From north to south: why I’ve returned to Reading.

I’m in Cyprus. I’m lying on a sun lounger next to the pool, in 27c heat, listening to little chirping birds and the dull hum of a lawn mower somewhere in the distance. And for the first time in weeks I feel like myself again. I let out a big, audible sigh.

You may have noticed that I’d taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging, Instagramming and Tweeting recently. However it’s not just social media I’ve been giving the silent treatment – I’ve also avoided talking to loved ones, friends and family. And I haven’t left the house much in the last few weeks either.

The sad truth behind this is that I’ve been dealing with some mammoth issues in my personal life that I felt I couldn’t discuss with anyone. It’s only now, now that there’s finally been some sort of “conclusion” to the situation that I feel ready, comfortable to talk about what’s been going on, and thus begin the slow process of moving on with my life.

As many of you know, last summer I made the massive decision to move up to Yorkshire. I quit my marketing job of three years, packed up my cats and everything I had accumulated through 29 years of existence, and left the busy Berkshire town of Reading for a quieter, more relaxed lifestyle in the tiny rural East Riding village of Burton Pidsea. This came with the added bonus of living with my new partner and his Labrador pup, so (on paper) my idyllic new life should have resulted in an all-round happier me.

But as I’m sure you can tell by the title and tone of this post, I’m no longer living up north. Because regrettably, less than seven months after making the big move, I’ve had to rapidly return to the South, with my tail between my legs, engulfed by mixed feelings of regret, guilt, failure, sadness, relief, confusion and anger.

“Good lord mate. You need a stiff gin”.

At the beginning of April my boyfriend decided to end things between us. It wasn’t altogether unexpected, as the relationship had been on a downward spiral since around the time of our trip to Cuba last year. Yes, I know, shit happens and people break up. It’s not the end of the world.

But it was the end of my world, because he (and the dog) were my entire universe up in East Yorkshire. Far from my friends and family down south, he was everything to me, my life revolved around him, around “us”. Without him, everything just seemed a bit pointless.

Sure, the village was the kind of place I’d only ever dreamt of living in (quiet, picturesque with lots of fresh air), and I’d eventually found myself a marketing job that I not only enjoyed, but also felt challenged in. And because of those two things I would have loved to continue living up north – however the circumstances for the split meant it just wasn’t a viable option. So a week after he’d ended things, for my own sanity, I was rescued by my parents and brought back down to Reading.

I should also mention that the return to my hometown was for my own safety, too.

Because for nearly five months, my boyfriend – the person I was suppose to be able to trust the most, the person that I thought I could count on for anything – repeatedly hurt me, both mentally and physically. I never thought I’d be able to say it out loud, but I am, or rather was, a “victim of domestic abuse”.

“It happens to more people than you realise”.

I don’t need to go into the nitty-gritty of what he did to me during the course of those five months, the details aren’t necessary and bringing them up only upsets and angers me. But some context is needed to explain the events surrounding the break-up, and to ultimately explain why I’ve returned to the south. So, brace yourself…

After he had spent a solid eight hours in the pub (drinking on an empty stomach, while also taking anti-depressants), my boyfriend came home and we rowed about the drunken state he was in. This lead to a physical fight. But with him measuring 6ft5 and me coming in at just 5ft1, it was a pretty uneven contest, even with his paralytic, alcohol-induced handicap. Without going into graphic detail, the neighbours heard the commotion and came around to my aide, just as he slammed the backdoor and locked it.

Taking me back to their house, they called the police, who arrived within about 15 minutes, as unbeknown to us at the time, another neighbour had seen the whole thing and already called them.

Around 3am on Saturday 1 April, after two-and-a-half hours of the police hammering on his door (he was that drunk he had passed out and even the dog barking didn’t wake him!), he finally opened it and was arrested. He was then taken to Clough Road police station where he was charged with four counts of assault on me.

Originally pleading not guilty, because of the evidence and the witnesses, for mine and the dog’s safety, he was detained in police custody for the entire weekend. After he’d soberred up, on the Monday he was taken to the Crown Court, where he changed his pleas to guilty. He was released on bail that afternoon, with conditions not to contact me and not to enter Burton Pidsea, with a court sentencing date of Monday 24 April.

“I’m so sorry to hear that moving to Yorkshire wasn’t your happy ever after”.

You may have noticed that earlier I said that it was he who chose to end our relationship. Once he was released on bail he deleted me off Facebook and changed his relationship status to “single”, without waiting for the dust to settle or waiting to discuss it with me. As I wasn’t able to speak to him when he ended things, I wasn’t sure what he was telling people about it (if anything at all). So when people contacted me asking what was going on, I was snappy and short with them.

