National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Moving On Emotionally After An Abusive Relationship

Your emotional safety is just as important as your physical safety. Dealing with the aftermath of abuse can be a very challenging experience, especially on your mind and heart. The emotional scars of domestic abuse can stay with victims long after they have left the relationship. Following these tips may help you maintain your emotional health after leaving.

  • Identify things that help you calm down — taking a warm bath, reading a book or taking deep breaths can help you de-stress
  • Remind yourself why you left — journaling about your abuse can help you remember the reasons that you left and can be particularly helpful if you’re having second thoughts about leaving
  • Identify a call buddy for when you’re missing your ex — talking to a friend can help you resist the urge to reach out to your ex when you’re down
  • Talk to a counselor or join a domestic abuse survivor’s therapy group
  • Talk to your family or friends — community members and neighbors can also be a good resource
  • When an anniversary, birthday, holiday, etc. is coming up, prepare yourself — try to make other plans, set a strong support group in place to help you through emotional times
  • Give yourself time and space — recovery is hard so go easy on yourself. Don’t put a time limit on getting past your pain. It’s ok to grieve. Even though it was an abusive relationship, it is still a loss. You are allowed to feel what you feel at your pace.
  • Be conscious of your emotional routines — maybe your partner was your go-to person when something went wrong. You’ll have to change not only your physical routines (see previous post) but also your mental routines. You will have to find new coping mechanisms. This may take time but you can do it.

Remember, advocates at The Hotline are always ready to take your call if you need help or support. 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or (206) 787-3224 (Video Phone Only for Deaf Callers)

Do you have any tips for recovering emotionally after an abusive relationship?

428 replies
  1. Karen says:

    I want to share my story because I don’t want any of you ladies to end in the situation I ended up on September 29th of 2013. I ended up in a relationship that became very abusive. When I first met my boyfriend, he was the sweetest man, sexy, and really listened to what I said and became my best friend go-to person. I realized he had some issues, but I didn’t know how violent he could get until I had fallen in love with him. I thought I could fix him if I just showed him how much I loved him. All the typical things were happening with an abuser. He had isolated me from friends and family, manipulated me. etc. The abuse started with breaking things around the house and thought it was just because his dad had taken off to Washington with his daughter. This anger soon became aimed at me.and escalated to physical violence. I lost my job because he punched me in the left eye 4 times and split my forehead open. He destroyed my property, furniture and my car twice. Then, on the night of his birthday that September, he came home drunk and high. He wanted to continue drinking at 2:15 in the morning, even though he couldn’t get his key in the door, fell into the bathtub and then fell into the tiolet and broke it. We fought over the box of wine and I eventually gave in and let him have it – he said he only wanted 1 more glass of wine. He poured a huge Quick trip cup with wine. I went to the bedroom and he started mouthing off to me from the kitchen. He came in and out of the room twice and on the third time, he had his hand behind his back. He quickly made his way across the romm, pushed me to the floor and stabbed me 17 times. I should have died because two of them pierced my heart. When I lost control of my bowels, I asked if I could call my kids before I died. He punched me in the nose. He denied me help for the next 8 hours while I lay in a pool of my own blood. He was pacing in and out of the room, making comments like, “I can’t believe you are still alive.” and “Do you want me to finish you off? When he finally passed out, I prayed to God to give me the strength to get away before he woke up. I crawled out of my house and across the street to my neighbor’s house. Paramedics came and I had to haveemercency open heart surgery.NO ONE deserves that and I hope and pray when you read this that the time to get out is now. Please don’t wait for him to change. The statistics of them making a healthy change is very small and takes a very long time and they have to REALLY want to change.

    • HotlineAdmin_LC says:

      Hi Karen,

      Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. There is nothing that you could have done to deserve the abuse and violence your ex-partner treated you with. I am happy to hear that you have left that relationship and are in a much safer situation. If you would ever like to reach out, The Hotline is reachable everyday from 7am to 2am CST on chat and 24/7 by phone at 1-800-799-7233.

      Take care,

      Hotline Advocate LC

  2. Jennifer says:

    Hello all, i just left my abusive relationship last week. i was with him for 3 1/2 years. he verbally, mentally and physically abused me. I have a 1 year old son with him and i packed my stuff and left. i couldnt continue doing this, i couldnt continue getting blamed for everything. it was just a constant reminder of what a bad person i was, how horrible my family is, i couldnt do something with out him saying something negative about it. its so unfair to me even if i have a son with him. i dont deserve and no one does. the last time, He will create the argument and blame it on me, he will start verbally abusing me untill the point where i would talk back to him and disrespect him back, he jumped at me threw me to the floor grabbed my head scratched it, i asked him after when he would stop hitting me, he answered me “when you stop getting me MAD” was i supposed to live my life in fear? i think thats what he wants from me. Im very depressed, since i left i feel like my life did a total 360. i know its for the better but its just so hard. especially for me to leave the father of my son cause i didnt have my father in my life. i wish things can just be a little easier. :(

    • HotlineAdmin_LC says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for sharing your story with our community. From what you have said, it sounds like you made a very brave and difficult decision in order to be able to live a life free of abuse. You always have the right to take the steps you need to protect yourself and your son. Regardless of what he may have said or tried to make you feel like, his abusive behavior was never your fault. There is nothing that you could do to make it ok for him to treat you with any type of abuse. Finding a path forward from abuse can be difficult and The Hotline is always here if you need us. Please never hesitate to reach out. We are reachable everyday on chat from 7am to 2am CST and reachable 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

      Take care,

      Hotline Advocate LC

  3. karen says:

    I have been divorced for 3 months now from a emotionally abusive man. They say it takes 7-10 times of leaving before someone actually leave. I think I was close to 25 or 30. I kept going back. Finally, I got the strength to really leave and stay gone. As everyone else it started wonderful. Prince Charming then his wrath kicked in. He hated my friends so I gave them up, he hated my family so I only saw them when I had to, he hated my daughter who was 9 when we met. Our “special bond” he did not approve of. He was suppose to be #1 and how could I put her before him. My job-oh boy I work with other men so everyday coming home was a nightmare. There was no way I was giving that up. Somewhere deep inside of me I knew I was going to need my job to support myself again. The screaming, yelling, swearing, threatening me, the looks, the fear he put in me made me scared to do or say anything. Everyday I came home from work for over 2 years we would be upstairs in the bedroom while he lectured to me on how me, my family and daughter have wronged him. I would stare off and pretend I was listening to him while I was thinking how did I get here. Being told for hours about how I did nothing and I mean NOTHING right was exhausting. Finally, he moved out because I began to fight back and he didn’t like that. After being together for 11 years the day he moved out I felt some relief. I did go back to him after he left, but when he would start on me, my family, or daughter I left and went home. This went on for a year and finally we got divorced. As he was walking into the courthouse he was screaming at me on the phone that I can thank my family for this. It’s been 3 months since the divorce and I will be honest there are still bad days and the holidays were horrible. I tried to keep busy, but I was still sad. I am in counseling trying to put my life back together. I have no desire to ever date or be in another relationship ever. The damage he caused I have PTSD which I’m trying to work thru along with everything else that happen over the past 11 years. I can say as hard as it was to finally leave and as hard as it is to deal with what has happen on a daily basis I am happier. I can make my own decisions and only have myself to answer to. I feel free. I now just have to put my life back together. No one will ever understand what emotional abuse can do to a person unless they have been thru it and I wish this upon NO ONE.

    • HotlineAdmin_AS says:

      Hi Karen,

      Thank you so much for so bravely sharing your story with our community. It sounds like the 12+ years of your relationship were filled with so much hurt, anger, and fear. You did nothing to ever deserve being treated the way that you were. We are so glad to hear that you were able to leave and are working on establishing a life of safety and security with your family. You deserve to be safe and happy, and it sounds like you are in the process of rebuilding the life you should have. We definitely understand the loss and grief that can accompany leaving an abusive relationship, and want you to know that it is a completely normal response. If you need a safe place to talk or want to find local resources, please feel free to give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. All conversations are confidential and anonymous.

      We’re here when you need us.

      Hotline Advocate AS

  4. RandyC says:

    Pardon me while I vent.

    So I met her 5 years ago, and she had the most beautiful eyes.
    As we went through the motions of dating she told me a lot about her past and the abuse she had suffered. I felt a lot of compassion for her and went above and beyond to show her kindness and tenderness I wanted to make up for all she had been through.As time progressed I learned she suffered from PTSD, which I assumed was from the previous abuse, more heart wrenching pity.

    There were a few episodes in the first year that were abusive but I blew it off as her PTSD.
    She was always very insecure so after a year I asked her to marry me in the hopes that it would help to alleviate her insecurities and I felt this was the one she seemed to have a heart of gold.
    After we married I started learning more about her from her family and she became what I thought was more insecure always wanting to know where I was, who I was talking to, putting off seeing my family and friends because she said she felt uncomfortable around them. a few months into the marriage I find out I am not her 3rd husband but her 7th husband.And again I blew it off . I had read that people often bounce from one abusive relationship to the next. Then over the last few years it has gone from being insecure to extremely possessive, And I started being put down for the smallest infraction or accused of checking out other women in places we went to eat or shop. And when I defended myself from the accusations she accused me of being abusive. She started telling me she could do better and find another man that would treat her like she should be treated, which would be to hand over all of our funds so she could buy shoes,clothing or whatever she felt like she deserved.

    The Verbal assaults continued to get worse as she would put down my Mother,Father,Brothers and My children from another marriage that fortunately did not live with us they were useless scumbags that didn’t treat her right. Nothing I did was right or good enough for her. I started getting counseling and medications for anxiety and depression and she accused me of sleeping with my counselor and demanded I stop seeing her. There was no romance at all sex was a thing to be given when she felt like I deserved it. and afterwards she would be certain to let me know of my unsatisfactory performance. She would get drunk and become physically violent, A knife to my throat on one of her drunken abusive tirades a punch to the face on another. And her telling me if I called the police she would slam her face into the cabinet door and tell them she had been abused and that I would be going to jail. and on and on until yesterday, I took out a Restraining order on her after she threatened to have my 16 year old former Scout great kid arrested because I let him drive my truck a little bit and then woke me up from a nap claiming a woman had been there and then threatening to hit me. I told her I was doing it she didn’t believe I had it in me. Until the Sheriff came to where she was and handed her the papers. Then she text-ed me and said she was having a heart attack to please come and save her that she loved me and couldn’t live without me. Funny that, I had just happened to look at the laptop and see where she had been talking to not one but two men and secretly setting up dates with her next victims.

    The Pity’s gone Compassion’s gone There’s no feeling of lost love, its more like Bewilderment over these last 5 years of my life that I have given this women my heart and soul trying to help her heal and now knowing her only intention ever was to inflict as much damage on me as possible.

    I think some day I can get over it but its going to take time to mend fences and put my life back together. Now that I have no close contact with my friends and family I can still feel the pull of her trap to isolate me and seek contentment in what ever little scrap of affection she would give.

    • HotlineAdmin_VG says:

      RandyC,

      First I want to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for sharing your strength to leave and to stand up for yourself in an incredibly manipulative and abusive situation. The isolation you mention is very common in abusive relationships. I encourage you to reach out to your support system or to our program, you deserve to have support as you go through this. Our Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233 and we are here for you 24/7. All conversations are completely anonymous and confidential.

      Take Care,

      Hotline Advocate

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      NHA,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. You are completely right, abuse of any kind is hurtful and no one deserves to receive it. If you or anyone you know would like to talk about ways to stay safe, feel free to connect with us at 1800-799-7233. Advocates are available 24/7 to offer guidance and support.

  5. Samantha says:

    I just recently got out of a long term domestic violence relationship where I was the victim. He is getting out of jail soon and I find myself feeling uneasy, panicked more often and nervous. I have excepted the fact that what he did wasn’t right and grieved from it. I just am afraid of him coming back. I don’t want him near me… I’ve changed the locks and phone numbers and email addresses. Just unsettling.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Samantha,

      Thank you so much for reaching out to our blog community. This sounds like such a scary and complicated situation. It is totally understandable to feel afraid and uneasy when it is so difficult to predict what is going to happen. It sounds like you have been so proactive and creative finding different ways to stay safe. That is what is most important to focus on, the things in your control.

      You have every right to stay safe, it is so unfair that the process is so difficult to. Know that the National Domestic Violence Hotline is always available at 1800-799-7233 to offer guidance and support. Advocates are available 24/7 to continue to explore other strategies to stay safe both physically and emotionally.

      Until then,
      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  6. Robin says:

    Hi My name is Robin and I am a survivor of physical and emotional abuse. I spent 7 yrs living in fear for my life and my children. I have many scars some visible and many not. I got away from my abuser to find myself in a new abusive relationship, not as physically abusive but controlled in every way. No money no car no way to leave. Always told how useless i was and the mental abuse still rings n my head the words go around and around.
    But Today I am 4yrs free of all abuse. I am single and I am just now entering the world again. It has taken me 4 yrs to not want to go back, yes some days I still think about it. Why? I don’t know I just remind myself how far i came alone. It took me these yrs to figure out who I am. I had know idea what so ever, all i knew was what i was told. I had began to believe all the stuff i was told. But now I know I am not that person and never was, it was part of the control.
    I was afraid for so long I didnt tell anyone what i went through because i was ashamed. I was ashamed of what i allowed to happen to me and my children. But, I am no longer ashamed, I am PROUD. I am proud that i am free and I am able to hold my head up. I do not have to lie to my friends and family. I am proud I dont out on a phoney face to the world.
    I still have issues with anxiety and depression. But each day is a new day and a day I look forward to. I will never get over what happened to me, but I have forgiven myself and that is the best part. I am not ashamed I am a survivor. Many people don’t survive, I did!
    I have just started to date again. Which is so scarey !! I have trust issues with men and myself. Since twice I have chose abusive men, I am afraid I will again.
    So I go out with a list in my head, first I am worth respect!!. I deserve to be treated right. I will settle for nothing less than any of that. I also have my family and friends get more active in my dating. Letting the gentleman know i have a strong support group, to detour any abusers. (maybe it works I don’t know yet).
    I am still learning.
    But I am thankful to be here today and hopefully you will read this and find a similarity.Together we are strong.
    Love and peace to all who read this.

    • HotlineAdmin_VG says:

      Hi Robin,
      I’m so glad that you are in a happier and safer environment. We love hearing stories from survivors who made it out of their abusive relationship and are now in a better place. I can say that everyone here is proud of you! It takes a lot of courage to leave and be able to get back on your feet. You’ve made a lot of progress and now you’re enjoying the benefits of all that hard work. You deserve to be in a safe, happy and respectful relationship. Many survivors worry about dating again. It’s natural to worry after everything you have gone through in your previous relationships. It can be scary and nerve-wracking to put yourself out there again. Remember to trust your instincts and the people that care about you. Both are usually on point when it comes to warning you that something isn’t right.

      Having a list is an awesome idea. Like you said, you deserve to be respected and treated right. Anything less than that is not worthy of your time or attention. If you ever need support or have questions about healthy relationships, please feel free to call us anytime at 1-800-799-7233.

      Take care,
      Hotline Advocate VG

      Some personal details were removed for your safety, per our community guidelines. You can view them here.

  7. Mary says:

    I was in an emotional and physically abusive relationship for almost 5 years. It all began when i was 17, I was naive and thought I had found “love”. The first time he hit me, he punched me in the head. I believed it was my fault and that I was the one to blame because I had upset him. He would constantly say things that would put me down and make me feel like I was never “good enough”. Now that I look back, he was the one that was not good enough for me. I stopped blaming myself for all of this, and I realized that he was the one with the issues not me.It has been a few months since I left him and I am still recovering, but I am grateful that i came to my senses. For being only 22, I feel like I am very wise because of what happened to me, so I see this as an opportunity to grow as a person. I do not wish what happened to me on anyone. No one deserves to be treated in such a horrible manner, which is why I plan to advocate my experience with others.

    • HotlineAdmin_AS says:

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with our online community. It can be so powerful to share common experiences with others, and it sounds like you’ve been through several traumatic years. The physical and verbal abuse sound incredibly painful and harmful to how you saw yourself. It can be so confusing when someone we care about and trust lies to us and says that we’re responsible for the abusive choices they are making. You are not in control of another person’s actions or choices, and are not responsible for what they do to you. There is nothing that you could ever do to deserve being abused in any way.

      It’s an empowering journey to recognize that you are not to blame for your former partner’s choices, and that no one should hurt you like that. It sounds like you’re healing so much from this trauma, and are continuing to focus on taking care of yourself. The domestic violence movement is fortunate to have your voice, and we wish you well on your journey.

      Take care,

      Hotline Advocate AS

  8. K says:

    I finally left after 18 years of abuse. Been free 6 months now. I never realised just how abusive it all was until I was outside looking in. He has broken me as a person. I have no idea how to get me back. I feel ugly, worthless, useless and totally unlovable. Yet I fear I still love him – why???? I would never go back to him. All the tears and the bruises. I just want to feel happy. All I want to do is cry. For all the years I lost. For my failure at not being able to make him love me enough to not hurt me. And I am so lonely. You know just how messed up I am when I actually miss being hit – it was the only way I felt any emotion from him.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      K,

      Thank you so much reaching out to our blog community. It sounds like this was such a scary situation and I am so glad to hear that you are free! We know that abusive relationships are such complicated situations with very complicated emotions. It is completely normal and understandable to continue to care and miss someone who has been such a huge part of your life. No relationship is bad 100% of the time and its understandable to focus on all aspects of the relationship. Know that this is a process, and there is no timeline to healing. Advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline understand that this is not easy and are available to talk through this as well as help you locate local support services. We are available 24/7 and your call is completely anonymous and confidential.

      Until then,
      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  9. Gee says:

    I have been married for 7 years. We have had a very rough marriage. When things are good we are great when things are bad they get really ugly. We argued alot. He ended up going to prison for 3 1/2 years. I used that as my way out and moved to another state. Even then he still tormented me by taking me to court and trying to take my kids away (even while he was in prison). I managed to stay in another state in about 3 yrs. Despite all the drama I still loved him and wanted to try to work it out. While in another state I did however start a new relationship with someon else. Feelings got involved but in the end it did not work out, he went back tohis ex and a family member was sick soI moved back to my hometown. When my husband got out he seemed to be so different and I did truly miss him, however that was all a front. Once we finally discussed my choice of being with another man while I was in another state things really took a turn for the worse. he belittles me all the time, calls me fat, ugly, tells me is going to take me to court and take my kids, oushes me, chokes me and so many other things. I cry, get angry and then he apologizes and thinks everything should be ok. I am now estranged from my family, car broke down and all my money goes to bills. I never really knew or wanted to admit how much control he has over me. I am scared of him but the fear is so bad that I am afraid if I defend myself it will end badly because I have so much hurt and anger inside me. I dont know what to do or where to go because no matter what choice I make it will affect my kids. Someone please advise. I really need to work around this and leave this situation without fearing attack on my other family members.

    • HotlineAdmin_VG says:

      Gee,
      Thank you for reaching out. It sounds like such a scary and dangerous situation. From what you shared, you are in a very emotionally and physically abusive situation. It’s common for abusers to isolate you and take financial control. They also use threats and intimidation to maintain their power over you. It must have been so scary to have him threaten to take away your children. Although he may blame you, it is not your fault. No one has the right to call you names, put their hands on you, or cause you to live in fear. It’s also ok to feel conflicted. In many abusive relationships, the abuser can seem like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, sweet one day and horrible the next. That would be confusing for anyone.

      We would love to talk to you about your options and create a safety plan with you. Please contact us at the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are here 24/7.

      Hotline Advocate VG

  10. Lost says:

    I have been with the father of my 3 yr old daughter for almost 10 yrs. Through those years he has hit, kicked, and pushed me many times on and off. He was arrested for it once, but I just didn’t have the strength to go through with the charges. Tonight was the first time that my precious little girl saw him hit me. I don’t know what to do. We live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood…….. the kind of place I always wanted to raise my child. I am a stay at home mom and if I were to leave, her and I would have nothing and I would have to leave her in the care of a sitter in order to work to support us. Also, she thinks the sun rises and sets with her father. I don’t want to break her spirit or her heart. I am so scared as to what this could be doing to her mentally. I keep telling myself it will get better, but it never does. I am so lost as to what to do.

    • HotlineAdvocate_MT says:

      Dear Lost,

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately abuse doesn’t change, it often gets worse. Yes it’s hard to leave an economic situation that affords you to be a stay at home mom. But the price you are paying seems to be high. He is hurting you and definitely hurting your child. I know you don’t want to break her heart and research has shown that children living in abusive homes are severely affected by it. Please call us so we can help you. The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is (800) 799-7233.

      Hotline Advocate MT

  11. Kkat says:

    Hi – Ive just discovered this site and am wondering if anyone can comment on an “emergency order for protection” and if it has worked to discourage the abuser and stopped the stalking, harrassment. Any success stories? I have just been granted one by a judge and am terrified that, now that he’s been served< he will go over the edge and retaliate. I'm quite certain is he is bipolar and has borderline personality disorder. He can be a rageful, vindictive calculating monster. I've had to vacate my home , with my 4 .5 year old daughter because he is unfortunately a neighbor.
    If ANYONE at all is reading this and has a similar story, I would love to hear from you.

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Kkat,
      If you’d like to speak to an advocate about safety planning after an EPO, please give us a call anytime. We’re here 24/7, and are completely confidential and anonymous.

      1.800.799.7233

      HotlineAdvocate_KK

  12. Steph says:

    Hey everyone,

    I’m glad to know I’m not alone, I was in an abusive relationship with a guy for a year who was my best friend before that. We go to the same uni, live in the same area and I am terrified of going back to uni for my final year, I’m terrified of him. He would punch, strangle and push me against things so I would hit my head a lot as well as name calling and humiliating me in front of mutual friends, making out I am stupid. It’s been 2 months since I left him and I’m on sleeping pills and I’m due to go on anti-depressants as I am constantly anxious, having panic attacks, flashbacks etc. It’s reassuring knowing I’m not alone in these feelings.

    Hoping everything will get better

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Steph,
      Thank you so much for sharing on our blog, it is incredibly brave to reach out and share all that you’ve been through.
      If you’d ever like to talk to an advocate about what happened, safety plan for going back to school or anything else, please call us any time. We are completely anonymous and confidential. 24/7 call 1.800.799.7233

      HotlineAdvocate_KK

  13. Kyla says:

    What beautiful and encouraging woman you all are. I too was in an abusive relationship. 3 years ago I met my soul mate- so I thought. At first it was perfect. Then the abuse started. More subtle at first. Screaming, pushing which then lead to punching, kicking, spitting on me, threatening to kill me and my family and even Rape.

    I spent a year in therapy. I did EMDR. I had constant panic attacks, nightmares- I couldn’t be alone in my house. Every little noise would wake me as he use to constantly break-in my house.

    He went to jail for 3 months for breaking my leg and leaving me on a trail I frequently jogged on. There is no justice in the justice system. If I wasn’t screaming at the top of my lungs and a neighbor hadn’t heard me and called the police I would have died on that trail. He was found by police punching me in the head. I woke up in the hospital.

    My family has no idea any of this happened to me.

    About a year ago I got back together with this man after 3 years of no contact. I can’t tell you why. Abusive relationships can be so confusing, comforting but sadistic and sick at the same time. They are almost addictive. I will never understand my bad decision.

    We had a month of pure bliss this second time around. Then the abuse started again. Actually worse and more frequent than the first time.

    I finally just broke it off with him. He isn’t taking it well- and for whatever reason I am leaning toward going back again.
    What he gives in the good moments I’ve never received from anyone in my life but the pain and anguish he can give to is the most unbearable thing I could ever imagine. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

    He has borderline personality and I’ve made every excuse in the book for him. Although he is the biggest mistake in my life I feel at times I am stuck. Whether I leave him for 3 years or not he is constantly in the back of my head.

    During the 3 years of separation I got close to a childhood friend and we dated for awhile- even got engaged. My heart was always leaned toward my abuser. Even though I had this near perfect guy who was IN LOVE with me. I broke it off with him. Recently we have reconnected after a year of being apart. He is the most kind, sweet man I have ever known. I can’t believe he still loves me after all my stupidity. He has been very supportive and non-judgmental of the fact that I actually went back to that man.. And knows that it is still a struggle for me. He is always checking up on me. We just got back from the beach a few days ago. We have been working out a lot and just trying to do healthy fun things. We aren’t sure as to what the future holds for us but for now he is my best friend and complete support system.

    I daily get texts and calls from the abuser. I finally got all my belongings from his condo- which yes, I got a good beating for that one..

    I am planing on moving from my current apartment to a new one where the abuser can’t find me. I work at a hospital and have a job interview at another hospital that he has no idea about. My fingers are crossed that this all works out. Please pray for me.

    I can’t tell you how shameful I feel for going back to him for 7 months. He has wasted years of my life. I am hoping to God this is the last time.

    I know I deserve more than this. We all do.
    While he constantly blames me for everything wrong in his world and even for the abuse- It always helps me to remember this is not my shame, but his.

    As much as we know that we’ve done nothing wrong in these relationships. We are still the ones men like him blame everything on. We didn’t try hard enough, we didn’t love strong enough, we weren’t good enough.. I’ve heard it all.

    You have nothing to explain to these men. You owe them nothing.

    “There is no hole to deep to crawl out of”

    I am sending prayers to you all.

    • HotlineAdmin_AS says:

      Hello Kyla,

      We are so glad that you’re part of our online community. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. We know how powerful it can be to talk to and hear from others that have had similar experiences to our own. Abusive relationships are very confusing, and it can be easy to believe an abusive person when they shift blame and manipulate the situation so they can avoid taking responsibility for their actions. The truth remains that the person choosing to be abusive is the only person responsible for those choices. It sounds like you’re working towards accepting that truth, and healing from the choices that your ex-boyfriend made that have hurt you so deeply, in so many ways. The journey you’re on can be challenging, and having support can make such a difference. You have the right to be safe, and it is powerful when the people in our lives show us this by treating us with respect.

      It sounds like you’ve done so much to create a safe and happy life for yourself, and are making amazing changes. I hear that the shame you feel at times is not holding you back or controlling you, and that is a powerful thing. Surviving the trauma of abuse takes so much strength and energy. Please know that our advocates are available 24/7, so you can reach us anytime you need a safe (anonymous and confidential) place to talk and be supported. Our hotline phone number is 1-800-799-7233.

      Take care,

      Hotline Advocate AS

  14. Kim says:

    I am glad to have come across this article and to hear actual voices from others and not just internet therapists. I have struggled for almost 4 years now with this. I have tried to leave several times, but ended up going back because of my inner fears and insecurities. After all, it is hard to convince yourself you are being abused whn this person invalidates your emotions, blames you for breakups and then within days is off on dates with other women who think he is wonderful and such a dream come true. I feel so disposable and underappreciated after all the effort I have put in to make this work. Nothing is ever good enough. I have tried to answer the question as to why I stay. Clearly, I recognize he has wounded me so deep emotionally, but when i leave him i feel just as horrible if not more so, anxiety attacks, irritable bowel syndrome and unable to eat. I feel embarassed that i act this way and my family is frankly at a point (and rightfully so) where they want me to get out and stick to it. They have been supportive of me, it is I who cannot seem to escape him. Why is it so difficult to leave a man who clearly has no respect or true love for me beyond what feeds his own ego?

    • HotlineAdmin_AS says:

      Hello Kim,

      We are so thankful for you, and your strength, as you bravely share your story with our online community. It takes so much courage to be vulnerable, and to talk about what’s going in your relationship. I can hear how deeply you’ve been hurt by your partner’s choices, and how much you struggle with how this hurt has affected you. It sounds like you’ve done so much to keep yourself safe, and to make your relationship a healthy one. Unfortunately, it takes two people to have a healthy relationship and only one to be abusive. No matter how healthy your communication and actions are, they are poisoned by your partner’s abusive choices. You don’t deserve to be treated this way, to have your sense of self and self-confidence taken away.

      We know that it can take, on average, 7-9 attempts for someone to successfully leave an abusive relationship. There are many variables that can impact the situation, and the emotional trauma caused by abuse is definitely an important factor. Over the last four years, your partner has attacked your sense of reality, invalidated your feelings and your right to those feelings, and demanded your attention and energy repeatedly. You’re reacting to his behavior and that is normal. None of what your partner has chosen to do to you is your fault, and you don’t deserve any of it. Healing from these traumas, and learning how to function without an abusive partner is a journey, and everyone is different.

      I’m so glad to hear that you have a supportive family, and hope that they come to understand the challenges that can be present when trying to leave an abusive relationship. If you would like to talk, anonymously and confidentially, please know that our advocates are here 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. We understand that you don’t stop loving someone when they choose to be abusive and that leaving can be very difficult. We’re here to provide support and be a safe place for you to talk.

      Take care,

      Hotline Advocate AS

  15. liz says:

    Its been a year since the breakup. While in the relationship, he was Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. Nothing I ever did was good enough and he would scream at me and belittle me. This went on for 5 years hoping that he would change. not so long ago he called to degrade me and tell me he had someone new. I find myself being paranoid feeling that everyone is out to hurt me and living in fear. I suffer anxiety attacks and have trouble sleeping. I want to find myself again and be able to enjoy life and not live in fear. Do these type of men continue their terror on others?

    • HotlineAdvocate_MT says:

      Dear Liz,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. Abusers often use verbal and emotional abuse to have power and control over their partner. Because they are manipulative they sometimes like to stay in contact with you and hurt you with news of a new relationship. Some survivors opt for having no contact with their abusers. Many block their numbers. You say that you find yourself being paranoid and feeling like everyone is out to hurt you. When someone you love hurts you with abuse it is common to have the feelings you mention. The anxiety attacks and sleep issues are results of being traumatized by the abuse. Often therapy can really help work through these feeling and thoughts. Yes, these men often continue their terror on others which is why the National Domestic Violence Hotline is here. Please call us to locate places that can help you with therapy and support groups. Remember you are out of it now and safe. Please call us at (800) 799-7233.

      Hotline Advocate-MT

  16. Alison G. says:

    I left my abuser in June of 2012 with my 6 month old son. I moved into my sisters house into a tiny room and spent many months in quite a bit of turmoil and confusion, depression and anxiety. It took time to let it go… to end the habit of checking in on him.. I felt so guilty taking his son away…. but this was a man who abused me before during and after my pregnancy. He choked me many times.. left bruises on my body… hit me with his hands and with objects..isolated me from friends… was controlling over how resources were used… he has no legitamate job, no license, not even an I.d. I cannot depend on him to be supportive in many basic ways… but that pales in comparison to the fact that he made me feel worthless. I hated myself when I was with him. I didn’t even believe I would love my son. Now two years or so later I have a new man around who is good to my son and works very hard. I am still struggling to open up fully and be comfortable with all the vulnerabilities of relationships but he is helping and he is patient. Every day I still feel that I am somehow a bad person because I don’t want my sons father in my or his life. I literally cannot imagine myself being able to interact with my ex without it somehow leaving me less of a person. He has a way of just sucking the life right out of me.. on the last incident of abuse I suffered with him… the one that I reported to the police… he actually threatened me with a knife.. I left that detail out of the police report though because I was afraid of what he would do. He would have gotten a lot more time in jail probably…. I couldn’t have imagined where I am now when I first left. But I also couldn’t imagine raising my son with someone like his father. I have a memory of being pinned against the wall with my ex choking me all while holding my baby son… I looked in my sons eyes and I hated knowing that he was looking back at me… I don’t think he will remember but it is burned in my memory… never again… I just want to feel okay… I don’t think I should still feel so guilty.. I just know his dad really wants to be in his life… I just can’t be sure that it would be good for either of us… I am afraid of his strange and scary power.. his ability to manipulate and weaken me… I still have so much healing to do.

    • HotlineAdmin_MK says:

      Alison G.

