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Finding Her Freedom: One Survivor’s Story

24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 208.343.7025 24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline: 208.345.7273 (RAPE)

Have you tried everything to make him happy? Have you doubted your own sanity? Have you wondered time after time how you came to be there? You try desperately to make sense out of what your relationship is, and if you are the only one going through this. As you survive this daily mind game, you begin to question your ability as a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a professional. Your confidence plummets and you stop smiling and laughing as much as you used to.

When you are in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship with someone, nothing ever makes sense. You can never do or say anything right, you are always walking on eggshells, and making sure that what you say will not start an argument.

This is how I lived my last five years. I have been in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship. Being in that relationship literally sucked the life out of me and broke my spirit. When you are being questioned on a continual basis, you stop doing things that you enjoy and love. Your friends and family become distant from you, and you only live the life that he wants you to.

When I came to realize that this situation was not going to get better, I started therapy and re-connecting my support group. In my first therapy session, the counselor identified that I was living in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship. I was shocked. I had never heard of this abuse before. I continued to see my therapist and educate myself on this abuse for 6 months. The more knowledge I gained the better grasp I had on my experiences, feelings, and struggles, they were all very real and no one could take those from me. That was a difficult time for me at that point, because I knew what he was doing. I decided that I would no longer allow or tolerate the abuse. In making that decision, the arguments and the violence became more frequent and yelling and raising voices became the norm. The day to day was painful, and uncomfortable, and I would still go back and forth on whether leaving was a good idea.

As time went on and the New Year 2017 came, I was feeling less defeated and stronger in my ability to know what I needed to do next; leave. I did not feel safe anymore and I wanted out. I started planning my exit. With this planning came the courage and bravery that I never knew I needed until the day I left with my boys. What I learned that day was no matter how much you want something to work you just cannot change other people. However, you have a choice to stay or to leave, and my choice was to leave. The freedom I have felt since the day I left will never be forgotten.

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