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Why does this always seem to happen to me? Why can't I have a simple, maybe mundane life, with a friendly husband and two happy kids? Why do I find these types of abusive men?

I know that any relationship is never without it's little arguments. I know that life is never rosy pink.

But I believe, and still do, that when you close the door to your house, that the outside world and its dog-eat-dog mentality is shut outside the moment you are home. Safe and sound. Or, it should be, if it isn't. If you are already understanding what I'm talking about, you must have been there - I use the past tense, because I sincerely hope that you are not presently living this way.

In total, in 10 years, I've been in 4 abusive relationships. My current relationship I'm still trying to get out of. Domestic abuse is what I'm talking about. Abuse can be verbal AND physical. Most times it's the verbal abuse that does the most damage. Abuse doesn't have to mean that you get a black eye every so often - but, of course, that does happen.

I look back on my childhood with a mixture of happiness and pain. But mainly these memories are unhappy ones. My father worked so hard he was never home. My mother wasn't interested in any three of us - I had a nanny from the age of 3 to 11. My mother was emotionally unstable, and would shut herself away in her office - which was out of bounds to us - studying. Shut away in her own private world. She would cry, get aggressive with us, because she was lonely and depressed. She was unable to reach out. My older brother rebelled. No father at home, no interested mother. No wonder. He would hit my younger sister and me, because he was hurting. Later, he stole money and personal belongings off us to feed his drug habits. When he would scream, and shake me, my parents did nothing. I NEVER want to have my future children to ever experience such a childhood.

My father lost his business when I was nineteen - England was in a deep recession, and I couldn't find a secretarial job. I saw a life of nothingness, smoking marijuana, moaning about not having anything. So I left home.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire. I moved in with an eleven year older man, who I thought was charming, a real gentleman. He had qualities I admired: learned, intelligent, interesting to talk to, he loved cycling, he liked nature and films, and he had a sexy body to go with his sexy voice. I was in love with a real man. Or so I *thought* a real man. He later turned out to be a manipulative monster, who verbally and mentally abused. The details I don't even want to get into. He was beginning to get physically abusive the year I secretly left him.

I secretly left him, because I was afraid of going back to him. I'd tried to leave before but he wouldn't let me. He and me were my own worst enemies. He also fuelled my own self hate.....And, where did I go to? I hear you ask. I moved far away, I moved to Germany.


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