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The letter I wrote to explain loss of goods due to my abusive relationship

This is a letter I was advised to write regarding some rental goods that I had while I was in an abusive relationship. I thought it might help anyone else who may find themselves in a similar situation. There are ways around things such as this. Sometimes we don't have the options to be able to fulfill our commitments. Legal aid assisted me in what to write and suggested I share for others who might need to do something similar. 

 

To Whom it may concern,

 

I am writing in regard to my ----- rent contract --------. I understand that this contract has now been sent through to a debt collector agency so I ask that you forward this on to the relevant party. I would like a chance to explain my circumstances and I am hoping we can come to an agreement.

A little over a year ago now I had to flee my home. I had just moved into my own apartment and my boyfriend had moved my things for me. I had been staying temporarily with him at a share house and was now moving into my own place. We had in the past been issued with a domestic violence protection order as he had been known to get physical with me. In the weeks before my move I went to stay at a women’s shelter because he had started to get aggressive again with me. I kept returning to him because he would threaten to kill himself and I would feel guilty and worried.

 

I had found my apartment close by to his place, I thought that I needed to be close to help him as he had a history of Mental Health problems and I didn’t want any harm to come to him. I went away for a trip to Adelaide as a volunteer for my old workplace and while I was away he helped me by moving my things. He hadn’t been working for some time and I was paying his rent and other costs. This had been the norm for a majority of our relationship but it was the first time I was going to live separately while he wasn’t working. I was moving out as a step closer to ending the relationship, I didn’t want him to hurt himself and I thought I could ease him out of it and still be a support. I wanted to distance myself and get him to be a bit more independent.

 

He had been a bully from the start and had a tendency to manipulate me until he got his way. He would call me names, threaten my family or meand he would get physical. He would do this for anything from getting me to walk to the shops to get him food, to walking to get a carton of beer or getting money for him. He would push me to hit on other people or call on people who loved me like family or friends as a means for him to get things or money. I wasn’t in charge of my life, or at least it didn’t feel like it. I was an extension of him and he knew what was best.  He was always telling me that he was the only one who loved me. He’d mention how no one had gone after him when he’d been physical with me, would say he’d never do it again and that he wouldn’t let anyone hurt me, but that it was proof that no one else cared.

I had left him all the money that I had (the trip was fully paid for) and I asked him not to spend it all as it was all I had for another week. When I got backI was picked up at the airport by him and his friend and was greeted with scowls and accusations; he didn’t cope well when I did things without him. He always thought that I was going to betray him as he had done it many times to me. He also almost immediately asked for money. I had left him funds that he told me were in case of emergency, I had left him $400 which was everything I had to my name at that point. He had formed a drug habit since we made the move from Tasmania to Brisbane, I knew something was wrong but I hadn’t had a whole lot of experience with that and so I didn’t know what.

 

I had wanted to go to my new place as soon as I got back but he got angry and wouldn’t let me leave his place. When I say he wouldn’t let me leave I mean it, he would push me back towards the house whenever I would try to walk away or follow me and whisper threats so I would get scared and give in. On a few occasions he had locked me in his room so I couldn’t leave. This time he threatened me and taunted me until I gave in and stayed.

 

The following night he turned up at my new place and insisted on staying. He was angry and jealous, I had been reaching out to people to get help and he was starting to suspect something was going on. He pushed me down and grabbed my phone, lying on top of me so I couldn’t move and calling me every name you could think to call someone you really want to hurt. That night was taken up with these violent outbursts followed by him apologizing and then starting on me all over again. I told him it was over and had to call the police as he got very upset.

 

The next day I left as I had work and I got call after call from him threatening to hurt himself if I didn’t go back to him, I called the police and said he was in danger of hurting himself. Not long after this I got calls from his father asking me to give him another chance. Months before I had gotten calls from his Mum who had promised she would help him be better to me and after taking him back I didn’t hear from her again.  I didn’t go back and instead I called my mum before meeting a friend and heading over to the courthouse. I spoke to a woman in the domestic violence team there who helped me organize a protection order.

