Category Archives: McDad

See It – Speak It

Today has started off badly. Work has been stressful for the last six months but I’ve been coping. The difficulties this morning are less about work stress and more about the effect last night’s BBC3 drama Murdered By My Boyfriend has had on my peace.

BBC3 Murdered By My Boyfriend

Murdered By My Boyfriend charts the four years leading up to the death of a 21 year old mother. It starts when the bubbly confident 17 year old Ashley (Played by Georgina Campbell) meets the older good-looking Reece (Royce Pierreson) who would eventually brutally beat her with his fists and an ironing board, while their toddler looks on before leaving her to die on their bedroom floor.

It is based on the true story of Casey Brittle who was murdered by Sanchez Williams.

Writer Regina Moriarty skilfully and knowledgeably charts how the fun and loving relationship moves through the various stages of domestic violence and emotional abuse. It was superbly delivered by the actors and resonated with my relationship with McDad so much that the perpetrator even said, word for word, some of the things that McDad has said to me from the other side of the sofa.

As I watched the show I followed the twitter feed for #MurderedByMyBoyfriend. I was so shocked by the lack of understanding and the amount of victim blaming. The demographic most likely to suffer from domestic violence are females aged between 16-24 but on the feed it seems to be the demographic most vicious in the blaming of the victim.

Tweets referred to Ashley as stupid, an idiot, weak and many said that love wouldn’t make them stay in a situation like that.

If nothing else what became clear was the complete lack of understanding and empathy in relation to the victims of domestic violence.

For a long time I have been ashamed of speaking out about the level of violence and emotional abuse that I suffered at the hands of McDad.

This is mostly due to victim blaming; and that was mostly from other women. When a woman says to me ‘I would have never have let a man treat me that way’ I understand how little they understand because before I met McDad I used to say that.

Just as in the BBC3 Drama, McDad never laid a finger on me until I was 6 months pregnant. Looking back the emotional abuse had started in subtle ways; unreasonable jealousy, movement checking, subtle put downs.

There was a moment where Ashley screams in her head. That was a moment I experienced but not in my head. I screamed and screamed and begged him to leave, to stop destroying not only me but the children, friendships and every waking day.

He hugged me and smirked.

He also referred to my body size and ‘insecurities’. He advised me to stop getting myself into these states.

Domestic violence happens everywhere. Household with domestic violence are not defined their pay packet, colour, culture, level of education or ages of the occupants. McDad and I are university educated, earned four times the national average wage combined, were senior NHS managers and I was in my 30’s.

I was confident, well travelled, intelligent and feisty. I had a lovely network of friends and was never short of money. McDad came along and eroded all those aspects of my life, slowly chipping away at my self esteem and confidence. By the time the first punch came I was six months pregnant, about to go on maternity leave and living with him.

And I was mentally exhausted.

Utterly spent.

Stages of abuse

Almost two years followed of being spat on, kicked, punched and strangled to the point of losing consciousness, quite often in front of the toddler.

Like Cassey Brittal, who called the police 11 times for help, ten years ago I just couldn’t find the support I needed to get out of that relationship. I called the police on 5 different occasions, I walked in to a police station twice with visible bruising and in a state of shock and distress while barefoot and carrying my year old baby.

I spent days frantically trying to find a refuge or help but was refused by five domestic violence charities because I would not give up my job at the NHS. It was the last thing he was yet to destroy and I wanted to be able to provide for my daughters as a single parent but I was told in no uncertain terms that if I did not cut all ties including my job I could not enter a shelter in case he followed me there.  It was on me to move from the home that I had built long before I met him, my job, my family and my friends if I wanted help.

There was no onus on him stopping; it was all about me escaping.

Finally I woke up one morning and decided that I had to get a better life for my daughters. When his next attack came I locked myself in the bathroom and called the police. When they arrived he was detained and arrested. I took the rest of the day to pack up all his things and asked the police to collect them. At the station I had to go through the ordeal of stripping down so that my injuries could be photographed. When I was examined by the police doctor she told me, that she could never understand why a bright ‘girl’ like me would be stupid enough to stay with a man like that. Had I not been at a point where I was determined I would probably have walked out of the station there and then fully shamed by her comment and perhaps not called upon the police for the next couple of incidents.

