Finding Closure After Abuse

Finding Closure After Abuse

Moving on after any breakup is challenging, but healing after an abusive relationship can be especially difficult. Sure, all breakups have their aftermath of sadness and loss, but for someone transitioning from victim to survivor, the fallout may include continued harassment or attacks. The resulting ongoing mental trauma and emotional stress can make a survivor question — was leaving really worth it?

moving on after abuse

We’re here to say YES. Yes, leaving is worth it. Why is moving on after abuse so difficult? Because abuse is rooted in power and control, and an abuser holds that power by minimizing their partner’s self-esteem and breaking their spirit. If you’re leaving an abusive relationship, rebuilding your life can be a hard process, but with time and space, finding closure and peace is possible. A violence-free life is waiting, and you are so very worth it.

How do you start to move on? Here are some tips for moving past the experience of abuse into a safer, happier reality.

1. Cut Off Contact With Your Ex

During the healing process, you may feel the need to offer forgiveness, help your abuser through the break up, or show your abuser how you’re better off. However, it’s difficult to really get closure without severing all ties with your ex.

Try different methods to avoid contacting your former partner. Delete their phone number and change yours. If you’re picking up the phone to call, put the phone in a different room and walk away.

Resist the urge to look them up on social media. Unfriend or block them, and if pictures or news keep popping up, it could be helpful to remove mutual friends as well.

Try writing a letter with all the things you want to say to your abuser and don’t send it — or, if you’re in counseling, send it to your therapist instead.

2. Surround Yourself With Support

After an abusive relationship, allow yourself to get help and support from others. Spend time with friends and family who care about you. Tell them what you need from them, whether that’s someone to talk to about what you went through, or someone to keep you from answering phone calls from your ex, stop you from texting back, etc.

If your abuser isolated you from friends and family, you may find that you no longer have that support network — but there are always people who want to help. Consider finding a counselor to talk with one-on-one, or join a support group. If you call NDVH, one of our advocates can connect you to services in your area.

3. Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is such an important part of the healing process, and that begins with understanding that the abuse that happened wasn’t your fault.

Find things that make you happy. Rediscovering what hobbies you enjoy can be a learning process, but that’s half of the fun. Join clubs or try activities like a group fitness class to meet new people.

If you have children, find ways to make time for yourself. Some gyms offer free childcare while you work out, and different domestic violence centers provide childcare while you’re attending support groups.

Praise yourself for accomplishments, little or big, and counter any negative self-talk with positive mantras or affirmations. Becoming aware of what you think and say about yourself can help shift negative thoughts.

4. Remember That You Will Get Better With Time

The old saying that “time heals all wounds” can be incredibly frustrating, but there is truth in it. Recovery does take time and space. Give yourself as much time as you need to heal.

Recovery looks different for everyone, and each person has to find what works for them. Have you left an abusive relationship? What have you found to be helpful in recovering? What would you recommend to others who are coping with moving on after abuse?

Comment section

111 replies
  1. E verytime someone is nice to me, especially strangers, I cry. Not tears of joy but I get sad. I was emotionally and financially abused for 10 years. I have an eight year old child with this man, so we have to maintain some contact. Is it normal to cry like that? We have been apart about 7 months.

  2. Two months ago my boyfriend of 4 years was drunk and abused me.He held me in one spot of the wall and squeezed my arms, grabbed my nightgown, screamed at me and threatened to hit me with his fist.I was able to escape out the door and ran throught the woods in my bare feet and nightgown to get help from my neighbor.The police were called and,he was arrested .I moved out of our house before he came back out of jail.
    This wasn’t the first time he threatened me.A young man in a truck cut him off when we were out of town a few years ago.I told him not to get out of my car but he did and went after the man with a knife.When he returned to the car he threatened to kill me if I ever said anything like that again. We’m calling my employeeassistance line tomorrow night. broke up for 6 months and he slowly came back into my life after many apologoes and e-mails.
    He is going to AA and anger management classes.He has lost 35 pounds since he isn’t drinking.I ran into him at Walmart and he professed his love and wants me back.I just don’t trust him even tho he’s the nicest, loving person you’ll ever meet when he doesn’t have alcohol.

    We live in a very small town and my job keeps me here.Break my heart. .Advice anyone?I

  3. Dear Jane,

    Good Job! getting out of the abuse. It will take time to mourn the loss of your relationship, even if it was not a joyful one. It will take time to recover a sense of your self in the new environment. Your reaction is normal. Treat yourself kindly, when in doubt, just call The Hotline for a reality check. We would like to help you understand what you went through, find local help and emotional support. You are not alone. The Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233, we are here 24/7. Let us be part of your support network on this next phase of your life.

  4. I was in a domestic violence marriage for 24yrs. 2 children.We have left state 3 times.he broke my ribs puntched my lung,broke my neck,shot me with a 22.I have a paper trail dated back to 1984.When we split in 2007 the common wealth told me they didn’t have enough money for a Jury trail and he might not get any time.When we had trail he served 30 days,now its been 6 yrs.after I went to them again because he is sending messages to me that he still loves me.Ive always said he wasn’t done!Anyone who knows us will say the same thing.I have wrote my Gov.,St.rep.,st.police.They did call me st.rep,st.police.Now they {common wealth} said that I need a witness when this happens again.Why do I have to have someone with me 24 7?I have no reason to make anything up it is bad enough to tell what all did happen to me,and 6 yrs. later Im still having to fight for my life he is going to try and kill me plain and simple.Do you know how hard it is watching over your back for 6+years and your grown kids,grandkids.The after math to this is so unbelievable!!! In February 2013 I went to the Sherriffs office and talked to him.I will say he was going to the cw with me until I told him what they said,he didn’t understand either so what the HELL am I to do?I am 49yrs. old this is my first apt. ever by myself I live up stairs because I don’t feel safe.I don’t know how to heal or cope with this any more.Ive been in the classes for this but after so long you get to where you could teach the class or I need better help.I am so tired!!!

  5. Denise,

    It takes plenty of strength and courage to share your story and ask for help. There is no excuse for abuse no matter if the abuser is a drug addict or has a disorder. Abuse is a choice and your boyfriend was choosing to abuse you. It is important that you take steps in keeping yourself safe at all times just to make sure in case if anything were to happen. If you would like to get more information please feel free to contact The Hotline at 1-899-799-7233. The Hotline is open 24 hours a day and there is always an advocate willing to help you out. Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and feel safe at all times.

  6. Sandy,

    You must be completely exhausted from all of the abuse that you have gone through for years. You are such a strong woman and courageous for not giving up and doing the best you can to move forward. You are right, it is difficult to have someone with you 24 hours a day and it it can be frighting. You do not deserve to live in constant fear or be mistreated at all. You deserve to be living in peace and treated with respect. Please feel free to contact The Hotline if you would like to get help. The Hotline is available 24 hours a day and you can reach The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

  7. I got out of an abusive relationship last year, when he moved away. I would always struggle and think about how I should try and talk to him, but I decided not to. I haven’t seen or talked to him since, but just over a week ago he messaged me. It’s still sitting in my inbox, because I’m too scared to read it, but I don’t know if I want to delete it. I don’t know what to do.

  8. Kara,

    It is wonderful to hear that you are no longer in an abusive relationship. It can be confusing deciding what to do about the message he left you. Will it bring any goodness to your life? What will the outcome feel like for you if it is hurtful or if it is an attempt to woo you back? Do you really want to reconnect with him? All of these are good questions to ask in relation to his message and how it will impact you.

    You have been strong and moved on to a healthier environment for you. I understand your struggle on whether to listen to it or just delete it. You are the only one who can decide what is best for you. Thank you for reaching out through our blog community


  9. Denise,
    Your ex sounds something like mine. When he wasn’t abusive, he was so loving, funny & kind. If it was raining when I got home from work, he’d meet me at my car with an umbrella. But he was a damn mean drunk. Not the man I fell in love with. He also went to anger management classes & went to inpatient rehab, after he beat me up & tore out a chunk of my hair the day before my first Mother’s Day with our child. Of course it only started with verbal abuse & threats. He stated with such sincerety that he knew he was wrong & wanted to be the man that our daughter & I deserved. I gave him just one more chance. He repaid me by stabbing me 14 times in front of our screaming infant. He served 6 years in prison & is out now. Still scary, but I continue to focus on making a great life for my big girl and for ME. The state I live in has a program that keeps your address confidential if your safety is in jeopardy. Stay strong. NO ONE should have to run barefoot through the woods in your nightgown. YOU DESERVE BETTER! Peace & love.

  10. After I left my abuser, I had to leave my home, job & most belongings behind and start over with my young child. To cheer myself up one day, I was browsing through the jewelry in a dept store. I found a ring I liked & a fellow shopper pointed out a bracelet that complimented it perfectly. Short on money, I got on line to buy just the ring. The fellow shopper saw that I wasn’t buying the bracelet. I sheepishly admitted I couldn’t afford both. This kind stranger got the bracelet & told me she’d buy it for me. I stood in that store & the tears just started to flow. I thanked the woman & she awkwardly said, “It’s only 20 bucks. ” I just told her that I’d had a really bad year & that her kindness meant a lot. Years of abuse makes us feel like we don’t deserve kindness & respect. YOU DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH KINDNESS EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE. Tears of sadness will be replaced with tears and smiles of gratitude & eventually, joy.

  11. I met with my ex last night in a busy parking lot to have a closure meeting with him.He professed his love for me over and over and told me how he is working on all this counseling and AA to work for a better us.I told him that he needs to work for a better him.The hardest thing I have ever said is “I don’t want to be your girl friend anymore”.I really care for this man.Because of the abuse, my family refuses to have anything to do wwith him.My work knows about the incident because it was in the papers.They are very supportive of me.He cannot come to my work as he also verbally abused the receptionist
    .I told him that I wanted a relationship with someone that I could feel proud of and who would stand by my side and support me as I support him and he agrees.I also told him that I can’t trust him anymore.He seems truely remorseful and is asking forgiveness but it will be a long time (if ever) that it will ever happen.
    I am an executive in my complany and have never felt as doubtful about myself as I have now.Luckily I make god money and can support myself. I don’t ever want or need another person making my decisions for me.I am playing the Helen Reddy song”I AM WOMAN” over and over.I’m strong and invinciblle.

  12. I am 55 years old and after ten years of verbal and mental abuse accompanied by threats of physical abuse I escaped my abuser. I hid in several locations for over a week. I called a family member, explained my situation and asked if I could stay with them. Then I drove nearly 2000 miles. The first week I was here they ignored me. They told me I needed to find somewhere else to live. I asked for help getting a job, as I was unfamiliar with the area. They suggested I go online. Then they told me I needed to find a different place to stay because they are retired and don’t really want me and my problems. Their opinion is that I’m geographically removed from the abuse which should make everything okay. So I’ve been looking for work most of my days and into the night. So far no success. I try to feel confident that I will soon have a job. Last night my parents (who are in their late 80’s) called my cell phone – they were very upset with me – they said they had tried to call me all day and all they got was a busy signal and demanded to know who I was talking to and asked why I was wasting my time talking on the phone. I told them I hadn’t been on the phone all day and when I looked back at my calls of the day I had been on the phone only 25 minutes. Then my Dad yelled at me, literally yelling that I hadn’t taken advantage of a job lead he had given me and that he knows what he’s talking about because he was a director of human resources for over 20 years and that I am ruining my life. I asked him to stop yelling at me, as I’ve been through enough yelling. He said it was his right to yell at me because he is my father. I told him that I had called his contact, but had to leave a message because they wouldn’t be available until Tuesday. My Dad was still angry because I didn’t move fast enough to contact this person. I want to know how much anger do I have to put up with from my Dad. Is he somehow part of why I got into the abusive situation that I just left?? My sadness is overwhelming. I need kind words and encouragement and love. I need to be built up not torn down.

  13. They all think that they’re doing the best thing for you like you’re a child.Stand on your own two feet and distance yourself from them for a bit.If they can’t support you, you don’t need them right now.
    what type of job do you do? Are you a CNA?If there is a Catholic Hospital near you go there and tell them your story ( even the HR people).They should want to help. Everyone has a foundation or employee assistance or charity that can help.The Sisters are generally wonderful.
    I would ove to hear more. Maybe we can help via this blog.

    Best of luck.

  14. Bel
    This sounds like a very stressful and difficult time for you. Please know that you can call us here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline anytime, we are her 24/7. Our number is 1-800-799-7233, if you would consider calling us we could offer those words of encouragement that you are seeking. You do not deserve to have anyone yelling at you or putting you down. You have been through a very tough time and have made some big changes to make sure you are safe. You are correct you do deserve to be treated with respect and given much encouragement.

  15. How do you make the decision to leave?
    I have been in an emotionally / financially abusive relationship for 12 years.
    He has all of the money, he took my car and registered it in his name, so that I couldn’t look for work without his permission to use the car. (we are not married, so he now owns MY car, if I drove off with it the police could arrest me. He has more than reinforced that.)
    I have only 1 way out. I can pack a bag and walk. In doing so, I leave all of my belongings, my pet, my “safety” (safety for me is defined by, I know where I will sleep and get my next meal) i know the cost is crying myself to sleep most nights, having to have sex with someone who doesn’t acknowledge me as a human being. He shuts off the a/c in the house when he leaves because there’s nobody here (except me) He doesn’t speak to me or even interact with me unless I need to do something for him or he wants to have sex…I am the villain in every problem he faces. I am the brunt of all of his crises, but knowing all of this How do I CHOOSE to leave? Right now, at least I’m not on the street or in a shelter not knowing what will happen to me tomorrow. The other option is to move 2,000 miles away to live with my little brother and his family. (he says “You always have a place to live here” and I love him for that, but he doesnt have a clue of how to help me to do that. I have no money to buy the ticket to leave…and even if I did…what if my brother and his wife fight and she throws me out… How do I decide to walk away from what I know? Yes it’s hard living here and I’m not happy and yes I know it’s wrong. But Is the alternative going to be better? Everytime I think I’ve decided to leave he throws all of my things in trash bags and break and breaks all of my stuff….
    I feel silly and stupid for even thinking I should leave. There are so many women so worse off than me….that get beaten

  16. What a wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing it. It is so true, I have gotten to the point where this is the acceptable life I live. I truly feel like there isn’t anything better and that I certainly don;t deserve anything else. Thanks again for sharing that. I’m so glad you were able to get out and do well find a better life 🙂

  17. Laurie, you’re going through so much, I can hear how overwhelming and daunting the idea of leaving is. It sounds like this person has done many many things to make it particularly hard to find a way out. We know that leaving is the most dangerous time in an abusive situation, and also a very difficult choice to make. It is certainly not silly to think about leaving, you’ve identified some terribly abusive things that this person is doing to you. There is no excuse for any kind of abuse and no one deserves to be abused. You don’t deserve to be treated this way. If you ever would like to reach out to our confidential and anonymous hotline, we’re here 24/7 and we can brain storm some ideas together about what might work; leaving a domestic violence situation can be very challenging, but we’re here for you every step of the way, and will get you connected to as many people and organizations that can help.