 

While I was at the courthouse my friend had left to go back to work and called me from out the front, she said that he was out the front waiting for me. I got escorted out by police and they came to my new little flat to get some things so I could stay elsewhere. I had no money and as I knew very few people in Brisbane I didn’t have many places to go. I shared a girlfriend’s bed for almost two weeks.  We went and collected all my things from the unit and stored them in her garage. My landlord at the time who I had only just started my lease with contacted me to advise that he was being harassed by my now ex-partner. He wanted to know where I was and also wanted my bond and rent money. He told my landlord that he would be back every day with friends until he got what he wanted.

 

I didn’t feel like I had any other option other than to move again. It was months before I went through everything properly and realized that a fair bit of my stuff was missing. This is included my ----- rent goods. By this point he had left the state and I was struggling with the aftermath of what had happened. It’s taken me months again to pluck up the courage to slowly go through the long list of debts and mess that was created while I was with him.

 

I went to the police to report the goods stolen but they advised me that they couldn’t do anything as it was a domestic arrangement and the goods were not so much stolen as they were left behind. They advised me to talk directly to him to get the goods back. That was impossible (given the protection order) and I was too afraid to do anything more about trying to find out what happened to the goods. The restraining order is still in place.

 

I am happy to help ======= in anyway to assist with a police report about the goods which are now presumed stolen or lost.

 

So in closing I would return my ----- rent goods if I could and I really want to end my contract. I am in the process of declaring bankruptcy and to be honest I am not quite sure what to do. I don’t have anything to give back and I don’t have money to pay for them either. I feel very helpless and lost and need help.

 

I would really appreciate your help and advice on the matter.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Ada 

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Re: The letter I wrote to explain loss of goods due to my abusive relationship

Hey @dodo_ada welcome to ReachOut! 

I have read your letter, and I am sorry to hear about the tough times that you have been through up until this point. I think it's awesome that you got legal advice from Legal Aid though, a lot of people don't realise the rights they have around tenancy and things like that.

 

I hope that you get a fair outcome out of this. 

 

I suppose it's tricky though when so many things are happening to act on those rights and sometimes getting a bit of professional support can go a long way!

 

Have you heard about financial counsellors? Their job is to help people going through tough times involving money-much like this. They're generally run by a not for profit and can be really helpful in negotiating through things like this! Have a bit of a google and if you can't find one in your area but are still interested, maybe we can help! 

 

Also all of this sounds pretty intense! What are you doing to manage stress through this? It's important to make sure that you look after your mental health when lots of intense things are happening. If it helps, have a read of some of our articles on stress and anxiety

 

We also have this heaps cool list of Coping strategies. Sometimes, just taking a few moments out of a busy day to give your brain a break can make a big difference! 

 

Let us know how you're doing @dodo_ada we're here for you! 

 

 

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Re: The letter I wrote to explain loss of goods due to my abusive relationship

Hey @dodo_ada,

I just wanted to say, you are so brave to be moving on from your abusive relationship. Good on you. And good on your for sharing this letter to help others who may be in a similar situation and not sure what they can do.  And I hope you stick around here on ReachOut. The people here are really friendly and supportive. Smiley Happy There's an introduction thread if you'd like to say hi and get to know people. Smiley Happy

Wishing you all the best.

blithe

 

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Re: The letter I wrote to explain loss of goods due to my abusive relationship

Hey @Ben-RO,

 

I have seen 2 financial counsellors and both have advised me that at this point my best option is to declare bankruptcy. This was one of the final things I had to sort out before declaring myself bankrupt. Because it was a goods rental agreement it is classified as a secured loan. As it was a rental agreement and the goods never belonged to me there was a possibility of me being pursued for fraud for not being able to return the goods and not having the money to pay them.

Which is why it was a bit tricky and I needed the help of Legal Aid to find out my options. I have sent the letter onto the relevent company and they are waiting for me to declare bankruptcy before they decide what they will do regarding it.

 

I unfortuantly didn't deal with my stress in the right way and this led me to start self harming and putting myself in harmful or dangerous situations. I stopped taking care of myself and started to almost act out. It ended up with me being admitted to the Hospital for being at risk of suicide. I am only just starting to take charge and deal with everything that has happened properly after another hospital stay for an attempted suicide. They diagnosed me with Post Tramatic Stress Disorder and now they have also advised me that in their opinion I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I am now seeing a Psychologist reguraly and I have moved back to my home state to allow my family to give me the support I have been lacking. 

