25 comments on “After Two Years of Freedom from Abuse, This is What I Want You to Know

  1. Thank you for your amazing post and congratulations on your two year anniversary! You have come a long way and you have your strength and inner resources to thank for it. Your blog is now empowering other women and men to make that very important step to the light! This is so what I needed to hear. I have been separated from my husband for 8 months and he is staying in my home at the moment to be with our son. I feel the pull to him and at the same time know that I never want to with him again. It is a confusing time!

    • Thank you. It’s been a long journey, and I still have a way to go, but the important thing is that every day gets better. I want to let you know that your husband being in the house concerns me. Please be careful with him there. It is common for the child to be leveraged to get their way. As time goes by, and you find yourself missing him, you could end up in a very unsafe situation. Always remember who he has shown you to be. Please keep in touch, ok?

      • Thank you for your support. I was naive to think that he would behave decently. How ,many times does he need to show me how he is for me to believe him. I feel angry but not with myself, I feel angry with my father because it was his abuse of me that set me up for a relationship like this; making me so vulnerable. But it’s like the light has been switched on to all the darkness now and I see him, I really see my husband. He has little empathy despite appearing to be a charming guy and I worry for my son! I am counting the days until he leaves my home. He has shattered the peace!

        • Abusers like that lack of peace. Because even if they are not in the house with you, taking that from you allows them to have control over some aspect of life, whether it be the children, where you go, who you spend your time with, etc. It keeps you from being able to move forward. Moving forward means they lose control, and they do not like to give that up. Remember, though, while he may be staying in that house, if he hurts you, you can have him removed. It may mean dealing with police and courts for protective orders, etc, but you must worry about your safety and your son’s safety. Make sure there are others close to you that you can have a code word as well… as soon as you text that word to them they know immediately that you need help.

          I was going to mention it in my original reply to you but I’m glad you mentioned it here. You need to remember something very important for your own sanity and self-worth. In the beginning, when things were good, when he created a front for you to fall for, you had no way to know how he would end up being really. Everything you saw told you he was a good person, and when you started feeling love and affection for him, you responded in kind, correct? But here is the important thing you need to always always ALWAYS remember. Whatever positive he may have felt for you, YOU EARNED THAT. You represented yourself honestly. You gave of yourself genuinely. HE IS THE ONE WHO LIED. He stole your choice like a thief, because he knew if you saw who he really was, you would never stay around long enough for him to get what he was really after: control and power. Just because he ends up being an abuser who has done horrible things to you, it doesn’t change the fact that you have feelings for him. That you want to believe he is the person you fell for. You fell for a lie, yes, but it doesn’t count, because you didn’t know. Women are wired to love. We are wired to nurture and heal and care for. Abusers take advantage of that. So promise those times you feel a pull for him or a longing for the way things were before that you don’t ever hold it against yourself. HE should be ashamed of himself. What he did to you was absolutely disgusting. Just fight through that missing him when it happens. Nothing good will come from giving in.

          When we are put into a relationship as we are still emotionally growing into adults where we get caught in a cycle of trying to chase after approval or be good enough or do the right things or say the right things to appease the person abusing us when we are younger, it does prime us for abuse later in life. Abusers pick up on this as well. That phase in the beginning where they act like they care and feel hurt for things you have gone through in the past is testing the waters and trolling for things they can use against you or manipulate you with later. It’s good that you recognize this, because so many do not.

  2. I’m happy you were able to escape, and let us pray for those still struggling to get out. That was a very well-written and brave post! You deserve a lot of credit! You did it, you had the strength, and you weren’t going to take it anymore! You have my deepest respect and admiration!

    Just a few weeks shy of 4 years, when my last abuser and I parted (thankfully, my experience wasn’t nearly as bad as most!), at this point, I’m just looking to lead a happy and normal life, and I do too! But I have been in situations where my life could have easily been snuffed out! But I got rid of the abuser, all is well! Today, I live abuse free, in peace, quiet and complete safety!

