Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Foreign wife that never fit

When I met him in Canada, he was nice to me, we enjoyed simple things together, when I first moved to Switzerland to be with him he was heplful, when we moved to the family home and were married the next year i wasn't good enough - my Asian friends were better students, I couldn't keep house to his standards, if I wanted to work it had to be near home - but the work I was trained for was available in other cantons an hours ride each day...

We wanted children, it was wonderful in my daughter's first six months when my father in law still was alive. Upon his death things started spiralling downhill and it was becoming clear I was going to be the black-sheep.

We had a renovation on our home on my husbands constant demands to expand, any recommendation I requested was ignored and I had my mother in law upstairs at lunch, she was demanding and rather abusive in her tone with me. She continuously complained and criticised the workers who were working on our home; controlling their work and their free time. And disrespecting me in front of them.

Slowly came the pressure for a second child - it was getting obvious he was going to get what he wants at anyone's cost. That cost in the end was mine. As my son was born he was a quiet baby but I was already experiencing bad bouts of postnatal depression, and to top it off a family member of mine died back home - i couldn't go to the funeral with a newborn baby.

Things got worse as my son was a screamer and a vomiter - the commentary got worse and I was devalued to less than the furniture, and in a rage he had hit me because I locked the door - i was holding a two month old baby.at the time.

The baby got sick and baby and I spent some time in hospital to find out why he was in such bad shape. He was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder. This imposed some family counselling. I learned in this time how he could make himself look so good for other then turn a cheek the moment he stepped out that door.

With the stress of a year of a screaming vomiting baby and a husband that was getting more verbally abusive by the day, I was starting to shut down literally until my body was behaving like I was having mini strokes - and  needed to be hospitalised in a mental care instiution. I needed to be cared for to help ease the strange spasms my body was going through (thought it was burnout).

I came home but i didn't fare well at home in the six weeks over xmas. I went to a second care facility where they did realise the emotional terror i was dealing with. And I finally said no more - if I went back i was good as dead to my young children because i would need such heavy medication that would make me sleep most of the time because it was so hard to deal with the stress in the family home.

The irony in my saying no more to the emotional abuse and physical abuse, by leaving... I was harassed by my ex as he would phone from China to say sorry but.....it was my fault he hit me. I was ousted as being one to tear the family apart - that family was already falling apart before I got sick.

It was a difficult decision but one not to be made alone. What kind of lesson do I teach my children by staying in an abusive relationship? But I couldn't go home with them either. So i found a home in a neighbouring village, not allowing my ex up to the apartment when he would bring the kids.

But I am the one that feels like a criminal needing supervision to see the children.

That, I hope will change soon.

 

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