Murdered By My Boyfriend – BBC Three

The programme that I watched last week was based on a true story about a 21-year old girl named Ashley (not her real name) who was murdered by her long term boyfriend and father of her child, Reece (again, not his real name)

Murdered by my Boyfriend

A story of a young woman living with her violent partner

It starts off as a typical love story. Boy meets girl, they fall in love and move in together but it isn’t long before Reece starts to try and take over every part of Ashley’s life. On the outside, she’s happy and smiling and taking selfies with her friends on nights out but it is clear that after 3 years of being in a relationship, he has a absolute and total control over her and beats her savagely every time she tries to take a stand. A particular line stood out to me in one of Ashley’s inner monologues:

“There were times we felt like a normal family but that was an illusion. I could only be happy if he wanted me to be happy”

Typically, Reece kept Ashley pregnant and vulnerable so that she almost had no choice but to stay with him. At one point, Reece bursts into the boutique that Ashley is working at, drags her into a changing room and proceeds to beat the shit out of her. It is hard to imagine staying with someone after this incident but unfortunately, this is where Ashley makes a fatal mistake and Reece manipulates her into taking him back for the last time by proposing to her – and what is a prisoner without hope?

p020m54d

Reece the Baby daddy – Evil sonofabitch

Reece, ticks all the boxes to label him a sociopath. According to Dr Sheila Wilson, who has helped victims of psychopaths:

Psychopaths exhibit a Jekyll and Hyde personality. They play a part so they can get what they want, The guy who showers a woman with excessive attention is much more capable of getting her to lend him money, and to put up with him when he strays. The new employee who gains her co-workers’ trust has more access to their chequebooks. And so on. Psychopaths have no conscience and their only goal is self-gratification. Many of us have been their victims — at work, through friendships or relationships — and not one of us can say, “a psychopath could never fool me.

In a jealous rage, Reece turns on Ashley when she admits that she has slept with someone else while they were on a break. The closing scene shows Ashley being beaten to death with her 3 year old daughter walking in half way through. Reece picks her up, takes her to her room then returns to smash her head in with the ironing board.

It is scary to think that this is all too common a story and that a woman is more likely to be killed by a partner or former partner than a stranger. Approximately One in three women will suffer abuse in their lifetime and over 4000 will lose their lives as a result of it. Ashley lay dying for 2 hours before the ambulance was called but it took 4 years of mental and physical torture to kill the person that was inside of her body. To the point where staying with her abuser was less scary than facing the world alone.

murdered-by-my-boyfriend

This hour long drama also touches on other issues such as the actions of the people around her. Reece stripped away all of Ashley’s friends so that she felt totally alone. Family and friends felt that they had no place getting involved and even though alarm bells were ringing when police were called to the house, they failed to arrest the man that was clearly abusing this woman. Friends thought they were being helpful by suggesting that “arguments in relationships were normal” and that they were probably “passionate people” but all they were doing is normalising his behaviour rather than recognising the signs and then doing something about it

Many people failed Ashley in her short and painful life. I think that women can try and avoid falling into these damaging relationships by nipping things in the bud as soon as things start to go sour. If anyone raises their hand to you, it is a sign that they do not know how to communicate their feelings in a normal way and you will save yourself a lot of pain by not dating psychopaths in the first place. Finally, be the friend that Ashley never had. Say something. Do something. Save someone’s life.

Jay’s Ramblings: So…I’m now engaged!

I’m not the kind of girl that swoons over first kiss or proposal stories. Honestly, I’ve never understood why people really fantasise about it when the reality probably won’t match up to the expectation. I understand why people get excited about getting engaged and getting married and stuff but for me, it certainly was not the holy grail.

But it’s happened! I am now officially off the market and have a ring to prove it. I didn’t want one that was the same as everyone else’s so my amazing fiance helped me look on Etsy for a vintage jeweller. I will get a unique ring if it kills me dammit! I fell in love with this 1930s Art Deco set from New York because of the distinctive illusion rose setting and also just because I love the avant garde jazz era art style. Really pleased with how it looks in real life too!

As a practical person, I’ve always wanted to get an Engagement ring and wedding ring set so that they both matched. Click on the banner below to have a look at all the other cool stuff she has for sale!

I don’t believe that women should get all of the fun so I’m going to buy my future hubs his engagement / wedding ring in the next few weeks. I’ll make him wear it every day even though we’re not married yet to ward off other jealous women.

I don’t care that things weren’t “typically” romantic. I hate that shit. All I know is that I can’t wait to get really really old with my best friend in the world. That’s all that matters to me.

Jay’s Ramblings – Users and Abusers can Fuck off

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 17.35.28

I have very little respect for people who expect to receive more than they give. All relationships and friendships are about mutual respect so being used by someone you care about is never a nice situation to be in and shows that they think they are somehow better than you.

I was brought up to go “above and beyond the call of duty” and have this problem with some people where I feel that I’m bending over backwards when they don’t seem to be putting in the same effort. I have found that although I feel I have grown more empathetic over time, my tolerance level for ignorance and selfishness has sharply dropped so I really have started to get quite annoyed with people over things I would have previously have left alone.

I found myself suddenly being asked for more and more favours with no sign of being reimbursed in any way. Our conversations  seem to be so sporadic, they never respond to texts or calls and when we finally do meet up, it’s only when they need something from me. Like a couch to crash on or free food…or whatever. People take advantage of the fact that I’m generous and too trusting in order to manipulate me into giving them everything without ever reciprocating.

Why do “Users” use people? Because it’s just too damn easy. Users spot people’s vulnerabilities and exploit them for their own means. They don’t care about you – they care about themselves. If you weren’t there, they’ll just find someone to replace you. In their eyes, “It’s not personal” but it is EXACTLY this attitude which makes it personal and even more insulting if there was originally a friendship there in the first place.

Today, I only give my love to people that give me love in return. It’s only fair. I have found that clean breaks are often the best way to move on with your life. If you feel that someone you know is using you, then you should really question your relationship and never undervalue yourself by giving in to their wishes and demands. It only encourages them.