TROUBLE: Some women fall into the player trap (Picture posed by models)
SINGLE MUM Danielle Brand spent years battling depression after a string of turbulent relationships with enticing ‘bad boys’.
Scarred and suffering from low self-esteem, she finally felt enough was enough – and turned her back on bad boys for life.
The mother of two, who has now penned an autobiographical novel warning women away from players, said she first got “caught up” in the wrong relationships while studying for a fashion degree at the age of 19.
“(My life went) downhill from there,” said Brand, whose book is entitled Players Vs the Unconventional Woman.
“When I was pregnant with my first son, my partner slapped me across my face. Other boyfriends took money from me and I had my car stolen.”
BOOK: Danielle Brand
Brand, from West Drayton in London, initially failed to see signs her ex-partners were not the monogamous type.
She recalled one ex-boyfriend telling her he worked at a popular West End hair salon. After calling every central London branch, she said, “no one had heard of him.
“I called his bluff, saying a friend had followed him from the gym and that he was with another woman, but I hadn’t. He revealed he was living with another woman - I was gutted. He confessed ‘he enjoyed playing girls’".
“I let men take over my whole mind and I got manipulated and taken advantage of,” admitted Brand, who runs online children’s fashion business, Debrand Clothing.
Her grandmother’s 2009 passing made Brand consider exploring her deep-rooted relationship issues. While receiving counselling from her pastor, she realised she was depressed.
In one session, the pastor asked her to write down all the issues bothering her. To her surprise, Brand produced a four-page list. Her love of bad boys was near the top.
“I thought ‘oh my gosh, how have you held this in?’” she recalled.
From that point, she was set on breaking the cycle of destructive relationships.
“I sat down one day and said ‘I don’t need this no more’. I told myself ‘you have lost your self-esteem, you need to pick yourself up’.”
Her family members suggested she turn her experience into a book. Brand said she spent countless sleepless nights in tears doing just that.
The novel Players Vs the Unconventional Woman combines her life experiences with a guide on how to spot and avoid bad boys.
The 33-year-old said she doesn’t feel embarrassed about making her experiences public because speaking out may inspire others.
“Maybe other women will say ‘she’s gone through that maybe I too can close that chapter and make my life better’. Maybe I can help these women.”
With her past firmly behind her, Brand is looking to the future.
“Right now I’m so happy. I’m spending time with kids and I actually have time to enjoy me,” she said.
Brand said she is much clearer about the man she hopes to meet some day.
“[I want] someone who will support me and encourage me. A man who won't feel threatened by my independence. I don't want someone who will bring me down. I need a positive, sincere person who is not afraid to show emotion."
“I know there is someone out there for me. I have faith he will find me.”
Danielle Brand’s book is available now at Waterstones and Amazon.