      I appreciate you sharing your experience. My goodness you were in an extremely emotionally and physically abusive relationship! What you experienced was horrifying. I am beyond grateful that you found a safe way of removing you and your son from the abuse, even more so that you have found a healthy relationship. I know that you expressed feeling guilt because of not wanting your son’s father in you or your son’s life. I want you to know that it’s very understandable why you wouldn’t want him in your lives. He hurt you, and to the extent that you have shared, came very close to killing you. My gosh, your fear is valid! I know you have identified that you are still healing and I want you to know that the healing takes time and is a process. Where you are now, is not where you were two years ago, and that change is evident. In the same way, where you are today will not be the same as where you will be a year from now. As you continue in your journey and in your healing, I want you to know that there are a lot of supports available for anyone who has experienced abuse. Local organizations are there to provide counseling and support groups as a means of unique support during your time of healing. If you would like to find out more about what support might be offered in your local area, you can give us a call on our 24 hour hotline. We have advocates here ready to provide you with that information. Our number is 1-800-799-7233. Call us if you need support as we are here for you. Thank you again for sharing your experience.

      Hotline Advocate MK

  17. Helenn says:

    I believe that no one should go through that. Only humans are able to do their worst to each other. It is incredible, although they are considered the most intelligent species on earth!!

  18. Sophie says:

    Hey,
    This is going to seem crazy what I’m about to ask as I’ve been in my current relationship for over a year now. My ex was abusive I’ve decided this now and never saw it at the time. It seems silly because I never lived with him but I stop seeing friends, most family and was depressed. I was abused often both mentally and physically. It was a five year relationship the last two I knew I should of ended it.

    The relationship I’m in now is completely different, my boyfriend has also been a close friend of mine for many years. We’ve been together for over a year so I can’t understand why nearly every night I still get nightmares over my ex. His either chasing, trying to hurt me or dragging me away from my boyfriend. It seems silly but it brings back all the memories after. I’m wondering whether to speak to my boyfriend about it. My boyfriend is getting the effects of my previous relationship he doesn’t mind but it bothers me. I always apologise over everything and he asks me why I’m apologising. I hesitate over what I wear he always tells me to just wear what I feel comfortable in and like. Sometimes I almost ask permission to see my friends and my boyfriend can’t understand this because he sees it as who you see is your decision.

    It’s pathetic that I do those things, I’m just wondering if this is normal and if anyone else has these problems. I would like the nightmares and memories to ease up. To be honest I think I have a fear he will come back, how crazy does that sound.

    The first few months of my current relationship whenever he would move his arm to put around me I would flinch, it doesn’t happen anymore. In my last relationship I was put down constantly, made to feel ugly and worthless. Cheated on many times. Nearly all my money was spent. One moment he would be fine but if I said or done something he didn’t like he would just switch the rest of the day. Bigger memories would be the first time I was hit when sitting in the car, it was my face and I never saw so much blood pour out of my nose it was all over my hands, legs and clothes. I went to a petrol station to try and wash it off. Never been hit like that before other similar incidents followed. Anyway I know I’m rambling. I don’t usually. If there is any advice that can be given I would be grateful. Thank you for taking the time to read.

    • Sonia says:

      Sophie,

      Thank you so much for reaching out to our blog community. It sounds like you have been through a lot and I am so glad to hear that you are currently in a healthy relationship. First off, I want to let you know that your feelings are completely normal. There is no timeline when it comes to the healing process. Your worries and concerns are not pathetic, they are understandable.

      The memories of the abuse you have experienced may not go away so quickly or easily. There may be different strategies to try or local agencies to help through this difficult situation. I encourage you to give us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a call at 1-800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support, and your call is completely anonymous and confidential. You can even let your boyfriend know he can give us a call as well, we can help explain what is going and talk about ways he can continue to be supportive.

      Until then,

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  19. Alex says:

    Is it ever possible an abusive man can change and learn new ways? Mine seems like he is changing and says he doesnt want to express love in a jealous way any more

    • HotlineAdmin_AS says:

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for being a part of our online community. Your question is a common one when talking about abusive relationships. Statistically, we know that many people continue being abusive and do not change. It is possible for someone to seek the help they need to learn about abuse and healthy relationships, and to begin making different choices. I encourage you to trust your instincts in this situation and make your safety a priority. You have the right to decide whether or not to be in any relationship, no matter what, and choosing to be with someone is up to you.

      If you would like to talk more, you can always reach us (24/7) at 1-800-799-7233 and speak with an advocate confidentially and anonymously.

      Take care!

      Hotline Advocate AS

  20. Linda says:

    It will be one year on Nov. 9, 2013 (my birthday) that my boyfriend hit me and put me through the worst nightmare of my life. His rendition of the evening is totally different. He says I caught him by surprise and hit him with my purse knocking him out. He open handedly slapped my face and I cannot believe even to this day how much it hurt. I had black eyes, bloody nose, etc. He then put me in a chokehold which at that point I don’t remember alot, but I had alot of gouges on the tops of my fingers probably trying to get away. He then told me to take a shower and go into the bedroom. I tried to call 911 in the shower, but he came in the bathroom and I hung up. I sat on the bed in the bedroom. He came in and was in my face and told me he was the devil and I was dead. He brought out a switchblade type knife and that’s when I started to cry. He said I wasn’t leaving his house unless I was unclothed. Alot of our mutual friends think I’m crazy because they say he is not violent. I’ve known him over 10 years as the same, but that one night really scared me. The cops came and he was arrested. I filed a restraining order and it is still in place, but it is the weirdest thing, I want to call him. I miss him so much because aside of the violent issues, he was the one I wanted to marry.
    I realized after a year, that I do need help.

    • HotlineAdmin_MCo says:

      Hey Linda,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I know it can be really difficult to talk about such traumatic experiences. It is very common for abusive people to have two completely different faces. One is incredibly charming, charismatic and sweet which he shows to the outside world. His other face is abusive, manipulative and scary, which he shows only to you. This way, he can rally the support of friends and make you look like you are crazy. But you aren’t. What you went through was awful and nothing excuses that. It is also totally normal to miss him. I’m sure you really cared for him! And it can be hard to let go of the ones that we love.

      I would really encourage you to call us at 1(800)799.7233. We are here 24 hours a day and we are completely confidential/anonymous. We can talk about your situation, develop a plan for self-care and get your connected to resources in your area that can help with counseling and support.

      Until then,
      Hotline Advocate MC

      • Judy says:

        Their “two faced” personalities are an incredibly effective way of keeping their victims trapped! I was trapped for way too many years, and this was just one of his methods. The sad thing is, that many only believe what they see and experience. If they only see the abuser being nice, and never see the evil things he does, you will NEVER convince them that he is really a monster.

        • HotlineAdvocate_MT says:

          Dear Judy,

          You’re absolutely right about the “doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” characteristics of an abuser. They can be very charming and pull you into a roller coaster relationship. They can also fool a lot of people by only showing that “charming” side. If you need our help or would like to talk please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, (800) 799-7233.

          Hotline Advocate_MT

  21. Dr. Regina M. Baldwin says:

    As a counselor/life coach specializing in domestic violence, I didn’t realize how much I would blame myself acknowledging and leaving a domestic abuse situation. My abuser although we broke up, moved in with his mother next door. I lost my home, my car was stolen and he took all my belongings while I went to a shelter for a few days and moved them into his girlfriends house across the street. I was very disappointed when I call the National Hotline needing someone to talk to you and I was brushed off given some professional books to read. I have spent years telling women it’s not their fault, but find myself shaken to the core. No one is exempt from winding up in an abusive relationship and often the degradation, self doubt, low self-esteem, self blame, isolation happens so slowly…you wake up one morning even after you leave not knowing who you are or where to start. I am thankful that I have my faith to fall back on and if I can’t find a non judgmental group, and this is my suggestion for anyone else, then go to your nearest church or community resource and start one. You would be surprised how many women are in your situation. Give yourself a break and forgive yourself…knowing that leaving was the hardest part although it may not feel like. Research and read when you find yourself alone. Abuse is about power and control. I have realized that everything he said he fell in love with me for became threatening to him. Just another survivor…thanks.

  22. Sally says:

    I moved in with my husband when I was 23, my oldest son was then 3 years old. There were red flags everywhere. He spanked my son when I left him alone with him, leaving bruises on his bottom and legs. I was very upset, but he manipulated me into thinking he needed dicpline, and kept on me to buy a paddle ball paddle to spank him with so he wouldn’t bruise him. I finally gave in and he was so excited to make it an outing to the store to buy one. I put myself in a bad situation because I was in a very difficult situation living at home with my parents. I wanted out and moved in with him, then felt I had no where to go. We went to his Mothers after shopping and I showed her the bruises on my son when he wasn’t looking. She was upset and told him to never touch him again. Another red flag was in bed, he would never look me in the eye, we had sex the way he dictated it, and never made love. He would just stop having sex with me for long periods of time. Also he had a secret passion for porno, even going to work for a porno store. He was extremely manipulative and if I questioned anything he did he would always say I make a big deal out of everything. I was in welfare at that time and had to give him my check every month to pay my share of the rent. He asked me what I was going to do because he wasn’t going to support me and my kid. I went to nursing school all on grants. 5 months before graduation we were married. I was 25 and he was 30. We were married for 29 years. We had 2 children together. He insisted I terminate 2 other pregnancies. He completey controlled me. He allowed me to work because I gave him my paycheck. My job and my children were everything to me. I excelled at work becoming a Nursing Home Administrator making over 6 figures. I gave it all to him. I was a devout wife and did everything to please him. I received little to nothing in return emotionally, physically, or financially. On top ot that he would put me down, tell me not to talk about work, isolated me from my friends and family. I tried to end the marriage 3 times but even though he was seeing other women and going to a divorice support group he would not let go. He never gave me child support even though one time we were separated for a year. He would show up on my doorstep crying and telling me he loved me and understood all I wanted was for him to love me. I took him back. He told me intimate details about the woman he was with and I later learned he continued to see her after we were back together. My middle son developed depression after the last separation and I decided to take him back and do everything to make it work to help my son. Each time his controlling, demeaning, and verbal berrating became worse. I completely lost who i was and became what he wanted me to be. I could not express a feeling or opinion about anything without being put down. He did nothing as a parent. I did everything, it was like being a single parent with an abusive roommate. I could literally go on and on. I was injured at work and was no longer able to do what I loved and used as my escape from him. Things became so bad I thought of commiting suicide and had a complete emotional breakdown, losing the entire month of October last year. November 13th 2012,( my oldest son 34 living in TN with my parents, my middle son 24 and my youngest daughter 23 living at home) I got in my car early in the morning with nothing but the clothes on my back and left driving to TN. I filed for divorice the next day with the help of my parents. The divorice was final on August 21st the day before my 55th birthday. I need help moving forward out of the emotional roller coaster hell I’m in. One day I think I’m fine the next I’m crying. I am trying to learn how to handle this with my adult children which is so hard. The thing is in order to survive the marriage I learned how to stuff my feelings and now they are coming out all at once. I also was with him for so long it became my norm. I also just found out I need surgery due to pelvic organ prolapse and even though my marriage is over it feels strange to only have my elderly parents with me. Please give me whatever advice you can, there is so much more to my story as I am sure there is for so many of us.

    • HotlineAdmin_MCo says:

      Hey Sally,

      Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like you’ve been through so much! You sound incredibly strong to go through all that for so long and still continue forward. That is truly amazing. It makes a lot of sense that all of those stuffed emotions will come flowing out. It sounds like you feel safe enough to do it for the first time in years. What you are feeling is completely normal. But you certainly don’t have to deal with all of this by yourself.

      I would encourage you to give us a call at 1(800)799.7233. We are completely confidential and anonymous and we are here 24/7. We can get you connected to counseling and support group services that understand what you are going through and can help support you through it. You have the strength to get through this and we are here to help in anyway we can.

      All the best,
      Hotline Adocate MC

  23. Stacey says:

    Why does this happen? There are so many comments just on this one post. It’s so sad that there are so many people out there hurting other people. What’s worst is they don’t even know they are hurting you. They don’t even care. These abusive people are so mad and angry and full of pain they take it out on us. And we are strong people, we try to shake it off and we try to help and support these people we love, but they just push us away until we can’t take it anymore. Then, they are so surprised when we say its over! I just left my emotionally abusive boyfriend finally. I have to change my phone number. I wish I could change my job too. I have a strong support group of friends who have stood by me when I tried to leave before and went back to him. They have been there for me this whole time listening and supporting me. I’m just having a very overwhelming feeling right now, it’s finally hit me 2 days after I left him. It’s an overwhelming feeling but it feels right. I had no idea how much damage had been done to my mental health until now. I plan on spending time now out of relationships and doing a lot of personal growth so I never put myself in this type of situation again. I’m 25 now and plan on living a great life.

  24. Morgan says:

    I didn’t realize how bad my relationship was until recently. A couple weeks ago he put his hands around my neck and pushed me into a wall, which I panicked and called 911. He was arrested and the state made the decision to put a no contact order in place. We have a one year old together and it’s been stressful having to become the sole provider in such a short amount of time. The time apart has made me realize that he is muniplulative and emotionally abusive. But I do not know what to do. I want our son to have a family but I’m afraid of what his father will do and expose him to. I’m embarrassed and confused. The worst part is that he is denying it all to our friends so now I have no one. He has threatened me many times all the awful things he will do if I break up with him. I appreciate your article to help me understand I’m not alone but I still feel like it.

    • HotlineAdmin_MCo says:

      Morgan,

      Thanks for reaching out and sharing your story. I know it can be really difficult to put into words the trauma that we have gone through. It sounds like you’ve been through a really scary situation. What he is doing is very common. Abusive people are very often going to try to blame you for the abuse or deny that they were ever abusive. They can be very charismatic when they want to and present a completely different persona to the outside world. And that can be very, very frustrating. But trust in your intuition and know that you have done nothing wrong. You do have the strength to get through this.

      I would really encourage you to call us at 1(800)799.7233. We are here 24 hours a day and we are completely anonymous and confidential. We can develop a plan for your safety as well as get you connected to advocacy and counseling services. We can also find support groups for you so that you can meet other survivors and get the support your deserve.

      Until then,
      Hotline Advocate MC

  25. Samantha says:

    Is it ever possible an abusive man can change and learn new ways? Mine seems like he is changing and says he doesnt want to express love in a jealous way any more…

  26. Samantha says:

    Sue i think u might be going back to him over and over because ur sure u wont find another man with so much chemistry – i say cut off contact for good, just pick any minute to start and every single tiny wish u have to contact him again, push it out of ur mind and occupy with something else – good chemistry, excitement, charm and thrill of the abusive man is what women like u and i wish we could have soooo badly, because we dont feel ok and fun and happy on our own…we need to believe we have something inside that is ok and we can find a non abusive relationship someday and be loved unconditionally instead of sporadically (which is fake, anyway – its not real love)

  27. Samantha says:

    I dont know how to leave my husband who has been abusive for over 14 years to me…he was my everything and now he says he’s moving on by himself, i have four beautiful kids 2,4,5 and 12, ive been a homemaker, no job history, very very isolated, bankrupt…he is our only income. He was diagnosed bi-polar four years ago when i found out from the woman he was cheating with…theres been many other women i didnt know he would actually be with – me and him started together when seniors in high school..now i say i feel alone and he says i should talk to friends i had when i was in high school – he used to be jealous of those friends – so does that mean he doesnt want me anymore? I feel alone, helpless, unwanted….scared….i get panic attacks…i have very very low self esteem…strangers say im such a ‘sweet person’ – ya, i think its because i myself am very very sensitive and i want someone to treat me nice so bad…i know i shouldnt run to another man, but i sure wish i could – i feel so alone

    • HotlineAdmin_MCo says:

      Hi Samantha,

      Thank you so much for reaching out. I know this must be so overwhelming and painful for you. I definitely want you to know that you are not alone. I know it can be very scary and confusing when an abusive relationship ends. Oftentimes, we become so used to the abuse that you can’t imagine anything else.

      But there is support out there for you. I would encourage you to call us at 1(800).799.7233. We can talk about your situation and develop a plan for your safety. We can also get you connected to resources like shelter and support groups so that you can get back on your feet. Most of all we want you to know that you don’t need to face this alone.

      Until then,
      Hotline Advocate MC

  28. Beth says:

    Lana, i know exactly how you feel – sometimes i used to wish it was physical just so that the lines were more clear, but mine were just like yours – i’m one week out of a 14 year abuse relationship and just now starting to realize sooo much i wish i couldve seen sooner – my therapist told me to start reaching out to other abused women and so i could see that what my husband has been doing all these years is abuse (because I was in denial)…its true. Im isolated, he bankrupted us, he moved our family two states away, spiritually and mentally and emotionally destroyed me, now i have panic attacks regularly, all the while he was cheating behind my back…the list goes on..now im terrified to be alone – therapist says its because i have extremely low self esteem and self belief. Its true.

  29. lisa says:

    I would love to talk to you, I am in this now and looking to get out, I relate to you. The abuse is so damaging.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Lisa,

      If you would like to talk to an advocate for guidance, support, safety planning, and local referrals…you can call 24/7 to 1-800-799-7233 for help. Thank you for reaching out to our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  30. Amy says:

    I think this is too hard. I left, but I left almost everything. It’s so hard living in a substandard situation knowing I could have my things if I only went back. It will take a long time to replace all the things I had paid for while we were together. I feel so alone. I took a job somewhere else and I will begin to have paychecks again in a few weeks, but I know no one. So not only do I not have my motorcycle or my home, even some of my clothes, almost nothing in fact. But also I have no support, no friends no family here. I want to go home. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much to even take a step out the door. I just want to curl up in a ball and die so I don’t have to go through the motions of living anymore.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Amy,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It takes so much courage to reach out and it is so great that you have. First off, congratulations on the job! It sounds like you have taken many steps to increase your safety.

      Leaving an abusive situation is a big decision and an uphill battle, and that can often feel like a very overwhelming situation. Your feelings are completely understandable as you are having to readjust your whole life. We know that leaving is definitely a huge step but it is not the final step. The next few steps are to focus on your healing process and figuring out what that might look like.

      Know that you are not alone in this situation and that you can always contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 to speak with an advocate 24/7. Your call is completely anonymous and confidential and an advocate is available to offer guidance and support as well as to find local support group programs.

      HotlineAdmin_SG

  31. Michelle says:

    This is my first time on a site like this. I feel so sad that so many people are going through these awful things. As did I, and I have felt so alone and ashamed. I never thought I would end up in the situation I did. I was introduced to a guy by mutual friends 13 years ago. We started out as good friends. I thought he was very handsome and charming. I ended up relocating to another state. He and I lost touch for several years and recently reconnected almost two years ago. He moved in with me and I was so deeply in love and happy that he was back in my life. I thought GOD was giving us another chance. However, it wasn’t long before he showed his true face. This man has got to be the most mean, evil, hateful and unkind person I have ever met. He would snap at any given moment and scream at me, call me names, threaten to kill me and my family. His whole face would change and something in his eyes were void of any human emotion. These outbursts would usually come without warning. Everyday that I was with him was a nightmare. Every morning when I would wake up, I never knew if it was going to be a good or bad day. His temper tantrums reminded me of a five year old child, instead of a grown man in his 40’s. His abuse ranged from verbal, emotional, financial and physical. Sometimes he would ignore me completely for weeks, often leaving me crying and asking him what I did wrong. Sometimes his anger and rage wasn’t even directed at me. We would be eating dinner or something and he would start talking about killing people. He would tell me about his abusive childhood and even started crying once. He would somehow make you feel sorry for him, knowing what a monster he really is. He would talk to his family and adult children the same abusive way, and when he drank, it became worse. He even once told me after an abusive episode that he will never change and that I was lucky because I haven’t gotten the abuse as bad as some of the other women he has been with. He would always say he wasn’t happy with me(even though I was supporting him like he was a child because he lost 3 jobs in one year and wouldn’t go back to work). I would always cry and tell him we can work it out. I don’t know why I would do that. He would sit back down on the couch really quiet and go back to watching tv. I swear, I could see an evil smirk on his face. I tried leaving him a year ago and I foolishly took him back after he said he would get help. He never did get help and the violence was worse and more often this time. Finally, 3 weeks ago, he came home drunk and started an argument. He threatened to leave me. I told him in a quiet voice that I think that would be best. He looked surprised because he was used to me begging him to stay. There were no long goodbyes, no thank you for all you have done for me on his part…….he just left. My family and friends are glad hes gone because they say now I can get my life back. They said they can all see how I quickly went down hill since I was with him. I know hes better off out of my life, But I feel so empty and hurt. I can sometimes feel his presence in my house. The scars and pain he left behind is almost unbearable. I am trying very hard to move forward. I sometimes find myself asking myself if there was anything that I could have done differently. I thought that I could love him into a better person. But you cant make somebody like that change. I just needed to reach out.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Michelle,

      I’m sorry that you were hurt by your ex. It takes a lot of courage to tell others what you went through…thank you for sharing with our blog community. All the things you describe are very common with an abusive partner. When you first meet him/her they seem very charming and loving and will usually (not always) make the relationship progress at an accelerated pace; moving in together after only a couple of weeks or months. They do this because they can’t keep the charming mask on for long and as you saw, once it comes off the mean, hurtful, and abusive side comes out.

      Dealing with an abusive partner can be confusing because one minute they are being nice and normal and then at any given second they can explode…verbally and/or physically at you. It’s normal to hope that he/she will change and to believe them when they tell you they will seek help. Usually this is a manipulative tactic to keep you from leaving and, as you saw first hand, their actions rarely follow their talk. You are right that you can’t make him change. He is the only one who can decide that he doesn’t like how he’s treating his loved one and then reach out for help.

      I am glad to hear that you found the strength to leave him. The healing process takes time, so please be kind to yourself as you move forward. If you’d like a referral for counseling or support groups, you can call 24/7 to 1-800-799-7233 for numbers in your area. All the best to you.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  32. Kei says:

    I also wanted to add – he was also a drug abuser and alcoholic. He would spend all his money on alcohol or drugs instead of paying important things like rent, bills etc. I had to use all my money to pay for my bills (and had to take out many, many payday loans because I didn’t make near the money he did) . He would get into crazy episodes of accusations/name calling when he was drunk or high (and he said some VERY mean things to me. Got physical with me once by shoving me out of his room and slamming the door on my hand on my own birthday, because I was angry at him for drinking with his “friends” instead of spending any time with me)

    Financially speaking, I’ve gained control again over my bills. Things are slowly working back on track for me. I’ve had credit counselling/budget sessions to help take care of what needs to be done. If there is anyone out there who suffered financially because of an abuser, there are ways to help you get your credit back on track without filing for bankruptcy.

    But emotionally speaking, like I said, I feel very alone. I do feel a lot shame for being with someone who could treat me so badly and most people I find are very unsympathetic and it re-triggers those feelings of embarrassment, depression, and shame. For the last three months since I left, like I said, I’ve only had 3 weeks of real healing time. I don’t even cry anymore, I just go numb at the thoughts.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Kei,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It takes so much courage to speak out about what has happened, and it sounds like it was a very scary situation. I am so glad to hear that you are safe and healing from all the forms of abuse you have experienced. I am sorry to hear that you are feeling alone and that people are not understanding of the situation. Unfortunately, we know that many people do not understand the dynamics of an abusive relationship and may, at times, place blame on the victim.

      You have taken many huge steps lately and that can be overwhelming at times. If you would like to, I encourage you to call us at the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Your call is completely anonymous and confidential and we are available 24/7. An advocate is available to talk through what has happened and possible help you find emotional support services in your area.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  33. Kei says:

    I was with an emotionally, financially, and physically abusive man for two years. Two years doesn’t seem like a long time, but it felt like a decade living with an abuser. I lived in denial for so long about how he was treating me, I constantly forgave him, took the blame for things he did, and spent all my money for this man. I defended him to the bitter end to the point where my I lost all of my friends. I think if he were to owe me back all the money I ever gave him/or had to spend because of him it would be around the $10,000.00. He almost put me in financial crisis and could have had me living on the streets if my parents were not around to let me stay with them. He was very morbidly jealous, there was constant name calling, accusations of affairs, and other crazy things only he could think of.

    To be honest, this is the third week of real peace and quiet I have to move on with my life (I left the relationship in late April, but he was persistent on keeping contact until I finally had to get the police involved) and I honestly don’t know what to do with myself. I do not think about him much anymore, but sometimes I get very lonely. I don’t have a lot of friends and I don’t know how to occupy my time. I feel constant shame for the names he called me, and I do not believe this man ever loved me as much as I loved him. I do not want another relationship again for fear of meeting another person like he was. I’m starting to believe I attract these type of people into my life (he was not the first case of bad relationships, I had 3 others- to a lesser extent)

    Nobody should ever, ever should tolerate this behavior. There is no reason or excuse for a partner to make us feel like we are subhumans and inferior in any way, shape or form. I think it’s great that many people are realizing this type of behavior is not acceptable anymore, and we are safely leaving these relationships. I pray for all the people out there that are still struggling today, whether or not they are still in an abusive relationship. We are worth so much more than this.

  34. Erin says:

    I am in the same situation. I just left. I cannot build my self esteem back up. Please help.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Erin,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help and by posting this comment you have taken a huge step towards healing. Healing is a process that looks different for everyone, there is no timeline to it. If you would like to talk about an emotional safety plan, as the post mentioned above, I encourage you to contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support and your call is completely anonymous and confidential.

      You have taken many big steps lately, we can help brainstorm your next few.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  35. Mila says:

    I’ve been married to an abusive man for 13 years and I’m getting out. These stories I’ve read fill me with courage. My husband has been mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually abusive to me. It took me a long time to ‘wake’ up to what wa happening, I lived in fear and denial for so long but in the last six months I’ve stood up to him. I’m getting my life together, I have a new job and have joined a support group. When my financial situation is a little bit better I can afford more one on one therapy because I think I really need it. Ladies- I will be praying for all of you that you can remove yourselves an children from this situation and go on to lead safe and beautiful lives. God bless all of you.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Mila,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. Your kind words of encouragement are definitely needed and thank you for providing them.

      It sounds like you have a great safety plan! If you would like to talk about what has happened or go over the details of your plan, feel free to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 and your call is anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  36. Amanda says:

    I entered an abusive relationship one month after my 16th birthday. Everything seemed perfect at first. He was a family friend, my whole family loved him. It was my first serious relationship and I thought I was so in love. About a year into the relationship he started to do things to distance me from my friends and family. He would say things like ” It hurts me when you spend your free time with people other than me.” and “If you really loved me you would want to be around me as much as possible.” Me being young and naive I thought he was right. I stopped doing the things I loved and only did the things he wanted. He was a musician so I followed him to all of his gigs. Soon he started with the verbal abuse. Throwing out little remarks about my weight and then acting like he was joking, comparing my looks to other girls he would see on the street. I started second guessing our relationship, but I pushed those thoughts out of my head. I thought, ” He loves me right? He wouldnt intentionally hurt me.” By the two year mark he had had started cheating on me. I threatened to leave him multiple times and he would always cry and beg for forgiveness, which I always gave him. At two and a half years the verbal abuse was at an all time high. He humiliated me every single chance he got. I felt completely worthless. My weight was up and down, my hair was falling out, I was having panic attacks, my life was a living hell and nobody even noticed. People were always telling me how lucky I was to have such a handsome and talented boyfriend. I started to think maybe I was the problem and told myself that if I just did everything he asked of me then everything would be okay. This was the only relationship I had ever known. I was convinced I was going to marry this guy. After three and a half years, I found out he was cheating again. I went to his house and confronted him about it. He admitted everything. He made it clear he wasn’t ashamed of what he was doing and that I deserved it. If I was prettier and thinner and treated him better he wouldn’t act the way he did. We got into an argument and he pinned my arms to the wall and yelled in my face. Before then he had never put a hand on me. That was a major wakeup call for me. It scared me enough for me to gain the courage to leave him for good. He harassed me for a while, to the point that I thought the police would have to be involved. But thankfully now, seven months later, the madness has finally stopped and my life has regained some sense of normalcy. I celebrated my 20th birthday with my family and friends that I had missed so much. I met a wonderful guy and he treats me better than I’ve ever imagined a man would. But I’m terrified that he will end up being abusive too. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever completely move on from what I went through, I’m taking things day by day. I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t went through something like that at such a young age. I want every young woman to know that if you’re in an abusive relationship, get out as soon as you can. Waiting and hoping things will change will not make things any better. Find the courage to leave the situation and have the life you deserve. It will be a decision you won’t regret.

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Amanda,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. It takes plenty of courage to do what you did and it is wonderful to know that you are now happy.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Amanda,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It is so great to hear that you are feeling better and were able to celebrate your birthday with your family.

      It sounds like a lot was going on in your previous relationship. Unfortunately, a lot of what you described follows the patterns of an abusive relationship. Abuse tends to escalate with time and a lot of times escalates the most when the person who is abusive feels like they are losing the control in the relationship. It took a lot of courage to stand up to him, I am sorry this all happened.

      Your fears and feelings now are definitely understandable. Recognizing warning signs is tough because they can be really subtle at times. If you would like to talk about what has happened or talk about what warning signs look like, feel free to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, an advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support. I also invite you to check out love is respect for more information.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  37. Veronica says:

    We are all human beings, we came to this world alone, and we are a universe onto ourselves. We must heal, treat ourselves well and be whole before we can venture to love another person. We must also be as kind to ourselves as we are to others. NO ONE deserves your kindness, love, etc., if it isn’t reciprocated (in a romantic relationship). Forgive yourselves and dare to think that you deserve the best, because you do. You wonderful, powerful human being.

  38. Shaina says:

    I find that there is a lot more to the abuse than ever meets the eye. Sure the physical, him choking me, hitting me, kicking me,dragginf me around by my hair, insulting me, threatening to kill himself or me, hosing me down with water like an animal were all absolutely terrifying. (he has only been in jail 19 days, so I still deal with the jitters, flinching, not sleeping or wanting to eat- typical responses from what I’ve read) but that isn’t all. The regaining of independence is awkward as I’m not use to making the decisions. He always did that. And having very few friends left as he didn’t want me near them or a few of them abandoned me because I took him back a number of times. I think that’s what is hard in the healing too. The people that DON’T understand and somehow confirm that it was your fault because you stayed too long or took them back. I feel pretty much afraid of everything except being completely alone in my home and even that I scary more often than not because even though my brain says he is in jail and cannot get me, I FEEL like he can. Logical or not, it creates terror. I’m going through an organization to get help relocating, making my address confidential and signed up for the Victims of Domestic Violence classes to help me recover and become educated on the red flags I didn’t even know existed in the beginning. But still…I feel re-traumatized when loved ones remind me “Hey, you stayed”. Does anyone know how to get over the guilt of that??

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Shaina,

      First I want to say that it takes a great amount of courage to call the police and show your abuser that there are consequences to his actions, by sending him to jail. It sounds like he was doing some horrible things to hurt you and you do not deserve that. It is normal to feel awkward about your independence and to still feel the terror caused by his violence. It sounds like you are being very proactive in getting help locally, if you need a counselor or support group an advocate at The Hotline can find you one 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

      Second, I am sorry that your family and friends do not understand why you stayed. Our organization realizes it is not so easy to just up and leave. A survivor of domestic violence wrote a visual novel of her experience of abuse that really chronicled the roller coaster ride one experiences in that type of situation. I think it would be a good book to recommend to family/friends, it is called, Dragon Slippers and it is written by Rosalind Penfold. A good book for survivors is It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence by Meg Kennedy Dugan and Roger Hock. Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  39. Sarah says:

    I don’t even know how or what to say. I am or was so in love. I just thought he was trying to make me a better person. I spent most of the relationship sobbing and asking him to treat me better. I just feel so dumb. I just believed that I was loved back. I just want to move on with my life. Reading these post is helping to give me some hope. I want to be happy again.

    • HotlineAdmin_MCo says:

      Dear Sarah,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. I know it must be so difficult right now. You deserve someone who is going to treat you with love and respect all of the time, not just when it is convenient for him. And know that this isn’t your fault. You did nothing to cause the abuse. Abusive people can be very manipulative and it can be hard to know what is real and what is false.

