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After the Abuse Has Ended

Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Mar 16th 2016

serious womanGetting out of the abusive situation is the first step toward healing and moving on with your life, but unfortunately your work doesn’t end there. Once you are physically safe and secure, it is a good idea that you seek professional help for any abuse-related difficulties you may develop. For example, you may have difficulty coping with abuse memories themselves. You may also benefit from assistance in coping with problems that develop because you were abused, such as substance abuse problems, sexual or intimacy issues, anger issues, eating disorders, etc. Such problems may occur during your abuse period (as a means of coping with the abuse itself), or after the abuse period is over (as a means of coping with the abuse memories).

It is important to keep in mind that each individual will have a different response to abuse. Each person experiences abuse differently, and is able to cope with abuse in different ways depending on their circumstances. While one person may suffer greater consequences as a result of abuse than another, there should be no shame involved in how little or much impact is suffered. There is a lot of luck involved when people who have been abused are able to resiliently recover from abuse with few scars. It doesn't happen often, and much of the circumstances that make it possible to accomplish are not directly in the control of those fortunate few. People have little control over whether they are abused, and little control over how that abuse impacts them. What people do have control over is their choice to seek help, and to make the commitments necessary to help themselves recover. It is by this last yardstick (how much people choose to actively work at helping themselves recover rather than passively accepting that they are 'ruined') only that it may appropriate to judge abused people.

It is important to not blame yourself for having been abused, no matter what the circumstances of your abuse may have been. People tend to blame themselves for 'allowing' abuse to have happened to themselves. They may say things to themselves like, "He hit me because I was stupid and I deserved it", or, "I was a bad child and deserved what I got", or , "I'm ugly (or a slut), that's why he ignored me (or molested me)". Just because you say things like this to yourself doesn't make them true. Abuse is abuse – it occurs when someone mistreats another person, ignoring their own wishes and dignity. You did not ask to be abused, and you probably had few ways to avoid it happening throughout most of the period the abuse occurred (if not all of it). Blaming the victim is common, but it doesn't make it a right or accurate thing to do. You are not to blame for having been abused.

Nobody deserves to be physically, sexually, or emotionally abused – whether as an adult or as a child. Abusive people are unable or unwilling to control their worst appetites. They are psychologically ill and or medically ill. Abusers cause the problem of abuse – they perpetrate abuse on those people around them. Abused people are not responsible for causing abuse, unless and until they become abusers themselves.


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Abuse is Abuse, are stories are all the same. - - May 5th 2014

I was also married 14 year, of which were all were abusive. Ive been divorced almost 3 years. Yes I left after 7 attemps. I cannt remember much of those years, but I do have triggers and the memories come back. The hardest part for myself now, is not knowing how to heal. Is it normal after 3 years to just realize what Ive gone through. I have 4 beautiful girls, 2 live with me and the other 2 live with their dad. I feel as though I have created much anguish for my 2. I feel tormented he has the other 2. My attorney never made the corrections in my divorice decree. My 2 younger girls live with there dad. He hasnt changed. He mentiallty and socialagicly hurts my girls. I dont have the money to take him back to court. So I pray everyday, the Lord with take care of them. I guess I just wanted someone to listen. Please pray for us.

Finally free from torture after 12 years - - Feb 7th 2014

I was married to what I thought was the man of my dreams in highschool till after 3 months of marriage I discovered his abusive side. we had just moved into a home together and I had our so that was 4 months old when he started running around all the time and never coming home hardly. When I confronted him he slammed me into a wall. After that I told him to never come back into my home again. He left only for the night and then came back. Being a young mom I felt like our son needed to have his father around so I let him back in to my home. The next thing I knew he moved his friend in with us and it became annoying having him there. I ended up packing up and leaving and returning home to my parents because he wouldn't make the guy leave. About 8 months later I moved into a beautiful apartment and my family helped me furnish it. I decided to give things another try with my husband and ended up moving him in with me only if he promised to keep his loser friend from entering my home again. Of course that promise was broken because once my son was 3 the freak was back into my home again. The next thing I knew my husband was off running around at the casinos gambling all our money and lying about it. Then it went to stealing my credit card to gamble and running all over the place. I ended up paying the bill after he had promised to pay it and then the next thing I knew he was lying about going to the casino and was actually running the bar. He came home one day telling me about how some girls had given him and his friend a ride and that they were flirting with him. His excuse was that it wasn't his fault that he is better looking than his friend. I was not happy and asked him why he would go knowing he was married and he had no reply. He started leaving me at home all the time alone with our son and his friend made the excuse for me not being allowed to go was because I had a kid. They would be gone all night and not even call to check to see if things were okay at home. I started to get lonely after awhile and I started hanging out with a friend of mine. The next thing I knew I was getting accused of sleeping with my friend and having a boyfriend. It was really pathetic. after that he took my car to go meet up with another woman in another state and lied to me about it by saying that his dad had bought a car and he had to go get it. Then 2 months later he told me he was going camping with his dad. I didn't argue because I had thought I could trust him. The next thing I knew he was with the same chick. By that point I decided I couldn't trust him and was attempting to leave. I had no clue where I was going to go and didn't care. I had no money and my bank account was always empty because he kept cleaning me out. The next thing I knew he was refusing to let me leave. I was so angry I started thinking i had no way out at all.  The next thing I knew he attempted to sleep with my friend that I had stay the night with me and then he tried to say it was all her. I was furious as ever and it ended our friendship. After that I quit having my friends over to my home. The next thing I knew he had turned violent towards my son and was abusing my son and had it to where my son started to change his behavior . I started to get over protective of my son and we were constantly fighting all the time. After 3 years of dealing with all this he went and found his new love of his life. After I discovered her, I told him to get out and he beat me severely. He broke my finger and gave me a severe concussion. He kept the key to my home and took all the food and cleaned me out of money and credit and then he continuously mentally abused me everyday by telling me I need a boyfriend and that I need to get out of my home and buy a house that I knew I couldn't have because he destroyed my credit. I was such a wreck all I could do was cry for months. I ended up going home to my mom and dad's home and he would show up with his girlfriend just to start arguements with me. I told my mom about the abuse I went through and she promised me that he could never come back around me again. He even has the nerve to stalk me at work and his girlfriend tries to start trouble with me. I'm still living at home with my mom and dad with my 11 year old child after 6 months and yet I'm terrified to go out on my own because I have fear he will continue to mess with me.

Physically free!!!! mentally? - - Aug 28th 2013

I have been abused by my husband and that left such deep emoaional scaring that - to this day i havent let go of.... I seem to attract this type of man to me... The last relationship i was  in topped it all off - my ex told me he wanted to hurt me physically.... This hurt me so much to know that this man hated me that much!!! I am finally free of him but he has turned my whole life and family against me. I really have few supports to help me get through this aweful time... I am going to stay single now - forever as i never want to go through this type of situation again! I almost didnt make it out this time!!! Happy to be alive as many end up dead!!!

Abuse for 10 years - ended but not away - Jessica - Mar 16th 2013

I'm a 17 year old highschool senior. Top of my class, honors society, yada yada. But, even though I am 'perfect' I feel far from so. When I was 7, my fatherr forced me to... do sexual things with him. He claimed to be teaching me how that works, but I realized he would come in my room at night, and what he was doing was illegal. I couldn't ask for help though, it would tear my family apart, and they'd hate me. My parents demanded prefection, and if my mother knew... She'd be disappointed. I always made sure no one could tell what was happening and I could be around him confortablely when I was with someone else. Deseption became a specualty. After 10 years of this, and all of the mental damage, nightmares, medical problems, and my inability to trust any male near me, I finally stated "Enough is enough" and I confronted my father. As of July 2012, he has never touched me again. But I haven't been able to get past the nightmares. My mother still doesn't know, and my family is still together and happy, and so am I. I just hope that it stays untainted by my past, and that I can finally get past this, and on my own.

Left after 17+ years of abuse - Alison - Dec 16th 2012

Thanks to the help of caring patient friend I had enough courage to face the truth and get away from him. It's been over four years and he has never apologized to our daughters and they want nothing to do with him . Our PFA lasted over four years because he violated it a few times but it is now expired and he is right back to harassing me in any possible way he can. To anybody else out there that is living with abuse I would like to tell you that yes it is hard to get out and yes my children and I went through a lot of hardships. My girls deserve to live in peace and they don't need a father in their life that is violent and verbally abusive. I have so much regret when I think about how he treated my daughters. Thank God I have a loving caring man in my life now and I appreciate him so much after being with a monster for so long. Abuse changes you in so many ways but I will not let it ruin me. I have my daughters in my life and that's all that matters. 

tired...and more tired - sheryl - Oct 30th 2012

I've been in an abusive relationship for 17 years.  Its been painful.  I am now 36 and we have one child who is now 11.  I've been reading all the entries of woman of abused relationships.  I can relate to almost everything.  The only way I left my relationship was by my own hand.  I am a surivivor of a severe overdose.  A part of me died and a new me survived.  I was very doting to my husband....I did everything for him.  Now, Im doing my best to survive.  I have no money but I am alive.  He kept my son from me.  I have no child with me and I love being a mother.  So, to many of those woman out there who being abused right now, leaving is the best choice but painful.  If you stay, itl get worse.  No human being should be abused.  I'm tired of being lied to and cheated on.  Im tired of being unsafe and manipulated.  Im tired of his ugly ways.  So, please research about your situation and live happier.

inadequate people - - Aug 5th 2012

Abusers can't handle their past.  They keep lying to themselves to cover up all their blunders.  Only those that are mentally aware and have had to live through the hell with them know the truth.  That angers them more.  They don't want anyone to know the truth about them.  Constantly angry, lying they never feel shame because they have to feel superior otherwise they will have to face how wrong they are about everything.

No one will ever know how strong you have to  put up with one of these types of people.  They are forever trying to make your life miserable.  It gives them some kind of satisfaction.  Maybe they are just miserable all the time and can't run away from themselves

Something that helps - - Nov 17th 2011

Hi to everyone. Me too...abused by my mother, and sisters, and a husband, and he also would tell my children as teenagers to call me their maid, and he demanded I do what my children tell me to do. Also that I was not allowed to discipline my children. He traveled, controlled all our income, and set up impossible situations insisting I fix those problems, over, over, over. Finally I divorced him, and the abuse escalated. It was extreme psychological abuse. He would not hit me, but would tell my son to hit me....then he would laugh.

I know how deep these pains are for everyone that posted here. I tried the divorce, and it didn\\\'t stop the abuse. I tried defending myself, reacting, not reacting....going to Celebrate Recovery a 12 step program, trying to find some way where I would not live my life as a \\\'victim.\\\'

I found that removing ourselves from abusers is very necessary. Beyond that, the memories, pain, damaged family relationships, and how we feel....what can we do? Stuffing the hurt inside does not work, and even telling others about it is a temporary relief.  Recently I learned this....Pray your feelings to God. Sadness, anxiety, fear, confusion....depression, and all the bad feelings that come from the abuse and the memories.  If we pray those feelings to God, he will help you. He has PROMISES in the Bible. One scripture says he promises to \\

get used to not haveing him - kathy george - Feb 7th 2011

girls it takes a long time for us to learn to not be able to live with out these guys we dream that will wake up and realize how cold they have been and we dream they tell them selfs why do i do that to her ?what have i put her through? but they dont mabey 1 time a year and that just builds us up tp be knocked down even harder. time makes us used to him mabey even mentaly and finacialy dependent on him.exspecialy with children involved. but just as we got used to the man being there and wanting him to be our hero .after makeing that heroric step to leaving and starting from the bottom finacialy i promise after time u will be used to not being with him after the heart ache lets up from this huge disision that temporarly changed your life mabey instintaly u will feal the power he had that u r in control .how long after this man leaves after he verbialby abuses u do u feal better? soon. u are dreaming wishing he is seeing what he is doing to you but girls eff that. they dont care let me guess he says you drive him to be angry that your crazy just a bitch probably a whore and a fat ass too right?. ya im right this is not life with out his mean words today may have ben a good day. these men are abusive and its not your fault u have stayed that have a affect on us thats undiscibible i see peaple say if he did all these things to her why didnt she report it ? becouse in our mind we are abuseing him our finances are done hel lose his job hes all u ever knew so ul probably bring him right back right so why do something as devestating as that . couse we are scared of many things that can happen after they get locked up the abuse fucks with your head. girls be brave it has to be u friends will only make it worse unless u leave when u tell them the problem your man will caght on u are talking to them and will not alow them to be your friends.and most likely if they try to confront them and your not realy leaving he will verbaly hurt them and then they will be mad at u for not leaving when they dont understand how hard it is.something apaling to them has become normal for you. lets get strong girls!!! the fact is it feals good when he aint home. u can get used to not being with this man ya the next one may not be perfect but its your right to find out and leave him too if he aint right dont let the unknown scare you .hes haveing fun doing what hes doing and probably has you convinced your crazy. if you plan on leaving dont let him know if he hits u call the law ya hel be mad then after a day he see peaple like his self he know its reality and that the law says what hes doing is illegal.dont take it.hel ruin your life you will get used to being with out u.

