- Domestic Abuse
“He punched me square in the face…that was a real turning point” Today, Carla is joined by Edwina Clark who bravely shares her story about suffering domestic abuse. Spanning over a decade, she explains how she felt, what happened, and how she finally managed to escape with her two children.
Please note this episode discusses physical, verbal, mental, financial, and sexual abuse.
If you are affected by the topics discussed please use the links below to seek help:
24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Freephone: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
Here is Edwina’s Social Link:
Carla: This podcast is sponsored by My Bump 2 Baby family protection and legal directory. To find your nearest advisor or family law, solicitor, head over to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal.
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[00:01:32] Hello, and welcome to 50 shades of motherhood, uncensored, unhinged and unapologetic. Guilt-free real raw mum chats with me, your host, Carla Lett, over-sharer and founder of My Bump 2 Baby. The UK is leading pregnancy to preschool directory.
[00:02:12] This week. I am speaking to a very brave lady, Edwina Clarke, who is sharing her on a story of being a victim of abuse for over a decade. Now, this episode is very hard to listen to in parts, we do discuss, physical abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse.
[00:02:42] Hello everyone. and welcome to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. This week, we are talking to Edwina Clarke about her story of suffering from domestic abuse and violence. So hello, Edwina.
[00:02:59]Carla: How are you?
[00:03:01] Edwina: Yeah not bad thanks yourself?
[00:03:02]Carla: Yes, good, thank you. Thank you so much for coming on and talking to us about this. Um, you have been through, uh, some awful times, running over 10 years. Uh, should I add. So what I want to do is just kind of share your story today to help other women that may be going through it or, or other women that may think their friends are, just raising that awareness around this subject. Really?
[00:03:26] Edwina: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:03:27] Carla: So Edwina, can we, um, go back to the beginning of your story, first of all, to back to 2003, when you met your partner. So where were you in life at that point?
[00:03:39] Edwina: Yeah. So I’d been to college done my A levels, but didn’t really know what I wanted in life. I kind of did my a levels because I didn’t want to leave school and not do anything, but didn’t really know what I wanted to do kind of thing.
[00:03:51] Carla: Oh yeah. Do you know everyone, I think, I think it’s too young to leave school a lot of the time, because I, at that age
[00:03:57] Edwina: Yeah without a doubt.
[00:03:58] Carla: I’ve said it before. I was like, I wanted to be Britney Spears at that age. Do you know what I mean? Like it’s too young. Isn’t it
[00:04:04] Edwina: It’s even worse now, my littlen at the end of year 8 come home and was like oh I have got to pick my options. I was like, now? Yeah we are doing them a year early. I was like you don’t even know what you want for tea? How on earth are you to decide want you want do as a career.
[00:04:18] Carla: Very true. I know it’s crazy. So I did the same as you actually went to college because I was like, what the hell do I do now? But so you went and did your a levels. You did.
[00:04:28] Edwina: Yeah. Did my end levels, got to the end of them. And it was kind of like, Oh, what do I do now? So I didn’t want to go to uni. So I thought, well, the only other option is to get a job. So I went and got a job at a local theme park, thought it would be a good thing to do just for the summer exciting pressing buttons on rollercoasters.
[00:04:45] Carla: Oh, that sounds amazing. Right up my street that I love that. I used to love that rollercoaster tycoon.
[00:04:53] Edwina: Yeah building it on the game yeah. Actually the most boring, summer job ever, cause literally they just have one button. It’s literally press start button and of it goes. And I was like, Oh I thought this would be like really exciting.
[00:05:07] Carla: Yeah, it would be good that wouldn’t it, if you could control all the rides properly. So you went there and you worked there for a bit then?
[00:05:16] Edwina: Yeah, I worked there for a bit, and that’s where I actually met him whilst we were working there. So he lived in another town, but the theme park was kind of in the middle of the two towns. So it was people there from all around.
[00:05:27] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. So how old were you at this point then? You would have been 17?
[00:05:33] Edwina: No, just 18.
[00:05:35] Carla: Yeah. So, so did you know of him before or?
[00:05:39] Edwina: No I didn’t know of him before that. Kind of young and naive and I think at the time I thought he was like the best thing since sliced bread, looking back now, you know, when people say, Oh, we changed and we grew apart, I can honestly say he never changed. He was actually a prat when I met him. I didn’t quite know to what degree he was going to kind of go to, but it wasn’t like it wasn’t like a charismatic, amazing person at all. I don’t know. I think I was definitely blinkered.
[00:06:09] Carla: Yeah. I think when you’re thought age though. I think you just believe everything someone tells you sometimes. Well, I know I did. Um, and it’s just like, I don’t know. You think you’re older than what you are a lot of the time, I think by like 17 and 18, you’re like, Oh, now I’ve left school. Yeah. I’ll get boyfriend. And you know, like, and, it’s just, Oh, you just think that’s what you need to be doing.
[00:06:31] Edwina: Yeah. Thats it, you’re an adult, you rule the world and off you go kind of thing.
[00:06:34] Carla: Yeah exactly
[00:06:35] Edwina: Its pretty much what it was yeah.
[00:06:37] Carla: So, did you, did any alarm bells ring for you when you met him, then initially?
[00:06:42] Edwina: A couple but it was nothing really serious. So I knew he liked to have a drink but so did most people that I kind of worked with everybody kind of go to the pub after work. We all got paid on Friday, so everybody would go to the pub on a Friday kind of thing. Thought it was a little bit strange there. Cause he’s 10 years older than me, he still lived with him mum and his two brothers. But, at that time, I had a flat that I had shared with my previous boyfriend. So I was living on my own and it just seemed like a good idea to go live with him rather than stay living on my own.
[00:07:14] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. So with his, with his, uh, mum and his brothers, did you move in there with them?
[00:07:20] Edwina: Yeah, not the, not an ideal situation, so many mother-in-law jokes about.
[00:07:29] Carla: Oh goodness. Yeah. So, so you, when and how come he could have lived with you though? I suppose. Couldn’t he?
[00:07:37] Edwina: So, and again, I didn’t really think anything of it at the time about he wasn’t paying any board to his mum. So it was cheap, easy living.
[00:07:44] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. And at that age, I bet you just thought, do you know what? That’s great. Brilliant. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:07:49] Edwina: She can cook our food, do our washing. I thought yeah I’m onto a winner here.
[00:07:53] Carla: Sounds blooming brilliant. Yeah. It does I’d love that now, actually. So yeah. So then, um, so as you were living with him then you just relationship grew and you know, everything was okay? I suppose.
[00:08:06] Edwina: Yeah things were okay. There would be odd occasions where he would have a drink and he would turn a little bit nasty after that. But again,
[00:08:13]Carla: Like wording nasty? Like speaking to your nastily?
[00:08:15] Edwina: Yeah he would speak to me like something of bottom of his shoe, but again,I just thought thats like what drunk people do. They do get a bit nasty next day, he’d be full of apologies. It just kind of went like that and then as I realised, he was drinking more and more obviously, the frequency of him speaking to me, not very nicely increased more and more. To the point where it was becoming, he’d get up and he was, he’s definitely a functioning alcoholic. Well, I don’t know what he is now at that time, it was a functioning alcoholic. So he’d quite often have a drink on a morning. But again, I didn’t really know enough about functioning alcoholics at that point so I was just thinking, well, he gets up and he goes to work. So kind of be must be alright.