    Call 1-800-799-7233 anytime, when you are safe to talk.

  18. I have been married for 24 years and my husband tells me I have to be a Muslim or get a divorce. He has beaten me in front of my kids, always accusing me of cheating, he tells me what I cant wear, where I cant go and even who I can speak to. He is a good provider and I spent all this time taking care of him and the kids so I have no career. I am however a writer, have numerous books but hardly sells any because he disapproves of what I write about…sexual abuse , incest and domestic violence.
    He hasn’t hit me for years but yesterday he left for work and came home unexpectedly and was standing by the side of the bed, I opened my eyes and felt so terrified because he had dragged me sleeping out of my bed and beat me. My mind was racing …what did I do ? why is he going to beat me this time?
    A light bulb went on in my head….I was so terrified of him…I cannot love him…
    With no means of supporting myself…what do I do?

  19. Dear DeeDee,

    You must be one incredible woman to have cared for your husband and children for 24 years, just to hear you must convert or divorce. It seems he has been abusive for rather a long time since you mention he has abused you in front of the kids. I am very concerned that he is using physical abuse. Once the abuse becomes physical abusive toward a partner, there is always a potential to use it again and again.

    No one deserves to be abused. No one should live in fear. A woman of your talent and courage deserves some support from people who understand domestic violence, know the effects on young children of witnessing abuse, and can talk with you about your options. Please call, we are available 24/7 to talk, we are anonymous and confidential, telephone us at The Hotline, 1-800-799-7233.

  20. I wouldn’t know what to do either. Read it or not. But personally i would read it. Maybe you should have someone else read it and if they feel you should know about it then they could tell you. I have read all of my nasty and rude comments and cry but you know what? It makes me feel that he has been feeling guilty and that makes me feel good that he is feeling that way. But I still choose not to talk to him or respond.

  21. I’ve been reading the comments on here yet I haven’t seen any that really say how to deal with things when you have no control over your own life once he’s been removed….

    I’m going to try and just give the short version here, exhausted from this week of having to constantly re-tell this story over and over to complete strangers, all the while being told no one can help me. That pretty much the victims continue to suffer by losing literally everything and the abuser only has to worry about their stupid bail and doesn’t have to pay the rent or needs of OUR children because we weren’t “married”.

    My fiance and I got back together 4 yrs 3 months ago, he had left me 3 yrs prior to that when I got pregnant and I was naieve enough to believe him about him getting a divorce from, his now ex-wife, when he really wasn’t at the time. I raised our daughter alone for 3 yrs, and I wouldn’t change having her for anything in the world she’s been my life saver.
    Then one night his brother shows up at my door, gives me [his] number and says he would like it if I would call him. I sat on that number for three days trying to figure out what to do. I loved this man since the day I met him, he’s the most sweetest and loving partner and great father and everything I looked for in a significant other. I believe that no parent has the right to keep the child from the other, granted situations such as these here with strict guidelines, and so I called him. It’s like a dream, was like we’d never been apart. I drove from with our now 3 yr old daughter, not expecting anything to happen except him finally getting to meet her, and we just connected. And now since he was gone from his ex it felt different.
    He came back with me and the first year to yr and a half were amazing, I can’t even describe how great we were together. Then, when he was kicked of property at the apartment complex we were at because he didn’t listen to me when I said not to play with airsofts outside, we were forced to live apart for nearly 11 months. I had gotten pregnant shortly after we got back together so when this happened I now had a 5 yr old and a 1 yr old that I was taking care of and working full time as well as doing online schooling. As much as I wanted to spend every free minute with him, one his brother lived in the motel room with him and he’s the most discusting nasty person who never showers and is always talking about shooting this person or blowing that person up and would occassionally make these little jokes or comments that I even told him were borderline mean to me, when I had time I just wanted to stay home and relax without having to run somewhere. This, I noticed is where our relationship started going downhill and his drinking started picking up. Claimed I kept the kids from him on his birthday and crap like that when I can’t remember exactly what went on but swear if I did it wasn’t intentionally, may have been working or something I just can’t remember.
    Anyway, I got us into another place and things seemed to get a little better then he’d go downhill with the drinking again and start a fight with me to where I felt like the guilty one and he’d take off leaving me in tears. He has a son from his last marriage who’s always been # 1 to him and his ex-wife would and still holds it over his head when she feels he can or can’t talk to him, usually won’t let him when she feels like being really petty. But I’ve seen how bad this has affected him and I now realize plays part in the downward spiral of self destruction he has been on.
    So went on like this for awhile, only when he’d start drinking certain tall boys or one to many black velvet and coke mixers. I still remember the first time I got back into his face and yelled back at him, his mouth about hit the floor from shock!
    Well then I lost my job and though he made enough we ended up losing our apartment at the end of January this year and had to go into a really crappy motel with him, me and our two girls. The first 3 weeks there things were ok, I’d look forward to when he’d come home and he’d be happy to see me and there was love and affection. I’m still trying to figure out what happened that made him snap to where there was no stopping his self destruction.
    The end of february he started coming home where as soon as he opened the door there was this look of utter disgust and something else, would yell at our oldest for nothing then love on the youngest, then start a fight with me to where he started taking off again. I’ve been diagnosed with severe chronic depression, before I even took him back, which he knows has only been getting worse due to my doctor being a prick about my weight I don’t want to go back and can’t find a new one let alone a therapist, so I’d be a mess everytime he did this, even thought of suicide which at one point before losing the apartment he saw me take a knife and push it against my chest by my heart. I had the marks for a couple days but thinking of my two babies is what stopped me.

    The end of march we got into the place I’m at now, perfect home too its safe and everything. The drinking is out of control, the first night he started a fight outside in the stairwell about how I didn’t get much moved from the shed, just got the keys that day and had already told him my mom and I were only getting the beds and necessities that day, and he threw such a fit about our mattress trying to drag it upstairs to the apartment. All I can say is it was bad, this was supposed to be a fresh start.

    So then he’d start hiding out in the garage all the time, didn’t help me one bit with putting the apartment together when not supposed to lift anything over 35 pounds or do a lot of bending or twisting. I rarely drink anymore, we used to drink heavy together back in the day but was able to both cut back no problem, and I’d start having a gut feeling something wasn’t right. When I have about 2 drinks my conscience goes out the window and I started snooping through his phone (which I bought and added to my line and pulled the strings for him to be able to talk to his son, as a anniversary and birthday present for him) everytime I did this I was proven right, he was phone sex-ting who I found out was an ex from highschool he always cheated on and went back to. He kept lieing to my face about it when I busted him each and every time. When I first caught him it was a nasty fight and my mom came and helped me and the girls leave cuz he had his brother “standing guard” inside because I had said I was leaving and then he had locked himself in the garage more or less guarding my truck so I couldn’t leave. I stayed with my mom for 3 days, I had shut off his phone and everything. I went back on the third night alone and we talked for hours, setting some rules about what needs to stop and change on both our sides.
    Went home the next day and I can’t describe how amazing it was, stayed like that about a week, then all over again would catch the texts, even on my phone bill I can see when they’d talk, and the fights would start again, always when hes drinking.
    He couldn’t seem to go more than a week without slipping back to his old habits. Then, before everything got out of control, the last three weeks have been awesome, no sex-ting her less drinking, and were so connected and close it was unbelievable. Even made love the morning of the end, Sunday May 26.
    Were supposed to have a date night cause he made my birthday into something no one should ever have to go through as well as messed up mother’s day he wanted to make it up to me. Well his brother took the girls to a double feature so since I haven’t been allowed to look for work or anything I took advantage of the opportunity and went to get some apps as well as surprise him with smokes since I got a little money back on a phone I returned. Hadn’t heard from him all day until 7:30 when he asked if I was ever coming home. He never let me know he was off work, he’s a roofer so hours vary, and I was surprised. Said he’d been home two hours. told him was picking up last app and I’d be home, wanted nothing more than to spend some one on one with him out in a social environment because I have no social life, no friends or family even because I chose to stand by his side. I got home at 8:30 to a dark home. I texted him saying ya he really waited for me. His brother came back with the girls then and I didn’t answer when he called. Put them to bed then called him back, told me he was trying to see if I wanted to come have a drink with him, he went to the bar rather than wait for me, told him he’d have to ask his brother since he’d had the kids all afternoon if he wanted to stay or not. The fight just picked up from there, started yelling at me saying I ruined date night, when I was trying to look for a job as well as surprise him with something nice for once, and started hanging up on me.
    By the time he got home I instantly knew he was trashed, didn’t know how bad till it was too late. He was slamming his head into the wall telling me to chill because all the thoughts running through my head was giving him a migraine like no other. started getting really bad. he left with his brother outside, thought he went completely with him until he said [he] wasn’t with him. One minute my truck was there then when I looked after hearing that my truck was gone. He has no license and beyond drunk and he stole my truck, and I had said he could come back in 2 hours and I would be gone with the kids if he took off this time. kept calling him telling him I didn’t want to report my truck stolen and he needed to answer the phone and bring it back. When my friend showed up he must have just gotten back cause I looked out and wasn’t there then she knocked said it was back. I went downstairs to see where he went and noticed the garage light on.
    Even a week later I think things wouldn’t have progressed like they did if i’d just not opened that door and let him calm down and sober up, though probably only would’ve only post poned the enevitable. All I did was calmly ask why he stole my truck and he was up in my face yelling all sorts of lies and crap from the past to where I finally started yelling back telling him to stop yelling at me. by the time my friend got downstairs she saw him pushing me back with his chest, kept arms to his sides, to where I had to step back or fall down and it was hurting my back. She tried getting in between and hurt her shoulder trying. I kept trying to push him away telling him to get off me and could hardly move him, he’s so strong and I’ve never seen him this drunk, rather anybody this drunk in my life.

    My neighbors made the call I couldn’t. The cops showed up and he was arrested. They showed up the next night, not even 24 hrs since the incident, he’d bailed himself out, with a police officer to get his things, I felt tag teamed by him and his brother and the cop was worthless. Kept begging the cop to just have him take what he needed and would get rest to him, wouldn’t do it. That was the worst experience and my girls and I were so upset cause I had no warning to protect them from seeing that. He believes i assaulted him and called the cops and put the restraining order on him and even his own brother refuses to tell him what he witnessed at the first part. So now he has such hatred towards me when he doesn’t know the truth, says he’s gonna have a polygraph test done on him on that night. He promised, not that long ago, that whether good or bad if something happened and we split up he’d still take care of us until I found a job.
    Now he refuses to repay the money he took for my truck payment or pay the rent or anything the kids need. Left me with a huge debt and he makes good money and not being forced to pay any of these things.
    I’ve gone everywhere trying to find help to keep my apartment because I know with everything my kids have gone through losing their home and their pets whove helped us through all this emotionally would just kill them and they’d be broken. There is no help for victims like me where he can’t come back here and he took his things, and need help paying the rent, which is low thanks to a credit we had. I can have a job in no time, would’ve had one last monday if that hadn’t all happened so I could take care of rent for july.
    No help. The victim continues to suffer and lose everything while he runs free without a care in the world. Being forced into the shelter where we can’t have the cats, and where I’ll feel like a prisoner, and the kids won’t handle us all in the same bedroom after what happened living in a motel for as long as we did. no one understands why I feel it’s so important to keep our home, even for just one more month so I can at least prepare them and find someone to care for the cats till we got outta there.

    Does ANYONE have any help for my situation. I have no control over my life since it was taken out of our hands that night, not helping by not having the choice to see or talk to him but being forced to not see or talk to him.
    please help!

  22. Sometimes, Abuse is not just physical. I am living with a man that i left my first husban for. He appeared very charming and caring, at first. my first husband did not want kids, so, he played on that fact. Knowing ikids is what i wanted most. well, after one child, and a marriage, he became an unloving monster. I can’t even explain all ive gone throgh. Hes been no emotionally neglectful. I could go on and on. I’m just saying I should not have waited so long to leave and if anyone with children thinks that staying is the right thing, they are wrong! Get out of loveless situations fast.

    He became controlling to the point of giving me an “allowance.” I’m not allowed o pay the bills, and, he opened a seperate checking account to put my allowance in seperte from the bill and his money.

    He pays the bills and I dont see any of that, and, he is in charge of all his money. we have no family here to help with my teenage son, and, I was forced to go to work so we could afford to eat. I worked part time, and, my teenager got into drugs. His dad has not helped me raise him, so, its been quite a struggle.
    If i would of been able to work full time, I could of left him long ago. I was in management – retail when we married. but, because of the situation I was forced to go into a low paying day job.

    Does anyone have any advice on how i could afford an attorney to get away from him?

  23. Candice,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like this has been such a scary situation and I am so glad you are contacting us. There are a few things I would like to talk about from what you have written. It sounds like the relationship followed many of the patterns that happen in abusive relationships. Abuse happens because one person wants power over the other and does everything they can to get it. At times, people who are abusive will use excuses such as alcohol or past relationships for the abuse and don’t take responsibility for their behavior. It is important to remember that because it explains how none of this was your fault, just as you mentioned, leaving the door closed may have just postponed what has already happened, according to the past behaviors, you may be right.

