It was awful, simply awful. My domestic situation went gradually from bad to unbearable. It slowly evolved from mental abuse, which my former partner used to afflict me with, into a physical abuse, especially when she was drunk. Her drinking got worse and so did the abuse.
Despite her apologies and promises to stop the violence she continued with abuse for a long time. I was emotionally drained, yet I kept going on for my son.
I was not able to hide external scars caused by my abusive ex-partner, but I did everything possible not to give away how I felt emotionally and psychologically. I would cry to my immediate family and close friends. I did not know what to do. I felt ashamed, hopeless and embarrassed. It was very difficult to understand and accept the fact that I took so much abuse from her (ex-partner).
I was always aware of the social stigma surrounding the concept of 'male victim of domestic abuse'. There were people out there who would ridicule the whole idea of me taking emotional and physical abuse from a woman, given that I am over 6"tall. At this point of time, it was the presence of my son that kept me going; if it wasn't for him I would have sold everything and left.
Eventually I contacted Samaritans organisation, which did not offer me much help. I have also got in touch with Men' Health Line who then gave me the name and telephone number of Uomini. I met the counsellor in February 2016. Throughout the therapeutic process and with active help and guidance from the counsellor that I was seeing, I had to learn how to love myself again. It was easy to trust the counsellor and feel safe in his company.
He was very considerate of my circumstances. He has told that I need to find myself in order to move forward. He understood from the start, what the main issue that I had to face was. He became to me a 'role-model', a 'father figure' in terms of compassion and understanding, but also acceptance, which the counsellor has offered me. He is just a great person, very welcoming, calming; he always knew what to say to help me to compose myself and feel stronger.
If I were to come across a man who was in a situation similar to mine, I would definitely recommend the counsellor that I had as a therapist and advocate. I would do it 100%. He made me who I am today; he made my confidence and self-esteem to grow tremendously. I am good now and all the credit goes to the counsellor.
He taught me how to vocalise and express my feelings and emotions. Today I am able to speak out for myself. Absolutely life changing! Without the counsellor’s knowledge, support and understanding I would have never made it. Essentially, I cannot thank him enough for what he did for me. I know that I did not come across anyone like the counsellor that I worked with before, and until this day I know that I could not find anyone like him neither. He is truly unique in his way of accepting people, his willingness to help others without making any judgements. Surely there are not many people like him. I truly believe that I have done well with help and assistance that I got at Uomini.
The counsellor is a very caring man. As a therapist he has never pushed me to do anything. He never rushed me or made me feel uncomfortable. He is a very fair man and a wonderful human being.