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My name is Chris Anderson, and this is my story

I am 35 and I survived Suicide


For the past six years I have suffered in a domestically abusive relationship with my ex-partner. She would regularly belittle me, chastise me, cut me off from friends, control me with money, left me no decision making, emasculated me regularly and allowed contact between my children and her father who was and still is a registered sex offender.

In September of last year I achieved a lifelong goal of gaining entry onto a nursing degree, this moment should have been momentous but instead I was told I would fail by my ex. Between July and Christmas she would treat my accomplishments as insignificant and make me feel like the course was meaningless. This all came to a head on boxing day.

I had repeatedly asked that my Exes mother not visit over Christmas as my two eldest children were visiting for the last time before this Christmas. This was ignored and when I queried it I was told I would have to find somewhere else to live and act like nothing was wrong during the holiday. For four day I was verbally, emotionally and psychologically abused at every given opportunity. I was even chastised for going to a doctor to get anti-anxiety medication. The abuse was so bad that even my eldest daughter had to tell her to stop being so horrible to me at one point.

After being subjected to a barrage of verbal abuse from both my ex and her mother I shouted back at them. Later a police complaint was made and I was arrested for domestic abuse. I was never interviewed, my anxiety medication was withheld from me and I was told by one officer they had no idea why I was even in the cell. The following day I was taken to a sheriff court and told my trial date.

Due to the code student nurses have in the UK I had to disclose to the university what had happened and it was decided I would be allowed to attend my first practice placement. However, I was given the wrong advice in what I should disclose to my placement, being told to only disclose what I felt comfortable with. Later on my placement I was chastised for disclosing to much personal information and then told to disclose even more in the same conversation. The university gave me very little support after hearing about the abuse I had suffered and the diagnosis of anxiety and depression and in fact referred me to occupational health, where they asked for confidential information regarding my mental health.

once the placement was over I returned to a theory block and began to realise how little support I was getting from the school. They refused to offer assistance to me for my court hearing, they suspended me from my second placement three days after my cousin passed away and refused to grant me access to the policy I would be following for disciplinary after court was finished. They told me the old one was out of date and the new one had not been finalized yet.

I was admonished in court as the offence was so minor they couldn't punish me for it. The university however treated me like I had murdered someone even though they were a root cause of the eventual outcome. I was dragged through a process which seemed very one sided and accusatory where things were done that should not have happened. At the start of June I attempted to hang myself in my student accommodation. I had hit rock bottom, felt alone and had been verbally warned about reaching out tot institute staff about how I was feeling. After the attempt I was told to 'grow up a little' and to 'start dealing with things like an adult' by a member of accommodation management.

The decision was then taken to isolate me on campus in a building with no support around me. This was after I had told staff at the university that being on campus caused anxiety problems. I felt at this point I was being pushed to attempt suicide again. The university would not listen, nor would they support me in a sufficient manner. At the beginning of July I ended up in a psychiatric ward for two weeks. When I came out I was like a new person.

I realized at this point how much wrong had been done by the university in their handling of me and my situation. The day I was discharged I got a heart tattoo with a semi-colon worked into it and my kids initials round it on the inside of my right wrist. This tiny symbol is giving me the strength now to fight the decisions made by the university and to stand up to my abuser and show them they cant control me anymore. My life will go on and one day I will be a nurse, and I have my tattoo and my children to keep me going.

Life is never bad enough to take it away prematurely. As much as I t may feel like its the only way out, people will always be there to support you and help, often in places you would never think to look. Take care of yourselves and keep going. Remember life goes on


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