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After Leaving Your Abusive Relationship

When I left my ex, my life didn’t change immediately. I obsessed over him and our marriage. I imagined conversations we might have the next time we met. I woke to his voice only to find he was not in the house. My heart raced around the time he would normally return home from work.

I was gone, but I hadn’t left him. My old routines remained. I continued to fear doing something wrong that he would discover. I cleaned the house, bought his favorite foods, and budgeted the money he sent me for four despite having only three of us in the house (our kids and me). When he called, I was afraid not to answer. When he emailed, I emailed right back hoping I met his time schedule for responding.

I continued to behave as if he would come home any second. I lived in chaos, attempting to attend to an abusive husband who no longer lived in our home.

Living Without My Abuser

About 6 weeks after we split, I began to notice how much time I spent waiting on his next move. I wrote a blog called Wasted Time, and decided that I would no longer put off doing what I needed to do just in case he decided to contact me.

This was not easy, and it didn’t happen overnight. I retrained myself to wait before answering or returning his calls and emails. I retrained myself to recognize and cut his words out of my inner vocabulary. I retrained myself to react calmly to his insults and manipulations by distancing myself from him emotionally and mentally.

The hardest part about retraining myself to not react to his antics was realizing just how many of his “antics” I’d adopted as my own.

Take for example his look of disgust when he saw the laundry basket sitting at the foot of the bed, clean clothes folded but not put away. I forced myself to leave a laundry basket on the bed for a full week. I lived out of that laundry basket pretty much. At the end of the week, the sky hadn’t fallen and no one was seriously injured. I started to feel better about ignoring housework to focus on other, more important issues (like how to support myself after the divorce).

From Retraining to Real Change

Deciding how to support myself was scary! I didn’t have clue one as to where to begin. I didn’t want to work my life away as someone’s employee, but bit by bit, I began to realize that being an employee temporarily was probably the quickest way to an income. I didn’t know how to become an employee! Truly – I didn’t.

I found out about a class at the Small Business Association and took it. I learned that I had skills and how to document them on a resume. I learned how to look for suitable work, and I followed the advice from the class. I got a job doing something I loved to do, and took it despite its drawbacks.

Abuser’s Influence Recedes

During this time I kept him out of my plans. I didn’t tell him what I was doing. I didn’t share my thoughts or plans with him. I viewed him as our children’s father, someone who shared their lives with me, but he was no longer invited to peer into the rest of my life.

I desperately missed having someone with whom to share my hopes and fears, but I knew that sharing with my ex would only end in him twisting my words into a knife to thrust into my back. I started calling my sister more often. I went out with my son’s friend’s mother. I met a man and we had lunch. In short, I broke my isolation and forced myself to find other outlets for my needs.

About 6 or 7 months after we’d separated, my ex showed up at my house at 10pm one night. He looked sad, but wouldn’t say why he was there. He wanted to come inside. I had detached myself enough to know that allowing him inside was the worst thing I could do. I told him that I had company, that it wasn’t a good time to visit.

He left and peeled out of my driveway in a flash.

Success

I felt good. I really did! I took a look around: I had a job, I had a house. I had enough income to feed myself, our boys, and my cats. I had friends and family who checked in on me and whom I called just for fun. I wasn’t all the way healed, but I was a lot closer to it than I could have imagined half a year ago.

You can be happier, too. Be patient with yourself, but don’t look back to your abuser for comfort. When you find yourself second-guessing your decision to leave, think about the crap you used to tolerate and ask yourself if you want your abuser’s manipulative behaviors back in your life.

It’s normal to want to retreat, but it’s also normal to overcome abuse. You can do it.

This entry was posted in Detachment, Leaving Abuse, Reach Out, Recognizing Abuse, Setting Boundaries, Stopping Verbal Abuse and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to After Leaving Your Abusive Relationship

  1. Lara says:

    This is an amazing post. Thank you for sharing your brave journey. I also want to add how this is an excellent example of how we are our best “saviors”. We understand better than anyone ever could what happened, how it made us feel and, with some soul searching, the best ways to (using your word) retrain ourselves into a healthier state. Here is a link from my blog with similar experiences of my own that I shared – http://www.theloveinhereyes.com/2012/02/02/a-no-closure-situation/

  2. Yes, Kellie. You hit the nail on the head – sbsolutely consistent with the control the abuser continues to wield in our lives until long after his possessions have left the house.

