Thing Is, I Still Love Her – But How Can I?

£5.00

By Sam L Hackett

ISBN: 978-1-84991-317-1
Published: 2010
Pages: 64
Key Themes: autobiography, alcoholism, addiction, celebrity, abuse, borderline personality disorder

Description

This is a tale of domestic abuse, alcoholism, addiction and celebrity. And of one person's attempt to become free. No one expects this to happen to them until it does. "Imagine being punched in the face by a stranger, then beaten about the head with a phone so hard that it cracks. Next, they start to strangle you. The reason for this abrupt attack is that you’ve left a door open. Now imagine that instead of the attacker being a stranger it is the person you love, someone who mostly returns your love in abundance…"

About the Author

Born in 1970, photographer Sam L Hackett was going along fine in life, until it started happening…

Book Extract

Introduction

THE following article appeared in The Guardian in March 2002, just a few weeks after my abusive relationship had finished. This book is about the relationship and where it has taken me now.

“Thing is, I Still Love Her…”

For six months, Sam Hackett* was repeatedly beaten up by his girlfriend, often for such minor transgressions as keeping his shoes on inside. It was only after he left her that he realised his experience was far from unusual.

IMAGINE being punched in the face by a stranger, then beaten about the head with a phone so hard that it cracks. Next, they start to strangle you. The reason for this abrupt attack is that you’ve left a door open. Now imagine that instead of the attacker being a stranger it is the person you love, someone who mostly returns your love in abundance.

I don’t have to imagine a situation such as this. It happened a dozen times to me over a six-month period and the reality was severely bruised ribs, about 50 bumps and bruises, a black eye, bloody lips, and scratches and bites so severe they bled. I was also threatened with a baseball bat, an empty beer bottle and had a full one thrown at my head. The emotional abuse was much worse: the physical marks have healed; my mental scars will never go away. The other thing worth mentioning is that I’m a man.

I am an athletic six-foot one; my ex-girlfriend a petite five-foot four. Aggressive fights I have seen between men in pubs were nothing compared to the frightening rage I saw when she hit out. I feel that her punches were cast with more than 20 years of hurt, guilt, shame and anger. Hurt people hurt people. I ended up sleeping in my car; wearing the same clothes for a fortnight; couldn’t work; drank so that I was ill; got in debt; lost friends, my sex drive, my self-esteem, much of what I owned and some of what I kept she ripped or smashed.

Now aged 33, I have had three long-term relationships and have barely even had arguments in these. Friends describe me as laidback and the last fight I had was two decades ago in the playground. Several people said I was the last person to whom they thought it would happen. I loved life until this started, by the end I was so numb that I wanted to jump off a cliff. I wouldn’t have felt a thing.

We met working and soon started to spend every day together. After six weeks we went away for a few days where we told each other we had fallen in love. Those days in the initial months were the most beautiful I’ve had. We’d eat out, take long walks together, I’d present her with sweet-smelling lilies and she’d sing our love songs to me. The only warning sign was the sheer intensity of it: her attention to intricate details such as the way my freckles fell on my arms or that her favourite colour was the very same shade of purple I liked. And she wanted love more than anyone I’ve ever met.

But I couldn’t do enough for her and if I did something such as go to work, she’d tell me that I thought more about money than her. If I went to the newsagents, she’d tell me to pull my jersey round my bum or girls would be looking at it. I thought this was outrageously cute and that she really loved me. Now, I see it was obsession not devotion. She rejected my friends for various reasons. My flat was rejected too as I’d lived there with an ex and she never wanted to meet my family, and so my isolation started.


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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 28 October, 2010.