Breaking up was never my decision. And until the Tuesday after he was released on bail, I didn’t want to break up with him. I still loved him (and if truth be told, a small part of me still does, the part that knows deep down he has the potential to be a nice, kind, caring man). I had hoped we could work things out. Yes, I know you’re probably thinking “but how can she love a man that does that to her?”. Foolishly, that’s how.

I’m embarrassed to admit that despite everything he’d done to me, all the hurt and upset he’d caused me, I still defended him and his actions. It wasn’t me that called the police to have him arrested in the early hours of Saturday morning, and it wasn’t me that pressed charges against him. Because, naively and stupidly, I didn’t think police action was necessary – all I wanted was for him to get professional help, because I believed he was suffering with depression and alcoholism.

But that Tuesday after he’d been released on bail, I was given a massive wake-up call. His actions on that Tuesday spoke louder than any words he might possibly have said to me; they slapped me hard across the face and made me finally see sense. His actions on that Tuesday just stood to prove that he had absolutely zero remorse for what he’d done to me and our relationship.

On that Tuesday, earlier in the day a concerned friend from the village messaged to ask if I was ok, as rumours were rife around Burton Pidsea. “It’s a small village, let people talk, they’ll soon find something else to gossip about,” I replied. But I was then messaged by the same friend a few hours later to say that my (by then ex) boyfriend had been seen drinking in a pub in a neighbouring village with his ex-girlfriend.

His ex-girlfriend had been trying to come between him and I ever since we first got together. She would flirt with him openly in front of me, she would send him provocative messages and dirty pictures, and she would beg him to come to the pub when she was working there because she was “bored”. Many would dismiss her as the sad and desperate woman she is, but to my boyfriend she was the bestest friend he’d ever had, because by working in the pub, she could give him the one thing I couldn’t: an endless supply of cheap (maybe even free on some occasions) beer.

To hear that he’d gone back to her, less than 24 hours after being released on bail for four charges of assault on me, was enough to push me over the edge.

That was when I finally realised that me constantly excusing him, believing that he was supposedly depressed or an alcoholic was not a justifiable reason to hurt me in the way he had.

“A lot of people have depression and don’t hurt other human beings”.

Depression wasn’t why he did it, and depression didn’t make his mental and physical abuse towards me acceptable. Perhaps in his own head being “depressed” was his way of justifying what he’d done – but I now believe he used depression as a way of controlling me, making sure I’d stay quiet about what he’d done, by telling me he didn’t want people to know he was depressed, because I was the only one who knew that he apparently had suicidal thoughts.

Since very early on in our relationship he would tell me about how he wished he was dead so he could be with his father (who had died two years prior), how he didn’t want to reach the age of 40, he wanted to “die young and live forever”, a real life Peter Pan. These conversations would only come about when he was drunk and emotional, and I felt special, trusted that he would share such personal, intimate thoughts with me. But he made me swear not to tell anyone about them, about what he’d said. He especially didn’t want me to tell his mother, who I had grown close to since he and I had gotten together.

Like it would with anyone who tells you they’re feeling suicidal, these conversations worried me. When sober the next day I would urge him to get help, speak to a doctor. But he wouldn’t, for many reasons (including not wanting to surrender his firearms licence and because he is a “Yorkshireman, and Yorkshiremen don’t go to doctors”) – which lead to more rows. And more drinking.

“You guys looked so happy together, I had no idea he was doing this to you”.

Up until maybe the beginning of November, our relationship had been pretty solid. Living together wasn’t always easy, we were cramped in his small two-bedroom bungalow, but we were happy nevertheless.

We would spend time together at the weekends, taking the dog for long walks (like when we walked the Trans Pennine Trail together) or going on random day trips to places (like the time he took me to see the seals of Donna Nook). While weekends were fun and energetic, weekdays were quieter, usually spent cooking for each other after work, then chilling in front of the TV.

But from around the end of November, we started having rows – many of which were the result of his ex-girlfriend and her persistent messaging. I always blamed myself for the rows though (and so did he, because according to him I was jealous of his “friend”), so I was always the one to say sorry first.

I’m not sure how, but then one day in early December the verbal rows became physical fights. Hurtful comments like “is it any wonder you were single for so long before me, nobody would want you” were followed by blazing arguments and normally led to him storming out to the pub for hours at a time, where he’d ignore my texts and calls asking when he’d be home, instead choosing to get completely wasted. I would lie in bed wondering fearfully what would happen when he came back, if he came back at all. I began sleeping on the sofa with the emergency sleeping bag I always kept in my car.

“In no way is this, or was this ever, your fault”.

He would always turn things around, manipulate things. A favourite game of his was to use my intelligence against me, I was “educated, sweetheart” so why couldn’t I get it through my “thick head” that he wasn’t an alcoholic, that he didn’t need therapy or pills. But after everything he hurled at me I just carried on with our “relationship” because I thought it wasn’t his fault, it was my fault for not being more understanding of his illness.