      I would invite you to call us here at the Hotline. We are completely confidential and anonymous. We are here 24 hours a day, so give us a call whenever you can. We can talk to you about your situation, create a plan for your safety and self-care and connect you local resources like support groups and counseling. I know it can be so overwhelming when you feeling like you need to face this all alone, but you don’t have to. There is support out there for you. You can get through this and we can help

      All the best,
      Hotline Advocate MC

  40. Cathern says:

    I usually do not leave a bunch of responses,
    but i did some searching and wound up here Moving On Emotionally After An Abusive Relationship

  41. Kari says:

    I don’t know if my relationship is abusive or not. It just feels very difficult right now. There is one particular issue where my husband scolds me as if I’m a little child. He uses my first name in a stern voice and I just feel so degraded when he does that. I get so upset but I don’t know what to do with those feelings so I just pretend I don’t care until I’m alone and then I cry a lot.

    The thing he scolds me for is that I’m a skin picker. I always have been since I was a little kid. I have tried to stop and been to therapy for it, but stopping is difficult and I don’t always want to stop because picking my skin is so soothing. He sees it like it’s an addiction that I just have to stop. When he scolds me I just start fantasizing that he will leave and never come back.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I think I’m one of those people who’s just supposed to be alone. I am so sad about this one issue and I don’t know if it’s me or him. Sometimes I think it’s him, but those thoughts are scary and honestly, if it is an abusive relationship I don’t see myself ever leaving. Maybe a lot of relationships are a little bit like this? Where’s there’s one issue where a partner is controlling and really problematic? I don’t know any more.

    I have first aid products that I use to clean my skin after I pick and last night while I was sleeping he either hid them somewhere or else threw them away. I feel like something in me broke when I saw he’d done that. If he doesn’t like me picking then shouldn’t he just be an adult about it and break off our marriage because he can’t live with someone like me? Why does he stay if he hates the way I am? Why does he think he can change me by scolding me? I feel so conflicted, so overwhelmed, so alone. I’m crying at my desk at work.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Kari,

      Thanks so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like a lot has been going on and it sounds like a very difficult situation. We understand that abuse happens because one person wants power and control over their partner, and finds many different ways to gain and maintain it. Most importantly, the label of “is this an abusive relationship” is not as important as how it is making you feel and it is not fair that you are feeling hurt right now.

      You share many valid questions that may be best answered with a more extensive conversation. If you feel safe, I encourage you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 and the hotline is completely anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  42. Millisa says:

    Thank you for sharing the information about the poetry site. I am a survivor of an emotionally abusive relationship. I ended the relationship but am still struggling with being able to heal and move on. It is very difficulty when the person you love treats you with such anger, hostility and disrespect. No one deserves to be treated that way. Thanks again.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Millisa,

      It is great to hear that you are no longer in an abusive relationship. It takes time to heal and move on, so please be kind to yourself as you take that journey. If you would like referrals for support groups or counseling, please give The Hotline a call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for those numbers. Thank you for reaching out and sharing with our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  43. Michelle says:

    Two years ago I got out of an emotionally/physically abusive relationship, which ultimately resulted with me in the hospital/psych ward because I was so depressed and suicidal. That was the only way I could get out of it seemed, he broke me down so bad that I was too weak to leave. It’s not like I didn’t try, he just wouldn’t allow it (he would block the door, lock me out of the building). He was bipolar and BPD himself and I never believed I had mental health issues until I was with him. He pretty much convinced me that I had depression and BPD but now it seems that was only because I was with him. We fought weekly, it never failed, we screamed and insulted each other. I may have been raped but I’m not sure because of the situation, all I know is that I kept saying no and he continued.

    So now it doesn’t feel like things have been improving much for my mental health, now that I’m on antidepressants. I’ve never felt so ashamed and unsure of myself and I don’t know how to get past it, it’s already been two years and I haven’t made much progress. I still cry a lot and I hate talking about it to people because they undermine the problem or they just don’t understand. I don’t know who I am anymore, and I’ve lost the meaning of friendship. I don’t know what my real problems are and I’m getting so frustrated trying to figure everything out. Analyzing my thoughts, what do they mean, what do they say about myself? I have no confidence left, and going to therapy causes more anxiety than it helps. I don’t have the motivation to be consistent in therapy, I went to one class of CBT and I quit. I can see that happening in the future. Maybe I don’t want to get better…

    • HotlineAdmin_VW says:

      Dear Michelle,
      You have been down a long and frustrating road since leaving your abuser. The work you have put in on resolving your trauma speaks about how courageous and hard working you are. Not every victim of domestic abuse can confront the issues in such a head-on way. Feeling shame is an affect of the trauma and all victims feel it at some time. It is normal. And so is the impatience “to more on”.

      Not everyone understands Domestic Violence and not every counselor either. A Domestic Violence experience is much more than just an unhealthy relationship, it takes time to recognise and overcome the residual trauma and the repeating secondary trauma. You might try calling The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. An Advocate here can spend time with you to find other referrals that might help move you forward.

      We are here 24/7, we are anonymous and confidential, please call.

  44. Amy says:

    Hi Lynn,
    I understand how you feel and what you mean by starting to hit back and it not you anymore. I was in the same situation as you. I was not the same person I was before i met my ex-partner. You know what he’s doing is not right. Its time for you to think about yourself. Take courage and know that you will survive whatever comes next.

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  46. Not Quite Hopeless says:

    After 28 years of marriage (since I was a teenager) I finally am getting away from a bad situation with my teenager & myself. There hasn’t been any physical abuse since the 2nd year of marriage, but lots of controlling, verbal & emotional abuse. Now I am feeling guilty & bad for him because he doesn’t have a lawyer for getting through the divorce (he had an “irreconcilable difference” with his lawyer.) My attorney says his attorney told him that she was right so he fired him because he wants to find someone he can control; but all of it makes me feel guilty and like maybe if I put up with him for that long I should just keep doing it….I am miserable with him, but I don’t like that I failed at my my marriage. However, my son telling the school counselor that he was afraid his dad might hurt me was a pretty big hint that it wasn’t a good situation to stay in as far as role modeling for my kid. Any comments would be appreciated, I’m really torn about what to do, let him come back or go through with divorce now that we’ve been apart 5 months.

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Not Quite Hopeless,
      Sharing your story with us is not a easy thing to do so thank you for doing that. You are such a strong person to still be able to stand up after 28 years of abuse. It is not your fault that your marriage did not work. You did all that you could and you sound like you have been such a wonderful loving spouse. You deserve to be happy and free from abuse. You should not feel guilty for what is happing because he chose to be abusive and that is wrong. In domestic violence the abuser will make the victim feel like it is the victim’s fault and the abuser tends to make the victim feel guilty. You did not do anything wrong to be abused in any way. Remember that you deserve to be happy and feel safe. If you ever want to talk to anybody about the abuse that you have experience or would like information on any domestic violence resources please feel free to give The Hotline a call. Advocates at The Hotline are available 24 hours a day and you can reach The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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  48. katherine says:

    Dear Lynne,

    I am so sad for you that you are in this situation. I completely understand that you feel like you’ve lost sight of who you were. And I completely understand when you say that when you hit back, you hate yourself. In my experience, this is part of the abuse cycle that will keep you there until you break it. I am not suggesting that you have to stay until you stop hitting back. I am saying get out before you get hit again.
    When I retaliated to my abuser I felt so ashamed that I felt I must be as bad as him, so I stayed and tried to work on myself to make myself a better person. I wish I’d just left and dealt with my feelings in therapy, away from him. Feeling like I am a bad person just intensified those horrible feelings that somehow I made the situation happen.
    Salvage your sanity and leave. You will able to work out how to restore your sense of self, your self esteem and get yourself onto a path in life which feels good and true when there is enough space for you to do that. You can make that space.
    Get as much support from as many different avenues as possible. TALK TO A DOMESTIC ABUSE ORGANISATION. I cannot stress how important it is for you to have specific support from people who will be able to help you understand the cycles of abuse and how to break them. Go to Al-Anon or another 12 step fellowship, where you will be understood. Get a therapist who specifically deals with domestic abuse – ask the domestic abuse organisation if they offer a counselling service, or group therapy. If you have any friends or family who are sympathetic, ask them for help and support. You will probably need to talk about this a lot in order to process it. Do all of these things. It may seem like a lot, but you have freedom and happiness at stake here, and they are worth the effort.

    As far as your child is concerned, any child who witnesses abuse, is abused by the experience. Children who witness abuse grow up to be damaged by the experience – I speak as someone who knows from experience. If you’re not sure if you should believe me, google it. The very best thing you can do for your child is to let him grow up in an environment free of abuse. Having no father is a better choice that one who abuses, in terms of long-range psychological development.
    Get support.
    Get out.
    Be free.

    Be strong. Stick to your guns. Imagine being free and keep going in that direction. I wish you so much love and strength.

  49. Kelli says:

    Hi, I just got out of an abusive relationship with a man I have known since we were children. For several years I considered him my best male friend. We started a romantice relationship two years ago. All started out well and I was so happy to be in love with my best friend.

    The physical abuse began before we moved in but it was only pulling my arm too hard, and after he started crying and saying he didn’t want to lose me so I forgave him.

    He pushed hard to move in and the physical abuse got worse after that. He pushed me, pulled my hair, covered my mouth, then choked me around the neck – and the last couple times hit me in the face. Meanwhile he began telling all our friends we were going to get married. Until I told him to stop doing that because I wasnt’ sure I wanted to. He turned it around to be all my fault and that I was the one who was pushing to get married (not true). And he got mad about that.

    He works only part time and was living rent free off of my relatively small income as a schoolteacher. I get no alimony or child support from my ex and we never had a lot of money as a family but he didn’t seem to care and spent extragantly since it wasn’t his money. He is an alcoholic and spent a lot of it on booze but also expected me to pay for everything of his.

    The last time that he choked me I actually couldn’t breathe and honestly thought he might go through with killing me to “shut me up” for good. That was always why he said he had to cover up my mouth choke me because my kids my hear me yelling that he was hurting me.

    I don’t think I would have even left if not for the fact that the neighbors called the police and when they came out I told them everything. I have a restraining order now and he is charged with a felony.

    Where i am now, is just so sad. I feel like I should be farther along with getting over this. its been a month. It’s also hard to acept my best friend could be like this. And also, I don’t think I will ever trust anyone again. I am also really angry, and losing friends left and right because of this. I’m jounraling a lot and doing DV counseling which I have gone to three times. It helps but I really want to feel better now. This morning I woke up with incredible anger at having been duped, and fear. My feelings are all mixed up and sometimes writing about it makes it better but sometimes worse. This is a really busy time of school year coming up with testing and so on and I really cant afford to have this cripple me when I’m back from break. I don’t know what to do, I feel like I am trying to get better and I intend to renew the restraining order when the hearing comes up but I feel so empty and alone, sad and betrayed, abandoned, furious, hopeless.

    • HotlineAdmin_VW says:

      Dear Kelli,
      Thank you for reaching out to us through the blog. You are not alone. As, I hope you will discover over your time of healing. You must be very disappointed and discouraged having to end a relationship that began in such a romantic and promising way. Your description of the escalation of violence has a thread common to most domestic violemce cases. It begin with “simple” verbal abuse(maybe he called you careless, then stupid) then becoming physical(pushing you, pulling your hair, then choking you-which is potentially life threatening). The ultimate lie was, “It all your fault”.

      Congratulations on finding the will to leave! Please be gentle with yourself. We often recommend journaling your feelings, getting counseling, taking out a restraining order, continuing to live in the present. AND YOU ARE DOING ALL THOSE THINGS! Maybe your next step could be to develope a support network for yourself. Maintain connections with happy and healthy people, reach out to the local domestic violence program (don’t know it? Call The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233).

      And let us be part of your support network, 24/7, we are confidential and anonymous.

  50. Sara says:

    This is where I’m at right now. I left a year ago and just now it’s all starting to become clearer. Not sure why it’s taking so long. I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t even go down the road to the dollar store to get basic needs without him leading the way and making all decisions. I was constantly guilted and manipulated into doing things I didn’t want to do and criticized when I did. I couldn’t breathe the right way. Dropped out of college so he could go because “He didn’t think we could both go at the same time and still get things done”. I am still trying to wrap my head around it all. I feel weak to accept it, I can’t really describe what I’m trying to think through. It’s like what I went through isn’t as bad as what others have gone through and I shouldn’t complain. I feel wrong even for coming here. It’s a very conflicting feeling.

    • HotlineAdmin_VW says:

      Hey Sara, Congratulations on getting out and building a new life! Wow, you said you thought you should be farther along. Look back at all you have learned in just this one year, aren’t you amazed with yourself? Please– don’t be discouraged. You have spent years organizing your life according to the dictates of an abuser, who probably changed the rules as it suited him at the time. Owning your own life takes some “getting used to”. All survivors find they have conflicting feelings, it’s part of the process. It takes practice, education, help and support of family, friends and even of strangers, as well, as time. The Hotline is always here 1-800-799-7233. Let us be part of your support network.

  51. Colleen says:

    Hilary,
    I have been out of an 11 yr abusive relationship for 14 yrs now and am going for my first ever counselling session today. I have recently realized after a few failed relationships that trust is a huge issue, even all these years later, whether it be to your new partner or friends. I don’t trust people and tend to assume the worst (because that’s what I’ve been told I deserve). All I know is that I don’t want to spend the next 14yrs of my life tied to old emotions that are controlling my future. I was 16 when I met my partner, 21 at the time. Abuse started off subtly and then became full on after my 2nd pregnancy, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. On the surface he was as charming and cool as ever. No one would ever believe me, or so he made me think. We belonged to a religion that frowned on divorce and I didn’t get any assistance when I finally told one of the elders. I had to leave finally when he held a knife to my throat and it finally dawned on me that I couldn’t change him or his behaviour. I hope to have a good, clean and happy relationship and am determined that today’s counselling will be the start of putting this all behind me. I really hope you manage to do the same.

    • HotlineAdmin_VW says:

      Colleen,
      Your’s is a compelling story, thanks for sharing with the blog. I’m sure others will find it positively encouraging. Along the way you have developed a winning attitude that will serve you well. But when you hit a bump in the road, want to talk about the changes ahead, or celebrate a new success, remember The Hotline is still here. Let us be part of your “support network” 1-800-799-7233.

  52. Kristina says:

    Me and my 5 month old just left my husband who was very verbally abusive to me. He was a drinker and it made him even nastier. I was worried everyday what I might come home too. I just found a place for me and my son to live, but sometimes I feel scared and that i have made a wrong decision by leaving. I just informed my husband by email that we are not coming back and I’m afraid of his reaction. I wish he could go get help with his aggressive nature so he can be a part of his sons life in a positive way.

    • HotlineAdmin_VW says:

      Dear Kristina,

      Congratulations on taking control of your own life. I know it is frightening now and maybe dosen’t “feel right”. But keep your faith in yourself and find some emotional support and information from your local Domestic Violence Shelter. NO –you don’t have to be living in the shelter to receive help, but you might consider it, if it becomes necessary in the future. Shelter Outreach Services may include counseling, legal information, caseworker help, and even childcare help. The fastest way to get a referral to your local DV program is to call us.

      And good going for communicating with him by e-mail. This is a safer way than others until you have had a chance to “get your feet under yourself”. You might limit the number of e-mails, to say, one a day or, less, and only to inform him of news about the baby. If he contacts you more often than that call us at the National Domestic Violence Hotline for some tips on protecting your emotional safety.

      This period of time, the first weeks after leaving, can be very confusing, don’t think you are the only woman questioning the decision to leave. The more information you can get and the more time before you begin to communicate with your abuser, the easier it will be for you to cope with your new life.

      Remember The Hotline is here 24 hours a day 7 days a week, we are absolutely anonymous and confidential, please fell free to call whenever you want. Our number is–1-800-799-7233.

  53. Sue says:

    My story is longer than what I have put down but he did try to con me out of money but that didn’t work I would never give my credit info to anyone. He later turned around called me cheap. blah blah blah because he is so called bankrupt because of his 5 child supports but how come he spends hundreds on steroids and doesn’t pay child support? What I’m really afraid of is I hope and pray it never turns ugly because I sprayed mace on his when he pushed me weeks ago and he still called me after that incident and I take him back. Today he sent me a text I didn’t respond I know eventually I will go back to him and I don’t want that I need counseling. I have never met a person that lies every time they open their mouth, ever! He just doesn’t know how to say the truth. Is that a pathological liar or a psychopath?

  54. Sue says:

    Thank you I have searched and to no avail I called a domestic abuse hotline and they couldn’t help me because I’m not homeless and I’m not looking for a shelter. And since I don’t have insurance I can’t go to a Dr for help. I’m a strong woman I raised a child at age 18 alone managed to raise a wonderful independent woman. I never thought I would wind up with such low esteem. I’m an attractive and extremely fit woman. Never had a problem meeting men I was always laughing and smiling. I have turned into a sad and depressed woman. Thanks to this creep that ha lowered my self worth down to zero!

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Sue,
      I’m sorry to hear you’re having a difficult time, and very sad that the program you reached out to wasn’t helpful. If you’d like to give our number a call, anytime – we’re 24/7, we’d be happy to try and find a program in your area that can offer you services you are interested in.

      HotlineAdvocate_KK

  55. Sue says:

    I’m glad I found this site. I want to share my story I dated a man for a few months he was the nicest & kindest man I had ever met. I’m in my late 40’s but my father never liked him he kept saying there is something about that man I don’t like! Well, I asked him what? He said he doesn’t seem honest. Well, sure enough he was right! After a couple of months I did notice he was a liar but after a few more months of dating I notice he was a pathological liar. Every lie he said I would confront him and he would always deny it. But we just had great chemistry in many ways. So I put up with it. Until he moved into my home. Then I really was in for a big surprise. He was always short on rent and after 3 months of living at my home I must say in those 3 months he moved out twice. But I kept taking him back. It’s all about his manipulative ways and he’s a great con man. Once I found out he had a domestic abuse under his belt which he still denies up until this day. In which I found under County Records. After he moved out we kept seeing each other I was in love even as of today although he moved out 1 yr ago I still love him. I just saw him 2 nights ago. Every time he calls me I go back to him. I hear him on the phone with women he’s a plummer so he claims they are customer until the other night some woman kept texting him at all hours so that was the final draw. I walked out I told him never call or text me again! I always say that and he always calls me and I take him back because he always denies it so in my heart I want to believe that if he keeps looking for me he must love me. NO~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He doesn’t it’ just his way of beating me down to the ground and making my life a living hell. Because he knows I’m a faithful woman and a decent person. And I wouldn’t stray ever. I must say I’m in my late 40’s but I’m very fit and I’m a pretty lady. He has ruined me mentally and luckily not financially because I’m a smart woman when it comes to my money. But he is a verbal abuser and he even pushed me around 3 weeks ago. And I still took him back! Last week I just starting crying because he asked me to come over and then he blew up and saying leave now or I will kick your butt out of my house! When I was leaving he almost cried and said NO I LOVE YOU…….. Don’t leave I swear on my mother I will never do that again. Next day his so called client was texting him every minute and he will never change. I’m so disgusted with myself because sometimes I don’t recognize myself. I’ve never put up with anyone’s bull I’m a tough cookie grew up in NY I became soft with that so called man! Maybe his bodybuilding steroids has made him lose his mind.

    • HotlineAdmin_VW says:

      Dear Sue, You do have a knack for telling a story! I was hoping there was a happy ending down the page. My heart goes out to you. You have struggled to make your life over so valiantly. Be sure, there is still hope for that “Happy Ending”. We here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline know that getting out and staying out of DV is much more difficullt than most people expect. AND, NO ONE can do it alone. What’s more you are NOT ALONE. WE may be just a voice on the phone, but we are here, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Let us be part of your effort to triumph over abuse. We are absolutely anonymous and confidential, so we will never “recognize your face”, but won’t it be wonderful, one day, to look at yourself in the mirror and see yourself smiling back! We are always toll free from any phone in the country–1-800-799-7233.

  56. Alva Stavros says:

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  57. Desiree says:

    Pamela
    I just out of an abusive relationship about 3 months ago, I find myself having flashbacks of the abuse. Do you haveany advice on dealing with these thoughts? sometimes I end up crying myself to sleep. I open with the abuse Idon’t hide the fact I was abused to people. I have forgiven my ex but I can’t forget. I just want to forget.

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Desiree,
      I’m glad you’re reaching out to our community and talking about what you’re going through. Asking for advice and help is often hard, and opening up shows us all how courageous you are. Flashbacks and nightmares can be a common after experiences from trauma. Different things help different people, and I’m sure our community will provide a lot of suggestions. I’d encourage you to take good care of yourself, treat yourself when you can, and do good things for you; after all you deserve them. Often times people find counseling very helpful as well, if you’d ever like a local referral, or would just like to speak to one of our advocate, please give us a call anytime. We’re 24/7, reach us at 1-800-799-7233, night or day.

      HotlineAdvocate_KK

  58. Mabel says:

    You can definitely see your skills within the article you write.
    The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  59. Mark says:

    My ex fiance divorced a man that emotionally and physically abused her for 30 years. We were together for 3 years. Now she is dating a man that emotionally and physically abused her on New Year’s Eve night. She left him and a week later he called her and she went back to him. I know he is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” but, for the life of me I can’t get that across to her. She believes his word is golden even though I told her he would do what he did to her and he did. I can’t find the right words to get through to her. I don’t want to see her end up worse than what happened on New Year’s Eve night that was just an open handed slap across the face and the verbal assault of shut up. An argument that was solely dominated by him. What can I say to her that will make it click in her head that he’s not who he says he is? What can I say to her that she’ll listen to family, friends, and myself that we’re here to support her not control her as she feels that we are doing? I feel helpless because I can’t do anything. I need help to be able to help her get out and get away.

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Mark,

      It is difficult to see a love one go through domestic violence and knowing that it will get worse. There are several things that you can do and the advocates at The National Domestic Violence Hotline will be more than happy to speak to you about them. The Hotline is available 24 hours a day, so feel free to call anytime. You can contact The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

  60. layla says:

    I’ve been in an abusive relationship for 3 years. I’m only 20, but this has been going on since I was a senior in high school. The first 6-7 months of our relationship were fine, but then he ended up cheating on me, and after that he became very cold and verbally abusive. We took a break for a few months and when we got back together that’s when the physical abuse started. He would accuse me of being out, or with guys, or cheating on him.. when I would never do such a thing. He would pick fights over me being friends with GIRLS. He became very controlling, to the point where he didn’t even really want me hanging around family. Everything turned into an argument. One night it got really out of control he kicked me out of his house, took my shoes, told me to walk home barefoot, threw dirt at me, pulled my hair, pushed me. I called the cops when I got home.. I was only 17.. turning 18 in just a few days, my mind wasn’t right all I could think is he didn’t mean this, he still loves me, I love him.. I can’t go through with a restraining order. So I never did it, being that I was still a minor my parents did NOT allow me to date him. Which only caused sneaking around.. I continued to sneak out and go see him. Half of it was because I wanted to, but the other half was because he threatened me with things if I didn’t go see him. My parents didn’t know what to do so when they found out it usually resulted in them taking EVERYTHING away from me, I pretty much sat in an empty room… and all that made me want to do was sneak out and see him some more. Eventually, they lost all patience, they had a talk with him, and pretty much let us do our own thing from there, that only lasted about a month. Until, he did something again.. and I “ran away” so that I didn’t have to sit in my room with just a bed and be miserable. They called the cops.. and that also caused another separation from me and him. Of course, after that, being my dumb self I continued to see him. Months down the line, it really just got out of hand.. the arguing was every single second of every single day, he called me every bad name under the sun, verbally abused me 24/7. I finally decided to break up with him one night, and when I went to get out of the car, he pulled me back in by my purse, but his hand hit me in the stomach. I didn’t know if he was trying to punch me or he just grabbed my bag and that happened. But I asked him “Did you just punch me?” and his reply was something along the lines of if he did he didn’t care. That was it, I went to the courthouse myself and filed for a restraining order. He was still 17 at the time so his parents came in the court room and spoke for him, I was 18 so I was on my own. The judge never asked me anything… he talked to him and asked him if this was what HE wanted. The judge told him that this would ruin his chances of finding a job, or getting into college. I was shocked, at the end of it.. I never got a restraining order. Only some paper that his dad signed that said he was to stay away from me for like 6 months. Once that ended.. we started talking again, and have been in touch ever since. I haven’t seen him in a year, and he claims we’re dating. I never agreed to that, I don’t know where he got it from. But everything we do is between us, no one knows anything. He still verbally abuses me, definitely not as much. Since I choose not to see him, there is no physical abuse. It’s been 3 long years of hell, and I think he is realizing he really does not give a crap about me. He used to sit at home and blow my phone up he would send 500 texts in one hour, now he sends one or two. He has a social life now and is realizing that he doesn’t care about me, he goes out with girls, god knows what he does, he parties, etc. But, if he finds out I’m having any type of social life he flips out, he threatens me, verbally abuses me, etc. It has really changed in the past year, he used to stalk me and almost like be obsessed with me, and now it’s like he could really care less. The only thing is if I tell him I’m completely done with him, and to never talk to me again.. he always says that that’s not going to ever happen. I believe he just wants control over me, he really just wants to go out and do what he wants.. but he wants to make sure I’m sitting at home doing nothing. He wants me miserable. I know he doesn’t love me. I am still dealing with the past abuse, every single day of my life. I want to be done with him forever, but the problem is I love him. Our relationship was bad, but there were also good times. My family was never supportive.. when I went through the court situations I would cry for days straight and all they would say is “I hope to god you aren’t crying because you miss him.” I don’t think they understand that just because it wasn’t a healthy relationship, I still lost someone that I had feelings for, I was going through a break up.. and definitely not a normal one. I have never been able to let my feelings out because no one can know. Right now I’m in a place in my life where I’m so upset all the time over this that I don’t want to do anything, this has literally consumed my life. Aside from the abuse.. I know he goes out and does things with girls, etc. And that hurts.. really bad.. I just want to move on. But, I still run back to him every single time.. really all I have ever wanted was for him to love me like I love him. I thought he would want to work things out, but all he does is lie and hide things. I’m really over it.. I know me and him will never work.. no one will ever accept us being together, and he will probably never change. But, I cannot help who I love or have feelings for. I have tried to hang out with other people, go out and try to have fun, spend time with family, nothing works. As soon as I go out, I just want to go home. I’m constantly checking my phone to see if he has texted me or to see what he’s doing. He is on my mind 24/7. I don’t know what to do at this point.. but obviously the best thing would be to completely cut him out of my life forever.. I just need to be strong enough to do it this time.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Layla,

      You deserve a life free from his control and abuse and I am glad that you reached out through our blog community for help. I’m sorry that your parents were not educated in the best way to help someone who is experiencing violence from their boyfriend. I’m sure they meant well, but some individuals do not understand the dynamics of dating abuse.

      It is normal to have feelings of love for him even though he is hurting you. You mention that you feel he will never change and more than likely he won’t. In the 3 years you were with him it seems that things actually escalated and got worse; until you made it a point to not see him in person. If you would like to talk further about your situation please call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for guidance and support. Advocates can also search locally for counseling and support groups if you are interested.

      Also, http://www.loveisrespect.org is a great website for those who have been or are still in an abusive relationship. It also has tips for family on how to best support their loved one. There is a great book for family members called Helping Her Get Free by Susan Brewster that you might want to suggest for your parents and for you It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship by Meg Kennedy Dugan and Roger Hock.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  61. confused says:

    I was in a abusive relationship my boyfriend would get angry with me when i would say he wants to be with someone else. I found all the proof yet he still denied it, he would go out and cheat on me then get mad cause he got caught. He got physical and then turned it around on me and said i was the cheater. I have suffered many injuries from the fights including blow out fracture to my eye. After that he got all his stuff and left, i have blamed everything on the influence of drugs he has been a myth addict for a while on and off. I have kept him out of jail, i didn’t want to have something happen to him. Maybe i should have made him go to jail at least he would be sober. I had his family try to step in and help him, that just back fired and he stopped talking to them. For the past 9 months he has kept me believing he wants to change things and try to fix us. But all he has done is played the disappearing reappearing game with me, so it has really taken a toll on my emotions. He hasn’t argued with me or gotten physical with me but when i try to talk serious he runs away, he can barely look me in the eye. I told him he is the only one that can give me the closure to what had happened to me, I’ve asked him a million things but he hasn’t answered one thing
    I’m so confused and i don’t understand! The past 5 months i will hear from him once or twice a month, and each time he will make me believe he wants to change and how sorry he is then a few hours later he has to go not to hear from him for who knows how long. I don’t hate him i have forgiven him for what has happened, I’m not a person to hold things against someone. I just don’t know how to get closure to all this, i do still love him with all my heart i know he needs help i just don’t know how to get through to him. I can’t heal or move on cause i don’t understand why he hurt me, i have to look at my face every day and see my scare and thi.nk to myself why! If i can’t get even a i never loved you, i hate you something from him, i don’t know how to start to heal from the scars left behind. I cry all the time, i have anxiety panic attacks, depression, I’m barley making it through life financially. I’m about to just collapse i have no money to even pay my rent on the first. I work full time i go to work and come home everyday, even on the weekends i stay home alone or with my kids! I have always been the person that helps others, that I’m the one that doesn’t know how to ask for help! My mind tells me one thing and my heart another, it’s hard to shut your heart off it always over rides my mind. I’m just so completely lost!!!!

    • HotlineAdmin_AB says:

      Confused thank you so much for sharing your feelings about your experience. What you are going through is difficult and recovery is hard so please take care of yourself. Don’t put a time limit on getting past your pain. It’s ok to grieve. Even though it was an abusive relationship, it is still a loss. You are allowed to feel what you feel at your pace. If you think you might be interested in counseling you can give us a call at the National Domestic Violence HOTLINE, 1-800-799-7233 we can try to help you locate an organization that offers counseling. We are here 24 hours a day it’s confidential and anonymous when you call.

