I was terrified when I heard creepy noises coming from the attic at the dead of night. I convinced myself I was hearing things only to discover there WAS a monster hiding up there… my ex!
By Eliza-Jayne Chambers, 31, from Salford, Greater Manchester
How has he become this monster? I asked myself. I was trapped in a vicious cycle, and I had no idea how to escape.
I was being terrorised by the man I thought was the love of my life, and I didn’t know how to stop him.
When I’d first met Chris I was 16 and I thought he was my saviour. I’d had a rocky start in life and was living in a youth hostel. But Chris was a cheeky charmer who showered me with attention and really swept me off my feet.
We spent all our time together, we went on dates, and before too long we were living together. I couldn’t believe my luck!
We were completely devoted to each other and twelve years later, when I was 28, I gave birth to our beautiful son, Oliver.
I was so full of love for our little boy but Chris didn’t seem to care. He was barely interested in our son but what had started as attentive towards me became controlling.
I ended the relationship when Oliver was nine months old but Chris begged for another chance.
He was the father of my son and had been my other half for over a decade, so I decided to give things another go.
We were on and off for another 18 months but nothing changed so I split with him for good in January. Enough was enough.
But Chris didn’t take the break-up well. He began a daily torture of constantly calling and texting me, turning up at the house if I didn’t respond.
I would lock the front door and cower in the corner, cradling our baby in my arms as he furiously banged on the door and shouted.
Chris spent days and nights in his car around the corner from my house, and even broke into the boot of my car and slept there too.
When I had people over, he would crouch down under the window and listen to all our conversations then call me later and recite what I had said, word for word.
‘Please, just stop this,’ I cried down the phone to him. But it only got worse.
Where had the old Chris gone? And what was this new terrifying man capable of?
Then one night, at 2am, Chris was sending me menacing text messages. That was nothing new, but this time I was convinced I could hear strange noises in the house.
I paced my bedroom, sure it was coming from the attic… was someone up there?
‘Stop being so silly,’ I told myself. ‘It’s just the house creaking.’
I climbed back into bed and wrapped myself up in the covers, tight, forcing myself to go back to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up with a jolt. I tried to shake off the terrors of the night before and slipped out of bed to make a cup of tea.
That’s when Chris climbed down the attic ladder steps. It was like something from a horror film. He’d been hiding in my attic!
Screaming in terror, I ran back to my bedroom room and slammed the door shut while Chris simply smirked as he padded down the stairs.
I kept my ear to my bedroom door and heard Chris rustle around for a few minutes downstairs before leaving.
When my heartbeat finally slowed down, I crept out of my room and tip-toed around the house to make sure he had really gone.
I saw then that Chris had taken a set of keys with him and a few weeks later, he broke in again while I was cooking.
‘What are you going to do about this?’ he hissed in my ear, grabbing my hand and forcing the knife I was holding to my throat. ‘It’s your fingerprints, not mine.’
I whimpered with fear. ‘Please, Chris, don’t do this,’ I squeaked.
I felt his grip loosen from around my arm and he scarpered but I was left trembling in terror.
I didn’t know how to stop him, but I knew I couldn’t take it any more. I didn’t feel safe in my own home.
The final straw came when Chris sent me a video which appeared to show him taking a drug overdose, along with letters to our son talking as if he were dead.
I called the police, who searched for Chris for hours and then arrested him. Chris was fine, the video was just another chilling attempt to scare me.
I broke down and told the police everything that had happened. It felt so good to get it all off my chest.
Chris was convicted of stalking involving serious harassment in July and sentenced to a community order.
I’ve moved towns in a bid for a fresh start but I’m still scared of things that go bump in the night. I can’t believe the nightmare ‘monster’ in the attic was my ex.