Yesterday was one of those days that I’d just like to be able to forget ever happened and yet I know it’s going to be one of those days that stays etched in my memory forever. Tom assaulted Josh.

Alice had been sat at the table making a noise and I asked her to stop, which she did. Josh then started doing the same noise. I asked him why he was repeating something I’d just asked Alice not to do and he did it again. Tom immediately and completely lost his temper and literally screamed at the top of his voice, “FUCKING SHUT UP, YOU CUNT.” Josh shouted something back and then he stormed off into the study. I could sense that Josh’s anger was going to overwhelm him so I went in to calm him down. As I stood talking to Josh, who was calming down at this point, I saw Tom in the corner of my eye come into the room and before I could do anything, he launched at Josh, headbutting him to the floor. He then rained blows down on him, kicking and punching him while I desperately tried to pull him off Josh but failing because I had Annie in my arms and was trying to protect her too.

Josh managed to get up and ran out of the house. Most of what happened after that is a blur. I remember Martin from next door, knocking the door and telling me that Josh was in his. I went around to find Josh bruised, in shock and on the phone to the police, he’d decided to report Tom for assault which I wholeheartedly agreed with. I made sure Josh was okay, then went back home to make sure the girls, who had been in the dining room the whole time, were okay. They were confused and very upset so I rang Millie and asked her to come and collect them for a while rather than them be here when the police arrived. My brother-in-law arrived five minutes later, took the girls back to his and then I saw Tom and I lost it. I hit him over and over, calling him every name under the sun and he just stood there and took it. My blows felt weak and powerless compared to the impact I wanted them to have. I retreated upstairs with Annie and watched as two police cars and a police van turned up outside the house and took Tom away. I sobbed until every part of me ached. I was so angry and scared because although things have been bad between us for the last few months, I had wanted to try and make us work but right at that moment, it seemed that the choice had been taken out of my hands. What choice did I have but to leave him, but where would the kids and I go?

Josh came back home and gave the police a statement about what happened while I sat in another room and gave my statement. I don’t recall much of what I said I just remember struggling to breathe in between my words, panicking about how Josh was, how the girls were and what we were going to do next.

When the police left, Josh and I went to collect the girls who were upset but okay, we came home and put them to bed and then Josh and I sat and talked. Physically, he wasn’t too hurt, a couple of bruises but nothing more, nothing that required any treatment. Josh asked what we were going to do and I said we’d have to leave, that I couldn’t stay with a man who has hurt one of my children and then Josh begged me not to leave Tom. He said it’s horrible growing up without a Dad, that he’d had to grow up with no Dad around and he didn’t want Annie to have to do the same. He literally begged me not to leave Tom and against my better judgement, I promised I would think about it.

When Tom eventually came home, having been cautioned for assault, he was in shock, crying and apologising to both Josh and me, over and over. He promised me he would do whatever it took to make things right again. I believed him. Today, Tom was so remorseful. He spent all morning crying, apologising to all of us and promising it would never happen again but then in the afternoon he changed and started blaming us. He actually said, “I’ve got a criminal record because of you and Josh. You two are grasses and I’ll never forgive you for this.”

I don’t know what to do. I feel so torn. I’ve always said that I’d know exactly how I would react if anyone touched any of my children but now that it’s a reality, I’m doing the opposite. I know I should leave but I don’t want to go back on my word to Josh. Everything is such a mess. Over time, I might have been able to forgive Tom a little for what happened, had he stuck to his word of making things right, but now? Blaming us for his actions as well as what he did? I don’t think I can ever forgive him now.

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