I was 17 when I fell pregnant to my ex. I wanted to leave him because he was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive. But I believed my daughter needed both a mum and a dad to raise her, so I stayed.
When I was pregnant, my ex would hit me and strangle me. I’m very grateful that none of what happened to me while I was pregnant caused me to miscarry.
When I gave birth to my daughter, Aroha, I was 18 and in hospital. Abuse was normal to me and I didn’t know any different. However, the midwives in the hospital knew about my ex’s past history and records.
When I registered my girl for a birth certificate, I listed my ex as the biological dad. As a result, Child, Youth and Family Support (CYFS) were called. They removed my baby girl. She was only three days old.
It’s now over a year and I’m only allowed to see her twice a week for an hour each visit. During these visits, I have to be supervised—the same as my ex.
Due to all my past pain, I initially struggled a lot during my supervised times with Aroha. I struggled to cope when she cried because the stress got too much. Once, I raised my voice at everyone around me. I then handed my daughter to her carer, took off and hid out of fear that I might be hit. But they never hit me—they helped me through it.
I have been abused since I was two years old and I never want my baby girl to go through what I went through. If she ever has to go through the same thing I did, to say sorry when it isn’t her fault, I’ll lose the plot. She doesn’t deserve that.
An early photo of Miky and Aroha.
I started work earlier this year and that’s how I met my new partner. He was my supervisor and saw what my ex did to me and said, “No partner of mine is going to be abused and assaulted like that.”
I love my current partner to bits. He’s currently helping me to do all my courses in order to get unsupervised visits. Thanks to my new partner, I have finally learnt what love is.
I plan on working with the courts and lawyers, and to learn how to raise Aroha in a way that doesn’t smother her but gives the correct boundaries. Thanks to everyone around me, I believe I have come a long way. I am a lot more mature now and am starting to understand things a lot better. I’m not saying I’m perfect but that I am taking baby steps. My mum, nana and I are have even started working through things.
I plan to continue to learn and grow.
Mums At The Table magazine has been really inspirational to me, and has given me hope and strength. When I read the stories of other mums and see that there are others out there who struggle, it helps me not feel so alone.
I’m so grateful for everything and am praying that by the time my baby girl is two, I’ll have her at home, in my care. I’ll give her my world, but with boundaries of course.
If you have experienced sexual assault, domestic or family violence, contact 1800RESPECT (Australia) | It’s Not OK (New Zealand)
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