For 2 and a half years, I was in an mentally and physically abusive relationship.
At just 18 years old I though I had meet the man of my dreams. We moved down south so I could study full time. For 2 years while we lived down there my partner had no job at all. I wasn't eligible for a student allowance so the only way we survived was from the help of both our parents and my living costs, which gets added to your student loan.
The longer we went on like this the worse he got. He spent his whole day playing video games, and smoking drugs while I studied all day. He became controlling, I wasn't allowed to hang with my friends, I wasn't allowed to contact anybody apart from family. I could barely take our dogs for a walk without some sort of argument. I slowly lost myself. I used to be a fun loving, bubbly and courageous person. I turned into someone who would not eat, would not argue, and would do what I was told to keep the peace. I thought there was no way out. I lived 3 hours from my parents. I had no car, no money and no confidence to leave. I tried to convince everyone I was fine but everyone could see right through it.
Eventually everything became worse. He started selling my stuff to fund his drug habit. He started forcing me to drink just so I would sleep with him (I now no longer drink because of this). He attacked our dogs and while i was away for a week at my parents, my kitten I had only had a week and was not sick suddenly "died". I never got to say goodbye to him. He carved up our coffee table with a knife while yelling at me telling me that I had to take a certain course the following year so that I could make lots of money. I was terrible at the particular subject and had no interest in it so wasn't willing to take it when there were other classes I wanted to pursue. He began to push me around and force himself on me. He punched my younger brother in the face one evening. He pulled me by my hair. He even cut my arm with a knife while drying the dishes and I was washing.
The worst night is where it finally all came to a head..
One evening, I gained the courage to ask if I could go and play board games with my friends. He actually said I could and I told him he should go and hang with his friends for the evening. After enjoying my night away, my friends dropped me off home. I walked in and found my partner lying on the couch covered in blood. I walked in and asked what happened. He was drunk as well. He told me his friends had ganged up on him and pushed him onto a glass coffee table. He then turned round and told me that I had set him up. That I told his friends to do that to him. He started yelling and smashing things so I ran out the back door. I just kept running down the street. I eventually ducked into a yard a few houses down and cried. I could hear him yelling for me. But he couldn't see me. He took off in his car so I went back to the house to make sure all the animals where ok. I hid all 3 dogs and my new kitten in our spare room and locked the door. I locked every door and window in the house and rung the police. As I was on the phone to them he came back up the drive in his car. He was standing outside the glass door yelling, telling me to let him in. He threatened to kill me and stab me. Then he would beg and say he was so sorry. I told the police what he was wearing and then he took all his clothes off presuming they then wouldn't be able to catch him. He reversed back out the drive way, taking out half his car up against the side of the house and took off. The police arrived finally (it felt like it took a lifetime) and they asked me a few questions. He turned back up and a police officer kept him outside away from me. He kept begging and telling them he did nothing wrong. He kept asking if he could just come and talk to me. I eventually gave permission for him to come inside and say something. He asked me ( and i will never forget this) "if i was really going to do this to him?" and that was the moment I broke from his mind tricks, and said "yes".
He went to court 3 days later. He got 3 months home detention, and numerous fines (only because he had been previously convicted of assault with intent to injure before). They told me not to go to the court and watch but I had to. I had to watch him get justice for the 2 years of pain and misery he put me through. I filled for a protection order and have not seen him since.
Now your probably wondering what I actually need help with. Well its been 6 years since I left him and I now have the best partner in the world. We live together, we have built a life together. I have gotten rid of my past. I have been to numerous counselling sessions, woman's refuge, plus multiple break downs and medications. But i'm still stuck with one thing. I giant student loan.
My loan was only ever meant to be 3 grand for 3 years (SIT - zero fees). Because he promised to work but lost his job after 2 months, I had to receive living costs to survive. over 2 years this racked up my student loan to over 14,000. After working full time for 6 years and earning decent money, I have only managed to pay off 6,000 of it. I have done multiple calculations and i'm still going to be stuck with this debt for another 5 years. I'm going to be over 30 before I am truly done with this. I chuck every extra cent I earn onto this loan, but with the cost of living so high, I have practically nothing left to get rid of this loan. It will be 10 years after i left him but i'm still dealing with him. I payed for my misery but yet i'm still dealing with it today. My partner wants to move overseas and work but I cant leave the country until its paid otherwise The interest gets put on. I cant have children otherwise I wont be paying this loan off and will continue to be stuck with it. And i don't want to bring a child into a life that i cant afford to give them what they deserve. I truly have no other option to deal with this loan. But for my own life to move forward from my ugly past, I need to get rid of this as quick as possible. Not only though did he leave me with a student loan debt, but he also left me with nothing. He broke and ripped my clothes, my possesions, and this then created more debt. In total to get where I need to be to pay off all this debt is $12000. Its so much to ask for but until then I cannot get rid of my past. Maybe after then I can really start to heal and start looking towards the future.
Mental and physical abuse are a real thing that a lot of people in this country deal with. But most of the time, the struggle after the abuse can be just as hard as the abuse itself.
I appreciate and thank you from the bottom of my heart for anything you can help me with. Help me move on. Help me get past this ugly part of my life.
And to anyone else out there going through abuse, Just remember, I got through it, So can you. Fight for yourself and don't ever give up.