In the months leading up to the court case, he would ring my phone and be abusive or turn up and try to kick in my door. He pleaded not guilty but changed his plea to guilty after seeing that I did turn up to give evidence.

He and his lawyer were sure I would drop out.

The guilty plea meant that I never got to stand up in court and my voice was never heard. The police managed to lose the photographs of my injuries and despite assurances from the police of a custodial sentence he received a fine and was ordered to stay away from me.

I received no compensation and so had to find the money to put a door frame back in, replace the front door and repair all the damage he had done to the flat.

Clearly the beating he gave me (despite his previous convictions for violent assault on other people), the jewelry and precious things he stole, destruction and damage he did to the home of myself and the children, was not enough for the courts.

He would have to hurt me to the point of more permanent damage before they would really deal with it seriously.

Of course he was in my street as I walked home from work less than one week after sentencing. I reported the breach of his bail conditions a further 3 times that month but he was never arrested and brought to account.

As time went on he would used the excuse of wanting to see his daughter to try to excerpt control over myself and her.

I’ve spent my time rebuilding myself to the point where if he so much as calls me a name I now call the police. But even so he was still threatening to kill me as recently as May 2013 in the very public forum of my daughter’s school hall.

This started for me at the age of 32 and I was bought so low that I thought of suicide.  The police had no powers and some awful attitudes toward the victims of domestic violence and ultimately a man who already had a string of violent offences was convicted of aggravated assault, breaking and entering with violence and criminal damage still walked off with a slap on the wrists.

I have found that family and friends don’t really want to hear about it. People find it uncomfortable and that leave the victim feeling ashamed and afraid to speak out. apparently after all this time I should no longer be angry or dwell on it, I should be over it by now. I have even been told that I should forgive him.

As if he is no longer an abuser.

These attitudes go along with the victims fear of the abuser and works well in the abusers favor. It aides the victims isolation.

I cannot imagine how a 17 year old can see a way out of such abuse.

How can someone who has never experienced the slow chipping away at their sanity, confidence and self worth understand? If twitter users are to be taken seriously most people cant and don’t want to understand.

I count myself lucky, even though McDad still has moments of trying to control,as I’m still alive, if he had held his hands around my neck a little longer i may not be, if he had hit me over the head with the bottle………. The bruises and breaks have healed and I worked long and hard on repairing my emotional stability.

But 2 women in the UK are killed every week.

Every single week.

Why is this not given the focus it deserves?

Casey Brittal was not so fortunate. May she rest in peace.

——————————————————————————————————-

If you are a victim of domestic violence please seek help, speak to someone.

http://www.womensaid.org.uk

http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk

http://www.refuge.org.uk

 

 

McDad- The Bully

http://wp.me/p3tJrr-2q

McDad – Still An Abuser; 

http://wp.me/p3tJrr-2H

McDad – Asserting Himself; 

http://wp.me/p3tJrr-4E

McDad- A Tweet- A decision; 

http://wp.me/p3tJrr-5P

McDad; Twisted Logic; 

http://wp.me/p3tJrr-9B

McDad 6 months on;   

http://wp.me/p3tJrr-dx

Murdered By My Boyfriend Trailer; 

 

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Everyday Is for The Thief

He has dug a pit and hallowed it out and fallen into the hole which he made. His mischief will return upon his own head and his violence will descend upon his own pate ~ Psalms 7:15-16

 

You can run but you can't hide!

You can run but you can’t hide!

There is a Yoruba proverb that goes ‘everyday is for the thief but one day is for the owner’

It loosely translates as; you can get away with things for ages but eventually you’ll get caught and pay the price.

Well it, at one point, seemed that McDad would be paying the piper or as they are better known the CSA.