    Even after so many years, I can still lie awake at night imagining what cruel things my abuser might find to say to me if I ever ran into him. Terrible how much of our lives we let them claim. Reclaiming our lives is not easy but it is invaluable, a true victory.

    You conveyed this reality beautifully.

    Cindy

  3. Kelly says:

    Kellie, I’m almost a year out and I seem to have regressed. I think it was the arrival of NEW WOMAN that sent me backward. How could he meet someone just weeks after the divorce was final that could follow all the rules and meet his needs? I can’t help but think, maybe it was me? I still do many of the things you describe, and I find my anxiety is out of control sometimes. I do have a therapist and just found a support group. I’m hoping this has just been a minor setback and I’ll be back on the road to recovery soon.

  4. Kellie Holly says:

    Kelly, think back to the beginning of your relationship with him. Wasn’t it grand? You loved him, he loved you…perfect match (or perfect enough to overlook the red flags).

    The new woman is being sucked into his world. He couldn’t begin the relationship by overt abuse and expect her to stay, could he?

    Soon enough she will undergo the traumas you did. If she’s fortunate enough to see and honor the red flags, perhaps she won’t stick around.

    I look at it this way – if my ex truly changes, then he will apologize to me no matter how long we’ve been apart. I say that because apologizing to someone you’ve hurt is natural IF YOU ADMIT YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR. Until he admits he did wrong, there will be no apology and therefore no change.

    His new woman is not your concern. She is not better than you and will not fare better in the relationship. You did not make your husband abuse you, Kelly. He did not magically change because a new woman stepped into his life.

    Detach from what he is doing…his personal life is not your concern. Keep going to therapy and your support group. Refocus your recovery on yourself. You will find relief soon.

  5. Kelly says:

    Thank you Kellie, I’m doing much better!

  6. Trci64 says:

    Hi Kellie thanks for your blogs I keep re-reading them. I have never lived with him but I spent 12 – 18 hrs a day with him for 7 years. I sacked him and every day he comes to my house I dont talk to him and he leaves notes and food at my door. I changed my numbers in 3 weeks he has my new one. I find it very difficult to keep the no contact going. After 2 or 3 weeks he stops me on the way to work and I talk to him because I dont want to be mean or turns up at 1 am when Im feeling week and takes me to macdonalds for a burger. Then I talk to him for a day or two because I cant find a reason not to talk to him he acts controlling or abuses my friends I sack him again. We have no reason to talk, no kids. How did you keep the boundaries you set. How do you get some one to leave you alone without the police. How do you stop feeling sorry for them when you dont hate them?

  7. Anon says:

    The “laundry basket” and fear, retraining yourself to not think of abuser reaction/ his thinking- I can relate. I would also like to write a full blog of my experience one day. It’s amazing how much influence and how integrated the abuser is in our thoughts and actions even after it’s over. I was married to a narcissistic + other personality disorder type and I was the “good” person who stayed until he walked out on me cos he couldn’t deal with me fighting to keep my identity. I was married for only 3 years but the symptoms of abuse remain even now two years on from separation. I am retraining back to my former self.

  8. Aurora T. says:

    Kellie, thank you so much for sharing yourself and your story.

    I am just getting out of a relationship that was abusive in practically every way: verbally, emotionally, psychologically, sexually, financially, and eventually physically. (I wish the physical abuse had started first, then I would have left within the earliest stages of the relationship. I had some twisted idea in my mind that if he ever hurt me physically, that would be the last straw — which is actually stupid because in my case, the physical abuse was the least severe and the easiest to heal from.)

    What really resonated with me was when you said he randomly appeared at your doorstep at 10pm looking sad, and you were recovered enough to tell him to leave. Every time I tried to get out of the relationship, I never got far enough to reach that point where I could tell myself he is just acting pitiful but once I let him back in it’s all going to be the same as before.

    This time, which I KNOW is the final time, I still made that same mistake… he really looked so sad, he sobbed in public which made me think things must be terrible, because he would never do that. So I caved… and I set boundaries (e.g. be gone by a certain date; no touching me; no taking money from me; etc.) which worked for the first day or two… and then things slowly started to head back towards the usual. I became really unhappy and knew I had to get him out… I just couldn’t think of HOW… But I am very glad he is as terrible as he is — I found out yet another of his recent terrible deeds and that was it, I told him to come and get his stuff and leave, and never come back.