A few people that I confided in, including his mother and some people who I thought were my friends, said that I was pressuring him, that it was my fault we rowed because I “pushed his buttons”. They said that he needed space, he needed to be left alone…

Except the night I left him alone and took myself off to the cinema (to watch Split, a James Mcavoy film about mental health, ironically) to give him some space in his house (what he’d asked for that morning before I left for work), I came back to find that he’d been in the pub all night anyway. He returned home drunk, angry and looking for a fight. A pathetic argument about washing up liquid ensued, ending with him nearly killing me.

Knowing I couldn’t stay there, I took refuge at the neighbours’ house, and hid from him for a few days. The neighbours helped get some of my belongings from his house, so that I could continue going to work, continue with as much normality as possible. The kind-hearted neighbours also rescued the cats for me. He’d threatened many times that he would tear their heads off, and after everything he’d done I wouldn’t have put it passed him, so wanted to get them out of there as soon as possible. I didn’t speak to him or let him know where I or the cats were.

After two days of silence he contacted me though, apologising for what he’d done, saying he was ashamed of his behaviour. He wanted to meet to talk about what had happened. I agreed to see him in a public place, away from the house. He looked distraught, dishevelled, told me he’d wanted to throw himself off the Humber Bridge. So foolishly, after promises of getting help for depression and promises about cutting back the amount he drunk and the amount of time spent in the pub, I forgave him and we carried on.

But that night in January changed our relationship forever, and there was no way it could ever go back to how it was, no matter how hard I tried and how much I wanted it to. I’m not a quitter though, so I preserved. Looking back I now regret not walking away sooner, and I regret not opening up to my family and real friends about what was happening. Hindsight is such a nuisance, isn’t it.

“100% support”.

Since talking to my family and friends about everything that’s happened, I’ve realised that I was being emotionally blackmailed into staying with him. I felt I couldn’t leave him because I feared what he might do to himself if I went.

It wasn’t just him though, his family played a part. I wanted to protect them and shelter them from any more hurt (as they’d often mentioned how difficult life had been with my boyfriend’s twin brother, a self-confessed alcoholic who bragged about being able to drink a litre of vodka in two hours). But in protecting them I wasn’t protecting myself – the person who needed the most protection of all.

After the attack in January, I decided to speak up and tell his mother and stepfather about what he was doing to me. They were sad to hear what had happened, and appeared sympathetic. His mum messaged to ask if I was going to leave him, and that it was a shame what had happened because she thought we could have a fantastic life together. I felt guilty for upsetting her, for causing her grief, so I stuck it out. I tried to continue my relationship with her son, but only on the proviso that he got help for depression and cut back on alcohol.

Unbeknown to me, but known to many others, l wasn’t the first girl he’d abused. Apparently 20 odd years ago he used to knock his first girlfriend (the only other girlfriend he’s ever lived with) around. Though she never took it to the police, years after they’d split she finally came forward and told his family why she had left him.

This crucial detail was only mentioned to me in passing by his twin brother, after my boyfriend had been released on bail for abusing me. “History repeating itself” is what his brother described it as. Nobody had ever told me this though. If they had have done I would have left after the first time he was violent to me at the beginning of December.

What upsets me the most though is that his mother knew exactly what he was capable of, she knew he’d previously been violent to a woman. Yet she still encouraged me to stay with him. She is just as guilty as he is for the emotional blackmail I was subjected to. And I can never forgive her of that.

“Times like this you learn who are real friends”.

Another reason I didn’t speak out or leave, despite everything he’d done, was the worry that people in the village (his friends) would see me as the enemy, that I’m just some “soft southern cunt” as he’d called me multiple times. I worried they would think it was all my fault and that I deserved it, as all everyone saw was me “nagging” him about how much he’d drunk or telling him I wanted to go home from the pub, texting all the time to find out where he was when he went out drinking and I wasn’t there.

But at the end of the day the guy everyone saw in the pub laughing and joking and pissing about wasn’t the real him. I believe that he’d drink to excess to hide the fact that he’s insecure, he’d pay for everyone to have a drink to buy his friends and so he wouldn’t have to drink alone, he’d drink to numb his depression. And then when in private, when he was drunk and rowing with me, he’d mention suicidal thoughts (or worse, become violent).

Nobody saw this though, or saw what I had to endure.

So the day after he was released on bail and chose to go drinking with his ex-girlfriend was the day I chose to finally speak out about what he’d done. I wasn’t going to excuse what he’d done any more or keep telling myself that it was my fault.

Most people were very supportive, especially those that have known me a long time – ex-work colleagues, uni friends and my family. But there were quite a few up in Yorkshire (mostly those in the village, as predicted) that chose to believe him when he went around telling people that I was lying… this really got to me.

