Abuse does not affect a certain group, a certain race, a certain sex, or a certain person. There are no rules, no specifications, and sometimes no explanation for how or why it happens. These types of relationships can be debilitating, and sometimes the hardest part is not the bruises, but the breaking free.
MentalHelp.Net surveyed 571 victims of abuse on how they found the strength to leave the relationship that was destroying them, mentally and physically. These are some of their heartbreaking, yet encouraging responses.
“I began making a lot of changes in my life and saw how they were refusing to change and grow and how it was holding me back.”
“When my son was about three months old, he was going through a growth spurt and nursing constantly. I was burnt out. I asked for half an hour to decompress and take a shower. When I emerged from the shower, I saw my husband screaming in the face of my three-month-old baby and berating him … because the baby was crying. Later that night, he drove me to the point of tears in front of the baby. When I begged him to stop for the sake of our child, he told me that my child was nothing but a reminder of the mistake that he made by being with me. It was then that i decided to leave. I couldn’t let him verbally abuse our baby, I didn’t trust him with our baby, and somehow I knew it wasn’t okay even to let my child grow up thinking that it’s in any way acceptable for adults to treat each other this way.”
“My three-year-old daughter said daddy should leave because he made me sad.”
“After getting berated really badly, I remember I wanted to slap them to shut them up. The fact I could even think anything like that broke me and made me realize just how bad it had gotten and I knew I had to leave.”
“My best friend learned about what was going on and helped me leave them. Without my best friend’s support, I don’t know how long I would’ve stayed.”
“It was a fight that we got into. I realized that I owe it to my future self. Ending the relationship was inevitable, as was the pain of the breakup. But the reward afterward would arrive sooner if I just get it over with.”
“I was put on a performance improvement plan at work – I was so depressed as a result of my relationship that my work productivity had suffered. I started staying with my parents and having them help me get to and from work, as I was no longer driving. I told him that I could not spend very much time with him either at work or outside of work because I needed to focus on my work performance. I slowly became more independent as my strength, confidence, and overall mental health improved.”
“I got so tired of the arguing and negativity. I was sick of him being so controlling. I felt more confident in myself, and realized I didn’t have to put up with his controlling obsessive treatment. I felt more self-worth and realized that he was dragging me down. I saw that it was unhealthy to be with him.”
“I ended up meeting another man who was very nice and respectful. I realized that I didn’t need to put up with my current boyfriend’s behavior any longer, and I would not be alone.”
“It was 8 months into the relationship. I was feeling very uncomfortable and angry at the same time. I felt like I was being controlled and I felt like it I stayed, it would get worse. I’ve forgiven him for many things but I just felt like at that point, staying wasn’t worth it.”
“I left when he physically hurt me the most and i didn’t want our kids to grow up seeing this. My kids are what gave me the strength to leave.”