    And I have resisted contact… I did cave once or twice but each time reminds me how stupid it is because it just ends up another battle, so I think I am doing OK. I’m really, really tired, though… and it does hurt…

    Well, I’m only about 2-3 weeks into this whole leaving thing, and even then it’s been so vague because of the times I tried to give him one-off help but ended up getting entangled again. But I’m very clear with myself on what I want (i.e. to leave and never go back) and I think I am learning to head in that direction and make less wrong turns.

    This post has really given me hope. Thank you so, so much.

  9. Mildred C says:

    I have finally left my abuser, but is it safe? he now spend nights down stairs at my landlord house. were the landlords portuguese sometimes stay there to but just recently I found out that Joe has feelings for me, I told him that I kicked my abuser out the house and locked the door and for six days I’ve been free.. so i’m thinking about talking Joe who I have known since over 15 years. but if that is going to put me in a dangerous situation then i’ll leave well alone and just wait until its safe to date when ever that is..

    thanks for reading and responding to my message, please if u don’t mind leave me a message and help me figure out what I should do. I want to move on

  10. Kellie Holly says:

    Mildred, I advise that you hold off on starting a new relationship until you’ve healed some from your past one. I am glad that I waited to start a new relationship. More importantly than the amount of TIME it took me were the changes in my feelings toward my ex. Although you’ve known Joe for a long time, you haven’t known him as a lover/boyfriend/whatever. The relationship changes when you go from friends to “special friends”. By the time I entered into a new relationship, I had detached and distanced myself from my ex for the most part. My ex’s nasty texts and emails didn’t hold much effect over my emotions, and I was able to see through his threats and lies.

    My ex didn’t scare me anymore. I could face him in court or run into him at the store without panicking.

    By the time I started dating Max, I was able to recognize when my emotions came from my past experience with my abuser versus “normal” relationship emotions. I mean, I could separate Max from my ex – Max wasn’t intent on hurting me like my ex was, and it’s important that I was able to talk to Max about our relationship without accusing him of doing things my ex did. I’m not sure that makes sense…

    Relationships, especially confusing ones with abusive people, leave imprints on our minds that come out in our emotions and behaviors. I am glad that I was able to recognize those “imprints” as separate from my relationship with Max.

    The one person who determines when it’s “safe” to date is you. You must be honest with yourself first. Is dating or a relationship worth the complications it would add to your already complicated recovery?

  11. Kellie Holly says:

    Mildred, I advise that you hold off on starting a new relationship until you’ve healed some from your past one. I am glad that I waited to start a new relationship. More importantly than the amount of TIME it took me were the changes in my feelings toward my ex. Although you’ve known Joe for a long time, you haven’t known him as a lover/boyfriend/whatever. The relationship changes when you go from friends to “special friends”. By the time I entered into a new relationship, I had detached and distanced myself from my ex for the most part. My ex’s nasty texts and emails didn’t hold much effect over my emotions, and I was able to see through his threats and lies.

    My ex didn’t scare me anymore. I could face him in court or run into him at the store without panicking.

    By the time I started dating Max, I was able to recognize when my emotions came from my past experience with my abuser versus “normal” relationship emotions. I mean, I could separate Max from my ex – Max wasn’t intent on hurting me like my ex was, and it’s important that I was able to talk to Max about our relationship without accusing him of doing things my ex did. I’m not sure that makes sense…

    Relationships, especially confusing ones with abusive people, leave imprints on our minds that come out in our emotions and behaviors. I am glad that I was able to recognize those “imprints” as separate from my relationship with Max.

    The one person who determines when it’s “safe” to date is you. You must be honest with yourself first. Is dating or a relationship worth the complications it would add to your already complicated recovery?

  12. hope4me says:

    Kellie,
    OMG……just discovered your blog today, in searching for information to help my teen daughter cope with emotional issues! In hoping to educate myself and improve communications with her psychiatrist, I began reading personality disorder links. The information offered much insight, gave specific examples of behaviors exhibited by my daughter, and helped to narrow the focus.