    With that, it sounds like it has been a tough few years and a difficult week. It takes a lot of courage for someone to continue searching for help. There may be a few more resources to explore in your area or a few more options. If you would like to talk about any of those or connect with someone over what has happened, I encourage you to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 brainstorm with you, and I can assure you it is all anonymous and confidential.

    I wish you the best of luck,


    *I removed a few things that did not comply with our community guidelines. For more information on those please check them out here.

  24. Missy,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. It sounds like this has been a very frustrating situation. You are definitely right that abuse comes in many different forms, and from what you are describing it sounds like a lot is going on, including economic abuse. We know that abuse is more than those isolated incidents, it is a pattern of behaviors that happen because one person wants power and control over the other, and will often limit access to resources so their partner feels vulnerable.

    It takes a really strong person to reach out for help in these situations, I am glad you have. We also know that the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when the person is trying to get safe, this is often where the abuse escalates. We encourage you to make a safety plan for this situation. If you would like more information on what that may sound like or to talk about what has happened feel free to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support and the call is completely anonymous and confidential.


  25. Thank you for your support, appreciate it. But I’ve talked with Advocates at the courthouse and so many others and all they keep doing is trying to push me into a shelter. He’s gotten his things and can’t come back, this is our home and there is no threat because he WILL NOT break the protection order because he absolutely hates being in jail.
    What I’ve been trying to explain, which I’ve always had trouble with things not coming out the way I mean them too, is the fact that this isn’t who he is. He didn’t beat me, like a past relationship I was in did, and yeah it did get out of hand this time. But fact of the matter is he is the type that when he’s depressed or upset about something he feels it’s his problem and his problem only and won’t talk to anyone about it, so then it just festers and builds because he isn’t talking to anyone to get help with whatever has him so upset or depressed, that he ends up turning to the bottle to try and drown it which has only caused more problems. There is also the strong possibility he may be bipolar. His mom has a history of mental illness and everyone I’ve talked to that’s the first thing they ask me, he’s never been tested and I strongly feel he needs to be, as well as needs help for his depression and alcoholism because it’s destroying the very thing he loves and wants the most…his family.
    He may have been emotionally abusive and all when he was drunk and yes this last incident was pretty bad but I don’t really hate him or actually terrified of him, I’m worried about him and want to find someone to help him. I know this man inside and out, he’s turning to alcohol to hide the pain of not seeing his son as well as him being unable to deal with his depression.
    Everyone wants me to leave him completely and I understand where you all are coming from but this is a cry for help from him and he literally has nobody he can talk to, his own brother is treating him like crap when he’s contributing to his pain by making it even less likely for him to get to even talk to his daughters on the phone.

    I know I’ve been hurt by his actions and yes has made my depression even worse and I really do need help as well, but so does he and don’t know how to get that through to everyone.

    What do I do?

  26. I am not getting better. My ex’s farm is rightnacross from mine,…… I am so unhappy with my life due to all he put me through.

  27. Hi Candice,

    It sounds like your situation is pretty complicated. We want to help but it doesn’t seem like commenting is the best way to go about that. We would strongly encourage you to give us a call when you can. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our number is 1 800 799 7233. We can talk about your situation, get you connected to resources and support you in anyway that we can.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  28. can they relocate you to another st..I left st. 4 times it might work for you.I came back for parents 6 yrs.ago hes still sending messages to me he.I left in 2007 was done I went through hell but bills are paid for the first time I have running water I have done some great things but not taking create for it,dont know how.If you job cant help you try the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE they will get you out.

  29. I have been in a verbal and physical abuse situation with a narcissist man on and off for 7 years. About a year ago, he decided he was done with sleeping with other women and hanging out and was ready for an exclusive relationship. After a few months, I noticed the change after we decided to move in together. This is when things got bad with the verbal and physical abuse and he continued to stay out all night and have secret relationships with other women. For some reason I still stayed. He would tell me things he didn’t like about me and always focused on the negative. I could never do anything right. I would prepare dinner, wash his clothes and made sure he was taking care of. But he did not show any appreciation and always found fault in me. A few weeks ago I caught him at his ex girlfriends house and he hit me in front of her. This was the last straw. I never felt so humiliated and disrespected in my life. So I filed a warrant and requested a TPO. I loved this man with all of my heart. I sacrificed my life and the things I enjoyed to make the relationship work. While he continued to down me and play me for a fool. I am seeking professional help but it is still hard. Although I don’t accept the physical abuse, we did have some fun times together. I enjoyed the fact of having a man in my life and he was nice sometimes and made me feel special. However, the bad outweighed the good. What I am dealing with now is hurt, disappointment, anger, low self esteem, feel worthless, and less than a woman. I know time will heal but we are talking 7 years with the same exact guy. How do I trust again? How do I love again after this trauma?

  30. Hey Kimmy,

    Thanks for reaching out. I know you must be going through so much right now. It is impossible to please an abusive person because all they want is power and control. And so they are going to tear you down in any way possible to better control you. And they are going to try to make you feel like you are the problem, that you cause the abuse. But that is not true. You are not responsible for other people’s action and there is nothing that you could do that would force him to be abusive. He is making a decision to be abusive. And you are right, abusive relationships are not all black and white. It is normal to still care for someone and have good times with them even if they are abusive.

    It is definitely going to take time to heal from what you have been through. But you don’t have to go through that process alone. I would invite you to give us a call at 1(800)799-7233. We are here 24/7 and are completely confidential/anonymous. We can talk about what you’ve been through and get you connected to counseling and support groups that can help with that healing process. You can and will get through this.

    All the best,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  31. I was in an abusive relationship for a year and a half. Almost every argument turned physical and always ended in blood and torn clothing and ruined belongings, broken doors/windows. I tried leaving so many times, and he always threatened to kill me then himself or would block the door and hit me until I backed off. If I ever made it to the door I never could make it out of our yard. The first thing to go would be all of our phones so I could never call the police or neighbors. Im a very loyal person and kept thinking things would get better. I believed the apologies, that may have been sincere, but the promises of no abuse in the future was always broken. We stopped drinking, hoping it was only happening because we were intoxicated, and things got even worse. The apologies were truly heartfelt, and the hardest thing to realize is that no matter how much they love you, you need to accept that more times than not, the abuse will never stop, it will only get worse. Realizing there are other people out there, who would appreciate you and love you gently is one of the hardest things to believe. I’ve been out of the relationship for 4 years. I’m dating someone now who is very kind to me always and doesn’t even raise his voice. Its been the best thing I’ve ever experienced or been a part of. I didn’t know anyone could be so incredible. You have to realize that there is a better person out there, who will love you and enjoy your company, and make you enjoy yourself too.

    A lot of times when I’m alone I find myself sobbing as I reminisce on the bad fights in my past. If there is any type of violence against women on tv or movies I always want to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out. I can’t watch it. It makes me so upset even just to see.any sign of it. I am so happy with my life right now, great job, amazing man, but I am still so HAUNTED by the abuse from my past, and it brings me down and I cry almost every day a little bit when I think about it and constantly have flashbacks. I wonder if these thoughts will ever go away. I am so tired thinking about it, and I want to stop hurting.

  32. I believed the apologies, that may have been sincere, but the promises of no abuse in the future was always broken. We stopped drinking, hoping it was only happening because we were intoxicated, and things got even worse.

  33. B,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. I am so glad to hear that you are now able to experience all of the joys that life has to offer. It sounds like you took so many brave steps toward safety and I am sure the past 4 years have been a testament to all of that hard work.

    I am so sorry that this experience continues to haunt you and creep into your happiness. This is still nothing that you deserve to experience. We know that healing from abuse is a process, and there is no timeline to that process.

    It is completely understandable to continue to feel hurt from what you have experienced. I want you to know that the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 at 1800-799-7233 and is available to talk through these feelings as well as offer guidance and support. There may be new strategies to explore to help you heal through what has happened. We can also help you locate support services in your area.

    Until then,


  34. Hi. I left my husband a week ago. I am now in a safe place and haven’t slept properly in days. I’m numb and anxious and scared of the unknown. He began abusing me on our honeymoon ten months ago – the first time because i had dessert with my meal when he told me not to. He left me in the restaurant on my own and went back to the room. I stayed and ate dessert, thinking he had no right to tell me what to eat. When i returned to the hotel room he grabbed me by the hair and slammed my head against the wall and kicked and punched me and tried to suffocate me with a pillow. I was so hurt and shocked not believing someone I had just married could do that to me. He apologised and begged my forgiveness and cried and I forgave him. He moved to a new place away from my family and friends and after a few weeks he began again. It continued every few weeks then every week and then practically every few days. On top of that he was very controlling, jealous and constantly bullied me and criticised me. He tried to strangle me a week ago and suffocate me and threatened to kill me so I finally had enough and called the police. He was arrested and is currently on bail. I have told my family and they are supportive but I feel so deeply sad, angry that I put up with it. And so very confused:( I feel like a shell of the person I used to be. I don’t feel strong.

  35. Hi Sandy,

    I am so grateful for your courage in sharing your story with our community. You have survived such a horrific situation for the last year, and I hear that you’re still very much dealing with everything that has happened. Feeling overwhelmed, sad, angry, and grieving are all normal responses for the trauma that you endured. The path of healing from an experience like yours is an incredibly personal one, one that many people before you have made. Healing is possible.

    I’m so glad to hear that you have found support in your family; no one should have to go through this alone. If you think additional support or resources would be helpful, please give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 anytime 24/7. Our advocates are here to provide a safe, confidential, and anonymous place for you to talk. We can also look up programs in your area, if you’d like.

    Your husband should never have talked to, or treated you in the ways he did. No one has the right to hurt you, verbally, emotionally, physically. You are absolutely right that your decisions are yours alone to make, whether it’s what you eat, how you dress, where you do, what you do or say. Being broken down by aggression, criticism, and force for months on end is a terrifying and painful situation that no one should have to experience. I know you don’t feel strong right now, and I hope that you’re able to see that your strength and resilience kept you alive, and saved your life. You deserve a life of safety and peace.

    We are here if you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  36. Thank you:) the more stories I read and the more support I receive a tiny part of me begins to heal. That is enough yor now. I am trying my best to take care of myself and take each day at a tune knowing that I will never go back yo him.

  37. It sounds like you are a hugely resourceful and strong woman. You have, like me, found strength and courage from inside and have begun to make the changes you need. Lots of people think leaving and ending the relationship is the hardest part, and in many ways it is; however dealing with the aftermath can be lonely and provokes so many feelings – at least it did in me and other I know who have been through it. We had children together, and they were my focus and I concentrated on them. The result though was that I tucked my own feelings away and didn’t acknowledge them. Now they are back!! I have just made an approach to a counselling service so I can move forward in a positive way. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that you obviously have the personal strength to get through this. Be kind to yourself, abusive people are actually very good at what they do, otherwise we would see through them sooner ! We all deserve to treated well by others, but also by ourselves. take care and stay strong x

  38. Sue,

    Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful and encouraging words with our blog community. You are completely right, it takes so much courage to take that huge step to leave and reach out and it is so important to recognize what is motivating you to stay away. That is definitely something that can be explored through counseling.

    Once again, thank you so much for sharing your kindness. I wish you the all the best! And know that the National Domestic Violence Hotline is always available as a source of support at 1800-799-7233.


  39. I used to be in a loving relationship with my husband for the past 28 years , I’m now 47 and am still numb to whats happened.
    He attacked me with a knife after blaming me for something the kids had written on Facebook.
    I have 4 kids, they missed their dad as he worked long hours truck driving as expressed how much they missed him on Facebook, he became paranoid about being talked about and instead of discussing it with them decided a knife attack was much more effective the look on his face told me he had snapped and I was his was to tell our family of what he was feeling.
    My 16 yr old son begged his dad to stop he proceeded to kick us out of the house 9 pm at night.
    After hearing our youngest 2 girls crying about where we’re we to sleep mum he told me to stay and he would leave.
    He did, he took all his clothes , his guns, from the safe and slept in the bush for a week before asking to come back to live in the shed at our property. I agreed as long as he stayed away from me. He padlocked the gate in the back garden so cutting off access to the backyard.
    I was distressed that he still had his guns and could acsess the house whenever he wanted as he had the gate keys and felt so unsafe.
    He cancelled joint account and got his own account with another account I could access for food for kids.
    Ever time I ask where are the guns he says don’t push it or else, it sent a chill down my spine. I don’t have money to get out and away from him.
    I finally told my health care nurse who informed my doctor who wanted to report him to police ! I begged them not too by saying I would do it! I went to cop shop and asked them as if I was asking for advice for a friend , they wanted a full report but I felt so uneasy like I was sobbing in my best mate and left with pamphlets instead. After balling my eyes out in his car which he lets me use for school runs only, I went to get forms from local Centrelink government agency telling them I was separated , and without a job ( I was partner in his truck business prior to this all happening, had to give up nursing for 20 years to help him and raise kids).
    His business went broke and he hadn’t been paying my tax instalments and soon found myself bankrupt on top of it all, the tax man wants my share of house, but are letting us live there as I have no income and are slightly disabled from and injury I received helping unload bloody oil drums on my own!!
    I can’t return to nursing as I’ve left it too long, the government paperwork I have to fill in is drowning me and I am still heartbroken , alone in the house with my 4 kids who still ask where’s their dad, he sees them when he wants!! I am totally broken and can barely write this without screaming!!
    It’s not to first time and I don’t know why I have blocked out the time he grabbed me around the throat after a dinner party at home that he came home too after working! We all welcomed him like any normal day but after everyone left he said he will sleep in spare room and after asking why , he grabbed my throat and spits in my face that how dare I have my family over when he comes home from work!!
    Since then he stayed at work later and later leading to this episode with the knife!!
    He’s getting help with psych doctor as he said he’s going to kill himself and has diabetes and wants my help otherwise he’s got no reason to live!
    I hate him and miss him at the same time and wish I had the money to get my own place but can’t !!!

