If you haven’t read my DV story yet, you can start here at Chapter 1.
This post was written by my little sister, Katherine, and is her point of view of my experience with DV. DV affects so many others than just the victim. Friends and family are left watching someone they love turn into someone they don’t recognize. They try to help, they try to understand, and I’m sure it’s one of the most frustrating things in the world when all of their efforts are for nothing.
So without further ado, I present to you, Katherine’s POV.
As many of you who have been following Laura’s DV story probably already know, I am Laura’s little sister, Katherine. Just Kat for short.
My big sister is the biggest influence in my life.
When I was a baby, I wanted to walk like she did. I wanted to speak like she did.
When I was in kindergarten I wanted to count like she did. I wanted to have friends like she did.
When I was in primary school and she was in high school I wanted to understand cars like she did. I wanted to dress like she did.
When I was in high school and she was in university I wanted to bar tend like she did. I wanted to understand life like she did.
Whenever she had a date I was green with envy. When she had a boyfriend I would watch with utmost earnest how she acted around him so I could find one too.
And then along came a spider.
Laura. This beautiful, vivacious, intelligent woman. And her light was so horribly shrouded by this spider.
I would like to share my side of Laura’s DV story.
Mike* came into our family like many others to.
Our family has always been open to new people and we tend to trust people until they give us a reason not to. And I still believe that this is a beautiful way to live life (though you tend to get hurt a lot more). So in he trots. He used to have coffee with our mom. Chat with our dad. Hang out with me. By all accounts he seemed alright. We all noticed a rather large age gap between Laura and Mike, but if it didn’t bother her, it didn’t bother us.
He had made some grand claims. He would be coming into a massive inheritance but not for another couple years. He was hugely qualified with trade certificates out the wazoo. Etc etc. turns out it was all bull shit.
Red flags started going up for all of us once we started picking up on his lies. We told Laura our concerns and she found a way to excuse it and we would all move on.
From this point you know the rest of the gritty details.
Laura moves in
Mike gets possessive
Mike gets emotionally abusive
Laura excuses his behaviour
Mike gets worse
Laura excuses his behaviour
And on and on it went.
What you don’t know is how horribly it affected her family.
Mom, dad and I used to talk for hours on end about this situation. My mom used to tell me about how she would be kept up at nights worried about Laura. Terrified that she would get a phone call from police saying they found her body. Awful things that you pray will stay in your head and not transpire.
When Laura moved back home we all felt like we could finally breathe. We didn’t know it, but we had essentially kept a lit candle in the window for her. And now she had come home and so the candle could be taken down. Then one day she told me that she was going to move back in with him. She sat me down and just sort of blurted it out.
And people, I swear it took everything in me not to literally reach out and smack some damn sense in her.
I boiled over with rage. Bitch, I just helped you move all your shit out of there!!
But she went.
I felt so used. I felt like she wasn’t seeing what she… no, what HE was doing to our family. I had just gotten her back and I wasn’t ready to lose her so quickly.
Then she came back home.
Then she went back to him.
Then she came back home.
Then she went back to him.
Then she called me one day with ‘exciting news’. My first thought was please please PLEASE don’t be pregnant. But she was calling to tell me that her and Mike were engaged. Honestly, by this point the whole family had realised that there was no talking her out of anything. We had tried until we were blue in the face to no avail. This was something she had to come to for herself. And so I tried with all my might to be happy for her. I didn’t give a single shit about Mike and his happiness (because I genuinely believe that there is nothing in this world that could possibly make such a miserable toxic human like that happy) but Laura and I had been planning our weddings since we were little and even if it was to the wrong person I wanted to make it special for her.
I went wedding dress shopping with her. I helped her with general wedding planning. I felt physically ill with every step of it. But it was for her. So I would do anything.
I went back home to Sydney and didn’t see the family for a couple months.
I remember waking up late on a Saturday. About 10 am (which is a very big sleep in for me these days) the sun was streaming through my window. I was in my big comfy bed (after being at sea for 6 months) and felt just about perfect. I picked up my phone to lazily scroll through facebook and saw I had several messages from friends. About five different people who are also friends with Laura and my mom had said “Whats going on with Laura?”
Immediately I assumed the worst. I messaged my mom and asked and while I waited for a reply I vehemently scrolled through facebook trying to find an answer. Then I saw my mom had posted something along the lines of “The wedding is off!! Couldn’t be happier!”
I’m not kidding you when I say I jumped up on my bed and danced and fist pumped and yelled with joy.
During this whole ordeal, I can’t say how heartbreaking it was to see Laura. Sure, when she was alone she was herself. But when Mike was around she became a different person. She seemed so unsure of herself. So quiet, soft-spoken, OBEDIENT. If any of you know us Waterman women personally you know that none of these qualities are typical of us. But when she left she was HER. She was happy. So fucking happy.
Turned out she had recorded the fight that tipped her over the edge. We walked to the park one night when I was visiting home (a little drunk on a lot of wine) and sat on the playground. She asked me to listen to it and I did. I was in tears at the half way point. I was disgusted in him for doing it. In her for letting it happen. In myself for not knowing the full extent of it. But she was out. It was over. She knew she was out and so did the rest of us.
My sister is the biggest role model in my life.
And all though I hope to never experience a relationship like she did, I hope I can be as brave as she is.
Laura’s story is so so so important. People need to recognise red flags and warning signs and TAKE ACTION. Not just make excuses.
I hope beyond hope that her message can reach at least one person who needs help and I hope that it gives them the strength to reach out and get help.
Shit. Call me if you have no one else.
There is always someone.
You are not alone.
All my love
Thank you Katherine, for everything. For standing by me when I wouldn’t listen to you, for still wishing for my happiness even when you couldn’t fathom what I was doing, and for still being there in the end, when I finally came to my senses. You are an amazing sister, and an incredible woman.
If you would like to read more by Katherine, you can check out her new blog, Here Kitty Kitty, all about her living, loving, and finding happiness in every minute of life.
*Please note, his name has been changed, although he doesn’t deserve any sort of protection or privacy, and I’m sure that most people reading this already know who he is. It wouldn’t be difficult for those who don’t, to figure it out. Still, I have to do the right thing so this doesn’t come back and bite me in the ass.
If you’re dealing with abuse please reach out. Your local Domestic Violence Hotline can help guide you, and you’re more than welcome to get into contact with me to talk.