    The real OMG moment came when I linked to Verbal Abuse! Everything connected to where we are now! It was as if it was written about me, and my relationship with my husband of 25 years! Examples of verbal abuse were given that I never thought of as verbal abuse, they were dismissed as “kidding” or “oversensitivity” on my part!

    Now realizing that remaining in my marriage “for the sake of the child”, subjected her to living in a dysfunctional environment, which has caused much pain and confusion.
    The course of her life has been negatively altered, leading to the inability to cope, frustration, anger, depression, social withdrawal….medications…..psychiatrist.

    The article, “How Did He Brainwash Me”, at least explains why people like me stay in an abusive relationship. Rather than “beating myself up” over our situation, I’m choosing to feel empowered with knowledge gained. Plan to move forward in discovering how to best help my daughter, myself, and improve our quality of life!

    Thank you for your offering education, support, and hope!

  13. Kellie Holly says:

    Isn’t it funny how looking for help for those we love turns into help for ourselves, too? It is wonderful that you’re empowered to make changes for yourself and ultimately your daughter. I took my son to a psychiatrist and he diagnosed Marc with a major disorder. It didn’t sit right with me – I didn’t want to label my son. Now that we’re both away from my ex, the symptoms the shrink were so certain pointed to “disorder” have disappeared or diminished to almost non-existence. My advice: continue to get the help your daughter needs, but don’t jump to hasty conclusions that could change how she views herself for a very long time (or for life). Mental disorders (or their scary symptoms) can actually be side-effects of abuse. Only you and your daughter will know for sure, so trust your gut.

    Trusting your Self during the coming times will be of utmost importance.

    I am wishing the best for you and your daughter. Move forward on your path with confidence and security knowing that you discovered the truth; remember Abuse will try to tell you otherwise.

    Kellie

  14. Violet says:

    Kellie,

    Your blog is inspiring and it is wonderful to hear a success story such as yours. Good or you. This is where I am at in my relationship. First, it is not physical. Only verbal and emotional. But the names I get called…I can’t grasp how anyone can speak to someone they “love” like that. When we started dating I felt like wow, this is the one. It was like something out of a romance novel. But then he got mean. If I said something he didn’t like, or used a tone that was anything other than passive, he verbally abused me. And then he started embarrassing me in public, yelling at me, walking away from me…treating me like some nobody whom he was disgusted with. Then when I would cry he would laugh and antagonize me. He would curse and yell and throw things in my face. When he is mad, he uses money against me. He calls me horrible names, sometimes even to other people. He drinks and blames me. I am scared to leave. I get panic attacks. I am afraid of being alone at night. What if I get one? Then what? And he apologizes. And when he does, things are good. He is the man I fell for. But no matter what, I can’t forget all that has happened. What if it gets worse? I think about him meeting someone else; what if he is good to her? Does that make her better than me? I know someone else addressed this, but it is a real fear of mine. Am I making him act this way? I don’t know what to believe anymore. He tells me it’s me, then apologizes and says it’s him. I am scared of missing him if I leave. I have an option to move with a relative who lives far, far away, but I am scared to start over somewhere new. But I fear if I stay in this area I will take him back. Advice? Thanks.

  15. Violet says:

    Thank you so much :-)

  16. Sarah says:

    I’m so glad I found this site. For three years I suffered the push and pull of abuse. At first we dated for four months, I broke up with him because he threw a packet of coasters at me in a restaurant.

    The next girl he dated, he ended up pushing to the ground. He felt horrible for doing it, he beat himself up for months. I saw him as this poor person that just needed some kindness and guidance. I saw us as Beauty and the Beast. We dated again for a year and a half. Through that year I kept asking myself “am I being abused?” “I must be just too sensitive” “if I just acted nicer or just listened to him more, he wouldn’t be so mad and I could show him how to be a better person” But it NEVER worked. Finally I told him I felt, that I was being verbally abused. He broke up with me.

    Two months later he “saw the light”. That I helped him be a better person, he told me he loved me and wanted to try again. So we tried again. I never saw the person who said he loved me after that. He was too busy to see me and saw everything I did was something wrong. I called him on it again, and he said “he couldn’t do it anymore”.

    Now I feel addicted to him, addicted to the need to try and fix it again because I tried to fix it for years. But gosh darnit, I have some great friends and family that are keeping me strong. I now check this website every time I feel alone and want to blame myself. Thank you, thank you so much for your writings!