    The last time I was faced with a physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuser, I went to law enforcement, had him arrested, and sent to the state prison for 5-6 years. It wasn’t easy, especially when your resources are extremely limited like not having money or transportation! Not wanting pity I held my head up and rebuilt my life! I asked for nothing from anybody!

    There were people who only looked at the surface (and I wasn’t about to explain my troubles for their entertainment!), and decided it was their place to judge and punish me! Where idiots like that get off, I have no idea! They didn’t know the whole story, and I owed them nothing! They were jerks!

    For sure, anyone being abused owes it to themselves to search around and see what their options are. It may be more than they know. I too, have left an abusive situation with nothing, and not a dime to my name!

    Now, I have gotten at so good at taking care of myself, I can often spot an abuser a mile off, and cut them off at the knees before they know what hit them! I won’t take being mistreated anymore – not from anybody! None of us should!

    Good for you that you have escaped any more abuse! Your strength of character comes shinging thru your post! Much love to you! Big hugs!

    • Four years is no small achievement. I’m glad you were able to get out. What are the things you still find yourself struggling with at this point? I believe it’s important to acknowledge the bad as well, because it helps others see that they aren’t the only ones still wrestling with certain challenges and that their healing progress is normal. I’m very open with things that I still have difficulty with because of that reason.

      I’m sure a good deal of why people react so negatively and crassly is because talking openly about domestic violence, which has been traditionally something kept behind closed doors, makes people uncomfortable. It’s almost as though it’s easier for them to justify blaming the person who is/was abused or designating them as being faulty for “allowing” themselves to be trapped like that instead of having to admit there are others who CHOOSE to hurt someone that way. I also believe a good deal of it is denial. If they admit a stranger can be abused, then they are also forced to acknowledge that it can happen to someone they know. And logically, then, if it can happen to someone they know, they can’t hide any longer behind the “I would never…” and they are forced to consider that it can also happen to them. And that’s too close for comfort. Of course there are just always those who plainly have no tact or decency or concern for others. I truly believe, however, that the discomfort and denial are generally at the core of how people react.

      I was not able to have my abuser charged and arrested. He was a very conscientious informant, and gratitude for his work led them to always help him out of trouble. There was no safe avenue of report for me. I still have a year left if I want to file a report and pursue charges.

  3. Congratulations! You have accomplished so much in two years! At the two year mark, I had just barely gotten through my ugly divorce and custody battle. Good for you!!

    • Thank you 🙂 But give yourself some credit…. I was not married to him and we had no children, so I didn’t have to navigate that entire mess. That is a battle that takes so much out of you not only financially and time wise, but emotionally as well. Until you made it through that process to the end, there was no way you could begin to move on… not with being caught up in it. It’s hard enough doing it when it’s just us we have to worry about, but ending a marriage and children? You’re amazing!

  4. Dear Sweetmarie,

    THANK YOU and I am so glad to find people sharing their experiences with others. You and Carrie are so amazing and you cannot imagine how reading others stories help us “new victiims ” 8 months breakup to release the pain and have hope in life again.
    I had only 2 years relationships including four months living together because I felt sorry about him as you all know they are poor victims and we are the magic one to rescue them “olalla” and yet the pain is huge.
    So you and Carrie and all those who lived long periods with those sick people, really you are a STRONG WOMAN and my respect for you all.
    My englishis not that good hope you understand me.

    Merry Christmas to all of you.
    Malia

    • Malia,

      First of all, your English is wonderful 🙂 Even if there were parts that had been hard to understand, I wouldn’t have noticed much, because I would be more appreciative of the effort.

      I think it doesn’t matter how long or short a time we were with our abusers. There are more serious situation, yes, but I focus on the fact that we were all hurt, because that’s what matters. That suffering and over-coming it is what connects us. It is something we can all identify with. No matter what our circumstances, it takes a strong person to survive through that and find the courage to leave. So you are one of those amazing people you spoke of, I promise you.

