I’m writing this at the happiest I have been in years. 2018 is my year and I’m taking it with a strong grip.

Years ago I left an abusive relationship I literally had what I could grab, I wasn’t allowed to go back and get any of my further possessions and my abuser refused to give me anything after (even if this included photographs from my childhood), despite asking. I watched how he sold most of my beloved things on Facebook, most that I had spent an inheritance on. At first I was upset and angry but then I realised that I didn’t really want my possessions back because they were stained with sickening memories, and that he gladly wanted to use the furniture for years and I am pretty sure he still has some of it now.

I came to my new house with my husband Rob (at the time he was my partner) and the rooms of our house were empty. There was only what we needed; a bed in each bedroom and some storage boxes for some clothes. I was fortunate to have my partners family and mine give us those beds in our bedrooms, a dining table, some clothes, cutlery and dishes etc. I will never forget just how much his family and mine stepped up to help in my time of need, the most desperate time of my life. Living without a washing machine for 6 months was very interesting and I am sure you can imagine how frustrating it became. We were without a sofa for quite sometime and sat on some blankets on the floor which developed into a blow up sofa and then into a second hand sofa. Looking back at the photos above upsets me, they are a horrific reminder of what I went through and what I lost. Not only did I loose my possessions I also lost many friends, I didn’t really loose them but I had to disconnect from everybody that was connected with him- for our own safety.

If that wasn’t enough I had a lot of debt from the financial abuse I sustained which was about to grow substantially over the next years, you wouldn’t believe just how much solicitor fees grew.

The abuse I suffered equaled into years of hardship and continued abuse after the relationship had ended, I won’t go too much into this now but I want you all to know that abuse doesn’t finish when the relationship does. Usually for someone who has just left an abusive relationship that is when she is in the most danger.

BUT…

Two books later and standing as an advocate to those who are in abusive relationships…

2018 brought the year that we paid off all the debt we had including the large solicitor bill. We had some help over the years from a couple of inheritances as well as family, without those I don’t know what would have happened and my words cannot express my gratitiude.

We are finally making our house a home, something that I’ve wanted to do for so many years.

This year we have bought some new homely things, two lovely armchairs and a sofa, a TV and sound bar, a handmade farmhouse style bench table, a grand mirror for our large lounge, a shoe cabinet which acts like a side board in the hall, some lampshades, a mirror for my daughters room, a fish tank for my sons room, some photos finally custom framed and we’ve wallpapered the living room chimney breast. Next we are getting some handmade cushions and a Roman blind which is going to look so pretty.

I am finally feeling that my dreams are coming true. I have my dream husband, my dream family and the dream life which I always wanted. Soon I am going to have a dream holiday which will be a holiday of a lifetime.

I want to say that It’s worth the years of striving, it’s worth the years of embarrassment, it’s worth the years of struggling, it’s worth the sleepless nights, it’s worth the fight, it’s worth the years of never giving up despite the pain and the heart ache, it’s worth taking it step by step and little by little – not thinking about what’s completely out of reach because each day brings you closer to your goal.

If I can do it then anyone can do it. It may be years after that relationship has ended but it was never going to heal itself in weeks or months. I urge you to keep your focus. Keep your mind set. Keep your cool. Because doing this will ensure you keep your goal and will finally look back and see how far you’ve come- just like I can finally do.

And…

We even celebrated with a lovely breakfast at our new table (of course we’ve protected it with a cover) and enjoying our family life.

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30 Comments

  1. Viola Bleu

    Beautiful words from a deep and humble place. So proud of you xxx

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you so much. Xx

      Reply
      • Sharron Price

        This is lovely to read Jennifer …
        I’m so glad you escaped .
        I had no idea and I’m so sorry for that.

        You have a lovely family and I’m glad you now have your perfect life you deserve it .
        Xxx

        Reply
        • jenniferlauragilmour

          Thank you Sharron x

          Reply
  2. Emma

    I kmow exactly what you mean. Our toughest time came after rather than during but the difference now is unreal and so worth it. If anything it’s strengthen my appreciation for now, what we have and where we are.