  40. Maggie,

    I know it is not easy sharing all that has happened to you. My goodness, you are in an extremely abusive relationship. So much of what you have shared is not just physical abuse, but even emotional abuse. Most concerning is the extent of the physical abuse you have just described. Attacking you with a knife and grabbing you around your throat, those are two extremely physically abusive situations that could have resulted in severe injuries or worse. The threats as well, from threatening you when you ask about his weapon, threatens suicide if you were to leave him, all the way to placing blame on you for things, these are things that are emotional abuse. It is even more concerning that some of the things that does drastically increase the chances of lethality in your situation. Your safety as well as the safety of your children is really on the line. I know all that has gone on has really broken you, and you are unsure of what to do. I want to let you know that there is help available for you. If you are able to, please give us a call. We have advocates here 24/7 to provide you with support and let you know what options are there. Please, when you can, call us at 1-800-799-7233. You do not deserve to be treated like this. You deserve to be treated with love, respect and never to be physically harmed.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  41. HI there,
    You and I are in the same boat. Two years ago after Eight years of marriage and 13 years of abuse, left my husband and father to my 9 and 5 year old children. Because of the children, I need to stay in contact with their dad. This makes me upset, and I too cry a lot. I cry out of anger, I cry out of sadness. You will cry and grieve, but remember, you are not a victim you are a survivor. In sharing your story, you are inspiring others. You did nothing wrong. You are beautiful and deserve to be treated with dignity. Crying doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.

  42. Bernadette,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. Those beautiful words of encouragement can make a world of difference for people who have experienced domestic violence. Remember that healing takes time, and there is no timeline to that process. If you would like to talk through what has happened or need help finding support services in your area, please don’t hesitate to give us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a call at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support and your call is completely anonymous and confidential.



  43. I’ve been in an abusive relationship for 5 years and I found the courage to leave him 7 months ago. It was really hard because I’ve change city to be with him and I was all alone (my real close friends and family are at 10 hours from me!) and I could not told them what happened because I didn’t want to worried them about me. It was complicated but I discovered that a lot of good people were willing to help me get out of there, even tho they never knew how he acted with me.
    I sometimes got difficulties to concentrate at work, falling asleep or enjoy activities because I’m often just… angry, sad.. I don’t know exactly but I feel so stupid and blind. When I imagined myself leaving, I couldn’t figure out HOW I could do that. What’s hurting me the most it’s I have the feeling he didn’t love me, he love what he was trying to make me be. I feel like a damaged good. I feel like I would like to see my ex cry and be sorry for what he did to me but he’s moving on with his life and all is okeydokey for him and it make me feel like… well like s***.
    I have a double life more or less: I have new friends (I let the ones I had in common with my ex go, anyway, I didn’t told them why I left because I didn’t wanted him to be alone…. I wanted him to have support), a guy that love me (and he’s a fresh breeze in my life, I can tell you!!) but deep down, I’m unable to pass over what I’ve let myself endure for 5 years and I feel I’m not fair with the new guy because my patience, ability to show love and commitment issues don’t come naturally now. Also, when something upset me, I have no patience whatsoever and I just ”retrieve” in my head and let the person talk without listening to them).
    The verbal and physical abuses were hard to cope to but, the aftermath of living ”broken” and be strong so the people close to me cannot tell what I went through are equally hard. I’m awaiting to see a psychologist who will help me ”rewire” my way of thoughts. I should have took a rendezvous sooner but I was sure I could cope with all that alone… Boy, I was soooo wrong!!

  44. Marie,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like it has been challenging to find that balance and really get in touch with your healing process after the relationship ends. I am so glad you have found so many supportive people in your life, it sounds like that has made a difference for you. At the hotline, we know that leaving an abusive relationship is a huge step, but it is not the last. And I am so glad you are continuing to reach out for help. It’s understandable to seek the remorse from your ex, but here we know that abusers do not acknowledge their behaviors as abusive and they are able to continue justifying their actions. It is also understandable to want to keep parts of your life hidden from those close to the new you, know that there is so much help out there, so that you do not have to do this on your own.

    It sounds like you have taken so many steps to get your life back, and that takes so much courage. Know that we, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, is always available to offer guidance and support at 1800-799-7233. Advocates are available 24/7 and your call is completely anonymous and confidential. We can help you find local resources as well as talk about helpful strategies to help through this process.

    Until then,


  45. My situation seems different on the outside but is the same to many of these stories. I was in a relationship with a woman for 2 years. Over time I found out she had a drinking problem. Of course I find this out after I was in love with her. When she didnt drink she was a wonderful woman who I wanted to ask to marry me. However once the drinking began I saw her own family pull away from her and I became the punching bag. I kept thinking it would stop and things would get better but they never did. I mean things would be ok a few weeks then right back. She would talk to ex-boyfriends etc. Then came the hitting and verbal attacks. Finally this week I called the cops and had her arrested for DV after hitting me, verbally attacking me and just being hateful and destructive. I refused to deal with it or take it anymore. Just as all of you who have been here we do not deserve to be abused and mistreated. I appreciate all the stories here as they are helpful in letting me know I am not alone. I am a sensitive man and I do love her but not when she is drunk. Unfortunately they are a package deal that I am unwilling to live with anymore. I miss her some right now but I did get a restraining order so she can’t harass me anymore. I just need some time to heal now. Again thank you all for sharing your messages. It really does help!


  46. Todd,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. It sounds like you’ve been through a really overwhelming and stressful situation. I’m glad to hear reaching out and participating in our blog community has been helpful. If you ever need to talk, please know an advocate is available 24/7.

    By phone, call 1-800-799-7233, 24 hours a day.
    By chat, thehotline.org, Monday-Friday 9 AM – 7 PM CST.
    All services are confidential and anonymous.


  47. I like to think I am a smart woman. I was married for 18 years, a good marriage for the most part but it fell apart rather quickly when we just seemed to grow apart. Although I wanted the divorce(most of the time), it was devastating. I had been a stay at home mother for 16 years and was terrified as to what I would do. Anyway, I will try to make my story as short as possible. I went on a dating site, not really because I felt like it but I couldn’t stop crying and wanted the pain to stop. 3 weeks after my husband moved out I met a man. I know it was quick but he took my pain away….we had fun, danced and he made me feel like a woman again(I hadn’t had sex with my husband for 2 years). We have been together on and off for almost 5 years. In that time he has hit me about 5 times…one time choking me, one time a slap, one time he held me hostage. Anyway, I finally broke up with him about 4 weeks ago(he didn’t hit me, we just fight all the time)…but why do I doubt myself that it was even abuse? Why do I think that maybe my quick temper caused this incidents and why do I miss him and love him so? I NEVER would have thought I would be this woman. We had great sex, he made me feel like he loved me so very much the majority of the time, but when he was bad he was evil. I am going through this all alone with no family or friends and it is extremely hard. I keep thinking I made a mistake. In the other times I have broken up with him he has called and texted constantly either being really nice or turning mean when he didn’t get his way calling me a bitch, etc. This time he has not tried to contact me which I KNOW in my head s=is a good thing. What is wrong with me?!

  48. Dear Marlene,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. 18 years is a long time to stay in an abusive relationship. I’m sorry you were so traumatized by the situation. It sound like you could possibly benefit from some professional therapy to discuss the questions you have asked. Many local domestic violence agencies have therapy and support groups that are crucial to helping women who have been in domestic violence.Please know that you are not alone. We are here to listen and help you through this process. The number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline is (800) 799-7233.

    Hotline Advocate_MT

  49. The wounds are still so fresh. 2 weeks ago today I was drug from my car, chocked, and thrown off a 5 ft retaining wall by the man I thought I was going to marry. I spent the next morning in the er, lying about what really happened. I was put in a leg immobilizer, and given crutches until I am able to meet with a physical therapy Dr. (I start physical therapy tomorrow) The week that followed the incident was even worse.i was unable to drive, and hardly able to walk. He swore he would care for me during my time of healing and that nothing like that would ever happen again. He lied. He left me all day and all night. He’d take my phone, and my car and leave me all alone in our apartment. I felt like a prisoner. Helpless and desperately needing my abuser. 1 week ago today I was laying on the couch icing my knee, still in the immobilizer and using crutches. I confronted him about his behavior, and I told him the honest truth “you are replaceable”. He went crazy. He grabbed me by the jacket, lifting the top portion of my body then slammed me back down, hitting my head in the armrest. I started screaming, I needed help. Then every thing slowed down; I thought I was going to die. When he finally eased off my neck, I immediately began to cry. I feel like the tears haven’t stopped since, sometimes I just run out of them for a while. The next day when he left for work he left my car keys and phone, probably by accident, as he was running late. I called 911. 2 officer’s came to our apartment. I told them what happened. Every thing. Even from the prior week. They stayed with me while I called family to come get me. They then went to his job and arrested him for felony assault by strangulation. It’s been a week, I’ve been staying with my father, and he’s been so supportive, as I’m still unable to drive. Word of the abuse has spread to our circle of family and friends, and mostly everyone has reached out to me offering their support. For that I am truly grateful. I still feel so alone. I miss him. I miss our life before. He used to make me so happy. I think of him in jail and feel guilty for putting him there. I’m barely able to sleep, or eat. I feel like I have lost all control. I cry constantly. Why do I feel like I am to blame for all this? Sometimes I regret calling the police. I feel had I not told him he was replaceable, that none of it would have happened. Help. I just want my life back.

  50. Sydney,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to our blog community. This sounds like such a scary and dangerous situation and I am so glad to hear that you safe with your father and have found support from your friends. It is completely understandable to continue to feel hurt and confused with everything that has happened. You have described severe physical violence and we know that that is the escalation of all the other abuse tactics that batterers will use to gain and maintain power and control over their partner. The isolation, manipulation, intimidation and extreme control is what makes the healing process so difficult. You took some huge steps by calling the police to get safe and it sounds like they recognized how dangerous the situation was and decided to arrest him. It is totally normal to feel guilty for what happened but know that his consequences are not your responsibility, just like his behaviors weren’t. His behaviors are his choices and there is nothing that you can say or do to provoke this response.

    Of course, recognizing these concepts is way easier said than done. Know that healing is a process and there is no timeline to it. I encourage you to give us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a call at 1800-799-7233. Advocates are available 24/7 and your call is completely anonymous and confidential. We are available to help you talk through what has happened as well as help you brainstorm healing strategies.

    Until then,


  51. I just placed a protective order against my ex boyfriend after he physically abused and strangled me to the point of almost losing consciousness. I feel torn between what I know in my head is right for my own personal safety and my emotions of wanting to fix it. I keep saying I did nothing to deserve what he did to me BUT why do I feel these feelings of I odd something wrong how can I help him,etc? I’ve changed my number and blocked him from all contact. I have this feeling of “it was only one time” and you ran out on him AS IF I HAD NO REASON TO RUN. Is this a normal process or am I completely out of touch with reality??

  52. Karen,

    What you are experiencing is absolutely normal. It is very common to want to help or change the people who are abusive to us. But they are not our responsibility and there is nothing you can do to make him change. He needs to realize what he is doing for himself and want to change for himself. Its not safe or fair for you to be expect to stick around for a future that may never happen. But we live in a society that gives us the message that we need to stick it through the end, that we need to stand by our partner. Know that this is not your fault and that you did everything you can to stay safe. Which is a very good thing.

    I would encourage you to give us a call at 1(800)799.7233. We are here 24/7 and we are completely confidential/anonymous. We can talk about some of these issues with you and get you connected to local resources, like counseling and support groups, that can help.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  53. Ok, this might seem really silly, and I might be taking it too far by going here. Here’s the thing. My dad was a nice guy during the day. Things between us were just fine during the day. At night, he was vurably abusive because of a problem I couldn’t controll. This all started when I was 5 (after my parents broke up) and continued for 5 YEARS every night I soend with him (50% of my nights). The worst part… This all ended 10 years ago (when my mom found out and I stopped living with my dad). He’s a nice guy now. He really has changed for the better, but my personal demons still bother me about the whole thing. So yeah, maybe i’m taking this a little too far.

  54. Shay,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to our blog community. It is understandable to continue to feel confused and overwhelmed after a trauma you endured. Healing does not have a timeline, it is a process. It is important to find strategies to heal now that you feel safe. Feel free to contact us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 1800-799-7233. An advocate can help you brainstorm helpful strategies as well as look for local resources to help.

    Until then,


  55. I was in a 6 year verbally abusive relationship and was constantly told that i was fat, ugly, stupid, worthless, that i would never get anywhere in life that due to that he no longer sexually desired me which made me feel and believe what he would tell me. I started to believe that i was ugly and that i wasn’t good enough for him and no matter what i did to make things better it never was enough for him. I was able to get away from him and its now been 1 year, but i constantly fight myself to not contact him or want him back when i feel sad and lonely. I know that i am better off without him, i just don’t know how to move on…help.

  56. Anne,

    What courage and strength it must have taken to walk away from such a verbally abusive relationship. It must have been horrible having someone treat you so terribly and say such awful things to you. You did not, in any way shape or form, deserve to be treated that way. One year is such a huge benchmark to have reached. I know that you sometimes struggle with thoughts of missing him when you are lonely; I want you to know that it is normal to feel that way. This is someone who you were in a relationship with and spent time with so it is natural that you will sometimes miss him. However, how he treated you, through emotional and verbal abuse, was and is never ok. I want you to know that there is help available for you that can help you deal with the emotions you are having and get you the support that you need as you take steps to move forward with your life. Please give us a call at our 24-7 Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are completely confidential and anonymous and are here for you to get you support. I know it is not easy, but support is there to help you along the process. You deserve to be respected, treated well, and to never be abused. We hope to hear from you soon. Thanks and take care.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  57. I think this is the best website thus far that I have read online. I would agree with all steps. Too many times I have read the fears and self-doubt or worrying about whether “he really loved me or not” or “did he find another so quickly” is useless and troublesome replies from other readers. The truth is a person should not be at risk with their life or put at risk other’s lives they care about. I wish I had known exactly what to have expected from someone who is an abuser/batterer before I got involved with him. If I knew what all the signs and symptoms were as well as the stages, I would have ran far away from him in the very beginning. Now, I know exactly what domestic violence is and what it means which is not the way a true love relationship should be even if he said he loved me. To abusers, saying, “I love you” or “I hate you” is just a manipulative device for them because their view of their partner is extremely distorted and mixed up. They have issues with control and self-esteem as well as insecurities. Therefore, it’s toxic and no good.

