Life doesn’t always end up being sunshine and roses in Spain. Sometimes relationships change and violence gets involved. Read the story from one our members.

Firstly, why did you want to share your story?

My story will be very shocking.  I want them to understand why I stayed and try and get support for where I am now.  There are charities which offer support, I just haven’t been able to find them.  Hopefully this post will help others reach out and help me find that support so I can get the ongoing treatment that I need.

Let’s begin when you first met this man, what was your life like?

When I first met my ex my life was great, I had my second company, I had a very hip and trendy clothing store with brand clothes, nice apartment, a nice social life and was travelling.

And how did you meet?

The first time I met him (shall we call him Dave?) was by coincidence, my friend had been out and Dave had forgotten one of his phones. My friend asked around whose it was and found Dave’s other number and told him she had the phone and he could call her, so he could get it from her.
I was hanging out with another guy at the time that I really wasn’t in love with, but he was fun.
When Dave came to pick up the phone he was very arrogant I thought.
Some time passed by and I left the other guy as I thought it wasn’t fair to waste my time or lead him on as he wanted to propose to me.  I declined.
When I went out and ran in to Dave.  That time I saw a different side of him, he was always very polished had like tailored clothes, handsome and very good old fashioned manners. We exchanged numbers.

Dave was the most persistent one. We set up a place where we were gonna go out with some friends and I remember I got cold feet.  Amongst my friends, we had a code something like “hey there is our other friends” but when I saw Dave then I just got like spellbound by him, the code was off and I was mesmerised.

We spent four days together just hang out and had so much fun, then he said that he needed to go home and he said for us to take a stop by his Dad’s house.

What I didn’t know was that they had a family reunion and he comes from a big old and very powerful family.  All the family were there and without me knowing he had told  his family that he was gonna introduce his new girlfriend, that was me.
I hesitated and said no at first, but then I started liking him a lot as he was into living for the moment, intelligent, funny, good looking and very polished. He was really a dream man.
Things went very fast we started traveling immediately all over the world, I did have workers in the store, but I was still the one with the contacts to make my business grow, for celebrities and high end clientele. I had to do it myself as my workers had a hard time to handle them.

He started moving my phone number to his company and doing all kinds of things that every woman wants to be spoiled and I thought I had met the man of my dreams. 

A bit about my background

As I came, or am from a very broken family and childhood.

My father was very abusive against my mother and very strict with us.  Let’s say actually my child wasn’t broken it was a nightmare. I found out when I was 13 that I was partly adopted.  Until this day, I don’t know what the truth is.

I got cancer in my early 20’s and soon after my father passed away. My mother had always had some mental issues and after the divorce she got worse.  I started working when I was 13 to have a roof over my head so I had always worked hard to have a good life and promised myself to never have a man like my father.  I finally thought that I had gotten my own family; my own man who loved me more than life.

I had become a very strong person, I still am, but I’m broken inside. I still have a sense of humour but I’m now very careful which I wouldn’t want to be.

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And then everything change – was there a trigger? 

So yes back to how everything started changing, I think Dave had felt my weak side and he asked about them.  I thought that I wanted to be honest so I told him about my problems from my past and thought that it would be good for him to know my fears.
And that was the biggest mistake with him as then he knew my weak parts and what strings to pull.
I got so brainwashed by him that I had no idea.  I just went with the flow of everything and slowly slowly in to Dave’s traps.
There were still some loans left on my company. I had worked hard to get rid of the debts that I had taken to open it. At that point I had already put everything in Dave’s name, quit the company and he said he was gonna pay off the little money owed.  However Dave never did so I got bad credit rating and can have nothing to my name.  I had most of my things in his warehouse and somethings in his apartment and my clothes so it would feel a bit more like a home.
Once all this was happening, came the first warning sign but I was already so deep in to being brainwashed.  Some people warned me, but I didn’t listen.
We were walking home after a night out and I was walking in front of him and a street park-bench drunk commented how pretty I was.  I just kept walking but I mean I felt sorry for the man.  The I suddenly hear beating and screaming.  Turning around I realised that Dave was beating him to the point I don’t even want to know. He then told or gave me weird explanations and I just swallowed it.  Don’t ask me – I was already lost.

