7 years ago I had a great career...a lovely daughter. House two cars and all that stuff you think is important. Within a year I had pretty much lost everything and nearly my life. It started when I discovered my partner of 13 years was cheating on me with his best friend’s wife. I threw him out and pretty much blocked him out of my memory.

I still had my career and my daughter and the house. I thought I’d just move on and was encouraged to join a dating site. Things were completely different in the dating world and it’s blindingly obvious I was not grieving my relationship properly but still caught up in a world of anger and shock. I met a man online. He was everything my partner had not been...and I fell madly in love. Or what I thought was love.

Within even a few weeks he had started to manipulate things...hated my ex and started being over familiar with my young daughter. He wanted a ready family and started to influence me in bad ways...he would persuade me to go sick from work...he would encourage me to drink too much. He didn’t have a good word about my friends or family and he wanted me to be with him all the time. I was flattered at first. But reality kicked in. Work was not happy. I felt I was being pulled in two directions.

I never really spoke to friends about it as I wasn’t even sure what the actual problem was. But I started feeling pressured and he had really bad mood swings. Very manipulative with everything. My friends could tell I was changing and more introverted. He was critical of everything and then would praise me which would confuse me more. But he was like an addiction and I kept thinking it would improve.

Then the jealousy started. And one day whilst he was driving. For no apparent reason. He slapped me with one hand right across the face. I was stunned. And scared. He apologized. I ended it but still he kept pulling me back in. Then another time he put a pillow over my face whilst threatening to burn the house down. So I ended it again.

But he still kept luring me back. I was terrified of him but believed he would change. And when things were good they were good.by now I had black eyes and my arm in a sling. No one questioned it even. I’m a nurse so was good at making excuses. My ex reported him to social services. They did he couldn’t be around my daughter but at that time not allowed to tell me why. My family was angry with me. Work was suffering. I was locked in a set of vicious cycle. I wanted away but he would threaten to do all sorts of things but what still makes me disgusted to this day is that I still wanted to be with him.

Eventually I was so afraid of him that I did end it. Then a few weeks later he asked to meet me and told me he was off the drink (lie) and loved me and was going to go to anger classes etc. (lie). So I toddle off 30 miles to his lonely apartment and for the next 12 hours was raped. Battered and strangled. He hit me over the head with a laptop and I lost consciousness. He followed me from to room hitting me. Telling me was going to kill me. Took my mobile and locked the doors. I wet myself in the hall out of fear. I thought I’d never see my daughter again.

He fell asleep and I managed to get out of the apartment and to hospital. The police and doctors were amazing. He went on the run then stalked me, threatening one minute to kill me then next he was sorry. He slept rough for weeks while police hunted him. It was on all the news. All the time I was so ashamed that I minimized it all. Work were of no support. I was a mess. I lived in fear and his family started to try to persuade me to drop the charges. He threatened to ruin me.

He was caught finally living rough in a tent. Harassed me from prison, sent letters, phone calls. When I didn’t respond he wrote to my work to accuse me things just to discredit me in run up to the trial. I was suspended from my work Xmas eve. I was destroyed. Even though there was proof in his letters he was going to do this.as I was never in any bother and turns out he forgot to mention he had been in prison for same thing before for 4 years. I lost friends. Respect and always felt I was looked at differently afterwards when I went back. I was full of anger and quick to react.

Over vigilant and at same time depressed as hell. Looking back I see I had been vulnerable and he saw that. I can’t always understand why I stayed. I know many people were angry with me...and I lost a lot of respect for myself. But I can see now he was a liar. Manipulative dangerous man. He got 6 years. He always wasn’t allowed to communicate or send letters from prison. As per the governor. He tried all sorts to get away with it. In end he pled guilty. Wish I could say that was that. But 6 years on I still hate myself for allowing it. Guilty that I could have put my child in danger and angry that some people judged me without knowing that whilst this was going on I had an ex viciously attacking me from all fronts and a sister who died in an accident.

How I kept it together I’ll never know. He’s due out this year. He was out once but broke his parole. I’ve moved house. Different car and eventually lost my job through all the stress but work elsewhere now. It changes you this experience. I had PTSD and had therapy which did work for me thank god. I don’t recognize that me from then. I’m a survivor but I’m not the same. That night a part of me died. I don’t trust. I prefer to be alone. Thinking you’re about to die does that to you.

I wish I could I have a new zest for life after it but the truth is I find it hard to trust a man now. And I’m only in my 40s! Only plus side is now I know what a true narcissistic psychopath is (his diagnosis) Ill recognize it again. You can’t make that mistake twice. And whilst I’m not the same person ...I’m still here :)