[00:08:57] Carla: Yeah.
[00:08:57] Edwina: I think initially he’d hid it from me. I don’t think anything changed in that it was drinking more. I think it was just that. It became the norm and he didn’t mind me knowing kind of thing.
[00:09:08] Carla: Yeah. Once he got used to you and stuff like that, and, that kind of novelty of the new relationship wears it’s off they start to show the kind of real self. So, so then, like he was just turning nasty when he, when he’d had to drink, which obviously then was a lot of the time?
[00:09:25] Edwina: Yeah he was not a very nice person to be around but again, sometimes he’d have a drink and he’d be okay. So then I’d start to question whether it was something I’d said that kind of pushed him to be like that. And I think the more it happened, the more I started to question that it was me and I, I never, really understood that no actually the problem isn’t you. And I’d blame myself more and more for it at that point.
[00:09:50] Carla: Yeah because you’d probably believe what he were saying to you and then, and then, yeah. And then oh no, I know exactly the feeling it’s like constantly. And then your thinking, Oh actually, maybe I did something to upset him or, you know? Oh no, that’s horrible. Horrible place to be in. Um, so did you recognise then towards like, you know, when that started to happen, did you, did it take you a while to actually see that it was him then? Were you still thinking it was you for a while?
[00:10:19] Edwina: Yeah for a while I thought it was me and then kind of, I’d got a new job. He didn’t like me going places didn’t like me seeing people. So would take me to work, pick me up from work. But he wasn’t working. And again, it starts to ring little alarm bells, hang on a minute. Why am I working while he’s sat on his bum not? Then he went back to his old job.
[00:10:39] So he went back to work at the theme park and I didn’t go back that year. And then that’s when things start to get a little bit worse. And then that’s when the physical abuse started, which I later, found out he was taking drugs as well, whilst he was at work and taking them on the way home from work so obviously they were affecting his behaviour. And for a while I kind of used that as an excuse for him. And it was probably like, no, it’s not him. It’s what he’s taking. That’s making it to be like that. I think it wasn’t until. Towards the end of 2005. So we’d been together the best part of two years by this point, that I thought do you know, what actually he is not a very nice person and maybe this isn’t what I want to spend the rest of my life like.
[00:11:20] Carla: Mm mm. Yeah. I, God, that’s frightening to, when it, when it turned into physical abuse, do you remember the first time that happened or what, what it was it made him think that that was okay.
[00:11:32] Edwina: Well it start with pushing. And I don’t really remember the first time it started with kind of him pushing me. So he would, like push me onto the sofa as I’d stand up or he would push me onto the bed as I went to get up off the bed and things, and because we lived with his mum, we a had just a bedroom to ourselves. So we had kind of a bed at, it was quite big bedroom. So we had a bed and a sofa in there. So he would kind of push me back onto the bed as I would go to get up and stuff. So I don’t remember the first time he pushed me. But I do remember the first time it kind of really hurts. So pushed me into the doorframe at one point and I banged the side of my head so that one I do remember. There’s a couple. It’s really strange because even when it was, because it got to the point where it was physically extremely dangerous and even some of them occasions, even now I don’t remember, but then there’ll be like, little things will happen or.
[00:12:19] Somebody will say something and it’ll kind of bring a little flash back. And I’d be like, I actually forgot that, that time had happened. Kind of thing.
[00:12:25] Carla: It might be like. You mentally block it out. Maybe mentally block it out?
[00:12:30] Edwina: I do think that there’s bits that I’ve kind of protected myself by blocking out.
[00:12:35] Carla: Because I think when it comes to pushing as well, like it’s like, it’s almost like not that it is okay. It’s not by any means. I’m not saying it is, but it’s pushing almost seems like you could, he could say, well, you came towards me, so I pushed you away or whatever. Yeah.
[00:12:51] Edwina: Yeah. That’s the thing. And he was a lot like that. He would come up with a lot of excuses for things and it. Again, looking back, hindsight’s a wonderful thing. But at the time it was kind of like, Oh, maybe if I haven’t stood up so quick. Or maybe if I hadn’t moved that way.
[00:13:22] Carla: So, so once he got physical then, so that was um, around 2004. So you’d been with him over a year.
[00:13:32] Edwina: Yeah. Yeah
[00:13:33] Carla: And then, and then what, what was the next thing then? So you started to realize he wasn’t a nice person.
[00:13:37] Edwina: Yeah. As 2005 went on I rapidly kind of, well, not really rapidly. It took a while, came to my senses and realised that kind of, he wasn’t the person I wanted to be with. So at this point, he. He always said that he couldn’t have kids, but wanted one. But by this point tI’d decided , you know, actually I don’t want the child with you. So I went to the doctor once, while he was out and got on the pill and then found out I was pregnant. So I was like oops, I thought two years of kind of not doing anything to stop myself, getting pregnant and then went on the pill and got pregnant.
[00:14:12] Carla: Oh my God.
[00:14:13]Edwina: Story of my life.
[00:14:15] Carla: What were you pregnant on the pill?
[00:14:17] Edwina: Yeah, I fell pregnant whilst on the pill. Id be on two months when I got pregnant with my oldest.
[00:14:23] Carla: What. Oh my God. I bet. And it, cause he didn’t know you’re on the pill. I bet you were like you couldn’t explain how shocked you were.
[00:14:30] Edwina: I know because it’s just like, he was over the moon and I was thinking, Oh great. This is really not what I wanted. Now before I’d had, before I got pregnant, I’d had a couple of miscarriages, but I hadn’t known I was pregnant at the time. Didn’t want to be pregnant. So I was still drinking. So I just put it down to kind of that and didn’t really think anything of it. So then when I was pregnant, I was kind of torn between a part of me didn’t want a child with him, but there was a part of me that really wanted with this child and it’s like, it was a really strange feeling, kind of being torn between.
[00:15:06] Carla: Yeah, I bet. I mean, was there any part of you that didn’t want to take it further or, you know,
[00:15:10] Edwina: Probably because of the ones I’ve lost, I was kind of. Adamant that I wanted her, I just knew I didn’t want her with him. But again, I was torn because my mum and dad had split up when I was quite young. So I was kind of like, well, I want her to have a mum and a dad and have this, this kind of like perfect cereal box, type family.
[00:15:30] Carla: I think that’s a lot of it, isn’t it like a lot of us. I mean, even my parents are together and it’s um, but you always look for the things that you maybe didn’t have as much. Like my mum used to work a lot. And so I’m always all about flexible work and stuff. So for you, I mean, with yours, you wanted to stay together with, with him because, and you probably thought you had, do you know what might actually get better? Maybe it’s not that bad.
[00:15:53] Edwina: I did I think I thought it was going to, there’s a couple of things that I’d done like. We’ll come on to the next, where I thought looking back, I’m like, why did it do that? But I think at the time it was kind of like, Oh, maybe it be some kind of magic sticking plaster, and make everything kind of right. And there was a bit of me that thought, well, if he’s a dad he’ll change, stop drinking, he’ll stop going out. He’ll stop being the prat that he is. I kind of thought that he would, I suppose I thought he would man up kind of thing, but no such luck.
