I tried to explain to a friend last night why I do not hate my ex partner after all he put me through, because if anyone else had done the same things as he did I would never have been able to forgive them.

I think the simple answer is that he gave me my daughter, I can’t hate someone after they have given me something so perfect.

I was 17 when I met him, I worked in a department store and occasionally on lunch breaks I would head to the local pub with my friends, that’s where I saw him.  On this particular day I had actually just come back from a photo shoot, so hair and makeup had been done and I was feeling confident.  So as we bumped into each other in the stair well I took it upon myself to say ‘do you have a girlfriend?’ to which he responded ‘no’ to my relief, so I said ‘great would you like one?’, this made him laugh his head off and from that moment onwards we were pretty inseparable.

It wasn’t long before I moved in with him, the pub that he worked and lived at had been shut down so he began working and living at one across the road.  It was here that his drinking habits started to get out of control, but it took me some time to see it.  Looking back now I don’t really understand why I didn’t, it was so obvious, the swaying everyday, being sick every morning and wetting the bed every night when he got really bad, probably should have given it away.

By the time I realised how bad his habit was, I was so in love I felt I couldn’t escape, I thought I could be the one to support him whilst he kicked the habit.  But this wasn’t something that could just be fixed by being in love with someone enough that they can stop that day, alcoholism is an illness that you will have for the rest of your life.  But by this point I was point I was 18 and too young to understand and didn’t really have much guidance in my earlier years to get how serious the problem was.

One weekend I went to stay with my dad, when I returned home I put my bag on the bed and as I did my foot kicked something and I heard an awful lot of clinking, there was a blanket covering many many bottles, would have been at least 40, beer bottles and wine bottles, I was only gone for 2 days and these weren’t there before, his habit had reached a new peak, his attempt to hide the bottles was ridiculous, I haven’t to this day figured out whether he wanted me to find the bottles and that’s why he hid them so pathetically, maybe it was a cry for help without actually asking me, or was he so drunk he put them under the bed thinking it was a good idea but completely forgot that he had put them there.  He never really did get rid of any bottles it seemed, they didn’t ever make it as far as the bin.  I once sat on the sofa only to hear that same clinking noise I heard from under the bed, when I looked behind the sofa a found a few bottles, I started to look behind the sofa each day, but couldn’t bring myself to move them or he may realise I know, the pile got higher.  Every night he had been drinking at least 3 bottles of wine whilst I slept.  I woke up one night to find him urinating down the wall, another night in the sink, but many nights in the bed, I’d wake up most morning drenched in his urine.  When this first started happening he told me a story about how he had an issue with wetting the bed dating back to when he was a child, he made out it was some kind of health problem that he couldn’t control, at first I believed him, then I felt sorry for him and just got used to him doing it.

He always got up early every morning to set up the pub, well so I thought that’s what he was doing, until the pub manager came banging on my door and shouting my name and telling me to come and have a look at what he was doing down stairs when he was apparently meant to be setting up the pub.  He was drinking the profits, the manager knew I was allowing him to get away with doing this and I wasn’t seeing that my boyfriend was an alcoholic.  7:30am and he was knocking back whiskey like it was water and washing it down with pints of cider, not to mention the piles of bottles found in the cellar.  I also got told a couple of days ago that he would put shots of JD in his Guinness!

Soon after I had lost my bank card, it wasn’t essential that I had it, he was bringing me lunch each day at work, I could eat dinner at the pub, I don’t ever remember eating breakfast, I didn’t need anything else, however after 2 weeks of not having your card you do start to worry about where it is.  I always kept a tidy room but for some reason by the time I came home it was messy, he some how managed to convince me that I had made this mess and I was always loosing things in that room, I must have lost my card in there, it would be around somewhere he said.  I wasn’t convinced, so I went to the bank, I reported my card as stolen and got asked to fill in a questionnaire whilst my bank statement was checked for unusual activity.  It turns out that hundreds had been taken from my bank account and from the cash machine that he cashed up every night for work, at the time that he would be cashing up.  My own boyfriend had been stealing money from my bank account for weeks and convinced me I had lost my card in a messy room that I always kept tidy, yet I now believed that I had made the mess.  Yes I know it sounds stupid, looking back now I don’t know why I didn’t see it, although I think it’s more that I didn’t want to.

So after finding out that my boyfriend had stolen hundreds from me you can imagine I am fuming, I called one of the barman and asked him to make up an excuse to keep him at the pub until I returned.  As I came back, he was about to run out the door when I bumped into him, I don’t think I looked very happy and he looked pretty nervous, I asked him politely to get up the stairs to our room as I needed to speak to him in private.  When we got into our room I went and got myself a glass of water, in the glass that I had bought him for his birthday, a Stella glass of all things but he loved it and I knew it, which is exactly why I poured the glass of water over his head and then smashed the glass against the wall just above it, my boyfriend was now covered in water and glass and he now knew he had stolen all my money, to be honest I think I was so angry I can’t even remember his reaction, apart from one thing he said ‘did that make you feel better’ unfortuanately no it didn’t.  I still had hundreds missing from my account, the lunches that were being brought to me so lovingly every day by my boyfriend were being paid for by me anyway! And the rest got spent not only on alcohol now, but on drugs and cigarettes too, not to mention the gambling.