Here in the UK the Child Support Agency (CSA) are tasked to find absent parents and force them to pay maintenance for their children.

Super-Gran informed me way back in August 2013 that McDad now had a fairly decent job and that his girlfriend had advised him not to pay for his daughters upkeep if she refused see him.  Apparently he totally agreed with this and wouldn’t be supporting his kid despite that fact that it was his violent actions that led to her refusal.

Super-Gran advised me to do whatever I needed to do to ensure that our daughter was provided for with the information she had given me.

I called the CSA and gave them an update.

In November McDad bumped into one of my brothers and boasted how he now had a great job, just walking distance from where both my office and my brothers chambers are.

Naturally my solicitor brother, MrB, was more than disgusted that a man could be primping and puffing himself up like a peacock over a job but not feel the need to provide for his child. MrB reminded that I’m resourceful and if I really tried I could find the name and address of his office.

True to form after an hour of a concentrated internet search I had the name and address of the company he worked for and had rang the CSA to update them.

On Tuesday the 21st of January I called to see if their was any progress and a very helpful lady filled me in. They had called and written to him and eventually they contacted his employer and asked for a breakdown of his earnings. Their office was waiting for the information before making a judgement on how much of his income he would have to pay as maintenance.

On February 10th  I got shocking news! I had a message from the CSA to call them back which I did. It transpires that they have received the information from his employers and have made their final decision.

He should be paying hundreds in maintenance each month!

But as I first called them about the issue almost 9 months ago they will be back dating the claim!

He officially owes thousands in back maintenance!

If he does not make a direct debit arrangement they will order his employer to remove the monthly amount plus a further amount to cover the back pay directly from his wage before he receives it.

Basically he has no choice other than to pay what he owes; willingly or by force.

Now  its April 2014  and I called the CSA for an update. It seems neither employer nor McDad have made maintenance payments and the case is being referred to the CSA’s legal enforcement team.

Now whatever happens the amount the CSA have determined as owed by McDad will be an outstanding debt he owes. This will follow him to any employment he has in the future but how does that matter if he is not made to pay up?

I totally understand why women eventually give up dealing with officialdom. How many calls should I make and how many letters should I write before I just stop hoping for a favourable outcome for my daughter?

Why has it been almost a year since referral to the CSA, an official  government department, without resolution?

Why bother?

mcdad1

McDad; Six Months On

15th October 2013

Tomorrow is Inny’s 11th birthday.

We marked it on Saturday with an amazing day out for her and nine of her friends. Bowling, dinner and back to ours for cake and a wii dance off.

Super Gran came over in the evening and dropped off cards and gifts from the family.

It was a lovely, peaceful, fun filled day.

When we got home from yet another school open evening there were a couple of cards on the mat. The first was from our lovely neighbours a few doors down.

The second was from McDad.

Six months of silence and the card was a gush of ‘I love your’ and ‘you are the most important person in my life’ it also contained a gift card for H&M.

Inny burst into tears upon reading it.

I gave her a hug and asked her if she would like to start seeing him again. I reassured her that it would be okay if she wanted too and asked her why she was crying.

She asked me to get rid of the card and told me that she did not want to see him because he was so mean.

I let her know that when she is ready she could see him.

After a few minutes she was calm and cracking a joke before going off to get ready for bed.

Just before retiring she leaned over the bannister with the gift card in her hand and said, ‘we’ll call this compensation for a start!’

As they say what does not kill us makes us stronger.

She’s got the makings of a smart, strong woman going on already.

McDad: Asserting Himself

Today I received a letter from the Family Mediation service. McDad has approached them because ‘he feels mediation may be helpful in resolving differences between’ you.

Apparently he thinks this is a good idea.

Actually this is less about access to his child and more about asserting control. For the last 10 years I have encouraged him to be involved and he has chosen not to. He has not actually asked to see her in over a year! He preferred to see her if and when she happened to be at his mothers.

