and what an inspiring post.

AnyFucker Fri 26-Mar-10 19:48:40

whoops, crying now

what a wonderful post x

HollyGoHeavily Fri 26-Mar-10 19:51:25

I really hope everything works out for you and your DD - thanks for posting such a positive and inspiring story.

maristella Fri 26-Mar-10 19:52:58

a really lovely post
glad you're both safe and happy x

JackBauer Fri 26-Mar-10 19:55:50

Oh how lovely, what a fantastic post. good for you!

stripeywoollenhat Fri 26-Mar-10 19:58:56

where's the flippin' thumbs up emoticon? grin - it was lovely of you to post this, good luck to you and dd smile

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 26-Mar-10 22:46:31

tiny little bump

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 26-Mar-10 22:55:09

What a brilliant post, WELL DONE for being courageous and taking a scary leap to get you and your little DD out of there. Your new life together will be fab.

I hope this inspires others who might not want to actually post on here, but who might read it and take some hope for themselves too. Thoughts going to all the women out there tonight who should be safe and aren't yet.

Lilyloo Fri 26-Mar-10 22:55:42

TFM so grin smile to see this post from you.
You are a fabulous person and i am so pleased that you and dd are on your way to a brighter , happier future smile

nighbynight Fri 26-Mar-10 23:05:31

Congratulations TFM!

ItsGraceAgain Sat 27-Mar-10 03:00:37

That's brilliant. Thank you so much for posting - your thread should be added to to the unofficial "Regular Bump List"!

You put your finger on the crucial point - genuine, caring, support. As you know: most women, who find themselves in situations they must leave, have lost all knowledge of how it feels to be looked after, safely & reliably. For a child, as you described, it's so important. And so wonderful to see your kid regaining confidence

I'm very sorry you needed refuge. And thrilled that it was available to you, and is doing so much good.

dizietsma Sat 27-Mar-10 09:44:08

Bravo TFM grin

You are a brave woman, and I'm so glad you and your DD finally have some peace and safety.

Condensedmilkaddict Sat 27-Mar-10 09:53:08

This is the most important post I have ever seen.
Well done TFM.

I would like to see this in the Discussions Of The Day box, as more women need to read it.
Hint hint Mumsnet.

DemonChild Sat 27-Mar-10 10:54:01

Amazing post. I can't imagine how hard it has been, I think you're really brave.

cestlavielife Sat 27-Mar-10 19:55:03

well done, i am so pleased to read this briliant "light at the end of the tunnel" post

dignified Sun 28-Mar-10 03:06:21

I dont know you tfm, but ive been in a similiar position and just beamed when i read that , what a loveley post, i truly hope everything works out for you , you sound a fantastic mum.

GardenPath Sun 28-Mar-10 04:39:39

I'm with Condensedmilkaddict...and everyone else - thank you for such an IMPORTANT post. You have encapsulated what must be a huge worry for so many women - sadly. This should be Discussion of the YEAR box - C'mon MN, please make this a sticky! (Do they have them here?)

Tell you what TFM, seriously - you should do a blog - about daily life in a refuge. There are thousands of women out there like you .... us! While I don't want to get all political and intense on you, this isn't addressed nearly often or loudly enough. You could really get a big thing rolling that needs to be rolled. We are coming up to an election.....

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