  17. julie says:

    I was curious to find out if there was anybody in this blog that dated someone else after they left their abuser and how did it turn out what was the outcome thank you

  18. Aleksandra says:

    Five days go my mother, my sister and I left our home and the abusive setting that we were in. After multiple affairs and constant threats to leave us and all that emotional, verbal and psychological abuse towards my mom it had to come to him putting his hands on me before we made the decision to leave. For over a year and a half i have been begging my mom to leave him but her deep rooted cultural views on marriage made her stay. I’m glad he put his hands on me on Saturday because otherwise I fear we never would have left. Except now I live in fear because I cannot get the image ou of my head of that final temper tantrum, and the doubts that exists that maybe we overreacte and should have stayed. I start to hyperventilate just thinking about going back to that house, being in a different setting now shows just how wrong the atmosphere was in that house and I would never want to go back. I try to support my mom as much a I can but I know she will hold in her pain so as not to scare us.

    I have gone looking for forums such as this because some moments I feel so alone in my troubles and so damage like life will never feel secure a safe again. I never even thought to put the label abuser to him before until I started doing some research trying to find some help and way to heal. But that’s what he was, he manipulated her and abused her and shot down her self esteem to bits and pieces, told her he would leave her and us and that he wasn’t her husband anymore and could do what he wants. I don’t think he ever thought that we would leave, an I wonder now whether his threats were just threats. It is the scariest decision we ever made and I can only pray from here on out that we just rise up because a he did for our family was push us down.

    Once you get the power and strength to leave dont you ever be tricked into going back, because you will just perpetuate the pain. I have to believe that these feelings and uncertainties will go away and that things will make sense again. No matter how scary and unknown the world seems now .

  19. Nanette says:

    I am in an abusive relationship and I don’t even like saying it bcuz it sounds like an affirmation. We’ve been together over 30 years but things got worse after our twins were born. They are 17 getting close to time for them to leave & I am afraid. I want to leave but I am afraid. I have a job but it is very stressful & doesn’t pay enough for me to remain in such a high cost area. I have an older daughter who lives on the east coast and I have some money…not much in my 401k. I’m afraid of starting over after being in this situation for such a long time. I have no other family I can turn to. I pray that I don’t have to wait for him to die. I already feel that a part of me has died. I want to reinvent myself though and find out who I am outside of this abusive relationship.

  20. Vicky says:

    I was with my boyfriend for 20 months. The verbal abuse began almost immediately and I was shocked. I was always so critical about people that stayed in verbally and physically abusive relationships. Then I saw myself in one. I couldn’t believe it. I was scared. Then things got physical. I didnt know what to do and I fought back. I always did something wrong. If we were out and I was wearing a skirt and moved my legs a certain way, I was flirting. If I looked at a crowd of people I was Interested in someone. If I had guy friends I must have slepped with them. I always tried to explain myself. He always went through my phone. Then This New Year’s Eve he beat me again and infront of my friends. I left him. I lost contact for three months. I was fine until he went out in public with another female to an event that he knew my whole family would be at. First I hated him and then when he called I gave him another opportunity. I don’t know why I just knew I loved him. We agreed we would take things slow. I noticed I always wanted to let him know where I was and how Long I was going to be at a certain place. I wanted to let him know before he asked and got upset. He was nice. He tried to take me out and do fun things and then I found myself not having fun with him. I was always worried about who I was looking at and watching my every move. I tried to go out with my girlfriends. Last night I went out with my sister n law and my gay friend. I got home at 11pm and accused me of being a drunk and always wanting to be out partying. He called me names. He had a girlfriend of hia insult me on instagram and other sites. She called names too. Today I changed my number. Created a new email. Cancelled my Facebook. I plan on starting over alone. I need to be my old self again. I want to be able to go out and not be afraid of anything. I hope he stays away and I hope I’m strong enough to keep him away. This website helped me alot today and I plan on reading the posts to give me the strength to move on and live a healthy life.

  21. Linda says:

    I was married for 35 yrs to an abusive man who I suspect also has borderline personality disorder. I felt like I was living with Freddie Kruger for the last 5 years of our marriage.

    I was so brainwashed and felt so trapped that it was like standing on a train-track everyday, frozen and unable to move when the train (your abuser) is coming right at you.

