After allowing my first post to be a bit of a simple one, a little bit of indulgent bitching about a gripe over a dress I feel like I want to write something a little more meaty this evening.
In August 2010, I finally managed to get out of an abusive relationship. My baby girl ‘Snoo’ was only 13 weeks old and it was by far the most terrible thing I have ever been through. What hurts the most though after everything that happened is that when I first left my ex, I offered to arrange regular contact with him, made suggestions for how we could make sure that he saw her and so on and so forth. But.
He has not seen her since the afternoon we left; July 27th 2010.
The first few days and weeks were hellish. I had his mother screaming down the phone at me for leaving and taking the baby then her cold, still silence when I told her about his drinking, his gambling, the debts he had racked up, his refusal to look for work despite the arrival of our child. The fact that in a few days he too would be forced to leave as we were being evicted for rental arrears.
I did not tell her about his dark, foul temper, the mood swings that seemed to poison him like dark ink in his veins, transforming him like a werewolf under the full moon to a violent, aggressive animal who would do anything and everything he could to make me feel too afraid to leave him.
I did not tell her about him stealing money my father had leant to me to buy food because we were so broke. Or how he took £80 out of my bank account containing the back payment of our daughters child benefit and put it into a fruit machine in the pub. I did not tell how he had borrowed his own brothers new laptop and flogged it for cash. Or how he’d applied for credit cards in my name, forged my signature and maxed them out.
I did not tell her about his screaming at me and our daughter when she cried to shut up, insisting that something must be wrong with her “she should know it’s the middle of the night” at 6 days old. Or how when she was 4 days old after she had vomited blood and we spend the night in hospital and I’d had less than an hours sleep, the next night he had gone to the pub for poker night none the less and left me alone with her, exhausted and terrified it might happen again.
I did not tell her that the night before we left, despite him knowing we would be gone the next day and it could be our last night to spend together as a family, he went to the pub instead and returned home so drunk that I found him the next morning lying face down on the floor covered in vomit with his coat and wallet out in the garden and the door wide open and swinging in the breeze.
I could not of course have told her then as I did not know, that even 18 months later I would still be gripped by nightmares of him, that he turns up at my door, that I am trapped in a burning house and he will not tell me where my child is so I can rescue her. I still fear that he will try and take her from me as he threatened to when I was pregnant.
Since I left to protect myself and my child he has chosen to forget all about us. He emailed sporadically for a few weeks but then from October 2010 onwards, nothing. My Snoo has never received any requests to see her from him or any member of his family. He did not send her a card on her first Christmas or her first Birthday. He has removed all the photos of her from his facebook page but has kept and added new photos of his 2 other children from his relationship before me.
But this story is not one of fear, or loss, or self pity that I have become a single mother or anything like that. This story is one of determination, of courage and a strength I never knew I could possess because my beautiful daughter is the most wonderful thing I could ever have hoped for. He is not worthy of her and if he has chosen to be uninvolved I will not allow us to mourn that loss. I will provide a safe, stable home for my child, where she is loved, happy and so spoilt you would never guess her mother carries the ‘single parent’ label as a burden.
This story, my Daughter and My story will have a Happy Ending. My Snoo is my Princess and as we all know, the Princess lives Happily Ever After.
My Snoo as she was when we made our fresh start together. July 2010