  62. Dhyan says:

    Hi Pamela. I guess you could say I am a domestic violence survivor as well. Growing up, .y siblings and I witnessed my father brtually beating my mother. I rememeber being about 8 when the violence got really bad. Waking up in the middle of the night to her body being thrown againt the walls or to her screams was terrible enough, but as I got older, I thought I could stop him by stepping in the middle and trying to stop him – I thought he would never lay his hands on me. I was WRONG! Any attempts to intervene were met with the same violence he unleashed on my mother. As I got older (into my tees), I urged her to leave; find safety. There was no one we could turn to. He kept us so isolated, that we had no family or friends to turn to. It was just us. In 2005, she was finally able to escape, but she was unable to take us with her. She was kept so isolated; unable to work or go to school to gain the independance she needed to survive on her own. By then I was in my freshman year of college and things went from bad to worse. My father’s full rage was taken out on me. To make things worse, my younger brother became a participant in the abuse. He saw that it was okay to hit a woman (a behavior he learned from watching my father). I was physically kicked out of the house by my father when I finally stood up to him; I said, “no that mom is gone you have no one to beat on but me.” I was no longer his punching bag. I vowed I would never let a man do to me what my father had done to my mother! Fastforward to 2007 when I met my then boyfriend, now ex. Things started out great! I was in heaven. This man treated me like a queen. I thought I had found my soul-mate. He said he like the fact that I was so reserved and quiet – what he thought was queit and reserved was me still trying to heal from the abuse. Even though I told him my story he always seemed to one-up mine. His response was, “trying being born to a crack addicted mother” or, “you always use that as an excuse! Get over it! I should have taken this as a sign, but I wanted to love and be loved again. I sought comfort in his arms even though he was just as toxic as my father. I was too blind to see this. The physical abuse didn’t come until the end of our 6 year relationship, but the emotional and verbal abuse reared its ugly head earlier on. He would tell me I was fat and compare my picture to those of his favorite female celebrities. He would have females calling his phone, claiming to be “just friends”, but the minute I had a male friend call me, I was all of a sudden “cheating on him”. The last day of our relationship ended with him throwing me out his apartment and down a flight of concrete stairs because I wouldn’t have sex with him. It is now 2013. I’m 27 years old and I still have flashbacks of my father and my ex. I still remember vividly the sounds of a body being battered, the smell of blood and my mother’s screams. I remember never being good enough in the eyes of a man who I thought would be my rock. I need help! I’ve sought help, but unfortunately where I live, you have to be suicidal or at risk for hurting someone in order to get help. I thought that by sharing my story, I could get the help I need to cope. Please help me. I feel the depression getting worse. I still wake up in tears. I still feel anger towards the men in my life that betrayed me

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Hello Dhyan,

      You are such a strong person, it takes plenty of courage and strength to stand where you are now. I want to let you know that the National Domestic Violence Hotline is always available 24 hours a day and are able to give resources to you that are located in your area. If you ever want to get help or even see what your options are please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-799-7233. We are always here to do the best that we can to help you.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Dhyan,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. It sounds like this has been such a hurtful situation. It also sounds like you have been doing so much to try to live a healthy life. Unfortunately, people who are abusive often minimize the abuse their partner has experienced and are often very manipulative. It is definitely understandable to continue feeling the pain from what you have experienced and there is no healing timeline to follow. Healing is a process and talking to a counselor or joining a support group may be a helpful addition to your personal process. If you would like to find out more about the programs in your area and talk about a few options the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available at 1-800-799-7233. The hotline is available 24/7 and is anonymous and confidential. Please feel free to try it out when you feel safe to talk.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  63. Nena says:

    I was googling to find information or people who have been in a similar situation as mine and I came across this. I have been in a relationship with my sons father for 6 years now. He started to hit me after around a year we had been together and out son was about a month old. I got pregnant really early in our relationship it was unexpected. First it started with pushing me against the wall which led to pulling my hair which led to slapping n before I knew it getting complete beat downs in front of my my new born and my 2 year old from my previous relationship. Every time I would try to leave he’d break down crying reminding me i was all he had cause his family wanted nothing to do with him. I always came back cause I felt sorry for him. But things got harder because my family didn’t want me around as long as I was with him so we were in and out of homeless shelters for over a year. After that I got an apartment in public housing things started to calm down. He swore to me he would never lay a hand on me again which he has kept. He doesn’t threaten me but when I can tell he is starting to get angry to a certain point I will give in to whatever he wants I don’t ask him or bother him for anything he sleeps in the living room while me and my kids sleep in my room. Even though he’s not abusive anymore I have so much resentment towards him to a point where I don’t want to look at him. Last year I told him that I was going to leave him and I went to my grandmothers and he began his stalking like before and crying and threatened to kill himself so i went back. A few months ago I told him I needed some space and he can move out so we can take a break and I went to my grandmothers to give him time to pack and leave but he did nothing but kept calling my phone back to back and sending me hate messages calling me a whore that’s why I want him to leave and how he’s never going to let me go, and I heard it in his voice which gave me flash backs of what he used to do to me and what he is really capable of so to avoid bringing that side out I came back home. I am so miserable I cry myself to sleep every night because I feel stuck. Wherever I go he will follow me and even though he hasn’t put his hands on me for a few years I am so tramatized of what I went through I’m scared if I don’t give in that side will come out. I wanted to go to a domestic violence shelter but I’m not sure if I qualify because he doesn’t hit me anymore but I’m just as scared of him like when I was when he used to hit me. I can’t go to any of my family or friends the only way I’d feel safe is if I go somewhere be can’t find me. Is this still considered an abusive relationship even though he doesn’t hit me anymore?

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Nena,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It must have taken so much courage to share these hurtful incidents. To answer your question, yes, this sounds like a very abusive relationship. We know that there are many types of abuse other than physical, like emotional, verbal, psychological, economical, etc. An abusive relationship is a pattern of behaviors that happen because one person is trying to gain and maintain power and control over the other, it sounds like what you have described fits the pattern that we hear about.

      It sounds like you have made so many steps to keep you and your children safe and that is definitely something to recognize. If you would like to continue this conversation and talk about a few options that may be available please feel free to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. It is completely anonymous and confidential and operates 24/7.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  64. Edith says:

    I recently got out of a abusive relationship. My boyfriend of six months at the time beat me a fews time before I decided to leave him. Its been so hard getting over him. I became friends with his ex wife a ifew months ago. She helped me through my depression. Well two days ago she calls me early in the morning crying, telling me he beat her . She’s so depressed and hurting. I want to help her but I don’t know how even tho I know exactly how she feels. We are two different minds and what helped me might not work for her. Specially because she has two daughters with the bastard. I hope he pays for what he did to her. Unfortunately, he always gets away with everything. I really want to find some help for her and even for myself. I see the guy out and about like if nothing happend. It makes me furious.

    • HotlineAdmin_AM says:

      Dear Edith,

      Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. It takes a lot of strength to leave someone abusive and it’s wonderful that you want to help your ex’s ex wife. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline anytime at 1.800.799.7233 to get support and information about local resources. We can talk about ways to stay strong and take care of yourself and ways you can help her, as well. It’s completely confidential and anonymous.

  65. matt huston s get him back says:

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  66. Michele says:

    I am in a domestic violence situation right now i been with the guy forb6 yrs and he just did 24 days in jail for pushing me but i have endured way more this guy has busted my head open with his fist numerous times gave me stitches Im my mouth more than once drenched in lighter fluid i mean he has done alot need on Mr split on me cheated on me bullies me. The first time i ever called the cops i caught him cheating and the next day he callshhis brother the girl works at the bar done the road it was the 4th of July and he bust my mouth opened had to get stitches i had nerve called the police but in my head to be honest i felt as if i was losing control and just wanted Jim yo go to jail because i didn’t want him leaving me and being with her since then we have a kid and ibhavebcalled the cops being scared for the rightbreason is this normal. When he wrntvto jail i excepted calls from him and its driving me crazy to think he’s with someone i been trying his family all nite and he’s called.me. everyday up till he got out and has called me once not about ouour son or nothing i just want help through this process i know if i get back with him he will not change it will be the same and he’s gonna do the next to his next girlfriend it drives me crazy to thomk he’s with someone

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Michele,
      I’m so sorry for all that you’ve gone through, it sounds like a very scary and dangerous situation to be in. Your partner has no right to hurt you and be abusive to you; you deserve to be treated with love and kindness. Sharing your story and what you’ve endured shows how strong you are, and how brave. If you ever want to reach out to our hotline, we are 24/7, completely confidential and anoynmous. When you are safe to talk, give us a call and our advocates will talk with you, brainstorm with you, and try and give you as much help as possible throughout this process.

      HotlineAdvocate_KK

  67. Audrey says:

    Im just coming out of being in an emotionally and sexually abusive relationship. He would yell, scream, control and get violent with me. He forced me to sleep with him about once a week for two months. Even after attempting to kick him out multiple times, It took my mother to do it, after driving six hours to come save me. Its been very hard moving on for me, and even thought I have my family with me now, when Im alone at home at night, I get so lonely and I start to miss him as my companion. I still love the old him. I need help moving on, and healing. But I think I will feel weak and shameful if I attend therapy.

    • HotlineAdmin_AB says:

      Audrey your story is very touching. It sounds like you have been through a lot. The feelings of loneliness are common among survivors. If you would like to have someone to talk to about this please give us a call at the National Domestic Violence HOTLINE, 1-800-799-7233. We are here 24 hours a day it’s confidential and anonymous when you call.

  68. Cheryl says:

    Hi I was in a physical and emotional abusive relationship for 8 years. We were 16 when we started dating and I became pregnant soon after that. The abuse started pretty early. At that time I was t sure it was abuse. Now I look back and know it was. We had a child and the abuse got worse. He was very controlling and wanted all he could do to control me. I lost family and friends because of him. I feared him so I stayed. I was so afraid of what he would to me and my daughter if I actually left. He cheated on me the whole time with several different females. He never had a stable job and really brought nothing to me. I stayed for the same of my daughter and me. I had a retraining order places on him after I sent him to jail and I lived in my friends house for 3 days in fear of going home. Every time I left my house I was afraid he was following me. He hit me several times gave me black eyes bruises and scratches. He pulled me by my hair he punched me he kicked me what ever he could do. He would do this with y daughter there he would send her to her room and make her go away. She was so little and had to experience this. It’s now been 3 years and it still hurts every day!!! I hate myself for never leaving and making my daughter to through that every day. I am in a relationship now and it’s causing so many problems with us. I don’t trust him I over react to stuff I fight with him I talk down to him and now I’ve become the abuser and I don’t know why I don’t know if its me taking out my anger on him but he is so good to me and my daughter and we also have a son and he is great. I need some advice to help to get past my abuse. I’m still hurting bad every day from him. I wish mean hurtful things on him

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Cheryl,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us, it takes plenty of strength and courage to speak about what happened. It is natural being able not to trust someone especially since you were in a abusive relationship. You have gone through so much and are such a strong woman to be able to have survived. The hotline has plenty of resources that they can connect you with and would be more than willing to listen. When ever you are ready you can give the hotline a call at 1-800-799-7233. The hotline operates 24/7, feel free to call anytime.

  69. linda says:

    Thank you- I am going to get the book you suggested. I thank god for people who understand and care like you and your hotline.

  70. linda says:

    I think I can forgive myself but I can’t seem to get a grip on not wanting my abuser to be miserable or dead! I can’t forgive him and I don’t know how to move on.Please know I could never kill him even though he threatened to kill me without a problem. I want to move on without the hatred and bitterness I feel for my ex-husband to be-Are there books or blos on how to get your life back?

    • HotlineAdmin_AB says:

      Linda thank you for sharing your story. If you call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, we can find a support group in your area and talk about ways you can help to take care of yourself. We can also talk about some resources and options you may use to help you through the healing process. We are here 24/7 and are confidential and anonymous. Please call us at 1-800-799-7233

  71. linda says:

    scared to death-I stayed in a 13 yr abusive relationship because I was too ashamed and scared to tell my family an friends- Now that I am out of the relationship, my family and friends are sooooo supportive. I wish I had gotten out a long time ago because even with good support and counseling,I am still having a hard time forgiving myself for not getting out the first time he hit me. I know it is not my fault but the years of abuse and someone telling you how worthless you are make it very hard to move on. He also alienated me from my family and friends and I let him do it. You eventually start to believe what your abuser is saying and the longer you stay, the harder things get. Pleeease get out as soon as possible because as much as I did not want to involve my family, they have saved me and your family loves you no matter what :)

  72. linda says:

    tracie- My ex husband to be has an upcoming trial with 3 charges against him-I have been told by the police that if he is not hitting you the moment you call 911 then it is not an emergency. He abused me for years and also had this weird change in his eyes-He lies,he manipulates,and I feel like he is going to skate out of his criminal charges because he is so good at it. I will testify but I’m not quite as sadistic as he is and I am so scared he will get off the charges . I have a restraining order against him which really is a piece of paper and if he is not convicted , I will live in fear all over again-I think these men should be put away forever!!!!!!

  73. linda linn says:

    Jillian-I feel like you do and would love to talk to other women that have gone through abuse because i am having a hard ntime moving forward

  74. linda linn says:

    I need to know how to forgive yourself,not hate yourself, and be able to move on after being in a physical,verbal,&emotional for 13 yrs of marriage. Please share any advice you might have because you understand. thanks,Linda

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Linda,

      It takes time to heal from an abusive relationship. I am glad you reached out to our blog community for support. There is a book, It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence by Meg Kennedy Dugan and Roger Hock that you might find beneficial in helping you move forward. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a great resource if you are in need of support groups or counseling at the local level. Advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  75. Tara says:

    I am so thankful for websites like this one! It was a site like this that enabled me to see that I was in an emotionally abusive marriage. My ex-husband was a master at manipulation, control-tactics, gaslighting, and reversing blame. I was able to break free with help from family, friends, church, and continuing to educate myself about abuse. It has been 1 year and 5 months since I left and, despite a busy, happy, and fulfilling life, occassional memories of the abuse cause me to feel anger and hurt again.
    My advice: A lesson I have had to learn the hard way is that it is important to heal BEFORE entering into another relationship. Without allowing time to heal, it is very likely that you will end up in another unhealthy relationship. Emotionally unhealthy people tend to attract emotionally abusive people. Simply stated, emotionally stable men will respect you enough to give you space until you are healthy, whereas abusers take advantage of your vulnerability by moving in quickly and coming on strong. Go to websites like this one, learn the early signs of abusers, see the red flags before it is too late. Surround yourself with people you trust. Keep a journal, pray, accomplish personal goals, and educate yourself.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Tara,

      Thank you for your words of encouragement to our blog readers. Amazing that you have been a survivor for 1 year and 5 months! It is normal to have moments of hurt and fear from the past. Be kind to yourself as you continue to heal.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  76. Tara says:

    Megan, I didn’t realize I was being abused either until I stumbled upon an article on the internet. Just like you, I didn’t think of myself as a victim of abuse. After I finally left the relationship, many memories came back and I was, then, able to see them as abuse (manipulation, lies, control-tactics, gaslighting, etc.) instead of thinking I was guilty, crazy, stupid, or just not good enough, like I did when I was in the relationship. I’m so glad you were strong enough to break free. I pray that you continue your journey toward healing.

  77. Jillian says:

    I am going threw alot right now because of my recent relationship. reading others storys helps a little but are there any site i can go on and talk to other women who have had relationships like this. im strugglen alot and i need help

    • HotlineAdmin_AM says:

      Hi Jillian,

      Thank you for reaching out for help in our blog community. It’s a huge step and takes a lot of courage. We can’t recommend any specific online site, but there are many out there if you search on the internet. Please use a safe computer that your partner doesn’t have access to, like at friend’s house or at a library. If you call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, we can find a support group in your area and talk about other ways you can stay strong and take care of yourself. We can also talk about some resources and options you may have. We are here 24/7 and are confidential and anonymous. Pleaes call us at 1-800-799-7233 when you are alone and safe to talk. I’m sorry we had to delete your email address because of our confidentiality and community guidelines.

  78. marissa says:

    I have been going through physical emotional and mental abuse for 10 years ive been beaten so many times i cant count .im so sad in life i dont know what to do he has broken my jaw i left for 3 months and he started to change and threatensuiicide until i went back . So im emotionally so messed up how could i go back to a man who has cheated and beat me so many times i want out so bad but for some stupid reason im afraid of what will happen to him i think he would kill himself but im slowly dieing inside.he has not hiy me again after breaking my jaw but emotionally abuses me and deep down inside im so afraid of the day he hits me again its been a year since the last physical abuse.i need help.

    • HotlineAdmin_AM says:

      Marissa,

      Thank you so much for having the strength and courage to share your story with our blog community. It sounds like you are in a very dangerous and difficult situation. The feelings you are having are completely normal, as far as being concerned about him and feeling torn. If you would ever like to talk an advocate, we are completely anonymous and confidential. We’re here 24/7 for you if you need to talk, and we can discuss options and resources that might be helpful to you. Please call when you are alone and from a safe phone, one that he does not monitor. Again, thank you so much for sharing what you’re going through. You’re not alone- please reach out to us.

      – Give us a call anytime at 1-800-799-7233

  79. mandy says:

    I have recently gotten out of an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship. We have a daughter together who is only 11 months old. we were never married. I was disassociated from all my friends due to his jealousy and insecurity. He is so manipulative he has once taken my daughter away in court based on lies. We have joint custody now shared week to week, he continues to control me on both weeks. He has tracked my cell, drives by my apartment, demands he know everyone I have our daughter around. I have no life or freedom. It has come to encompass my whole being. I spend 95% of my time trying to analyze to myself that I am not as horrible as he says I am, that I really am a good person. I also have a 14 year old daughter. I find myself at times wanting to go back to him because I miss him – how in this world can I miss someone that made me feel so horrible about myself? HOW? My promise to my 14 year old that I would not go back may very well be the only thing keeping me strong! He always expected the negative of her and highly encouraged me to punish her to extremes I typically would not. I found myself doing as he said in order to prevent an argument or his disappointment in me for not agreeing with him. Please tell me how to feel better about myself. please tell me how to make myself realize I deserve better. I just retained a lawyer this week to attempt to get sole physical custody of our daughter. he often tells lies regarding being sick or having to work in order to get me to keep her on his visitation week. it doesnt appear to be about her – he is just using her as a tool over me. I must get out from under his control, I must regain my emotional security – I just dont know how. It has been 24 hours since I have replied to a text or answered the phone – and it hurts miserably. Why I dont know. It is very hard to explain how in the world I love someone that cheated on me numerous time, controlled me, verbally abused me, disassociated me from the world. He is so manipulative that he did it in a way that he didnt deman it, he managed to get me to do it simply so I wouldnt disappoint him and have to deal with that.

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Mandy,
      Thank you so much for sharing what you’ve been through and what you’re going through now. It sounds like you have a lot to deal with from your former partner. We know that abusive people often use common children to manipulate us, control us, and often that is done through a court setting. I’m very glad to hear you’ve sought legal counsel, and hope it works in your favor. It isn’t uncommon, or wrong, to have feelings for a person who has been mean, controlling, or abusive toward you. It is a very confusing situation to go through, and abusive partners know exactly what to do and say to make it as confusing as possible. If you would ever like to talk to any of our advocates, we are completely anonymous, and confidential. We’re here 24/7 for you if you need to talk, or if you’d like any resources that might be helpful to you. Again, thank you so much for sharing what you’re going through; you sound very strong and very brave.

      – Give us a call anytime at 1-800-799-7233

  80. gary says:

    I was married for 13 years. The relationship slowly became very one-sided and emotionally abusive by the end. She was controlling and thought nothing of using emotion and affection or lack thereof to get me to do what she wanted. I was supposed to be there for her but she was rarely there for me.

    The last several years together she was belittling and demeaning in public towards me. The emotional manipulation and control was always going on. She chewed me out for items breaking around the house when I didn’t do it, even when she or one of the kids had broken something. At home she was explosive and I never knew when she had lash out.

    She sued for divorce. I let her. At first I was so relieved, but a couple of years later realized I was just glad to be away from her emotional games. She kept trying to control me even after the divorce. I started hanging up on her. I wouldn’t initiate conversations with her, which she couldn’t understand. She denied how she had acted and talked to me the final years of the marriage. She couldn’t understand why I stopped talking to her. Didn’t she realize she wasn’t a ‘safe’ person to talk to anymore? She abused my love and trust.

    I have come to enjoy the peace of living alone. But I realize I have a lot of emotional scarring. I trust very few people and I keep women at arms reach or further now. In a way I feel spent, used up, even though we divorced more than a decade ago. The abuse and the divorced destroyed any good memories I may have had about us.

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Dear Gary,

      You have endured so much and are such a strong person. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Domestic Violence has plenty of trama and has a huge affect on all victims. I am glad that you were able to get away from the abuse and that you are now a survivor. The hotline has plenty of resources for victims and survivors of domestic violence. If you would like to look into those resources feel free to call the hotline which is available 24/7, and an advocate will be more than willing to speak with you. You can reach the hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

  81. Loyalty says:

    I just saw this site and I stayed up all night reading a lot of the post.. Talk about looking at some of my reflections in life brought tears to my eyes. Earlier this year I left my abuser of 20 years (yes an on and off relationship..) I really lost a lot of respect from the few family members who stay in the same state and all of the friends I’ve had since childhood I cut off during our toxic relationship, has pretty much cut me off too..Right now I’m healing and learning how to love myself and put my family first..I just needed someone or somewhere to “Vent” and not be looked at and judged.
    From the beginning we where friends.. I got pregnant at 17 during my pregnancy I was abused by my son’s father that is when I thought I met my soul-mate…He was 7 years my senior.. He stood up for me, was there for my pregnancy and helped me after my son was born..He stood up and took care of a child that wasn’t his . (from there is when i thought I pretty much “owed” him)..Fast forward like a lot of the stories here my relationship was good even a dream.. I was very independent so I worked at times 2 full time jobs to support us.. I allowed him too much of an opportunity to do whatever. Because of work I pushed myself to have a heart attack at 24, yes 24.. Never used ANY drugs or alcohol. It took me being in the hospital to see what he was all about. He never visited me and at that time he was living a double life.. He fathered a set of twins through my recovery.. Through my trials with my health I promised myself I would not go back..Please don’t look at me as stupid because I did that myself plenty of times.. Before, I just was getting emotionally, and financially abused by him, he never put his hands on me.
    I moved on I thought, got into another relationship..Had another baby but when my ex learned about my pregnancy that is when I started seeing the crazy in him.. He basically drove my current relationship in the grave.. He jumped and stabbed my son’s father (or had something to do with it, he knew every time it happened when it happened) and made his life hell, so I cut all ties because I didn’t want my son’s father killed over me.. From then he basically PUT himself back into my life…like so many earlier post I went through the courts and law enforcement to help me, but they didn’t consider anything because he wasn’t doing it to me. Well physically, and he has a big family so my son’s father didn’t want to come forward because he feared for his life……
    So my oldest son looked up to him so i tried to make it right. I looked away from his past discretion. I tried to be positive and put the past in the past and start a new beginning with boundaries. The 1st years back together i started seeing a lot of jealousy because of my jobs, a lot of men came into my workplace.. He didn’t like that, he started calling in from his job to sit across from my job and stalk me. If I had a conversation that lasted too long for him he would call me on my work phone and tell me to get another one of my co-workers to handle them. If a guy was walking past him making a comment about me saying I was fine I started feeling it from him.. I came home to my clothes cut and thrown away but i got a new wardrobe. Sweatsuits and clothes that came with holes. Now mind you I had a good job then and people used to look at me as if I was homeless or on drugs. I lost so much weight because of stress. People who knew me didn’t want to hold conversations with me because of my appearance, all I had as far as support goes was HIS family, (My family would not have but I didn’t want them to look at me as a failure). .. I started loosing myself at that time, I was just living for my kids not for anything else.. I tried going to counseling but he was such the charmer.. He had the lady telling me I shouldn’t smile so much, things as that I should have left for him.. a smile. (later I found out he was sleeping with her). Just to know I was on the verge of ending it all because of what he was telling her and she was conveying to me… I just Quit everything, so after being told I was the one who was opening the gate for other men to flirt, I quit my job and found a better paying one driving buses. Not my dream job, but it had uniforms. That made me happy.
    Nobody wanted anything to do with me.. I found happiness in my job, strangers made me feel good. I listened to others and found other people problems hid my own unhappiness. . I started seeing a small opening in life. But all that went away when he almost quit his job to come ride with me. Of all the days a guy came on and said good morning sunshine and he told me to pull the bus over, and told everyone (about 5 people) that bus had mechanical problems and another was on the way. When everyone was off, that is when he beat me until he was tired, I was afraid of losing my job so i said i was sick and i lost balance to vomit on my way off the bus; to hide questions about bruises and me holding my stomach, so i just wanted to go home. . I went back to work after a few days and as i was getting in the car (with him) a guy co-worker said welcome back he was glad I was doing better; that is when he punched me straight in the face where i almost blacked out…
    I started looking back on my life, I got pregnant by him and miscarried because a male co-worker said your honey is here on the PA, he pulled me to his car took me to his house and put a gun in my mouth.. He didn’t let me go to the hospital that night because he knew he’ll go to jail.. Through all of this I was scared to call the police, so I found a male counselor (set up on days where he thought i helped out at my son school) and I wanted a way to get out of the relationship. I was scared if I leave on my own I would not live to see the next day ..My counselor was in the process of showing me strategies to walking away. It was hard for friends or family to see any of my abuse because he had me isolated from the world.. Nothing seemed to be working, until earlier I got half a blessing he gave me an STD… I used that to finally being free, he tried telling me how sorry he was and he wanted to die and he couldn’t live without me only to find out he was cheating on me again for a year or so..I was hurt so I told his mother that he gave me an STD,, it hurt; after he found out i told someone after he told me not to say anything to anyone he beat me up like I was a man.. In front of his family.. They was mad because they thought I was going to the extreme of leaving him behind anything, that was all the courage I needed to call the cops. His family wouldn’t testify against him and all my abuse went undocumented so they just gave me a couple years order protection. Has he violated of course are the courts doing anything NO..
    My point of writing this and sharing is 2 weeks after walking away from him and finally being free is when I found out I have cancer. It’s been 9 months I’m not bitter, he go out his way to bring his new girl anywhere where he know I’ll be. I’m tired of him making it seem like I’m mad that he moved on to everyone around him. I don’t have the time or energy anymore to fight, but I want anyone who took the time out to read this to learn from me.. Don’t let your life past before you, dealing with someone who don’t love you. Believe me you see the signs right away, don’t think “that’s so cute he’s a little jealous”. It is easy to read something and say what is wrong with her, she stupid, or she deserve it by staying.. You will never really know until you walk in our shoes. My advice Walk away before your in a situation where you can’t. Miles and States in between an abuser will not separate you.. 6 months later hopefully I’ll be here to say I’m Still Standing and my story helped someone else..I’m 37 I never had a chance to be happy or in love…I’ve learned to pray so I’ll send my prayers to those who are going through anything, please pray for me…Loyalty 2012 (*_*)

    • HotlineAdmin_AM says:

      Dear Loyalty,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. He has been abusive in so many ways and has put you through so much and it takes so much courage to share these experiences with others. I’m sorry to hear that the police and courts are not enforcing the protective order- I know that is extremely frustrating. If you would like to speak to an advocate at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, please contact us at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and it’s a confidential service. We are here to support you in whatever way we can. Best of luck with your healing!

  82. Nancy says:

    Thank you! Actually it was a total of 15 years of it. Of the 15 we lived together 11 (married and not) My biggest concern now is helping my daugher overcome. When she is better, I think I will be. – – I just hope by opening up, it will do for others what coming on here did for me. – – Thank you again! I

  83. Nancy says:

    I came onto this site trying to learn how to let go of past hurts and move on because I’m having difficulty doing so. After reading so many of the posts here, I had to comment. It was like looking into a mirror and in a way, comforting to see that what I struggle with is normal. My ex husband was my best friend and never showed his temper until after marriage. Once married, he became very verbally, mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically abusive. Sometimes he did things in spurts, like isolating me from everyone. I wasn’t allowed to leave the house without him for a 3-month period and then it stopped. Or he’d use the car to abuse me, speeding and them slamming on the breaks, swerving on the freeway threatening to crash the car … He’d do things, big and little and lie about it. Even if it I had evidence, he’d deny it and tell me I was crazy. He played mind games like telling me he didn’t want to spend time with his family, that they abused him and then told a mutual friend that I wouldn’t allow him to spend time with his family. His rage was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. He didn’t have to hit to be terrifying and he did it in front of our kids and sometimes in public places, but for the most part, he never wanted anyone to see that side of him and was quite the charmer and well liked by many. In times of rage, he used to follow me through the house when I tried to get away from him, banging on doors and forcing his way in rooms just to scream at me, shove me or pin me down. I’ve been thrown across a room, shoved, pinned against walls, pinned down (arms held down, him sitting on top of me) with him screaming in my face so close that he was spitting on me. He forced sex on me once, with me saying “No” and trying to get him off of me and him saying “Yes” and forcing himself on me … Two days later I was in ER with a major bladder/kidney infection – Urinating blood. He denied he did anything to cause it. He denies everything he’s ever done. After I divorced him, he badgered me over the phone often, threatened to take our children, and threw temper tantrums at pick up and drop off times for visitation. There was an incident where he used road rage … following my children and I as I was driving, revving his engine over and over again and getting real close to my car – My kids screaming in the back seat, “Daddy’s going to crash into us” … There’ s really too much to list. We were divorced for three years and then he convinced me that he had changed and would go to counseling (with me) and anger management if we reconciled. (I always wanted to honor my faith and try and make keep our family together. Our religious beliefs were something he hung over me when I would try and leave. “You took vows before God, remember, ‘For better or worse’” or “Remember, til’ death do us part.” “In God’s eyes we are still married”) So, we got back together, engaged and moved in together. Promises weren’t kept, the old behavior came back and I left last year. He immediately got into another relationship with a woman he met online and married her 5 months ago. He denies everything, even us getting back together. He says I make things up and has his family (a couple of them I was close to since my parents are deceased and I don’t have family support) and friends believing him. He says we just argued and we couldn’t get along, that I’m making things up. – I slapped him a few times in self defense and he will say, “I didn’t abuse you (or the kids), I never hit you, I didn’t beat you! You slapped me!” It’s a lot of mind games. I think I could move on completely, but one our daughters have been affected by this … One of them severely. (he screamed, cussed at, bullied our kids too) She is depressed and acts out rages (like he did) and is sometimes violent. I’m getting help for her, but find that dealing with her issues keeps the hurt that we’ve gone through fresh and I don’t know how to let it go, when I’m reminded daily. If I bring anything up to him, he will tell me, “Let it go already, it’s in the past” … Also over the last year, he was distant – busy with his new relationship. He would call the kids maybe once a week and if they didn’t want to talk to him, he’d yell at me, “What kind of mother are you … “ When I told him he needed to contact them more and try and mend things he’d say, “They need to call me. It goes both ways” … Then he’d tell people I was keeping the kids away from him. And lie and say he was calling, emailing and texting often and I was ignoring his attempts to contact his children. – It’s been very hard, but I press on and was doing fairly good until recently when he started visiting the kids more. Just seeing him or hearing his voice and watching him manipulate situations are hard on me. I am going to find a support group to go to because talking to friends and counseling isn’t helping me. I think it’s because I see my daughter struggling so much. I hope she gets well soon and we can all move on in a healthy way. We have all (my 3 daughters and I) suffered from depression and anxiety in the past, but one daughter is just not recovering well, so I get very angry with my ex because he has hurt her so bad. Also, to those of you who felt bad for fighting back … When I first married, I was a quiet, calm person. I didn’t fight back, I prayed. But shortly after dealing with it day in and day out, I began to argue back and at times defend myself. I know all too well the feeling of hating myself for becoming someone I didn’t want to be. Abuse changes things – We should never have to be put in those situations in our own homes by ones who are supposed to love us. It’s not easy, but we have to learn to love and forgive ourselves.

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Nancy,
      Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your experience. It sounds like you and your children have been through so much in the past few years. The ups and downs of being with an abusive person can be overwhelming and confusing, I’m so sorry to hear he put you through so much. Mind games can be a big part of emotional abuse, and attempting to use your faith to manipulate you is something he should have never done. If you’d ever like to reach out to us, our advocates are available to talk 24/7, we are completely confidential and anonymous. Please give us a call anytime if you need to talk at 1-800-799-7233.
      Again thank you for being so brave and opening up, we know reaching out and sharing what you went through isn’t always easy, we appreciate your words.

  84. Erica says:

    I am 13 weeks pregnant and I am scared, confused and hurt on what to do with my situation. When I get upset with my boyfriend I consistently yell at him as he ignores me, but then I may strike a nerve when I say something disrespectful to him. At that point he physically abuses me. He is very passive aggressive. Yesterday we got into an argument and he was just quiet until I struck that one nerve, he then got out of bed, grabbed by the hair. I got on the floor and tried to get into a ball to protect myself and the baby. He then stomped on my head so hard to the point that my ear was bleeding and I lost hearing for a minute or so. I went to the hospital because I was in a lot of pain and wanted to make sure there was no swelling of the brain. This is the worst its ever gotten and I know I should leave but I am so scared and hesitant to do so. Everyone thinks he’s the nicest person in the world, but no one ever sees this side of him. It comes out rarely but it should never happen. Does anyone have any advise on how to get through this? I’m scared that he’ll be abusive towards my baby too when he/she is born.

    Please help.

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Erica,
      I’m so sorry for what you’re going through, you don’t deserve to be treated that way. It sounds like you are in a very serious and scary situation. If you would like to talk to an advocate, please give us a call anytime. We are confidential, anonymous, and available 24/7; please give us a call when you are safe to talk.