    I finally went to see a counselor who told me the first thing to do was join a church and become friends with as many in the congregation as possible. Those were the people that finally pulled me off those railroad tracks!

    Its been a year since the divorce, but now my ex is dating someone who was a friend of mine. I feel bad for her; she knows he abused me & our kids so why is she dating him? How can they be so happy? Why doesn’t she know he will brainwash and abuse her too?

    More important, why do I feel jealous that he was so mean to me, yet he is so good to her?

  22. Kellie Holly says:

    Remember two things… One, he was good to you in the beginning, too. Two, you are now an “outsider” and he will not show his true life to you anymore. Soon, she will hide the abuse from you, too. Unfortunately, she will find out soon enough that she’s living with Freddy K.

  23. Lady says:

    I got into a fight with him on Monday night. Up until then, he’d never really raised his voice to me even. We’d been together just one week over a year. I already had doubts about being his partner nearly 2 months prior to the breakup. I had asked him to move out…and told him that I still wanted to see him after he did. We were fighting too much and both of us had said some really unsupportive & demeaning things to each other. I was losing my patience all the time. Many things that he did/said…annoyed me. And I am pretty sure he felt the same level of annoyed.

    He was always negative and that was eating me inside. One day I just stopped wanting to listen to anything he had to say. So I didn’t. And it became wasier & easier to ignore him when he spoke about something he wanted to do…because he never followed through on his promises.

    I stopped trying to have friends or go out bc he always questioned my actions and belittled the people I was trying to get to know.

    He drank every day. Hed talk about quitting……but that would only ever last for a few days. He couldn’t leave the house without having at least 1 beer. Luckily, he’s not a mean drunk. The worst part of his drinking was his procrastination & inability to handle the daily tasks involved in running a home.

    On monday night…we tried to go out for a steak dinner…but the night ended with him punching my head and me running away from him in tears & disbelief.

    I called the police to take a statement bc u see…this isn’t he first time in my life I’ve been thrown around, yelled at & hit. He’s being charged with assault…and I feel very guilty…I don’t want him to get a criminal record. At the same time…I do. Because last time I got beat up by a bf…it was bc I was a junkie loser…living with a junkie loser.

    I’ve been clean for 4 years. A lil more actually. It was so hard for me to even be able to talk to people. I’d isolated myself from family&friends for nearly 2 years bc of drugs. My addiction & my bf were all I knew and all I trusted.

    He was the first bf I’d had since then. And now here I am…just finished my shift at work, at home, alone crying.

    There has to be something “wrong” with me or my personality…bc its happened again. I cant quite explain otherwise why I was hit.

    Counselling? Support groups? I’m willing. But maybe there’s something in me that’s evil. I wonder if its me that’s causing me to get hurt. It probably is. The thing is, people are quick to tell others what they think’s wrong with them but won’t rarely stick by as and support change. I mean cmon….each of us can think of a million other things they’d rather do than try to help someone become their true untarnished selves.

    Right now, I know that I made the right choice. I am having a very hard time alone whwn I come home from work. All sorts of thoughts from self pity to anger to thoughts of falling back into my addiction are crossing my mind. I haven’t been truly alone iin many many years and here I am.

    Writing this. Crying. Sleepless. Anxious.

    Please someone tell me I’m not alone in he way I feel. I am hoping your replies will let me know that I’m not some crazy psycho bitch.

  24. Kellie Holly says:

    It sounds like you are very normal and loving to me, Lady. You set boundaries and had him move out. You realized he never kept promises. You saw that he belittled the people you wanted to know. You recognized his drinking habit as one that interfered with his ability to live life.

    And then that asshole punched you in the head. How could you have seen that coming?! He hit you from out of the blue. There is no reason for any one of us to EVER hit or punch anyone unless our life is in danger. Tell me, were you holding a gun to his head, threatening his life? Oh no, you were NOT. He is the one with the evil inside, not you.

    You can either blame yourself or you can learn from this experience. If/When you run into another person like him, trust your gut sooner. The next time you want someone out of your house, it probably means you want them out of your life. You can do this, Lady. You’re a good, strong person who is learning to create a life of joy. Don’t give up on the learning PROCESS because some jerk, poop-head, control freak decided to punch you in the head.

    And good for you in calling the police. Excellent – and courageous.