[00:16:22] Carla: No. No. Yeah. So sad to hear but amazing that you’ve got a little one anyway. So, so tell me, um, how, how was he during pregnancy then? What, what was he like during pregnancy? Do you remember?
[00:16:37] Edwina: It didn’t phase him at all. He’d still go out. He wasn’t bothered, he’d whinge at me to go out and I’d be like I don’t really want to. And he was like oh come to the pub with us, and it was like well I can’t drink anyway, like just have one. And he didn’t seem to understand the point that, actually I’m pregnant. I’m carrying a child. I can’t go out and get drunk with you all. And he didn’t want me at home kind of with his mum. Like he didn’t want me there, but didn’t want me out. It didn’t make any sense. You like, you wanted me to be there with him at the time. And I was like, no look I’m not coming. I don’t want to be there kind of thing. He had no, kind of, there was no kind of risk to it. It was like, no, come on. Just go out.
[00:17:12] Carla: Yeah. What was his mom saying? Did she notice anything was going on? Like obviously she must have known you were pregnant, but before that?
[00:17:19] Edwina: She’d,a couple of times, but she likes to drink as well so a couple of times when she’d had a drink, she’d tell me oh he’s not a nice person. You don’t want to be with him. And then she’d go on about how amazing he ex was. So it never really made any sense to whether she thought he was a prat and was warning me and in me, and then in the next breath she’d be going on about how amazing his ex girlfriend was. And she was like best friends with his ex-girlfriend’s mum and dad’s cause it was, it was a small seaside town so kind of everybody lives in everybody’s pockets kind of thing.
[00:17:49] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Where I am. It’s a bit like that, but yeah. So that’s strange. Cause then you’d question her, wouldn’t you be like, Oh yeah. Well she might just prefer him to be with his ex. Maybe that’s why she’s saying all that.
[00:18:00] Edwina: Yeah, that was kind of the, what it was. It was, she didn’t make any sense and she like, she enjoyed a drink. He enjoyed a drink. And then again, I start questioning, is it me? That’s the one in the wrong, or are these people actually a bit more normal than I think? And I’m the one that’s kind of not right or got the issues?
[00:18:16] Carla: Yeah, I know what you mean. Yeah. Because there’s two of them and one of you, so your little one, then tell us about that then how, how was that?
[00:18:25] Edwina: So yeah, she was born and for awhile, he seemed like he was quite besotted with her and then kind of. One of the most memorable moments was one night she was led on the bed. So she’s allergic to sudacrem but being a new mum, get nappy rash, lather them in sudacrem. Obviously this rash got worse, so she’s laid on the bed on a towel with nothing on kind of getting some fresh air to herself. Shall we say? And I asked him to pass me the tobacco. So he passed me the baccy, and as he threw this pouch of baccy at me it kind of landed on her. And I turned to him I do remember snapping at him and I was like, look what you’ve done. And he punched me square face. It was the first time he’d actually like full punched me, made a right mess of my face. My nose was bleeding. I tried to grab her kind of thinking I need to get out of here kind of thing. I went to pick her up. So he pushed me away from her and was stood between me and her. It was kind of like, I need to get to her, but I don’t want to antagonise him anymore. So it was like, I kind of stood there and I can remember now, still standing there thinking do I try and get past him. Do I just hope the situation diffuses and they can try and get to her in a minute. It was kind of a what on earth do I do in this situation sort of moment.
[00:19:41] Carla: So what did you do?
[00:19:43] Edwina: Stood and waited I literally just stood there with my eyes fixed on her. And he was looking at me while my nose was bleeding, kind of, yeah. I think he also a little bit shocked that what he’d done, it’s kind of an escalation from pushing and things, but at the same time, he was not going to budge and let me get to her. So it was kind of like a stand off, nobody move kind of thing.
[00:20:06] Carla: Oh God, that’s horrible.
[00:20:08] Edwina: She just laid on bed, oblivious wiggling her legs.
[00:20:11] Carla: Oh, bless her. That is awful. And I’m guessing then that was when that kind of abuse had started or did he, did he carry on with that or?
[00:20:19] Edwina: He carried on. So that was, that was a real turning point. And at that point I was, so I’m the first born female in the fam, in my generation. As is my oldest as was my mum and my grandma and my great grandma. And I can’t remember why, but my mum was insistent on us going having this family photo with all five generations of firstborn females. And I’d got this proper shiner. And I remember having to lie to my mum like oh no. And it was the most unbelievable lie looking back. And I said, we’d gone for a walk and somebody had drunkenly fell on the Pram and I’d shouted at them and this person had punched me in the face.
[00:20:57] Carla: Oh my God. That is extreme.
[00:20:59] Edwina: Yeah. I was like, where on earth did I kind of concoct that story from, but I think it’s because you could see, looking at it that it was a punch kind of thing. So it was just. Kind of the best thing I could come up with at the time and looking back, I always think why on earth did I come up with that story? But that’s what I said. So my mum went and got some kind of it’s like foundation, but they use it for covering tattoos and things. So my mum went and got some of that and kind of covered it up for me, for this photo. And then it was kind of just forgotten about it was like, Oh, we’ve had the photo and nothing more was really thought about. What I found out afterwards was that my mUm and my dad even actually knew that he was kind of the prat that he was, but. They reckon the tried to tell me, I don’t think that they did try to tell me, but we’ll never know in hindsight, kind of what went on. And then a couple of weeks later he punched me again and I ended it with some damage to my eye. And I couldn’t see properly for a while I kept thinking I’m going to go blind that I was like, I was catastrophizing it as well.
[00:21:59]Carla: What caused that then was it just another, another similar situation?
[00:22:03] Edwina: Yeah, yeah. It was just another time he’d come in drunk. He went to pick her up out of the cot and I was like, no, leave her alone. And that’s when he punched me then, cause I wasn’t going to move in like him pick her up kind of thing. So that’s what caused the second time. And that was at the point that I thought, you know what? I need to get me and her out of here.
[00:22:21] Carla: Did, did his mum see you with that black eye?
[00:22:24] Edwina: Yeah.
[00:22:24] Carla: And what did she say? Nothing.
[00:22:27] Edwina: Nothing just left it nothing.
[00:22:29] Carla: Oh my God.
[00:22:30] Edwina: She knew it was him, but didn’t kind of care or anything.
[00:22:34] Carla: God you never know whether like, she used to get it before you do you know what I mean?
[00:22:39] Edwina: Yeah, I’ll never know kind of what went off before. So at that point I got in touch with my mum. So I used to see her on odd weekends. I’d go through and say, it’s like, we lived in the next town, but I asked my mum to help me move. So I found a house back in the seaside town that I had grown up in. And my stepdad comes through with a van. So we loaded the van ready to move. And then at last minute he come back to the house he’d been out. And I have no idea to this day, why I thought it was a good idea to say you know what, let him come by for us. And off we went, where as it that would have been the perfect time to kind of get away, start a new life without him. But I didn’t I let him come with us.
