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With a torrent of verbal abuse he started smashing everything in sight. I’m speaking out because the statistics are still shocking and unacceptable. Even without any history of it, anyone can become a victim of domestic violence. But there are warning signs that shouldn’t be ignored.
Vivian now recognises that the relationship was an unhealthy addiction to someone who was unavailable to me.They sob, bring you flowers or chocolates to make up for it, vow to never do it again. ’They say your life flashes before you just before you die. It was a combination of fear, now I knew what he could do to me, and a yearning for my baby to grow up with a father.Ben kept telling me he ‘needed my help more than ever to change’, which was music to my ears. He promised things would be different now and I wanted so badly for us to be the happy family he’d said we’d be.She said: 'I was chasing the original high I got from that charismatic, remorseful, attentive side'I now see that almost from the start an unhealthy addiction kicked in. I was chasing the original high I got from that charismatic, remorseful, attentive side.If I’d admitted this relationship was no good for me, I would have lost what I needed to feel good again. On various online forums, others — men and women — have described having had the same addictive experience that’s part of being in an abusive relationship. I was 18, an ambitious young actress, when I met Ben at a party. A few weeks went by and I waited, without any word. He spoke of marriage and a long, happy life together. He went home to get some clothes, picked a fight over something I didn’t understand and slammed down the phone. When he reappeared, it was like nothing had happened.
He told me I was what he’d been looking for all his life.
‘I’ll pay.’That evening we went to a popular bar where a band was playing.
Instead, ours would be a whirlwind four-and-a-half year relationship that descended into a dysfunctional and destructive vortex. But, ultimately, it almost cost me my life when, years later, he strangled me.
Although the hints were there that this relationship was volatile, I batted the truth away. The romantic, wonderful person hooks and reels you in. In my case I might have been flirting outrageously with a man (whom I’d barely said one word to).
So you change your behaviour to avoid upsetting your partner. But the thought of ending it and never seeing your partner again terrifies you even more than how they are treating you. How long I was unconscious for I don’t know, but I came to as he was dragging my body across the floor. In a hoarse voice I told them: ‘My husband tried to kill me.’They took my statement and then me to hospital.
Although I appeared confident and was starting to build a successful career, I was insecure inside. They had a ‘difficult past’ or a ‘traumatic childhood’. When it’s still early days, why wouldn’t you believe them, feel sorry for them?