Each day I am getting stronger - SARA - Feb 24th 2010

I have read many of the messages from other women who have shared an experience we would all like to forget or wished never happened...abuse from your husband.

The relationship started out OK, so I thought.  Coming out of a prior abusive relationship I didn't see his actions towards me to be as bad as my former husband.  I thought it was a match made in heaven...someone loved me after I was divorced.  Hmmm...just the sound of that isn't right.  The question I should have asked myself, was why did I not feel I am worthy of love?  Everyone is worthy of love.

Anyway, it was the second marriage for both of us.  As soon as he moved into my home, he changed.  Didn't want sex.  Would go days without talking to me.  Pushed me away when I tried to hug / kiss him goodbye in the moring.  Little things.  I tried to make excuses for that in my head everything still seemed "OK".

I received plenty of verbal and emotional abuse from this man as the years passed.  As this occured, my excuses for him didn't seem to be justifyable anymore.  Yet I was afraid what others would thing of me if I had been divorced twice...and both marriages ended due to abuse. 

Soon divorce threats were made from him if I didn't pay off all the debt he incrrued or if I didn't pay for his ex-girlfriend and their grandson (who he just found out about after we were married) to come visit from out of state.  Threats of cutting me up in pieces, shooting all his ex-girlfriends who had abortions on him (something else I knew nothing about prior to marriage), driving the car into a wall with me in it, telling our daughter things to have her hate me forever, and the list goes on. 

Abuse in this relationship mainfested itself through verbal, emotional, sexual (he enjoyed having me hurt during was pleasurable for him), and financial.

Like most, my heart is hurting for a love you had thought was true.  To a committment you thought the other really had.  And to the respect, honesty, and love you grew up believing each marriage was built on.

This is the second time a divorce proceeding began for this marriage.  The first divorce proceeding was cancelled as he had me believing that he "changed" and would treat me better and that all he wanted was a happy life / family with me.  A few weeks after moving back in, he was back to his controlling, manipulative, and abusive tactics.  After welcoming him back home, the home enviroment was worse than before.  Our child was acting up at daycare due to the shere chaos he brought home each day and the overall tension that was felt in the home. 

This time is different.  This time, I am not believing in his lies.  Not believing that he has changed.  Not believing that the responsibilities of fatherhood has mad him a new man.  Of course, I get critisim from him in that I am not strong enough to make a decision about the marriage, I am jealous of him because he has moved beyond the past relationship, etc.  I also continue to get threats of the effects on our child and my ultimate demise.

I am standing by my decision to become healthy in life (body, mind, and spirit).  I pray for the inner strength to search for the truth and believe in myself, my mind, and my abilities as a mother.  I pray for my child and that she may not be impacted by his instability or the separated family.

God's Speed.

Please don't stay, don't go back! - Stunned - Nov 4th 2009

What an oppurtunity to be able to say these things out loud. If you are like me, friendless after only six years of marriage, you might feel like NO NONE TRULY UNDERSTANDS. Even after living on my mother's property for two months, in a tiny trailer with three children, she still puts me in pressured situations so that I feel no option other than to go back to him. But I can't! At my bravest, I've only given her vague descriptions of his behavior, like I told her about him breaking my tailbone three months back so that she would let us stay out here, but that was truly just the tip of the iceberg, and she's not interested in hearing more, nor is anyone else. They get this queer look on their face, like they can't handle too much of the awkward information. The "pinched nerve" I suffered for the last two weeks was actually the result of my mistake to let him come speak to me and give me a very important letter he wrote. I can see that people have a hard time finding any respect for me, having left him and returned several times before. Whatever way I went, either away from the torture or back to "being a family", the connections slipped away each and every time. I'm hanging by a thread now, I can see, and I refuse each and every phone call from him. He has a different family friend call me nearly every day. It doesn't matter how I put it, they all encourage me so convincingly that he is heartbroken and simply must speak to me. Last night I asked his brother in law "Do you really totally grasp what you are asking me to do? To offer my life, my physical health so that he isn't sad anymore?" The friend said "Yes, I know it's crazy, but that's what I'm asking." I said "And the mental stability and physical health of my children, too?" The friend only said "Yeah, it's so hard when kids are involved, so so hard..." The scary concept I face right now is divorce. I fear what he will do should I actually attempt this. Would he lose it completely and show up with an axe or a gun? Would he run around with the closest (former) friend of mine he could find, like he did once before when I left, to drive me insane? I tell myself that I'm going to have to accept that last idea as a true fact that will happen, because he needs so desperately to be messing with somebody, I don't know how he will make it much longer without a woman or two, if he hasn't already begun. Now that I'm away, and I read through the things people say about their own lives with men like this, bits and pieces of weird behavior he had comes up and I see it as really mean, although at the time it just confused me so bad. A good example is when we would go grocery shopping together. He would walk next to me and for some reason let his hand swing just behind me so that with each step we took, he was hitting me right in the ass. It was very uncomfortable, and if I asked him to please stop, it was a fight for sure, one that might leave me alone in the grocery store parking lot for an hour while he drove around to "punish me". I learned quickly that the fight wasn't worth it, and returned from many grocery trips with a very sore behind! Another was his preoccupation with dangerous characters that he called "friends". His recent favorite was by his side the last time I spoke to him, a man who had drunkenly tried to crawl into bed with our 10 year old daughter one night, who had randomly grabbed our 3 year old daughter by the arm so forcefully, she screamed with pain for twenty minutes that "he broke it! He broke it!" The night my husband's friend grabbed the youngest, I "took the kids to the store with me" to supposedly get snacks for this BBQ we were supposed to be having, but really it was because my husband would NOT ask this scary man to leave! Five children all put together between the two of us living in our home, and he insisted on keeping his friend sitting on the living room couch! When I wouldn't come home, my husband called me repeatedly, describing various gory deaths he would bring upon me. I was an incredible wreck. After a few days of bouncing from couch to couch with five kids, I ran out of money completely, my husband promised the friend would never come into the home again, and I didn't see what else to do but return to him. Liar! So many more stories. I wish I could write them all down, so that if one lady out there saw and recognized a chunk of her life in what I had to say, and saw how seriously sick men like this really are, she'd have the courage to disappear from the awful painful chaos too. I've had large chunks of hair ripped from my scalp with no warning whatsoever, just because he was stressed by events that happened when I wasn't around. I've been dragged around our bedroom, slammed into every piece of furniture along the way, then thrown into the closet and forgotten about like I didn't even exist. Every friend I've ever know has fallen one by one off the radar due to his rude angry mouth, or to my own disdain after he found some unacceptable flaw in them that would land me in trouble should they so much as call. My three year old has screamed in horror to see him throw ceramic dishes at my head. Were I to get sick, his anger toward me mysteriously increased to loathing. Especially if it prevented him from sex that night. He would rarely EVER lift a finger to help me in any way should I fall ill. After his extended camping trip this past summer, which had our 7 member family couch surfing in strange homes, I collapsed to the ground at a gas station from a kidney infection he had refused to acknowledge whatsoever, and for the first time in two weeks (most of it in extreme pain) I was able to sleep in a real bed when he rented us a motel room. That night, I was afraid to fall asleep, though, because my whole body was shutting down and coming back up in waves, and I was truly afraid that I would die. When he got us back home the next day, in the middle of the night I took about fifteen minutes to make it down our house stairs, and to the phone so I could call my aunt and have her come get me and take me to medical treatment. I slept in her sons bed for two and a half days straight, only waking up to eat a piece of toast or drink a glass of water. This sounds very dramatic, I know! I hope you know it's the truth! And honestly I haven't thought of these things since they happened till tonight! That is so amazing to me, that a person can convince themselves to not even think about the rotten things that have happened to them, just to survive whatever is going on today.  And so you don't think to yourself, "Well MY abusive bastard doesn't do stuff like that to me every DAY", I can tell you what your best every day scenario is like: It might even seem like a happy positive day to begin with, but the instant the phone rings, or he stubs his toe, or God forbid he can't find some personal article that he himself lost, or the children knock on the bedroom door in the wrong way (?!), or the dog doesn't instantly lay down when he tells it to lay down, or one of YOUR family members comes over to drop something off which instantly sets him on jealousy alert, YOU KNOW YOU ARE WALKING ON EGGSHELLS, and you pray pray pray that it passes easily without incident. After about five years, I finally figured out that if there was an event I was invited to, that I should never tell him anything about it till I was walking out the door. This he seemed to understand and accept. But more than an hours notice that I wished to spend time doing ANYTHING without his presence gave him too much time to think, become paranoid of it's importance, and wreck it for me completely! By the time I came back he could have an entire twisted scenario worked out as to "what really went on", but for me it was enough that I had managed to go somewhere and do something as if I were a normal average person. His rotten tongue was there for me to listen to anyway whether I went out or not! Oh I am so happy I'm out. It's cold in this trailer, and it slants a little on one side so that the ton of personal belongings stashed in here tend to fall off the shelf if one simply walks by, but it's heaven compared to with him.

what if he changes? - - Sep 2nd 2009

i am five years into the marriage from hell. for the first four years my husband was physically, emotionally, sexually and verbally abusive. for the last year he has been trying to change and has not been physically or sexually abusive for about a year now. i still live with the pain of the past and the verbal or emotional abuse brings back all of the other memories. he loves me and our children enough to try to change, he's even getting help - but how am i supposed to find peace living with a man who hurt me so badly?

Mental Abuse - Vicky Betancourt - Aug 21st 2009

My husband Francisco is a 9/11 Survivor suffering from PTSD he has been able to receive help in GA.  Now I am suffering from PTSD from caring from him.  My husband was a Wall St Banker standing at Trinity church during the attacks. I don't know how to deal with this. He became abusive after 9/11 because it triggered a Bi Polar reaction, this made him punish me. After caring for him for eight years we had to separate.  I could not take it anymore.   The nightmares and his anger turned into severe mental cruelty. His threats of suicide 9 times everytime I wanted to leave so I stayed and then more cruelty. He was hospitalized each time.  It is to much for me to take. I am beaten down. I myself attempted suicide on New Years Eve 2008. He tormented me for 7 months after that.  He finally left & took all of the money as punishment. I am disabled so Francisco punished me for that as well. I wake up to nightmares everyday crying.  I have a PFA against so he punished me again and canceled my health insurance.  He still controls me because I have no way of getting financial help.  My car is old and run down. I can't make my mortgae payment.  Is there no help for this kind of abuse? This should be a crime. The police called me a mental case when I called them for help (because of my suicide attempt) so he became more abusive. They tried to help him commit me when I called them.  The hospital sent me home becasue I explained the situation.  Everyone feels sorry for him because of 9/11.  I lived with him I know the real him. A monster he his a monster.