 

I still struggle and taking help from others is not an easy thing for me to do. I've been on my own away from family since I was about 17 and at 25 moving back home and letting my parents help me is something I find incredibly difficult. I've starting to claim income protection through my super fund as I haven't been able to attend for a few months due to my anxiety and stress levels. Money is still an issue as there is a waiting period of a month and then they back pay after another month. 

Moving interstate as well is an extra stress as I am unsure of how to even begin a return to work plan being so far away. I still haven't filed for bankruptcy and am unsure of how to do this as I have moved interstate away from my financial counsellor. 

 

My ex who the letter was written about was still sending threats to me up until a month ago. He started threatening my family as a means for him to speak to me and the police advised that as the restraining order was never served to him it wasn't actually in affect so he wasn't breaking any laws. 

 

He no longer knows how to contact me and the people around me wouldn't tell me if he was in touch with them which limits my stress. 

 

Thanks for your reply. 

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Re: The letter I wrote to explain loss of goods due to my abusive relationship

Hey @blithe,

Thanks for the welcome. I was a bit nervous to share my experience and I still struggle reading that letter. It was only end of an incredibly traumatic relationship, when I think of all I put up with before I got to that point it makes me sick. No one should be treated like I was, or feel that this sort of behaviour is normal or deserved. It took me a long time to realise that it was all very wrong. I hope it does help others who are going through something similar and don't know their options or that there are ways to get help. 

Thanks for the shout out. Smiley Happy

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Re: The letter I wrote to explain loss of goods due to my abusive relationship

@dodo_ada The experiences you have shared with us sound like some very tough times! I do see in your story that you are doing things to stay safe and to move on to a better place, stressful as that process is! 

 

Do you mind sharing with us what sort of things are you doing to look after yourself now? And i am curious, what are you learning about Borderline Personality Disorder?

 

Also we had a really good talk last week about Self-Injury, there's heaps of really amazing info!

Click Here

 

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Re: The letter I wrote to explain loss of goods due to my abusive relationship

Hey @Ben-RO,

I have moved back to live with my family for awhile and am seeing a psychologist on a regular basis. I am also seeing a Psychiatrist and my GP every few weeks.

 

I am doing psycho therapy with my psychologist and will be looking at joining a community group that do Dialectical behaviour therapy which is what they recommend for people suffering Borderline Personality Disorder. I have also started taking a low dose of  to help lift my moods and assist with my anxiety. It will be an ongoing thing though and my doctors have made it very clear that medication is a very small part of recovery. What is more important is my ongoing therapy and support. 

 

For myself although I never considered myself an arty kind of person I have taken up doodeling when I feel overwhelmed. Just scribbling in an art book with no plan and seeing what comes out. I find it incredibly theraputic and calming.  For my self harm as well it is a great distraction as it gives me something to do with my hands and my mind almost reaches a meditative state. As self harm can be an addiction on it's own it's good to have something else to do in it's place. I also write in a journel, not all my entries make sense but rather then explode or do something silly I just write whatever is in my head at the time. 

 

I've learnt that borderline personality disorder is often triggered by post traumatic stress disorder and that over time with therapy and awareness I could end up no longer fitting into that category. An article that really helped me accept my diagnosis was  When the doctors first diagnosed me I blatently refused to see any truth in their diagnoisis, it wasn't until reading this article that everything really clicked. It was like reading about me and it helped me accept help and support. 

 

Thanks, I will look at the self harm posts. Smiley Happy

 

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Re: The letter I wrote to explain loss of goods due to my abusive relationship

Welcome to ReachOut @dodo_ada.

It takes extraordinary amounts of strength to leave a relationship like you have, and to also share your story with others so they too can gather their strength. Thank you.

Huge props to you for seeking help and recognising it is a journey to recovery, this is often the second difficult step that survivors of abusive relationships have to face. It's great you have so much support around you and you can focus on staying safe. Thanks also for sharing your coping strategies, it's helpful to see other people's perspectives. I do hope you'll stick around and chat to us in the forums. There's some great (and long!) games if you ever need a distraction Smiley Wink

 

I've also had to edit your post to keep it within community guidelines. Hope you don't mind!