On the morning of Sunday 9 April, it all got too much and I had a massive breakdown. I couldn’t cope any more. That Sunday I hit rock bottom. That was when my parents came up to Yorkshire to save me.

I had two of my own friends up there, living in a nearby town. We had been friends since way before I moved up – they were actually the ones to introduce my boyfriend and I, setting us up on our first date. But after I finally spoke out about how he’d been treating me, their reaction and treatment of me was disgraceful. They effectively disowned me, saying it was all my fault that this had happened to me, that I was selfish and that they wanted nothing more to do with me. They believed him and added him back as a friend on Facebook (they had previously deleted him back in January). Meanwhile I was de-friended and blocked.

I was devastated – I had known them for seven years, I went to their wedding, their little boy’s christening, I had gone above and beyond for them over the years when they lived in London and when they lived in Hull. They knew me better than anyone up there, and they didn’t believe me, they believed him. I couldn’t handle it, I couldn’t handle the lies and the rumours and no one up there believing me. So I broke down, then came back down south, where I belong according to everyone down in Reading.

It amazed me how the people down south, the ones that really know me, know that I wouldn’t lie about something serious like this. They have supported me 100%, with words of encouragement and positivity.

“A piss poor sentence for what he has done, both mentally and physically”. 

I said at the beginning of this post that I only felt ready to talk about what had happened because they’d been a “conclusion” to the situation. On Monday 24 April my ex-boyfriend went to Hull magistrates court for sentencing. He pleaded guilty to four charges of abuse on me, and was given the following:

  • 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended sentence for 24 months
  • 30 hours alcohol and drugs rehabilitation programme with the probation service
  • 120 hours unpaid work to be completed in 12 months
  • To pay £115 victim surcharge
  • To pay £85 Crown Prosecution costs

It’s not a lot considering what he did to me over the course of those five months, and considering the consequential unemployed and homeless state I’m now in. Not to mention the constant nightmares I’ve had since that fateful night back in January, and the anxiety and depression I’ve felt since all this came to light at the beginning of April. Plus, if we’re getting really granular, all the money I spent (and lost) on him, the holidays I booked and paid for, the laptop I bought him, the days out and meals I paid for. I could go on.

It’s not really a fitting punishment at all. But at the end of the day, he’s the one that has to live with the guilt of what he’s done. He’s the one that has to stay in that small rural village in East Yorkshire, always looking over his shoulder and always wondering what people really think about him, knowing what he’s done.

“Remember you’re a survivor – not a victim”.

That’s right, I’m not a domestic abuse victim anymore, despite the blunt label from the Humberside police. I’m a survivor. So what am I going to do now?

Well, it’s the first time in my adult life that I’ve been unemployed and without my own home. With no real reason to get up in the morning, I have been very down recently. But I’m trying to be as brave and upbeat as possible, trying to find positives in everything that’s happened.

My family has been really supportive, and even helped with hiring a van and driving 500 miles in one day to go and collect all my possessions from his house. I attended my cousin’s wedding just a few days after coming back down south. I was reluctant to go at first, as I didn’t want questions and pitying looks. But with my dad and one of my brothers at my side, I went – I even managed to smile and dance with my cousins and their partners. I was proud of myself, taking small steps.

It’s not just my family that have rallied around, my friends have been diamonds too, all offering me sofas to sleep on and somewhere to stay when I need a break. I’ve had messages of support from people who have been through similar experiences too, which although sad to hear, makes me feel less isolated.

My friends have been my pillars of strength through all of this (I’ve even used some of their comments and messages as sub headers in this post). My only regret is that I didn’t speak to them about all this sooner, as it may not have got as far as it did if I had have done. But that’s hindsight for you, again.

At the moment my life does seem like a series of cliches, one after the other. They say that “love is patient, love is kind”. They say that “love conquers all”. And they say that “love is blind”. While I definitely can’t attest to the first two anymore, the third phrase has been uttered to me so many times in the past few weeks that it no longer seems like a cliche, more of a mantra in fact.

Having already told my friends and family about what my ex-boyfriend had done, I debated long and hard about writing this post, about whether I felt comfortable with complete strangers knowing what had happened. It would have been easier to just carry on blogging without mentioning what’s been going on, but to do that felt like burying my head in the sand. So instead I’ve decided to draw a line in the (Cypriot) sand, and take fingers to keyboard to share my story.

“…happy you’re home, now go and enjoy your holiday”.

As mentioned before, since returning to Reading, I’ve not left the house much. To try and get my head in a better place, I booked a last minute break to Cyprus (keeping travel costs down with just 5kg of carry on luggage, of course). Some time away is just what I need right now, and the 27c sunshine is definitely helping.