  85. Kelley says:

    This is the first time that I’ve ever heard someone say “There (is) a difference between hitting someone out of power and control…and hitting someone out of defense”…which is exactly what I started doing. Why don’t police officers know that? (that there (is) a difference). I was terrified. I was angry. I wanted the abuse to stop. I thought that if I fought back, that my husband would stop hitting me. But when I hit back, that would enrage him even more. And, to top it off, when I called for help, the responding officers wanted to take (me) to jail. They told me that I was the one causing the problems. I never did call the police again for help…and here I am, twenty years later, in the same (stupid) relationship because I can’t afford to leave. There is no help. Yes…sure….every community says there is help, but there isn’t. Temporary housing is just that…temporary. I need a permanent home. I (deserve) a safe, permanent home. I need an (affordable), safe , permanent home. I work full time, but I can’t afford to leave. And if I leave I’m responsible for half of (HIS) debts? What is that? Marriage sucks….absolutely sucks. And to top it all off, my now adult children are angry at me for not leaving. For putting them through seeing, and having to listen to, the abuse. They see me as weak. And I thought I was doing the best I could. The first time I was hit, I called my mother to see if I could come live with her until I could get back on my feet. She ( and her husband’s) reply? “No”. Friends would say “Call me if you ever need help”, so when I would call, they would tell me they didn’t want to get involved. There was no one to turn to. So I stayed. I thought at least I could show my kids what (not) to put up with…(ever). And now they’re just all angry at me. They don’t ever want to come visit because they hate their Dad and they’re angry at me for “messing up their lives”. I need a good counselor who will work with me on a sliding scale…I’d like to have a good supportive women’s group to attend, and I’d most especially like to know how to rebuild my relationship with my children (and, I’d like nice, clean, safe, CALM affordable place to move to…not housing where I’m listening to abuse all around me….and a good, cheap, better yet free, lawyer would be great too). Why is there nothing like that?! If I ever win the lottery I am opening a nice, clean, safe, quiet, calm home for women who are working, but can’t afford to leave.

    Another thing….how does one talk to an abusive person? Whatever I say, do, think, or feel it’s “wrong”.

    And how do I get him to help pay the bills? My husband says it’s my turn now…that he paid the bills when the kids were smaller…(yeah, he did, for about four years, before I started back to work). I was juggling up to three part-time jobs at a time, and three kids…(focusing on jobs where I could take the kids to work with me…kid-friendly employers) and he (still) told me I was worthless and to make myself useful. His mantras? “Get a job and start pitching in”. So I got (multiple jobs) and started “pitching in”. Then it was “Get a full-time job”. So I got a full-time job. Then it was “Get a job with benefits”. So I got a job with benefits. (Now…) it’s “Get a job that pays more, you worthless bitch”. I want to smash in his face when he calls me a bitch (and a cunt… a cunt! I HATE that word!) I hate him. I absolutely hate him. I despise him. I detest him. And everybody thinks he’s such a great guy…..(GRRRRRR).

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Kelley,

      Wow. You have endured so much. When dealing with an abusive partner you are dealing with someone who hurts you to have power and control over you. As you have seen, it doesn’t matter how much you change yourself he will still find a reason to hurt you; because it really isn’t about what you are doing “wrong” but about him making a choice to treat you that way. Even if you have heard over and over that it is all your fault that he is hurting you, that is not true. You are not doing anything to deserve being verbally or physically hurt.

      I am sorry that you are not getting the help you deserve from local law enforcement. Unfortunately, local officers may not have very much domestic violence training and therefore may not understand the dynamics of an abusive relationship.

      You are right that leaving can be very challenging. Yes, staying at a shelter is temporary, but it might help to think of it in a different light. It is a temporary safe place where you can stay and start saving money to get your own safe, quiet, calm home. A Hotline advocate can help you look for resources such as counseling (sliding scale or even free), support groups, legal advocates (again, either free or on a sliding scale), and shelter. You can call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for those referrals.

      Thank you for reaching out through the Share Your Voice Blog. I hope you will give us a call so we can talk further about your situation.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  86. megz says:

    Hi,

    i am 25, an indain girl , and stuck in a bad relationship, need help to come out of it. would this hotline number be accessable for me ???

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Megz,

      Thank you for reaching out through the Share Your Voice Blog. Advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for guidance and support. If you would like to reach out in your local community, you can go to http://www.hotpeachpages.net for resources.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  87. Beverley says:

    You leave by realising nothing can be worse than being so unhappy inside to the point you feel empty of all emotions. Knowing that it’s not easy to leave or to keep staying strong, remembering why you left. Learning and wanting to be happy then working on your self esteem . Always remembering you will have low times and keeping strong though them times. Building friendships that feel right and they understand knowing when someone is not good .. Reading others stories who have battled on and are now happy

  88. pooh says:

    hi I am 20 years old and in an abusive relationship. I have been with him for 3 years. I cant seem to get out. he is a sex addict..(aways cheats) and when I catch him its my fault, and I suffer the concequenes, I have lost my friends and family because I have chosen to be with him. there is something inside of my that wont let me leave. I have tried councling but it hasn’t helped. I feel like im nothing a nobody. im am looking for advice from someone that has been through the same situation. how did you leave?

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Dear Pooh,

      Sorry to hear that you feel stuck in the relationship and that you are going through a difficult time. If you are interested in resources or would like to speak with us about leaving, give us a call at 1-800-799-7233. Someone is always here to talk 24 hours a day.

  89. Beverley says:

    Hi again

    I had been struggling to find out why I changed so much .. Even I felt crazy .. Recently I came across a book written by a lady who went through abuse .. As I was reading, it felt like I could of wrote it .. Every step every emotion and feelings, she to had gone through the same .. This book may help

    HEALING YOUR LIFE, RECOVERY FROM ABUSE by Candace Hennekens

    I found it helped to show me. The way I was thinking and acted happened because of the abuse and that I can stop feeling ashamed and guilty

    Its Time to sort out low self esteem for me
    no life is not perfect but I’m happier inside and it can only get better

    Hope it helps :)

  90. Kathy says:

    Hi my name is Kathy. I dont know if I was in an emotionally abusive relationship but reading some of your stories, I think I was. He was my first, I gave him my all. We were together for 3 years. Everything was great at first, then I dont know when it started but he would control what I wore, when we got into arguments he would call me names,scream so loud that I shut down. I kept telling myself that he didnt mean it. I fell into a depression where I almost took my life. He just made me feel like I had no say, no stregth. He never laid a hand on me but his words hurt just as much. I had to end it, so I did. Even though we werent together he came around, probably to make me belieeve he changed. A year after being apart we got back together. I though that maybe he changed, that maybe I should watch what I said so he wouldnt get mad. I was stressed and sad, we where right were we left off. He used our dog against me, threating he would take him whenever he got mad. I couldnt take it anymore so we broke u and I have kept my dog. I dont see myself as a victim, I just cant believe that he was verbally abusive. How can someone who tells you that the love you, hurt you like that?

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Kathy,
      It sounds like you went through a lot with your partner; thank you for sharing your story, reaching out is a very courageous thing to do. Understanding why a partner would be or could be abusive can be hard and hurtful to think about, but is often something we want to understand. I’m very sorry for what you went through, you didn’t deserve what he put your through. If you’d ever like to talk to one of our advocates, please don’t hesitate to call us anytime at 1-800-799-7233, we are completely confidential and anonymous, and we’re here 24/7 for you.

  91. amanda says:

    I am a bit different. My husband was violent whwn we were younger. He isnt now bur I have episodes of pstd probably made worse due to the fact abused as a child. Where do I go from here when the person I tulrn to is partly responsible for m health problems. I also recently terminated a pregnancy due to anxiety. I am so sad because it really is the best our relationship has ever been :-(

    • HotlineAdmin_KK says:

      Amanda,
      Thank you for commenting on our blog and sharing your experiences. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a difficult and stressful time; it sounds like you’ve been going through a lot. If you’d ever like to talk please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-799-7233, we’re here 24/7 for you, and we are completely confidential and anonymous.

  92. Melissa says:

    I’m a survivor as well from emotional abuse as well as physical. It does take time to heal. I am a little over three years into it and I am finding that it is getting easier with time, although more healing is still needed. I feel so bad for the women that have survived abuse, especially on a long-term basis. It takes a lot of strength and support to slowly put the pieces back together again, and anyone that hasn’t gone through it cannot possibly understand what it is like. I am thankful to have gotten to where I am today, but there is still some healing that needs to take place. I think it can be done though with God and a good support system. I will say that I do not miss my abuser anymore and I have been declaring more and more how glad and happy I am that he is out of my life. I pray for something better every single day, and have faith it will happen eventually when I’m ready. Remember, we are survivors and the abuse is not what makes us, it is what we overcome in life that makes us. Peace and God Bless.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like you are such a strong person and it is so great you have been able to continue with your healing process. Good luck with it all.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  93. battlingconfusion says:

    Today is one of the hardest days of my life, I’m 25 with 2 children one only 2months old and today iv cut my abusive partner out my life but I’m so confused and scared, when I 1st met him he was the perfect guy in my eyes I’d never been so in love with someone ever I still do love him but I just can’t live the life I live anymore! 2nd time today police had to remove him from my home due to a neibour witnessiesing him tryin to kick my door in to gain entrance to my house only few week b4 I gained confidence to ring them when I saw the start of his heated arguements starting … Even now I cudnt / can’t tell police exactly what he’s done as I’m in fear of what may happen to my children but today the police have assured me that he’s not to come bk n if he does they will lock him up n adv to seek legal advise about restraint .
    It started of lil things to strt I was told nt to wear mke up, asked why I’d put bice clothes on, hed go out with his mates get drunk come bk n accuse me of cheatin or tlkin to otha guys when I neva went newhere I wasn’t even allowed to shop when he 1st started changing, then it was doors bein put thru,havin to txt him every few min wen I saw family jst so he knew I wasn’t doin owt dodgey n even then I’d stil return to abusive accusations, so was easier nt to even see my family I’d already given up my friends I was just a house mam all alone,n then I found out I was pregnant n hoped it wud change him n it did to start then I pushed n draged round n slaped 1x n I stuck with it coz of the baby… Next we moved to a place I’m even more alone, had a mobile thrown at my face 2x pregnant resultin in bust lips punched in thighs so my legs turned purple straight away n no matter where I went in house hed drag me bk for mre of his put dwns. After havin my son he calmed dwn agen then went bk to seein his mates all time n retunin late in earely hours demandin I let him in cook for him run baths he tuk money didn’t help with the kids n then argued at me blamin me it was me that made him how he was n I believed it for ages blamin myself until the night my son saw him drag me out of his bedroom by leg with my lip bleedin where hed thrown my phone agen. Tryin to call for help, I’d hid a spare phone tho I’m my sons room in n managed to eventually call police who had him removed but today he returned wantin to come bk. I miss the old him n my hearts broken coz feels like I’m mournin him for who he was but ii feel sick knwiin how he is… Today is the end n the beggining of a new start for me n my boys I just hope I stay strong because my heart n head or battling with each other at this moment… I mean can sum1 really change ? :'( x

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Battling Confusion,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like a lot has been going on. It takes such a strong person to go through so much and continue to search for help. There are so many different ways to find help, one is contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. This is an anonymous and confidential number that is available 24 hours a day. We can talk about what has happend and possible ways to help keep that strength up.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  94. devorah says:

    I left my raging emotionally abusive partner 10 years ago. I was in bad shape…i was just getting out with my life and my daughters. I have rebuild a life slowly…I still have PTSD emotional reactions of shuuting down, numbing and isolating from time to time. My ex is a lawyer…so he used words and gestures, the way a boxer would use his fists1 No bruises so the abuse was very hidden…but a woman of faith, I just tried harder…until it was in compatible with even the merest survival.

    The strongest part of my story is that I never gave up…I simply did the next available best thing to reoover. Two years ago, my youngest daughter disclosed that the ex husband and her father had sexually molested her when he had joint custody just after the divorce. That disclosure was one of the two most devastating things that ever happened in my life (the other was my sister’s suicide a year after my divroce). My ex is a malignant narcisisst and he needed a new source for his “fix”. Lord, how hard that was. I don’t think that I will ever trust or date another man in my life. I was with my ex for almost 28 years.

    There is no benefit in looking back for with too much regret….it was my ex who commited the crime against our daughter, unbeknownst to me. The hopeful news is that I DID LEAVE! My daughters are finding their way in the world, and are becoming strong young wormen, with their own children….who have avoided getting into relationships with abusive men, and are living productive, kind lives. So, sometimes I am reminded of the costs of staying so long in a very abusive marriage…(he even wrote a book about what a good dad he had learned to become over the years…narcicisst are shameless!!), but much more oftern I am just glad to have my own life, my own thoughts, and making my own difference in the world…I work in health care….and I am quick to identify and provide appropriate supports for clients who are still in the thick of this dilemna. I also am quick to share info.with my health care colleagues, and to dispel myths and stereotrypes of the “type” of woman who is victimized by domestic violence. It is what I can do, and it ti a way to “pay forward” some of the love, support and prayers that I have received in my journey out of the prison that is domestic abuse. Greetings to all you other survivors and overcomers…we are all a group of women who are making a difference by saying “No more!”

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Devorah,
      Thank you for sharing your story on the blog and for saying no more. Being able to leave an abusive relationship takes plenty of courage, strength, and determination. I am glad that you are no longer a victim and are now a survivor. If you ever need to speak with anyone there are always advocates available at the hotline 24 hours a day. Our number is 1-800-799-7233.

  95. maureen says:

    i just learned about this site.I thought i didnt have any one to talk to . Iam 51 years old and feel as if i should know better but i find myself in yet another relationship just like the last one just a different aditction.After 20 years of abuse i finally found the strenghth to leave. i only exsists because wont give me strenght.

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Dear Maureen,
      I’m so glad you found our blog. I’m sorry to hear that you are going through this and no one deserves to feel alone. If we could talk together, we can talk about saftey planning, resources near you,and be supportive. Do you know about our 24/7 hotline,if not it is 1-800-799-7233. If you call, we will have time to talk over what you would like to know and be more than happy to do the best that we can to help.

  96. cindy says:

    I agree about it being as crippling as physical abuse, in my marriage to the same man for twenty three years I suffered both including his addiction to alcohol. I then got out but went through several dating epidodes that I know would have been more abuse had I stayed. I then finally met who I thought was a wonderful man but after two years and a pregnancy I found he was an abuser emotionally and mentally and he left four months before I delivered, the hard part of that was that I truly thought I had found the man of my dreams, that whole thing again from my past, abandonment, fears, placing myself in dysfunction to avoid being alone. I then was left with a beautiful baby girl at the age of 42, having allready been a mother and raised three children I knew what I was in for it would not be easy, he is 90 thousand dollars in arrears with no help in sight as he hides all assets and has even spent time in jail for non payment. I took a year off after having her and then thought I could date again, the first man was a terrible abuser and would have began with me had I not figured out also he played me telling me to gt ready than not showing, or buying me all kinds of nice gifts to hold me in his power as time went on he started shouting and saying he could choke me etc., thankgod he knew I was on to him and he left. I then met another man and have been dating him now for seven years he actually wants marriage but all the red flags of my past haunt me and I find myself seeing his faults and not wanting it but after seven years he has me stuck in his power and a feeling of being helpless, Iam poverty level some college but no job an eight year old, the thing is he takes us on vacations etc. and then throws that at me how lucky I am and no one else will provide that and tells me if I want nice things get a JOB, he says my own family does not want me which hurts even more because I was from a broken home a drunken father a mother who used me as her scapegoat along with five siblings who I have little contact with but they all visit and get together, I have lived far away from them as I live in alaska but when I did go to visit I never felt welcome and allways had them judging me, my mother and sister even turned my oldest daughter in to doing the same as she moved right in to there town. Iam hurting beyond words, this man I am with has an addiction to alcohol and in past cocaine and even has used three times during our courting, he is also allways on porn sites and lingirie is a fetish of his, when I confront him he says he did not do anything wrong and that Iam crazy etc.. I have found emails where he has met other woman in states while traveling in a airport lounge and then invited to show a group of ladies around our state when they came on vacation, I have found craigs list ads before and he says that is because you made me mad and you were threatening me. Now my trust is zero having allready been through the cheating and alcohol and mental abuse but now that Iam older and no money and feel low I stay. Please help me to get out from this and to better myself , Iam an attractive lady with a huge heart I do not use drugs and only drink on rare occasions, he allways trys to make me drink with him, I love my daughter , I have no freinds now and my family is very distant from me, I stay because I let him make me feel I can not better myself, please help me . He humiliates me he tells me I embarrass him when I call to check on him he turns his phone off and says it was in my pocket and I did not hear it and I will call you when Iam free to talk, he buys himself all kinds of new sporting gear, skis, surf stuff allways hanging out with younger crowd , he is 55 and in good shape so he tells me I need to get in the gym etc. but emotionally and from the inside he is an alcoholic I still let him make me feel worthless though, prior to meeting him I was raising my baby and living alone but getting my independence down and just feeling better after the ordeal with her father. Sorry for so much writing but I wanted you to get a feel for how I feel living this way, even though he has never hit me he yells and tells me I have no family no job that I need to grow a brain, I live in shame.

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Cindy,
      Thank you for sharing your story with us and am deeply sorry that you have been going through all of this. You do not deserve to be mistreated in any way. You took one of the most difficult steps and that is asking for help and should not feel like you live in shame because you are a victim. When you are able to and ready please give us a call at the hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and we will be there to listen to you. The hotline is always available 24/7.

  97. katy says:

    my name is Katy and I just got out of a 12 year marriage were I was abused Psychically, emotionally, and mentally. I am needing advice and help.. I have pushed my love ones away almost. and I want to reconnect with them..

    • HotlineAdmin_CO says:

      Katy,
      Thank you for sharing your story and am gald that you were able to find our blog. Leaving a abusive marriage of 12 years can be very difficult. I am glad that you were able to get out safely and am sorry that you are having a hard time. I want to let you know that we are always here at the hotline 24/7 anytime that you want to talk or get resources to help you get through everything. Our number is 1-800-799-7233.

  98. Noone says:

    Hi! I’m a survivor i guess… i’ve been emotionally, financially, mentally, and physically abused by my Husband whom i literally raced me since i was 19. He is my first love, my first everything, he put me in college and supported my family financially. he used my family to make me do what he wants. do this or else your family will starve. he’s 20years older than me, so i listened to whatever he tells me to do. believe it or not i do love him so much that after 9years i agrred to marry him. then he brought me in this country where he became a citizen, but when i got here, he started being physically abussive, it started from one smack, that i made my self believe maybe he’s just tired and i pissed him off its my fault. then it went on and on everyday and its getting worst. The torment went on for a year and a half. I just scape him few months ago with the help of my Family and friends that i cried for help for and my therapist and psychiatrist too who gave me advice and how to prepare myself to escape. I thought i’m already okay but there are some changes in me that i fear my self. I have the urge to go back to him but i know i cannot do that or else i’ll be good as dead. I think this is the stigma that goes with victims the attachment to their abuser. Everyday’s a struggle for me. I’m just glad that i am thousand miles away from him now, even if i want to go back there is no way that i can. I wanted to be in a support group and struggling to get into treatment to continue what i already have in California before. I’m in New York right now trying so hard to patch my life every single day… I am scared but i’m moving on… One step at a time..

    • HotlineAdmin_AM says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. You have been through so much and it’s great to hear that you are now in a safe place. It is completely normal to struggle and experience the feelings you have. Please know that you can reach out to talk about these feelings to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. It is confidential, anonymous, and available 24/7. Advocates can also find a domestic violence program in your community that offers support groups and counseling.

  99. Marissa says:

    Thank you for your comment. I have been semi-agonizing over leaving my mentally abusive ‘husband’ and taking our kids a couple states away from him. I still actually consider moving closer to him sk they can have easier access to their father. Why I do this baffles me. He was abusive a d is still mentally emotionally abusive. Passive agressive too. Thank goodness for long memory, journals and my mother to remind me, gut instinct, and emails like yours to save me from the same jaws death.. I need not ever risk our sanity peace and new prosperity. After 2 years after divorcing, we are still like baby plants looking to settle and plant roots. I’m so unsure of the future, but I’m pretty sure if We move back closer to him just for fair parental rights-i’d be doing the kids and myself a big disservice. One day at a time. We’re better off away from him. I don’t need to confirm my reticent suspicion that wiuld create anst and frusteration all over again. I can’t afford another set back. I can not fall asleep.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Marissa,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It takes a lot of courage to make the steps you have made. It sounds like it is difficult to make this next decision, and that is definitely understandable. I encourage you to contact the National Domestic Violence at 1-800-799-SAFE to speak with an advocate and receive further guidance. We are completely anonymous and confidential and available 24/7.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  100. tia says:

    I too, have been emotionally,financial,and physically abused by my husband. His behavior started changing for three years. He would travel to Tennessee, using the excuse of visiting families but and searching for jobs but ended up cheating on me. He would spent thousands of dollars on himself and neglected his wife and children’s needs. Every trip he would take to Tennessee he would buy new clothes for himself and never for his children, and his children needed clothes. I forgave him and his behaviors hasn’t really changed and I gave him ten months but no change and for a man that does not have a job can afford to travel while his wife work to support his family and his needs. He continue to lies and believe his lies and I finally packed up the children while he was out of town in Tennesee. I find courage and strenght through faithful friends and family who support my leaving him. I children and drove 1,400 miles to get to safety for my children and I. No one believed that I could actually would leave him. and I can’t believe it either! My children misses the lifestyle that they had and I worked hard for and now we are having difficulties living with less. I hope that things will get better for us and I have to stand alone now, when my mother, father, sisters,and in-laws are turning their backs on us. I am afraid that he might come take my children from me and the order of protection can only protect me but not my children.
    Tia

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Tia,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. It sounds like you have been through so much and I am so glad you are in a safe place. It sounds like that took a lot of strength and courage to do. It may be helpful to speak with a legal advocate in your area concerning your children and the fears you have expressed. I encourage you to contact us, the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. We are available 24/7 and are completely confidential and anonymous. An advocate can help offer guidance and can also connect you to local support services like a legal advocate that can answer questions about custody.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  101. lynn says:

    My semi ex boyfriend of 5 years was/is abusive. Its weird to talk about my abusive relationship out loud… i talk about it in my head constantly its all i can think about but when i think about talking about my abusive relationship out loud, i instantly feel numb inside. i dont want anyone to know the pain. i dont want anyone to see the pain. i feel like no one would ever believe the pain. no stories, no tears, no anything could ever accurately describe just how painful and tormeting it is to be in an abusive relationship.
    Im a college graduate with a great career. i receive compliments on my “smarts” regularly. People often compliment my composure, even demeanor and mild manners. i put up the front that im laid back, happy, never stop smiling. Thats why I feel like such an idiot. If those above things are true, then how could I make such stupid decisions and be so sad on the inside? Wasnt staying in an abusive relationship for that long a stupid decision? I made that “decision” to stay thousands of times…maybe even tens of thousands of times. it was never a decision though, obviously because there was ever only one answer: ill take you back. or even worse, please dont leave me. which is also stupid. how can i tell these things to people who respect me and my intellect? i dont want people to know that when i go home i my brain turns to all consumed mush and i feel alone, angry, sad. regretful, all while secretly hoping he reaches out. just once.. its pathetic my brain tells me. but brain, why do you still hope for a phone call? its like a magnetic force, im being pulled in and pushed away at the same time and i cant break out im stuck so i just struggle between the two forces…
    Sex for him is all about the domination and humiliation of me….. its been that way since about 3 months into our relationship….and i grew to like it….now i feel like a crazy psycho that seems to like punishment………..
    verbal abuse? no doubt. he demeans my cooking, my cleaning, my bathing of my own self…. he demands perfection which is unobtainable. if i have learned one thing about him, its that he will never be satisfied, he will always find something wrong when it comes to me or my actions.
    the physical abuse has always been there since about 3 months into our relationship…however when it started it was subtle…very passive aggressive and just sly enough to appear like a non issue. but it worsened. it continued to worsen but i didnt care. i dont care still. the physical hurt never hurt as bad as my heart. sometimes i would instigate a fight just so my body could hurt the way my soul hurts. it started with shoving. lots of shoving. then it would be pinning me down, twisting my arms, spitting on me…now everything basically has occured… punches, slaps, scratches, shoves, hair pulls, pillow over face, choked, dragged around the floor, muscled out of the apt, ripped out of moving cars, head slams. took a baseball bat to my car…
    the day after the big fight, id stand in the mirror scanning for bruises, which majority of the time were there because im so fair skinned…and i would monitor them everyday and when they would start to fade i would feel sad… it doesnt seem to make sense, but its like i wanted to keep my proof, keep my scars.
    i also wanted him to notice the bruises, the swollen broken finger, the knot on the back of my head… i wanted him to see them and feel guilty and remorseful and vow to never hurt someone he loves so much that way anymore. but that never happened. and that never will happen. because he doesnt love me. he loves to use me. he loves to take and take and take and see how much more he can take from me. i often wonder why hasnt he moved on yet? his actions clearly communicate disinterest and hostility…so why does he stay? thats what torments me? why does he stay? sometimes i think he really does love me, he has to love me after all he has put up with me for so long….after so many fights..
    hes 7 yrs my senior, divorced. i was 19 when we started dating, my first serious boyfriend, definitely my first love. and i honestly cannot see myself ever loving another man. i love him so much. do i know that hes a selfish jerk/borderline sociopath? yes i do know that. do i know he has cheated on me 20+ times with at least a dozen different women, most of which where prostitutes? yes i know that too. prostitutes he paid to come over to OUR apt minutes after kissing me goodbye as i left to go to work to make money that supported the both of us, spent at his discretion of course? yes im well aware.
    these facts, these incidences of the past haunt me. i obsess over them. i mean i feel so torn up inside. he has had another gf….never bothered to break up with me first….i mean why would he? i give him shelter, clothing, sex, meals, and money. And most importantly to him, i show “tolerance” to his bad behavior by never walking away.
    Hes so charming to the world, thats what they see. But i know the monster inside, ive looked him in the eye. hes a master manipulator and im a master fool. i just needed someone to tell, someone to say something….

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Lynn,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It sounds like so much is going on and a few things you mentioned are concerning. It sounds like this is a very controlling relationship and he sounds very manipulative. It is not fair for you to be feeling this way because of his behavior. Sharing your story can be such a powerful part of the healing process. If you would like to continue sharing I invite you to contact us, the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233 for guidance and referrals to local support services. We are available 24/7 and are anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

  102. Beverley says:

    Katie – I can relate with your step mum – not being believed its like being abused by those who won’t except it happened – you keep quiet for so long and when you do speak up it feels like everyone has believed the abuser – I too struggle with this – what made me answer is I think you should show your step mum what you have wrote – its very touching and shows how much you care for her – it might help her to see that she has everything she needs in her family she has now – I wish you all happiness

  103. Sarah says:

    I wanted to comment on your story my name is Sarah also. I have been in a off again on again relationship for almost 6 years now. I cant get over him. It hurts so bad. I cant imagine him with someone else. I keep asking myself why from all the pain he caused me. But here I am a emotional wreck. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Sarah

  104. Katie says:

    Hi, I’m 16 and was just wondering if I could have some advice to help my step-mum
    She got out of an abusive relationship almost 10 year ago and hasn’t found a way of getting through it if I’m honest, she got married to my dad 6/7 year ago and they have difficulties agreeing with each other because of her past, and it’s becoming a lot worse lately, she has lost contact with both of her children who are now in their mid 20’s because they don’t believe her about the abuse and refuse to believe their dad could do such a thing. I’m finding it stressful seeing her upset all the time, she’s on anti-depressants and a lot of other medication but nothing seems to be working, I really fear for her marriage to my dad and for her own safety, i’m terrified what I’ll come home to one day.
    I know I can’t get her to completely forget about it but she wants to see her ex and his family again so that she can tell them how she feels about the abuse and I’m worried she’s just going to get hurt again and not get what she’s looking for

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Katie,
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. It sounds like you are really concerned about your step mother. She may still be dealing with the trauma of the abuse she went through, and may not be finding ways to heal and move forward. One thing that sometimes helps survivors of abuse is to get involved with a support group. It’s a space where she could hear other survivors’ stories, and see that she’s not alone in feeling like this. Alot of times when you leave an abusive relationship, it feels like you don’t have the closure you need. Confronting an abuser about their behavior often doesn’t bring the healing that people hope it would. And may even make it more unsafe for your step mother. If you’d like to share our information with her, an advocate here could always look for any local domestic violence programs that offer support groups or even individual counseling. Also, you can call and speak with someone at more length if you’d like. We are available at 1-800-799-7233.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  105. shauna says:

    ya these men are all the same iv been in the same persision day in day out the name calling im a bitch slut a bitch prosistite and every name calling there is it gets worse wen im out im looking at oryher men he says he thinks he owns me like im suppose 2 walk with me head on the ground and wen we lived together he used 2 beat me up so much untill i could not getb outta the bed 2 call any1 i used 2 have so much bruises on me body that i used 2 say that i fell he is a dirty low life scumbag and he will pay for what he done on me gi mean i hope god lets me watch him wen he is geetting his karma si i can watch tryed 2 strangle me 2 death wen i just caught my last breathe constantly abuse and it is very painfull everyday i do wonder why i put up with all the shit it was unreal he is a pure scumbag i hope he gets wats coming 2 him 1 day controlled my every move beat me up behind the closed doors and then wen every else around would make me out 2 be the mad 1 he was a bastard pure evil bastard would nbe nice 1 inand then next killing me i hope he dies

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Shauna,
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your boyfriend is very abusive towards you. There are some things that you’ve shared that are really concerning. Strangulation is especially dangerous because it can go too far very quickly. Then also, that you feel scared he is going to kill you. You don’t deserve to be treated like this. If you get a safe chance, I would encourage you to call and speak with an advocate here on the National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 1-800-799-SAFE. We are 24/7 and a safe place to talk about it. An advocate on the line could talk to you about what’s going on, and your own safety while living with this abusive partner.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  106. Jo says:

    By Jan I meant Ingrid above. I misread where it said comment by and where it said Jan in the body of your comment. I’m so sorry Ingrid for that. This is only my 2nd time here so I am still figuring it out.

  107. Jo says:

    Hi Jan,

    You could be describing my first two years with my abuser. Fast forward 18 years. He graduated in that time to the most intense abuse. Random beatings. I could wake up to a beating there was no rhyme or reason. He was jealous and created scenarios that didn’t exist. It becomes impossible to defend against something your abuser has made up in their head. He cheated on and off I’d throw him out. He’d say he was sorry. He’d blame me. One time I threw him out after he cheated I had a new born and felt overwhelmed at the idea of him not being there with us. I chose to believe his excuse. As time went on it got to a point where I could not get him out. Once we had a child and I took him back after throwing him out for cheating he’d never get out again. I kicked myself many times through the years and abuse after for having had that one last chance to be free of him when I threw him out back then with the help of family and he actually left. My child seen his abuse of me. My abuser actually used forcing my child to see it as a form of abuse to me. The abuse was everyday at the end. And it did cover all levels across the board by then. Verbal, physical, mental and sexual. Every time they get away with it they increase the levels. The cycle goes around and around. If I’d broken up with him in the first two years and stuck to my guns though I missed him so much in the early years during breakups. If I’d done it in those first two years before having children that he could use to hurt me and hurt my child. If I’d not taken him back when I had those couple of chances where he’d actually leave. I’d have never lost decades of my life. He controlled my every move as time went on. (I lost my 20’s my 30’s and you can’t get them back.) I’d have never had to flee and lose EVERYTHING that I loved and had. I lost pets, family, my home, my possessions everything I knew to save my child and myself. If I’d didn’t take him back in the first two years when I had the chance to get him out I’d never be haunted by the past and the scars inside and out that he put on me (See above) after so many years with him. I’d have moved on to another life. A normal life. I’d have enjoyed my 20’s and 30’s and had the milestones of those decades I’d lost at the hands of my abuser. And my abuser would have been hardly a memory instead of a anchor around my neck whose memories drown me still IF I had stuck to my guns when I threw him out in the first two years.

    This is your chance to save yourself and your future. As the years march on the window closes. They became more possessive. You become more bogged down. Breaking free become much harder. They become more controlling more bold every time we forgive them. Please don’t be convinced by his declarations of change or trying to make you feel guilty even though you have done nothing wrong. The manipulation comes right out of their abusers playbook. It may hurt right now to cut ties to him and you may miss him. He had 2 years to work on you if you give him more time it will only be that much harder to leave him or get him to leave. And take my word you will wish he was gone one day if you take him back.