      When we first leave, we all go through a period re-adjustment before we begin making progress to heal. When we first speak, it is to save our lives, and when we first share our story with others, it is to help ourselves understand and heal from our pain. Then we bloom, and we share our stories, because we know there are still so many trapped in abuse and so many new survivors finding their freedom, and we want them to know they are not alone. We want you all to know what we went through so you can get some peace in knowing we understand. So you can look at us as we continue to heal and get that hope that life will improve. That hope is a key to healing. As survivors of abuse, we bond extremely closely because of the pain, and we take care of each other by giving emotional support when needed, someone to talk to when you can’t trust anyone else, and someone to experience how good freedom is. We all want to help each other heal, and we are all amazing no matter where we are.

      We all are examples of hope, love, courage, compassion, and life. We are each other’s light in the dark.

      Thank you for the well wishes. I send them back to you with a “hug.”

      With love and support,
      Amy

      • Thank you dear Sweet Marie, nice name he
        I a so glad having smebody readin my Email, I speak French normally but I decided to learn English at the sametimes while I am trying learning how you all are dealing with the pain and the healing process. One woman told me that I have to be intelligent and not be that EASY for a man to let him in my house and have sex with him without marriage, but I do not want to marriage… I sad to her that this has nothing to do with being intelligent or not and I felt at the sametimes that may be I was so sweet to this man trying to help him with money, forgiving hm,…..not easy when smebody says to you you should be cleaver. It s mean that I am stupid and I have this feeling somedays.

        I am somebody who is positive and I am ding my best to go through this, theonly problem I can’t speak tomy family about this because is forbidden to have a relationship extra marriage. I feel a shame…

        Thank you again
        Malia

        • I think the worst insult is to tell someone who was victimized that it’s because they are naïve or stupid. All beliefs aside, this has nothing to do with you and anything you may have said or done. The guilt for this belongs to him, and no one has a right to put that blame on you and add to the emotional struggle you already have with it. Maybe the next time this is said to you, your response should include a question… a very direct question. Instead of feeling like you should explain anything, simply look at them and ask, “Why can you not hold him accountable for what he did? Why are his actions okay with you?” I know you said you don’t want to be married, but I promise you this one thing. Had you married him, HE STILL WOULD HAVE done the same thing. What he did to you simply is show you what kind of person her really is. Nothing you could have said or did would change this. Not all the love, patience, or forgiveness would have fixed him, because he doesn’t want to be fixed.

          In regards to the shame you feel… Every time you feel it, tell yourself that he should be ashamed and no matter what you did or did not do, you NEVER deserve to abused in any way. It’s hard to get away from shame, and even harder when you know everyone who cares about you would criticize and judge you instead of giving you the support that you need and deserve. Over time this will get easier, and hopefully you will become strong enough to find your voice and speak. No one has a right to force silence on you because they don’t agree with the choices you are free to make in your life.

  5. I’m so glad I stumbled across this tonight. I am almost 2 months free of my Jekyll and Hyde husband. The man who is a town “hero”, everybody’s friend, would drop everything to help anybody. Then come home and verbally, psychologically and physically abuse me. I’m not even the one pressing charges, the police are but that hasn’t stopped people I thought were my friends from confronting me wondering how I could do this to him. I’m starting to realize none of this is my fault and I feel less and less guilty as time goes on but I am really hurt because I thought these were my friends. What you wrote here is exactly what I needed tonight. Thank you.

    • I want to thank you for coming forward and making a comment here and let you know how strong and courageous you are. It took me about two months before I was comfortable enough to start my blog, and I have gone through many stages through these virtual pages. Over the past few years, I have continued to find endless sources of encouragement through my interactions with other survivors (and some who are still being abused). I remember the relief I felt in the beginning each time I read something that turned out to be perfect for where I was in my head at the time. I am glad you were able to get that from my post.