Now for the pleasure of mediation I am expected to pay £65.00 for the initial session, £120-140.00 per subsequent sessions and £100.00 per document.

As he is unemployed he will receive some kind of legal aid.

Now, what exactly are we going to mediation about? I presume it’s his access to his child and that we all should just ignore his aggressive violent nature and let him take this kid unsupervised.

So where do I go from here?

Is mediation mandatory?

Is it even a good idea?

McDad; Still an abuser

Firstly let me start by issuing you a warning;

If you are offended by foul language please do not read this post.

I’ve decided to write the follow up to yesterday’s post ‘McDad; The Bully’. It essentially the interaction that took place yesterday which prompted the first in what may well become the McDad series.

One of my abusers methods was to keep me silent and separated from friends and family. He did this to some extent to his siblings who feel they have to be loyal. So relationships could not be formed and he could behave as he pleased. In his current relationship, whilst I can not say whether he has been violent to his partner he has certainly encouraged separation between her, his family, his daughter and me; he has repeated this pattern.

If one woman, or man, who is currently living through the hell and torture of domestic violence finds some strength, comfort or avenue to express themselves because of my posts I will have achieved something. And I am here if you want a let your experience out. Message me and I will listen.

domviol

Please bear in mind that the last time I was in the same space as McDad or spoke to him was on December 18th 2012 also at a school event.

I have in that time sent him 2 emails asking whats happening with his payments.

No build up. Let’s get straight to the incident.

Yesterday was my daughters, Inny, class’s turn to present the school assembly. It was based on Africa, mostly water purification. She put a great deal of effort into remembering the lines that she had been given, learning the songs and collecting all the African out fits she owned so that other children were dressed the part. She managed to rustle up 10 outfits and I found something suitable for her teacher too!

They all looked fabulous, sang beautifully and delivered their lines with humor.
I arrived on time and took my seat in the front row.

She had invited McDad who arrived with his mother, affectionately known in our house as ‘Super-gran’, 5 minutes into the performance.

Once the performance was over the rest of the school filed out leaving the 30 performers, their parents and a few teachers to mingle and take pictures. Which we all did.

Super-gran took the opportunity to say hi to a few other parents that she had not seen in a while and Inny was running round the hall with her brightly dressed friends.

I approached McDad and this is the conversation that followed;

Hi, can I have a quick word

WHAT (aggravated)

What’s happening with maintenance money? McDad has not contributed anything in 2013 so far.

WHAT THE FUCK! I TOLD YOU I DONT HAVE A JOB!

(Fact; he has not told me this. His last communication regarding money was in November 2012 when he said he was having an issue with a supplier)

Okay so you don’t have a job but you should still communicate and keep me updated.

‘WHAT! WHEN I CALL YOUR PHONE DO YOU ANSWER?!’

McDad 9 times out of 10 when you call Inny snatches up the phone and you have a quick conversation, you have never ever asked her to give the phone to me so that you can have a word.

ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION, DO YOU ANSWER THE PHONE?

grabface

Have you ever asked to speak to me?

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY THE FUCK DON’T YOU CALL ME?

I don’t think that I should have to chase you for anything; I’m bringing her up single handed and pay for everything for our child. It is not my responsibility to chase you around to do your part.

YOU FUCKING FAT FUCKING CUNT! LOOK AT YOU, YOU FAT BITCH! WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!

I’m the responsible parent (monotone) not the absent McDonalds dad.

AND WHAT! FUCKING FAT CUNT. YOURE ALONE YOU WILL ALWAYS BE ALONE, ALL MY FAMILY HATES YOU, EVERYONE HATES YOU, YOURE GOING TO DIE ALONE. I TEACH MY DAUGHTER ABOUT FAMILY AND ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS. WHAT ARE YOU BUT A FAT CUNT BITCH? YOU’LL DIE LONELY. I’M GOING TO FUCK YOU UP.

I moved some steps back and he fronted up to me pushing me with his chest and leaning down to whisper in my ear. I’m 5’ 6’’ and he is 6 foot. He was pacing away from me in a circle coming back and hissing obscenities down on me through clenched teeth.