[00:23:24] Carla: Was he like, sorry, at this point or saying anything like that, that made you think that,
[00:23:29] Edwina: I don’t honestly, actually remember how the conversation went because as we were loading the van, it was all kind of quite panicking. Get the stuff in. And so I don’t know. Quite what, how it came about on why I let him move with us or anything I know, I probably thought, you know, things will get better. And I remember thinking it would be away from all the idiots that he was hanging around with and stuff.
[00:23:51] Carla: Yeah. Because it’s not him. It’s probably everyone else in the situation. He’s yeah. I know what you mean. You can make excuses though, can’t you for people?
[00:23:59] Edwina: That what I did for definite it was just excuse after excuse as to why. He was being like that. And it was everybody else’s fault.
[00:24:06] Carla: So did he still carry on like drinking and stuff like that once you moved or did he actually change?
[00:24:12] Edwina: Nope, carried on exactly the same. He went back to work the theme park the next summer. So he met, instead of him hanging around with the people that lived in one town. He just went to hang around with the people that live near the town. So it just moved from one set of idiots to hanging around with another set of, and it sounds awful, and I dont mean this in any way stereotypical, but the people that he was hanging around with that, were just working in the summer and kind of signing on in the winter, none of them really had any aspirations other than go to work, come home and then they all quite enjoyed being down the pub. Most of them were younger than him, a lot of single lads 18, 19. Whereas he wasn’t, do you know what I mean he was 30 by this point.
[00:24:55] Carla: God. Yeah. So it’s like, he’s stilling living he’s like a blooming teenager.
[00:24:58] Edwina: Yeah. That’s exactly what it was. He thought he was jack the lad hanging about with 18, 19 year olds and kind of doing what he wanted.
[00:25:05] Carla: Mm God. So, so then, so that was all carrying on. Was he still being physically abusive then, then as well?
[00:25:13] Edwina: Yeah, still verbally abusive, still physically abusive and then by this point, he also had full control of all the money as well. So money would all go into his bank, he could do what he wanted with it. The bills always got paid. But other than that, there was never any spare money left for anybody other than for him to drink.
[00:25:33] Carla: Oh, my God, God, I’d be seething. I’d be so mad.
[00:25:37] Edwina: It was, it was kind of, this was like a part of me that hated it. And then there was a part of me that just kind of normalised and thought, well, do you know what, you’ve got a kid with him its kind of your own, your own fault. You live with him, its kind of, it is what it is.
[00:25:51]Carla: Um, you probably sometimes could think you could put up with it for longer and then sometimes you probably thought, no, I can’t do it anymore.
[00:25:58] Edwina: Thats exactly what it was like.
[00:26:01] Carla: Oh God. So, so in 2007, then this was, um, that when you moved away, you, um, mentioned that sexual abuse then had started.
[00:26:12] Edwina: Yeah. Yeah, by this point, he’d decided, that do you know what he could do what he wanted in my house, do what he wanted out of the house and he could do what you want it to me. And that was when the sexual abuse started. At first, this sounds awful, but at first I would protest by the end of it, I, I wouldn’t, it was just a kind of closed my eyes and pretend it wasn’t happening to me. And I’d got to the point where. And I’ve noticed it more, especially with the physical side of it. To me, the physical side was kind of worse because it got to the point where I was no longer trying to really protect myself. So he’d start and obviously when it first started I would try and get away by the end, he’d start and I’d just stand there and let him do whatever. And I remember having a conversation with a friend that did know about it a couple years later. Whilst it was still happening. And she’d said to me, look, you can’t stand and argue with him at the top of the stairs. One day, he’s going to throw you down the stairs and you’ll be dead at the bottom. And, you know, do you want me to what you’re going to do? And then I think it just got to the point where I didn’t kind of fear him, it was kind of, it had become the norm I suppose.
[00:27:19] Carla: Yeah, like per, like, he’s just basically your abuser full stop. And you just accepted that. I mean, I don’t mean to sound awful, but you must not have felt very much of yourself to be able to keep putting up with it as well.
[00:27:33] Edwina: Yeah, by this point, Id’ resided myself to the fact that this is life, you’ve obviously done something to deserve this. And I totally believed that it was my fault, that he was like that. Because he’d go out with his friends and he’d be like the life and soul of the party have a laugh with them comeback. And it be like, well, if it was all right out with them, it must be me.
[00:27:56] Carla: Oh God, you know, I’ve sat here with tears in my eyes listening to this, because that, that what you’ve been through, it was just, just heartbreaking. Um, so, so that then you, the sexual abuse around then that, that had started and, Oh God. Right. And then, and then in 2008, um, yeah,
[00:28:15] Edwina: So then I got pregnant with my son. Hmm. At this point, things had stepped to the point that we knew things weren’t working with us. He kept texting other people that he’d wanted to be with. He’d have people round the house. And then when I was pregnant, he was texting. Um, his phone bill was in my name. So one day, I’d had enough and he was texting, so I went through his phone, when he passed out only to find that it was sending photos of himself to other men. And I was kind of like, Oh great. This had just got even better, besides that the problem was me because he wanted to be with a bloke. So then it just was another reason why I was the problem. Not him being the problem.
[00:28:59] Carla: Yeah.
[00:29:00] Edwina: Rather than me thinking no actually, he he’s a big issue. And again, I tried to normalise it. Oh, well, he’s obviously going through a difficult time because he’s questioning his own sexuality again, put that all down to being my fault rather than it being anything else.
[00:29:17] Carla: God. Did you tell him that you’d seen all these messages?
[00:29:20] Edwina: Yeah. Oh yeah. I told him that I’d seen it and he tried to deny it. And made out that it never happened. It was in my head, it was just texting. And I was like, but I’ve seen it. There was pictures of him, not very nice pictures of him shall we say. Which I’ve since found out. He’s done it again because he still lives in the same small seaside town whereas I’ve moved away. A couple of people that I know have told me since then it’s been at it again. So it obviously is, kind of he’s probably still battling with his own.
[00:29:50] Carla: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Gosh. Right. Oh gosh. So your, lovely son was then born.
[00:29:58] Edwina: Yeah, so as soon as my son was born, he didn’t want anything to do with my daughter. It was like oh I’ve got a boy now, I don’t need a girl. So she just completely, and to be fair, she’s still can’t, she can’t stand him. And I think she remembers more than she probably should from being very little, because she was only 23 months old when her brother was born.
[00:30:22] Carla: Oh God. Wow. So she must, she must have just sensed it all as well.
[00:30:27] Edwina: Yeah, I think, I think they do remember a lot more from a lot younger than I think probably given credit for. So at first, it changed a bit and he was a bit nicer and he wanted to do stuff kind of with his son. And I’d be like, well, actually there’s two kids. We’ll go and do it together as a family. And then he’d slowly, he was drinking more again, it just went back to the same cycle and that was at the point that I started think. You know what? He’s never going to change. I need to do something to make a better life for these kids. So by this point, I’m kind of thinking well, uh, nearly two something, but living in a small seaside town with just my A levels, it was kind of, I’ve got no idea what I’m going to do, but I need to do something.
[00:31:09] Carla: What were they in your a levels?