I see the light, but its still so far - desperate - Aug 3rd 2009

I've been married for almost 9 years but I've been with him 11.  We have 2 kids. He is a great provider but he uses that against me. I can stay home with my kids and have money in my wallet so why should I complain?  Well, I so tired of living with a man who is controlling and mentally, and emotionally abusive.  He's an alchoholic and can get really mean sometimes.  I'm scared and have been scared to leave him because I don't know how I will provide for my kids.  So 3 weeks ago I tod him it was over. I found a job and a small place to live.  I should be leaving in 2 weeks. Imagine living in the same house during this process. He told me I was evil for breaking up our family. Told me I was so evil that I would surely die of an awful illness like Cancer.  Then the next day cried and pleaded for me to stay because of course he loves me more than anything and he;s going to change! YEA RIGHT! I'm praying to get out of here as soon as possible. I know its going to take a very long time to finally feel free.  One day at a time!  With the strength from God I will one day feel like myself again, whoever that is...

Afterward - D - Jan 8th 2009

I as my mom before me sufferred from psychological, verbal and physical abuse.  At first I simply did not know better, then I came to relieze that it was not just me, and then thought that I could cope, and then that I could not/would not survive if I stayed any longer.  All attempts to find out why, to seek a method for discusseion was met with a firm no.  It has taken me several years to get over some of the grief.  It has not helped that an exbest friend knowingly got togeather with the abusers, which I had been told of (but had already suspected).  This is a small southern town, and the abuse has been continued by some of the locals, via the abusers and the exbest friend. I am the next to last one left on the trust and have/had final say re medical part.  I have waited long enough to make sure that one of the abusers did not place another member in a nurseing home before her time, but the cost has been high.  All of my most private musings, work records, health records, possesions have been gone through-where I live, where things are stored, even in the car.  I am in process of leaving the town and probaly the state. I hope that the small town abusers will not be able to locate me there.  I will be then be able to live a life in a more normal manner.  I was poor-on SSDI, and was supposed to receive half of the fiancial trust left when appropriate-which I have beien led to believe for quite some time  would not be followed. Although I do have a psych diagnosis, I am extremely high functioning and very capable, and this too has been used against me.  As I view the past and read of your site, there are some things that I wish could be further developed.  One is to have more concrete steps for formal documentation-you will need it.  Two is for a more extensive data base for self help with the after ward part of the abuse.  So many are on limited income and cannot afford therapy in the classic sense.  Third is for help in accessing work/training suggestions-if possible. Thank you for this site-its nice to know that there are people out there that know that this goes on, that you believe the abusee,  while the abuser(s) hide from  thier lies both within themeselves and within the community. 

delayed memory of abuse - peoriaindian - Dec 2nd 2008

My abuse happened when I was very young, probably 6mos more or less and I always felt out of place all my life and then when I first became pregnant the nightmares began! My marriage was not a good one and my husband was abusive, mostly verbally and tortured me mentally with pyhsical blowups from time to time and through the years everything just gradually became worse. Not only was I suffering because og my husband I also suffered a very private hell with nightmares, hallucinations and out of body experiences. Everything came to an epiphany on my 35th birthday and finally realized that the last ten yrs especially was trying to work out the memory of my abuse. I doing good noe and have moved on with my life and have a fantastic man in my life now. But, what concerns me is that at certain times of stress or change I get this feeling that something happened or is happening. Its hard to explain but, sometimes I'll put things away or something and then when I go back for them these things are totally gone. I even look through the garbage sometimes and there is no trace. Other times I will be working with others or doing things with others and they will ask me if I seen a certain item or something and I do not know, which could be normal. But, It seems to be happening more often lately and then I cannot know if I did have something to do with it and maybe my friends and co-workers suspect me and they are just being nice or think I'm wierd. It scares me more than anything! When I was in the depths of my personal torture it was getting so bad I was afraid to sleep, because I would have out of body experiences that I truly thought and felt I was going to be gone forever and then the thought of my children would rush me back and I was starting to notice that I would all of sudden be in another room and realize time has pasted by and wonder where I was before and then be panic stricken about where are my children and who was watching them these last few minutes. We lived on a small farm and if they were outside I would have to keep a very close watch on them. I would be so scared until I knew they were alright, but so confused about what was going on, it was not like dejuvu it was like I magicaly appeared unaware of how I got there or where I was before!

wanting to heal - sandy - Nov 29th 2008

so hard to begin... 43 and going through a divorce a second time and wishing it would just all disappear, but it won't go away.

i think i have stepford wife in invisible ink on my forehead.  pretty, medium height, bright happy eyes hiding loads of pain, and boundless energy i seem to attract men in droves.

this time out of the gate i HAVE to do this on my own and stay alone.   no one can save me from the demons lurking inside my head.  ferriting them out is the task.

all of this sh#t in my head is holding me back.  i need to remove it and i need to see me as worthy of being loved or stay out of relationships.   i am a give a pleaser and until i can find a way to choose, i just have to forget even playing the game or it will end up the same way.

my beautiful children need more than i can ever say, for me to figure this out.  they cycle has to end with me.

my dad was a bully, but better than my mothers father who molested her.  i have seen my father physically abuse my mother, thus when the abuse isn't that bad, it has to be doable right?

well this little girl voice in my head, from long long ago, screams: hey biatch why are you stupid (she is a sweet sweet girl but angry with me)?  get out of here and do it NOW or you will hurt your children.  do you want to hurt them as i have been hurt? 


self preservation is a powerful thing...  i hope i have enough of it to figure this all out, as that little girl is tired of being abused and wants to grow up and be loved as Jesus tells her she is worthy of.... 








does the continious rape of me ever stop - torie - Nov 13th 2008

I see her in my minds eye, small, cold and scared.  I watch like a movie in my soul, as the fear in her rises, she's hiding, she can taste the fear paralizing her but she hangs on, hiding in the closet inside grandma's coat.  The scene changes and she's trying to act like she's dead under the pillow being held on her face, somehow knowing death was very very close.  The scenes race faster and faster as one excape from death after the other happens to the child.  She survives, but she runs and sneaks, hides and begs for many years.  She becomes an actress of stealth.  When she runs she finds that out there in the dark are men hunting her.  Where does it stop. She picks one at 16 to save her only to find that within one day of marriage she is beaten senseless by her new tormentor.  She has no help , she fights back , she runs, she sneaks , hides and begs for 10 years.  Then one day he beats her child and she finds away to trick herself free and she runs.

Years go by of poverty and drugs but she hangs on and survives for her son.  She marries and divorces quickly again, but smarter this time, she gets out quick with her suitcase and son in tow. 

Bars and resturants hire uneducated people, but there you have to look good to make money and if you do......well you attract them, the abusers of course and the family that taught her how to run is always there to re-teach her at every turn.  But she survives, she runs , she hides. 

Years go by and finally she meets a different MO (someone not her type) but she tries one more time and he's sweet and a loving man

They marry and 23 years later I'm writing this in a mountain cabin in the woods, with everything she ever dreamed of.  The love, the kindness, the tenderness.  Perfect right?  Everything is so right but I run, I hide, I cry , I am so fearful its like myself won't let me be happy.  How do you stop this.  The dreams over and over, the  shaking in my soul , the pulled curtains , the locked doors , the fear.

Why can't I get up and move around, why can't I feel the happiness thats all around me , I thought I was healed after all the therapy but here it is 23 years later rising up its ugly head and torturing me again.  The fear. I'm almost 60 and I don't want to feel the fear anymore.  Its so hard to repeat my story over and over I just don't want to talk about it anymore. I just want to let myself be happy.

How do you let yourself just be happy , how do you stop the fear? 

How do I stop the continious rape of me? 

been threw it for so long that i just take it... - Misty - Nov 11th 2008

i am 19 now. when i was younger my step grandfather's wife passed when i was five. when she passed alot of things started to happen. my grandfather started to touch me in bad ways wich would hurt. he would tell lme that if i tryed to tell anyone they wouldnt belive me because i am young. i grew up going threw this for eight years of my life. after he passed two years ago i finally told my mom. and she blames her self everyday still. i have come to relize that i have problems trusting people ex. guys. and i seem to get into abusive relation ships. even tho i went to consuling for two years i still had problems opening up. i have been engaged once before. to this guy who i can say beat the crap outta me to the point were i now can never feel safe around guys. i am afraid that every time they raise there hand even to give me a huge that i flintch and they just look at me weird.  for two years sence the day i started to get abused i knew i wanted to get outta the relationship. but i didnt know how. i was affraid of him. he was about 6'3 and 3somethin. no one really understands  y i do this becasue i wont tell them. Now i am engaged to who i think is the love of my life. but some times i am scared. when he gets mad he starts yelling and blaming me for stuff. i know he has had somethingings happen to him in the past were he has his anger issues but i dont know how to show him that i am not cheating on him and that he can trust me with out flipping out on him back. i dont take anyones crap. i will fight back with everything i got if its what i belive in and it seems that this past week all we been doing is fighting. i have a strong feeling that he has cheated on me again but i cant comfrunte him about it becasue we end up fighting and thats the lst thing i want to do with him. can you help?

I really want to help her! - Loren - Oct 26th 2008

At work she is truly an amazing indepented girl full of piss and vinegar! she won't take guff from anyone, but at home its adifferent story she lets him control her life & he hit's her I really want to help her but she believes she is the problem would love to know where to start we are not that close and we just recently met 6 months ago & she is still pretty hesitant about talking to me at times where can I start?

abuse or single motherhood? - jennifer - Sep 12th 2008

Hey people I am stuck between a rock and a hard place, 36 years old and pregnant.  The father of my child and I have been living together and recently I have come to realize he is verbally emotionally abusive of me, there are patterns established, and recently he has injured me and claims it was an accident.  OK I realize the situation but am weighing the consequences the disadvantages of a fatherless child, or the disadvantages of a child witnessing verbal and emotional abuse of the mother??? 


Friends abuse - Sabrina - Aug 12th 2008

well to start off this is not for e but for my male friend. well to start into this he is openly Gay.but he has been being abused by his step dad sense he was 7 years old and he is now 16.i had seen markings on his mouth where i now know was from a gage and through out the school year i had seen some odd markings and cuts on his arms and hands and mouth. i didn't notce because he was very happy and made my day shine a whole lot brighter.but i resently found out from his aunt that he ahd been abused.and that his mother and step father had been fighting and he tryed to seeperate them and had ended up being thrown out a picture window.noth serouse just a few deep gashes on his arms.and while at the hospital he told the doctor what had been happening to him and that his step dad was going to try and start sexualy abuseing my friends lilest brother who is cerently in middle my friend and his sister and his two lil brotehrs are now out of the house and liveing with their biological fathers and my friend with his grandparents.the step dad is behind bars but has a chance of getting out. my friend is also transfered to another school close by but he will not be attendeing the same school as i will be but i will be able to see him as much as i can.but i am still worried taht this sick man could get out and harm my friend even more.and how long can this man be held behind bars for?