  58. Hello Cheryl,

    We’re so glad that you found our blog post helpful. As the post said, everyone has to find what works for them during their healing process, and that process often looks different for each person. Even with similar experiences, people may be at different points in their healing. It can be frustrating to not be at the place we want to be, or want someone else to be, and it’s important to practice patience and understanding during these times. Being in an abusive relationship is incredibly traumatic, as I’m sure you know, and healing doesn’t happen all at once. Rebuilding self-esteem, establishing safety, and finding closure are all incredibly important processes that take time.

    It can be helpful to learn about the dynamics of domestic violence and the warning signs of abuse as you work to feel safe and begin to trust again, as well as potentially look towards being in another relationship. For people who would like more information on those warning signs, you can find more information here.

    Healing is personal journey, and we’re so thankful for the caring community that comes together here to support and uplift one another. Sharing what we’ve gone through with others can be an incredibly powerful and courageous experience.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  59. I’ve been having a lot of issues lately. I broke up with my boyfriend of three years last year. For the first half of the relationship, he was amazing. He treated me with respect, made me laugh, and just made me fall madly in love with him. When we got to the halfway point to our relationship, he changed. I don’t know how or why but he became abusive. Whenever I looked at another guy or did something he didn’t approve of,like hanging out with friends without him, he would scream at me. I would feel so afraid and small during those moments. Eventually those screams turned into physical abuse. He would slap me, push me, and he even choked me.When he got drunk he would force me into having sex with him. And in the beginning I thought i deserved it. He made me feel so worthless. Towards the end, I knew I had to get out. I knew that if i stayed with him I would end up dead. I would try to break up with him but he would threaten to kill himself. I didn’t want that to happen. No matter how much I hate him I would never want that to happen I eventually went away to college and found the courage to break up with him. I thought that would be the end of that but now I can’t trust any guy. In the back of my mind I always think that they’ll eventually start abusing me like he did. I broke off something with this sweet guy recently because I just didn’t want to be hurt again. What makes matters worse is that he has a girlfriend. They’re so happy together and his life is going so well. I tried blocking him on Facebook but we do have mutual friends. So, I see pictures of them all the time. How come his life is going so well and I’m the one crying myself to sleep every night? I don’t understand. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want to be alone but I don’t think I can survive another abusive relationship.

  60. Dear Heather,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Many abusive relationships start out very sweet and loving. It is the way that these abusers trap us. Eventually we see the other side of their character. The monster that harms us in very ugly ways. You never deserved any of the horrible treatment you described. It was his way of having power and control over you. I am so glad that you were able to get away from the relationship.

    Heather it takes time to trust again. Maybe counseling would help you. I know it seems like he is happy with his new girlfriend. Remember this is the way your relationship started too. Unfortunately this woman will also end up being treated abusively. It is just a matter of time. Unfortunately, most abusers never change because they do not take responsibility for being abusive. Please call us so that we can discuss resources that may help you. The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is (800) 799-7233. We are here to help.

    Hotline Advocate MT

  61. After dealing with abuse for almost twenty four years, unless it’s physical abuse no one really cares. The power and control wheel means nothing unless documented physical abuse occurs. My ex has utilized the court system to play games for over a decade; the courthouse is a devil’s playground, especially if you have kids. It has run the gamut of being out of compliance with support and insurance too many times to count, lying about my withholding visitation when he wasn’t showing up, then refusing to watch our kids during treatment while I was treated for a physical illness (which no doubt was acerbated by stress), to stalking my residence, unlawfully refusing me contact with the children and yet he’s never once been held accountable to those actions. A judge agreed he was abusive, but the civil restraining order I received means nothing. Abusers will always find a way to harass you and no one ever addresses behaviors outside of physical violence. Shouldn’t there be laws against harassment by these tactics? I understand that physical violence is an entirely different thing. I have experienced that abuse as well. Yet, even after separation occurs, the abuser still finds ways to harass and control you. The laws need to catch up and so do those fighting DV. (end rant)

  62. Hi Samantha,

    Thank you for reaching out. It sounds like your abuser is manipulative and know how to use the court system against you. It’s unfair and unjust. You’re right in that courts can be slow in catching up with the tactics that abusers use. Most states do have laws against stalking and harassment, but not every state is equal. I’m not sure what state you’re in, but you may consider calling us at 1-800-799-7233 to get more information and resources. We’re anonymous and confidential.

    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate VG

  63. Abusers don’t change they are wonderful at impersonating the loving, caring, apologetic personas that they want you to see and believe but they don’t change. Ever. The abuse escalates and doesn’t end. AA meetings help curb the alcohol abuse but not the physical or emotional abuse he has shown you. Please leave. I live outside of Los Angeles but am willing to help you find a job or housing if you want to leave. I was a victim of abuse in my first marriage and only 25 years later can I see clearly that abusers will claim and take away your life anyway they can. They wont stop until they do.

  64. Cali,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with out blog community. We do know that abusers change very rarely and it can be incredibly difficult to grapple with that truth. I’m sorry to hear that you have gone through all that but it is heartening to hear that you have gotten out. Its also really important to know that everyone has their own process and that what is right for one person may not be right for another. There is no right or wrong when choosing how to deal and get out of an abusive situation. The survivor/victim is always the expert and its important that they do what they think is best.

    Thanks again for reaching out and if there is anything we can do to help, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1 (800)-799-7233.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  65. I divorced the sociopathic child molester serial rapist stalker possible serial killer father of my children when they were toddlers. I raised them 99+ % without child support in extreme poverty. My kids are now adults in their late 40’s.

    My son’s verbal emotional psychological abuse is almost a carbon copy of my ex-husbands. It hurts me very much.
    He has verbally emotionally psychologically abused me from age 3 until now, despite my quietly hanging up on him, in recent years, when he starts in, during phone conversations.

    Both my adult son & daughter seem to blame me for being the target of their father.

    My adult daughter married into money, and my son-in-law & his parents treat me like I am less than human/inferior/invisible.

    They have plenty of money, and so are able to fly to another state, where my adult daughter, son-in-law, and my grandkids live, whenever they like, and spend much more time with them than I do.

    They have been the preferred grandparents, while I, living in extreme poverty on disability, as a result of divorcing my kids’ father and surviving years of battering and nearly being murdered several times while married, and a decade of being stalked by him after I divorced him, am treated very disrespectfully by my kids, including like I am afterthought in being included in grand parenting my grandkids, often, although my daughter did pay my airfare and feed and house me to come visit a few years ago. She also invited me to come live near her so she could drop off the grandkids and she could get some personal time for herself.

    I feel my kids, my son-in-law, “the other grandparents” should be treating me with respect and inclusion, and I should be recognized as an extraordinary survivor. But they don’t. They seem invested in the sexist “status quo.”

    I am in the process of finding a job, now, after decades of therapy to try to deal with the trauma I experienced not only from my ex-husband, but from this society in general, for being uppity enough that I wanted my children and me to live, and thrive, despite the horror my then husband put us through.

    My son seems to look up to my ex-husband, moved near him, and spends a lot of time with him. Only a few months ago, 40 yrs. after I divorced him, my son insisted that if I wanted an address to mail him/my son a birthday card, I would have to mail it to my ex-husband’s address. I said I would never do that.

    My son [on behalf of his dad or manipulated by his dad?] said that his dad has changed, and is now a safe person. But, for my safety, I decided a long time ago I will never have contact with his dad again.

    My daughter seems loyal to and influenced by my son more than she is loyal to and influenced by me.

    When we were being stalked, and forced to live in extreme poverty, for my children’s entire childhoods, it was very hard to parent my kids as well as I originally intended to do, while going to school full time to obtain marketable job skills, to better support them, in the midst of all that, so I find myself blaming myself for how rude, abusive, derisive my adult kids often are with me.The bond of trust between me and them was severely injured.

    But they are both adults, now, and responsible for their behavior.

    Recently, when I asked my son for a small amount of money to prevent me from being homeless due to my very low income, and a temporary health crisis,[he usually earns a lot of money in a very “in-demand” trade,] he asked me for the money back after I had spent it and couldn’t repay him.

    Then both adult kids cut off all contact with me suddenly, such that I cannot now continue to have weekly phone conversations with my granddaughters, as I have had, for many years. Not being able to talk with my grandkids breaks my heart. So does not being able to talk with my daughter.

    These phone calls are very important to me, especially, because I told myself, as I survived all manner of adversity as an ex-battered wife and single parent without child support, that I was committed to ending the cycle of domestic violence in my family, and passing kinder, more peaceable, encouraging, democratic ways of parenting on to future generations. I have lived through hell to have those playful, loving conversations with my grandkids.

    I am feeling a lot of emotional pain as result of both adult kids cutting off contact with me, on the one hand.

    On the other hand, I have tried very hard to “be there” for my kids, and to talk with them about how to act assertively, yet kindly, whereas they seem to believe that “being tough” is the preferred way to act, and that kindness equals weakness.

    I am now an older woman.

    I love my kids dearly, and have laid myself on the line for them to be able to live, many, many times over, and I am TIRED of the disrespect they repeatedly show me, the lack of empathy, the blame of me for having been the target of domestic violence.

    I am NOT going to let them sabotage my going and getting a job and getting on with my life, if I can help it!

    I hope, eventually, to have enough income to send each adult child a large amount of money to make up for the deprivation they went though as kids, as well as so I can meet my own needs more effectively. I have not ever been able to do so in the past.

    When I’ve apologized to my son, he’s only taken the opportunity to be meaner, more manipulative, and blameful.

    On the other hand, I feel such intense emotional pain as a result of my kids cutting off contact I can barely stand it, especially because contact with my grandkids has also been cut off.

    I tried to get both kids to quit mentally abusing me, but they continued on doing it. I am trying to be peaceable, calm, forgiving, yet their treatment of me hurts so much, I almost would like to cut off all contact with THEM!

    On the other hand, I want to “keep the door open” for them, but meanwhile, get on with my life, and not let them ruin what life I have left.

    Any suggestions???

  66. Hello, Administrators:

    I thought you were only going to post my first name. I feel very unsafe since you posted my last name, as well.
    Could you please remove my last name from my comment?



  67. Hello Survivor,

    It appears that you’ve updated your comments so that they no longer include personal information. I’m glad you were able to do that; your safety is definitely a priority. That’s why it is the first thing addressed in our community guidelines. We want to create a space where everyone feels safe, and being aware of the personal information available online is a big piece of every person’s safety.

    Please let us know if there are any questions about our community guidelines, which can be found here. Our advocates are also here 24/7 to discuss online safety with regards to abusive relationships at 1-800-799-7233. All calls are confidential and anonymous.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  68. Hello Survivor,

    Your family situation sounds incredibly difficult and I can hear how long you’ve been hurt by the choices of others. You are absolutely right that your adult children are responsible for their behavior, and they have no right to be abusive to you. It must incredibly painful to recognize your ex-husband’s behavior in your son, and to see your daughter choose a relationship with someone who hurts you. Most of all, I hear how much you love and miss your grandchildren.

    It sounds like you’re trying to figure out how best to protect and honor yourself while navigating relationships with your children and grandchildren. This can be a difficult thing for a family that doesn’t have a history of abuser; that history definitely makes the dynamic so much more challenging. You have the right to be safe, and no one, regardless of their relationship to you, has the right to be abusive.

    While the decision of if and how to proceed with family relationships is a choice that only you have the right to make, we are here as a safe place for you to talk. Feel free to call us at 1-800-799-7233 24/7; all calls are confidential and anonymous. We can also discuss how you’re taking care of yourself in this stressful and painful time. Perhaps spending time doing something you enjoy, going for a walk, or talking with a friend can provide a bit of needed rest.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  69. Hello, my name is Sara and 6 months ago I left a physically and mentally abusive relationship. I was with my abuser for over 5 years. Through out the five years I had left and came back a few times. Every time I left he would say all the right things to get me back. Saying he was going to change and how much he loved me. I believed it every time too, because I knew he wasn’t a bad person he just had his own demons he had to deal with and I wanted to help him conquer that. He used to spit in my face dump drinks on my head, wrap his hands around my neck and there was a lot of instances where he would bump into me “by accident” and would result in me getting hurt. There was an extreme about on mental abusive on top of all of that. We had lived with a roommate and over time he almost became my protecter and I ended up falling for me. I then finally found the strength to leave and did so. I am now currently dating this new guy, but I can’t help how guilty I feel about leaving my ex like that. Now just last week he got into a fight with a new roommate he has and the roommate knocked him out and left him on the floor to die, while he proceeded to watch tv with my ex next to him on the floor in a pool of his own blood. My ex also has a previous head injury, which he used as an excuse many of times for the way he acted and I always sympathized, due to that fact. So, someone else came home and found him on the floor and drove him to the local hospital (which is where I work. I received a phone call that morning from my work, but thought it was just them trying to call me in early. I didn’t answer the call, but he was then med flighted to a larger hospital to get the treatment that he needs. He is now still in the hospital recovering from this event and I am left feeling so sorry for everything. I am regretting ever leaving him and keep thinking if I stayed with him none of this would ever happen. I am feeling so guilty I can’t even look at my new boyfriend without wanting to cry. My ex doesn’t want anything to do with me now, but I want to reach out so badly to him. I still care for him and I will always love him. I didn’t leave him, because I didn’t love him, I just knew I couldn’t live my life like that any longer. I feel like he is this drug that I can’t get away from and I am almost feeling like he was my one true love and I won’t feel the same way about anyone else ever. I love my new boyfriend and he is a wonderful man and I couldn’t ask for anything more, but I feel like I can’t love anyone the way I loved my ex and it is killing me that he couldn’t get his crap together so we could have lived a happy life like we once did before everything hit the fan. I feel like I ruined his life and now he is on a downward spiral and all I want to do is help him. He probably wants nothing to do with me anyway, but how can I stop feeling so guilty. Any advice anyone???

