‘I was constantly told how ugly I was, that I was useless if I wouldn’t be able to conceive children. As I started to hate him, I started to hate myself more.’: Woman escapes abusive relationship and becomes a global inspiration.

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“My name is Natasha Medlar, I am 30 years of age and reside in Perth, Western Australia. I am the Founder of Women’s Unity Movement and an Advocate for Domestic Violence and Homelessness. Through my work amongst the communities across the world and on social media, my intentions are to do my part in creating social change by helping to encourage and inspire those without a voice to come forward and use theirs, to create awareness on various issues, and to educate those who come across my platforms.

Rewind to 10 years ago when I was just 20 years of age, 6 years into my first relationship, and newly engaged to the man who I thought was my soul mate, my happily ever after. At this point, our relationship was extremely toxic, however, at the time of proposing he promised he would put his all into changing provided I agreed to marry him. Having given him one last final chance I, of course, believed he truly wanted to become a changed man. Boy was I wrong.

Courtesy of Natasha Nadine Medlar

We started dating when I was 14 and, of course, it was the perfect high school love. He was adored and loved by my friends and family, he seemed to be such a gentleman. The first incident of abuse I received from my ex was when I was 15 years old. He kicked me in my shin, followed by a hard punch in my stomach. The reason being I was supposedly looking at a group of guys that were talking about me; but really, they were a group my ex and I knew of. I cried. He apologized and promised never to do it again; I, of course, believed him.

A year later it was my year 12 school ball and I copped a side punch to my jaw, just because a fight broke out near us while we were standing in a taxi line. This time the incident was in public and a few others queuing in the line saw what had just happened and went off at him for touching me. I remember trying my hardest not to cry even though the pain was excruciating. Not because I was embarrassed, but because I didn’t want my ex to get in trouble. How stupid of me, for STILL caring about HIS well-being first. After they had approached him for punching me he had the nerve to run off, to avoid being attacked, and had no care for my welfare or how I was going to get home, alone, late at night.

From this point forward, the abuse starting to reoccur more often. Whenever we had a fight, he would constantly throw in my face how many better-looking girls he could get or that he could have so many girls and play around, or question why should he have to just settle with me. He constantly made me feel insecure and unsure of myself and my worth. Shortly after I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and the verbal abuse got worse. As I started gaining weight from the small size 8 he met me as because of my ovary problem, I was constantly told how ugly from head to toe I was and that I was useless if I wouldn’t be able to conceive children. My self-esteem at this point was already rock bottom because of my body changes and the way he bullied me each day. I was constantly in the gym, eating healthy, changing my hairstyle every few weeks, always buying new clothes to wear to impress him, but none of it was good enough. The pressure he imposed on me consumed me which caused me to have severe anxiety. I was always on edge.

I was demanded and forced to choose between him and my friends. Next, it was to choose him or my family. I was young and heavily influenced by him. From cutting off my family, cutting off my friends, I was made to believe that I wouldn’t need them because he was ‘enough’. He knew I was weak and he knew he could control me; I would do whatever he asked of me. I was only allowed to go to and from work, and the duration of how long it took me to get to either destination was timed. If I reached home some minutes later I was accused of sleeping around or questioned about my whereabouts for those 5-15 minutes, and with no consideration of traffic, I would be ‘punished’.

Courtesy of Natasha Nadine Medlar

Whenever he was stressed out from work or family drama, I was his punching bag. I was constantly pushed into a corner beaten black and blue. The beatings would not stop until he was done, no matter how hard I cried, or how much I pleaded and begged him to stop. I would be beaten, kicked and/or punched in areas on my body that weren’t visible to the public eye. And if they were, I was made to cover them. I have had objects thrown at me, objects inserted inside me, objects used to harm me and my body. A pillow over my face while I was raped, again and again, I have been tortured in ways I never would want any female to experience. Whenever he wanted sexual pleasures I had to do it, regardless of how I was made to feel about the way I looked, nor how depressed I was. If I said no, it was forced upon me. As I started to hate him, I started to hate myself even more. Maybe I WAS just a useless, unwanted female, maybe this was as good as my life was going to get.

One day I FINALLY realized my worth and made my plans to escape. It wasn’t easy, it took over a year of planning and a whole lot of patience. I had to play his games, but in the end, regardless of leaving with nothing and not much money to my name, I gained so much more. I gained my FREEDOM. My one regret is never speaking out and keeping everything bottled inside, as this slowed down my process of becoming the real me and finding myself again.

I was a victim of Domestic Violence from the age of 14 to 21, having endured physical, sexual, mental, verbal, social, and emotional abuse. Many of these forms were on a daily basis. In 2017 at the age of 27, I finally felt ready to share my story with the world; this was also the first-time close friends and family learned of what I had endured for all those years. I took to YouTube and spoke my truth with the only intention being to help give courage and strength to current victims without a voice, to inspire them and remind them that they aren’t alone, that this isn’t the life they need to live. Little did I know by doing this, having taken me out of the equation, it would be the completion of my healing process.

After a surreal response from women all over the world, I became a figure that women who were alone and needed someone to listen would turn to. I became someone to provide advice, someone to confide in, and someone to help provide assistance in helping these women get out of their current situations. I have never claimed to be a Psychiatrist nor Councillor, I can only speak on my previous trauma and assist in the best ways I can with the resources and connections I have across the globe.

The work I do has been featured on various International platforms including the biggest Media Organisation; BBC News. I was also invited to Malta in November last year as a Key Note Speaker for the United Nations Day of Elimination of Violence against Women and Children Event in Malta. To date I have been able to assist 9 women out of domestic abuse relationships; 4 women in the USA, 3 women in Australia, 1 female in the UK and 1 female in Nigeria.

It’s my passion to continue educating men and women about domestic abuse and to help be there for as many women as I can so that none of them have to feel as alone as I once did. I’ll finish this with an important reminder and something that I live by. When you feel like you are at a breaking point, that you have dealt with more than you can possibly bear, remember we are never given more than we can physically handle. Don’t give up, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and your time to shine & blossom WILL come, have patience.”

Courtesy of Natasha Nadine Medlar

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Natasha Nadine Medlar of Perth, Australia. You can follow her journey on Instagram. You can also view her website here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear about your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more powerful stories from courageous women:

‘One drink, I had one drink. After that, I remember nothing. My virginity was taken before I was ready.’: Woman’s powerful story overcoming boyfriend’s sexual assault

‘Come out tonight! Drink!’ Next thing I remember was a police car coming my way. I hung my head.’: Woman overcomes alcoholism, ‘drinking will not help your depression, put the glass down’

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