I set my alarm this week for the Matt Newton interview with Tracey Grimshaw. For reasons, and many I have shared in this column, having been in a violent relationship once upon a time.

With a neutral heart, I wanted some answers as to why, and to his reflection of what he’d done to his past loves.

I also wanted desperately for him, to feel that he not only had a handle on his mental issues, but because I have huge empathy for anyone who has or is battling from mental health that effect their lives in a way that can take them away from their goals and joy.

Matt Newton’s public struggles have provided a gift to society where we unite and say, “No, violence towards women, is never ok.”

I felt the way that Matt described his ‘episodes’ leading up and during were insightful and helpful.

The two stereo’s blasting on either side of a room, one with the peace of Mozart, and the other with pure deafening aggressive noise, were this creative man’s way of painting a picture of a person stuck in between.  Where clear thinking and logic cannot be grasped, gets pushed away, and leads to ‘the snap’.

That was a gift for all who of us who struggle to understand the terms of one type of severe mental issues.  It’s not an excuse, it’s his truth.

But I just came away from watching this man bare some of his truth, feeling sad that the depth of empathy and understanding for his victims just did not seem to be there.

I compared it to the man I once loved and became the victim of his rage, and firstly I will say that I have forgiven this man in my heart because his childhood was horrific at times, and I wish for him that it had of been better.

No child deserved to be beaten and I believe raped.  I say I believe because he could never bring himself to admit that much.  But I saw his body heave with emotion as he desperately tried to share his pain, so I would understand why he’d made mine.

I also saw most other times a complete lack of regret.

Mathew described his violence to his friends and famous exes as ‘intolerable’.  He used this word several times, and firmly pushed back from what the request of what he had to o say to his victims.  Hiding behind the excuse that he didn’t want to bring anymore attention to them.

I didn’t buy it.  I felt that either he didn’t want to go into such eloquent detail of what he did to those girls, as he’d done with how the rages affected him, because the truth was not going to sound good for him.

I also felt that, as I know with my ex, who had glimpses of regret, because his pain was so severe, that nothing he did fleetingly to another, especially those who’d had what he perceived as an easier life, that there simply is not the depth of care factor for the scars left on another.

I know that these scars stay with you.  I had thought that despite my forgiveness for my ex, that I had healed myself but I was wrong.

It was a day after my 40th birthday, and I was on a huge high.  Having been surrounded by so much love, life was shining pretty bright.  Until Matt Newton’s last attack on girlfriend Rachel Taylor, and I was asked by a Sydney paper to write another piece on my story.

I went from top of the world, to Ground Zero as I relived my past on my own.  I could barely type as my tears streamed down my face.

It’s hard to describe what those emotional scars and memories feel like.  Although they can’t be seen, they never go away.  They do not define me, and I don’t believe I’m a victim anymore.  But to say that they just disappear, even after forgiveness, would not be speaking my truth.



  1. The Power of Choice
    By EJ Paterson

    Please help me I say, from the core of my soul
    Which is battered and bruised from the hideous control.
    Domestic Violence is Terrorism, in the home and the heart
    It is the most suppressed kind, of torture I know.

    ABUSE doesn’t always come in a loud roaring tone
    It is sanctimoniously delivered as he whispers in my ear
    Its not sweet nothings as though it would appear
    Its horrific, its cruel, its crippling and mean
    Its destruction, dysfunction all controlled by FEAR.

    The silence is piercing and terrorism is imminent
    Like waiting on the plate for the ball to be pitched
    No idea of direction, of speed or strength
    On guard I wait to cover my base.

    The curve ball from left, is what I expect
    The attack so severe the defence so weak
    Moments of fear, destruction and torture
    “Your tears are a weapon” as I cry and not speak.

    Strike one; I’m down and no where to run
    Face the onslaught of what’s about to take place
    Reading the play, as it churns in my soul
    “You have no credibility” I miss again to save face.

    Strike two; I beg, yet not on my knees
    Time ticking by with anticipation high
    Power and Control are reigning supreme
    “You will not scream” but I will not lie.

    Strike three; I’m out its time to go,
    The punishing silence, the push, the pain
    Game over, I choose life over death
    “Its my life” I say and my safety will remain.

    Its starts up again as I leave the ball park
    The memories, the injustice, the right to survive
    In the lounge room, the bedroom, the courtroom I pray
    With children and scars, I thank god we’re alive.

    With dread, fright and panic that his lawyers instil
    These bullying tactics are no longer to be
    Change is essential and focus I must
    As others have sacrificed the ultimate before me.

    Entrapment beckons with lawyers in tow
    But no one to stand up and say it is wrong
    Only me to decide what is to be
    The road being tedious, tumultuous, insidious and long

    Growing tired and exhausted, weary and sore
    With no money left to pay the huge legal bill
    Nothing to hide and proud to be me
    All I have is my children, my dignity and my will.

    With chains with roadblocks, it doesn’t matter anymore
    I’ve been through the tunnels of torment before
    With my children alongside in the darkness of horror
    Change on the cusp, of what is in store.

    A writer I am, no fear in my words
    Erin Brockovich, Bono or Geldof I’m not
    Just a brave little person breaking the silence
    on a life of fear, intimidation and violence.

    With courage I stride gathering kindness from many
    Speak up I will for me to grow tall.
    My heart in tatters, my spirit crushed
    Trying to stop the pain of it all.

    For my children and me
    We wear no shame,
    We are wholesome and good
    Not scapegoats for blame.

    The silence is broken, the wisdom is known
    The barriers removed, the door no longer shut
    There’s no turning back in the darkest of tunnels
    It’s too black to reveal the deepest of cuts.

    In a world of self battles, delusion and grandeur
    The terrorist lives on, though not on TV
    It takes strength, courage and the will to survive
    Plus the power of choice to say “NO! he’s not living with me”.

    Strike me once, I chose to cry in pain;
    Strike me twice, I chose to run and save face
    Strike me three times; I chose to walk the Safety path with my children, my pride and my battered soul to fight for our freedom.
    Strike me never again.

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