Find Freedom From the Abusive Cycle

July 24, 2011 Kellie Jo Holly

Although unseen in the tumultuous immediate aftermath of The Day I Left Him, justice was served. Nevertheless, in my pain, I felt

  • slighted by my son who ran from me
  • betrayed by my husband who wouldn't admit the truth
  • punished by the judge who gave custody to my abuser
  • unable to see where my actions caused him any tragic feelings remotely similar to my own (I wanted him to hurt, and he didn't)

It seemed he'd won. I felt justice wasn't only blind, but also the stupidest philosophical idea ever imagined by mankind.

I was wrong, Justice was mine even then, her soft robes encircling me in a healing cocoon. I didn't see Justice because I wished her to be vengeful, but Justice decided to give me what I needed instead.justice

No One Can Make the Abuser Change

No one, not even Justice, could give me what I wanted because not one entity in this world or beyond can make an abuser change. Justice, in her blind wisdom, knew this.

Justice didn't bring vengeance to the fight because provoking a controller causes them to want to "win" at any cost. Controllers can act like animals forced to fight to the death; vengeance would have bled me (and our children) dry.

Balancing Between Anger and Peace

In the days after "losing" my children to him, Justice compelled me to take care of myself. There was no one else to tend to, no one else to help. Only me. I was thrown out of my comfort zone and had no other person's emotions to hide behind. Justice forced me to deal with my own.

Day by day, I found balance between anger and peace. I was so angry, yet every night, I went to sleep knowing he wasn't going to bother me tonight. Eventually, I found myself waking with a smile and hope instead of oppressive sadness. I didn't have my children with me like I wanted, yet feeling true peacefulness allowed me to believe there was a better future.

I believed my life would only get better. I believed in myself, and no longer wished he would feel anything. I didn't care what he felt. He was no longer a piece of me. We were separate, and I refused to carry the responsibility for his thoughts or emotions.

Justice prevailed. I was free.

Strength to Move Forward

I was scared, too. I realized that with freedom comes responsibility, and responsibility requires courage.

  • I took classes I didn't know if I needed just to get myself out of the house.
  • I made connections I didn't know if I would use just in case I needed to move in an unpredictable direction.
  • I moved into a house before I had a job (only 3 months rent + deposit) just to get out of his house.
  • I took a job despite the low pay just to gain experience somewhere.

My decisions at that time did not forecast where I would be now, but they pushed me in the direction I needed to go. I did what I believed would benefit me in some way at some point, and my results justified my actions.

Freedom From the Abusive Cycle

His abusive words and controlling nature still affected my emotions, but I handled them differently. I was proving to myself how wrong he was about me and how wrong I had been about myself. I am capable, prudent, intuitive, and motivated.

His little nicknames (i.e. "Miss Independent" while taking his money in alimony payments) do not bother me. I am who I am; I dictate my motives, my feelings, and my decisions - I am Miss Independent.

Justice, by refusing to wreak vengeance on him, taught me to feel joy and find peace through my own thoughts and actions.

Happiness underlies freedom, freedom requires responsibility, and meeting those responsibilities produces happiness. That's about as far from the abusive cycle as anyone can get.

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need

Indulge in the Rolling Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want"

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2011, July 24). Find Freedom From the Abusive Cycle, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

Anne Slanina
March, 4 2012 at 8:23 am

You've made a lot of really salient points that point out that sometimes the hardest part about leaving comes afterward. Allowing yourself to really sit with your anger and uncertain future is a really critical piece in how you have been able to find the strength to move on and find peace. When women wall off our anger and think, "I should just be grateful I got out," we discount some of the pain experienced in abusive relationships. But when we own our anger there is an opportunity to move past it and actually find peace. Thank you for calling attention to the fact that survivors of abuse can be angry, but don't have to be angry forever.

Michelle Wilson
February, 27 2012 at 3:37 am

I am being tormented. After 12 years of taking the abusive name calling not being allowed to have my own money career or friends I gathered what I could and left. I found a place for me and my 3 daughters(1 form a previous relationship)He hired his high paid lawyers and now has custody of our two year old and ten year old with me having visitation two days a week. I am waiting for the final custody hearing to be over in March and praying the judge sees his own error leaving my girls with him. I've since found peace and relief within myself and new love but feel guilty for this when I don't have my daughters.I feel anger and depression most days not knowing what is going to happen. The ex cannot control himself and is now taking his anger out on our ten year old. Making her feel that if she lives with me he will no longer love her. How do I protect them? I cannot afford a lawyer and this has been since July 2011. God help us!

July, 29 2011 at 1:18 pm

Hi, thank you for your story. My ex is a narcissist, alcoholic, mentally and emotionally abusive. He has alienated my 2 son's against me. I have a 16 yr old and a 13 yr old. My 16 year old has been staying with me. He has Narcissistic tenancies and wants me to buy him everything even though I'm broke. I am disabled due to a mental illness. (no doubt caused by my 10 yr marriage with my ex). I'm looking for a job now and and I have a one bedroom apt. I have my youngest every other weekend. I'm doing better but my ex is still trying to control my life. He and his mother verbally abuse me still. They tried to get full cutody of both my children and lost. Sooooo, I feel freer than when I was married but still not FREE from him. Your article gave me HOPE that one day I will find true HAPPINESS......thank you!

Holly Benazerga
July, 29 2011 at 4:10 am

My husband is the same way. I really am proud of your courage.
Please tell me how it is that a judge awarded a verbal abuser custody of your kids? This is very disturbing to me. You must be in a lot of pain ,not having your children by your side.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
July, 29 2011 at 8:07 am

They're with me now :) But at that time, my 16 year old was angry with me. He told the judge that he'd run away from me if he had to live with me. My younger one said he wanted to be with his brother. Neither boy had been physically abused (at that time) by their father (and we all know the only type of abuse that is "serious" is abuse you can prove with a bruise). Although the judge ordered my ex to read "The Great Santini" and to have no alcohol in his home, he still placed the kids with him. My advice: leave while your kids are too young to have a voice in court.

July, 28 2011 at 7:25 am

You're entry is awesome! Just what I needed to read. My mom was emotionally abusive with me and my sisters. It seems to me like she wont do anything for free and I don't really feel like she cares for me. Right now I'm older (24), married and not living with her anymore. Even though, her actions still hurt me. So now I'm trying to figure out my way to freedom, to stop caring so much about her actions. I want to protect myself.

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