[00:31:11] Edwina: My, what did I do? I did biology, chemistry, psychology and drama in my first year. And then decided that I didn’t have a clue which of them I like. So continued drama picked up maths, and technology.
[00:31:25] Carla: Yeah. So then with a levels, I suppose it’s like, well, what, what do I do?
[00:31:30] Edwina: They are out of date of which I didn’t know. So I was like, well, i’ll go to uni. And they were like your a levels are out of date, . I was like, what you mean? Yeah they are out of date they are too old. Oh, I didn’t realize a levels had a date, so I went back to college and did an access to education course so that I could go to uni, so I decided at this point that I wanted to be a social worker and go and work with kids, kind of like mt kids. It was a little bit, again, probably a very strange thought at the time, but I knew that I wanted to be a social worker and help children. So that’s when, I went back to college and did my diploma.
[00:32:05] Carla: Amazing. And did he have the children at the time? Was he,
[00:32:09] Edwina: Nope did he buggery. Kids had to go into full-time childcare while he got drunk and then a couple of times I’d come home from college early and they wouldn’t be at home and I’d go and find him in his friend’s garden, drinking. And the kids would be there with their kids. And I was like, what earth is this life now? So I kind of had to. It was weird. So I kind of wanted to drop out of college cause he didn’t want the kids in that, but then I’m thinking if I dropout of college, this is all they’re ever going to know so I had to kind of think
[00:32:38] do I risk it in the short term and the kids hadn’t actually come to any harm. They were looking after them, just not in an ideal way. I didn’t think he was ideal but who was I to decide what he couldn’t and couldn’t do. So I just kind of resigned myself to the fact that I would have to finish college. Pray that I got into university and make something better after that. But again, it was all kind of short-term. So I wasn’t really thinking. How will I do it? It was just kind of pray and hope at this point.
[00:33:08] Carla: Yeah. Because yeah, I can, I can see what you mean because it’s just getting out of the situation that you’re in. And instead of getting pulled back into it all the time, like last time when he moved with you as well. Um, so, so once you, um, left college, then, um, what, what happened then?
[00:33:27]Edwina: So just as I was about to leave college, he asked me to marry him and stupidly, I said, yes. So I think looking back that he thought that I was going to go to uni make all new friends and kind of realize how much of a prat he is.
[00:33:43] Carla: Yeah.
[00:33:43] Edwina: I remember us having a conversation once. So my uni lecturer said, and I can’t remember why she told us this. And she’d said to us about statistically, lots of relationships fail when people go to uni because they get, kind of they’re hanging about with people that are a bit more, intellectual maybe.
[00:34:02] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:34:03] Different friendships groups. I think that, that was why he asked me to marry him and stupidly, the kids have both got his surname, whereas I have a different surname, so I wanted the same surname as them. And I wanted it to be on one degree certificate. And again, I don’t know whether I thought that being married was going to be some kind of plaster but. There I did, went and married him.
[00:34:23] Carla: Hmm, the thing is that even if you knew, like, um, you know, when you were going to uni and you were in the relationship, but you might not have a hundred percent thought, I’ll definitely leave him. Maybe you weren’t ready to, and then like, it’s, where’d you go if you said no to that? Where’d you go?
[00:34:39] Edwina: Yeah, that was the kind of thing. So nine days before I started university, I bloody married him.
[00:34:46] Carla: So you actually, did you actually go and get married by that point?
[00:34:49] Edwina: Yeah, no. Nine days before I started at uni I got married to him.
[00:34:54] Carla: Was it .big day?
[00:34:56]Edwina: No a little cheaply registry office do we didn’t have the money to do anything else. So it was all done kind of cheap. My mum and dad helped out a bit with paying for the little bit that we did have, because we literally didn’t have 10 pence to rub together stupidly. Like cause he was drinking it all. So yeah. Got married. And then nine days later started at university.
[00:35:17] Carla: Gosh. And did it change after you got married, then did anything change?
[00:35:22] Edwina: Nope he got absolutely drunk at the wedding, we went back, had an argument and slept in separate beds. That was my wedding night. So it was no different to any other night would have been. Other than I had to battle to kind of get in the house. And it was, it was just awful. And I was like, I knew at that point, so on the same day that I got married, I thought, what the chuffing hell have you done? But, I’d also got drunk at the wedding, so I was kind of like. Well kind of blame it on me . Well, now you’ve had a drinks, so it is your fault as well.
[00:35:57] Carla: I know that’s horrible. It’s like mental torture. What he’s put you through all that time, because you just constantly thinking that he might change or actually maybe it’s you maybe you need to do. Oh God. Right. So, so then. Like after that then did it carry on much longer then from, from there. And was the physical abuse still happening, the sexual abuse everything?
[00:36:18] Edwina: The physical abuse was still happening. The sexual abuse didn’t happen very often after that. So, um, I’ve resided myself to the fact, I think he was actually getting elsewhere. I’d caught him a couple of times with one of my best friends, found in my house. So I was like, you’re not my friend. And I just resigned myself to he’d go out a lot and I just assumed he was getting it elsewhere. To be honest, I was glad that he was leaving me alone, if that makes sense. So it kind of just got to the point where I thought do what you like if you leaving me alone I don’t mind . So that carried on for awhile. And whilst I was at uni, I was learning very strangely about how domestic abuse affects children. How domestic abuse between parents has an impact on children and it kind of wizened to think, and do you know what you really do need to do something. And then in August of 2012, I went and did a placement for as part of my university degree. And on my placement, I was working in a, like, a drop in shelter for people that were abusing alcohol and abusing other substances. And again, I came to this kind of realisation , you know, this is, this is just your life. You come here and you work with these people about how you want to help them and things. And then you go home to live with one. That’s kind of no different if not worse. Because obviously what was going on.
[00:37:41] So at this point I was like, right now, I really do need to get rid of him, but because we had the joint tenancy and it still happens to this day, the number of people in a joint tenancy. You’ve both got as much rights to that house as each other. So it gets to the point where we’d get drunk on a Friday. He’d kickoff, he’d get drunk on a Saturday he’d kick off, eventually the neighbours would phone the police, he’d be arrested to prevent a breach of the peace. The kids would be screaming and then they’d ring me on a Sunday morning. And they’d say we’re releasing Mr. ClarkE now, just so you know, he’s on his way home. So the police knew and there was nothing they could do.
[00:38:17] Carla: What, I mean, did you ever tell them about the physical abuse or, or?
[00:38:21] Edwina: Yeah, they new bits of it, but I’d never wanted to press charges because again, in my eyes it was the kids dad, I didn’t want to see him get done for it, I just didn’t want to be with him. But, I, I had no idea kind of what to do. And it was at this point, the school had got wind of it and they’d, stopped him from picking the kids up from school because of him drinking. So I had a friend that was picking the kids up whilst I was at uni and taking them back to their house whilst he was getting drunk. And then they got a school liaison officer involved who used speak to me and a domestic abuse charity, got involved through the, the placement that I was doing. So I’d spend. I was working with these people and then I’d have the same people that came in to speak to them, come in and speak to me. It was a little bit strange set up, because I needed the same support that some of the other people that were kind of clients as such were getting.
