Dear Kev: a letter from a survivor
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
We were contacted by a survivor of domestic violence who wanted to share this letter that she wrote to the perpetrator of her abuse. We’re so grateful to her for sharing her powerful words with us.
In solidarity and sisterhood, Sisters Uncut.
(Content note: descriptions of domestic and sexual violence)
Yes it maybe you reading this one day. You may not know this is meant for you it maybe another Kev reading it and some may ring true! It may be one of your family or our children reading it wondering if it’s you and me that is being spoken of.
When you met me I was inexperienced, young, troubled, and most of all vulnerable. You took me and you made me feel things I had never felt. I really was in love with this man I knew all of a sudden that this was where I was meant to be! I felt each time you quarrelled with your dad, I had quarrelled with mine a lot especially during my teen years! I was unaware that each day I just walked further and further into your trap! You started stripping away every single layer there was of any self-respect I ever had. You would use any diversion to stop me seeing your ugly side. Until it was far too late. Pregnant and alone away from my family, my home, no friends near me and allowed but you and your twisted mum n dad I was easy prey.
You then began to make my life the nightmare it became. Little to no sleep no help what so ever constant criticism no support expected to cope with what I did before and a baby and yeah you hit me you would take the baby n while he screamed for me you would tell me how crap I was how I was dirty cause I never got time to bathe, we had no running hot water n had to heat from a twin tub. You refused to look after him so I could do any personal care and I could not leave a baby on their own! I had most of clothes ruined where you would not buy me any maternity wear then you would not buy me anything after and when you ripped it throwing me around you would tell it was my fault and I was a tramp! The hoarding you insisted on had near every bit of the house full of your crap, getting up to work everyday hours before you getting shaken awake cause my exhaustion made me fall asleep in front of you. Screamed at all my stuff destroyed ripped up n broken but no never yours! You would strangle me screaming in my face! You would hold knives to my throat and breasts and you would force yourself on me knowing it would make me bleed and then you would say sorry.
Hitting me while I held our son and screaming at me! Telling me I was ugly fat and worthless and telling that to your family! Threatening to murder me telling me ill never be found after what you would do to my body! Then yes I had a second baby! Who you never accepted as yours. You would tell me he was someone else’s!??? We lived out in the sticks I had no transport but no argument I had ever met yours did it! They got worse and worse but every now and then the nice guy would come out . We would “take” the kids to the beach but spend it watching you fish and you would go buy bikes for you to ride while we were clothed from charity shops and boot sales. We would pretend it was ok to live in limited parts of our house and I had to keep the kids quiet and away from you!
Then one day I started asking if I am so ugly why are you not with a pretty girl!? If I am so fat why did you not find a skinny girl? If I am such a bad cook why don’t you cook or find someone else who can cook? If I am so bad why are you with me why don’t you show me how to look after the kids? If I am such a whore why do you touch me ? why do you make me have you when I don’t want you? If I am so stupid why do you ask me anything at all? And if I am so stupid why do you leave me to do everything? If I am so lazy why do you make me take the kids to school, make me make t and clean what I can get to in my house to clean and do the washing oh while you yeah hold on you get up at lunch and I cook your breakfast I make your coffee and fetch your beer, I sort out your clothes and watch you play your damn game for hours while I play with and teach the kids fetch their drinks clean their mess and do their homework. I must be soooo damn lazy why do you put up with that?
If I am the aggressive one why is it you that breaks everything and why is it me with the bruises! If I am the one that’s so screwed up why can I go shopping without arguments and not getting us banned from supermarkets but there is always trouble when you go? If I am just so god damned crap why are you with me go on I dare you to answer!?
You never could because you were the one that was crap! You were crap at giving me anything and respect and any sort of thought or life! Your control was crap your needs were overwhelming and your idea of what’s right and wrong were warped!
Well you gave me two weeks and I would be crawling back to you! Kicking you out was the best thing I ever did! And its 13 years since you last left my door as my partner this august and I swear to you that I refuse to be unhappy because of you! I have never ever lived under a man like you since and I never would I am no longer shot down day in and day out I suffer no mental cruelty or physical violence! I have no one telling me I am fat or stupid or crap! I have no threats of being killed or raped and I have no one to worry about except myself! I was not the lazy or stupid one I was not the crap one you were! I was not the horrid partner I was not useless I was trapped by your lies and your aggression and your cruelty! Your parents helped you and they are just as screwed up as you are!
I hope that you never treated another person the way you treated me but I know you can’t help yourself you are a bully and you are stupid! Your pathetic to tell me I was all those things and make my life so tough because you lost the best thing you ever had you made me pity you! You will never smile like I can you will never be happy like I can you will never know love like I can you will never have peace and success like I can! You will never ever get my forgiveness and you will never know me because you don’t see me for who I am you see me for the version of me you tried to make! But she don’t live here anymore and she never actually existed!