Do you really ever completely heal? - Wondering .... - Aug 8th 2008
I was abused from the time I was 5 yr old until I was 25 yr old. By several different people. Physical, sexual and mentally. I am now 35. I have had my turn at the hospital, on medications and went through therapy. I have been away from the abuse for ten years. I now have a great support system. I am happy now. I have been going really strong for two years. I even went back to school. Is it normal to have short bursts of pain and feelings that I have come to terms with? The only times it seems to bother me is when I hear about a similar situation, or are asked questions about my parents. Is this something I will be dealing with for the rest of my life? Or am I not really healed yet? How will I know if I am truly over it. It does not bother me on a daily basis anymore. I have accepted that I am no longer the child getting abused. I am no longer the victum. I am the survivor who is more than just a person who was abused. I am a mother, a wife and a person who has learned to respect myself. I have forgiven the abusers for the things that has happened. But I feel the hurt when I go through these short term bursts. It only lasts a few hours, not months like it used to be. Please let me know the answer if you know. How do you know when you are completely healed? Will this still affect me for the rest of my life?

Things are really screwed up - Marina - Jul 12th 2008

I am married to an abuser. The abuse began soon after our daughter was born - almost 13 years.  For years he blamed his depression and anxiety - which he treats with prescribed medication. I guess I accepted the depression as a reason. I should mention that he was extremely jealous from the beginning. I didn't know that was a warning sign.

Things reached a flash point on June 10. He attacked me again. He slapped me hard across the face, He threw things at me pulled a knife, He woke our daughter, but this didn't stop him. He threatened some of our friends. He broke the phone and pulled the cord out of the wall. knocked over the computer, held us against our will backed us into a bedroom and stabbed the knife into the door jamb, until our daughter was finally able to run to the neighbours' house.

Throughout this ordeal he kept saying "I am protecting myself".  When he realized our duaghter was gone he called me a bitch and I told him to leave before the police came.  He left, but the next day he returned. I told him we went to the police and he threatened suicide by police. I told him he needed help...

To make a long story short, he has been in custody since that time. I have had no contact with him. At the beginning I was afraid for him and for myself if he returns. I found out from Victim services that he will go back in front of a judge in August, and is undergoing a psych evaluation. He is receiving counselling and has started to try and reach out to me through his mother. I am angry and resentful and do not wish to talk to him at this point. His depression I realize is no excuse for his abuse.

Our daughter asked me why didn't I kick him out a long time ago. I realize my daughter has been profoundly affected by what she has seen, and experienced. Trying to maintain the family has had long term consequences to our daughter. I don't want her to have to live this with a future partner. I found out that when she ran to the neighbours' house she was saying "Call the police my dad is depressed".

Things are really screwed up. I sent our daughter soon after this incidence so she could have some peace, I am relieved that he is gone and I feel guilty about that but I am so angry at him, too. I am taking life one day at a time.

Knowing he is locked up for another month helps me feel safe.  but what then?

AnotherstupidniceGuy - AnotherstupidniceGuy - Jun 27th 2008

I'm 36 year old father of 3 beautiful daughters.  My wife and I have been together for over 10 years.  We live in a nice house in a beatiful neighbourhood.   My job is great and my wife is able to be a stay at home mom.  Kids are more or less healthy and happy.

My wife obsesses with maintaining control over my life and my childrens.   She uses emotional triggers and threats.. to control my actions.   She also can never be satisfied with our life.  At first she wanted a house which she was thrilled with.   Soon after she was unhappy with the house and we moved to a more expensive house.   For my wife the cup is always half empty and I am the one responsible for this problem.  Fortunately my carreer has improved along the way.

My wife also isolates me from friends and familly, limiting my time away from home and on the phone.  The limits are not always by the hour but by the manipulations and excuses.  She also puts down some of my closest familly members including my parents and brother. 

To further limit my interactions outside of our relationship, she uses many irrational thoughts to control my time socializing with other people.  I've been accuses of having affairs to limit time talking to neighbours and coworkers.   I've also been accused of being a homosexual to stop me from offering rides to men I see at the bus stop (commuting to downtown).

Even having a hot shower is gives me anxiety because I never know when my wife will come in unhappy that I used too much hot water.   On one occassion I had a shower at 4:00 am before leaving for a long drive for work.  My wife was asked that I cut my shower short so she could have hot water for her shower immediately after.   It's not about the hot water, It's about the control.

What makes the constant attacks difficult is the irrationality.   The more irrational the attacks the more it emotionaly hurts my soul.  The clock is a great way to exude control.   I never really know what time it really is and the consequences of not making the planned event on time.  It's not about the time really, it's about the control and touching my emotions along the way.

I don't blame my wife entirely.  I know she likely grew up in an environment that help foster her need for control.

Over the past 6 months I've been vocal that I don't want to have a fourth child.  Everybody knows I don't want a fourth except my wife.  My explanation is that we have 3 beatiful kids and we are both pushing 40.  I also have been living with anxiety (depression?) over the past 2 years.   My wife has ignored my wishes and has tried her best to get pregnant.  She did get pregnant and I was actually relieved she had a miscarriage soon after.

I told her I was planning a vasectomy because I did not want another child and that I couldn't trust her to respect my choice to stop at 3 kids.  No matter how many times I indicated to her that I didn't want 3, she still tried her best in the bedroom to get pregnant.  She was friendly in bed but if I didn't follow through myself she became very irritable and threatening.

To stop my vasectomy I was threatened with Divorce and an enternity of embarassment in front of friends and familly because I didn't get her mutual approval.  She also insisted that she'd try to find another man as soon as possible with the hope of having 4,5 or 6 more children.

I postponed the vasectomy to give her more time to absorb the idea but after going ahead with the procedure, I received 4 days of intense emotional abuse with no end in sight.  Divorce was the main topic she pushed on me even though she had no intention to leave me.   I tried to send signals to her that I was under emotional stress (anxiety) but that only encouraged her that her tactics were working.

My extended familly read between the lines and heard my distress call over the phone. They decided to take turns flying out to help me through this difficult time.   Only when I realized that I had support from familly and friends did I have the courage to remove myself from the situation.  So far I've been able to sleep away from home for 2 weeks to help deal with my anxiety.  Counselling, anti-depressants and sleeping pills have been a big help as well.

I have to consider leaving my wife and start sharing time with the children.  The financial hardship of divorce and the tough road ahead explaining everything to our children isn't attractive.  I often consider going back to my wife...hoping for the best.

My wife had threatened divorce repeatedly and when I said I'd be going away for a week, she literally dropped to her knees begged me not to leave her.   I had intense anxiety at that time and really had no choice but to leave the house and avoid the abuse.

My big concern is what we are doing to our 3 daughters.  They are being exposed to emotional abuse tactics and they are not seeing proper husband - wife role models.   Unfortunately my wifes emotional tactics have made the girls extremely insecure when she leaves the house for only a short while.   My wife also is unable to be away from the kids for any length of time.   2 days would be very difficult.

Wish me luck.  Sleeping a little better.  Living with bouts of anxiety.  Looking for a place to live.

A big thank you to friends and familly for supporting our familly through this tough tough time. 

Hopefully other men being emotionally abused and controlled have the courage to remove themselves from their abuser and learn to be in a proper loving relationship.

Realizing that my wife needs Control more than she needs me being happy and healthy is upsetting


lasting effects from childhood - Judy - May 14th 2008

Repeatedly sexaully abused at the age of 6 by a 16 year old neighbor. At age 8, began the life-long journey of enduring the physical and mental abuse from my mother, father and brothers. I watched my father try to choke my mother to death, put a gun to her head with my 3 year old brother tugging at his pants begging him to stop. Called the police on my father when he used my mother as a shield when my uncle pointed a gun at him. Ran from the house screaming for anyone to help me as my father repeatedly kicked my mother in her crotch and bashed her head against the door.  I could go on and on. The memories NEVER leave!!

As the only daughter, my mother took everything out on me. I was severely beaten by  her and she allowed my 2 brothers to beat me as well. I was beaten at least twice a month from the age of 6 to 18. I was actually beaten by her the day before my wedding!!  Unfortunately, leaving the abusive home I had known as a child didn't solve the problem for me. I was insecure in my relationship with my husband and never felt he loved me. That's the hardest thing for me right now. At the age of 57, I can honestly say I don't have any idea what it feels like to be loved. I don't trust anyone who says they love me. I have had problems with relationships with co-workers, friends and relatives. I just won't let anyone get too close. Yet, what I long for more than anything is to feel loved!!

Having learned about BPD from this website, I now know there is a name for what I am suffering with and I feel like there is a light at the end of this terrible tunnel.  I am very thankful to Dr. Schwartz for all the good information available on this website.



Hope - jennie - May 9th 2008

I have been abused for only 2 months by a man I was working for.  He played games, told lies, shouted and intimidated me. He tried to embarass and humiliate me several times. The ladies in the office used to feel sorry for him because I didn't want to come into work. He lied to everyone and tried to control me while I was there. The rest of the workers in a different building didn't know what was going on. He was psychologically abusing me for nearly 2 months. At the end, he told me it was my fault because I had criticised him about something at the beginning. I can still hear his argument that he was punishing me or "getting me back" for something I did to him. I'm sure I didn't do anything to him. I feel like he took the fun out of everything, I was really going somewhere for a change until he put the breaks on. Some days I feel a little like myself, but nothing like the amazingly strong funny independant and inteligent personality that I was. I think men are often most afraid of the strongest women. If anyone has any hope or advice on how to get that strenth back, please help. I don't want to feel as though I will never get that person back again. I have found a few things which are helpful from a psychologist, including some books on self esteem. If anyone has any other tips please let me know.

Nikki- Be prepared to hear it for the rest of your life. - A Concerned Citizen - Mar 26th 2008

Nikki from Texas- Be aware that that mistake you made a long time ago, when you cheated, is far from over in his mind. Be prepared to hear those same vulgar comments for the rest of your life. In the future, it will probably be so bad that when you two go out, and there just happens to be a black guy in the same place as ya'll; he will accuse you of staring and flirting with him. In most states it is illegal for a 20 year old to have relations with a 16 year old. I know you don't want to hear this, but in a few years you will look back and see what I am talking about. Your first clue about this guy should be the fact that he is already breaking the law by dating you. Right off the bat! When this happens so soon in the relationship; what can you possibly be looking forward to and expecting next?

Holding you down and terrorizing you knowingly because he is aware that you were molested as a child!?!? This is not love. Think about it for awhile and then ask yourself how you can possibly mistake his actions as love. This man is a loser. He can't even find someone his own age (adult) to date because girls his age are to wise to fall for his "ways". This is why he relies on 16 year olds (children) from broken homes for companionship. He knows that girls this age are vulnerable and naive; thus, making them a good target. He is also aware that these same girls from broken and or abusive homes themselves, are looking for someone, anyone to "love" them or show them any kind of attention at all since they did not get any in their home life. Since he knows that seeing abuse growing up is the norm for these girls, he knows he can get away with it. So, if he learns that the innocent naive 16 year old is also from a dysfunctional family; thats even better, taking them from the status of "good target" to the "perfect victim."

Most of your problem lies within the fact of your circumstances so far in your young life. You have not only been exposed to domestic violence more than once, but you have also been sexually molested by a close family member. Therefore, this is all you know. This is the only way that you know how to be treated. You most likely would have no idea how to act if a guy actually liked you and treated you well. Please, get rid of this loser guy. You've seen the effects of domestic violence on your mother. You've seen her struggle. You've seen her in fear for her life. You've seen her turn to alcohol because the stress and pain was to much to take. Why would you want to go down that same road? Men like you are describing do NOT change. There is nothing different about your relationship that makes it special and more prone to change. A lot of women think this, but they are lying to themselves as a way of coping. There are so many resources available for you to help you get out of your relationship with him. Be smart this time, use them! Start looking into these things. Hopefully, since you mention he stays in trouble with the law a lot; this can be fixed without you having to do a whole lot , if anything. I pray so! From now on; never rush into a relationship with anyone. You are special, you are valuable. Why would a girl that is so special and so valued sweat over any guy, much less that scum? Respect yourself! When you have respect for yourself it shows, and will attract guys to you that will respect you as well. Let us know how things go.