And then the restrictions started …

Slowly came rule after rule, about how I couldn’t have my hair cut because I looked like a flirt.  I have long curly hair almost to my waist.
Then the clothing; I had to dress in black – no attention colours and no showing off and keep décolletage etc. hidden.
Then came the tracking the hours of my movements.
And then I realised all the so called good Dave was doing was to spy on me.  He would check the phone to see who called me, whom I had called.  Dave used to call around asking people how they knew me.
But imagine almost no one did anything and then it escalated into violence not only verbal but physical.
And at that point I was tired, I had no idea how to get out of the situation.  There was no support available for me.
I did try to escape. I had only one friend whom I could trust. Once I escaped bare foot in minus degrees and ran with only my phone on me.  Well obviously he knew I had really no one left.  Dave had made sure of that.  So he called my friend and said I will come and pick up the wh*re and bring her home at 6 am. So Dave did.
So all my escapes failed.  No one helped me and neither did my own mother.  She said you took a man and now you please your man. Had this been her life?
But I lived my parents marriage too and it was very hard as she beaten me after Dad had left and I didn’t only pay for myself, but for my sisters and brothers.  I’m not in contact with her, I don’t have the heart to forgive her.
Then with Dave it escalated to the point of that if I went somewhere I had to answer the phone all the time, report where I went and I just got in a state of mind that I was losing my self.  I was putting up a facade in front of people and being relieved when I could relax and cry.  Obviously this wasn’t what Dave wanted so I think he got even more jealous of me as I know afterwards he was cheating on me. 
Dave has even got a child with a 16 year old girl which I discovered when she was six months pregnant. She sold the baby to him and received an apartment in the child’s name so when the child turns 18,  the child can decide if it wants to stay there. He also beat her and tried to kill her, she went to the police and told them everything with the result was he got called in.  The police wrote in the documents that she had birth post traumatic depression syndrome. Dave was in jail in Paris for beating up a girl before me, but his mom contacted a friend of his so they paid her off and he got out about 4 months later.
Dave told people I was crazy, but how come no one in his family and friends reacted when we were living together? If I was so crazy then why didn’t he leave me and get a new one? His family knew that he beat me and no one did anything.
My so called friends were telling me how terrible Dave was, but there sat my friends at his table drinking with his money, or with him paying for everything.
I heard afterwards that Dave had been with some of my friends, they probably thought I had a nice rich man’s housewife while the truth was I was a locked up falling apart mess. 

If you are finding this article upsetting please seek professional help and talk to a friend.

The readers may be wondering why you continued in the relationship? Could you have walked away?

Every time I walked away Dave found me.  There was really no one I could trust anymore, not even my own mother, and nothing to my name I always went back. Even though Dave literally tried to kill me, he suffocated me with a pillow, as well as kicking me out of a moving car, drove me onto the highway. 
Dave was beating me and beating me so I flew a few metres with the back of my head against the wall.  With my head the doctors didn’t understand how I survived everything.  That time the flying against the wall wasn’t the worse as I gained consciousness. 
He escaped, but came and picked me up the next day and he didn’t dare come inside the hospital, I was so sick and tired and didn’t know why he wanted to be with me. 
I asked Dave many times if he could go to therapy with me but he always bypassed those things and usually got mad so I knew my limits and how to behave.
He was a very smart man, still is, highly educated. Dave would organise our library and if I said I would go out to the grocery store he would want to make sure I had come home.  Dave would say to me “go to section 2, row number 4, book number 5, page 17 and then sentence number 9 what does it say?”  So he got crazier and more clever.
I seriously thought I would be killed. Then I finally had a girlfriend who helped me to escape to the US, but even that wasn’t the answer as he came there.  He called the police in USA and said that I was dead so they came to collect a body, but I was there and opened the door. Dave made death threats to me and called and messaged me about every 2 to 5 minutes.  He left voice messages so I didn’t answer and went to the embassy to let them know that if something would happen to me it would be him behind it; I was a walking mess. I was so ashamed. I wanted to scream for help but I have always been very proud.  However, I think that many people saw through me that I was truly broken. 
Sometimes I wished that a new man would come and rescue me, but if I told them my situation every single one would run away.  Maybe if I would’ve met someone with that kind of baggage I wouldn’t have started a relationship either.
Dave’s family was expecting me to become the mother and give them a baby for a proper inheritance.  Thank God I had so much brain left that I knew if I would do that my life would be over
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And then your life was nearly literally over

The most serious thing he gave me was a subdural hemorrhage 5/5.  This is one, if not the, most dangerous and deadly brain traumas of them all.
When you receive a head injury you have to take them very seriously, sometimes it might pass but the damage is inside and as we get older then our bodies start also getting more tired and not keeping up.
So I started having balance problems, pains, headaches, blurred vision.  Sometimes I could have 2 glasses of wine and pass out almost.
But as it was inside I couldn’t understand how the me who had been a very strong person, never afraid, had the strength in me still – don’t ask me how.
My intestine burst twice from stress, I got ten kilos of tumours in my stomach and various places. All the doctors couldn’t understand what was happening to me and they asked “do you have negativity and stress?” and I always lied. 
After each time I said I can’t do this again but I just did it somehow.
The final time, I remember I was in the bathroom and tried to get up and it was like I wasn’t in my body anymore and that’s the last thing I remember.  I gained consciousness for a little while and like a robot pulled my self up from the floor and saw that I had hematomas and pain that I couldn’t deal with. 
I spoke with a friend and told her that I had no idea what was going on and then started talking very strangely and the next thing that I knew I was in the hospital.  I was bound to the bed as any movement could have killed me.
My body also started shutting down in many ways, so strange things happened that I had never heard of.
Luckily the doctors found a steroid based medicine that stopped the bleeding on the last day before I would’ve had my surgery.  It has meant a minimum of one year hospitalisation and no guarantee of recovery. Its been over a year now and yes they have offered to let me stay in the hospital but I felt it was too much to be there.  Once again I got the strength to get go and start fighting for my life.
I was not able to talk or walk, my own doctor was thinking I had one month left.  A lot of the patients die within the first year.  I made a good recovery and the doctor was amazed, but I did do everything I was told.
Dave did start to call me after the incident.  I have gathered evidence against him and it did escalate him from being so called worried to threatening to kill me with all the worst words he could come up with.
Something in my brain just clicked off and for the first time I said to him whatever you say is going in one ear and out the other. I’m not afraid of you anymore, maybe I am too honest but I have gotten my strength mentally quite a long way and I’m starting to find me again which feels wonderful.

