I am sick of reading people saying that the current Domestic abuse storyline on Hollyoaks has gone on too long, needs to end now, keep saying why doesn’t Maxine just leave, that what’s happening isn’t realistic. The really simple answer is if you feel that way switch it off, don’t watch!!
I’m going to share something from my past, that’s as “unbelievable” as the Hollyoaks storyline, which is actually damn fantastic, and really well s done - they are showing how these things really happen, here’s my story, a little insight into a part of my life, very much like what Maxine is going through.
My first real partner, an abusive alcoholic partner who was 32, i was 16, had me so under his spell initially that I actually ran away from home to be with him, when the police eventually found me my parents were so taken in by him that they let me go and live with him, as I said I’d only run away again - I thought to start with he was my saviour ……. Oh how wrong I was….
When I stopped sleeping with him because he was not just physically and mentally abusive but abusive and vile in that way he’d try to get me drunk to get me into such a state I’d sleep with him, he even had my own mum telling me - her 16 year old daughter that if I wanted to be in an adult relationship that I had to sleep with him - when others saw me drunk - the state he’d force me to get into (I’ve never liked drinking it’s always made me sick), he had them all feeling sorry for him that he had this “uncontrollable drunk teenager” to handle all the time - the entire village we lived in, including my own best friend and parents thought he was a saint, all but 2 people, one lad whose nickname was Vidal, who lived with us who was one of his mates (it was a shared house), and one of his best mates called Colin - they actually accidentally found out one night what was actually going on, they walked in on him throttling me, so between them tried their best to protect me from him, I actually had to stop Vidal from threatening him with a knife one night when he started literally throwing me round the living room because I’d supposedly been looking at another man in the pub that night! In the end because of the lies he was telling everyone, the whole village hated me, they thought it was me who was this awful drunk that made his life hell!! He told them that I was sleeping around behind his back and all sorts! Eventually with the help of Vidal and Colin I found the strength to leave him and go back home to my mum and dad, I COULDN’T tell my Dad the truth in a million years for his sake because I know he would’ve done something stupid (and I was totally right because when I was married -he wasn’t as abusive as my first partner or as Patrick is being shown, but he got handy with me a couple of times, and when I confided in my Mum that my black eye wasnt actually from an accident when we were tickling each other, she told my dad, my dad stormed back into our house, took my husband outside and told him if he ever laid another finger on me that my dad and his brother would use cricket bats on him, and that was over one black eye - if he’d known what my first partner had done I know my dad would’ve ended up in prison!), so my dad actually hugged my ex partner while he was “crying ” as i packed my bags to leave him the first time, and my own dad actually didn’t talk to me for days because even he thought my ex partner was the innocent victim and i was this awful drunk teenager who had broken his heart! My dad died never ever knowing what that man was truly like! He even turned my next partners mum against me - with all the support he’d given me, and being only one of two people who knew what had really gone on Colin and I ended up together, my evil ex had everyone, again including my own family, believing that we’d had an affair being his back and that’s how we got together, which wasn’t the case at all! But everyone hated me even more, especially Collins Mum, she was very old fashioned and thought I was a hussy, she eventually was the cause of us splitting up, she hated me so much because of what my violent evil ex had her and everyone thinking! Fast forward about a year……. My dad was in the RAF, so was my at that time ex… My dad came home from work one day n said I wouldn’t believe who he’d bumped into - my ex…. He wanted to meet up, I.went to meet him for my dad, he was so trusting etc of this **** and i just wanted to please my dad and he couldn’t know the truth, I went with the intentions of telling him where to go and that there’d be no chance in hell of ever go near him again…..He was so that charming etc that by the end of the night he had me utterly convinced he’d changed, that he’d never hurt me again…. I got back with him, to start with he really was different……. I even got engaged to him…… The minute we were engaged bam! The real man was back! He did his favourite trick that night of taking me out, then when we got home, sat chilling out to some music, out of nowhere literally picking me up by my wrists and throwing me across the other side of the room! He was very clever, he’d never do anything that couldn’t be explained away by “oh you know what she’s like when she’s had a few, she got our of control and i had to restrain her, she was trying to hurt herself/me “….. Eventually despite being on the pill I fell pregnant…….. I knew he’d been married and that he had 2 boys to his ex wife that he never saw, I did question why the first time we were together but he warned me to shut up and not ask again so I didn’t. I was approached by a family friend who knew his ex wife with a warning, something I know from things that happened during both times I was with him is totally and utterly true, and is a huge part, because of videos he liked to watch at certain intimate moments why I stopped sleeping with him, but I ended up believing that I was wrong about it all etc…… Until this family friend told me that the reason he didn’t see his 2 sons was partly because he used to beat his ex wife, no surprises there, but also because he sexually abused his sons, that was it for me, I was raped as a child so there was no way on planet earth my unborn baby was going anywhere near this man ever, luckily that was everything I needed to get away and stay away from him for good! My parents knew he didn’t want me to have the baby and were finally suspicious of him wanting to see me “about the baby ” but would ONLY see me alone, so they wouldn’t let it happen they told him he saw me with Them there or not at all. My dad and he took their redundancy from the RAF the same time, he sent a message to me through a friend of my mums who cleaned in the office in the RAF base he was before he got his redundancy that “she’s not getting a penny and neither is that little b****ard she’s carrying ” - that was the last thing I ever heard of or from him. He’s never seen my gorgeous son, and even though my sons 18 now that child abusing, woman beating scum will see him over my dead body! My dad never truly knew what he was before he died, and even though my mum knows much but not all, she does know he was violent, she knows about what he did to his sons, but she doesn’t think I should stop my son seeing him if he ever wanted to - so even now he’s not around he still has this hold over my loved ones!! So anyone who thinks any of Hollyoaks is boring, or making Patrick out to be this person who can seemingly do anything etc and it’s rubbish - it isn’t! It’s so real it is sometimes very hard to watch and i commend them! Abusers get away with abusing because people are sucked in by them, and all too often they do apear to be unstoppable or more powerful than MI5, that’s why the victim is the victim, as they don’t know where to turn as they don’t have anyone to believe them. I was lucky I got away from him, but almost all my partners including my one girlfriend (I’m bisexual) have been physically abusive , mentally abusive, or both. Colin wasn’t, and one other guy want, but he was using me - complicated story. I seriously don’t think I will ever be in a.relationship again, I have end stage liver disease due to an illness and only have aprox 2 yrs to live, and I’ve been single 5 years now in which time I have FINALLY learnt to love myself, and stop blaming myself for the past and for being abused! So next time you think it’s not realistic or whatever, just remember that reality is actually often more like a soap than a soap! No script writer could’ve written what happened with my sons sperm donor, or many other things I’ve been through!