Phati's story

Phati's story
"l had not for one minute considered l was in an abusive relationship. l went from being a positive person to insecure and constantly questioning myself."

Phati's Story of domestic abuse

Life is about giving and taking, it can’t be one-sided, otherwise there’s no balance and the scale will tip over!

I had to learn this rather the hard way, at 43 years old, when I was in a toxic and unbalanced relationship: looking after myself; looking after him; looking after us… all responsibility piled onto me. I was clouded by flattery, emotional and psychological manipulation, lies, pretence, blackmail and my previous experience of failed relationships.

I found myself heading towards a nervous breakdown. l couldn't cope anymore, I felt overwhelmed, burnt out and just exhausted, mentally and physically. I was that affected that when we had a car accident and when l went to A & E, I broke down and cried, and instead of talking about the accident, I started talking about what l was experiencing at home.

My work suffered, as l started making mistakes like going to the wrong teaching venue. I started dreading the end of the day at work, and l would be the last one to leave, just to avoid going home.

My wakeup call was through a social worker who said to me, “you don’t look like a woman who would stay with someone if they were physically beating you up every day, would you?” and when l said that I wouldn’t, her response to me was: “this is not any different, except it’s emotional and psychological.”

l had not for one minute considered that l was in an abusive relationship. l went from being a positive person to insecure and constantly questioning myself.

I am so grateful for all the support I got at this difficult time in my life. I was in pieces when l first came to RISE. I couldn’t speak about my experience without breaking down. But I am a better person as a result of the therapy sessions I have had here. I’ve learnt about positive, healthy relationships and now l am passionate about educating others. I am also thankful for the education l received from RISE about post-traumatic stress, how it manifests itself in us after an abusive relationship, and how to deal with it through the journey of recovery. This has helped me realise that l am fine, and it’s normal for me to experience the feelings l experience when l am faced with triggers from what happened to me.

Thank you for reading, and I hope my story encourages others who are, or have experienced, any type of domestic abuse. Many people put up with it because they don’t realise they are in an abusive relationship.