    Try to keep busy see friends. Do somethings you enjoy and please try to be strong. Try hard not to communicate with him. They are very good at knowing the right things to say. Wiggle their way back in. They have made it their job to know our triggers, how to work on our sympathies. Not giving them the chance to communicate with you is the only way u sally to be safe from their manipulation. Before you know it you will be over him. It doesn’t seem like it now but there will be a new man in your life one day once your free and you will be shocked to realize you don’t feel the same toward your abuser anymore. We no longer feel anything for them as we move on. It really, really does happen after some time and moving on. Please be strong. Be proud of yourself and happy for the awesome gift you just gave yourself, the gift of your future. Good luck. My heart goes out to you. I see my past in you but you still have time to stop it in time.

  108. Hurt says:

    Ingrid,

    I know how you are feeling. It is normal to feel like you are having second thoughts. You did the right thing. He was probably abusive to the mother of his child and he WILL be abusive to the next girl in line. You are still young, don’t get mixed up in a relationship like this. consider yourself free. You have your whole life ahead of you. Move on and don’t look back. You don’t have any kids with him which is good so you can cut off all contact with him and leave it at that. I know it feels like the end of the world, trust me, its NOT. Do NOT blame yourself. Since you are feeling lonely and depressed go hang out with your friends, go shopping, do something that makes YOU happy. Focus on YOU. You will look back and wonder why you ever stayed in the first place. You will find happiness i promise. Stay strong. I know what you are going through and what you are feeling. I am starting to slowly, but surely feel better everyday. THINGS WILL GET BETTER.

  109. Ingrid says:

    — another thing we would fight about is because his daughter of 4 saw the way he treated me sometimes and she began to disrespect me. Making me feel uncomfortable about everything. Yes, she’s 4, but I cannot control how I felt.. I’m only 21 and he is 22. We are both to young to be dealing with this, idk? Like I said I’m very confused!! :/

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Ingrid,
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. It’s normal to feel upset and confused when ending an abusive relationship. Walking away from someone like that takes a lot of strength. Part of the abuse though is chosing the time to get upset or to be abusive towards you. One minute things are fine, and the next you could be verbally berated or worse. Then maybe that person apologizes and you want to believe that it’s going to be different. Most often with abuse, it only escalates over time; it doesn’t get any better. I’m glad that you reached out for help here. One thing that may help is to educate yourself on abuse. A good website to start is loveisrespect.org. If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s going on, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here on the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  110. Ingrid says:

    Jan,

    I’m having second thoughts about leaving my abusive boyfriend. He began to hit me after six months into the relationship and its been 2 years that we’ve been together. After months and months of me begging him to leave, he finally left yesterday. The times that were good, we’re AMAZING which made it that much harder to give in when begging me to stay and promises he could never keep. It’s extremely hard to express how I am feeling right now. Last night, after he left, I could not stop crying. This morning I woke up and missed him being next to me. He was never verbally abusive and always sweet. But he was very jelous and when he didn’t hear what he wanted to, the fighting would begin. I would NEVER back down .. Every time he hit me, I got right back up and hit him back. We would keep going back and forth until he finally gave up. I know I did the right thing, but why do I feel so horrible about it… Maybe because i said hurtful things? I’m very confused!

  111. Maureen says:

    There is a U Visa available for immigrant women subject to abuse so they are able to leave without fear of deportation. Look into it at an immigration advocacy center as no one should live in fear.

  112. Jo says:

    Hi,
    I was in a Domestic Violence relationship for 18 years before escaping. He was my first (and only) love. I was 15 when we started dating. We never married. I literally had to take our child and flee to another state, someplace I’d never been before and start over with the help of DV shelters, alone without any friends or family. My child and I also moved around a lot for the first 4 years (but have stayed in the same apartment the past 12 years). Stayed in hiding (Still am) and kept a low profile (Without that reality too obvious to your child so life feels normal to them.) That’s so much harder then people realize. Even simply things that people take for granted I had to think long and hard about and about how to do it. Like school, work, those things are trails. My child getting any recognition and what if it winds up in the paper etc. I’m like a movie of the week. It was my child that made me finally able to do all the difficult steps to escape. The minute my abuser started to drag my child into it I knew I had to leave. My reason for commenting is more about now then then though.

    I have been away from my abuser 16 years, no contact and he never found me. In all these years I never dated or ever had another boyfriend. I told myself in the early years it was the best thing for me to be alone, and the best thing for my child for me to focus on my child who was young. How I shouldn’t bring a stranger into my child’s life. Blah, blah. Well, now I’m still alone my child is in college and I realize its more then being what I thought of as responsible. I just can’t. I can’t be with anyone. I am insecure. My ex never missed a chance to put me down and I guess it did stick. I am a broken because of the abuse and I am realizing the reality of that 16 years later. I thought I was so strong all these years. If you had asked anyone they would never have guessed I struggled with the abuse even after leaving. Shelters treated me like I had it together not even making me attend mandatory meetings. I was hired to do work at some after having been at them. I left to a new state got a job where I helped others, did workshops, taught life skills! Helped people put their lives in order for years until I was laid off a couple of years ago and have not been able to get work again.

    Now, I feel overwhelmed, incompetent and find it hard to even get up the momentum to keep looking. Occasionally the bad dreams about my ex return. (I had reoccurring ones a right after and a few years after I left about him finding me and killing me and they were very graphic.) I can never find anything online about what I am experiencing now so very many years later. I can never find anything about the effects on a battered woman many years after leaving an abuser and wonder if I am just a freak beause I can’t completely move on. It seems to always linger over me like a dark shadow that’s feeling closer lately.

    Is it normal for this to be happening 16 years after leaving long time DV? What is wrong with me? It seems like its too many years later to be experiencing PTSD? But, suddenly its like all the feelings I put off are catching up to me when I thought I was doing OK and over it for so many years while my child was growing up. I am scared. I have to get a job I am living off my savings, paying for my son’s college and no longer have family bonds since having fled for so many years ago. My Parents have since passed away in the years that I’ve been hiding. I have to work. I have to find the confidence I lost. I know this yet can’t pull it out. I’m suddenly scared maybe the abuse did damage me worse then the front I’ve put up for years has shown, that front even fooled me. I could give a pep talk to anyone. I realize some of the reasons I am crashing like this. I know the abuse was wrong and damaging etc., yet knowing isn’t making me suddenly better. Knowledge isn’t power in my case. :/ It just makes me more angry at myself for these feelings now. Not probably getting over it, and for waiting too long to find love so that it became too long and getting back on the horse became too scary. (For lack of a better term:)

    Is it normally for a woman who escaped abuse to function OK for years while raising the children then one day it suddenly (well its been building for about a year now actually and getting worse) feels like all the emotional baggage she avoided dealing with for many years catches up with her and freezes her in her place especially when she can’t afford to freeze right now?

    Is this feeling 16 years later normal?

    Is it possible 16 years after leaving the abuse to have PTSD happening?

    Is it normal to have never loved again?

    I had dreams when I left. I had visions of Christmas and holidays without fights, happy, festive (Because my Ex caused fights and tears every holiday.) I swore when I left holidays would be wonderful for my child. I’d have a husband, a family, a home and we’d have a normal life. All I/we got out of that was the holidays without fights. My child and I spent every holiday alone just the 2 of us. No one to visit, no festivities. I never pictured what turned out to be reality. But there was no fights, there was no tears, and I did my best to make them the best they could be with just the two of us. (But I felt so alone. I faked it for my child.)

    I am so scared I will be alone for the rest of my life at this point. I have watched decades pass and myself age (I’m almost 50 now) and the window for love and a normal life, a life with a partner who can share the load, the ups and downs the memories of the family growing, close. And I am suddenly very scared. As scared as the day I left it all behind to flee and save my life and my child. I am afraid now that I realize not being able to be in a relationship is who I am. Its my reality. I am afraid, very afraid about what is going to happen if I don’t stop feeling paralyzed by fear about a new job, the unknown of it, and get a job where I can support myself and my child alone. My savings is disappearing. I was supposed to have that for retirement someday but its almost gone and no one is going to take care of me.

    I was always a get things done person. I survived the years as a singe Mom. Worked hard. Dedicated my life to being the best Mom. When things needed to get done I did them. Hell I left MY home, MY family to escape the abuse going to places unknown and rebuilding our lives from scratch,and suddenly now I feel paralyzed. Now 16 years later. Is it just me? Is this normal for some battered woman to feel the effects struggle with them many years later?

    Sorry for droning on. I just can’t find anything about something like this for a battered woman many years after leaving. And when she never introduced another abusive man into her life. Still being because of the long ago abuse she fled. If it is. maybe there is nothing because its not normal and its me?

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      Hi Jo,
      Thank you so much for sharing you story with the Share Your Voice blog community. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot and you’ve had to be very strong for a long time. It is absolutely normal for someone who has not fully dealt with the trauma they’ve experienced to see those feelings reappear later in life. What you went through is going to naturally have a huge effect on your emotional state, even if you were able to push those feelings aside by distracting yourself for many years. It makes sense that now your child is gone from the home, you are experiencing these symptoms of extreme loneliness. I would suggest working with a domestic violence and/or trauma counselor to help you process what you’ve been through. If you’d like to call the hotline (800-799-7233), an advocate can help locate some free counseling resources in your community. We’re available 24/7 and would be happy to provide you with guidance and support.

      Take care,
      HotlineAdvocate_CH

  113. Jane says:

    Thank you very much, I appreciate it. This is the most difficult time in my life and I am so grateful for websites like this and people like you that are here for us. I hope after I get healthy, I can help others as well.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  114. Jane says:

    Thank you very much, I appreciate it. This is the most difficult time in my life and I am so grateful for websites like this and people like you that are here for us. I hope after I get healthy, I can help others as well.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  115. Hurt says:

    Hello,

    I recently just left my boyfriend of 6 years (off and on). We have 2 kids together (I am 25 and he is 26). I recently just moved cities to be closer to my mom. Thank god for my mom and my step dad who have helped me a lot, with moving expenses and getting into my own place.

    Ok so about my relationship…
    I don’t remember when the abuse started, but there has been a lot of emotional and physical abuse. It seemed to keep getting worse. Unfortunately, my children have witnessed this. They are ages 2 and 4. I know this is the RIGHT thing to do for me and my kids. BUT I am having such a hard time dealing with this. The hardest thing is that he doesn’t care that i’m gone. He doesn’t even beg me back (I know that might sound stupid). He has always cheated on me throughout our entire relationship and is a big drinker and loves to party with his friends. He would lie to me and say he was at work, turn his phone off when he would see me calling and just plain not come home. I would never get an explanation of where he was or anything and of course NEVER an apology when he would eventually come home. I have been through hell and back with him, no one can even begin to imagine. I have found underwear in his blankets…he brought a woman back to the house when i was 6 months pregnant… and the list goes on.. Sick I know. I am here alone with my 2 kids and yes i purchased a puppy before i left my other home so i wouldnt feel alone. He knew i was leaving and didnt care at all. THAT is what HURTS the most. He just doesnt care. I am so bitter and angry all the time. I feel depressed as well. Hoe can he not care? I want him to regret what he did to me and the kids. I want him to hurt like i hurt. I am so focused on what he is doing and dont know how to get away from it. I know he is out with his friends picking up girls and partying every night. Its not fair. It drives me crazy that he is out doing all of this with not a care in the world. I dont know what to do at this point. I cant get him out of my head. I KNOW i made the right decision for me and my kids, but why does it hurt so bad when he did such bad things to me? I mean do i even truly love him? How can someone love someone like that? I just want him to regret and want us back, just so i can tell him to eff off. All he had to do was stop going out and partying. How hard is that! He even attacked one of my friends while he was blackout drunk and will say now, even when hes sober, that she deserved it. I was completely sober the night that it all happened and my friend did NOTHING to provoke any of the attack. That was pretty much the breaking point for me, but im still not at my breaking point i feel like. Even writing this sounds insane and silly. But i just cant get over him and let go. He is a monster and a horrible person, but i just cant get him out of my head. The hardest thing for me is that he just doesnt care. All my friends tell me that he will regret it sooner or later and he will want his family back. He is a good looking guy and can get girls and all i think about it there is probably some different girl in his bed every night or that he already has a girlfriend. I find myself just texting him and talking shit to him. He doesnt really respond which drives me nuts. I am so sick of feeling like this. When will these feelings end?

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Hurt,
      Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. It’s normal when you have been through about like this to feel really confused and upset. Someone who is abusive is not very likely to take responsibility for their actions or to be accountable for what they’ve done to you, which can make it feel like you don’t have any closure. It sounds like he hurt you a lot. He never had the right to put his hands on you. I know that the focus now is what he’s doing while you’re not with him, but that is outside of your control. It may help to get some support for yourself so that you can move forward in a healthy way. Try getting involved with something that you enjoy doing, like a hobby or taking a class if possible. Do things to take care of yourself when you can. It’s probably hard to find space and time to do so with two children, but maybe there’s a time where your mom can watch the kids, and you could do some ‘me time.’ Self-care is so important when trying to heal from abuse. You’re doing the right thing, and you deserve support. If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s going on, or if you’d like to find local resources for more support, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here on the Hotline. We are 24/7 and anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  116. Beverley says:

    Hi

    28yrs .. I was in an abusive relationship .. When I ended my relationship, I had to carry on living in the same house with him for 2 yrs … Even I do not know how I stayed strong .. I have been reading about domestic abuse and this is what has opened my eyes and made me see why I acted so strangely .. Yes I had those crazy times .. I had depression and I feel I’m suffering PTSD now .. I lost my life and people I thought were friends .. I never felt I’d be believed if I spoke out and did not know who too trust .. I was right they all turned their backs on me and he lives a normal life like nothing’s happens with his new woman .. Friends turning there backs make you feel it is you just like your abuser keeps telling you .. Even I admit I did seem crazy .. And as everyone said when I finally spoke out and said what I suffered at his hands .. We did not know but we like you both .. He is welcome back into the circle while I’m left alone which is how he planned it .. Trust is a bad thing to lose, you don’t know who to turn too for the support you need .. Being believed.. will I really be believed? After all where was my black eye or broken bones .. I would make a good actress I learnt long ago to say nothing feel nothing and pretend .. To the point no one believes me .. I was really just surviving .. I’m lucky I’ve met two MEN who have shown me how things should really be since splitting up .. They have also seen ME .. Even though I lost me many years ago .. One kept me strong throughout the 2 yrs I ended my marriage .. A real friend .. The other is here helping me heal even when he cant understand why another person would cause so much hurt .. I’m ready to talk and know I’m on the right path to recovery .. Before I saw no light at the end of the tunnel, I now know there is .. Don’t let the abuser win .. I’m not going too .. The children suffer too emotionally .. Only one thing I’d of changed and that would of been to get out a lot earlier .. It’s damaging for all

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Beverley,

      Thank you for sharing your truthful and powerful words with our blog community. I am glad to hear you have a support system in two men and that they are helping you heal. If you would like a referral for counseling or support groups in your area, please call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 and an advocate at the Hotline can help you. Please be kind and patient with yourself as you continue to heal.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  117. Sharon says:

    Hi Jan,

    I just want to say that I am in an emotionally abusive relationship. I did not know that this guy was on crack cocaine until after the fact because I met him in Church and he does know his Bible. I thought that this was this was the guy for me. Boy was I wrong. I have a friend who was a drug dealer whom I trust with my life told me that he was a crack head and plus I do know the characteristics of a person who is on crack. I didn’t dectect all of this before I got my emotions involved with this person. He has stolen $8,000.00 off me. I am on SSDI. I doesn’t make any sense that he’s got to steal off me when he’s got a job making $9.30 an hour working 12 hour shifts. He stole my monthly bus pass upon which I pressed charges against him for that. He has had plenty of opportunities to make restitution but will not comply as a matter of fact when I confronted him about it he got nasty with me and used words in the vocabulary that I don’t care to repeat. I have called the police for a whole year because he was in my apartment and not on my lease but they didn’t want to help me either. I don’t understand because I don’t cause anybody any problems, never been in jail a day in my life, and have worked for 21 years of my life to pay taxes for them to protect and serve. I went before the judge to get a Civil Protected Order but I was denied because he has to physically hurt me which I don’t understand that either because it is just a matter of time before he hurts me or maybe even kill me. They told me that I have to get a hold of Legal Aid. He is stalking me right now by being there at the bank when I get paid to harrass me fo money to support his habit. We’ll needless to say I am at my wits end with everything. I need alot of healing and support and prayer right now.

    Thank You

    Sharon

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Sharon,
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. You have been through a lot. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your partner has been abusive in many different ways. You deserve support. If you’d like help locating legal aid or other domestic violence support services, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here on the National Domestic Violence Hotline. We are available 24/7 and are anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  118. Sara says:

    Dear Domestic Hotline–

    Thank you so much for your reply & support. Teading that just now gave me a sigh of relief! Finally, someone will listen… I do not want to mention this to my 71 yr old Mom. She worries about me incredibly as is. I do have a wonderful fam. Plus, i hace a 19 yr old daughter in college. Im all she has– her Father ( not my ex husband) is gone forever.

    Ill be calling soon.

  119. Finding myself again says:

    I never had my character and words attacked so much in my entire life. I was in love and tried desperately to be belived and supported. In every turn, I was met with attacks and betrayal life no other time in my life. I wanted so badly to be belived, loved and secure. I look back and realize it was a loosing battle. I fought hard for my relationship and self esteem. Trying to have the one I love say I believe you. To be loved. I miss this person. Im depressed and have trouble getting out of my own way. I realize that we can and should never be together but why do I feel so bad? Its been five months. My heart no longer hearts but Im an emotional wreck. Any help or advice so I can find my old self again would be appreciated.

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      Finding myself again,
      Thank you so much for contacting our Share Your Voice blog. What you are experiencing is completely normal following an abusive relationship. Healing from such trauma can be very difficult, which is why we suggest everyone get domestic violence counseling in the aftermath of such an experience. Processing what you went through is a very important step in your healing process. Most communities do offer free domestic violence counseling to survivors. If you’d like those referrals, you are welcome to call our hotline (800-799-7233) anytime, 24/7. Advocates there can help locate resources and also talk to you about some self care options. I’m glad to hear that you got out of the situation, but unfortunately in most cases the pain doesn’t stop there. Reaching out for help is a necessary step that I’m so glad you took. Advocates are standing by whenever you are ready to call.

      Take care,
      HotlineAdvocate_CH

  120. Sara says:

    I just got attacted again tonight. And I divorced my abusive EX 3 years ago… I never thought this would happen again.. But, he never left the city, he moved across the street, renting a room. He is also still an alcoholic. Im so tired right now but afraid to go to sleep.Im afraid he will kill me. I’m also afraid suffering internal damaged. He attacted me after he somehow grabbed my cell phone away because i was going to call the PO. He entered my house thru the back door. He was drunk. He also knows im off work (Im a nurse assistant at a Hospital) for 2 ruptured disc & diagnosed with cervical Spinal Stenosis. Im afraid the disc could be herniated now… The attact put me into full blown panic, i was hyperventilating, and kept trying to reach for the door. As I struggled while hyperventilating, he accused me of being “on something.” I do not drink nor do drugs. And he knows that.

    I remembered my survival trick from previous attacks. As hard as it was, i quit screaming & crying & struggling. After a few min, he said, “Quit w your fakin… Im going to watch the rest of the World Series.” He told me to get up, said “look what you did to me!” And pointed at his lip. He must of bumped it in the struggle, i mean ATTACK. But, from his mind, I started this, he somehow has entitlement walking in my house, I was the one under the influence (reminder he is an alcoholic) and then I ABUSED HIM? As he walked in the living room, i bolted out the door. He follows, I scream, and with the Grace of God, some woman was across the street and yelled for him to get the hell away from me & she’s calli.g the PO. He left– as he yelled that I punched in in the face giving him a fat lip.

    This attack is WAY smaller from all the others

    I figured out how to escape. But he will not leave me alone. Its been 3 yrs and i havent dated a soul. I met a very VERY nice GENTLEMAN who is sucessful and smart. He lives 4 houses away. I don’t go to his house in fear im being watched. I finally got the nerve up to have coffee with him tonight, on his porch. I was right. I was being watched.i do not want to cause my new friend drama…but it already happened.

    This is why im afraid he will kill me out of a “passionate rage” (i never got that term) The look I saw in his eyes tonight was pure evil. And, i must of blacked this part out from yrs ago, he said 2x “If you ever leave me for another man, I will kill you.” I am no longer his wife, nothing. Im getting a PPO asap.

    My daughter is 19 away at college. She still needs me…

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Sara,
      Thank you for contacting us. That sounds like such a scary situation. I’m glad that you were able to get away from him. No matter what, he never had the right to put his hands on you. It’s not your fault that he did that. You can tell nothing’s changed with him; he’s still blaming his abuse on you and trying to manipulate you. It sounds like even though you are divorced, he is still trying to maintain power and control over you by moving across the street. You mentioned you are going to get a PPO asap, which is something I was going to suggest. If you’d like to talk to someone about what happened, and also local resources for more support, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here on the Hotline. Many local domestic violence programs have a legal advocate who could help you through the process of filing a protection order. We are 24/7 and anonymous and confidential. Our # is 1-800-799-SAFE.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  121. kat says:

    im seriously know what u mean BC it went on for 5 yrs for me he got charge i don’t remember how many times now since i haven’t been with him almost 2 yrs now i still get stocked from him and his girlfriend and their is an order for him to stay away from me but it doesn’t matter with them .he went to jail not for long only weekends but hes rat..but now i a nice guy but i have trust issue with him and so im always pushing him away but he doesn’t understand the way im and now we broke up..

  122. Lindsay says:

    I just discovered this site last night and think it is wonderful. I am half way through divorcing my extremely
    abusive husband of 30 years. His favorite form of torture is verbal. After a short conversation with this guy I walk away feeling as though I’m dying from a thousand paper cuts. It got so bad in the past several months I had no choice but to leave. He never takes any responsibility for the hurt he inflicts on myself and our grown children.Luckily I have a great support system and a good friend who gave me very good advice; I went to the bank and took out half the money in our checking account, hired a divorce attorney who never doubted me when I told him about the abusive/controlling nature of my husband, opened a new credit card account based on his income, I have not had a substantial career since my kids came along. He somehow tricked me into giving up my debit/credit cards several months ago in exchange for an “allowance”. He has been on a campaign to incapacitate me for a while, taken over all my household responsibilities that have always done so well. I had my new credit card sent to a post office box I rented. It took me awhile but I finally got the combination to the safe and got my car title, birth certificate and other important docs out and put those in a safety deposit box at a different bank. I have been in my own apartment now for three weeks, it feels strange to be living alone after thirty years but I know it is the best way for me to heal. I have no feelings of guilt about his behavior. I believe he chooses to be abusive, he certainly chooses when and where to do it. This guy is a master, everyone one thinks he’s a “great guy” and can’t fathom he could be this way. His defamation of me to others is ongoing,but people will believe what they choose. I have no control over that. I am proud to say he grossly underestimated me. He wanted me to crawl away with $20 bucks, 1 pair of shoes and be thankful for air to breath.

  123. EDDIE JO says:

    THIS STORY IS SO MUCH LIKE MINE ALMOST WANT TO ASK WHAT HIS NAME WAS., I MAY KNOW HIM. I LOST MY HUSBAND THE BEST MAN IN THE WORLD. I MARRIED AGAIN THINKING THAT HE LOVED AND CARED FOR ME AND MY CHILDREN. I WAS SO WRONG. HE BEAT ME DOWN SO MUCH
    ME LIKE YOU TRYING TO COVER IT UP. I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT WAS WORSE AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN BEAT UP SO BAD YOU DON’T EVEN FEEL THE PAIN ANYMORE (SOMETIMES IT WAS LIKE I WAS STANDING OUTSIDE MY BODY JUST WATCHING). HIS SEXUAL ABUSE TO. ME WAS RAPE; BUT I PRETTY MUCH BLACK MY SELF OUT TILL HE FINISHED. I LIKE YOU PAYED ALL THE BILLS.
    I HAD A FOUR BEDROOM HOME, 3 VEHICLES BOAT ETC . I LOST EVERYTHING. BUT I AM LIVING IN A TRAVEL TRAILER AWAY FROM THAT DEVIL SOME CALL A MAN. BUT ITS ONLY BEEN 3 MONTHS
    AND I AM NOT DOING WELL LIKE ALOT OF THESE OTHER STORIES .IM SCARED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE, PANIC ATTACKS CRY ALL THE TIME. BUT IT DOES FEEL GOOD TO KNOW IT NOT JUST ME. MAYBE IT WILL GET BETTER . (I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK I WANT TO BE ME) I WANT TO BE THE SURVIVOR

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Eddie Jo,

      You are a survivor…you had the strength and courage to leave and are now free from the abuse. It is terrible the abuse you had to endure. Marital rape is a serious form of violence and is illegal. It sounds like you are still healing…it can take time, please be patient with yourself. Have you considered reaching out for help from a support group or individual counseling? If you would like further support and/or referrals locally please call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for sharing your voice with our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  124. Debbi says:

    Pamela:

    I saw your post & saw you offered to tell your story to those of us suffering from depression from abusive marriage we got out of.

    Sure hope you get this message because I sure could use some help and your story would help me.

  125. Jane says:

    I am currently seperated from my husband, who has been emotionally abusive to me for our entire 8 year marriage (together for 12 years, since I was 17). I played my parts in our disfunction for sure. My family life was great until my parents went through a malicious divorce when I was in 3rd grade. I then grew up with an emotionally absent dad and a belligerent alcoholic mom. By the time I was in jr high/high school, I was pretty much on my own with very little emotional support from my family, and the support that was there was very unhealthy. I developed multiple addictions, smoking, drinking, drugs, and an eating disorder. My senior year of high school, after a serious relationship ended, I attempted suicide. It was about this time that I met my husband. He was as emotionally mistreated growing up as I was, if not more so. His dad was very abusive to his mom.
    My dilema is that he is saying I was just as abusive to him as he was to me. I realize my thinking is very clouded as I am just starting to realize the sevarity of the situation. So I am just looking for a little clarity. In a nut shell, he was demeaning, humiliated me in front of everyone, friends, family and strangers, called me every name in the book daily (at least I think it was daily, my memory is cloudy) – stupid, worthless, pathetic, fat, ugly, b-word, c-word, “f-ing” b-word. stupid b-word. I could go on and on. There was this look on his face, this expression he would do that would just make me feel so stupid for even breathing. He critisized everything I did and said, the way I talked to people, the way I ate too loud. But here’s where I am struggling with regarding what he is saying. Over the years, I did slap him, I spit on him once, I got in his face multiple times. I was never ever violent before he emotionally abused me. His abuse escalated over the years. He started grabbing my arms, pinning me against the wall, throwing me on the ground. The last offense was him strangling me. It was brief but I was terrified. I have talked to my counselor about my parts and what I did that was wrong. In addition to the physical stuff I did, I also called him names like a-hole and jerk and worse, I’m sure. And when he would tell me (as a threat), “I could f–k any girl I wanted” and I would say in reply “they could never want anyone like you.” Again, back to my point (and sorry for being all over the place) – he is saying I was just as abusive as he was. My counselor says he is all for me taking responsibility for anything I did and said that was wrong, but that most of what I did was retaliation, and given a functional relationship, I would not have done such things. But when I talk to my husband about it and he accuses me of these things and being just as much to blame, I can’t help but feel guilty and responsible. While part of me knows this is not true, a part of me is just so confused. Is it possible that yes, I made some bad choices and did some things that were wrong, but that that is ok? I now know, no matter what I did, he has no excuse for the way he treated me. Do you have any suggestions for speaking truth to him? I don’t want to completely discredit what he is saying, because I did do those things. Yet, I don’t know how to respond in a healthy way when he turns the blame onto me.
    Thank you for any guidance you can give and thank you for your time and effort for this website.
    Sincerely and gratefully,
    Jane

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Jane,
      Thank you for contacting us. In reading your story, I’m hearing a lot of really common concerns that come up for victims of abuse when they are trying to find clarity in their situation. I agree with the thoughts you shared from your counselor. Accountability and taking responsibility for your own actions is important. At the same time, that does not mean that what you’ve experienced was in any way caused by yourself. From what you’ve shared here, it sounds like your husband was very emotionally, verbally, and physically violent towards you. Abuse is about power and control, and does tend to escalate over time. It’s not uncommon when you’ve dealt with this kind of abuse to lash out in retaliation or even self defense. That doesn’t mean that you were just as abusive as him. When he’s saying that you’re just as much to blame as he is, he’s discounting any of the abuse that he put you through himself. It’s a situation that comes up often on our calls. When we talk in more depth, what we usually find out is that in most cases where someone is concerned about mutual abuse, there was always a partner that had more power in the relationship. I don’t know if it’s safe to discuss this with him, because I don’t think you’ll find the understanding that you’re looking for. If you’d like to talk to someone in more depth about what’s going on, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here on the National Domestic Violence Hotline. We are 24/7 and a safe place to talk about it.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  126. Gillian says:

    Hiya my name is gillian, when I was 16 a was very bubbly outgoing n lots of friend n meet that guy at college was with that guy for 6 years and he kicked, slapping , split at my face, throw stuff at me like vodka, laptop, anything heavy, every fucking single days twice a days? Locked in for a year n got pregnant with him, he stopped I thought its over for good till a gave a birth to a baby, he’s back to his old way he knocked me out while baby in cot asleep I thought right that it enough is enough went out to shop bought a other copy key n he went to work a packed everything in, passport n everything n a ran away n never look back, he took me to courts wantin to see our wee boy and av moved different house to keep away from him but he still found me whatever am going, that’s nearly three years ago I left hI’m and a still get flash back and my boy growing up look like his dad so am pretty fucked.. N very deep dressipon , trying to get help but no one understand how I feel they keep saying get a grip they don’t know what iv been through with that bastard every days for 6 years. Am 24 years old I’m scared to go out all I want to hide away in my bedroom . That bastard need to lock up!!

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Gillian,
      Thank you for sharing your story. Your ex put you through so much. It sounds like he was both physically and emotionally abusive towards you. He never had the right to put his hands on you. Going through abuse like that can be traumatic. It’s normal to still feel upset and scared. Have you thought about talking to someone about how you feel? A lot of local domestic violence programs offer free support services to victims and survivors of abuse. If you’d like to talk to someone and find out more about local services, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline. We are 24/7, and are anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  127. Kelly says:

    Ok, after reading some of these things i think maybe i’m kinda pathetic! I was in a relationship with an abusive guy 3 years ago but now i cant seem to move on or trust anybody else. He would call me names, threaten to kill me when i slept. He would say things to frighten me, he would hit me “accidentally” with things.. Doors, remote controls, my mobile phone, dvd cases.. The list goes on. He would come to my house and smash the place up because of stupid little things and make me feel guilty about it. He did all of this when my daughter was there. He once came up to my face and said through clenched teeth that just because i had a hold of my f**king kid it didn’t mean he wouldn’t punch my f**king face in then swung at me and punched a hole in the door next to my head. My little girl was only 9 months old and she had to see that. It makes me sick. He would disappear and not tell me where he was and when i worried and tried to contact him he would turn it against me. He hated me having any friends or family at my house and if he turned up and they were there he would kick off after they left. I fell pregnant with his child and lost it at 7 weeks through stress. He said i was a pathetic bitch who cant even take care of his baby and he was glad i lost it. I had to put my baby in a box and burry it in the garden, i couldn’t even go to the doctor because he said if i did he would make sure i never got pregnant again. I cant talk to anybody because i cant explain why i didnt say anything sooner. He said nobody would ever want a vile disgusting pig like me and now i’m starting to think he was right. Nothing i ever did was good enough, even down to the meals i made him or if i forgot something when i was shopping all hell would break loose. I have only ever told one friend about what really went on but i don’t want to keep bothering her with it. It was years ago but it still affects me and i have to make up stories to friends and family as to why i havnt settled down yet. Now my friends brother is interested in me and i am scared of what will happen if we get close. Has anybody got any advice for me? I’m desperate to get out of this rut i’m in, i still see him now and again with the girl he got pregnant the same time as me and their child. I have nothing against the girl or the child but it sickens me. He just looks at me and smirks. He has tried to talk to me once but i just walked away because we were in public i knew i could get away with it. I don’t know what to do anymore

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Kelly,
      Thank you for sharing your story. You’re not pathetic. Everything you described about your relationship with your ex was really violent and scary. Emotional and verbal abuse like that would make any one feel scared. It sounds like he treated you awfully. I want you to know that it’s normal for you to feel wary of getting involved with someone else or trusting them. It takes time to heal once you’re out of an abusive relationship. Have you ever talked to a counselor for support around what you went through? There may be local domestic violence programs that offer free counseling or support groups for victims and survivors of abuse. If you’d like to find out more, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here on the National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 1-800-799-7233. We are 24/7 and anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  128. Tara says:

    Annette,

    Thank you for your response and support! I am sorry you had to go through the abuse too, but I appreciate you taking your time to share with me and help. I was alone most of the time too, divorced parents, living with ‘friends’, and then getting married and moving to an island where I knew no one and had no real support, no where to turn or go when things got bad. Oddly enough, I have some family support now which is why I was able to get away for a few days.