One of my good friends is even going to pop out for a few days to join me (impromptu plane tickets were booked last night, and she arrives tomorrow). It will be lovely to have some company, and I’m sure endless chatter with her will stop me dwelling on him, the ex-girlfriend that he’s now back with, and the Labrador I miss so much.

“Time will be the healer”.

I’m still on my mission to complete the 30 countries before 30 challenge I set myself, so I’m determined not to let everything that’s happened recently hinder that. And while I no longer believe that “love conquers all”, I want to still believe that “everything happens for a reason”. I sincerely hope that “time is the greatest healer”, and I’m crossing my fingers that there are “plenty more fish in the sea”.

But to end on my own cliche, I’ve proven to myself that no matter what is hurled at me, I will “always carry on”.

102 thoughts on “From north to south: why I’ve returned to Reading.

  1. Wow. What a story. First blog post of yours I’ve read I think. (Followed link via Instagram.) I can honestly say that I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough to share something like this with my readers. Bravo you and hope it all gets better soon for you. The only way is up!! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an awful, horrendous time you’very had – he sounds like a monster. I can’t believe your two Northern friends have taken his side? How can they justify that?

    Thank goodness for real friends and supportive family, and for your lovely Northern neighbours for saving you. Who knows what might have happened.

    Your strength really comes across in this post, and I admire you for writing it with such honesty. Take care. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate your support and kind words hun. The fact my so-called “friends” have chosen to side with him just shows how a) manipulative he is, and b) rubbish they were as friends – I’d known them for nearly 7 years, and they’d not even know him half that time… I just can’t understand why they’ve shunned me. But you’re right, my real friends and my family have been sooooo supportive, I don’t know where I’d be without them xx


  3. What a beautiful post. I’m so very this happened to you. You’re right .. no one should ever have to live at the hands of an abuser. I’m glad you had a place to retreat back to .. a place to regroup and collect your thoughts. Time does have a way of healing ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alison – I know you’re right. It’s been 10 days since he was sentenced in the court, and I am starting to slowly feel like my old self again. The break away in Cyprus has definitely done me the world of good 🙂 x


  4. Im so very sorry you have had to go through this. But a massive pat on the back for being brave and sharing. I find opening up very cleansing at times. loves x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lynne – while I understand that this post isn’t the easiest read, I found it cathartic to write it, so you’re so right, opening up has been quite cleansing. I am starting to feel much better about things, and the week in the Cypriot sunshine has definitely helped! xx


  5. What he did to you is unforgivable and it breaks my heart that you went through so much suffering alone. It must have been so tough to write this post but honestly thank you for being so open and honest because I am sure you will help others who have been in the same situation as you. Being abused, whether that be emotional/ physical/ sexual is hard and it can be difficult to overcome but thank goodness you have come back to Reading and that he has received his punishment. I don’t think it is enough for what he did to you but at least you can start a new life afresh. What hurts me is how your Northern friends abandoned you and believed him over you when the evidence was right before their eyes. I would never do that to a friend of mine but I am thankful you have better friends down south. Keep strong xx x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks sweetie, I really appreciate your kind words of support and encouragement. I understand that this post wouldn’t have been the easiest to read, and you know me, it’s definitely not my usual style. But I felt I had to write it; because my ex-boyfriend featured so much in my recent posts, just carrying on blogging without acknowledging the breakup would have seemed ignorant. It was tough to write, but I found it cathartic, cleansing almost, to finally speak out about what had been happening for so long. Coming back to Reading was definitely the right decision, and I’m already feeling much better about things (sunshine in Cyprus helped with that!). Onwards and upwards, that’s for sure xxx


      1. Your very welcome hun and I just saw on Facebook about your new job in London , a massive congratulations to you. I know you say you don’t normally write posts like this but I really like it. It must have been really hard for you to write but I am very proud of you! xx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks Ana, that really means a lot! I’m quite a private person (apart from my travel tales), it was so hard to write and I debated for a long time about posting it – but I think if I hadn’t have posted it, everything that was happening may have eaten away at me even more. I’m glad I did post it, as it has certainly helped me realise that none of what was happening was my fault (despite his friends and family telling me and making me feel like it was). That in turn has helped me move on… as you mentioned, I have a new job in London to look forward to (starting next month), and for the first time in ages, I am really excited. So thank you for all the support you’ve given, it really means the world to me xx


  6. I’ve struggled to read this in all honesty. I’m happy that you have shared it. Because I have also been through an abusive relationship, to this day I have never opened up fully about what happened. Reading about how he used to talk to you and blame things on you just brought back some memories I had pushed to the back of my mind.