    This is great post Jennifer and thank you for sharing it with us x

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      I am glad people are relating to the post but also sad that so many do at the same time. I agree with you on strengthening appreciation as well 🙂 xx

      Reply
  3. Helen

    I can so relate to everything you’ve written. It takes great strength and courage to leave an abusive relationship, and even more strength and courage to start all over again and make a new life. You have done both, and I hope that other people in similar situations will take heart from your blog posts and realise that it can be done! It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it in the end. x

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you Helen. I am glad you can relate to what I’m saying but at the same time it upsets me, no one should have to go through what we did. Certainly worth it in the end. X

      Reply
  4. Fiona

    I am so happy that u now have a home u can call home after everything that u have been through. U are a very strong woman who has proven that u can get out of an Abusive realationship

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you so much Fiona. X

      Reply
  5. Zuzana

    Oh Jen, so beautifully written and made me all teary. Many might think once you walk out from your old life, that’s it but like you said it’s just the beginning of the big change and struggle. You were very lucky to have so much support from family. Glad you have your year, year 2018 ahead of you and wishing you all the best xx

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you so much Zuzana, I must confess I got teary writing this for the upset but also for the happiness I have now. It’s great to have your thoughts on here. X

      Reply
  6. Leanne Marshall

    Such a beautiful and brave post. I fully understand the lasting after effects of abuse, having watched my mum start from scratch and trying to take care of children with absolutely nothing except the clothes on her back. Of being a child who then followed her with only a black bag of my entire 9 years of life. This made me teary eyed for you. But also smile. To be in a place where you are now building your home, I am there too. The effects of what came before never really leave you, but you can rise above them and see hope when things start coming together xxxxx

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you so much for sharing Leanne, I am sorry to hear about what you went through but I am delighted that you are building your home and future. Your words mean a lot and I know it will help others that may read this post as well. xx

      Reply
      • Leanne Marshall

        You are so brave to share this with others, your blog means a lot to people going through the same x

        Reply
        • jenniferlauragilmour

          Thank you Leanne, this is a very big compliment to me. X

          Reply
  7. Mai Taylor

    Beautifully written Jen. You are an inspiration to so many xx

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you so much ❤️😘

      Reply
  8. Nicki

    Well done you. The chrysalis has developed into a beautiful butterfly :). Proud of you. Wonderful inspiring words.

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Awww now this has brought a tear to my eye x

      Reply
  9. Julie Morris

    I can’t imagine what you’ve been through, you are amazing. Xx

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you Julie. That’s lovely of you to say. X

      Reply
  10. Jenny

    Very proud of you Jen for talking about this and so happy that your life is on track and where you want it to be. The part about being in the most danger just after the relationship ends really struck a chord with me. This is the time when you are most vulnerable, yet have to make huge life-changing decisions and protect yourself, your family and your future. Keep spreading the word that is indeed possible to do all this! x

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Hi Jenny. Thank you for sharing that with us. I am glad you managed to make those life-changing decisions as well. I will keep going, don’t worry 🙂 x

      Reply
  11. Katie

    You’re an inspiration Jen, I’m so pleased that you’re happy now and living the life you deserve 🙂 I hope 2018 continues to be a great year for you all xx

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you so much Katie 🙂 your message made me quite tearful with happiness of course x

      Reply
  12. Sue Wickstead

    Beutifully written, heartfelt emotion.
    My abuse was different but I think my sister could understand this too.
    She has and is still stuggling to keep going.
    She dedicated her life to her children and kept them safe!
    Struggles to keep going. but we are a close family ahd help where we can.
    Abuse is not always physical and the scars inside take a while to heal… but never go!

    Reply
    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you for sharing Sue. I love that your sister is dedicated to her children but she does need some time for herself, I hope she can have some rest or manage to relax.
      Jennifer x

      Reply
      • Sue Wickstead

        Yes, she does need time for herself.
        three years ago I persuaded her to come with me to Moraira and escort my mother for the Moors and Christians and it was great to see her smile and laugh….. (hence my Memorable Moraira page)
        Trouble is financial.

        Reply
        • jenniferlauragilmour

          That’s lovely that you managed to persuade her to come with you. Hope her financial struggles get settled 🙂 x

          Reply

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