    I feel good in the sense that I’ve had nothing but positivity around me in the past few days. However, I know there is a pile of unfinished business waiting for me when I return. Maybe I could suggest separate counseling for the both of us, or maybe there’s been too much violence and too many hurtful words to even try to bandage our marriage together.

    I know who my husband is, I think something must have happened between his mother and father which his anger derives from. I know he doesn’t mean to do or say the things he does, he’s cried many many times because he’s been so sorry. I think that’s why I make so many excuses for his behavior, and his temper and his quick tongue.

    I can give anybody great advice when it comes to anything but I can’t take it from anybody. The few people that know some of the stuff that’s occurred are telling me to get the heck out of this marriage. But I can’t, I know I should and I do want to. There’s a growing feeling everyday I’m away that’s telling me to go back.

    I love being myself, and I know I don’t get to be myself in my marriage. I think it’s getting worse because recently, everything my husband has said and done to me, hit me like a brick wall and I became angry with him. The past few weeks, he couldn’t say anything nice to me without me feeling angry.

    I’m trying to stay strong, taking things one minute at a time. I’ve never been one for conflict, so it makes it difficult to be the one to end this. I am Christian, I don’t know much and I don’t attend church often, but I do believe. I think the hardest thing about this is hurting my husband, I’ve never had to do this to anyone. Why is it that I, we, are the ones hurt in the relationship, and then we hurt twice as much getting out of it?

    Again, thank you for listening an supporting, and I apologize for rambling. I think you all are helping me so much, just by sharing, and sending your support. Its nice to hear that there is hope and that things can get better after this.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Tara,

      I responded to your earlier post but wanted to comment on a couple of things in regards to this post.

      Many individuals come from a home that was abusive and this may have had an impact on them, but it doesn’t create an abusive person. Abuse is a choice. They can choose to hurt their loved ones or they can choose to treat them with love and kindness. Your partner makes a choice to hurt you, so when he cries and says he is sorry…that is manipulation. Which, understandable, can be confusing.

      I think it is great that you realize that you enjoy being you. Not having to walk on eggshells and censor yourself on a daily basis. It may feel like you are hurting him, but he is the one who chose to hurt you and is now paying the consequences of his actions. If he had treated you with love, trust, respect, and freedom then you wouldn’t have to be thinking of leaving him.

      Please contact an advocate at the Hotline for further support at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for sharing with our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  129. Annette says:

    Tara sweetheart,

    You cannot go back into that volitale relationship. If you go back, things could be worse. I am not sure if you are a christian or not, but once your husband put his hands on you, the the covenant is broken. God does not accept abuse. I know it is hard, but you can do this. I know you love him, but if he loved you, he would not abuse you. “LOVE DOES NOT HURT”. You have family and support. I was in my marriage for 19 years and had no one. That is the reason I stayed. You are still young and yes, you deserve better. You can work through this. If he changes good for him. But you have to look out for your safety.

    I am a victim/survivor and I advocate against DV here in the NC area. There is a national hotline you can call also. 800-799-SAFE(7233)

    All I can do is suggest you not go back, but it is left up to you.

    Stay Strong Tara

  130. Annette says:

    Grace, I am sorry to read about what you are going through. I was in an abusive marriage for 19 years. It was hard for me to leave because I didn’t have any family around and no where to go. They only way you will be able to make that move is when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    I will never forget when I when I spoke with a Judge or Magistrate, I can’t remember now. She said, why didn’t you come to court. I told her I didn’t know what to do. She said, “you have children and I would have ordered him to leave.”. I know for a fact that the law is on yourside when it comes with Domestic Violence with children involved. Call the court system to see what is available to you in your state then come up with a safety plan.

    Let me tell you, there is no sweeter than your piece of mind. Please let us know how you are doing.

    Stay strong Grace!

  131. Tara says:

    Hello all,

    I have came to a point where I need to make a decision soon. I could stay in my marriage or this could finally be my time to get out of it. My husband and I met when I was 15, he was 17. Now we are in our twenties and our relationship has been nothing but an abusive roller coaster, at least in my eyes. As a kid in my teens, before we got married when I was 18, he constantly accused me of doing something wrong. My closest friends and family witnessed the hurt I went through, the sleepless nights I spent on my phone and the moments I would leave early because I just wanted to go home to cry. No matter what he said to me, or how he treated me, I always had hope that he would love me the right way. After being married for a year, I had been choked out on the floor, thrown up against doors, kicked, jumped on, etc. This was just the physical things. I would pocket dial my friends and they would hear how he treated me, I even began recording our fights. I did this because he told me that no one would believe me and that I was crazy. To this day, when him and I fight, I get told that no one loves me, that he’ll send me back to my ‘loser’ family, that he wants a divorce because he know longer loves me, an that I won’t get a dime or anything from a divorce because his parents can afford a better lawyer. One time, he had pressed on my face using his fist so hard, that my jaw swelled to a noticeable size. I went to the dentist and suggested it could be my wisdom tooth. I wish I could have left, but like most others say, when my husband and I are good, we’re great and he’s perfect. However, when he gets mad, he’s the worst person I’ve ever known. I still feel like if I stick through this, he’ll stop, he’ll learn to love me the way I should be.

    I know what type of person I am, I’m a free spirited type of person, not much bothers me, and I’m content with living life in a simple but structured way. My husband on the other hand, he’s too serious about things and he likes to thoroughly plan things out. Regardless, the fighting is not getting any better. He does not put his hands on me like he used to however, he’ll still use his strength against me occasionally. We’re currently residing with his parents, after returning from his orders in the military. That may be why things aren’t as bad but I left over the weekend. His mom stepped in and said we needed to think about our marriage and if the two of us want to save it or not. I’m still away with my family, and my heart is torn. Right now is the perfect opportunity for us to separate, so the two of us can be happy and not go through the b/s. We are still young and I know we both deserve better. But on the other hand, familiarity is pushing me to go back to him, forgive and forget like I’ve been doing, and work with him through this and not give up on him. I don’t know what to do, I love him, I do, but I know something is wrong with our marriage, with our chemistry, but I don’t know of I have the courage to leave him. I’m not scared of him, I just love him. Any advice helps, sorry if i rambled, my mind is confused but writing helps. Thank you!!

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Tara,

      I am very glad that you reached out for guidance from our blog community. It sounds like you are in extremely dangerous realationship and choking is a very aggressive form of physical abuse. It is common for an abusive partner to manipulate the situation by telling you no one will believe you, by threatening you with legal issues, and to never take responsibility for their actions.

      It is one thing for two people in a relationship to be opposites (a free spirit and a more structured individual), but that doesn’t mean one individual has the right to put their hands on the other because of those differnces; in a healthy relationship each person would love the other because of them.

      Love does not equal choking, pushing, bruises, and hurt. It can be difficult to realize that even though you might have love for someone the way he is treating you is not okay…it is abuse.

      It sounds like you are really struggling, if you would like to talk to an advocate you can call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  132. Jenny says:

    Darren,
    I know what you mean. I was abused mentally, physically and emotionally for 20+ years. My self-esteem is really low and I stopped loving myself a long time ago. I have finally realized that not loving myself is making it harder on people to love me and for me to have a meaningful relationship with a man I truly love. If I can’t love myself, how can I expect him to open his heart fully and love me. It really sucks and I’m tired of feeling like this. I got out of my marriage 4 1/2 years ago, but just got my dissolution in June of this year. I thought that if I got away from him, all the negative feelings that I had about myself would just disappear, but they didn’t. All the mean things he said to me through all those years are still with me & they surface all the time (things like: “you’re ugly and nobody will ever want you”, “you’re too stupid for anyone to want to be with you”) and there are times that I believe my ex was right. This is one of those times and I’m really getting depressed over it and it’s making me crazy, grouchy and rude.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Jenny,

      It is great that you are no longer living with abuse. The negative things you heard for 20+ years can definitely leave their mark. It will take time to heal, please be kind to yourself as you go through the healing process. If you are not already seeing a counselor the Hotline can find a referral for you in your city 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  133. Jenny says:

    I was in a very abusive marriage for a little over 20 years. I left him 4 1/2 years ago, but just finally got a dissolution in June of this year. He was an alcoholic and very mentally, emotionally and physically abusive to me. I quit loving myself a long time ago and my self-esteem has been really low for a really long time. I met a man, last year, and he is the greatest thing that has happened to me in a long time. We’ve lived together for a year (I moved in with him 3 months after we started hanging out) and I have slowly fallen in love with him. He treats me great and is very encouraging to me. He just has a problem with calling me his girlfriend because of everything he’s been through in his life. I can understand that he doesn’t want to get hurt because I don’t either. He says that the last time he opened his heart completely to a woman and they became boyfriend/girlfriend, she left him; well, I have no intentions of going anywhere because I love him that much. I just feel like he can’t truly love me because I don’t love myself. How do I start loving and feeling good about myself again?

  134. Terry says:

    I have recently left an emotionally abusive relationship. Its definately a roller coster of emotions. I too am having anxiety attacks and depressed at times. It gets confusing because of the honeymoon cycle of abuse you sometimes remember the nice personality and thoughts like, “Did I make a mistake leaving?” enter my head. Its also overwhelming taking care of everything on my own as far as the financial because he delt with all of that. He was also very funny and could be very charming and thats what everyone saw except me. So they must think I’m crazy goes through my mind as well. Also if he loved me so much why couldn’t he stop after I begged him so many times. I have my good days and my bad days. I’m considering trying to find out if there is a survivors support group in the are. Its nice to know someone had the same feelings as me with the anxiety.

  135. Travis says:

    I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this
    post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty.
    You are wonderful! Thanks!

  136. Kelly says:

    Ok, after reading some of these things i think maybe i’m kinda pathetic! I was in a relationship with an abusive guy 3 years ago but now i cant seem to move on or trust anybody else. He would call me names, threaten to kill me when i slept. He would say things to frighten me, he would hit me “accidentally” with things.. Doors, remote controls, my mobile phone, dvd cases.. The list goes on. He would come to my house and smash the place up because of stupid little things and make me feel guilty about it. He did all of this when my daughter was there. He once came up to my face and said through clenched teeth that just because i had a hold of my f**king kid it didn’t mean he wouldn’t punch my f**king face in then swung at me and punched a hole in the door next to my head. My little girl was only 9 months old and she had to see that. It makes me sick. He would disappear and not tell me where he was and when i worried and tried to contact him he would turn it against me. He hated me having any friends or family at my house and if he turned up and they were there he would kick off after they left. I fell pregnant with his child and lost it at 7 weeks through stress. He said i was a pathetic bitch who cant even take care of his baby and he was glad i lost it. I had to put my baby in a box and burry it in the garden, i couldn’t even go to the doctor because he said if i did he would make sure i never got pregnant again. I cant talk to anybody because i cant explain why i didnt say anything sooner. He said nobody would ever want a vile disgusting pig like me and now i’m starting to think he was right. Nothing i ever did was good enough, even down to the meals i made him or if i forgot something when i was shopping all hell would break loose. I have only ever told one friend about what really went on but i don’t want to keep bothering her with it. It was years ago but it still affects me and i have to make up stories to friends and family as to why i havnt settled down yet. Now my friends brother is interested in me and i am scared of what will happen if we get close. Has anybody got any advice for me? I’m desperate to get out of this rut i’m in, i still see him now and again with the girl he got pregnant the same time as me and their child. I have nothing against the girl or the child but it sickens me. He just looks at me and smirks. He has tried to talk to me once but i just walked away because we were in public i knew i could get away with it. I don’t know what to do anymore 

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Kelly,

      It is terrible what your ex did to you. It is common for an abusive partner to manipulate you by telling you it’s all your fault. Abusers rarely take responsibility for their actions. You can try to change how you do things, to censor yourself, to walk on eggshells…but he/she will still have an explosive moment, because it isn’t about you doing things wrong that cause the abuse, but the abuser choosing how to treat you. It takes a lot of courage to open up and talk about what is happening; I am glad you had a friend to turn to. It sounds like you are still healing, have you thought about joining a support group or seeing a counselor? If you would like a referral you can call the Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. Also, http://www.cafemom.com has a domestic violence support group online.

      Thank you for reaching out to our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  137. Jen says:

    I am sharing a pieces of my life . I was abused for 7 years . My husband passed away an I moved a very abusive man into my home . I thought he loved me . I thought he would understand how me an my kids where feeling at such a hard time in out lives. The abuse started about 6mnths after he moved in. Anytime we would go out an guy looked at me he would have a fit an everyone would look at us crazy . He would always turn it around on me saying I was asking for the attention . The years went by an I would try so hard to keep the bruises on my arms a secret from my family . Earlier in the relationship he never wanted anyone to know how much he was beating me he would hit or grab me so hard in places no one could see. He never once wanted any one to know how abusive he was . Well anyway I financially supported all of us an even him on my survivor check I received from my husband . He always reminded me how much he would never help support my kids because we had the survivor check to help us . Well I just lived for the fact I just thought he would change an really see his ways an change an be nice for just once .. He finally got a very nice job making quite alot an hour . Never changed never helped pay for a whole bill never once !!. He said he’s does not have to pay because he was entitled to not have to pay nothing . Well after being numb of the beatings the financial abuse .. Here comes the big one ! He would literally rape me when I did not have sex with him no more .If I did not comply in what he wanted he would pull me from my bed throw me across the room an beat an rape me . I sware the list goes on an on with multiple stories on the torture he gave to me . I am survivor today . I am proud of myself !!!!!!!!! I am so proud I came out of that deep dark place with him . I made it out alive . I just can’t believe It I made it out alive ..I know everyone of us women are looking for answers on what to do if you are still dealing with your abuser . I am telling I found the ANSWER LEAVE THE ABUSER !!! We have more worth then to put up with some one constantly degrading us an putting there hands on us .. No matter what hold you may think they have over you like financial, kids the dog I don’t know I just know it’s not worth loosing you life over . I tell you the truth It Is like a breath of fresh air leave the Abuser !!! I am a survivor of Domestic Abuse !!!

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Jen,
      Thank you for sharing your story and words of encouragement with our blog community. You’ve been through a lot. It sounds like your ex-partner was very abusive to you. I am glad to hear you are safely out of that situation and moving forward. Are you getting any support for what you’ve been through? If you’d like to talk to someone about how to locate local resources for help, you are always welcome to call and speak with an advocate here at the National Hotline. There are local domestic violence programs that offer counseling and support groups for victims and survivors of abuse.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  138. Lindsy says:

    I have just come out of an emotionally abusive relationship with my boyfriend (1 year). Although all of my friends told me it was unhealthy and I knew that it was making me unhappy quite often despite everyday having good parts as well i eventually decided to call it off, and cut all contact. Since then he managed to get in contact with me through my friends, and asked me to call him because he was really really sorry. He said that the reason he seeked so much control was that he lacked it with his last girlfriend, and had gone overboard and could change. He offered to go to a counsellor and my gut feeling went out to him and trusted him, so i said i would give him another chance. However a couple of days later I decided i didn’ want to run the risk of going through all of that again, so I told him i’d changed my mind. He was distraught, and so was I. I keep going through phases of thinking i was right, but missing him, and missing being with him, thinking i’ve made a mistake etc. I feel like i’m going crazy. Still not entirely sure it was the right thing to do as he might have had NPD or something like that

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Lindsy,
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. It’s completely normal to feel confused when you’re coming out of an abusive relationship. I want you to know that it’s really common for an abusive ex partner to claim that they’ve changed or to promise that things are going to be different. Most often though, things don’t get any better unless that person is really committed to getting some help for themselves and admitting that they are being abusive. And even then, change takes time. I think it was really strong of you to trust your gut feeling about the situation and to decide to remain broken up with him. You may miss the good parts of the relationship, but it sounds like there were things that made you feel bad and that weren’t healthy for you. If you’d like to talk to someone at more length about what you’ve been through, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here on the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are 24/7 and a safe place to talk about it.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  139. beverly says:

    Don’t ignore what you sense. My husband seethed with anger. Sometimes in bed I could feel him shaking with anger. The first time, I thought he was shivering with cold. He got out of bed, confronted me about something he made up in his mind and doused me with lighter fluid. I thank God that the lighter he held did not connect to my gown! He presented himself to people as a good and loving husband, also. My brothers could sense something “not right ” about him. I could not understand what, not until I was married to him for a year. He was verbally abusive and knowledgeable about where to hit me so it would not show. Walking on eggshells was an everyday thing, because I never knew when he would take something I said the wrong way. If I looked at a man or woman, when we got home I would be accused of wanting to have an affair, or having an affair with the man or woman. The abuser is very wise about the law and what he or she can get away with. The last week I was with him, he was so very erratic. He threatened to kill me and make me a paraplegic, then throw me outside. He threatened to make me a prostitute for him and his druggie friends. God helped me out again. I was able to leave and never go back.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Beverly,
      Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. Through this blog, we hope to create a space where survivors and victims can have a safe space to share what they’ve been through, and to use their words to empower each other. I am glad to hear you were able to safely get away from this person and that you’ve been able to move forward.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  140. Rach says:

    I have never really been able to talk to anyone about it. I feel embarassed and ashamed for some reason. I have only ever been able to talk about after I have had too much to drink. For about a year I found my self drinking just to have the ability to talk about it to my best friend. I just want to rid myself of these feelings. I just don’t know how to talk about it.

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      Rach,
      Yes, it can be extremely difficult to talk about past abuse and the feelings you have of shame and embarrassment are completely normal. Perhaps speaking to an advocate at our hotline anonymously might be a good first step towards becoming more comfortable talking about what happened. We are here 24/7 to talk whenever you are ready (800-799-7233) or to offer you local free counseling resources.

      HotlineAdvocate_CH

  141. darren says:

    I came out of a ‘relationship’ just over a year ago with someone who has (undiagnosed) NPD. It was increasingly emotionally abusive, though I wasn’t aware of how bad it was until well after it ended. I was criticized in almost every form except sexually. This was the only praise I got and even then I was banished to the spare room after sex. I took the abuse even though it never felt right, even in the early days before she became increasingly mean.

    Nine months ago, an incident occurred which lead to me reporting her to her bosses. As I advertise with this company, they prevented her from communicating with me in future. I thought that would end the pain and hurt I was going through. I was wrong.

    I am now at the stage where the emotional abuse I suffered is on my mind on an almost constant basis. I can no longer form relationships and my confidence is at an all time low. Strange thing is, part of me still loves her, even though I don’t actually like her as she is an appalling, shallow and callous individual, but I still miss her.

    I’m now having therapy which is helping, but it will be a long road before I feel good about myself again, as I’ve almost been destroyed inside from the abuse I received from my N ex. I’m not the person I was 3 years ago and I long for the day when I can be ‘me’ again… :(

  142. Rach says:

    I am not currently in an abusive relationship and haven’t been for about 5 years. I recently got married to a wonderful man, however; I still periodically get really upset thinking about abusive relationship. I don’t even know exactly what I’m upset about. I can’t tell if its because I miss him, if I’m upset because I never really felt like he loved me back, if I feel bad because I couldn’t help him change, if I feel bad for myself, if I’m just reliving the abusive episodes, etc. I don’t feel like I should still be experiencing pain/sadness after 5 years have passed. I just hate when I feel like this and I don’t even know exactly what or why I’m feeling this way. Does anyone else have this issue?

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Rach,
      Thank you for sharing your experience with our blog community. It is completely normal to still be dealing with a lot of confusing emotions even after you’ve been out of an abusive relationship for a while. Have you gotten any kind of counseling support for the abuse that you went through? One thing that comes up quite often when talking to callers on the Hotline recently out of abusive relationships is that feeling of not having ‘closure.’ An abusive partner is not likely to acknowledge or take responsibility for their abusive behavior, which can make it really hard for victims and survivors to feel validated in knowing it was abuse. I am glad to hear that you are safely away from that situation and moving on. If you’d like, you are welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline here at 1-800-799-7233. We are anonymous and confidential, and are available 24/7. An advocate on the Hotline could look up local resources for more support.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  143. C.E. says:

    I was with an abusive young man for 4 years. He held a gun to my head several time. He sliced my tires so I couldn’t go anywhere. He stoled my money. But of course it wasn’t bad all the time. And he was very nice at first. I left him 16 monthes ago and the problem is I haven’t been happy since I left him. I think about how much I miss him and I want to go back to him. But I know this is so stupid but I feel like I can’t control my emotions. We haven’t spoke to each other in over a year but I’m always thinking about going back to him and hoping he changed. I moved to a very boring town and I miss him. I don’t understand how I can miss someone who abused me and caused me so much pain? I hope I don’t go back to him but I feel myself getting weaker every day fantasizing if we get back together how perfect it would be. I hear it takes two years to get over these feelings and its been 16 monthes since our break up. The police aided in my escape from him and I had to stay with family for a while. All these people helped me escape him and if I go back to him I’m dissapointing everyone, I think theres something wrong with me as I feel like hes my true love and I keep wanting to go back to him. I feel mentally ill, I know this is not logical and not healthy at all.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      C.E.
      Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. You’re not weak or mentally ill for feeling this way. It’s completely normal to miss your partner and to need time to move forward. A lot of the time, it’s the good parts of the relationship you’re holding on to. It must have been really scary to get away from him. If this person has not chosen to get any help or acknowledged that they are abusive, then it’s not very likely that things will be any different if you went back to him. Oftentimes, what’s more common is for things to be okay for a couple of weeks, and then to just get right back to where they were before, if not worse. It takes a lot of strength and support to leave an abusive and controlling relationship and to stay out of it. If you’d like, you are welcome to call and speak with the National Domestic Violence Hotline here at 1-800-799-7233. We are 24/7 and anonymous and confidential. An advocate on the Hotline could also look for local resources for more support.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  144. lucretia says:

    its hard to see the man you treated like a king no matter what he did to me he didnt appreciate me and now he is homeless and stocking me i do care for him but he almost killed me verbally and mentally now physically i woke up after he cut me and cryed a hard cry like i must walk away and dont look back i cant look back or i will turn to salt

  145. lucretia says:

    hello ive just got out of a 9 yrs mental and physical abussive marriage my husband threaten me every day virbal and physical he tryed not to but he couldnt help himself i was in a car accident befor i meet him and was recovering from being paralized he was my every thing as i fell in love with him i moved to st kitts to be with him my finance got us by through the years as it begin to be the topic of are life he blammed me for him not working and not making something out of his life i new that he had no love for me but my money as people would say why he treat you so bad i felt shame after all the things we tryed togather to make extra income he also cheated on me after finding out 2yrs ago i could never look at or feel the same towards him now that i got tired of leaving one house to move to another from him feeling sorry for him letting him back became a mistake after a incident he tryed to force me back in the house with knife cutting me i realized that i cant take him back no matter what he say cause i love my self so i put a restraining order in place its like he couldnt believe that i did that after all those abusive years i use to cry everyday and my face was dark and cloudy i was ashame of this life i choose to live with him im a very moody person and i used bad language allot nonstop i do miss him sexually but most of the time his sex was to much to handle have always respected my body and finally i moved on for support and protection to another man i dont feel bad at all they had fight police was called but the battle must go on as he is on the run now i pray everyday for guidance and protection i can sleep in peace now knowing that no one is going to still anything from me and call me bitch everyday now i can only dream of the day i step out of this house to freedom and walk tall and proud to be me i no Jah has me in his hands

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Lucretia,
      Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like you’ve been through alot these past 9 years. No matter what, you never deserved to be treated like that. It’s not your fault that he abused you. Abuse is about maintaining power and control in a relationship, and it sounds like now even though you are away from him, he is still trying to maintain that emotional control by stalking you. If you’d like to talk to someone about safety, and what’s going on now with the situation, you are welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are 24/7 and are anonymous and confidential. An advocate on the Hotline could safety plan with you, and also locate local resources for addtional help.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  146. Stacie says:

    Peggy,
    Words cannot even begin to express how much I relate to everything that you’ve said. My husband is an alcoholic. I have lived this nightmare of a life for more than 10 years. He can be the kindest most easy going guy but then the monster comes out!! I have been separated now for 5 months. Its been so hard learning to live without him but I know that living with him was destroying me. His abusiveness has rocked me to the core of my bieng, It has filled me with so much anger and resentment that I don’t know that I will ever trust another man to be close to. I am 35 and fighting hard everyday to move forward with my lif. Much like you my vows are important to me. I grew up having strong christian moral and beliefs. I feel emabarrassed and ashamed but in no way am I taking responsibility for my failed marriege. I did all that I could and nothing got better, it only became worse. I think the final straw was him verbally attacking my daugther. It was almost like I had gotten used to him being mean and offensive but once he started on my daugther and I could see the fear and hurt in her eyes, enough was enough! Right now he is homeless and jobless. At times i feel very sorry for him because I know outside of his addiction he can be a really good person. I agree with the analogy about the frog in the boiling water. I expected it to end, I needed and wanted it to end. However, it only became more severe. I even felt moletsed at times. Here is this mane who with holds affection and kindness but expects sex from me when he wakes up in the middle of the night. It feels good to be free but its a scary place all at the same time. I know I made the right decision but its not easy. Thank you for sharing your story nad having the courage to get out of a situation that was unhealthy. I like the part when you said you don’t want to spend what is left of your time on earth with someone who is disrespectful and abusive. No matter what age we are we don’t know how long we will live but we should make sure that we live each day happy and free from any type of abuse and turmoil. Repeating positive affirmations daily until I believe and become the words I speak. I am strong, confident, worthy of love, beautiful, intelligent, kind and a queen! My husband has lost a great women. The loss is his not mine. I got rid of what was not good to or for me. Realizing that each day is a gift and I must unwrap it and enjoy it to the fullest. I’m learning how to live!

  147. Scot says:

    hI i READ YOUR COMMENTS AND i GOT INVOLVED WITH A HIGH SCOOL SWEAT HEART AND BOTH OF US WERE IN BAD MARRIAGES.MINE WAS JUST A NAGGING WOMAN NEVER COULD PLEASE HER BUT NEVER VERBAL OR PHYSICAL ABUSE ON EITHER SIDE BUT JUST GREW APART BUT ,rEALLY EITHER 0NE OF US WERE HAPPY SO WE DIVORCED..mY HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART AND I FOUND EACH OTHER 5 YEARS AFTER WE BOTH WENT THREW DIVORCE,BUT SHE ON THE OTHER HAND WAS PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY ABUSED ,SHE AND I GOT TOGETHER 4 YEARS AGO AND THE GREATEST LOVE I HAVE EVER KNOWN AND THEN LIKE 5 MONTHS INTO IT SHE SHOWED ME ASIDE OF HER THAT I HAVE NEVER WITTNESED FROM ANY HUMAN EVER.SHE CURSES LIKE SAILOR TANTRUMS OF A CHILD ,EXPLOSIVE DEGRADING WORDS AND I HAVE WITTNESSED IT SO MANY TIMES THAT I GET PANIC ATTACKS LOW SELF ESTEEM ,CRYING NOT WORTHY..BREAKS UP EVERY 6 MONTHS BUT I BEG HER BACK ,WELL SHE DID IT AGAIN FIVE DAYS AGO AND I AM SICK TO MY STOMACK..I ASK YOU DO YOU THINK SHE MAY HAVE BEEN THE ABUSER IN HER FIRST MARRIAGE ,OR MAYBE BOTH OF THEM WERE..OR COULD SHE BE DOING THIS TO ME FROM HER LEARNED BEHAVIOR OF HER PAST..i WAS A HIGH SCHOOL ALL STATE FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL PLAYER,PLAYED COLLEGE FOOTBALL,AND HAVE A LOT OF FREINDS BUT I PUT MY WHOLE SELF INTO HER AND ALL SHE DOES IS SAY THEY ARE ALL PEICES OF CRAP ,JEALUS IF I TALK TO OLD CLASS MATES,,, SHE SAYS I AM CRAZY BUT I HAVE NEVER RAISED MY VOICE TO HER OR NAME CALLED HER WILL SHE TRY TO COME BACK ,I HAVE TEXTED HER WITH THINKING OF YOU OR RECALLING A ROMANTIC NIGHT, SHE WANT RESPOND ,ii know i should be happy but i missher

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Scot,

      I am sorry that you have been dealing with verbal abuse, no one deserves that. It is hard to say whether she was the abusive partner in her past relationship or not. Sometimes an abusive partner will manipulate the truth about their past and tell their new partner that their ex was actually the abusive person, when in reality it was him/her. It is normal to miss someone even if you realize that they are hurting you. As you experienced, the abusive behavior did not go away no matter how much you gave of yourself, because you are not the reason she is abusive, even if she is telling you it’s all your fault. She is choosing to hurt you.

      If you would like further guidance and support or would like a referral for counseling in your area you can call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. It takes courage to reach out for support, thank you for contacting our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Ash,
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s going on with your ex, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here on the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are 24/7 and anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  148. Emily says:

    Hello everyone,

    We are all survivors in my mind, just some of us are still physically for whatever reason. I have been married for 24 years, have a son and daughter, who ask me on a regular basis when i am going to leave and take them with me. i have been pushed to the floor, so that I had to go to the ER the next day, I have been sexually assaulted – actually this is the preferred method of control at present, which is making me feel very ill, and also I think unconsciously why I am eating twix at an alarming rate – to become overweight. I have left him twice with the kids and gone to shelters, the first time I went back after 4 days, the second time he found us and with his brother took the kids home – I returned home the next day. My father died last year and I was only just allowed to go, I had to say that I wanted to “put him in his place” this was accepted as a reason to go, my dad died the day before I was due to leave and my husband said “you’ve no need to go now” I argued that I wanted to bury him. then a couple of months after that I ran away, overseas for 10 days, he wouldn’t let me speak to the kids on the phone as it upset them….I returned. I know I am in an abusive relationship, I know that I have to get out, I can not seem to find the power to do so. My doctor knows, my mother, sister and brother know, my cousins know, my kids know, the one friend I am allowed to have (but can’t see on my own) knows….why, why, why can’t I just leave? He is legally blind, has a thyroid problem…but these are not excuses for him to bully me and frighten me to not say how I feel about anything are they? I am trapped.

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      Emily,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story with the blog community. It sounds like you are in a very difficult and scary situation. There is never an excuse for someone to behave abusively. Whether the person is sick, old, or even dying it’s never ever okay and no one deserves to be treated that way. You have the right to your freedom and to live a peaceful life. I am so glad that you have reached out for help because many times that is the first step to getting to safety. Situations such as this can be so complicated that community support is necessary. Advocates here at the hotline (800-799-7233) would be happy to explore resources and options with you- we are available 24/7. Making a safety plan is often the best way to prepare to leave an abusive situation. Please look over our safety planning page (http://www.thehotline.org/get-help/safety-planning/) at your earliest convienience to get information on what to consider when creating your own safety plan. Please know that you are not alone in this and there are people that want to help you and your children have a better life.

      Take care,
      HotlineAdvocate_CH

  149. Andrea says:

    I can completely sympathize and understand how you feel. Something my cousin told me has stuck with me because I do tend to overthink “If you water it, it will grow.” When I’m in the midst of emotions it is beyond difficult to tell myself that and believe it but all I can do is try. I hope that things get better for you.

