This post is by Beck Ballantyne. It takes courage and strength to share what happened in her life. I'm so proud of her for being able to take a stand and let others know what she went through. She still has flash backs, but I believe is on her way to complete freedom from her chains.
A great way to move past your past, is by facing it. Coming to terms with what really happened in your life is so important for healing, even when that truth is extremely hard to bare. I applaud her for being so open and honest with what really happened.
Thank you for this opportunity in giving me a voice. I have been quiet for 37 total years of my life, and now I can speak.
Recently I was just diagnosed with POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. Hands up all those who would attribute this to being in a war zone, for example?? I know I did. I inherited this diagnosis from my own brothers.
My traumas began with my abusive brothers. I grew up in a strictly religious environment, attended church regularly on a Sunday, our family had strong gender based roles in the house. My brothers would sit on the couch for example, while I was made to do the dishes.
At nine years of age I was introduced to my first Trauma. My older brother taught me to perform oral sex on him on a daily basis for six weeks. On my informing my parents of this matter, it was immediately stopped.
To this day, I have very clear images in my head of my brother that nothing can erase.
I soon learnt that as a female in a religious household, I had no voice. My experience was minimized, I had started to be called a ‘’liar’’ by both my brothers on a daily basis from the age of 9. They changed the details of the abuse and told me it happened when I was 13. Etc.
Coming from this environment I married my husband/abuser at the old age of 20. I had just turned 20 by three months.
Being in a church environment, we were encouraged to marry at a young age.
There followed 15 years of tight abusive control. I was constantly accused of cheating (although innocent for many years) I was told I was ugly every single day of my marriage, I had no money to spend, although he would buy big ticket items for himself. I had to buy the jam he liked only. Clothes had to be approved by him, etc. I was physically punched seven times, and he cut my credit card every time I tried to leave. I was sent to my parents house to sleep for a night, when I had ‘’disgraced’’ him. The horror of this is that my parents never saw anything wrong with me being sent back to them in disgrace, even as a married mother. He cheated on me countless times, although he would never admit he was on dating sites. I was constantly sick with uti’s and infections. My health has improved dramatically post separation. Ón leaving he screamed he was ‘’going to kill me.’’
I endured stalking, surveillance, blackmail, requests on going for sex, until the restraining order came into place. My reputation was crushed by my ex-husband by all who knew me in the church, etc. When it was put into place I was the one blamed for it being there naturally.
He ‘’had to leave his job’’ when I was having our second daughter, because he cheated on me in hospital. He ‘’got to close to someone at work.’’
When I was bleeding after our third child, and required life-saving surgery, he ‘’went home because he was tired.’’ He wasn’t looking after our other two, my mum had them. I have never forgiven him for going home before knowing if I were dead or alive that night.
The psychologist has said that my brother broke my wing, I was put into a cage by my other brother for life, and the key was turned, and on my marriage he bequeathed that key to my husband, with adurations no doubt to keep the reckless, lying whore under strict and complete control.
Then came the diagnosis for me of a tumor that would grow from my left breast, and wrap around my vital organs, killing me slowly if left untreated. A rare desmoid tumor.
I sat there in the Hospital waiting for surgery, desperately unhappy with my abuser by my side. He was only there because he HAD to be there, not because he wanted to be. A switch flicked in my brain and I knew I was going to leave him when I could.
Twenty four hours after I was given the all clear, my dad was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor in 2015 and given twelve weeks to live. He lasted eight.
In my grief at my husband’s infidelity, lack of compassion and emotional incapacity, I had turned to a friend for two years. I left his messages on my phone for my husband to find. I knew that he would think it was ok for him to cheat, but NOT me.
With the help of Eastern Domestic Violence Center I escaped my ghastly marriage and despite strong opposition from my brothers managed to remain free of my marriage. I successfully Sole Divorced him through the courts, as he would not sign the papers.
He believed it was okay for his wife and children to be out of the mortgaged property while he stayed in it.
On my first shop post leaving him, I stood at the jam shelf staring, as I did not know what sort of jam I liked to eat. Such was the tight control I had been living in.
I reentered the church (different location) after having been ‘’expelled’’ in disgrace by the hand of my own brother. I attended another church. As I was constantly hit on by the married men in the church due to my perceived disgrace at being a single divorced mother, I left the church in disgust. I experienced actual sexual assault on a Sunday morning by a ‘’so called’’ respectable man who thought it was ok to flick my bra at church in full view of everyone.
I am now single, FREE and financially secure in my own rental property. I will be receiving treatment for PTSD for a long time. But NOW, NOW I AM FREE. I still believe in God and Christ, just not church. Beck
Rachel Everhart RN