DIE BITCH

I’m no saint and can be passive aggressive so I smiled

These things don’t hurt me the way they used too. Why would they coming from a 3 times convicted criminal who does not provide for his child and can’t hold a job? There’s nothing you can say anymore. I’m just asking you to provide for your child

Then I walked away and went over to his mother. I told her that I was no longer going to have this man anywhere near me or my daughter ever again.

She pulled me in to a corner and I explained what was going on. He then came over and grabbed hold of his mothers’ elbow and tried to pull her towards the door. I asked him to let go of her to which he replied

FUCK OFF YOU FAT BITCH!

As all of this was going on children were running round the hall, parents taking photos. One woman even walked between us as I was moving away from him and her face was a vision of shock at the things he was saying.

I have no doubt in my mind that if we had been out on the street he would have punched me out.

His mother was shocked to say the least. I have told her in the past of his violence but she had never truly witnessed it. She pushed him out of the hall and led me out into the playground.

She was distressed to say the least and we talked for some time then I made my way home.

She called me later to say that when he had calmed down he asked her to drive to pick him up and to bring him over to my home to that we could ‘talk’. She refused.

She came over later in the evening and asked if she could bring him over on Sunday to talk.

I am very clear that I never want him in my home again. I don’t want him near my child ever again.

What has this man got to teach my child?

He is an abuser.

He is violent, verbally, emotionally and physically.

How much longer before he starts to display aggressive behavior to my daughter who approaching the difficult pre-teen years?

As he was strutting around the hall like some caged raging beast with nearly no self-control I asked myself if this man has a mental health problem?

Does he readers?

Or is thinking that letting him off lightly?

Am I wrong to stop her going too Super-Grans for the odd weekend? If I allow her to go there he will turn up and bully his mother into letting him take her out.

I have endured 10 years of intermittent abuse down the phone or his horrible emotional abusive logic. I’ve allowed him to attend birthday parties in my home and after episodes of this kind of behavior have not turned him away. All for the sake of my child being able to maintain a relationship with this man.

When what I should have done was sign the injunction papers that fateful day 10 years I go and ensured that if he came any where near us again he was arrested on the spot.

Certainly this man will not change.

Update; I was advised by my solicitor and a close friend who works with children and family social care to report this incident to the police. I thought it was too late to do that but they both said that it was never too late and for my own protection. I did that yesterday the police were very helpful. The officer asked me to call them if he comes anywhere near me and my children what so ever. It like a weight off my shoulders.

McDad, the bully.

I have a daughter turning 11 this year. Her father and I parted ways when she was a year or so old.

During our relationship he was manipulative, violent, aggressive and a serial cheat.

Now you may wonder how I can to be with this poor excuse of a man in the first instance?

Well the description above conjures up certain images.

Abuse

What it probably does not bring up is a well-dressed, suited and booted middle class, law graduate with a master’s degree in marketing, working as a business manager for the NHS earning £40+

That’s who I initially went on a date with.

The manipulative violent guy didn’t show up until I was five months pregnant. We had been shopping and were driving back home talking about work. I had disagreed with a management strategy he was thinking of using and he decided that I was wrong and punched me in the side of the head, then then drove me to a dark remote council estate and kicked me out of the car without out my bag and drove off.

Over the next 2 years he punched, kicked repeatedly until I could not stand, strangled, spat on, threw things at and yelled abuse at me and trashed our home repeatedly. Often in front of our little girl. He wore me down emotionally and physically; even boasting that he had ‘beat me like i was some bloke down the pub’

It transpired that most of the times were him manipulating arguments so that he could go off in a huff and ‘stay at his mums’ for the weekend.

Stay at his mums equated to staying with the latest girl on the side.

cycle of violence

In the time I lived with him I changed from a healthy contented, confident woman to a friendless, shattered shadow of myself. I lost all confidence.

I often looked back and asked how I let all of it happen. The answers are simple.