Abuser on his 3rd victim - - Feb 18th 2008

How could a woman ever ignore an email from a mans children about how he abused them and then ignore the huge red flag?

I am sickened that another woman will go through the abuse 2 others have already been through. 1 is now ok, but still has a child the man has never met or even held. The other is in therapy for the abuse she dealt with for 13 years and the children were abused after she left him when he had visitation.

Why isn't there  a database of guys you just don't go near?

It is very sad, that a 26 year old woman would be so ignorant. 

after the abuse comments - - Jan 25th 2008
I was with my abuser for 13 years.  I am happy to say that I finally found the strength to leave.  My children are much happier.  The only thing that I am really mad about and it makes no sense is that all of our friends are now his friends and not mine.  They want nothing to do with me because they don't believe me, even though I have police reports etc.  He is such a friendly person on the outside, no one (not even me ) would suspect he was such a miserable nasty person.  Now all of the friends we have made over the years we had together are gone.  I know that if they were Really good friends they would still be friends but thats not the case.    I am slowly making new friends and have a new boyfriend who is the kindest person I know, who respects me.  I am 46 years old and have changed my life and career.  If you are in an abusive situation, leave when you can.  It will be hard, and you may not have a lot of money or friends but you can finally breathe and live your life without having to worry every second about what is going to happen next.

Is This How It starts??? - Nikki, From Texas - Jan 17th 2008

i'm 16, And my boyfriend is almost 20, He loves me Better than any one has before, and I Would take a bullet to the head for this man, But we argue alot, and what scares me is that he uses my past mistakes against me to hurt me, and hits me with low blows in any way possible just to hurt me... I tell him he keeps hurting me when he says these things, but he just says, "So? You hurt me?" He says i nagg at him constantly and he has no freedom, I know i'm young, but I am not against smoking pot, except the fact that it's illegal.. I don't do anything else, i rarely even drink... I let him smoke pot whenever he wants to, but when he drinks, he destroys items in every room possible, he yells and gets into fights with other guys... Sometimes when he drinks, and we fight, he'll hold me down and breathe in my face and say horrible things.... Their is a story to the breathing in my face.... When i was little, my older brother sexually abused me, and he used to hold me down and breathe in my face... to this day, i can't handle beathe deliberately blown in my face... He knows this and still torments me with it.... It makes me sick to my stomache when this happens.... He says i give him no freedom... It may be true to some extent because he is on probation and i won't let him do anything that will get him put in prison, except smoke pot, that is one thing i will never argue with... He is A-D-D and he needs it to calm down... A long time ago, i cheated on him with a black guy, i told him as soon it happened, it was about a year ago.... And still, when we argue, he'll say, "You just want that black co** in you don't you?" or "Go fuck a nigger!" He says more than that, like he hates me, i'm disgusting, i'm ugly, i'm filthy, i'm a slut, a whore, I'm a bitch... But it's always my fault, and i know it's not ALL my fault, but i still feel the blame for things i know i shouldn't... He'll break up with me just to hear me cry... He says, "I sound innocent when i cry." I feel like i'm going crazy.... I don't want things to end this way, i don't want things to end at all, except all this verbal and emotional abuse... If he is upset at me, i'll try to hold him and he'll fling me off and call me a nasty whore. He says he loves me with all his heart, and not to change anything about my body, he loves me the way i am, not to try to loose weight, if i gain some it's okay... he can be so sweet most of the time... things are getting a little better.... But how long will it stay? He would do anything for me, he has never hit me, and he says he never will... But sometimes he says i'm lucky i walked out of the room or he would have slapped me... if he ever hits me though, I WILL leave, my mother was abused by my father for the first 8 years of my life, and she drinks constantly because of it... She finally left him when i turned 8, and moved me to Texas to live with a man she met over the internet... He verbally messed with her head, and mine, he died 3 years ago on Easter morning of Cancer.... So i am no stranger to abuse of any kind. I've been a personal witness to it all... But I love this man so damn much, i don't want to say goodbye... He says he wants everything to be better, and that he wouldn't do the things he does sometimes, if i would just calm down... Maybe I am a little hot tempered sometimes, but please, someone email me at to tell me what you think i should do...

Half the battle - Gee - Dec 26th 2007
I was reading all the comments on here. For quite some time now I have been doing alot of research on abuse to make sense out of my situation. It's weird because I felt like I was a wife that was battered & abused meanwhile I was the daughter. My parents divorced once my mom took my brother and I to a safe home. He was abusive in every way with my mother. Because my mom couldn't take care of us with her substance abuse problems my brother went to live with my father for 4 years during highschool. I learned that abuse is universal, they do and say almost the same exact things. I wasn't sexually abused but voilated in every other way. I finally moved out at 20, and continued a relationship with him. He woiuld use his help techniques (acts of kindness-evil) to distort my perceptions on how I should be spoken to and treated. Finally at 26 years old I know that the tiger isn't changing his stripes... but I need to love myself and not speak with someone who raped any ounce of self-worth and innocense I had. Abusers are so insecure, so harmful... and so annoying! I think most of them do have narcassist behaviors which consitutes their rants and raves, they are crazy. Although he is my father, I learned that it doesn't mean a thing! I have got involved in the past in brief relationships with men who definitely showed signs of abuse such as trying to have all my time, calling me to check up in diquise to say hello meanwhile there wasn't any meaning to the conversation, started calling me "a blond" saying they were joking, emotionally absent, the list could go on... I think we all need to heal, getting away is half the battle! Goodluck and godbless!

Man that ended relationship with abusive woman - StupidNiceGuy - Dec 13th 2007

This is very embarassing for me to admit but I just ended a 2.5 year relationship or pure abuse.  She was nice for two and a half months and was realy a warm and caring person.  I did see warning signs right away but ignored them due to her charm and beauty.  I first noticed that she wwas a public blackout drinker and overly friendly sometimes.  We were dating for a few months and she started letting me see her flash and other stuff to make suiters.  We are in our 30s and i was not impressed.  I started to pull away at this point but her first daughter became ill and i felt bad for them and went back.  Soon after i was convinced that she will change (charm) and we decided to have a baby ( no regret).  this is when she became very abusive.  First i was isolated, then extorted.  I finally asked her to marry me and bought a house.  This did nothing.  She agreed to marry and move in so I could support her.  Then she became very abusve physically.  If i said something wromg or bothered her too much I was in for it.  I never fought back beside calling poilce.  I am very embarased by this.  She always made me believe that everything was my fault.  I didnt do enoough without being asked and was too touchy feely.  I just wanted to touch the belly that held my unborn daughter.  This woman put me through pure hell for the entire pregnancy .  After my beautiful daughter was born things got worse.  I was left to care for the baby everynight.  I didnt complain but I didnt think it was right. I worked full time days and would take baby from moment i came home until I had to leave the next morning.  My ex would be out with the girls.  Again my fault for some reason.  She openly dated others and would even tease me about it when she came home with herexpensive gifts.  I held on for another year but had to give up. She was turning me abusive.  I started calling her wh*** and sometimes would yell in front of my kids.  I regret that but my pain and suffering overwhelmed me and i think some of her traits were becoming mine. 

Now I am getting consoling for my experience and fighting to get visitation for my daughter.  She is stil lblaming me for everything.  What she doesnt see is that that all of her past relationships read exactly like the one I just described.  I am glad that I am away from her but I still feel very much for her well being and she know that.  I wish I could be an uncaring bastard sometimes.  I just cant.  She was abused by her father during her childhood and I blame that for her actions.  I wish she would get help before she self destructs.

Beat Physical Abuse now trapped in emotional abuse - - Dec 1st 2007
I feel that I am an intelligent educated person. My first marriage was to a man who physically abused me. That marriage ended 4 years and 2 kids later. Thank goodness I had my sister there to keep me strong. She was always reminded me of the horror I had endured at this mans hands whenever I'd get scared and contemplate going back to him.  My second marriage is even worse, he verbally and emotionally abuses me. We have been married for 16 years now and have a 13 year old daughter.  I didn't truly understand what had been happening to me until I made the decision to move with or without him. We both work, yet he keeps all of his money and blows it on alcohol and I'm over burdened with debt because I have been having to pay the mortgage, groceries, medical bills, etc and my income isn't enough to cover all of these things. He always makes me feel that it was my fault, to include his drinking problems (if you would just go away I wouldn't need to drink anymore). I've always felt as if I'm a failure and unworthy of anything and anybody since we'd been married after the first year.  He makes me feel that I can never survive without him or be a good mom to my kids without him. He constantly be littles my other kids and my family. He has to control everything or our lives become a living hell. I always thought that physical abuse was worse than emotional and verbal abuse, but I now believe differently. I would leave this man except my our daughter becomes an emotional reck whenever I mention the possibility of the "D" word. Life hasn't been so great since we separated because she's an emotional reck She wants to go live with him, but I just can't bring myself to allow this because of his drinking and constant bad mouthing of me. He tells her thing a father has no business telling his young daughter, making her hate me even more. I;m lost as our new life hasn't taken the path I expected that it would. 

Does this sound familiar? - - Nov 27th 2007

I am 31 year old college instructor.  You would think being educated would allow a person to recognize when someone is doing something wrong but it happens so subtly thats where it gets everyone.  I have been with an abusive man for two years.  I am now 7 months pregnant and feel absolutely trapped, as I am sure others in similar situations feel.  It started off with him wanting all my attention and time which was fine early on but I find it very smothering now.  If I could convince him to let me out to see friends or family then I would have to endure him calling several times while I was out using every means possible to convince me it was time to come home.  He would check my e-mail and phone logs to monitor who I was talking to.  I was expected to give up all male friends and eventually all other friends.  After a year of this I found myself friendless and isolated from my family which had meant so much to me before.  I agreed to marry him, the good times always seem so good and I did things that later I wished I could take back. 

 Then the abuse started, small at first a shove, name calling and of course followed by lots of apologies, so these small incidents off as accidents.  Then the abuse got bad, it started with a bad argument.  He locked me in the back bedroom with him and refused to let me leave.  He threw me around, slapped me numerous times, choked me, pinned me down and shouted horrible things to my face taking on a form that was hardly recognizeable as the person I thought I knew.  I tried to escape but he was stronger than me.  I tried fighting back, big mistake, I just got abused more.  Several hours later I had dark bruises on my arms and legs, black eyes from the slaps and bruises on my neck from being strangled.  But, the bruises went much deeper than the surface, he had beaten my spirit down to dirt and took everything from me I no longer felt like the strong independent person I once was.  In a matter of two months this happened two more times.  The third time I got away and called the police, they were appaled at the bruises and they couldn't see all of them several were in places that I didn't feel comfortable showing them.  They warned me not to go back but I did and about a month later was pregnant and feeling as though I was on a runaway freight train and I wasn't in control of what was happening to me and the direction my life was going.  Even after the judge put him on probation for one year and ordered he take anger managment classes the abuse continued, not as bad but I was still getting slapped, strangled, thrown around, held against my will (he would hide my keys, purse and cell phone whenever arguments broke out so I couldn't leave) and now spit on (didn't show bruises) even after I was pregnant, it didn't seem to matter to him.  The abuse took on a more psychological form but still just as damaging.  I will not profess that I didn't say some horrible things to him out of anger, I once slapped him after enduring hours of verbal put downs however, I never could have done the things to him that he did to me.  That is the difference ladies put yourself in their shoes what would you do?  Would you behave the way they do?  I doubt it.  There was a few times during these episodes that I picked up objects and threatened to hit him with them if he came near me or touched me again but couldn't do it and every time I dropped the object only to let him come at me and punish me for trying to defend myself.  There is something wrong with them in that they think what they have done is justified but nothing justifies such anger and violence, what makes it worse is that the women they are with continue to love, forgive and support them which only makes it worse.  I am presently trying to get out of the relationship with the help and support of my counselor who has had to work very hard at helping me to see that it is not my fault, that I am not crazy and the feelings I feel are real and justified.  I am severely depressed and suicidal I never thought a person could have destroyed me and who I was the way he has.  I now have to convince myself not to feel guilty for leaving and taking his child with me because by abusing me while I was pregnant he has made it clear that he is not concerned for the well being of me or this child.  The hard part is to not look back, there are good times but not enough to justify the bad this is the hard part and I think when we leave we tend to feel sadness for the good things that we are leaving, better yet we need to remind ourselves of all the bad.     