Even in your dark moments where do you find hope?

I deleted many people from my life and had for the first time in my life time to think about everything.
One thing I’m proud of is that I am finally over him.  I feel like I’m not afraid anymore what can happen  to me.  I’ve been through it all. And the only way out here is death, not that I’m suicidal in anyway
I’m full of life and would want to get my life back for what ever time I have and the better I can get and heal, the better chances I have to survive longer. 
In the darkest moments I find hope from all my travels and memories of all the interesting people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen.  I’ve been to more than a hundred countries and if my health and life situation would change I would love to visit them all. By travelling I’ve seen so much bad, poverty, slavery so I’m thinking even though after all it could’ve been worse or I don’t know my life has been tough. But I’ve accepted it and the friends I’ve made I have truly made them my own family.
I have always been a very overly positive person and that’s something that still hasn’t died inside of me.  As much as I have seen of the bad I’ve seen so much good. And I wish I could be of good once I get my self back on my feet.

Where are you now?

I have had luck with having a few good friends helping me this far, but I can’t rely on them forever so now I need to take over the fight and get on my feet and get healed with my body.  Then hopefully I can get more work and live as a normal a life as I can with my restrictions.
I will never be able to run again, jump, go the gym, walk alone without people surrounding me, dive in to a pool, carry anything heavy.  I shouldn’t stress, I have to take it easy.  I cannot be in contact with anyone who doesn’t understand my situation as they can think I’m drunk.  My speech can get blurry and my balance can get off when I get a seizure. My neck and back are locked.  It’s a damage from the brain that can be helped with “neuronerve healing”, physiotherapy to strengthen my overall health and then surgery which I am too weak for now still. So those are my plans.  I call it “Get well 2024”.
Now I cherish just waking up seeing the sun. Small things brings me happiness. If some one just smiles or I make someone smile it warms my heart.
Then I have many skills so I’m hoping that my languages would come in use, my consulting skills, visualisation and my art connections, to be able to work with easier tasks and feel that I got my life back. And maybe be able to give me a chance to find love.  Inside I’m still feeling a big urge for love, but I’m very cautious and I don’t think of that too much.  The main thing is to get well, work and then live my life the best I can. 

What resources have you found? Have you found organisations who can help you?

All the companies that say that they help women, they only ask for donations.  You write to them and they tell you that they only give through organisations.  You call them and they say they are too small to help. And nowhere is there a section for victims.  Obviously you would need donations but its important to have a straight link for women in need whom can contact you direct.
The biggest question is when so many donate where does the money go? For example in the USA its legal with loop holes and only 10-20% goes to charity.  I’m sure the same thing happens in Europe also, or just scammers and then the ones who really do a good job are left empty handed. Many don’t even answer.
Things come and go like money the most important is I have to live with myself for the rest of my life and the best I can do is to make the best version of me whom I admire and would like to become. Maybe finally then the spell will break and it will bring me more like minded people as I didn’t have this mindset before.
I have found actually one serious company, two others that wrote me a little but from over 200 letters only one has taken me seriously.  They are small and offer mental health strengthening, but they have also gone out of their way to try to fight for me. So after all I’ve been through then I was told to do an GoFundMe campaign which I did.  I heard that there are scammers there, people take advantage of other peoples kindness, and well I’m not a scammer but I do need help and I don’t have family and my friends have already gone out of their way to help me.
I’m hoping that from every cent to whatever the amount is, I could come up with the amount that I need to get together to regain my health, step by step and to get my life back as good as I can and get on my feet.
As the treatments aren’t to cheap, I have spoken with doctors and had check ups. So the amount I have asked for should be able to cover it all. Even though you have free healthcare there are very man powered decision makers and as I don’t have a burnt face, I have a few years to wait. 
Those few years are living crippled in pain which isn’t helping me. I need the help now or my only option is to give up, go back to the hospital and I really don’t want to do that as I earlier wrote it would kill me of trying to fight this.
I’m so hoping that this is my last fight before its my time to go back to hospital, as I have had my fair share of them. But now I’m too tired and to even go there with my mind but to think.

I will get the help I need and I will get back on my feet and I will get my life back, a new and a better one. The past lead me to this one. 

How can we help?

Visit my GoFundMe page and support me if you can.

And if you have a friend who needs support, or you yourself are a victim of domestic violence, these services are available for Women in Spain

Thank you for being so brave as to share your story and hopefully help other women both understand and get support if they are facing a similar situation.