[00:39:15] Carla: Yeah. Gosh, I bet you know it better than. I bet you’re very good at your job then, because you know exactly what it’s like. So
[00:39:22] Edwina: Yeah, it was kind of really weird sitting on both sides, sort of spending the day supporting and then the evening being supported.
[00:39:28] Carla: Oh God.
[00:39:29] Edwina: And at the same time, I’m writing essays about how this impacts on children and looking at my own kids thinking now what you’re going to do, because obviously when you read it in books, it’s always worst case scenario and stuff. I was just thinking I’ve got to do something, but then. He was living downstairs and I was living upstairs. And then one day , there had been numerous times I’d say to him look you need to leave and he wouldn’t leave. It. We’d have an argument. And then one day he set off arguing and Ariana just turned around to him and she was like, look dad , nobody wants you here. And I was like, oh. I just looked at him and he looks at me and it was kind of like thats it he’s actually realised. And you could see the look on his face change. And that’s when he went and got himself a flat and I helped him to get it. So I helped him furnish it and stuff and everybody was like, you’re crazy.
[00:40:20] And I was like, no if it gets him out of the house. It’s the best thing that can ever happen to us. So off he went, got himself a flat. He’d see the kids on a weekend, but it was slowly less and less hours to the point where I’d dropped them off, last thing on a Friday night and then he’d want them picking up first thing on Saturday morning.
[00:40:36] And I was like, there is just no point you even having them you don’t see them, you don’t do anything with ’em. If I went to go anywhere after I’d dropped them off, he would be ringing me, screaming abuse, down the phone I’m going to go and drop them at your grans. Cause she was like a ten minute walk from him. He’d march them down to my grans. It got to the point I was like, just no point sending them. I was like, you’re not fit to look after them. And then my daughter had said that he wasn’t feeding them properly, when they were there. So I was like, right you’re not having them. Then he got supervised contact, but he only turned up to a couple of sessions of that. And then it was stopped altogether because he just stopped turning up.
[00:41:11] So then the only time that we’d hear from him was after he’d got through on a Friday night, he’d rock up at the house, trying to kick the door in again, the police would come out. They’d arrested him. Wait till the next day, by this point he’d got a flat, so he never used to come back the following morning at least, but then the next time he got drunk, he turn up again.
[00:41:27] Carla: Oh God, did you have to move then in the end or ?
[00:41:30] Edwina: Yeah in the end I finished university, graduated got a first class degree in that.
[00:41:36] Carla: Amazing. Well done.
[00:41:39] Edwina: Cheers. So I finished uni on the Tuesday. On the Friday, I literally got the kids in the car. I was like, we’re off. So the oldest one was like, where are we going? So I told her we were going to Morrison salad bar. She’s obsessed with going. Or she was until now our Morrisons doesn’t have a salad bar now because of the current situation. But, yeah, we drove past Morrison’s and she just kind of looked and I still think to this day that she knew something. And then we moved. So we moved, I think, 86 miles away and started again in 2014.
[00:42:11] Carla: Oh my God. Wow. What an amazing person. You are an inspiration to so many women that could be going through this, that you’ve managed it. Like you actually finished uni and you actually did all that. That’s amazing.
[00:42:26] Edwina: They tried to make me defer a year and stuff cause by this point they knew that there was stuff going on at home as well. And I was like, look, if I don’t finish this degree, now I will never come back. So I just kind of muddled through it. And in the end, after he’d got a flat. One of my friends used to move in on a Monday and he’d come and stay Monday to Friday so that he could have the kids whilst I was at uni. Cause sometimes the have to leave the house like six in the morning. It was over an hour journey to get to uni and back an hour each way, so he’d come and he’d cooked tea for when I got back, bless him. And it was amazing. Like he, if it hadn’t been for him, I would never finished uni and uni were like, no, you need to take a year out and deal with. I was like, no, I am not, if I don’t finish now. I will never come back. And then it will have all kind of been a wasted effort. Plus I was racking up this uni debt as well. So I was like, no, I’m just going to carry on and go and lucky scraped through with a first.
[00:43:19] Carla: Wow. That is amazing. You’ve done. Absolutely amazing. Um, gosh, Bit in during that story, I honestly, I was close to actually full on cry and it’s so sad what you’ve been through, but what an inspirational person you are. So, so today then what, where are you in life now? What are you doing?
[00:43:40] Edwina: Well, it all went tits up after I moved, because he fought for access to the kids, he luckily didn’t get any, I think it’s quite important that people know that when, when you end up with children’s services involved and Cafcass were involved and he can through a couple of times, to have supervised access here and they were saying, no, look, he wants to see his daughter. And I was like, look, his daughter wants nothing to do with him. So one day I literally dragged them into the car kicking and screaming. I was like, you’ve got to go and see him. He was telling them that I was stopping her. And I was like, you can have to go. And she went in and they spoke to them like oh we use a safe word if you don’t want to be there. Once he’s walked into the room, just say, horses. Anyway, he walked in, she went I’m off to the toilet, she wouldn’t go back in the room. She just left, passed him in the doorway. So, and I literally, I just turned him, I said, look, I’ve done what you asked me to do. You asked me to get her to come. I’ve got her to come. I’m not doing anymore. And it was really weird. So the place where we were, we were in the next room to where he was with my son and my son did want to see him, he really missed his dad so and we could hear what they were saying in the next room. And I could hear him talking to Mason, in this kind of fake like, like a telephone voice is the closest thing I could compare it to.
[00:44:58] Carla: Oh, God.
[00:44:59] Edwina: But I could hear him like, Oh, you all right?I was thinking that is so false. And so not you. And then Ariana turned to me like mum he stinks of beer again. And I was like, uh, and what it come down to is, he’s allowed to have a drink before see them he just wasn’t allowed to be drunk. And I was like, you know, I’m not doing this. Then we went,
[00:45:18] Carla: What did you have to do?
[00:45:20] Edwina: Well, we went to court and he was there’s no actual court order in place for my oldest, because she just outright refused. She’s like, don’t want out to do with him. You can’t make me. And I begged and begged him. I said, look, She doesn’t want to, she’s old enough and she’s given you an a hundred and one reasons why she doesn’t want anything to do with him, I was like, she’s entitled to have an opinion. So they didn’t actually put a court order on her.
[00:45:41] Carla: How old was she at that time then?
[00:45:43] Edwina: She’d have been. Trying to think it’s been nine, 10.
[00:45:48] Carla: Oh yeah. So she knows doesn’t she what she wanted.
[00:45:51] Edwina: Yeah she knew. And I kept saying him I said I don’t care whether you don’t think she’s old enough, I’m like she knows. And then with his son, we had the same argument. She just should have been nine I think. With this son he got two hours supervised access a month, it had to be in a public place it had to be supervised, but he’s never once turned up anyway.
[00:46:10] So he would have only had 24 hours in a whole year, but he’s never once turned up. But then my health started failing and then I was diagnosed with a number of chronic conditions. And I do think that a lot of that is to do with me kind of I lived 10 years of just, I’ve got to carry on. I’m a mum, I’ve got to do what I need to do. I have got to go to work, I’ve got to go to uni. And I think eventually once it had stopped my body kind of caught up with me. It was like, look, you’ve been through too much. And then. Slowly between 2014 and 2018, I got quite poorly and ended up with a number of chronic conditions.