I was scared. I was tired. I was financially tied to this creep.

But mostly I was ashamed.

Ashamed that it was happening to me.

Ashamed that this was the father of my child.

Ashamed of him.

I had tried to leave a year earlier. I desperately called various shelters and domestic violence groups. All told me that they would help but only if I cut myself off and this included leaving my job. The rational was that he could follow me to the shelter. Another charity told me that they cold not help me as I had a good job and should simply rent somewhere. As did hackney council.

Now I was willing to move but I was not willing to give up a job that I had worked hard in and moved up the ranks to end up a statistic in the benefits system. I went back home that night and pretended that I had not spend 7 hours phoning every charity or help line I could think of begging for help.

Once I walked bare foot to the local police station with my half-dressed child in my arms and broke down. But I didn’t press charges. Again I went home.

Finally after reporting him to the police several times I found the strength to see the process all the way to the court date.

I knew that I, as a parent owed my daughters a safe and happy life. This wasn’t it. I had to get them away from him.

vinthehome

I eventually found the strength to press charges against him and he was convicted of breaking and entering with excessive violence, criminal damage and aggravated assault. Lesser charges of theft were dropped.

Going through the process though answered a lot of questions about why women with draw their complaints. The police doctor treated me like some kind of idiot. She rolled her eyes, spoke down at me and I over heard her saying derogatory things about me to an officer.
Photo’s of the injuries, that I had suffered the humiliation of stripping off for, were lost and not available for court.
The final insult was that he got away with a small fine and broke his conditions by turning up at my home, several times, within days, shouting abuse but was not re-arrested and I had to pay for securing the flat and correcting the damage he had caused.

Over the 10 years that have passed, though he also lives in London, he has not had much involvement in our daughters upbringing. There was a school term where he was coming over and taking her to school a few years ago but this ended when he got a job (for which I gave him a reference)……………….. he didn’t bother to let us know that he wouldn’t be turning up……….he just didn’t.
Also during this period he’s had 5 different jobs. Four of which I’ve given him references for. And been sacked from all of them

And he has not supported her financially for almost half of the 10 years. No support at all during 2013 so far. But worse still is no communication. He doesn’t think that he should keep us updated on if or when maintenance will or won’t be coming from him.

So a man with all this time on his hands must devote a good portion of that to being involved in the care of his child. Right?

Errrrm no.

My daughter only sees him if she goes to stay at her paternal grandmothers’ for the weekend.

He paternal grandma has been a true blessing in our lives. She has been a consistent help and is always ready to chip in when it comes to the picking up or dropping off duties or the looking after her when she’s off school sick.

He father is what we English call a McDonalds Dad or as I prefer a McDad.

‘McDad’ Definition; ‘a man who sees his child infrequently and with whom activities mostly involve a movie and a meal at a fast food joint. He may occasionally turn up at a school play, birthdays, Christmas but carries out no parental duties or responsibilities.

It’s took a long time to build my confidence up and get myself to a happy place but a couple of years after we parted I woke one morning realizing it was over and my strength had returned.

My daughter thrives and is a lovely child. In fact both my children are kind and giving, thoughtful and intelligent. Despite the rough start.

The charity Womens’ Aid statistics reveal that 1 in 4 women in the UK will be victims of current or former partners in their lifetimes and 2 women a week are killed by a current or former male partner.

Being that I have seen the loss of self-control and the murderous hateful look in his eyes, I know things could have turned out differently.

(I was prompted to write this post after an awful verbal assault from McDad, who I haven’t seen since December 2012, this morning at my daughters school assembly. I will go on to write about that later as I think I’m not up to it emotionally at the moment. I’m in total shock that anyone would be have that way in public talk less of in a school hall with children running around. It’s been a rough day and i feel extremely weak.) (Please forgive any grammatical errors)

For a better understanding or domestic violence or for support please see the links below;
http://www.refuge.org.uk
http://www.womensaid.org.uk
http://gu.com/p/3eady