I'm the mother of a sexually abused child and a survivor of psychological domestic violence. I also suffer from CPTSD and epilepsy.
Was I groomed?
- Are you questioning the actions of someone you know?
- Are you unsure if their behaviours are classified as grooming?
We met in payroll. You got a job there soon after I did. It was controversial when you started as you were the bosses step son and had no qualifications. I remember people talking about you and how you got your job because you knew the right people. We became friends pretty quickly. You introduced me to your wife and I found out you had a daughter 1 year younger then mine. I was with my ex at the time. We all used to hang out together. I invited you guys to BBQs and birthday parties. We used to come to your place on the weekends to let the girls hang out. We remained friends until your marriage hit a rocky stage. That’s when I tried to help you through those difficult times and our relationship started to develop. I had broken up with my partner, shortly after that you separated from your wife and moved into your own place. We began officially dating early 2013.
From the outside looking in our relationship was wonderful. We got along, you were an amazing father figure, you cared for us and we had a healthy, loving relationship. You were an amazing man, I loved you and I quickly fell in love with the idea of us starting a family together. My mum approved, my friends were happy for me and my baby finally had a good male role model in her life. But from the inside, in hindsight, our relationship was toxic from the beginning. It started with me financially supporting you because I always had higher paying jobs then you did. You said it was only going to be until you got back on your feet, 12 months later you were still unemployed and naturally our relationship suffered. Regardless we moved to Brisbane in 2015 for work and I attempted to build a life with you. Over the next 2 years though our relationship went from bad to worse as the resentment and frustration towards each other continued to grow and fester. We put on a great show though, no one would have realised looking at us that we were on the brink of completely falling apart. You had built a relationship with my daughter over that time, she had grown to love you, I had grown to love you plus I had invested so much time and energy into our relationship. I wasn’t ready to let my hopes and dreams for our future go, even though it was incredibly difficult to live with the stress of our constant bickering and fighting. We had our good times over the years which made me hold onto hope that we could make our relationship work.
In 2017 I had my first ever seizure. I’d never had seizures before. The doctors said it was a result of stress and sleep deprivation. It didn’t surprise me. I had been running on empty for years. Stress was my middle name and although I thought I was handling it, my body told me I wasn’t. Luckily you were again unemployed (a habit of yours) so you were always there when I had a seizure to help me recover. I spent months in and out of hospital trying to figure out what was wrong with me, what medications worked for me and getting to know the A&E nurses due to regular uncontrolled seizures becoming a monthly occurrence. It was debilitating and one of the most difficult things I’d ever been through. I’d always been rather healthy. Being diagnosed with epilepsy at 30 was a huge thing to accept and come to terms with. I couldn’t do the things I’d always been able to do. I couldn’t be the mum I had always been. I had to take care of myself. My body was starting to hate me.
From 2017-2019 I continued to experience a variety of ongoing health issues. They impacted my mental health and overall abilities. My memory was affected, my cognition was affected, there were days I couldn’t even feed or bath myself. It wasn’t safe for me to be at home alone so I needed someone to care for me. You didn’t go back to work for about 18 months. You stayed home, cooked, cleaned, parented, did homework, washed clothes and made sure I didn’t forget to take my medication morning and night. I was grateful to have you there as those 40 minute seizures scared the shit out of me and definitely could have killed me if you hadn’t of been there to turn me on my side so I didn’t choke on my own blood from biting my tongue. I was thankful my baby had you to rely on and look after her at a time when I couldn’t even look after myself let alone her. We both needed you and you were there for us. Again, I saw that glimmer of hope for the future of our relationship.
During this time we had gone to a few different churches and met so many wonderful people. Fortunately we had their support when we were evicted from our house as we couldn’t pay rent and you had only just returned to work. It was our church that helped us avoid homelessness but our finances were a complete mess. We had accumulated so many debts over the last 2 years of not having a solid income apart from Centerlink. We borrowed money from anyone we could, I took money from my superannuation and tried to get us back on our feet as much as possible. You started working again and we started getting in front with some of the outstanding bills. I’m not sure if you just didn’t want to work or your bosses didn’t like you but over the next year you worked for over 5 different places. One week we would have money, the next week we would have nothing. Again our relationship was strained and the arguments began. Accept this time I had gotten control of my seizures with cannabis and didn’t need you to care for me anymore. I needed you to work and earn money so we could survive. You just didn’t seem like you wanted to do anything anymore. Like you had given up on life.
In early 2020 I sent my daughter to live with her uncle in Melbourne because we simply couldn’t afford to support her the way she needed. We were again swimming in debt, fighting all the time and had intermittent, limited income. That was one of the hardest choices I had ever made. I felt like the biggest failure. Like the worst mother. I couldn’t support my baby financially but I also wasn’t there for her emotionally and mentally due to my ongoing health and relationship problems. She needed more support, she needed stability, she needed to be away from us while we sorted out our issues. I made the decision shortly after she left that it was best for us to go our separate ways and take some time apart from each other. Our lease had ended so I began the process of looking for my own place. In the past anytime I had suggested us having a break, you would beg me to stay but this time was different. You agreed with me, it’s like you knew our relationship was over. You decided you would move in with your brother after you helped me move into a new place.
