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Joe's personal story

I have copped it twice.

The first time was over a decade ago, with my second girlfriend. Alarm bells should have rung when I initially met her family. Plenty of children, no fathers. All women referred to the fathers in their families as 'sperm donors'. I believe initially I was just an escape from the rest of her family, as within months, despite not really wanting to move in that quickly, we were living together.

Our home was constantly a mess. I'm not the neatest of people, but I do clean up after myself. She wasn't so much into that. So despite working two jobs, it was up to me to do all the housework, as well as clean up her mess.

Going out to do the shopping was an ordeal, a T-shirt and tracksuit pants weren't good enough to go to the supermarket. I had to wear a nice shirt and trousers, and that was just the start. The real fun began any time we had to stand in a queue. 'Look at that fat bitch. She needs a good smack. What a dick. Why can't she hurry her fat ass up.' Of course these lines only came out if there was another male with the other woman. Which usually resulted in a very pissed off boyfriend fronting up to me about my girlfriend's behaviour.

Not being a jealous guy, I had no worries with her going out clubbing to all hours, but when a mutual friend went with her and told me she had been popping ecstasy and disappearing off with other men, I was devastated. Asking her about the drugs was the beginning of the end, and that set off months of 'You're shit. Your family is shit. Your mother is a scumbag and can't cook for shit. Your dad (who passed away 6 months before I met her) must have been useless to have produced you.' Those months involved me leaving the house at all sorts of hours and walking a couple of hours back to my family home.

The last of it was having her start another screaming match, when I decided enough was enough. I tried to leave. She got louder, then stood at the door of my car, refusing to let me leave, whilst getting louder and screaming 'go on, hit me' (I never have and never will raise my hand against a woman, it's just not worth it). Eventually I walked away, and came back a day later to collect my car and my belongings.

I was visited by the police that night with a summons for an Intervention Order, as I had apparently entered HER home uninvited, and had been calling her and threatening her.

10 years later she showed up on a worksite I was working at. I was that terrified I actually warned my boss that if any strange complaints came up about me from someone with the surname of *her surname* to ask me first. She showed up again a day later, and started causing trouble in a store that was part of my worksite, claiming her purse had been stolen. When I arrived to investigate, I was absolutely pumped when the store staff said to me 'Geez she's a complete unreasonable bitch!' "Yep. Shes my ex".

The second story is for another time, but involves a fiancee and her sister, both alcoholics, and me being literally trapped in the UK, with no family, no money, and no way to return home to Australia...

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