Christmas Presents by Emily

Charlie was 3 years old and was attending morning nursery school, back then.  Danny was 4 and was in Reception Class for a full school day.

It was the afternoon, Charlie was home, his dad was home and Danny was at school.

His Dad (my ex) wanted to sleep, but once again didn’t go upstairs to sleep, instead insisting on falling asleep on the sofa.

I was wrapping Christmas presents at the time.  Christmas presents, I had to buy, for his family.  Christmas presents which he would criticize if I didn’t ‘get it right’ and then he would cause more ‘trouble’!

My ex had his mobile phone next to him and had fallen asleep.  I was trying to keep Charlie quiet, so he wouldn’t wake up ‘Dad’.  Charlie was watching ‘CBeebies’ and was getting very lively.

Then my ex’s mobile phone rang.  I was cutting sellotape at the time, holding the wrapping paper around the present and the phone wasn’t anywhere near me.

My ex woke up as I had said “I can’t get that”, meaning his phone.

He said “you f**king what! Get f**king upstairs”.

Knowing that ‘trouble’ was starting again, I scooped Charlie up and went out of the room with the presents.

As we were climbing the stairs I heard this almighty smash.  I said to Charlie “Oh no it’s not the telly” as the TV was large, so the screen had a lot of glass.  Charlie and I were used to my ex’s temper, sadly!

So we crept back down the stairs.

I went into the living room, however, it wasn’t the TV that had been smashed and I couldn’t at first see the broken glass.

The living room and the dining room were split up by double doors, but most of the time these were left open, making one long running and playing space for the children

My ex, was in the dining room, going out of the patio door into the garden and then I noticed the glass all over the dining room floor. He had smashed a picture I had bought, hung on the wall, on the right hand side of the door, that led to the kitchen.

As Charlie was with me and there was glass on the floor, I had to brush the glass up quickly, so I sent Charlie into the living room.

My ex came back through the door and the next thing I remember, was opening my eyes and a shadow over my eyes.  I thought it was someone’s foot?

I was lying on the floor, on top of toys.  Charlie was screaming hysterically up the living room towards me!

My ex had gone!

My head was hurting, however, I was terrified my ex would come back and continue causing ‘trouble’!  Danny was due home from school and I didn’t want him witness his Dad’s violent temper once again!

I rang a lady (who I had confided in about what my ex had been doing), as I was scared of ringing the police! I was scared of not being believed! My ex had ‘the gift of the gab’ and was very good at manipulating the facts!

However, she didn’t answer her phone, so I left a message on her answerphone , saying that I thought my ex had ‘kicked me’.

My ex rang and said, that he wasn’t coming home until I apologised (for not answering his mobile phone)!  I was terrified he would come back and cause more ‘trouble’!

I rang him back, but his answerphone was on.  I said that I was sorry but that ‘kicking me in the head’ was too much.

My ex returned a little later saying “You’re a f**king liar”, I pushed you into the bookcase, I didn’t kick you in the head, you’re a f**king liar”

My ex then went out of the house again.

I rang the lady I had spoken to earlier, but once again I was switched to her answerphone.

I told her that my ex came back, had said he hadn’t kicked me in the head, that he pushed me into the bookcase (he told me later that he pushed me into the bookcase and the radiator).

I received a bump on the left top of my head and pain in my cheek bone.  Bruises on my legs (where I landed on the toys).  I couldn’t chew properly for 2 days.

I saw the lady I had been confiding with, later in the week and told her everything.  She was worried I had concussion or that I had been knocked unconscious (I certainly didn’t know how I ended up on the floor back then)!

I told her, that my biggest worry, was what would have happened to Charlie.

What if my ex had knocked me unconscious, would he have left Charlie on his own alone?

I couldn’t protect Charlie at all.

By the weekend, I had a headache and felt sick.  I wished I had phoned the police!

Charlie reacted to this event in a panicked manner, after all he was the only witness.  I had been knocked out.  I didn’t even know how I had ended up on the floor!

I took Charlie to Nursery School the next day, but when we returned to our house at lunchtime, he would not go through the garden gate. He panicked, saying that he wanted to go to his friend’s house instead, a couple of doors along from our house.  He just didn’t want to go back there, back to that situation.

A few days after this, when his Dad was out, I asked Charlie, what had happened that day, why had mum ended up on the floor?  Charlie said “Dad pushed mum and went out the door”!

He was only 3 then, but as he grew older and his speech improved, I asked him what ‘Dad had done to Mum that day’!   Charlie would have been 6 or 7 by then.  Charlie said that “dad pushed you into the wall, then you fell onto the radiator Mum”!

If I had called the police back then, Charlie would have been a very good witness, an even better one the more verbally developed he became, but I didn’t, I was aware of how little he was and I didn’t want to put him under that pressure, with the police questioning him!

I remained with my injuries for quite sometime.  For many years after, up to the middle of this year, 2016, I was still suffering from the pain from the whiplash injury (from my ex pushing me), on the right hand side of my neck and stress headaches!

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer, in April this year and one of the symptoms, was pain in my neck and my shoulder blades!  The pain was on the left side of my neck, whereas the pain from the long-term whiplash injury, was on the right hand side of my neck!

I always wonder how long the Breast Cancer symptoms had been disguised, because of the whiplash injury!  Whether I would have noticed it sooner and avoided such a drastic operation to remove the tumours!

I hate Christmas these days, from all that happened while I lived with my ex, but I make sure that my feelings don’t spoil my children’s experience, as I don’t want their lives to be continually burdened by the past!
















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