February 2020 my whole world came crumbling down! I got a phone call from my daughter in Melbourne saying you had done things to her. Unthinkable, horrible things. She told me it had been happening for quite some time. I didn’t know what to do or say. All I knew was that the police had been notified and they would be in contact with me soon. I had just gotten approval to move into my own place without you, we were packing when she called. I remember calling my friend after I got off the phone to her. I asked my friend what I should do. She told me to confront you and ask you if you had done what my daughter had said. So I did. I sat you down, looked you in the eyes and calmly asked “have you done anything to my daughter?”. Your response was something along the lines of “I chose you and your daughter over my own daughter, why would you even ask me something like that!” My mind was spinning I honestly didn’t know what to think.
I moved into my new place the day my daughter returned to Brisbane. I sent her to stay with my mum until I was unpacked and organised. I still didn’t know if you had done these unthinkable things. Shortly after I moved the police came and asked me to give a statement. They had already been to see my daughter at my mums house. They told me what she had said to them. Her interview went for 3 hours! I couldn’t believe it. How do you just accept that the person you’ve loved for so long could be such a monster. I didn’t know what to believe. I didn’t even know what day it was. I told them I didn’t know anything because that was the truth and answered any questions they had. They were particularly interested in certain dates and times where I had been away from home and left my daughter alone with you. I remember sitting in the interview room at the police station thinking “is this really happening?”. It was so surreal, something I never thought I would ever experience.
The next day they came back with a warrant for your arrest. They believed they had sufficient evidence to arrest you. I didn’t understand what was going on. They took you away and left me sitting there in shock wondering what the fuck had happened. I didn’t sleep that night. I just sat there looking at the wall feeling lost and alone. The next day they came back with another warrant but this time they wanted to search any belongings you had left at my house. I had a couple of boxes of your stuff I had found since moving. I gave them to the police. At that point I still didn’t know what was going on. You told me you were innocent. You swore you didn’t do what they said you had done. The police officer handed me the search warrant. He looked me in the eyes and said “I wanted to believe he was innocent as much as you did” as he pointed to the top paragraph of the document he handed me. They had found evidence on your phone that you had undoubtedly done what my daughter had said you had done. There was no hiding anymore. No amount of manipulation would get you out of this one. There was black and white evidence. Hard copy, no two ways about it, GUILTY!
Over the next 2 days I found out I had been living a nightmare for the last 8 years. The shock still lingers today. I received a message from the investigator saying you signed a confession statement stating everything my daughter had told them was true. I can’t even tell you what that felt like. It’s incredibly difficult to recall the events following your arrest. I think I’ve actually blocked it from my memory because I have no recollection of the days following you finally admitting what you had done. Our entire relationship had been a scam. A evil plan you set in motion from the minute you met me. They said you targeted me. You never loved me, you only used me to get access to something that you never should have had access to in the first place. You made me think you cared about us, you fooled everyone into thinking you had our best interests at heart when really the truth was so far from that. You are pure evil in human form.
In hindsight though, you seemed like an amazing human. No wonder I didn’t know. No wonder no one realised. We all thought you were a wonderful partner, step father and friend. Not even your close friends and family suspected this. I trusted you, I believed you, I would have done anything for you. I wanted to marry you and spend my life with you and I probably would have if my baby hadn’t of bravely spoken up and told someone what was going on. She saved me from you. She saved me from a lifetime of manipulation, mind games and abuse. She saved me by exposing the psychopath you are. I’ll forever be proud of her for that. You tried so hard to discredit her and make her appear untrustworthy from the very beginning. She told me you would do things then blame her for them. What you didn’t realise is that we had built a bond that you could never break!
Since finding out the truth about you I’ve struggled to get back to some form of normal. Your in remand and will be sentenced this year but it will never be enough to take away the pain you inflicted on us. Apparently your only facing 10-15 years in jail. It should be life! It’s been hard to explain to people what’s happened. Especially people that knew you. I’ve tried to start the healing process which will be long and difficult but I need to do it for my baby. I haven’t heard from you. No one has. I’m not even sure what I would say to you if I saw you. It’s hard to comprehend the level of manipulation and deceit. I’ve never encountered this type of evil before. I don’t think you’ll ever be truly sorry for what you did. I know you knew it was wrong because you hid it like your life depended on it. My life has been changed forever. I don’t think I’ll ever look at another man the same. You broke my ability to trust. But I’ll rebuild that. I think that’s why you preyed on me. Because I possessed traits you never could. I was the person you wanted to be. You envied me and inflicted the inner hatred for yourself on me and my daughter. You never had the ability to grow and be a better person. You are evil and wanted the good you saw in me all to yourself, at any expense!
My daughter is recovering and doing so well. You didn’t break her, she’s way too strong for you! She will heal, she will repair, she will do amazing things in her future. And she will do that using you as motivation because you won’t control her anymore! You didn’t win, you lost the best things you ever had!