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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