Nicki's story

Nicki's story
"I worked with RISE in Brighton who were INCREDIBLE at helping me get back on my feet."

RISE ex-service user Nicki Mirage bravely shared her survivor story on her blog, and then with us. Read about how she left an abusive relationship and how she managed to regain her self-confidence through group therapies provided by RISE.

"I want to talk about a much darker time period in my life. A time where I didn’t even recognise myself in the mirror. A time when a relationship – had gotten the better of me."

"People around me told me to get out, that they could see what this relationship was doing to me & those with direct experience of these kind of relationships said it would only get worse. I didn’t listen. I allowed myself to stay in this relationship, to learn how to stomach the put downs, to learn how to manage his anger – deep down I felt like I deserved this."

"So, this carried on for a number of years, each day my self-esteem getting lower. I tried to leave a few times but every time I was too weak to see it through.

The first time I had had a mouth operation & he was supposed to be taking care of me. I soon found out that his plan was to drop me home & leave (he thought I was going to be sedated & earlier that week had made jokes about fucking me whilst I was unconscious), needless to say I chose to stay awake for the operation. He then proceeded to scream at me until 4 in the morning because I was ruining his Friday night & it was so unfair that he had to stay in and look after me. When I say screaming, I mean screaming – & remember I couldn’t talk so this is all one way. I remember lying there crying, wishing I could speak to my mum. And then at 4 in the morning he finally got tired enough to come to bed where he just repetitively kept kissing me on my cheek & telling me it was all ok. I’ve never felt so sick in my life."

"If I disagreed with anything he said, he would say ‘I didn’t trust him’. He would regularly grab parts of my body and say that he couldn’t wait until they were more toned or that he only found girls a lot skinnier than me attractive."

" Then came the more obvious things, like the day he was screaming so badly I became afraid, and so I ran into the bedroom and pushed the bed against the door so he couldn’t get to me. He came in, realised I was behind the bed and pushed it over me."

"I found myself outside at 11.30 at night with no shoes on."

"I was so lucky to find confidence in myself again & to have people around me that still cared when I managed to break free of that relationship. And I worked with Rise in Brighton who were INCREDIBLE at helping me get back on my feet. "

"I was to join a group therapy series through Rise that would help me deal with my feelings & learn new ways of ensuring I recognise the signs of abuse earlier on. At the time I can remember thinking – ‘oh god, a room full of crying women, haven’t I been through enough?’ But I went. And when I went, I was faced with a room full of the most amazing women you have ever met. Each one of them was so different, and so incredible in their own right that it was hard to choose who I wanted to be friends with most. And that’s when it clicked – none of these women were at fault. In fact, all of us were so different that there’s no way that you could even say that there was one characteristic that was at fault. We were not to blame."

"It’s still a learning process. I still work constantly to try to build myself up & to build positivity around me. And while I can’t say that I will never end up in a situation like that again, what I can say is that I am my number 1 priority, my main responsibility, & that I will never let anyone make me feel otherwise again."

You can read Nicki's full story on her blog >>