  25. Bonnie says:

    Thnx guys u really motivated me i have just left my abusive partner whom i have been dating for 9 yrs. We have a 4 yrs old boy, i even opened a protection order against him am tired of being beating up in front of my boy been called names. I have tolerated this for to long am tired now. Every time i tell his mother she defend him. So am done with him i just can’t do this anymore. Thnx for the motive.

  26. Pen says:

    I was able to escape an abusive relationship last week. Too late I learned that the wonderful person I had previously known in school, who resurfaced years later was not the man I thought he was. He presented to me a caring, compassionate, loving man for the months we dated…no red flags since he had been a great guy when we were friends before…if you’re reading this you understand.
    It was the best relationship I’d ever experienced. Next thing I’m doing something I never thought I’d do: left my house, packed up and moved 300 miles to live with him. The abuse started the first week. From yelling, cursing, disrespecting me, pressuring me to help him
    financially….because of course it wasn’t his fault he couldn’t find a job…then the suicide comments started…and he began abusing my little dog….then he showed me the loaded guns in the house. It was a nightmare!
    He left the house one day, I threw my clothes and my dog in the car. I have no money, no job, no home. Where I have always been able to support myself, I am now in a domestic abuse shelter.
    At night, when everything is quiet, I miss him. A part of me wants to go back. That’s my heart speaking. My head tells me I will not live in an abusive relationship. Besides losing my parents, this is the most difficult situation I’ve ever experienced.

  27. Samantha says:

    Thank you so much for this post and for sharing your stories; it’s really helpful to read about other women’s experience with this situation. I left my abusive partner almost a year ago, and he still thinks I am coming back. He asked me to tell him whether/when we are getting back together, and although the answer is a wholehearted ‘no’, I am afraid of the consequences of telling him this. I really don’t want to set him off, but I do want closure. Any suggestions?

    On a lighter note, I do want to celebrate the anniversary of my leaving – I have been feeling down/sad/depressed about it but I don’t want to give in to those feelings. Any suggestions on how to mark the ocassion? :)

  28. Tata says:

    Thanks guys, i was delighted to learn that there are other people in a similar situation as me.
    I was married for seven years. we met when we were very young and were overly in love or was it just me? i will never tell. He told me he loved me and at least in my own eyes i believed it.
    After a year the first baby came and i started to see that he was harsh towards me. Then a slap started, followed by apologies and chocolates and flowers the following morning. He claimed that i had done something to cause the anger “outburst”. He made me feel i was at fault for his behavior.Then i started to change myself to conform, made sure i did everything the way he liked it. Waited for him at the couch at night because he liked that way, went out of my way to make his favorite meal, gave him money when he asked for it etc. i didn’t want trouble an now i realize that i went too far to avoid it.
    Within no time violence was the order of the day, he yelled at the smallest provocation and his parents didn’t take it as a big issue. after all he had been raised by a very abusive father himself.Then disrespect set in: he started sleeping with the domestic workers and worse on my own bed! He solicited for sex from my small sisters when they came to visit, though my sisters being principled could only tell me about it and decline until they stopped visiting altogether.
    The physical violence was now overshadowed though it intensified and i was more humiliated by his infidelity and his show of disrespect.
    I changed baby minders too often because they became rude after having affairs with him.
    His behavior was like cancer, something new every time. He became lazy, didn’t pay bills, school fees, or even buy food. He lost or quit jobs due to laziness or rudeness and spent time in bed or at the living room seducing the baby minder while i worked my head off.
    He became worse and jealous and i realized i would soon be maimed or dead in the name of “making it work” after i was treated in hospital twice with a back injury he had caused me.I started saving more and prepared my exit plan. but before it was complete i had to leave prematurely because he raped a baby minder who didnt want to cooperate.
    i had had it! I parked up and left and had him thrown in a police cell.Father of my kids, yes, but i didnt care. To me he is the sadist who didnt deserve my pity any more.
    Its now 10 months and i feel so at peace after alot of counselling.
    He still shows up at my door with “the familiar” flowers and chocolates but though i dont hold any more bitterness now,my heart shut and the key is lost!
    If i quit, anyone can. Do not try too hard, it destroys your esteem. it really does. He is the abuser, he is the problem, not you , i have few friends so far and am still looking for a support group to cope. could anyone out there recommend any?

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