I AM JOHN JAMES AND I AM A SURVIVOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
I thought that 2015 was going to be my year. My 18-year old marriage had been dissolving for years, we had become friends rather than husband and wife, then one day in June I met a woman. It was love at first sight, she was wonderful, funny, exciting, sad in a lot of ways.
She was Romanian and had had a rough time as a child; she’d had a verbally abusive mother, a physically abusive alcoholic father, pregnant at 17, worked in the adult entertainment industry to support her child… her life made me want to cry, but more than that, protect her.
I left my wife, a heartbreaking moment I will never forget, and picked up a new life with Monica. We loved each other, an intense, powerful love, something that I’d never experienced before. She said all the right things, did all the right things. The sex was amazing, wild, spontaneous and animalistic.
We moved in together and life was great. We told each other about ourselves, she told me about her many abortions and her getting thrown out onto the street by her brother; I told her about my desire for a child.
About a month after I starting seeing my new love, she began to call me ‘Fatty’. I’d always been body conscious, especially as I was getting older, and I didn’t like the name calling. I told her, but she said I was being too sensitive, so I let it slide. The name calling was soon joined by what she called ‘playing’, this entailed pinching my skin and thumping me in the chest.
My complaints about this were ridiculed and my manhood questioned. I tried to explain that it was not right, but soon I began to doubt myself. The woman who loved me would never hurt me surely? Maybe I’m being a pussy. So I stopped complaining and put up with it. I also put up with her wanting me with her all the time and not going out. It was cute…in a way.
The first attack came one night after she had been drinking heavily. I did not want her going the way of her father so I threw her half finished litre bottle of Jack Daniels away. She leapt at me like an animal, eyes black as midnight, teeth bared. She screamed incoherently as she punched and kicked me, she spat in my face. I backed away, my hands held up protecting my face.
At one point I tried to hold her, to control the anger but she kicked me in the balls.
When it was over I tried to leave, but she stopped me. Her face was rage free, she was like a different person. She apologised and said she didn’t want me to leave. I loved her more than anything and so I stayed. The next day, my hip where she’d kicked me was filled with pain. I collapsed at work and an ambulance was called. I spent five weeks off work and three of those were on crutches.
For the entire time my girlfriend called me a faker.
That attack was one of many. For 18 months I suffered physical violence, but worse than that was the emotional and psychological abuse, telling me that if she got pregnant with my child she would have an abortion, accusing me of rape, ripping my confidence and self esteem to shreds. By the end I was a husk of a man popping pills and suicidal.
The abuse of men is a subject not widely discussed. Abuse is abuse and it’s time for men to speak out.
John James’ entire story appears in his book: From The Darkness: A True Story, John James, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018