Annette Young

Domestic abuse is everywhere. It’s a secretive and hideous act and worse, it’s deliberate.  It’s not all about physical violence, it’s about mental cruelty and power too. I have suffered within so-called loving relationships that have seemingly been set to destroy. Like many women, I have made excuses for a partner’s behaviour, I have spent hours wondering if I really had said or done something so wrong. I have kept quiet about the insidious comments even though they have been hurtful and bewildering, I have tried to ‘fix’ the problems and to open up the lines of communication and I have even changed aspects of my personality  in an effort to lessen the unhealthy tension within the house. But no woman should ever have to tread on eggshells scared of an aggressive response or snide comment.

It’s simply not acceptable!

Now that I am well and truly out of any destructive relationship, I realised that it was time to make a stand against abuse and so created this website as a way of reaching out and helping other women (or men) who have been to hell and back just like me.  As an author, I knew that I had the platform upon which to state my case and can voice my objections and be heard.

Throughout all those difficult times when I almost lost my sense of self, I  have always found solace in the written word. I scribbled sometimes barely decipherable sentences in notebooks while in tears, I listed questions, and jotted down my experiences because I knew one day, I would be in the position to use these notes as a way to fight back against the cruelty that is sadly, quite commonplace.

In the last couple of years, I started seriously trying to make sense of domestic abuse, trying to understand myself- how as a tough, stubborn and go-getting individual, I allowed myself to become a victim- several times over. I needed to understand why it happened, why some men feel a need to abuse their loved ones and why women like me have accepted it. as being normal. I also had to work through the deep sense of shame that I felt.

I needed to know why in the name of love we allow ourselves to remain in an abusive environment.

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Learning about the nuts and bolts of abusive behaviour in society today has been both therapeutic and painful. It has felt good to take a pro-active approach towards my goals but it has also revealed many buried memories which have surged forward and this has been difficult.  The more I researched and identified with my own experiences, the more I realised just how much damage had been done to me emotionally over the years. Since being on my own, I have deliberately shut a lot of people out of my life because I didn’t want to trust anyone else ever again. Victims of abuse always tend to bury their pain deep inside, although they may break free from the relationship – the fears and the scar tissue remain. These can fester away inside  if left.

I decided it was time to admit publicly that I have been involved within destructive and abusive relationships. Forever the writer, I penned a book to help others and opened up about my own experiences using them as personal case studies throughout and I set up this site to provide information to all who needed it. If it helps just one woman or indeed, anyone who has experienced any type of abuse, I will feel that the venture was worth it.

Admitting out loud that I have been in very destructive relationships has been hard, but it has also been the right thing to do. Secrecy keeps emotional turmoil close, it was time to break out and share my own story, helping others along the way, I hope.

My fight to regain my sense of self and well-being started a few years ago and although I am probably less trusting towards relationships nowadays, my life is rich with positive experiences and is fulfilling.

This website is aimed at those women worldwide who have suffered from any physical or emotional abuse.  Although there are men who have also suffered abuse within a relationship, this site is predominantly aimed at women because it’s a shared story. I do hope that any men reading this who have experienced abuse will seek professional help and support, you deserve more from a relationship.

But as a woman who has survived destructive relationships and who now thrives, I am reaching out to women across the globe to say that you are not alone.

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Annette Young

Author, Editor and Freelance Writer