    I’m sorry that you’ve gone through this. I hope you find happiness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – yes, I took some massive risks moving up there, leaving my friends and family and job. But I don’t regret anything – all this has done has shown exactly who are my real friends, the ones who have supported me and believed in me during such a difficult time xx


  7. Well shared and brave. Even the headings are powerful with the ‘It happens to more people than you realise’ so true but only the brave with speak up to give others the confidence to do something.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What an honest and heartfelt post. I’ve been in a similar situation before, though without the violence, and can honestly say that you will become a much stronger person because of this. And take pleasure in the fact that your life will only get better from now on. The same cannot be said for him – he’s still to hit his rock bottom x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stephanie – I am so sorry to hear you’ve been through a similar experience. But I know you’re right, I will come out of this much stronger 🙂

      I’m not sure about him “hitting his rock bottom” just yet – from what I’ve heard from friends up in the village, he’s still drinking in the pub, larking about without a care in the world. But you know what, that’s his prerogative – my time away in Cyprus has made me realise that I’m so much better off without him, my life would go nowhere if I’d stayed in that village, if I’d carried on living in fear of what he might have done next. Instead, onwards and upwards!! xxx


  9. I am so sorry you had to go through this experience and that you mainly went through it alone. Oftentimes that is how an abuser works to his advantage, having his victim isolated makes it that much easier to carry the abuse out and makes the victim feel as though there is nowhere for them to go. You are so brave to lay this out there for all to read and I applaud you for that as you never know who will be helped by reading this and it may just give someone the courage to leave their own abusive situation. You are no longer a victim, you are a survivor and I think you will not only survive, you will thrive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah – I really appreciate your kind words. And I hope you’re right – I know it’s a difficult post to read, but if it helps others speak out about abuse, or helps give others the courage to leave a difficult situation they’re trapped in, then it’s worth me writing it x


  10. I really, really appreciate the fact you shared this story. It must have been hard to relive it by writing it. I’m so incredibly sorry you went through that and had to deal with fake friends and a monster. Your strength and bravery is what shines through the most in this post and I know you don’t know me, but I’m so proud of you and how you’re helping others by sharing your story. That above anything and everything, is courage. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Lily, I appreciate the support. Writing the post was actually quite cathartic, and has helped me realise that none of what I went through was my fault. I know it’s a difficult post to read for some, but I do hope that it helps gives others in similar situations the courage to speak out. Because I know if I hadn’t spoken out after he was released on bail, I may have still been with him, living in fear xx


  11. I’m so sorry to hear what you have been thorough and it is hard to turn off feelings but you are better off out of the relationship. Many who are abused often make excuses for the abusers but the sooner they see what is happening is wrong and shouldn’t be excused the better for their own safety. I hope that this helps others going through anything like this and gives them the strength to get out of a destructive relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Melanie – yes, it has been hard to turn off feelings, even after everything he did to him, but you are 100% right, I am miles better off without him and all the drama that he/his lifestyle brings to my life. I also hope that my post can help others who are suffering in silence, as the more awareness raised of domestic abuse, the better x


  12. This is awful, no one should have to put up with an abuser. My friend is in an abusive relationship and doesn’t want to leave it. Think i will show her this post. Thanks for sharing this and stay strong

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please do send the post on to her Hann, and if she wants to speak to me about anything that I’ve been through or she is going through, my contact details are on the About Me page. I hope she makes the right decision to leave before too much damage is done, but I know first-hand how difficult it can be to pluck up the courage and make the decision in the first place. Thinking of her x


  13. I have had tears in my eyes reading this, I am so very sorry you have had to go through this horrendous situation. I was mentally abused in my previous marriage I stuck it out for 11 years and became a shadow of who I really was. It is times like this when the reality hits us in the face and we really find out who are true friends are. This will make you a stronger person in time, at the moment you need to put yourself first and believe in who you are x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting, and sorry to hear my post upset you and brought back painful memories of your previous marriage 😦 I am glad you managed to get out of it eventually, and that you have become yourself again – I also feel like a shadow of the real me at the moment; friends and family have been great at rallying around and trying to get me back to some sort of normality though, so I am very thank for that. I hope you’re right and I will become a stronger person from all of this – much like you x


  14. I’m so sorry this happened to you, I can’t imagine how it must feel. To have moved your whole life up there and then for that to have happened is heartbreaking. People are often cowards in fear that they have done something wrong out of guilt, it sounds like your friends knew something was not quite right and instead of helping you they washed their hands.
    You sound really strong, and it’s understandable to need a few days, weeks or even months feeling like you need to recop and gather you thoughts. But you will get through it, I’m glad to have already read that you had a lovely time in Cyprus, you deserved it!
    Rachael Helpless Whilst Drying

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reaching out Rachael – I appreciate your comments and kind words. Moving my whole life up there to be with him was a massive decision, and one I didn’t make lightly – so I am absolutely devastated that things didn’t work out. Luckily I’ve had huge support from friends and family down south, and that has made the move back a lot easier. I know it’s going to take a while before I feel like my normal self again though.