  70. Sara,

    Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like you are going through an incredibly difficult situation. We know here that abuse is always a choice and that abusive people, regardless of mental illness, injury or past experience with abuse, choose to be abusive. They do it in order to have power and control over their partners. There is literally nothing that you could do to force him or make him be abusive. He is the only person responsible for his actions. You left because you needed to stay safe. You did exactly what you needed to in order to survive and there is nothing wrong with that. Love is respect, it is treating the other person with dignity and support, it is not abuse. You have nothing to do with the things that happened to your ex. You can’t fix him or change him. And most of all you deserve to be safe and supported.

    It may be a really good idea to get a hold of some counseling or support groups. It sounds like you have a lot of trauma to process and counseling can help. I would encourage you to give us a call at 1 (800) 799-7233. We are here 24/7 and we are confidential/anonymous. We can talk about your situation, develop a plan for your safety and get you connected to resources that can help, like counseling. Know that you are not alone and that you don’t have to face this by yourself.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  71. Hi
    It’s been nearly a year since I left my abusive marriage of 13 years. I still find myself trying to find that elusive closure. Today I fell into tears at the supermarket and I don’t really understand why I still get like that. My marriage was violent and filled with emotional abuse and I lived in fear for the most part. The last few years I was paranoid that my husband wanted to kill me. Those fears came to realisation in that six months before I left he tried to suffocate me while sleeping and then the last violent incident where he choked me. That was it for me, I was terrified. Yet even saying that I felt I was still in love with him. I can’t figure out if that was a form of trauma bonding it’s so hard to figure out sometimes. He could be so loving and caring at times, he said lovely things, though I will admit they seemed fake at times. It was so hard to work out what was going on. To the outside world he was charming, everyone seemed to think he adored me and yet then bang…most of the time alcohol was involved but there were times it wasn’t.
    Anyway I’ve moved away with my child and have a job it’s not much but it helps, I am studying and trying to get out do new things and meet people in this new place. I want to make a new life and get a job that can sustain me into my future. I guess my point is even when you try so hard to make your life work it is so complicated, the emotions, the trauma all haunt me daily. I wonder if I am just putting up a facade of strength to tell you the truth because I don’t want to admit to myself, family or my counsellor that inside I feel so different. I just found this article today and thought I would comment. It is most likely just an intense loneliness that has taken hold of me. I know I am doing the right things and must say even found myself laughing with a stranger one day last week when I went out to a class. It surprised me a little as I never thought I’d do that again. I feel he took so much from me…especially my trust. I don’t think I will ever be capable of having another intimate relationship and that scares me too. Still it’s life I just have to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving toward that closure but boy oh boy even now it is still a difficult journey. Anyway I just thought I would share my thoughts, I don’t mean to sound pessimistic I know it takes time. 🙂

  72. Another Survivor,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. Wow, it sounds like a lot has happened, and it is completely understandable to continue to feel overwhelmed by it all. This past year, I am sure, has been filled with so many conflicting emotions and that is totally normal. We know that abusive relationships take so much to get through that even once the relationship ends, there are still so many things to process. And that healing process does not have a timeline.

    It sounds like you’ve taken so many huge steps and are making an effort to really move through this, which isn’t easy to do and needs to be celebrated! Know that the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to help you through this process by offering support and suggestions. Give us a call at 1800-799-7233, we are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. We may also be able to help you locate a local domestic violence support group.

    Until then,

  73. What happened to me was not that bad, especially compared to a lot of the things that women have talked about on this site. On my birthday a month ago, my husband was trying to start a fight with me and video taping me to try to get me to react irrationally. I assume that he intended to shame me the next morning with the videos. I decided to just leave instead. As I was getting into my vehicle to drive away, he pulled me out by my wrists and threw me onto the ground. I landed on my back and since my keys were in my hand, the key chain broke and my keys went everywhere. I had bruises in the shapes of fingers. I left and told him that we are getting divorced because of this. He states that I am crazy and that this never happened. He blames my PTSD for our constant fights. I have been seeking counselling for my PTSD becasue of these frequent comments that he makes. He hates my of my friends and would start an argument anytime I wanted to spend time with them. He would get angry anytime I went to visit my family and would refuse to join me. He says that I do the dishes wrong, that I don’t take out the trash incorrectly, and that I do not manage my money right. It wasn’t until he threw me on the ground and I felt no other choice than to leave that I started reflecting on how scared I have been of him during the course of our short marriage. I feared making him angry constantly because one minute he was happy and the next he was kicking the dog or telling me that it was my fault that he couldn’t find a spoon to eat his ice cream with. It was beyond walking on egg shells. I’m sorry to whine. I don’t know where to go from here. I can’t find the strength to fill out the divorce papers and converse with him about them. I feel proud that I freed myself but my heart still feels really heavy.

  74. Dear Sarah,
    Any abuse is serious abuse. Talking about what you have been through is not whining. It is an important part of processing what you have been through. You have showed so much courage and strength by leaving. Of course your heart is still heavy. It takes time to work through the trauma of abuse and the break up of a marriage. It sounds like the relationship was moving from emotional and verbal abuse to physical abuse. This is very common. Abusers blame their partners for everything and believe me when I say none of it was your fault. You spoke about how he did not like your friends or family. Isolation is a tactic abusers use to keep their power and control over their victims. Please take care of yourself. You may want to consider some counseling and/or support groups at your local domestic violence agency. Call us if you would like the phone number and know that we are here to support you 24/7. The number for the National Domestic Violence hotline is (800) 799-7233.

    Hotline Advocate MT

  75. I’ve been with my husband for 25 years. When we met there were signs now that I see but at the same time we just seemed so happy. The good outweighed the bad. On the day that I put him out two months ago, there was an anger in his eye that was so dark and so deep that I didn’t know who he was. We weren’t arguing, it was just a slow day. I was doing everything myself as always. There was a select list that he would do just to keep the peace, other than that I should never ask. I was doing the dishes, couldn’t open a jar and I thought he’s right here let me just ask. He had opened jars for me before with no problem. He went from 0 to 60 in two seconds flat and that scared me in a way that I had never been scared before. The anger was a level I had never seen before, his eyes were dark. I was running up the stairs and he was right behind me and the fear was huge. We have been through this dance so many times that he thought we were following the same pattern, he vents his anger at me and I let him back in after a few days. This time my daughter ran down the stairs, got between us said Mom how many times do you have to go through this, I’ll give you the money he gives you if you just put him out right now. I did. At that moment I felt relieved. She hasn’t given me the money because the truth is, she didn’t have it. She just wanted me to put my oh but sometimes we’re happy and I need his money logic aside. The money has been hard. I’ve started going out after midnight and collecting bottles from my neighbor’s trash. I had a yard sale and sold things that I may have to replace one day but for now, we’re eating and the kids are getting what they need. I’m struggling in my head. A piece of me knows that I don’t want him back and that this is going to all pass but the bigger piece of me is sad and confused. At first I felt relief. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t spend my entire day thinking, how can I make this work, is talking to him now a good time, is he going to reject me if I try to talk to him, is he going to ignore me and change my whole mood. He’s a passive aggressive (that is the BEST term I have ever discovered) and so I spent most of my 25 years thinking how can I make this work. That was what our relationship was based on. Now I spend most of my day thinking how did this happen, why were you taught to take care of everyone else and not yourself and why have you passed this on to your kids, how do I stop doing that, why do I want him to come back, even I don’t understand that, how do I stop this pain that comes over me in unexpected waves, how do I go to the supermarket without thinking about what he likes to eat and why does it hurt so bad for me to think about him. People can tell you to love yourself, carve out your me time, distract yourself and that does work but at some point it just creeps inside your head and your body feels sad and heavy. You have not had a me in over a decade, who the heck is me? I haven’t slept in years. I’ve been okay about not contacting him. Even though we have kids I’ve kept it extremely minimal. Talking to him gives me anxiety. I was texting him once a week but I’ve even stopped that now. I don’t need to contact him about the kids, he knows where they are. Secretly though, I want to contact him because the pain will stop. I want to say okay you’ve gotten your anger out, now it will be good for a period of time, someone love me even if it’s you, let the pain stop for a while. That’s just not reality, he’s the one that caused all of this pain to begin with and he’s going to do it again and again because he’s broken. Me expecting him to understand is like asking me to talk in Chinese, I can’t do it because I wasn’t taught. I’m sick of picking apart and over thinking this whole thing. I’m sick of the waves of pain. I just want a night where I sleep. I haven’t slept in almost 10 years. I just want one full day where I don’t think about him at all, where I don’t feel like calling and when I don’t break down and where I actually feel good for 24 whole hours. I haven’t done that in so long, I don’t even remember how to do it. I’m looking for free counseling, while holding a full time job and then some, trying to get my kids to help around the house more, leaving the mess (and I mean mess) to carve out me time. It’s all just falling apart. The joke is I am worried about the mess because he comes over to make the kids dinner while I’m at work and I don’t want him to see me failing. I don’t want him to see that the dishes aren’t done, the garbage is not out and that the laundry has taken over. The only three things he ever did in the entire house. I’m trying to stop caring that he is going to see these things. A loving man would then do those dishes, clean that laundry and put the garbage out, he doesn’t. He makes the kids dinner, cleans only the dishes he uses and then leaves. He is not a loving man, he is a passive aggressive. Such a hard concept.

  76. Hi Sara, Look up the term passive aggressive. This will lead you to other terms that really help. You’re not in a lesser situation, you’re at the beginning. The physical abuse begins one day, that was your day. I remember my day like it was yesterday, I wish I had left then. I hope you stay strong and stay free. I wasted a lot of years by not doing it when it started and it has ruined 4 lives. I hope you find the strength..

  77. I am a man and I am basically a prisoner in my own home. My girlfriend and I have 3 children together and she has 2 from previous relationships. She has previously called the police on me and had me arrested or removed from our home a combined total of 5 times and tells me she will call the police on me if I don’t do what she says because they will believe her and not me, especially with my arrest record. She also tells me that if I leave her I will never see my children or the 2 older children ever again and she will do everything she can to keep them from me. She is constantly refusing to let me in the home when I am late from work or school. She has stood in front of the doorway to our bedroom and refused to let me pass and tells me she will have me arrested if I try to push my way through. One the occasions where I did call the police on her I was the one who was removed from the home. I don’t cheat on her. I don’t drink or use drugs. The only times I leave the home are for work, school, the gym or errands and she is usually with me, except for work. She sometimes comes with me to school and waits outside because she thinks I am cheating on her. She bases this on the fact that my classes don’t always get out at the same time each day. Sometimes I literally have to wait in the car for an hour to go home after class because if I go home early she will expect me to be home at that time every day after class. She has told all of her friends that I am a terrible person and that I treat her poorly when the truth is I have a hard time biting my tongue when she verbally and emotionally attacks me. I am not allowed to have any friends, which she says she doesn’t tell me I can’t have friends, which is true, she doesn’t say that but her actions tell me that I can’t have friends. The only people I speak to about my situation are my coworkers when it gets to the point at a job that I can no longer hide it from them. She is constantly telling me I’m not a man and I’ll never be a man and that she wishes she could just kill me. Today she told me this because I was stuck at work for a half an hour after I was supposed to get out. Well she had to pick me up because we have only one car and our children have to be dropped off and picked up from school. She told me I am not a man because I didn’t refuse to stay after. I’m paid hourly and a condition of employment is that I have to stay after if requested and she pushed for me to get this job. I’m tired of hating my life and wishing for death or thinking about suicide. Nobody believes me because I am a tall and muscular guy so everyone immediately believes that I am the abuser if she claims that I am. I was raised by a mother who I watched get taken advantage of and abused by a step father who I despised. My mother raised me to respect women. I am not abusive toward women but I have no way of proving this because she knows how to act in front of people and can make herself cry. I do not know what to do….

  78. Sad and Confused,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like this has been such a confusing situation. It is completely normal and understandable to have very conflicting feelings over what has happened. We know that there is no timeline to the healing process. People will often try to offer a simple solution but that does not exist with such a difficult situation. I am not saying any of this to discourage you, I hope it can help explain why this has been so difficult. I hear all of the huge steps you have taken to make sure you and your children are safe, that resilience is what is important to focus on now. But of course, that’s easier said then done. Know that you can always call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233 to talk this trough as well as brainstorm new strategies to heal through this process. Advocates are available 24/7 to offer that guidance and support.

    Until then,

  79. Hi Guy,
    You’re describing a very scary and dangerous situation. It’s never ok for anyone to be abusive towards you, but we know abusers will come up with any type of excuse to justify their behavior. Your girlfriend is terrorizing and isolating you to maintain her control over the situation. Abusers usually try to turn others against you to limit your support and options if you decide to leave. It can be so discouraging to have people believe her, but it doesn’t mean what she is doing is ok or that every single person will believe her. The environment of fear that she’s created can make the possibility of leaving feel overwhelming and hopeless. While it’s not easy, it is possible.

    You and your children deserve to live in peace and feel safe. I encourage you to give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 to help you find resources and create a safety plan. We are here 24/7 and are completely confidential.

    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate VG

  80. It has been 3 years since I left. I started to get stronger this past summer then we ran past each other in a race. Everything came flooding back and now I feel like I did when we broke up, wanting him back. I’m so frustrated that I’m falling backwards! At this rate I’ll NEVER move on! I’m getting so discouraged.

  81. Two days a go. I was arguing with my fiance at home , he pinch me in my head , it’s was hurting so bad I went to emergency room. The doctor ask me what happened I told him. But I didn’t call no police later one I saw the police came ask me what happened and I told him nothing and he said that the hospital call them to talk to me. So I told I don’t want to feel no police report and he told me that he wants me to just give him authorization to go talk to him. And the later one I heard the took him to jail. And I want some body help me.cause they Don’t want me to talk to him. I want my man back. And they released him and tell him to come get his clothes . I wants my fiance back. Someone help me please .tell me what to do.

  82. Hi Elena,

    We are so glad that you’re part of our online community. Please know that you are not alone, and that moving on from a relationship can be difficult. Especially when the relationship was abusive – your partner used to demand your energy, attention, and focus, and learning how to change those patterns takes time. Having previous feelings come back up, or feeling stuck are completely normal experiences that many survivors share, and it is still very possible to heal from the relationship.

