A letter to my 16 year old self

Dear Stacey,

You are 16 and currently at school. You are sitting in your science lesson watching the clock as it’s nearly home time. But unlike your friends you don’t want to leave school you want to stay – this is your safety.

The bell rings and you walk outside, he’s waiting there for you in his expensive BMW. All your friends tell you how jealous they are of you, and how lucky you are to have an older boyfriend. You smile, some of your friends are no longer talking to you because they are so jealous of the great relationship you have. But they don’t know what happens behind closed doors, they don’t know you are being beaten and raped by your ‘perfect’ older boyfriend on an almost daily basis. He blames you for the beatings he gives you, and the emotional abuse you occur on a daily basis. It’s all your fault, you wear revealing clothes, your jeans are too tight, your tops aren’t baggy enough so you change your style, and wear baggy clothes. A male friend of yours sees you when you're with this older boyfriend and says hello, but you get told 'wait till you get home,' you fear for what will happen so you ignore your friend. Your eyes are empty, you stare in the other direction.

You're having issues at home, your mum's abusive relationship with her partner has broken down. Your mum turns to alcohol and verbally abuses you. You want to die, you want to hurt yourself so much, you turn to food, you sneak food into your room and eat and eat. It makes you feel better for that night. Your mum comes in and she’s drunk she starts to call you names, calls you fat, a troublemaker, a call worker knowing you have only been with your boyfriend. You get angry and she hits you. You leave the house and run to your abusive boyfriend’s house. He loves that you have no one other than him. You just want to be secure, you just want to be loved and wanted, you want someone to love you so badly. You crave it so much!

Your mum keeps asking you to leave the house, you are now studying for your A-levels and just want a normal life. You move in with your boyfriend, he’s so nice, you even go shopping together, he cooks and makes you feel amazing for the first couple of days. Then your tired and want to go sleep, he has different plans, you ask him to stop as your tired, he doesn’t care, you try to stop him but he beats you up and forces you to do things you don’t want to do. But it’s all your fault you should have said yes he says.

He locks you in his room, no food or toilet, while he goes out with his friends to eat. You get the strength to climb out the window but you have no clothes - he took them too. But you don’t care, after 3 years of abuse you have had enough, you need to get out as he has promised that when he gets back he’s going to kill you. And you know he will, he tried to before but your mum walked in whilst he nearly strangled you to death. You escape and run to the shop at the bottom of the road, he drives past and see’s you, he drags you back to the house and it starts all over again…..

You tell your mum he hits you but not everything as you're embarrassed. It has taken you 3 years to tell someone, she tells you that sometimes it’s your fault because you argue with everyone. You agree.

You have had enough, you leave, he turns up at your school with a gun and threatens to kill your little sister, so you go back. You can’t leave him as he said he will kill your family so you stay. You start cutting yourself, he walks in and sees you and laughs. You are so numb, blank, empty inside you couldn’t care less what happens to you know. 

You are almost completely numb and think about killing yourself.

But Stacey stop darling, don’t give up, it’s almost over. By September you will find the internal strength to make a decision, and in April you leave your mum's house after she keeps kicking you out and abusing you. You sleep in horrible bedsits but honey it’s ok because you don’t have people who want to hurt you around you anymore.

After the birth of your daughter you put yourself through college and University, studying to be a Social Worker. While studying you meet your amazing husband, a man who cherishes you, protects you, loves you for who you are.

You have two beautiful children who you cherish and couldn’t live without and will own your own house. That animal will go to prison and you would see him twice more, and yes you are petrified but you stand tall and walk past him.

I’m sorry you have the scars darling, you were a baby, you will still wake up after having a nightmare about him, or be scared to do certain things. You craved love and security, but you are a fighter, you are one strong women!

Now go and live your life with your soul mate and your two bubba’s. You are loved….. 💜

Stacey