Saved myself - Lin - Nov 25th 2007

There is hope for you victims regardless of your gender. I finally ended a verbally and emotionally abusive 3yr 10 month relationship with a man who almost destroyed me in all aspects. There was drug abuse, isolation from my family and friends, alternative lifestyle (sex) and my constant struggle to make it work in some sic way.

I ended up being severely depressed, exhausted, spiritually void, unable to focus on my work, my housework, my general I allowed a person to control me.

It has now been 1 week since I ended this caustic relationship.  I feel empowered and a sense of renewal. I have changed my phone numbers and actually have worked out three days in a row. I am reconnecting with friends and family again slowly.

However here is a caution to you.  Because I was in that relationship for almost 4 years I still feel connected to my abuser mentally.  I will begin counseling soon to help me overcome this feeling in order to keep moving on.

Good luck to all of you. The fact you are reading and researching this area is the first step to your happiness.

GET AWAY NOW! - kelly - Nov 21st 2007

I have been abused in my marriage now for 6 years. Its mostly all verbal at this point. He has hit me, kicked me, and I am sure he has cheated on me. I just can't prove it. He tells me my mother is stupid, my sister a whore, my brother has never been married and does not know what he is talking about and he saids my 3 girls from another marriage take advantage of me! He disapproves of my job, my friends, and family. I can't really have any privacy at home because he smothers me. If I talk on the phone its with my boyfriend. If I give my opinion he talks down to me. I pay all the bills, work full time and take care of hime and 3 kids. He yells at me and tells me you can see down my shirt. Which you cannot. He tells me you can see inside my bra??? Which is inside my shirt. He saids my shorts are to short. I buy the long ones and then he saids they wide in the legs and you can see up my shorts. He wants to run my bath water every night so I can hurry up and get the kids to bed! If I don't have sex with him every day, yes I said every day, sometimes 2-3 times a day then I am cheating with someone else. If I go to the grocery store - he wants to go.. The only time I have to myself is when I take a bath and he pretty much times me. I have to go from career woman- to wife- to sex queeen in a matter of minutes. He has tried previously when we lived in maryland to isoloate me from my family and all of my friends. I had nobody but him.

Now the story changes- I left and moved 850 miles away with my 3 children to florida. Guess what? He followed me here. As I sit in my chair at the office, I see hime drive by at least twice a day. Can anyone every really escape?? He still calls me, rants and raves, calls me a slut & a whore. He tells me that I am a wanttobe woman. And......... Here is the sad part. I am not conceited but I am a very beautiful woman. I do not date because truthfully I am pretty much afraid and I don't trust people after everything I have been through. Yes he sexually abused me to. He said he did it because he hated his ex wife and always wanted to hurt her the way she hurt him.

The said part in all this is that deep down I have always loved him. He is everything any woman wants initially. He's gorgeous and looks like he should be on the cover of gq magazine! And no I am no just saying that. He is a bodybuilder of 20 years. He goes to the gym about every other day. He is the most insecure man I have ever met in my life. He thinks every woman is no good. All my friends are whores, etc. He hates that I can take care of myself and my kids without his help. Dont get me wrong. I am stressed out pretty much all the time. I feel as if I have the weight of world on my shoulders. But guess what, I have done it.

He refuses to sign the divorce papers and saids how much he loves me. In the mean time (without his knowledge I have bought a house on my own, have a steady good paying job and I am okay.

The message is this! Get out now! Don't stay and live for him. Dont you understand?? He will never love you that way that you need to be loved. He will continue this until he destroys you!! Thats his goal. Once destroyed you will always been around to torture! Be safe and heed this advice. If you are saying to yourself, thats easy for you to say.....My answer is this! He is the only man I have ever loved. The hardes thing to do was to leave. I cry sometimes uncontrollably every night. But my life and my kids life are worth far more than that life! My life is very hard, but at the end of a long day - he is not there hurting me, putting me down, and I don't walk on eggshells worrying whether or not I will do something that just pisses him off. I can finally rest! My kids are doing well in school.

Its kinda funny! He just drove by my office to see if I was here! Yea I have a window seat! How pathetic. Tomorrow is thanksgiving and yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am lonely!!!!!!!!!!He probably wants me to call him and invite him to dinner. For what!!! So he can come back and try to manipulate and control me again. Thats okay! I like peace and quiet.. Its okay to be yourself. Those of you who say "thats easy for her to say - she has a job and a home. When I first got here I had nothing but trashbags ful of clothes and had to stay with my mom with 3 kids! I have worked hard for 2 years and have set my mind to this! I am a good person and I will find my prince charming someday and so will you! You just have to wake up honey! Stop being scared! One more day, one more week, I will get better... I am telling you it will only get worse! Those of you with kids better realize the example you are setting for them. They will grow up to be just like you, or sadly enough your husband. Or get involved with a man like your husband and think it's okay. Afterall mom lives like this???????? My girls are now 18, 14, and 9. So no! Its hard but ohhh so worth it. If you can't do it for yourself then do it for your kids! Fight that sob with everything you have! You can get out of this!!!!!!! I care do you?

Tips for Helping Yourself After Its Ended - Sarah - Nov 3rd 2007
I read a lot about emotional abuse because of my own situation that I left a year ago. It was a short term relationship, two years, but I am still suffering from it. I went to therapy for a few months and felt better but I am still not my old self. I look for information on ways to bounce back from an abusive relationship and frankly, there's not much out there. I feel like my thoughts are always going to be tainted because of this experience and I'd like to know from all of you...when does it get better? Its impossible for me at this point to even be able to identify any feelings in myself whatsoever to want another relationship. I have such an aversion to the opposite sex and my energy is very bad. I believe that a vibe exists in me that sends a message to the opposite sex to leave me alone. So, when does this pass? And why am I still focused on the abusive relationship? I am a very busy person, I'm raising our daughter, I have my own business, I have a lot of friends and a great support system. How come nothing seems to help me move on? I hope that one day I just wake up and I think to myself, ahhhhhh my life can begin again. Help! People keep saying you'll feel better, give it time, etc. etc. Is this going to take years? I was only in this awful thing for 2 years why is it impacting me so much? If anyone knows of a good book about how to move on afterwards, please post it.

Thanks commenters. - one who knows 2 - Oct 23rd 2007

It is reassuring to know so many others understand the terrible torment and destruction that I know so well from 25 years in an abusive marriage.  It amazes me everyday that I lived through that and actually got out of it! Every day with them is so hopeless and all dependent on whether the abusive person will finally get the help they need or come to their senses or all the excuses we make for these ugly and horrible people! 

The worst part after being out of that relationship for 5 years now is the fact that so many people blamed ME for having stayed in it, that I was the problem and I even found some of the same attitude in abused women support groups I went to.  I still stay strong but am amazed at how much power and control a person out of control has!   

If I could give one clear warning sign of these people, one that should immediately send up a RED FLAG to anyone is the fact that they are able to be so charming and convince so many people around them that they are o.k. and you are not is this:  Does this person continue to do mean things to you or other people and do you find that YOU OR THE PEOPLE around you are ACTUALLY FEELING SORRY for this abusive person INSTEAD of for their victim?  If so, WATCH OUT!!!!!


9 months - Faithfull - Oct 2nd 2007
I'm so glad I came to this page. I was in an abusive relationship for 9 months, and knew from the first day that I should leave but listened to his justification for his action- and I believed him! My ex-fiance was sooo smooth, charming, handsome, successful, friendly, etc... Everyone loves him and felt like I was the luckiest woman in the world to have him. Except me. He would make me feel crazy and was ALWAYS right, never did anything wrong and any comment I made could set him off! He would accuse me of ruining a good day because I would stand up for myself when he would call me retarded! Eventually this turned into swearing, "you stupid f***ing Bi***", which eventually ended up with me having to cover bruises on my neck, face, chest, leg, arm, etc... Just leave! I knew when it was too much, and when I tried to leave he would tell me how I would never find a man that would love me as much as him, I would be alone and blah blah blah. Don't listen to their bull, I still have to convince myself that he was abusive! He poisoned my mind and perceptions so much it's to this day still hard for me to look back and see things clearly. If someone really loves you they will NEVER do things that make u uncomfortable and hurt and then justify them, just remember that! That is not love, that' abuse.






5 Years & Counting... - - Sep 14th 2007
 Well it's been 5 years since I left my abusive husband of 13 years & started out on my own.  First leaving the children with him b/c I didn't think a shelter was the best environment for them.  Only to have him call the CAS on me & have them monitoring every decision I make about children I had no trouble raising for the 13 years before their involvment.  3 months after leaving my husband & still putting up with his stalking & abuse regularly when having to discuss, or try to discuss our children & access, I met & became interested in a man I thought was entirely different than the man I just left.  However, about 5 months into this relationship he hit me!  I was stunned!  My ex abused me in every other way but never hit me.  I always said I would never, ever take that!  But I did about 25 more times over 5 years before I left him for good as well.  I know this isn't my fault.  My father molested me, my first love & lover abused & betrayed me & when I thought I had it all figured out I fall into it again!!!  How can I have a life if I can't trust anyone to be who they say they are or who they seem to be?  My children are my only saviors right now but I still have hope that at 38 years old my life isn't over yet.  :-)

This all sounds so familiar - - Sep 6th 2007
I was married for 15 years and suffered abuse at the hands of my exhusband.  I gave birth to 4 children during that marriage.  I felt I had no choice but to give them up because I just wanted all the fighting to stop.  The abuse was verbal and emotional, so I never felt justified in calling the police.  I had to hide my feelings from him constantly because he would use them against me.  He would tell me that crying was manipulative, and so on.  Iam now in a relationship with a wonderful man that I have nearly ruined because I'm so afraid to be completely honest with him.  I have developed a talent out of the abuse for forgetting things that could hurt me.

Feel Isolated - - Sep 2nd 2007
I was phisically, emotionally abused as a child ans so was one of my sisters and brothers.  Later in life (as an adult) I was beaten into a coma by several asailants and all the memories came back only to be multiplied tenfold and never leave me.  I feel I am reliving my childhood and the last asualt for eternity.

and if it doesn't get better... then what? - wondering - Aug 27th 2007

i left my abusive ex-husband 7 years ago but i just can't seem to get over it.  i'm angry at myself that after i finally got up the courage to leave (even though nobody believed me and everyone said i was crazy and making things up), he manipulated me into remaining "friends" which meant him showing up at my door unexpectedly every few months and continuing to do hurtful things like bringing by his new girlfriend to show off to me or using me as a sounding board for all of his woes where i was supposed to go "there there" and pat him on the back and tell him he's wonderful.  it was often accompanied by a small treat like a chocolate bar or something to indicate that he was there, in fact, to HELP me because i was broke.  (nevermind that our divorce left him with everything and me bankrupt because i was told by social services - which i was forced to go to because the abuse made me lose my job - that it would be better to NOT get alimony from him because it would keep him in my life.  HAH!!).  after one big whopper of a lie that he told, i finally told him to get lost about a year ago or else.  while i haven't seen him since, i have had to endure the stories and updates from mutual friends which just p*sses me off.

 i also can't seem to get past the fact that he has basically waltzed away from this and left me broken and with nothing.  he has money from the job that I got for him, a new house, car, clothing, wife and child and everyone respects him and doesn't believe anything happened, and i barely make ends meet and live in a little tiny apt which i can't really afford and apparently i'm crazy.  the 10 years of abuse have left me scarred and so i have to literally hide myself under clothing every time i walk outside (which in hot summer weather is sheer torture and ignorant people ask my why i'm overdressed.  if i do risk summer clothes, those same people stare at me or ask me what happened when they see the scars) and almost every time i see the scars i get angry and then depressed.  i have zero trust (i also suffered childhood sexual abuse which doesn't help) and so am afraid of new relationships and have no friends.  it runs over and over in my head every single day and i don't eat or sleep well. 

i'm not so much jealous as i am wanting him to pay for it or at least have some sort of acknowledgement (both our families are in HUGE denial).  i have been seeing a therapist for years but they've been so focussed on other areas of my life that there's never any discussion of this except in fleeting moments - and yet they can't seem to understand why i hate myself SO much and just want to crawl into a hole.

anyone know what you do when you're left in pieces and they AREN'T fitting back together?