      But yes, I think you’re right RE my so-called “friends” – perhaps they felt guilty for being the ones to set us up in the first place? I don’t know, and I guess I never will know. But one thing I do know is that my real, true friends have been here for me, and that’s what counts.

      And yes, thankfully Cyprus was just the break I needed to start getting my head in the right place and my heart mended. I hope you’ll check back in on my blog again soon, to see where else I go 🙂 x


  15. This post is so brace and I hope therapeutic too. I am so glad you have found your fresh start and wish you happiness from here in xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Deb, it was therapeutic to write, though I understand may be a little overwhelming to read. Hopefully onwards and upwards though – appreciate your kind words xx


  16. Wow, I don’t even know what to say. Your bravery is awe-inspiring. I am so so sorry this has happened to you, I have been through abuse myself and I am not sure it ever really ‘goes away’ but I can promise you it will get easier. The brutal truth of it is you can’t be in any sort of relationship with someone who is battling such extreme addictions. You did absolutely nothing wrong here, I know you probably heard that from lots of people but truly you cannot be held responsible for someone else’s behaviour. I am so pleased you are out of this situation now and the Cyprus break sounds like the perfect way to decompress and unwind. I wish you a lifetime of happiness xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am so sorry that you had to go through all this. I am speechless seriously. I hope you are doing fine now and moving on with your life. You are a brave. Anything which can’t break you. makes you stronger. Lots of love and hugs for you dear xx

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh my goodness .. tears in my eyes. I know what it’s like to be in an abusive situation and am so very, very sorry. I remember how easily an abuser will isolate someone .. it makes it that much easier for him if no one else knows and will speak truth into the situation. Thank-you for being brave with your words. I guarantee they will help someone else

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Alison, that means a lot! I don’t really feel brave, but I really do hope that my post helps others that are suffering at the hands (and mouth) of an abusive partner. Because physical and emotional abuse from someone who is supposed to love and care for you can be so confusing, especially when you’re in an isolated situation like I was, as like you said.



  19. I’m so sorry for that this happened to you. Although it might seem like it at times, just remember that you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Danasia – you’re so right! I felt so isolated when I was up in Yorkshire with no one to talk to about what was going on. Since I’ve spoken out I’ve had an overwhelming response from friends, family, fellow bloggers and even complete strangers, all sending positive wishes and love. Some have even opened up about their own experiences of domestic abuse, which although are hard to hear about, make me realise that I’m not alone in this, and that things can and will get better! 🙂 x


  20. It can take a long time to process everything in these circumstances. Domestic abuse is a funny one. When my ex broke up with me he went to town on the violent front which confused me at the time because he’d never been like that. But then when I gave myself time to assess our relationship I knew the warning signs were there, I just tried to ignore them or make excuses for his behaviour. They were the signs I should have gotten out before our relaitonship came to an end. He may have been your world at one time, but he certianly isn’t meant to stay in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Donna, thanks for reaching out – you’re right, it has taken me a long time to get my head (and heart) around what has happened, and even now there are still things I don’t understand and keep questioning. I think all the warning signs were there for me too, but like you I just kept making excuses, hoping things would go back to the way they were at the beginning (you can even see some of the more fun times we spent together in pics and posts on this site), and hoping it was just a blip down to his “depression” and drinking.

      You’re 100% right though – he may have been my world once, in the beginning, but not now. I am slowly getting my life back on track and making plans for the future 🙂 xx


  21. I am so sorry to hear that you have had such a rough time. But, you are very brace to share your story and I am sure you are going to help many people by being so honest.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What an inspirational story! I am so sorry that you have had to go through this, I see it in my job nearly every day and the stories, like yours, are heartbreaking.
    I hope that the rest of the year brings you happiness and success. I know you can move on from this as clearly you are an amazing, strong woman xx

    Liked by 1 person

  23. That was hard to read. I’m so sorry this happened to you but I’m so glad that one of your neighbours heard and saw what happened and called the police because no one should be subjected to domestic abuse. Although I have never had domestic abuse from a partner I did suffer domestic abuse through my childhood and into my early twenties from my stepdad. He beat me, strangled me, dragged me up the stairs by my hair and also controlled me financially. It wasn’t until I had my son that I finally realised what was going on and cut contact completely because he tried to hurt my son when he was a few weeks old. Sending love your way xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Tamsin, I owe so much to the neighbours, they were so kind and patient with me. It was lucky that they witnessed it too, because if they hadn’t he might not have got any sentence at all (never mind the pathetic one that he did get!). I’m sorry to hear you were abused during your childhood by your step-father, that sounds terrible. I definitely think it has made you a stronger person though, you’re a fantastic blogger and have achieved so much!