    It sounds like your recent run-in with your ex triggered some difficult emotions, and it may help to figure out ways to take care of yourself when that happens. If you’d like to talk, and even brainstorm different self-care methods that might work for you, please know that you can call us 24/7 and speak anonymously and confidentially with an advocate at 1-800-799-7233. We can also provide information about programs in your area if you think counseling or support groups would be helpful.

    We’re here when you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  83. Hi Sola,

    We’re so glad that you found our website and our online community. It sounds like you’re in a difficult and dangerous situation, and not getting information from law enforcement about what’s going on can be scary. You have the right to be safe and no one should take that away from you. Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-799-7233, anytime 24/7 to talk to an advocate anonymously and confidentially about what’s going on. While we won’t tell you what to do, we are here to be a safe place for you to talk about your options, what you want to do, and ways you can stay safe.

    We’re here when you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  84. My 14 year brother abuses me ad unfortunaly my dear mum died last year but she gave me this pillow and this pillow has all my important contact details in it like for instance my password for twitter or wattpad and that nasty piece if work stole it from me and hid it. He said if do not play on his PS3 with him every day a piece of my pillow will get burnt. What should I do?

  85. Reading all of these stories makes mine seem insignificant. I was in an abusive relationship for two and a half years with a woman who repeatedly cheated, hit me, choked me, verbally and emotionally abused me, and on occasion would hold me down and fuck me to teach me a lesson. Some of my closest friends and family members don’t even know everything that happened over the course of that relationship. They just knew they didn’t like her very much because I think they could tell that she was extremely unhappy if I left the house without her or without her knowledge (this was one of her biggest triggers). There were times when I had to cancel plans to see my family and friends because I didn’t want to answer questions about black eyes or scratches or bruises. I should have left a lot sooner, but she was fantastic at apologizing. She could be incredibly sweet and caring sometimes, it was like she was a completely different person. Classic Jeckle and Hyde type stuff. There was one time when she hit me, and then pinned me against the wall by my throat while I kicked and clawed at her hands before she dropped me to the floor, I decided I had enough. I got up and started packing a bag. She came into the room and just collapsed and started crying talking about how her mother left her and now I was doing the same thing and how she couldn’t live without me. With this, she took a letter opener and started slicing progressively down her arm telling me that if I left she would kill herself. It was this that kept me around as long as I did. Every time I would move to pack a bag or to walk out the door, all I could picture was her bloody and dead on the floor and how it was going to be all my fault and how everybody deserved to feel loved and why couldn’t I just stick around and make her feel better and maybe she was being honest when she said that it was going to get better…maybe I just had to make her believe that I loved her and that I wasn’t going to go anywhere. Eventually, I was working two jobs to support the both of us and all of her pets while she carried on an obvious affair with one of my good friends. A regular night for me included having my head slammed against things, being hit/punched/slapped in the face, and facing a myriad of name calling and judgement. She would apologize, and the offense would repeat the next night, followed by drowning myself in alcohol to numb my self-hatred and stress. For some reason, it was the day she told me she decided to dump my friend and be true to me that caused me to end things. During the break up, and to this day, I do everything that you’re not supposed to do. I helped her through the breakup, I slept in her bed when she wanted me to, and I even let her convince me at one point that having sex with her was a good idea. All of that type of stuff ended quite some time ago, but I still keep contact with her. I could never forgive her for the things she did to me, but what bothers me the most is how she is right now. She’s doing great. She’s got a new job that she loves, she’s in a relationship with a really great girl, she’s gotten the new tattoos that she wanted, and she’s gained a lot of new friends. I on the other hand still struggle through every day to find happiness. I struggle to be okay with myself. She tells me that she doesn’t remember most of the things that she did to me, but she’s sorry for them anyway. I remember. I remember every detail of everything she said to me, everything she did. Why does she get to forget and start something new?
    Right now, I’m in a relationship with a fantastic girl. She’s smart, funny, beautiful, and probably the most gentle person that I have ever met. For god’s sake, the girl takes bugs outside! Because if what I’ve been though in the relationship before this though, I can’t even enjoy it. I’m always finding new anxieties, new sensitive spots, like I’m uncovering pieces of shrapnel I had no idea existed. I’m a mess. I’ve always had pride in being a person who can take care of herself. I’m not a girl who talks about her problems or lets herself breakdown, and I’m feeling it right now. I’m dealing with emotions I’ve never felt before, and I don’t know how to handle it. Why can’t I just be free?
    The nagging question remains: Why me? The girl who abused me had been in relationships before with people I knew, and nothing even close to what happened to me ever even close to arose with them. Why was I the one who was targeted? I was the first girl she ever dated. Was that it? That wasn’t the first bad relationship I had. Is there something about me that’s like a magnet?

  86. Dear Embarrassed,

    Your story was so touching. Why would you ever feel embarrassed or minimize all that you have been through. Yes, many victims stay with abusers because they are so manipulative. They beg for forgiveness, threaten to hurt or kill themselves and promise to change. Unfortunately it seldom happens. I can imagine it is hard to hear that she doesn’t remember the hurtful things she did to you. This “anmesia” is typical. It is a way to deflect responsibility.

    I know it may seem like she has a wonderful life but most abusers continue to be violent and hurt their partners.They are usually not happy people and are so self-centered and no one else really matters.

    I can see by your letter that you are very deeply traumatized by the domestic violence you experienced. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves. Maybe this is a by product of having been criticized and put down by our abusers. Please be kind to yourself. Be gentle and understanding. You have been through so much. Your new relationship sounds promising and I hope you will do the personal work so that you can be truly happy.

    Victims often ask, “Why me.” This is something you can answer through professional help. The therapy and support groups at your local domestic violence agency can be extremely helpful. It is a way to purge the trauma and find that inner peace that is crucial in your life. We can find you that help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233. We are here for you.

    Hotline advocate MT

  87. Dear honor,

    I’m sorry to hear that you are being abused by your brother. We mainly deal with violence between intimate couples but we have resources that may be able to help you. Please call the National Domestic Violence hotline at (800) 799-7233.

    Hotline advocate MT

  88. About a year ago I got involved with a man who was my boss. The relationship developed quickly. He After being in town for two weeks we were already in a relationship, a month into it we were saying I love you. Once we made it official texts and phone calls were happening at almost every time of the day. Being in a previous relationship where the man did not ever communicate with me, this change made me so happy. No matter what I was doing I could look down to see a text from him. If it was not virtually, it was in person. Not only was he always working on my shifts, after work I would hang out at his house because he was constantly asking me to hang out, and I was enjoying the attention. At the time I thought he was the most sweet and genuine person ever. He would float like a butterfly and strike up conversation with anyone he came into contact with. He would write me notes, get me coffee, and sometimes flowers. I literally thought I was in heaven. During the first few weeks of knowing him I realized that he drank daily, and more than enough to make him tipsy, if not drunk. At the time I thought, ‘Oh, he is just new to town and socializing.” As our relationship would progress, I began to notice that he was very protective. Constantly he would tell me about how guys would approach him saying that they thought I was gorgeous. One time we got into an argument because he did not agree with what I wore to work, even though other workers wore more revealing clothing’s. When guys would say hi and give me hugs he would constantly ask how I knew that person. Still, at this time I thought this was so cute how protective he seemed, I never had anyone that cared so much. Over the next few months we had a few arguments, in all of the arguments I would want to leave to cool off. I still had my own apartment that I was paying for, so when we got into it I would find myself going their. Constantly he would get upset that I was trying to leave and block me with his body. He would throw my purse and keys in an area that I could not reach. When this happened I would get aggressive and try to push my way past him, but since he was well over 100 pounds my weight, that didn’t do much. I would scream so loud for him to let me go, and he wouldn’t. At this point I would start hitting him to let me go, in which he would pin me down and we would wrestle. All of these arguments happend while he was drinking. When he was mad he would tell me the reasons my ex’s left me, and call me “ghetto”, he loved to use his words to get me down. He would even go as far as to say things about my family and friends. The next day we would wake up, and he would apologize for acting so stupid, and give me a reason why he did what he did. Each time I would explain to him that when I am upset I needed my space, which I found out he was not willing to give me.

    When we first started the relationship I was very heavy into church. The more I was around him, the less I went, and eventually I never went. I do not blame this on him, rather myself for putting a man before God. I gave my body to him since the beginning, even though I told him I was not interested in taking things to a physical level. He told me that there was no way he could be in a relationship with me without sex, and so I relented, a part of me wanted to. He wouldn’t use condoms because he didn’t want to, so he told me I needed to get on birth control, and so I did. The pills made me sick all throughout the day, but that did not seem to matter as long as he got his. I ran out during the time of his birthday, and got pregnant because he did not pull out.

    Almost being graduated from college I could not believe the circumstance that I put myself in. When I told him he told me that things were going to be alright, and he was excited. Although I was shocked, this was good news for me. The first trimester was terrible, I was always sick, and the smell of alcohol made me puck, which was terrible since bar-tending was my job. I did not know how I was going to continue, but I kept working. He offered to pay all of my bills so I could stay home. Although I was reluctant at first because that would put a major strain on our relationship but, I obliged because of how I was feeling. I thought this was sweet of him. He promised me he would not drink anymore to save money, and we would budget. Over the first two trimesters he would drink even though he knew how it made me feel, and we would get into it like previous times. He would constantly complain that I was not giving it up enough, even though I explained to him that it made me sick during the pregnancy and was uncomfortable. I was so frustrated with being in the situation I was that for weeks that there was plenty of times when I would not want to talk to him. He would come home smelling like alcohol and it was infuriate me. We were planning on moving so that we could better afford a child, he would constantly change what are plans were going to be and it would frustrate me that he would tell me so much things, but nothing was put in initiative. We were struggling financially, so I decided since I was not as sick as in the beginning I would get a job, he would constantly tell me he didn’t want me working if I wasn’t working for him. He said he would call every restaurant in town to let them know I was pregnant so they wouldn’t hire me.

    At times when he was sexually frustrated he would tell me about how many women wanted to have sex with him. In return I would tell him to go find these women and leave me alone if its such a big deal, and in return he would threaten to take the baby away from me when he was born.

    During all this time, he was never enthusiastic about being around my family. If he couldn’t go because of his schedule, he didn’t want me leaving him. However, when it came to his family we would have to move mountains. When I thought of how we could better do things for our future it was always put under the rug because its not what we were going to do. He would tell me that since he was the financial provider I would have to do what he wanted.

    Finally, I gave in to where he wanted to go, where his family was, under the condition that he would find a job first since we would be living with his family to save money, even though I told him I was not comfortable with this. Our land lord was about to kick us out in two weeks, and he wanted to just up and move. When I told him I would not go with him under these circumstances he told me he was not paying for my bills anymore. Frustrated, I packed most of my things and left because I was tired of his ultimatums. He called me for days, and wrote me that he wanted us to try again, almost having my baby I went back trying to work things out for the babies sake. Wrong! For the first few days, it was awkward and then we were getting back to how things were usually were. During the month of me being back, the first two weeks he did not drink as promised, but it a day after my birthday where he drank three days, making excused each time. The third time was the time I was not willing to deal with it. As soon as I saw he was drunk I went in my room and closed the door, in which he came in and stood by the door. I told him that I was not sleeping with him, I did not want to be around the alcohol, he was sleeping on the couch and giving me my space. He was not having it and told me to lay down. When I told him not to order me around, I try close the door on him so that he would leave me alone. When this didn’t work I tried pushing him out of the door, in which he shoved me harder. At this point I started hitting his arm for shoving me hard, in which he pushed me on the bed, got on top of me, at 8 months pregnant, and covering my mouth and nose tried to suffocate me, I was bitting at this point because I couldn’t breath. He said, “you think your so tough now?” and kept covering my air, finally i put my hands up trying to beg him to stop. I thought my kid and me was seeing our last breath. Finally he got off, in which I went to the closet to get away. He came in and began to tell me all the reasons he was suffering because of me, and how this was my fault, and how stupid I was. Upon leaving, he started punching my car.

    Before this I would say to myself I was not being abused. If anything it was just wrestling, and we were mad, after this could have killed my child it changed things. My mom and police tried to explain to me that I was being abused, but I didn’t want to think this. I did research on everything and I am starting to believe that I was in an abusive relationship, even though I still cant believe it. He constantly told me that I was abusive to him. I have now cut him and his family out of my life because of the stress it has been causing me and my family. Am I wrong for thinking I caused things to get this way because I allowed him to be in my life? Am I wrong for cutting him out of my life for the safety of my child, and myself? Was I abusive in the relationship?

  89. Hello T.T.
    Thank you so much for your contribution to our blog community. I am so sorry for what you have experienced, I can see that it was terrifying having those altercations with him, especially while you were pregnant. You have brought up a number of very important points and I will try to respond in kind. The behavior that you are describing, blocking an exit from a room, taking your keys, calling you names, becoming physical, these things are certainly red flags for abuse. Sex before you are ready or feeling obligated to have unprotected sex can be what’s called reproductive coercion. Which is when a partner uses force or manipulation in order to take away your own right to decision make for your own reproductive health.
    It sounds as though you did what you had to do to be safe. That safety being for yourself as well as your baby. We do see that abuse tends to escalate during pregnancy, and it takes a tremendous amount of courage to reach out and find support, which you have done. You are in no way responsible for the actions of your partner. Abusive individuals are skilled at placing the blame on the other partner, but that does not mean that is the truth. You deserve to have a healthy and happy relationship and pregnancy, and it sounds as though his behavior was not in line with what you deserve. It can be very hard to see the road you have left behind, but I can hear the strength in your words. Abuse is not an easy thing to face, but leaning on the support system you have can be helpful in that. Of course, if you need resources or further support we are here 24 hours a day at 800-799-7233, our completely confidential and anonymous hotline.
    Take Care T.T,
    Hotline Advocate RF

  90. My grand kids 5 and 7 live in filth and domestic violence .social worker is going to question them tomorrow. Just wanted to know if at their ages 5And7 will they tell her or know how to tell what’s happening. At HM. Its normal for them to live like this. They dnt know any different. How can social worker know for sure. Kids are sweet cute smart but again dnt know any different.