SAVE YOUR SANITY, LEAVE. - - Jul 31st 2007
I was in an abusive relationship for a year and a half.  I was cheated on, knocked up, dealt with abortions and miscarriages.  Severe mental "confusion" disstorted my life, FIGHTING.  I was told that I was not good enough for him to give up his female friends, and the repeated subtle verbal assaults continued.  I developed a nasty drinking problem, often downing 4 double shots in ten minutes to cope, which would lead to a type of battered person syndrome, in which I would fight him.  He always made it clear that I could be replaced, and had multiple internet dating schemes going on, which I later found out.  After we split, he would call me, begging me back, then scream at me to find someone who actually loves me.  This went on at least 5 times.  I later found that he has a narcissistic personality disorder.  I finally got the courage to walk away, but am dealing with nightmares and a constant fear of this man, bordering on post tramatic stress.  I have sought help and education and now realize what I did not while with him. THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!!  He almost suceeded in destroying me, but I woke up.  He had be believing that I wasn't worth anything, and had my family thinking I was crazy.  Lies.  He is emotionally cold and never feels anything.  If you are in a relationship where someone is able to control YOUR thinking, it's not right!!  You know this when EVERYONE is telling you to leave, but you think you may be able to change him (NEVER GONNA HAPPEN) Leave, as one person said above, HURTING A LITTLE NOW IS BETTER THAN LETTING SOMEONE KILL YOU, MENTALLY, EMOTIONALLY, AND SPIRITUALLY.  Research, educate yourselves and step out!!!

It's not worth the pain - Lizzy - Jul 19th 2007
I got out of a verbal abussive relationship about 3 months ago. He was the most wacked out individual I let into my life. I was with him for 11 years so I feel I lost my 20's trying to help him cope with his issues. I don't understand why I thought I could help him, but I gave 110% of myself to this man. And for what? For a low self-esteem. He would make comments to me like your vigina is not tight enough, you smell bad, your fat, you don't dress well, the list can go on and on. He would always put other women first and he always said to me " These girls need me to help them" Oh that drove me up the wall. He cheeted and then blamed it on the fact that he was a sex addict. He knew what he was doing. I would call him out on things, but he would go into this little kid state of mind where he would pout and scream at me and kick me out of his house. Stupid me would then ask him why and what is going on with him. Yup you got it I was playing psychologist role with him. He then would calm down and apologize for his behavior, but the damage was done. He drove me insane. I would question my sanity on a daily basis. I was so depressed I felt I could not do anything, but allow him to continue his abuse. I keep reminding myself that I am not in that relationship any longer. I am safe, away from his horrible persona, but I often wonder how someone who said they loved me and wanted me to be their life partner could be so cruel to me. There is never any excuse for abuse and I am glad that I left him. He can no longer hurt me. 

Exuasted - - Jul 13th 2007

It's guilt, (we have a 8 month old baby boy) weekness, and the fact everyone has heard this story before because I've left him twice, that keeps me in the hurtful relationship with my husband.  We have been together almost 5 years and married near 2.  I am not sure exactly what it will take for me to realize I am in a abusive relationship!!  I know what my gut tells me but he convinces me otherwise.  It is mostly emotional abuse (he will literally make me feel crazy, and tell me I need therapy...I always am at a loss for words when we fight) but sometimes leads to physical and the confusing part is I almost always play a hand in both the emotional and physical.  (Not always, sometimes I am too exausted and broke down to care) It's like I wanna stand up for myself (occasionally this works and he'll back down) because I am so tired of "letting him say those things to me".  Despite who starts what fight, I am the one who breaks down and gives way and let him say or do the hurtful things.  I have never apologized once for our crazy fights because he is so quick to "forgive me" and doesn't hold a grudge. And then he sucks up to me and tries to take back all the horrible things he said or did.  He'll start to spend more time with me and the kids, let me spend as much money as I want (I can't work because daycare is so expensive, he never let's me forget that I do nothing to contribute) and we go on acting like a normal couple and it's like stupid me and I put it behind me.  The thing that happened recently was me wanting to finish my education.  He put me down so bad, called me a loser and told me I will never finish.  He won't support me emotionally or financially and made it completely clear (even though I don't need his money for this and this is the only time I'll get financial aid) He called me selfish for wanting to go back.  That all I do is think of myself and if I can just wait til the baby is in school he'll pay for everything.  (I do not trust him whatsoever to pay off my student loans or my tuition)  He can't afford it!!  I have so many stories and everytime one of these fights happen I think about all the other fights and what happened and that I am not making it up (gut feeling comes back).  I am affraid to leave.  He has threatened me with full custody and that he will make the courts believe that I am unfit. He also makes it clear that he'll win because he is the one who makes the money and can afford a good attorney and no education, min wage working me, cant) We also moved to colorado from oregon "to start over" and I have no support network.  I also don't wanna put the burden on my family for "my choices".  But I also don't want my children to grow up seeing any of this (my oldest from previous relationship who is 4 has seen enough).  I am so scared and exuasted on thinking about any of this.  The guilt eats me to think of me taking away his baby for my happiness.  When he is so sweet I tent to completely forget how disfunctional we are and can't believe what happens.  Stupid, I know.

Love Yourself, June 3rd, 2007 - - Jun 4th 2007

I'm 48 years old and just ended a two year relationship. I'm seeing a therapist to help me through. I didn't realize I was in a toxic relationship. All I wanted was to make him happy. But nothing I did or said or tried to do helped. In the beginning I was enamered with him. He was charming, good looking, successful and seemed like the total package. I thought he adored me. But then he told me he couldn't be with me unless I got breast implants. All I wanted was his love. I was afraid of losing him so I had the surgery. He actually told the surgeon that "she is the sweetest person I ever met, so make her beautiful." My heart sunk. That was just the beginning. Then he wanted me to spend more time with him which meant less time with my children, friends and family. I tried my best to accomodate but I was exhausted most of the time. When he didn't get his way he would ignore me & pout. When I tried to talk he would start a fight, yell, scream and throw me out of his house. He enjoyed ordering me around and telling me how to dress. Then he began to withhold affection. He told me to "do what I say and you'll get what you want."I could go on and on. I was spinning my wheels trying to make the relationship work while he sat back and did nothing. He told me I was nothing special and that he could replace me in two weeks. Instead of loving me he played on my insecurities. My needs never came into play. I actually felt guilty for standing up for myself. But I know now that I deserve to be loved for the person I am. Not the image of what he wants. I allowed him to damage my self esteem. I saw the warning signs but I ignored them! He did exactly what I thought he would do, he cheated on me. This new girl has no idea what she's in for. He will also try to control her. He still calls me. He is still trying to control me but I'm no longer interested in playing his game. All he does is cause pain. Someday I'll feel good again. It's going to take time. To all the young girls out there learn from my mistakes. Some men are not capable of a love based relationship. It's because they feel bad about themselves and they are insecure. Being in control is more important to them than love. God Bless and Love Yourself.

Its HARD! - Ashley - May 24th 2007
Im a 20 year old college student and for the past two years I have been in a mentally abusive relationship. It was very rarely, physical but it did happen a few times in the course of our relationship. I am still finding it hard to not answer his calls, or answer the door when he's knocking. I sometimes stupidly slip up, and let him in my life again. The abuse never stops. The struggle to keep him out of my life..NEVER STOPS. Its like an addiction, something I have to struggle with everyday. I was forced to give up my friends, to give up hanging out with ANY guys whatso ever. I had to have my phone conversations ON SPEAKERPHONE! even if it was my mother or sister. I have alienated myself from the outside world, and I feel terrible. I use to be this social butterfly. I have tons of friends, I went out with them every night almost. I havent lived at home since I was 18 which was when I met ..him. He made me feel safe, and I thought I love him. Why do we  fall for this? Why do we live like this!!!!!!

I'm finally free - - May 16th 2007
I am 36 years old and was in an abusive relationship for 11 years.  I lost my entire 20s to a man that made me feel I was worth nothing.  He called me horrible names, and on occasion threatened to hurt me.  He told me constantly it was because he was depressed and not his fault.  I finally left him May 4, 2002 and must say it was the hardest day of my life.  I am now married to a wonderful man that well, to put it short puts up with a lot of baggage from me.  I did not get any professional help and I think I made a mistake not doing this.  I don't handle things very well, and because I keep saying to myself....."no one will ever make me feel like that again" I think he is paying for it.  I can only hope one day I become normal and don't lose the one man that would do anything for me and my happiness.  In short.....make sure you talk to someone even if you think you are ok...I believe I don't deal with things the way I should and it is all because of that horrible man.

Abusiveness leads to more - - May 7th 2007
Seems abusiveness changes you, and you seek it out; after being raised in an abusive household, I have separated from my SECOND husband, due to abuse. In this case, it was an escalated attack of physical abuse (each time it has progressed from minor to worse) that finally gave me the wake-up call I needed to leave, although the emotional abuse had been unbearable for four years.  Now I have been separated from him for two months, and still I have this gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach that I always got when I knew he was upset; I am reading a lot about abuse now, and codependency, and I am seeking ways to end the cycle.  It is so difficult to see that someone is abusive; in the beginning, everything seems so wonderful, that you don't think to look for the red flags; LOOK.  If you are in an abusive relationship, evaluate what you think a human life is worth; yours is worth that, and worth much more than you are able to acknowledge right now.  If you are not able to get out, get help; don't stay in this alone whatever you do; they INTEND to isolate you, which helps them maintain control over you.  You are valuable; don't allow yourself to become a statistic.

too forgiving - - Apr 27th 2007
i was in a relationship with a guy for 10 years   he was very good at making me want his approval despite his horrible behavior   he was an alcoholic and mentally, verbally and physically abusive   the worst part was giving up all of my interests to be with him   i am afraid now that i will never go back to the optimistic and confident person i was    i used to speak up and take risks now i am afraid of things i can reason aren't worth worry    i don't like how my relationships with others reek of insecurity    once i began dating again i was to uncomfortable to sing along with music in the car or volunteer my preference for dinner   i knew i was being abused    i became a zombie  all i talked about with anyone who would listen was about him   trying to get someone to reassure me that he loved me    i was so desperately afraid he would leave me  why??  he knew what to say or do to keep me desperate    i knew i was strong   i knew i was smart and funny and that he came from a crappy family   i didn't   i wanted to take all of his ugliness and pain from him and process it myself   i thought i could   i thought i could help him and he would become the man i wanted   the man he wanted to be     he would tell me how much i helped him  of course in the process i became a total nutcase  i gave up my figure because i had to eat for comfort    i started doing drugs to block out my desperation for him i tolerated affairs and car accidents and being neglected   it was like being in an mc escher drawing    he was totally unpredictable and it felt like i was in another reality    i constantly wished he would do something bad enough to release me from the spell    finally when he had a child with another woman (after being in jail and other financial manipulaltions)   i stayed and was willing to work it out   but he wouldn't let me participate in the child life and was so unbelievably hurtful    finally finally finally i reached a limit    it would blow your mind all of the shitty things he did to me   the physical abuse was the least of it   it was the total disregard for my feelings   it was like torture   i don't even understand how a person could be that mean to another   i hope my writing this helps someone because although i am in a relationship with a wonderful kind man now the journey isn't over   i still suffer fears and insecurities   i feel as though i wasted ten years   i feel i am damaged and that people can see that i allowed someone else to degrade me   i feel guilty and don't trust myself to take care of myself   i don't trust my judgement  it's like he changed me   i feel like he tarnished my outlook on life and my confidence   the world is uglier for knowing him  i don't know what the point of experiences like this are but i hate him and i feel powerless   how do i put myself back together?

