Mary* has been supported by Glow for nearly 4 years since leaving her abusive partner. Here she shares her story of recovery since leaving her ex, in the hope that it helps others in a similar situation to come forward and take the first steps towards living a life free from abuse.
The relationship with my ex-partner was abusive on pretty much every level: emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, isolation and financial.
During the time I have been supported by Glow, my support worker has always listened to me. I can say that she has been one of the most valuable people to me.
When we’d meet for our one to one sessions, and we’d go through the week’s events with my ex-partner, she’d make me see that that the things that were happening weren’t ok. She even helped me to identify things that I thought were normal.
I didn’t speak to anyone else about what things were like with my ex-partner. I never wanted to tell my family and I hardly spoke to any of my friends about it. I was ashamed.
I felt the only person that really understood me and the situation was my support worker. She understood why I stayed and how scared I was to leave; she truly knew what a hard decision it was.
The first time I tried to leave my ex-partner was one of the worst times of my life, I only managed 2 weeks. I was completely broken, a mess and worn down, I literally had no strength to carry on. I had nothing so my only choice was to go back after they repeatedly promised they would change.
I’ll never forget after I tried to leave the first time and my partner had changed the locks on the house, my support worker told me to not leave the house again. Later on after my partner assaulted me again, the police asked if I had somewhere to go as my partner refused to leave. I remember standing my ground. In the mist of all the things that were going on, I remembered what my support worker had said about not leaving my house and thank god because I can’t begin to imagine what would have happened.
After the relationship was finally over, the real struggle began, and the issues I faced with my ex-partner were awful. I genuinely believed it would never end. My support worker was continually there for me. I know if I needed her, I could call, she would listen and she never judged me.
For months I felt it was my fault what had happened to me. My support worker helped me see that it wasn’t my fault and that my ex-partners behaviour was their choice. It took me a long time to realise that but without her I would have always felt guilty about what happened to me and my family. She made me realise there was hope, and that I could do it.
In my worst times where I felt I could no longer go on and genuinely thought it would be easier to go back, she reminded me it wouldn’t. She reminded me of the broken promises before, and how it would just get worse like it did last time. She made me find strength that to this day I never thought I had.
My support worker has always believed me; she has never questioned what I have told her about how my ex-partner treated me. Having someone who properly understands domestic abuse in my life has been so important. She even supported me through the family courts and crown courts, it took so much strength, courage and determination, but knowing she was by my side made it easier.
Since being with Glow, I’ve also seen my confidence grow from being broken as a person to where I am now today. I’m not saying it’s all plain sailing, but I am at a point in my life where I can say that I am happy, content, achieving my goals, I love myself, I know my self-worth and value and never will I have a partner treat me the way they did and so much of that comes down to my support worker
Glow helped me realise that my future could and would be different. Without them, I genuinely think I would not be here because of either my ex-partner or me taking my own life through the suffering. I can confidently say I am no longer a victim, but a survivor.
I will be forever grateful to Glow as a service as they helped me be free!