      Lots of love xx


  24. I’m so glad you have friends and family to help you through the transition, and thank you for talking about these kinds of issues. I think more open discussion around them can help move a society forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Emily – I hope that by speaking out more people will have the courage to come forward about domestic abuse. It’s a very taboo subject, and like you said, being more open about it will help society move forward. Perhaps in time there will be laws passed that will allow people to be aware of someone’s violent past before they get into a relationship with that person (like sex offender and paedophile registers). If I had known that he had previously done this to a woman, I would never have gotten into a relationship with him in the first place – or at least left at the first signs of trouble. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though… x


  25. wow what an emotional post!!! I’m sorry the move didn’t work out. I’m sorry for everything you had to endure, I grew up with a mum who was victim of domestic violence and it was awful back then people didn’t bother taking action. Its great you’ve spoken about this!! Brave!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Francesca – I appreciate your kind words. I’m sorry to hear that your mum was also a victim of domestic violence – I hope she has managed to move on with her life and put it behind her. Please don’t be sorry that the move to Yorkshire didn’t work out for me – I’m not, I’m just glad I got out of there when I did x


  26. It’s good to get away to clear your head and evaluate things. I think that things definitely happen for a reason even if they dont seem so.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Credit to you for sharing your terrible ordeal Becca that will hopefully encourage others to break free of an abusive relationship. There is always help and any true friend should be approachable in these circumstances. I am glad to hear you’re free and can start a new chapter in your life back in Reading. All the best x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for commenting – you’re completely right, true friends should be approachable in these situations, and I’m glad that my real friends down south have been so accepting and supportive to what I have been through. I don’t know what the future is going to bring, but I do know that I am 100% better off out of the abusive relationship, no matter how hard it was to leave. Really appreciate you reaching out x


  28. I’m so happy for you that you’re out, Beccy! You’re a strong woman and I knew it from the time we sat next to each other in a taxi in Paris.
    Plus, I think Bulgaria should be in your 30 countries challenge list, right? It would be lovely to see you here and take you around… even if with a little baby in my arms 🙂


    1. Thanks hun, means so much to hear that from you 🙂 I will get back to being that strong, independent woman again soon enough – it’s just taking a little time to get my head around everything that has happened. But yesssss, I’ve actually been looking at Bulgaria to add to my list of 30 before 30 – IT’S one European country that I haven’t done yet! And it would be lovely to see the “real” Lubka again (and maybe meet baby Balgarka) xx


  29. This is an amazing post, you’re amazing for going through this and coming out stronger on the other side! I don’t think I’ve read such an honest, genuine heartfelt post in such a while! Well done for sharing and I can only imagine you’ll help lots of people by sharing your story xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Natalie – your kind comments really mean a lot. I really hope that my post helps others; I know it makes for a difficult read, but if it reaches just one other person who is stuck in a situation similar to mine, and helps give them the courage to walk away, then I know that everything I’ve been through hasn’t been for nothing.

      It’s been just over a month since I posted it, and I feel like I’m finally getting back on my feet – I have been to Cyprus and Mexico, and am heading to Jordan tomorrow. I’ve made plans with friends for my 30th in a few weeks, and I have been offered a job in the city. So things are starting to look up 🙂

      I couldn’t have got through it without all the positive comments and support from everyone though – even people I’ve never me hehe! So thank you so much, I really appreciate it xx

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Sorry to hear that you have to go through all this but it is better to move away from that heinous kind of relationship than suffer daily! Stay strong and whatever happened is for your own good!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I met him once through a friend of a friend at a family event and when I saw on fb that you had given up everything to move up north to be with him I was worried for you. I didn’t know he was violent, but did know he was a womaniser with a history of using and discarding women like accessories. His friends know this too so why anyone who cares for you would introduce you to him with the intention of you being in a relationship I will never know. You have had a horrible experience, but a lucky escape. Onwards and upwards with your head held high. He will end up a lonely old man. You on the other hand have a fantastic life ahead of you and are obviously a bright, warm and intelligent person. Much love xx

    Liked by 1 person

  32. What a poignant and brutally honest story Becca. I’m so sorry you went through this, and I thank you so much for sharing your tale. I know it’s a cliche, but this guy wasn’t meant for you, nor would it have gotten easier to live with someone who suffers depression and alcoholism. You’re a bright, vivacious and more important, curious traveller, and should be with someone who shares, or at least supports that about you. I’m glad you’re in a better place, and hope you’re happier xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for such kind words Lisa – it means so much 🙂 it’s been just over a year since I shared this post, but many of the feelings I’ve written about above still exist. I know it will get easier in time though 🙂 x


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