I am posting emails that I received from a very strong lady that I will most likely never meet. Her story is your story and it is my story. My focus has always been on supporting those in the few months after leaving abuse as I feel this is the most crucial time in knowing what to do to stay strong and not return to that life. I thought it would be helpful to this courageous woman to share her story and process of healing with others. She will benefit from letting go of things and we will all benefit as we watch her grow stronger every day. Although she asks that I not share her name I will call her Hope, for that is what she brings to all of us. I encourage Hope to post in this location rather than emailing me directly so that we can share her road to happiness together. Thank you Hope, we are here for you every step of the way.
I just wanted to write and thank you for your wonderful blog. I too endured 8.5 years with a controlling abusive man. We split up many times and I always tried to get away from him, but I would always find myself going back – and always to the same results. He promised he would change many times, but it was always the same.
I have finally gotten away from him but I don’t like to look at what is left of me. I feel like a very angry old woman even though I am only 35 years old. I am so angry with him and myself for allowing me and our two kids to go through such humiliation, physical and emotional abuse.
The thing which I can’t get over is the fact that I don’t know what is ‘normal’ and what is not anymore. What I do know is that when I tell my friends some of the horrendous things I went through they look at me in sheer horror. It feels like it is somebody else’s life and story but unfortunately it is mine. I feel like there is a long painful road ahead of me, and now he gets to feel just fine like nothing happened.
Love & Peace,
Thank you, when I receive an email likes yours it makes me grateful that I started this blog and journey. The aftermath is the hardest time I believe, we spent most of our time trying to survive moment to moment we never had the chance to stand back and see the big picture. I too remember the horrified faces of family and friends. One day I just started keeping the most shocking moments to myself, sometimes something will slip out and I just laugh it off, realizing it hurts others to hear more than me.
I look back after being gone over ten years now and it seems like I am looking at another woman, it couldn’t have been me.
Focus on what you want your life to be, don’t focus on what it was. Find others that can understand your fears, guilt, anger and sadness. I created this blog to be a resource for men and women who have left the abuse and wonder, now what, what do I do now. The silence after is the worst for you are now left with all of the memories and fear. They choke you worse than the abuser.
Be grateful that you are where you are, rather than still living it like many are. I am happy that you have changed for the hardest thing is to change another. Once I realized that things fell in to place.
You are strong, just being away from him know proves it. Feeling like the angry old lady is a familiar feeling. You are suddenly feeling raw, angry for the wasted years and what he put you through. You have another choice, just like leaving or staying. Choose to dwell in the pain of that past of take all of that anger and fight for a future that is bright and happy and all within your control. There is no normal, you decide what it will be for you now.
I also encourage you to be angry, it is a stage of mourning that you must go through or you never really heal. I was angry for a good year, sad, afraid. I even had nightmares up until 1 and 1/2 years ago. I met a wonderful man and suddenly, they were gone. My abuser was the only man I really knew and it was all my dreams had to focus on.
I encourage you to write in a journal, set short term and long terms goals. A great book that helped me in the early years was by Dr. Phil, Self Matters. It helps you to let go of what was, get over worrying about what others think and say and focus on what is within your power. Attitude is power, keep positive and real.
The fact that you are already sharing means you will go far. I hope that you stay in touch. Everyone blog post that you contribute to supports another woman that is in your shoes.
I sincerely wish you all the best that you life has in store for you. Grow and thrive from this, don’t let it beat you down another day. Show the world you are more than what happened to you.
Love & Peace,
Thank you for finding the time to reply to my email. I will keep this email you sent me as a reminder to where I want to be in the future. The bitterness, anger and hurt is eating away at me right now but I know I can get through it because that is what I have done with far worse situations over the years – get through things. (In fact I spent a lot of last night going through old police records and court documents trying to start the healing process).
Thank you for your honesty and talking from your heart. You are right about the aftermath – I always thought if I got away it would make everything okay, but I am coming to that awful realization that it is not actually the case, although I am a fighter and refuse to let this sink me.
Your story gives me hope, courage and the strength to go through this separation safe in the knowledge that whatever I go through it is better than those horrible feelings of terror and uncertainty of him coming through the door.
I know how you feel when you say it must have been another person going through the terror and it couldn’t be me. I have spent all my time minimizing the whole thing and being led into this belief that I was the crazy one, and was imagining it all! I think by sharing it with other people and seeing how horrified they are it really starts to hit home, although I would always make it out to be less than it was.
Love & Peace