[00:46:46] Carla: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
[00:46:48] Edwina: Well, its all magically better now weirdly its all kind of gone away.
[00:46:54] Carla: Oh, that’s, that’s good. Yeah, because when you just, Oh, you’re on that mouse wheel. I bet you the whole time just kind of trying to get to the end of it, trying to get some, your kids somewhere safe. Yeah. Goodness.
[00:47:09] Edwina: It was just really weird. I thought now that everything around me is kind of better. my own body gave in.
[00:47:14] Carla: Oh, bless you. So, so what are you doing now, then? And where, where are, well, what are you doing in life now? Are you with anyone or?
[00:47:23] Edwina: Yeah, I have been with my partner now that I’m with, for coming up to three years.
[00:47:28] Carla: Oh, amazing.
[00:47:29] Edwina: Arianna is now fourteen. She’s launched her own little mini business, which was launched in COVID. So she makes things on paracord. In 2019, I joined the network marketing companies as well as been a social worker during the day. I also run my own team, I have my own business doing that. Very busy now.
[00:47:52] Carla: Amazing. Can you tell us a bit about what, what it is you do with your network marketing team? What, what it involves?
[00:47:58] Edwina: Yeah so everybody laughs because whilst I was quite unwell in the summer of 2018, I came across a crazy lady on Facebook that kept going on about this happy coffee as she called it. And I kept thinking shut up love coffee does not make people happy. She was quite a traditional network market. So was quite in my inbox. And in the end I was like, just send me a bit and I’ll try it. And then you’ll leave me alone. And she did send me a bit. And I fell in love with it and then whilst we can’t make any medical claims, a-lot of the natural ingredients in it helps with the chronic conditions that I’ve got, which is why I then, as I was getting better, decided do you know what I love this stuff so much and was still in a lot of debt their dad had left me in. I was like, maybe this is an opportunity to kind of learn how to build a business and to get out of some of this debt. So that’s what I did. Joined the business. Miraculously got a hell of a lot better. But, because I was looking into kind of how to do network marketing and how to run a business.
[00:49:01] I was listening to kind of positive podcasts and engaging with a lot more positive people. And I think that that’s what also helped me rather than me sat wallowing kind of wallowing in my own self pity. So I do think it was kind of a bit of both. And my mindset completely changed. And then that led to me sharing bits of my story with the weight loss. Cause I got up to 15 and a half stone because I was on a lot of medication, including some pretty nasty steroids, which caused me to put on the weight. So as the weight started falling off. I was sharing pictures of the scales. Now at this point I was. Like an empty shell of myself. So I’m comfortable living in hoodies and kind of hiding from the world, but I was sharing pictures of my scales as I was losing weight. And then it’s the weight started falling off, people enjoyed it. So they were following my story. And then obviously eventually I started to build a team.
[00:50:03] Joined MIB, which I’m a leader in now. And so through being a part of MIB I learned about like little bits of my story would come out and people were saying, you know, you should share it. And I was like, nobody wants to hear my story. And they were like, no, actually a lot of people could probably be helped. And as I shared little bits, some more people got in touch and said kind of how it helped them and how it was inspiring and things. At first I was really shocked and I was like, why does anybody want to listen to my story. And why is anybody interested in what happened to me? And that was when I started to write it out in bits of what had gone one and all of a sudden i thought you have actually been through quite a bit. And there is a reason people are listening. But, at first I was kind of, I think I thought that what I’d been through, everybody went through.
[00:50:48] Carla: Yeah, you don’t realize, do you, do you just kind of in your own zone aren’t you.
[00:50:53] Edwina: Yeah. Very much so. And then all of a sudden it was like, no, actually, by speaking out, if it helps one other person to, to realize that there is a better side of life than that, you don’t need to live through those things just because you think your kids need a mum and a dad. Little as I shared bits, more bits came out and that’s kind of how I built my business because everybody kind of followed my story as I kind of grew as a person really.
[00:51:21] Carla: Amazing. You’ve done so, so well, I love it. Absolutely love it. And it’s so, so important to share stuff like this, um, where, where possible, because it’s such a brave thing to share as well, because a lot of people will have been through this thing similar like this and, and probably won’t really want to kind of share it.
[00:51:39] And then people don’t realize do they, sometimes you could be in relationships where you don’t realize they’re an abuser and they’re so clever. Yeah. Um, about it, like, you know, they’re a charmer, you know, these people that, Oh, hello. How are you? You know, all nicely. Nice. And then behind closed doors, they’re very clever and very nasty people.
[00:52:00] Edwina: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s the thing and I didn’t quite realize how much he got inside my head and kind of. It was controlled even when he wasn’t there. And I think people see the financial control and the physical control and things like that, but I don’t think anybody actually really, unless you’ve been there understand, how much control they actually have. So it got to the point where everything I do, I think what would his reaction be? What will he say? If I do this, what will he do if I do this. I think that was the bit in the kind of looking back that really makes it the hardest is that you have to try and live your life through how we think somebody else might react.
[00:52:40] I once like, cause at first I didn’t tell my partner any thing about this and like little bits did come out and stuff. He’d said something one day I can’t remember what it was now, but I flipped on him and he was like, what was that all about? And thats when I clicked and I had to say to him look this thing, and this triggers me because I remember what he would do. And I was like, it, it kind of swung the other way. And I was like, no, it does stay with you. And you think you’ve got over it and you think it’s all like part of the past. But little bits, still try to sneak in.
[00:53:13] Carla: Yeah, and you probably get a bit defensive ready to take, like ready for the abuse you’re going to get, and then you forget. Oh no, no. Is it honestly, it’s been such an honour having you on here talking about that because it’s just so, so important. And is there any message that you would put out there to anyone that could be suffering from any of the things that. Um, you’ve been through, through the physical abuse, psychological financial sex, or sexual abuse. I mean, you’ve been through a lot. Is there, is there anything that you would advise anyone.
[00:53:45] Edwina: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is speak to people. So whilst you’re in that situation, and even if you, do, you are still at the point, where you are thinking, you know, th this is life and this is normal, and this is kind of what I have to live with, speak to people because there’s always somebody out there that can help you.
[00:54:03] And whilst at the time you do kind of feel, I was mortified even more so with being at uni and try to deal with it from the other side as well. But, there’s so many charities and things out there that. To help people like these. Like now I’m working with MIB and MIB are doing a big fundraiser at the moment for the charity called hopeful handbags.
[00:54:25] And that’s what that’s all about is working with people that have been in domestic abuse situations and are getting out of it because there isn’t enough services out there. But, there’s always something and a safe place for people. It’s just a case of, if you never tell anybody. Nobody will ever know. And just I was lucky so my son told a number of people afterwards that
[00:54:48] his daddy rolled his mummy down the stairs and that really hit me. Cause at that point, I thought he, one he’d normalised it as if that’s the norm. That’s what dads do. But it was kind of the realisation that if he had have rolled me down the stairs a little bit more, I could have been dead at the bottom of the stairs. And whilst I was sat thinking that the kids needed a mum and a dad, they would have actually had neither because he’d been sent to prison and I would have been dead so reach out and find them. Them people that, that can support that can help that can look out for you. I mean, there is always somebody.