      Your husband, as many abusers, is very good at manipulating everyone around him. So many refuse to believe when we come forward, because they only see the public person. They never actually get to know the true person inside as we do. I understand that it might difficult for them to believe it, but what I cannot understand is why they would rather believe the lie than to even entertain the thought that it could be true. I believe that so much of the disbelief and the willing ignorance of abuse is denial on many levels. I think in the instance where they know the abuser more intimately, they feel that they would be able to see it, and to believe he is abusive would be to admit they are blind and able to be so thoroughly deceived and manipulated as you have been. Rather than admit it’s true, they cling to the public personality as though it would save them from drowning in that shame at their inability to see through the lies. I also believe that part of it is caused because that discomfort people get when we talk about our abuse is a defense mechanism and allows them deceive themselves. If they admit it happens, and they admit it happens to someone they know, then they also have to admit it can happen to them as well. Even further than that, they have to admit that it went on right under their noses and they failed to see, either by choice or by blindness. We all like to think we would see something so wrong, but abuse is not like so many common things that have signs so noticeable they are like flashing neon signs. And it happens slowly at first. So slowly in fact that WE don’t even know it’s happening when it starts, because it’s presented as something else far less sinister. By the time WE feel something is wrong, it is almost too late. If you want to read how the stages of my abuse progressed and why I didn’t notice it, I wrote a post called Getting Back to Where It All Begins – Why Advocacy is So Important. I think it might help you further understand just how imperceptible the abuse is at first.

      I know it’s hard to have friends turn away from you and not show you the support that you not only so urgently need but deserve as well. Many of us have experienced this on varying levels, and the best I can do is tell you that some will eventually come around, but do not pin your hopes on this. What you need to do right now is to start to connect with other survivors and build a strong circle of support so you have that now. It’s imperative at this point in your healing process. If you have not already, you also should have a counselor and domestic violence advocate. And those few friends and family who do not abandon or betray you…. keep them close to you. Remind yourself daily… multiple times if needed that you are not at fault for this… that your husband chose this, and you are wonderfully strong and courageous for taking on this long process of healing and rebuilding yourself. In time you will be able to respond to the victim blamers with boldness but for now you need to focus on finding yourself all over again. In the beginning trying to figure this all out is tediously hard and often painful. It will be tiring, exhausting at times, and you will find things that trigger you. I promise it will ease as time goes on.

      If you are looking for other blogs to check out, some of the ones I follow appear in the bottom right-hand side. I also am connected to a lot of survivors on my Twitter profile (connected to my blog as well), and you should also be able to see that on the right. I don’t think you need to have a profile to see my connections, so I would suggest looking there as well.

      It takes an amazingly strong person to endure and dare to reach for hope after what we have suffered. Be kind and patient with yourself. When you can’t, one of us will.

      With love and support,
      Amy

      • Thank you but I don’t deserve any credit for being brave, it was a friend who called the police. When I found out I stood outside in -30 weather till they came and begged and pleaded with them not to go in the house to talk to him. They didn’t listen, which I’m grateful for now. I have been reading through your other posts and I understand your fear of calling the police. My husband is on town council and was on the police commission (he was forced to step down) as well as being close friends with many officers and the inspector. He used to hand me the phone and tell me to go ahead and call, he said they wouldn’t help me because of who he is. I believed it. I cannot say enough about how wonderful and professional they have been. Even now they drive past my house regularly and go after him with new charges every time he breaches the protection order they put in place to keep him away. I hope if you choose to press charges you will have the same support.

        • Sometimes, our bravery shows in different ways. Even if you did not make the initial call, it would have been easier to go back than to do what you are doing now. Also, talking about what you went through takes courage. Please do not be so dismissive of your strength.

          I have seen so many cases go the other way when the abuse victim left and was failed by the system, so for me to see it did not work out this way for you speaks on the compassion of the people who are doing what they should, but clearly are doing so because they care. You are definitely blessed, and I want to thank you again for commenting. If I do pursue charges, I will definitely post about it. I have hesitated because I am not sure at this point if I want to awaken the sleeping beast, but at some point, he has to held accountable for his behavior. I genuinely fear the next one who finds herself trapped with him will not make it out alive.

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