  91. Hello Grandmother,

    It sounds like your grandchildren have been living in a scary situation for a long time, and I can hear how concerned you are for them. They are lucky to have someone who cares about them and wants them to be safe. As you mentioned, because the kids have grown up with the abuse, they may not recognize that it’s dangerous or know that they deserve to be in a safe home. We can’t know whether or not they will tell the social worker about the situation. I know that uncertainty must be scary for you, especially when you’re just wanting the kids to be safe.

    Domestic violence definitely affects the family members and friends around the couple, and we understand that it can be hard to figure out how to support the people you love who are experiencing abuse. It may be helpful to make safety plans with the kids, so that they know how to reach out for help if they aren’t feeling safe. If you’d like to talk about the situation, please know that you can call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or reach our online chat advocates 9am-7ps PST Monday- Friday. We keep our conversations anonymous and confidential. Another helpful resource may be Childhelp, the National Child Abuse Hotline. Their crisis counselors may also be able to help with safety plans or other local resources. You can reach Childhelp 24/7 at 1-800-422-4453.

    We’re here when you need up.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  92. I was financially and emotionally abused by my ex for two years and its been a year almost since I have broken up with her. Woman can be abusers too, especially if they are dating someone who has never been in a relationship before. I had never been in a relationship and she was my first love and only woman I have ever trusted. I am choosing to stay single for a long time and not giving up my freedom for anyone unless they are truly special. It will be hard to trust another woman again. I can only view woman as co-workers and nothing more after being with my abusive ex girlfriend. I can’t even have woman as friends because I have trust issues with woman now. Anyways, I am getting better day by day and put all the negative people out of my life. I feel a lot better about myself, but I still regret having sex with my ex multiple times. I wish I waited for the right woman who actually cared. I was 22 when we got together and broke up with her when I was 24. I initiated the breakup because I had enough.

  93. Hi Matthew,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences so courageously with our online community. You’re right that women can choose to be abusive; anyone can be in an abusive relationship. It’s understandable that your trust was affected by the abusive relationship you were in. It’s a normal reaction to being intentionally hurt by someone that you care deeply for. Figuring out what you need in order to trust someone again is a normal part of the healing process.

    We’re glad to hear that you’re out of the relationship and focusing on taking care of yourself. It may be helpful to find a local domestic violence program that offers counseling or support groups. If you’d like to find out about local programs, or talk about what you’ve been through, you can call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or chat us online every day 9am-2am CST. All conversations are confidential and anonymous.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  94. My ex was emotionally abusive and physically abusive. He cheated on me last year, and I thought I could forgive him. But I was never the same. I could not bring myself to move back in with him because it broke my trust. It made me angry and distrustful on top of all the years of emotional and physical abuse. But I could never leave him entirely – I could never be okay. He kept begging me to come back. He attempted to actually SEEM like a decent boyfriend for the first time in 5-6 years. Alas, it was him doing all the things he should have been doing all along. He blamed his selfish behavior on the fact he got into an accident 1.5 years into our relationship, and his physical assault of me began before the accident. Some point this year he started to see someone else, which I found out by showing up at the house. We are no longer together. He asked for my forgiveness for how he treated me. i refused. I found a picture of them together on Facebook, and I decided to call him out on being an abuser. I refuse to hide anymore. He used to tell people I was crazy. He used to pretend we were not even together. He spent the entire summer playing us off each other until this woman called me crazy. So I just…I think he deserves to be publicly shamed for the abuse he put me through for years. I don’t want to take it down. They are out smiling like everything is wonderful, but their relationship is lie. He’s a lie, and he should be ashamed of himself – not me.

  95. Brooke,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to us. It sounds like you have gone through a lot. You are right, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You have done nothing wrong. One thing that we know is that abusive people will often try to blame you or others for the abuse. Very rarely do they take responsibility for their actions. They will try to manipulate the situation to make you feel like the bad guy or look “crazy”. But none of that is true. Its all a manipulation tactic to control you. You also have every right to refuse forgiveness and tell people what he did. There is no right or wrong way to respond to a situation like this. What is most important is that you do what you feel is right.

    If you are needing further support or would like to go over a safety plan or need to be connected to resources, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1 (800) 799-7233. We are here 24/7 and are completely confidential and anonymous.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  96. I’m writing this at 4am, because I can’t sleep. I left a relationship 4 months ago, because the stress of the relationship was causing me to become physically ill (stomach problems, pain, etc.).
    My relationship lasted almost 4 years. When I first met my ex, she was wonderful. (Yes, women can be abusive as well.) Over time, I was noticing that when she was under stress, she would lash out at me verbally, hang up on me, pick fights with me, put downs (“there’s something wrong with you”), and pressure me to sell my (small) home and get a bigger place with her, which we couldn’t afford.

    When I would gently try to talk to her about behavior, or suggest getting help, she would use emotional blackmail: crying, getting up and leaving me in a restaurant, blaming me for her behavior. This was becoming a pattern, and it was causing me to feel sad, depressed, hopeless and helpless.

    Everything had to be her way. If I questioned plans she had in mind for us, she would start yelling at me and criticizing me. Because this was so different from how she was in the beginning, I would freeze up, not know what to say, then feel sad and lonely, since I wasn’t being heard. I would imagine that physical abuse is worse, but slowly over time, this pattern was causing me to feel sad, confused and depressed. I asked her to get help numerous times, and she refused. I asked her what may have been causing her anger, and she would get defensive, and blame me….that she was acting this way because I wouldn’t move in with her. How could I possibly agree to that? Especially when she was being so rotten.

    It wasn’t until I ended the relationship that she finally (out of desperation?) said she would go to therapy with me. By then, my physical symptoms were scaring me, and I didn’t feel it was my responsibility to “fix” her problems so I focused on myself, didn’t respond to her, went to a Dr., and got myself into therapy to start feeling better. Plus, I thought her sudden willingness to go to therapy was just to lure me back in. By this point, I was exhausted, depressed and was becoming ill.

    Now, I feel sad and also ashamed that I miss her and the good times. I’ve been working at repairing my self-esteem, because I was doubting myself and not feeling good about myself. (She would deny that there was a problem and not remember some things she would say or do. She would say that I was too sensitive and that I should just get over it.)

    I just want to feel better. I wish I didn’t miss her. I’m looking for support and validation that I did the right thing. Any advice? Can people change? How can you believe that they will, especially if their abusive qualities were becoming more prevalent and consistent? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  97. Dear Liz,

    I want to start by letting you know that I think you are amazing. You got out. That took courage and it took strength. You are perfectly right, abusers come in all genders, sizes, ages, and economical positions. From what you described she was using gaslighting and a number of other tactics to have control and power over you. You suggested healthy options for her to seek help and instead she shifted the blame. People can change, however, it does not sound like a situation where she is on the road to change. The first step in that path is accepting responsibilities for the abusive behavior. You are right it’s not your job to “fix” her problems. Only she can do that.
    It is quite common for survivors to miss their abusers. Abusers are often manipulative and relationships with them have extremes (they seem like everything you ever wanted/they are terribly abusive). This is a tactic abusers use to keep survivors with them. Unfortunately, it is also very confusing for many survivors because the extremes make it difficult to define the abuser as an abuser.
    I encourage you to give our Hotline a call at 1-800-799-7233 to brainstorm about solutions that may help you where you are right now and find out about your local resources. Our advocates are available 24/7 and we keep all conversations anonymous and confidential.


    Hotline Advocate

  98. I cry when people are nice to me too, whether it’s a coworker or friend, even a stranger. One time I was having a particularly bad day and a stranger at a grocery store complimented me on my eyes and I started balling. I just recently got out of a DV situation with a man I was dating and living with. He trapped me in the apartment screaming and cornering me. Every time I tried to leave he’d say I would be the one to go to jail because I was the one acting crazy. At one point I tried to make a run for the back door and he grabbed me, threw me on the ground while he hit me and held his hands over my mouth. I did get out that night, found a police officer on the side of the road. We’re actually still going through all the legal stuff, since i pressed charges. I was denied my protective order, which has thrown me for a terrible loop. The female mutual friends we have are still friends with him, one of them is even paying for his attorney during all this. I think that’s one of the hardest parts, the betrayal i feel from those women. I can only imagine what he’s telling them. I feel very isolated, even from close family and friends. Like they must think i’m such a screw up. Anyways, all that to say, when someones nice to me it’s hard to take in, I don’t quite understand it, I almost want to ask…”Are you sure?”

  99. I left my ex-fiance a little over 6 months ago. We were together for 6 years and he emotionally, mentally, financially, and, finally, physically abused me. I am lucky to have an amazing circle of friends that helped me leave and that I have been able to move far away from my abuser. I have been doing pretty well considering. I have my career, and my friends and I trust them.

    But, it seems like it’s never really over, even though I’ve left and cut off contact with my abuser. I have tried to date, but every time I start getting close to people, even someone I’ve known for years, I stop believing that that person could possibly care about me, I expect them to hurt me. I can’t believe that someone who really knows me could care about me. It’s horrible and lonely. I can’t trust myself or my judgement at all. I don’t know if I will ever know what a healthy relationship looks like, but I have serious doubts.

    Two weeks ago, I reached 6 month anniversary of the day I left him. I was so excited to hit that landmark, and it turned out to be the worst day I’ve had in 6 months — filled with flashbacks and emptiness. It’s been pretty bad since that day: constant nightmares, being so angry that I can’t sleep, hypervigilence. I don’t know why; outside of the dating world, I was doing really well until this landmark. It feels like he’s still controlling my life even though he’s no longer in it. I know I will never be the same, nor be able to trust as easily (and it wasn’t easy for me to begin with), but will it ever end? Will I ever be able to move on and live?

  100. Riley,

    Everyone deserves kindness from others! Being in an abusive relationship can make you feel confused and manipulated, but the abuse you experienced was NOT your fault. Your partner chose to abuse you, and he is responsible for his actions.

    It’s really hopeful to hear that you have been able to leave, and the healing process almost always takes longer than we would like it to. If you need support or want to talk about what you have been through, feel free to reach out to us at 1-800-799-7233. We are available to talk to you 24/7.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate CC

  101. Hi J,

    Healing from an abusive relationship almost always takes longer than you would like it to. That is so great to hear that you have a great support network with your friends to lean on during this time. There are many domestic violence programs that have support groups and/or counseling that might be a good option for you to process everything you have been through so that you can move on with your life after the abuse. We can help you find an organization in your area, and offer you more support during the healing process if you chat with us or give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate CC

  102. I was with my abuser for 8 years, and I finally left last April. I still haven’t stopped all contact with him. I know this is what is hindering my recovery, but I feel stuck emotionally to him. When I was 12 my father, whom I was very close to, died due to alcoholism. He was also abusive to my mother. Even though my husband wasn’t abusive until after we got married, I saw similarities between him and my father. I felt comfortable with him because of this, and I feel that, that is the reason it has been hard to cut all ties from him. In a strange way, it’s like losing my father all over again. The times when my husband was caring, and we would get along, that’s what’s hard to leave. I no longer feel that I can fix him, but I still can’t help but to think one day he is going to call and say, I’m so sorry for the way I treated you, I do love you. The more time apart, the more I realize this is just a fantasy. It’s hard to leave with nothing, when you put your whole heart into it.

  103. I know it’s very tempting to call out your abuser. They are good at manipulating other people (mutual friends, family, new lovers) into thinking that you were the crazy one in the relationship. I found out my husband was talking to someone else, and my first reaction was, I need to tell this woman!

    However, when I first got together with my husband, a girl he used to sleep with told me “don’t get involved with him”. No explanation, just simply avoid this man. My reaction? She is jealous!

    I believe that is how we would come off if we told someone that the man they are interested in, is actually abusive. You can try to stop the abuse, but honestly, it’s not your concern anymore. We have to move on, it’s no longer your problem who he chooses to abuse (and he will find someone to abuse). That woman he is in a relationship with now, yeah it might be all cute and smiles in the beginning, but you know it will turn out abusive just like yours was. You can warn this woman if you like, I probably would do the same, but don’t be emotional about it, you do not want to come off as the “crazy” ex, he claims you to be. Don’t give him that satisfaction. It’s all a game to him, he doesn’t care who he hurts, he enjoys it!

  104. Kasie,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your insight. Cutting off contact with someone you care about is hard, even if you do know that they are abusive, and the way you’re feeling is natural and very common. Finding strength and support in other aspects of your life can be a great way to combat those feelings as you heal and process, and many people find connecting with a counselor or support group helpful. If you’d like to explore the options in your area, please feel free to contact us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. We would be happy to talk with you and help you find the support you deserve.

  105. I am going through some legal stuff with my ex too. He nearly killed me 8 weeks and 2 days ago. A week after the incident I gave birth to my baby boy. Two weeks after that he filed for an immediate family court hearing and now has access to my son for 2hrs every weekend. It’s been hell. Are you in contact with a domestic violence court advocacy service? I would not have coped without their support.
    I don’t know how I am supposed to parent with this man for the next 18 years. One day at a time appears to be the only thing I can focus on right now.

  106. Dear Anonymous
    I’m so sorry you’ve been experiencing this, I can’t imagine what this has been like for you and it sounds like you have gone through so much with your ex! I’d love for you to reach out to us, so we can talk about some safety planning if you’d like and some local resources/advocacy. We’re available 24/7/365 by phone at 1-800-799-SAFE and via chat! I really hope this helps. Please take care.

  107. Omg, Kathleen! That’s such a powerful story! The way you worded it “he repaid me”. Yes! We forgive, we warily let them back in. It feels so good to hear “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I want to make it up to you, I want to do right by you”.
    But, deep down, they’re not capable of keeping those promises. Their feelings will always overrule their partner’s.
    I’m so sorry you went through that. I’m grateful you and your daughter survived, and got OUT. I’m grateful he was prosecuted and did time. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a POWERFUL example to others about why we need to say “enough is enough”, the first time abuse happens.
    I find myself today, looking for help finding closure as my former best friend and lover sits in jail. I think about the little red flags he raised early on, that I made excuses for, accommodated, minimized. My plea to ladies is, get out at the first violent red flag! Trust your gut! It’s so hard when you’re blinded by love.
    Love is gentle, love is kind.

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