  150. Andrea says:

    Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy for feeling the way that I feel. I’ve been in an relationship for the past 8 years, off and on. We’ve been going through a break up for the last 5 months and everytime I think its over and I’m getting over it he comes back and plays with my mind. I have endured mental, emotional and physical abuse at the hand of someone I believed loved me. He has cheated on me multiple times and even gave me an STD. My heart is desheveled and I feel like I’m drowding and can’t seem to find my way out of my emotions. I keep asking myself over and over again “How did I become this person??? How have I let someone have such an effect on me??” I recently went to the doctor and was diagnosed with anixety and servere depression. I’ve scheduled appointments with a phychyatrist, therapist and my local church. This relationship has been so toxic to my life and don’t even know when to begin to put myself back together. Everything inside me tells me to run as far and as fast as I can but, as sick as this sounds, pieces of me miss him and want to know how he could treat me like this for so long and have no remorse. I am trying to build my support system by surrounding myself with family but because I have never verbally said any of this to anyone I am finding it extremly difficult. Any advice on how to open up??

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Andrea,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your story with our blog community. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like you’ve been dealing with an abusive relationship for a long time. You’re not crazy for feeling the way that you do. It’s normal to feel like you miss your partner or to still care about them. If he has any opportunity to get in contact with you, he may use that space to continue to be emotionally abusive and controlling. Or he may be very sweet and caring sounding, which can be really confusing. It may be difficult, but part of ending a relationship with an abusive ex safely may have to include cutting off contact with that person completely. Possibly even changing your phone number. I am glad to hear you are building up your support network and seeking counseling. As far as opening up to family about what you’ve been through, I think that’s up to you to decide how much you want to share and with whom. Start by talking to the person you feel comfortable with and trust the most. If you need to talk to someone, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. We are 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  151. Jennifer says:

    How many of you other SURVIVORS have a good co-parenting relationship with your former spouses? I have an impossible relationship with my ex because each time we have any contact he becomes verbally abusive (even if it is just a text or email). I try my hardest not to contact him except where absolutely necessary. I can’t imagine texting him;, or calling and having casual conversations with him, as if nothing ever happened.

    I am angry with somebody in my life that claims she was abused, yet continues to reach out to her “abuser” by texting him DAILY and calling often with a thin pretext of talking about “parenting issues”. This makes no sense to me, can anyone give me a rational explanation for this behavior?

    I was so glad to escape with my life, it just doesn’t seem reasonable to me that she would do this?

    Explanations?

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Jennifer,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with our blog community. It sounds like in your situation, co-parenting with an abusive ex has been really difficult. It’s not uncommon for an abusive partner to continue to try and be controlling and emotionally abusive, even when you are out of the relationship. Oftentimes, they will use the contact you have regarding the children as opportunities to berate you and be verbally abusive. From what you’ve shared about the situation your friend is in, I don’t know that any one can explain her behavior other than herself. There may be many different reasons why she has decided to remain in contact with him. What we know about abusive relationships, is that oftentimes, it takes more than one time for a victim of abuse to really leave the situation. Her partner may be using their contact as an opportunity to try to get back with her or to make false promises. And as with any other relationship, it may take some time to mourn the loss of the relationship, even if it was abusive. As a friend, it’s important not to judge her decisions. If it’s uncomfortable for you and get you too close to home, that’s understandable. Continue doing what you need to do to keep yourself safe. If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s going on, you are welcome to call and speak with an advocate here on the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential.

      Thank you again
      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  152. Kat says:

    I am still living with my husband of 10 years. We have five children and I am terrified to leave. I recently called a shelter and spoke with a counselor and then to my family doctor (who already had suspicions). They have convinced me that I need to leave for the safety of myself and for my children. I am currently making a plan to do so, but I am so scared. Are there any books or sites that anyone can recommend that address leaving and starting over with five young children.. I am still recovering from having the last one. Every time he felt that I might leave he got me pregnant to force to stay. Then he emotionally abused me to keep me too sick while I was pregnant. I had horrible pregnancies due to the stress. I’m just so afraid that I won’t be able to raise them alone. And I’m afraid to go back to work. I haven’t had a job since shortly after we married. I am a Christian and I’m praying for strength, but I could really use some encouragement from other mothers that have left and survived raising multiple young children on their own.

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      Kat,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story with the Share Your Voice community. It sounds like your situation is dire and quite overwhelming, but I am so glad you are reaching out for support. It can be extremely difficult for someone to go through such a difficult time alone. Many, many women have been able to leave situations such as your safely, it just takes some planning. That’s where the support comes in. A page on our website that can be very helpful in thinking about how to leave in the safest way possible is called “what is a safety plan?” (http://www.thehotline.org/get-help/safety-planning/). When you can do so safely, read the information on that page. If you have any questions please know you can always call the hotline at 800-799-7233 (24/7). We are here to help you develop the best plan of action and to offer you emotional support through the process. Another website that can be helpful in finding supportive resources is http://custodyprepformoms.org/reading.php . Explore the website when you can; it has tons of helpful reading as well as book recommendations, and links to online support groups for abused mothers. Making a connection with your local domestic violence program is also an important aspect of this process and I’m glad to hear you’ve taken that first step. Once you do leave, the shelter programs typically can help out with legal questions, employment, transitional housing and of course counseling for you and the kids. Therefore, getting to safety is the number one goal and all of your other needs can be addressed once you are safe. This is a difficult process, but you are not alone. Advocates here at the hotline and in your community are standing by day and night to offer you support and guidence.

      Good luck and take care,
      HotlineAdvocate_CH

  153. Michael says:

    Moving on after a relationship is a challenging process. It is refreshing to see that there are so many resources for people to turn to on this forum. I specialize in working the LGBT clients and if you are in need of a resource for self-help information, please feel free to check out my blog at Vantage Point Dallas Counseling . Look under the blog section, which allows you to search as well. Hang in there!

  154. Hilary says:

    when i read your comment it sounded so familiar, I dont have answers but just wanted to share my story.
    I have been divorced now 7 years. I didnt even realize how much emotional abuse i had suffered in my marriage until the last few of it years. Sudden symptoms of PTSD come up now when i am in relationships, especially when the relationship feels loving. Even with my friends, i dont have many, and the few i let in, i dont trust easily and am extremely effected when i sense I cant trust them. A lot of my trust issues come from my relationship with my extremely emotionally and verbally abusive husband of 13 years. I had told my family i wanted to get a divorce when i was in my early 30s, i wasnt even sure why, because i didnt really identify how abused i was being, my mothers response was “just stay a few more years, its not like he physically beats you or has a drug or gambling problem….” Eventually I developed an eating disorder,, which got better when I finally had the courage to ask for a divorce. My first intimate relationship after my marriage came soon, and it was equally as abusive in a different way, again it didnt feel like abuse,it felt normal, it was all similar feelings of not being good enough, not deserving more, making excuses for mean behavior. This relationship lasted 4 years until i ended it.

    Finally, I am in a relationship with a man who is loving and caring. It is destroying me almost more then being in an abusive relationship.

    The closer i get the more scared i feel. I start to not trust him and make things up in my head that simply arent true. I just spent 3 days away with him and felt so close and good and safe, that when I came home from the vacation, I had a complete mental breakdown. It didnt make sense to me and still doesnt. I tried to reach out to my friends but am convinced that no one is there for me and am hypersensitive to any signal that maybe my friends dont care enough about me, i am almost looking for a fight with anyone. I feel so much anger and fear I feel an urge to protect myself so vicerally that I dont know what to do.

    I have talked with my current boyfriend about my past emotional abuse and he is aware that trust is very difficult . we have been together for over two years. The more i love him the more scared I get. But i have never had a breakdown like i had when we came back from vacation, i felt utterly terrified and alone, which made no sense because I had the most amazing time, and felt so safe and close to him.
    I finally realized that my reaction this week is directly related to feeling so close and from the years of emotional abuse, i just dont know how to feel better.

    I keep turning to friends, but only set them up to fail me. Either they didnt check in on me, or responded in a mean way, I dont even know what is real or what is not. I feel like a wild animal running for cover.

    Does anyone identify this and how do you deal with these overwhelming emotions that come when you are in an actually caring relationship?

    thanks for any responses.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Hilary,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story with our Share Your Voice blog community. It’s not uncommon for a survivor of abuse to deal with PTSD, anxiety, or depression, even after being away from the abusive relationship for a while. Trauma can have lasting emotional and even physical effects on a person. I think it takes a lot to realize how you are presenting in your current relationship, and to know that you want to do something different. You deserve happy, healthy love. It may take time and healing, and support so that you feel the same. Have you ever talked to anyone about this? There are counselors that deal with domestic violence specifically. If you’d like to find out more about local resources for support, you are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are anonymous and confidential and are available 24/7. Another good place to locate counseling resources is goodtherapy.org. You can search by your zipcode and find listings of therapists and their specialties there. I’m glad you shared your story with us. It takes a lot of courage to talk about what you’ve been through, and to acknowledge there are still struggles and challenges to getting healthy again.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  155. Christy says:

    How do I overcome the emotional trauma I have suffered from an abusive relationship for the past 20 years? I am with someone now who loves me but I am on an emotional roller coaster. One minute I am happy and the next minute I am crying. I was physically and mentally abused and I don’t know where to begin my healing process. I am constantly thinking I am not good enough, used up, unattractive and I dwell on the constant insults that have been said to me through all those years. I know I am a good person and have a huge heart…so why am I constantly beating myself up now? I have been trying to find support groups to help me work through this. I want this new relationship to last but am afraid that I will scare him away.
    Someone please help me…any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  156. Rom says:

    Just browsing around the web I landed here looking for how to not bring emotional trauma to a new relationship. I read many of the responses here. I figured I might add mine. I am a man. It seems I might be the only man to land here. It’s shamefull how my gender has treated women. However I am on the receiving end here. My wife and I were together for 4 years. Married for less than one. She had many of the red flags we have all come to know and hate. Silent treatments, general meaness, mean to my son from a prior marraige. She made 2 sets of rules for her kids and my son. She did not care about my needs and was unsupportive. She abused me phsyically on occasion. She would say the most traumatizing this like I have cheated on you, or I hate you, you are not my family. She ran me into the shinks office thinking I was bipolar, in order to medicate me since I turned into a nervous wrek. They put me on meds I am currently taking and its too risky to just come off them. The Dr is taking me off slowly over time as most of my side effects have started to dissappear since she left my life. I could detail countless incidents of abuse. In the end she threw me out of the house over a minor argument when I told her to get over the fact I can communicate with my sons’ mother now. She liked making sure things were always tense. In the end she threw me out because I found my courage to speak back finally. She then put a restraining order on me for no particular reason when I wanted to get my stuff back (I know how this sounds but hear me out) Then I found out she moved in a new man just weeks after I had been thrown out. He even looked like me. So the order was so I could not confront her. I had played her game via SMS wanting my stuff back and her not replying to the point I was upset finally. It was so demoralizing when I found out the real truth. Anyway fast foward to now. I have met a wonderful woman who has some minor things to sort out. And now to this day I cant get over the haunts of my past. The being thrown out on a moments notice for no reason. I am finding I have a real issue with trust of my heart and I am such a loving man. I give and give and give. My heart never runs dry with passion. Yet now I find my ex haunting me. I dont want to ruin this new relationship with this wonderful woman who is so kind, genersous and loving. I fear if I dont get past my issues I would lose her.

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      Rom,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. It sounds like you have been through a lot. Healing after intimate partner abuse is a process that may take longer for some than others. Counseling is an important aspect of this healing process- specifically domestic violence counseling. There are organizations in communities all over the country that offer free counseling to domestic violence survivors. Advocates here at the hotline (800-799-7233) are available 24/7 to help you locate what supportive resources are near you. We are also here to offer you emotional support if you feel like you need to talk to someone. I am glad you are reaching out for help in this very difficult time in your life because understanding support is key to your healing process.

      Take care,
      HotlineAdvocate_CH

  157. Aftermath says:

    I was in a physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive relationship with a man for four years. At first, physical abuse was the prominent form of abuse. After getting into legal trouble for assault, verbal and emotional abuse began to rise. I thought I was strong enough to endure. I never thought, piece by piece, that is was chipping away at who I was. This is what I have discovered over the recent months. I was led to believe that I was the only one he abused, I would never find anyone to “love” me as much as he did, that it was all my fault. He would leave as a form of punishment and finally I got tired. I became emotionally exhausted. I began to move on. Problem is, moving on is not as easy as I had thought. I battle daily with overcoming my thoughts to keep me from doubting my decision. Sometimes my thoughts win and it becomes some what debilitating. I feel like a prisoner of my thoughts. I can not escape the abuse. I have told myself that I never loved him. How could you love someone who spit in your face? How could you love someone who choked you? Or told you they hated you? What could I possibly love? I never, in a million years, dreamed I would have this much emotional damage done to me. And I do not know how to rebuild. He seems to carry on with life just fine. I could never imagine anyone living through what I lived through for even a day. I wish I would have known how devastating abuse can really be otherwise I would have left when I seen the red flags. Unfortunately I ignored them, and now I have to deal with the aftermath.

  158. Brian says:

    I know we all are in a tough spot but I am, REALLY stuck between a, rock and a hard place. I reunited with my HS sweetheart one year ago and its been VERY hard on me. Her main concern and ONLY key to happiness(or even treating me like a human being) was/is money and stability. Of course we all want that but being put down and humiliated EVERYDAY did nothing but cause problems and destroyed my self esteem. Its my fault for letting her control me though. I was just blinded by a love I have never felt before. I worshiped the ground she walked on and NEVER stood my ground bc all I wanted was for her to be happy (still want that I just finally realized I cant make anyone happy if I dont take care of myself)..So we decided to end it a couple mos ago and the day after I moved back home, she found out she was pregnant(yes its mine..lol)..So I moved back and we couldn’t get along for more than 2 days. I am now 3 hours away from her, with friends and family, new job and working out again, and not spending 24 hours a day wondering how I can make her happy. we are only communicating via email and were getting along great. we would not be talking at all if it wasn’t for the baby. I want to be in our child’s life and I want to have a relationship with her so are child grows up as happy as possible. it is very challenging when a child is involved. I don’t really have a question but any feedback is appreciated. God bless

  159. Maggi says:

    My daughter left her husband a week ago and got a protective order. They have several young children and he has abused her physically and verbally in front of the children for over 5 years. He has guns but the permits were revoked last week and he is not supposed to go to the house or contact her or her family. She is staying away from the area and not going to the house. He tried to contact her and now she is wanting to talk to him and feels sorry for him!!! She wants him to be able to visit her and the kids! Anything I can do to help protect them all?

    • HotlineAdmin_SS says:

      Hi Maggi,

      It sounds like your daughter has taken some big steps to getting out of an abusive relationship; unfortunately abusers are often great manipulators. You may call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for support, ideas, resources and safety planning tips. Your daughter may also call us as well. We are confidential and anonymous. Also, there is some information on our website, which is: http://www.thehotline.org and also at http://www.womenslaw.org for family and friends who are helping victims of domestic violence. There is a great book called “Helping Her Get Free” which was written by Susan Brewster that you may find helpful. Your daughter is lucky to have a Mom who is there for her and so supportive of her and her children. Know that you may call the Hotline anytime, 24/7.

      Thank you for posting in our blog community,
      HotlineAdvocate_SS

  160. Katie says:

    Sarah,
    I myself was in an emotionally abusive relationship for six years and I just left for the 14th and last time. It seems as though it should get easier each time you leave, but it doesn’t, in fact, for me it got harder. He has warped my mind so much with his mind games. Good looking, smooth talker, always telling lies, con man. Every time I left, he would burn up my phone, e mail and make soooo many promises to change and make a better life for us, but 13 times, he never did. The last time I left him,(for 4 months) he threatened to kill himself and that really fed on my emotion because I did love him . I know that sounds crazy…I loved him? At one point, we all did. That’s what makes the emotional scars so deep and hard to overcome.
    I am with you when you asked about the chat. I too am weak. I feel fairly safe where I am but i do feel isolated. Because of what I went thru, I have no friends or family..To be able to converse with other women with the same experiences would be a tremendous support mechanism. Until that happens, I ask a very simple question to myself everyday…”What would I gain by going back”?

    • HotlineAdmin_SS says:

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks for sharing in our Blog Community and offering support. It can be difficult if you feel isolated and need more support. You are also welcome to call the Hotline if you decide at any time that you would like to. Advocates are there 24/7 to provide you that support.

      Take care and thanks again for posting and for your tip, it is a great question.

      HotlineAdvocate_SS

  161. Bet says:

    I am just one week or so “freed” from an abusive relationship. I put that word in quotes because even though my husband is gone from our home, I am still feeling tied to the man. Partly because there will be court proceedings I may have to attend (depending on how he pleas to 2 charges of assault & with a weapon), and also because it is difficult to suddenly STOP loving and caring for a person you took into your and your life. The article on this website is so correct in saying leaving a relationship, however flawed, is a loss. It is. It must be grieved over and that is hard work when you are emotionally wrung out from the trauma. What I am finding out now about myself is that I have really good instincts about people (in fact, as a social service worker and bereavement program coordinator, I am paid for using those instincts)-and also that I will ignore those instincts in my personal life so as “not to rock the boat”. This might have ended with one of my sons or myself being murdered, when my husband decided in a drunken rage to pick up a fork and nearly stabbed my adult child – all because my spouse had fallen down granite steps in a luxury cottage rental last week and we asked him to slow up on his drinking for HIS OWN safety. At the age of 64, and in poor health, he is likely to serve jail time (I was told up to 6 months), and at night in my bed I weep for him. I do. And then I wipe away those tears and realize he was given nothing but love from us and we didn’t deserve to be terrorized like that. It was a choice he made, and there are consequences to every choice. I am now saying to myself, as I do to my clients every day – use every resource available to you to heal from what you have been through. Don’t fool yourself that you are “strong” and not in need of help and advice from professionals – everyone thinks I am the strongest woman in the world (I’ve had some pretty significant losses in life), but I know the truth – finding out my husband was not the man I thought he was, and that he could actually think to STAB us, is not something I am able to cope with alone. I am weepy and jumpy and do alot of self-blaming. I also feel a great sense of shame, because my workplace has to post his picture at the entrances to my workplace. But I also meditate and work on stopping negative self-talk and I know that in time I will feel better, safer, happier, healthier. I’ve “rocked the boat” and it was is a gruelling thing to do, but do it, in the safest way possible for you and your family. We do not deserve anything but love and support from our spouses, anything less is unacceptable. Take care.

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      Bet,
      Thank you for sharing your story with the Share Your Voice blog. You have provided some very powerful perspective for all of our readers. We here at the hotline totally agree that seeking professional support is truly necessary to someone fully recovering from the trauma of living through intimate partner violence. If possible, we encourage our callers and readers to seek assistance from counselors who have been specifically trained in domestic violence so that they receive the best support available. Advocates here at the hotline (24 hours, 7 days a week) provide our callers with local domestic violence counseling resources that are usually free to victims. Again, thank you for being so supportive to our community. Sharing your story is another great way to help you heal by helping others heal. Keep up the good work!

      HotineAdvocate_CH

  162. Tom says:

    He sounds just like my wife, yes I said WIFE
    She was a spoiled brat, allowed to behave like that when she was a child and continued to use it to this day, your husband is the same.
    Behaviour like this should be a criminal offence, punishable by flogging……they would all soon stop, thats for sure.
    Problem with this site, like all the rest is there is nowhere for men suffering from such women and they are apparently 1 in 4 of the abusers!!!

  163. shannon says:

    My mother is/was verbally abusive and i didn’t realize this is where I could be getting my anxiety attacks.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Shannon,

      I am sorry that you are getting anxiety attacks from your abusive mother. Dealing with abuse from a parent can make life very complicated. If you would like a referral for counseling in your area you can call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for that information and for guidance and support.
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  164. deb m says:

    cindy, Your experience is similar to mine. I appreciate knowing there are so many others out there struggling also. I’m almost 50 but I feel too old to start life over again. New career, new friends (he got all or mostly all of them), a new home, neighborhood, etc. sometimes seems overwhelming. Most of the time I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. How do you start all over again? Some of our friends I knew for 30 years and they’ve supported him. How does someone deal with that emotionally? To suffer abuse for 20 years is bad enough and then to have friends aggessively reject you and accuse you of exaggerating and support the abuser is too much to bear; pain on top of pain. More rejection is the last thing we need. Talking to a counselor is good and helps to sort our feelings out, but I need to build a new life that I can feel good in each day. How do we start? It seems impossible at my age to build deep relationships. Or maybe that’s from the abuse. How do you replace friendships that were formed over so many years? Many will say “they really weren’t true friends”, but they were at one time. They are victims too, of a manipulator who lives a double life. We all need a network of people, a community to feel we belong to. How do we emotionally handle starting over our lives?

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Deb M,

      I’m sorry you are having to start all over, it’s unfair that your friends chose to side with him. It sounds like he is very good at manipulation even where friends are concerned. Have you thought about meeting new people through volunteering? It can be a great way to help your community, give you something to occupy your time, and meet like minded individuals. Volunteermatch.org is a good place to find local volunteer opportunities.

      I’m glad to hear that you are working with a counselor, have you thought about joining support groups? This would be another way to reach out to those who understand what you have gone through and meet someone who may need a new friend as well. A hotline advocate could locate support groups in your area and you can call for that information 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

      I am so glad to hear that you are now free of your abusive relationship. The healing process takes time, so please be kind with yourself as you maneuver this path of new beginnings. Also, if you are a reader you might like, It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence by Meg Kennedy Dugan and Roger Hock. Thank you for sharing with our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  165. deb says:

    Scaredtodeath,
    why would we judge you for sharing your truth? Please read the safety planning page immediately. Tell the police everytime he has made you fear for your safety or that of your child. Do not tell him of any of your safety plans and use code with any correspondence with email and text messages. Hide a key to your car so you may leave quick or make up an excuse now to go to an appointment alone and go get help so that you can get a restraining order to get him out and change your locks. Threats are a real indicator that they are going to become real because the intent is already there. I olny say this because I know I have been there and safety planning saved my life and using my voice, putting my pride aside, utilizing the law which is there to protect. Deal with the emotions later. Save yourself and your child. Stay calm and act normal, make your safety plan and go before you can’t. Your instinct led you here and thats strength so know you are strong enough to take your life back.
    Hope this helps, you are not alone and there is support out there just know that and use it. Best to you
    Deb

  166. Scaredtodeath says:

    I have never vented like this before so please dont judge me. I have been in a relationship for 7 months only and every since the third month my boyfriend is constantly hitting me when he gets upset. He accuses me of doing stuff that I am not doing and insist that I am lying when i tell him the truth. I have a 2 year old daughter who clings yo me very much so when she hears me scream she comes running even though he doesn’t care to hit me in front of her. I tried calling the cops but he got out of it and came back uninvited. I have kept my mouth shut because of him.threatening me and not wanting to get my family involved and told him i just want him to leave but he wont leave. I dont know what to do im scared to move im scared to have any friends and im scared to turn to family because of what he might do to me. Help me please.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Scaredtodeath,
      Thank you for sharing your story with our Share Your Voice blog community. I’m very concerned about your safety in this situation. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your boyfriend is very abusive with you. What he’s doing is about having power and control over you. The constant accusations, the physical violence, the threats. All of it is his way of having control over you and what you do. You don’t deserve to be treated like this. Your daughter and you deserve to feel safe in your home, and to not have to worry about being threatened or harmed. If you get a safe chance, I would really encourage you to reach out and call someone here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 1-800-799-7233. We are 24/7 and are always completely anonymous and confidential. We are a safe place to talk about it. It’s not your fault that this is happening, and we’d really like to support you.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  167. TAHIA says:

    I am in a emotional, physical, and sexually abusive relationship. It isn’t easy getting out of it. When I think he is sincere I let him back in world. We had some really good times and some really bad times. He is on drugs and is drinking a lot of alcohol. He doesn’t care about having money for an emergency or anything. Last year I went through something dramatic with him that the police were called. He was arrested and at that time the state’s attorney took over the case. At that time I however did get an order of protection against him and it is still active. For my children I do not want to see him go to jail even though he deserves it. What he needs is help. I try to tell him that he needs to go to rehab and he needs to stop drinking and smoking. He doesn’t think he has a problem, but in reality he really truly does. Him going to jail is not going to help if he does not recieve help for his addictions and demons. He will get out and do the same thing all over again. My real concern is for myself though. I don’t have the strength or courage to call the police on him even though I have an order of protection. I am scared of what would happen. I feel as if he controls my mind and my world somehow. I want a change in my life. I want someone who is going to love me show me affection and do things for me. Instead I am being forced to do things that he wants all the time. I am woken up out of my sleep at night to fix him food or go to the store for him. I am forced to perform sexual acts. When I try and leave he grabs me and holds me down or he will lay on top of me with his hand over my mouth and sometimes my nose. He will hold my hands behind my back. He takes my cellphone, he follows me to the bathroom if he worried about me calling the police when he acting a fool. He demands money from me all the time. He pawn my things such as digital camera’s, nintendo wii’s anything that he can get money for. I am constantly called out of my name and told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. My kids can go spend the night over his family members house, but they can’t go over to my family’s house and spend the night. I have given this man chance after chance to get it together and now I am officially fed up. I want to be free, happy, respected, loved, and most of all I want affection. I feel like something is wrong with me because I keep allowing this to happen to me. Some people might think it ‘s easy to walk away, but it isn’t. I have been with this man for over 10 years. It hasn’t always been this way, but for the past few years it has. Everyday is not a bad day, however there are just too many bad days period. I am really tired I don’t want to take my kids out of the school system that they are in. They are in one if the best school districts possible. I don’t want to live in a shelter when my children are used to being in there own space. We have always lived in an apartment or a house. I want my own space to be free and move past all of these things. Someone please help me!

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      Tahia,
      It sounds like you are in an extremely scary/dangerous situation and I’m really glad you contacted our blog to share your experience. You are right, it is not easy to leave. Situations like this are hugely complicated and the emotions that go along with them are confusing. But please know, you are not alone. I can tell you have a lot of questions and concerns that would be better answered if we were speaking directly. If you can safely use a phone without him walking in on you, I encourage you to call our hotline as soon as possible (800-799-7233). Advocates here can discuss options and resources and help you develop a safety plan. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so as soon as you are ready we will be here waiting. All of our calls are anonymous and confidential, so any information you give will be safe with us.

      Take care,
      HotlineAdvocate_CH

  168. Michelle says:

    Your story sounds a lot like mine.Stay Strong. I feel somewhat helpless and worthless to a point, because I know I always have to deal with him. I have only been to court for legal custody of one of my little girls when I was in different state. We were given joint custody with me primary, I wasnt supposed to leave the state but MI wasnt very helpful when I tried to get help. Left him once while there, (I moved there from VA) Reading this I am thinking I had better find somebody to help me out to get custody of the other one too while he is in jail.

  169. Michelle says:

    Holly, The statement you made about “I wouldnt even have a friend like this in my life, let alone a lover’ is along the same lines that made me decide to finally cut off my ex. I am not going to tell my whole story on here but I left my childrens father a year ago. I moved from MI to NC. (I have friends here who told me to come on). He is a truck driver by trade and although couldnt seem to get job when I was in MI found a job 2 weeks after I left. I started out in a transitional living center and had a lot of support but I am working and doing pretty well now. I made a mistake and let him know where I was, thinking to allow him contact with kids. He will call and text 100x or more in a day on some days, the verbal and emotional abuse was still continuing! About 4 weeks ago, I finally made a similar statement to myself like the one you did. He then came to visit and was drunk when he got here. he insulted me as always, tried to have sex, I refused, he then strangled me but stopped when heard the kids coming, then later hit me some more, broke my cell phone. My next door neighbor called my older daughter and his girl to get up and check on me.
    They called police and although I didnt press charges he went to jail for lieing to po lice and thinking he was ten feet tall and bulletproof. He still there, in jail, here in NC..I just wanted him GONE. He had not ever acted that violent before. My abuse had been verbal, emotional and sexual. I know better but I now feel like I dont trust any man. I dont feel the same about sex. I will call somebody to talk about this but I feel kinda bad for him cause now he lost his job. But I know it was his own d… fault. I feel like he will be stuck here whenever they let him out too and he will harass me. I do not feel like I will go back but I still feel obligated to have contact for the kids. I dont think this state “plays” as far as DV, not like in MI, they wouldn’t help much like some of these other ladies have talked about. Apparently strangulation is a felony? The rest of the charges on him are misdeamors but there are five seperate charges. The police made. He done f….up. I just need help to move forward. Anyway, I know I wouldnt have a friend like that (what he kept saying for us to be).

  170. Laura says:

    Jacquelyn,
    Many places offer free counceling for domestice violence victims. I don’t know where you are located but you could try to call a shelter by you and see what services are offered. I do suggest that you seek counceling as soon as possible. I know from experience that if you put it off, it just causes more problems. I as so glad you got out! I hope this helps

  171. Jacquelyn says:

    Thank you for the tips… I recently got out of a mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive relationship… I feel so sad right now and alone, but I know that it’s over and I can work on me now, I would like to join a group and seek counseling, but I don’t have insurance to do so. Is there any help I can get that doesn’t drain my finances? I am a single mom of two with no child support and a full time student working a job that doesn’t offer insurance. Any tips?

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Jacquelyn,

      It takes so much strength to leave an abusive relationship. I am glad you and your children are in a healthier environment. It is normal to be feeling sad and alone, as the healing process takes time. Most local domestic violence agencies offer support groups and individual counseling. These services are usually either free or on a sliding scale payment plan. To find a local group you can call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for that information. Thank you for reaching out for support.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  172. Cailin says:

    Hello

    I’m the brother of a domestic violence victim, I wish to report it but I live in a different stated. I fear for my sister well being. she lives in Houston TX with my nieces and nephew. I feel she is afraid to do anything to prevent further abuse.

    can you please help me. How can I report this, is there a # for Harris county Houston TX ?

    thank you

    • HotlineAdmin_CH says:

      Cailin,
      I am so sorry to hear what is going on within your family. Unfortunately, unless the children are being abused, the adult victim must report the abuse themselves. These situations can be very difficult for families. Please know that you are always welcome to call our hotline @ 800-799-7233 (24/7) to talk about your questions and concerns.

      Good luck,
      HotlineAdvocate_CH

  173. Grace says:

    Hi, my name is Grace and I just finished reading ” If I’m Missing or Dead.” I could not put it down for three days.

    I am in an emotionally abusive relationship. My husband is an undercutting bully. He’s also a closet alcoholic and sneaks pot now and then.

    I would like for him to leave – but I cannot handle the mortgage and utilities on my own right now. Also he owns a small cottage that would be perfect for him to live in – but he has a renter living there now.

    He’s away camping with friends. He will drive from the campsite drunk and stoned – but don’t say anything about that, for that will create such an emotional explosion harbored in guilt and shame. I wish I knew when he would be coming home. I’d ask the police to pull him over for a DUI.

    I don’t miss him. And even though the weather has been hellish, I’ve had 4 glorious, peaceful, scream free days without him. He will come home tomorrow, unload the car, and flop on the couch and sleep until 2:00am. He’ll come to bed and wake me up and won’t care about that either.

    We have not had sex in over a year.

    I wish I could get him out of here.

    The house is in my name because I was a first time homeowner and I got a tax break a few years ago. I never bothered to put his name on the lease. It seems that as soon as the vows were said, he transformed. I tell my closest friend that Satan and his red cape, cloven hooves and breath of sulphur – is but a fairytale image of evil. But true hell on earth is living with the simmering and seething anger and bullying of my husband.

    Thank you for listening.

    Grace

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Grace,
      Thank you for sharing your story with our Share Your Voice blog community. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your husband is emotionally and verbally abusive in your relationship. You don’t deserve to be treated like that. Some of your concerns sound like they may be legal-related, and so it may be beneficial for you to talk with a lawyer, and see what’s within your legal options. If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s going on, and about what local domestic violence programs are in your area, you are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are always available and are anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  174. Ana says:

    Hi my name is Ana and this is my first time on this site and first time ever talking about my relationship. i have gone through so much with my bf of 4 years. We have gotten in fights and it does not end up pretty. I’m a very sensitive person and specially with someone that i love. It’s hurtful to look back and see how blind i got. I don’t want to say that it’s domestic violence becau