[00:55:25] Carla: I think it’s important as well for anyone listening that has got, um, friends that do reach out to them, not to kind of push them into doing something because I think that’s sometimes is the fear of why people don’t want to tell people because people’s instant reaction is like, well, leave them. And then they don’t. They’re not ready to maybe hear that. And, um, and sometimes it’s just
[00:55:44] Edwina: Yeah it does more damage then good i think when you think that that that’s what they need to hear. And it it’s about supporting them to come to that decision there self. Because if you try and enforce that decision on someone else, you’re more likely to do it the other way, because then you, can you get that, I can get through this. I can do what I need to do, I will be fine. I think it’s a case of looking stuff. So like, making sure that you’ve got your mobile phone with you. So what I used to do, which was a trick that they taught me was to ring somebody whilst he was kicking off, mute the phone so that they couldn’t hear. So he couldn’t hear them and just put the phone in my pocket that way, if I had have ended up at the bottom of the stairs or something, somebody would have known.
[00:56:29] Carla: Yeah. Oh God, it sad that you, even had to think like that, but yeah, those types of things and, and I mean, just having someone that you can openly talk to and, um, just yeah, just share, share the experience with, because I imagine even admitting it to yourself is quite hard first. You don’t know you’re going through it until afterwards, and then. Um, I do think that that’s a lot of it as well, so w while you’re in it, you’re not talking about it because you don’t even know you’re in it. And then it’s only when you look back and you think shit, I actually didn’t realize, you know?
[00:57:04] Edwina: Yeah. And I think until people realize it themselves. So everybody else probably saw it long before me. Once I realised it, that was when it’s kind of people need supporting to realize it for themselves. So I was lucky that once domestic abuse services did get involved they kind of made an action plan with me. So kind of planning out what to happen in different eventualities. So we kind of made an action plan of how I would get out. So I’d keep the keys with me and I’d have the kids. Um, birth certificates were in my car and it was all things like that, you know, kind of protected. So that it, and the eventuality that did manage to get out all that things did get worse, kind of a safety option and a way of getting out.
[00:57:48] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. Do you find now that the people that you deal with in a similar situation to you, does it really frustrate you sometimes because then you think God, you could be where I am now and it’s a much better life.
[00:58:02] Edwina: I don’t tend to deal with many domestic abuse cases at all, cause it’s done quite separately by kind of domestic abuse charities. Which is good because I think it would be difficult to do but obviously I have supervision in my job. We do have ways of dealing with it, but most of it’s done by external charities and agencies.
[00:58:23] Carla: Mm. I think the thing for a lot of mums going through this as well, which obviously our podcast is, is mainly, you know, mum, listeners, I think, um, it’s when you’ve got children with someone, you fear that like, Oh my God, the child’s like split. It’s kind of who would get the house? How do you leave a home with children in? Like, where do you go? If you’re the one that wants to leave, do you have to leave the children then? There’s just so many things isn’t there that you just worry about. So speaking to a charity, then it’s going to kind of put that all in place for you. So you don’t have to worry about those kind of things.
[00:59:00] Edwina: Yeah. They were brilliant to be fair, and they supported me, like every step of the way. And they were kind of teaching me like, it is difficult if you’ve got a joint tenancy not going to lie. It’s very hard, but I was a little bit naughty so when he got his tendency. I offered to scan it for him, which meant I had a copy of his tenancy agreement, which meant my tenancy agreement was void with him on it.
[00:59:23] Carla: Oh, right. Yes.
[00:59:24] Edwina: Inadvertently, once I’d which somebody had told me about. So I, that’s why I was so keen to encourage him to get his flat so the minute he was on that tenancy. It meant he could no longer be on mine. So I could then get a tendency without him on. He voided it. I was in the house with the kids. So at that point it was the property was mine. Well, the tendency, was mine.
[00:59:45] Carla: Thank God. Well, that’s a good tip. Hopefully anyone listening who needs that. There you go.
[00:59:49] Edwina: Yeah, a little sneaky top. The thing is even if you have to walk away and it is hard to walk away from everything. So when we left, we couldn’t bring all the furniture and things but what we did in my head. I kind of rationalised that what could be worse if I didn’t leave. We didn’t have the sofa, I had the kids beds, that was about the majority of what we have it was kind of if we’d have stayed. Yeah. Okay. We would have had the furniture but we’d have had a life of hell. So I think no matter how much the house is worth or the stuff in the house is worth. You need to do what is going to keep yourself safe. Because no amount of bricks is going to kind of bring back if worst case scenario happens, is it,?
[01:00:31] Carla: No. And that that’s, you know, that could have been where it got to as well. Um, really it’s you just showed like how over 10 years, your, your situation just got progressively worse and worse and worse and where would it have ended? And that that’s the scary thing. Isn’t it?
[01:00:49] Edwina: Yeah, there is that and when I look back now, I do think what would have happened next? Because it just escalated and escalated. And I think if I hadn’t have done something. He would still be kicking the door down on a Friday.
[01:01:04] Carla: Oh God. Yeah. Bet you’re just so glad I bet you love, your little place now where you’re all like homely and nice and calm.
[01:01:12] Edwina: Yeah. Yeah. And your not wondering everything the door knocks, well nobody knocks now unless its the Amazon delivery driver.
[01:01:17]Carla: Oh yes. They knock on mine too many times, to be honest, especially at the moment.
[01:01:21] Edwina: Yeah, and you are trying to pretend, like I didn’t order anything else.
[01:01:25] Carla: Honestly, honestly, yeah. I hide things in my car actually for a while. And then I just sneak them into the wardrobe. Yeah.
[01:01:32] Edwina: Oh,I say oh its not mine its Ariana’s, she must have ordered it.
[01:01:39] Carla: Yes. Sorry about that. Yeah. Oh, brilliant. No Edwina. It’s been such a lovely hour speaking to you. I can’t believe it’s been an hour. Um, but thank you so much for sharing everything with us. And if you don’t mind sending me the links over, what we’ll do is we’ll put those on the show notes. Um, if anyone has any questions or want to speak to you about anything to do with this, are you happy for people to message you?
[01:02:04] Edwina: Yeah, definitely drop me a message. I’ll get back to as soon as I can and just know that there are people out there that will listen to you and the, that there is a better side of things. And I know, I know when I was at the bottom of everything, I was like, this is my life. This is what it is, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is always a better side, but yeah, feel free to reach out. Drop me a message. I’ll get back to you. As soon as I can and, even if I can’t help you at it. It’s nice to have somebody that kind of been in the same situation as you are, I think.
[01:02:36] Carla: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Um, we’ll put all a Edwina’s links on the show notes. So again, thank you so much Edwina
[01:02:46] Edwina: All right. Thank you very much. Yeah, it was lovely. And i just hope do you know what I mean, that if it helps one person then it’s worth speaking about
[01:02:53] Carla: It definitely wIll, I’m sure of it. Thank you.
[01:02:58] Thank you for listening to today’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. If you are a victim of abuse, please contact the domestic abuse national helpline on 0808 2000 247.