Abuse does not discriminate - - Feb 17th 2007
I was in abusive relationship for 8yrs of my life.  I was infact in lesbian abuse relationship.  I did everything I could to please her, but she continued to isolate me, belittle, demeaning, name calling, controlling, and verbally abusive.  I thought was love at first, but there is no love.  I felt like I have been used and taking advantage of.  Needless to say that I am now happily single for five years.  My heart is now healing I am taking my time to love myself again.

Love doesnt hurt! - Michelle - Feb 7th 2007

I was in a physically, emolitionally, and verbally abusive relationship for 5yrs. I started dating my ex when I was only 16 (1st boyfriend) Im now 22. Of course it didnt start out that way. In the begining for about the first 6 months he was the best boyfriend a girl could want. He was cute, smart, and athletic. He was the sweetes guy ever! He was also my best friends cousin. The abuse began with him controlling when I could and couldnt hang out with my friends (including his cousin). He was very manipultaive... like they all are. He would tell me that he wanted to spend as much time as he could with me because he loved me. I believed him and thought it was sweet and romantic. Little by little I lost all my friends and he was all I had. He became my best everything. He knew he was all I had (friends wise). Thats when the abuse started. At first it was just a shove or a push. Once he saw he could gert away with that It got worse. The abuse wasn't daily but it did happen at least once a month. Everytime it happen he would say sorry and cry. He grew up seeing his father abuse his mother and would always blame his actions on his father. His father also abused him. I felt sorry for him. I saw him as a victim. I felt lik I was all he had so I never left. I couldn't believe that the same person who would treat me like a princess and the most important person in the world was capable of HITTING me. He would always blame me...he would tell me that if I just didn't piss him of he wouldn't do what he did. I started to believe that. I was so hurt. How could the hand that loved me also hurt me? I've been kicked, spit on, chocked, dragged on the floor, punched, and cheatd on. How could any of that ever be my fault? Its not! It's not yours either. Never ever!

We finally broke up for good on October 31, 2006. I decided that I deserved way better. I realized that he wasnt going to change. He didnt think he had a problem. He abused the girl before me (he was only 14 then) and he will do the same to the girl he is with now until he gets professionla help. Its a cycle and as long as there is someone who will take the abuse it wont stop. It WONT...dont think that you are different. You are not. You CANNOT make him just cant.

NO ONE ever deserves to be hurt. NOT physically, emotionally or verbally. The truth is that REAL LOVE does not hurt. It does not make you do crazy things. Love is suppose to make you feel good, happy, and refreshed. not drained and misserable.

If you are currently being abused....GET OUT! You deserve better. You deserve true happiness. Life is too short to be unhappy. You deserve to be loved unconditionally. Abusers rarely change...please, please, dont stay. Why would they change for you? You already let them get away with it once or maybe even more then once. You might think to yourself..."But I love him/her". Yes.. you might love them but obviously they dont love you. You migh think you cant live w/o them...YOU CAN! You were a human being before you met them and you will be one once their gone. Its hard believe me I know. I was with this guy for 5 yrs. Im only 22...I thought this guy was the one. He was what I thought my 1st TRUE love....WRONG! I ignored all the bad and focused on the good. I blamed his father for his problem. The abuse is their problem to fix and theres alone.

Forget about all the good things they have done. They have abused you and no good deed will ever justify abuse. EVER! If there wasn't a good side to these losers no one would stick around long enough to be abused. Its a cycle and minds games. They know what they are doing.

A heartbreak is temporary...DEATH is forever!

It breaks my heart!! - Brother - Dec 26th 2006
I'm 40 and my sister is 35. We are very close and the weekend of the 23rd dec 2006 she told me the details of the level of abuse our father inflicted on her as a child. I knew she was abused but had no idea how long or to what level the abuse took place. I was absolutely stunned when she told me the graphic details. I'm both shocked and dismayed at the level of abuse my sister suffered and am finding it very difficult to understand. I rejected my father long ago but over the last ten years have build a new relationship with him. After my sister told me what happen my wife revealed that she had been sexualy confronted by my father while I was away on business. I am finding this very difficult to understand and come to terms with but at the same time I very much appreciate that my sister and wife have opened up to me. I need to take advise from a counsellor and so does my sister to enable us to move on and come to terms with this. Abuse destroys innocents - educate your young ones and empower them to speak out. It is wrong and ruins lives.

Definitely applies - p.o.e.m - Dec 17th 2006
I find this already applies... I have some of these symptoms already even though I'm still in the abusive situation. I have found this entire article to be very informative and has helped immensely.

PLEASE READ!!!!!!! TAKE IT TO THE HEART!!!! (L) - - Dec 12th 2006
i was abused for 8 years of my life, by my unlce. He sexualy abused me almost every night of those 8 years. I witnessed him sexualy abuse many girls and i was the first to come forward. He abused my aunt which meant it was going on for over 20 years..... NO ONE CAME he continued to sexual abuse children for years until i finaly came forward. HE ONLY GOT 2 YEARS LESS A DAY! That bothered me so much at the time so i got into drugs and i began to sleep around in hope to find love. N I GOT NOTHING OUT OF THE DRUGS OR SEX BUT BECAME MORE may be hard to deal with but always be strong no matter how old or young you are continue living your life to the fullest dont let yourself or anyone bring you down...YOU ARE WAY BETTER THEN THAT......i am a perfect example i am only 17 dont drag yourself down becuase of somthing you could not aviod.... life isnt fair but you have to move and and cope i love you all and even though i dont know you i feel your pain bec

Abuse And The Ongoing Efforts To Escape - Sindi Bixler - Nov 27th 2006
11/27/06 I was in an abusive marriage for 12 years. No one can tell you when it's time to leave that relationship (other people have no understanding of the chaos in your life). Often we the abused don't understand the chaos until we have removed ourselves from that. Abusers like to keep you confused, degraded and controlled. I could write a book about those experiences and the experiances that my children have endured. There were two children born during that marriage and the second child born under police protection at the hospital. Although I have been out of that relationship for more than 7 years and remarried, that ex-spouse still attempts to control my life. With accusations that I'm abusing my children, over medicating my youngest and various other accusations. Unfortunately, my children have spent their childhood years thus far being taunted by questions from the ex-spouse during their visitations and used as pawns for his own agenda. He still controls my finances to an extend due to the continual false accusations and reports to the division of family and children and the endless attorney fees. I'm thankful to no longer be married to that individual, but desire some day for the continual "controlling" to end. My advise to women in similiar situations: 1. Seek counsel from those trained and licensed in abuse. 2. Get a good attorney. 3. Reassure your children daily and provide as stable a life for them as you can. 4. Avoid bombarding them with questions, they get that enough from the other side. 5. Form a person circle of support; family, church etc. 6. Stand up for what's right. 7. Be strong, you're worth it (eventhough the abuser wants you to belive differently). 8. Know that God loves you and does not desire for you or your children to be hurt (emotionally, psychilogically, or physically).

IT IS MY LIFE - Sio - Nov 20th 2006
I am 24 year old women and have been in a mentally abusive relationship for SEVEN whole years. My Ex is very much admired and loved by his peers and so when he would do suttle passive aggressive things to control me nobody even myself would notice at first (although the voice in my head would alert me otherwise). He would tell me it is just me because I needed to be stronger. I know that I could have left at anytime I wanted to but by the time I realized what my family and the few friends I had left had been trying to tell I was already completely dependent on his approval. It caused lots of anguish, anger, and embarressment because I had never considered myself the kind of woman who could just give up her essence and her power to control her life to another individual. The very simple things that would make me very happy such as Salsa dancing and being charitble to strangers now causes extreme anxiety for me. It has been a VERY depressing seven years and I wanted to shed light on the long lasting devestating effects on the type of mental of abuse that is so suttle and rarely detectible even to yourself. My only caution that I would like to extend is if anybody makes you feel worthless they is not worth your mental and physical health.

- - Oct 1st 2006
I was abused for 26 years by my husband. until he was killed in a trucking accident. My children were also abused. I am now having a lot of problems dealing with what they had to go through mainly. I wish I had been strong enough to leave. I now know that I should have left after the first time.That is what I want to say to others, get out, be strong, don't give the person another chance to do it again. Don't look back.

Don\'t listen when people say it\'s okay - Ray Bear - Jul 25th 2006
I have been sexually abused by my mother\'s husband and she is still with him until this day.I don\'t understand that at all.I am 16 years old and when I tell professionals about this shit you know what they say?..It\'s going to be okay.No it isn\'t going to be okay at all.Don\'t listen to them.Tell someone I made the mistake of not telling anyone. Much Ablidge, Ray Bear

Editor's Note: A mental health professional who does not take steps to report abuse of their patient when they learn it is happening may be out of synch with their professional ethics code, and/or state law, which often requires certain classes of "helpers" to be mandated reporters. I'm sorry to hear that no one protected you (not the least of which, your mother!), but you are quite right in suggesting that perhaps the best way to make the abuse stop is to tell responsible people (e.g., school authorities, police, etc.) that it is happening. Doing so requires a certain amount of fortitute/strength, however, becuase it means going against the wishes of abusers, who may retalitate. In the event or strong possibility of violent/sexual abuse, you can present yourself to the police and request a court issued restraining order against the abuser. Do this during in the morning, early in the work week so that administrative delays are kept to a minimum.

don't let them away with it - - Jul 10th 2006
I was abused as a child, i'm now 20 and trying to find forgiveness and pitty for my parents. It's a hard journey to be on, but if you were abused as a child you will have to grow and mend yourself as an adult. If you are being abused now, speak up.... please speak up!!!! You have the strength

been abuse - - Jun 22nd 2006
I been abuse all my life and it still hunts me and it still kills me inside and sometimes I feel worthless and that I was made to get hurt. but that page helped me see things different ways and I would like to feel better about myslelf

The Cycle CAN Break - Jen - Jun 10th 2006
Psychological abuse is such a thief! It's a harsh reality for children to learn that their parents are psychological abusers, but they know that they don't have to repeat that cycle themselves. The cycle CAN break with the proper help and treatment, once removed from the abuser.

i have been abused - - Jun 1st 2006
This article hit the nail on the head. Many of the symptoms spoken of i lived. I am happy to say i am now out of this marriage. My abuse came at a late age. I am 56 years old and lived in this abusive relationship for ten years. My wife constantly out of control. Unfortunately there are two grandchildren that have been affected by her abusive behavior i did manage to get custody of one of them. He will be coming to live with me soon. I know that we have alot of healing to do. What he needs is love. Hopefully i can help him get through his troubles with it. I knew we were abused while there. The last few days though it has hit home with me. At first i blamed it on the alcohol, then i realized that this was an accelerent for her behavior. Her family is leaving her one at a time now. I knew that this would happen. It is a tragic thing. Formost in my mind i realize that this is not an end, but a new beginning.

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