But yet I stayed, he was using my money to buy drugs and he was a drug to me, I was addicted and couldn’t get enough.

It was about to get worse, I came home one day to find papers and magazines spread all over the floor, open at the dial for sex pages at the back, he was spending hundreds calling women to have phone sex.  This was the final straw, so I bought several packs of tablets and proceeded to take them whilst sat in a quiet corner of the pub, I was found and rushed to hospital, whilst I was in hospital I was told by him that I wasn’t allowed to return to the pub, an ambulance outside the pub is bad press, i’ve never found out if he was telling the truth about this.  But I went to go and live in another pub, his friend ran it and took me in, I spoke to him about his habit and he comforted me, I then found out months later that the guy that was comforting me about his habit, was actually the guy supplying him with the drugs.  My life was falling apart, but the only thing keeping me together was trying my best to help my boyfriend kick these habits.

For a while I went back to my mums and he went back to his in an attempt to get him back on track, this didn’t work, he drank all of his mums supply of wine (there was a lot) almost all of my belongings had been put into his grandmothers garage to store until I had somewhere else to move it to, by the time I had gone back to get it, it had been sold, one guess as to who sold it all.  I tend to block this out of my memory until every now and then I see something and it reminds me that I once had something he stole and sold.  I had nothing and I guess this is why I clung on to him.

He occasionally went missing, he once told me he had an interview at a pub very ironically called ‘pie in the sky’ that’s exactly what it turned out to be, I was meant to meet him in the park after he had been for the interview, he never showed up.  I was left in tears for hours sitting on a park bench.

Another time he went missing, he sent me emails every now and then telling me he was on his way to Rehab to sort himself out.  This was back in the times when we didn’t have internet at home and we went to the library to use the computers there.  I went to the rehab to see if he was there but there was no one under his name that had checked in, so I went to the nearest library to see if they had seen him there but no one had, so I did some detective work and went to the next library I knew he used and spoke to the manager, he was able to tell me he had logged on there half an hour before I was there so I knew he was close.  I went round all the local pubs and no one had seen him, so I went to the park I knew he liked and went to the bench he liked to sit on that overlooked his grandmothers house, and there he was, sunburnt, drunk, off his head and had found a friend who was just as bad.  I now had the job of carrying him across town, I tried calling his mum and dad and neither of them were willing to help, so I guess I was on my own.

I got him back to his mums where he was staying, he promised me he would never go again, 3 days later he was gone again.  This time I tried calling his friends, all of which had been told a story about how well he was doing, how he owned properties across the country and how him and I were madly in love and planning our future.  None of them actually knew the truth or knew where he was.  It was time for me to give up, my brother came to hug me, my dad came to pick me up and I was having to leave and get some head space.  But I could never have felt more alone and isolated.  A couple of days passed at my dads and I finally got a reply from him, he was under a big tree in the park near his mum was all the message said!  I instantly needed to run back to him, my dad wanted to keep me there at his house, but it was like Romeo and Juliet, we needed each other, my heart ached without him.

We got a flat away from bad influences and started a new life, I thought things were going to change, but no, I ordered things online, if I wasn’t in he would take them and sell them and tell me they got lost in the post.  There were times I stood on the other side of the door listening to him trying to put the key in the door for 20mins before I had to open the door for him, he never would have managed it.

I was hit with things and laughed at, sat on til I nearly couldn’t breath and none of this he could ever remember.

I decided to leave, but I had to come back and get my things, when I arrived at our studio flat things had got really bad.  The bed had been wet several times and covered over with the duvet, in every cupboard, in the washing machine, drawers, in the wardrobe, behind the bath panels, any place you could imagine was stuffed full of empty cans and bottles, the suitcases were filled with dirty plates, under the rug were empty microwave food packets and cigarette packets.  I was in shock.

But we still had to have one last go at things, it was then I fell pregnant.

Whilst I was pregnant on my brothers birthday just a couple of weeks before my daughter was born, I had social services come to me, warning me not to allow this man near my daughter for the next 18 years, whilst I was pregnant he had been charged with common assault on a 12 year old girl and had followed her and was only stopped when confronted by her aunt and mother who then called the police!  The police statement said he was a possible sex offender with a personality disorder!

There is a very thin line between love and hate and on that day I went from loving someone madly to hating them like you wouldn’t believe.

After my daughter was born, he had supervised visits, each time he arrived drunk, we went to mediation and it took all my strength to confront him and say ‘you will never see your daughter again so I suggest you leave and never return’ he did exactly that.

His dad wrote me letters and pleaded with me to let him see my daughter, when I told him he is still drinking he refused to believe it, however he did say ‘if I ever find out my son is drinking again I will leave you alone’ I never saw him again either.

There are many gaps to fill in here however this is the short version, moral is respect yourself enough to stay away from people like him, although I never regret my time with him because together we created a wonderful daughter who I wouldn’t change for the world.