About Kellie Jo Holly
Kellie, once an abused wife, now advocates against domestic violence full-time. Her passion is helping women cope with abuse while in the relationship and supporting them as they leave and heal.
In 2012, Kellie wrote a book called My Abusive Marriage…and what i’m doing in it to spread the word about domestic violence and abuse in relationships, based on the blog she began keeping when she started to think that maybe, just maybe, the problem was that her husband abused her. She read through her old journals in hope of finding no evidence for her suspicion. Instead, she found he abused her from the beginning. She even found instances of physical abuse that she’d forgotten!
Kellie reached out to others and shared her abusive experience on her blog. The support of her readers helped her find the courage to leave the marriage. She graduated with a bachelor’s of science in psychology from Fayetteville University in North Carolina in 2013, and advocates against domestic violence full-time. Helping women cope with abuse while in the relationship and supporting them as they leave and heal is her passion.
The remainder of this page tells why Kellie chose to go public and some background on her experience with coming to terms with the abuse in her marriage. She wrote it way back in October 2009, about 15 months before she left her husband.
Why I Went Public
I am dying in the shadows. I don’t want to die. So, I’m taking my story public to save my Self.
The proper thing to say would be that I’m doing this for you. In the older version of this site, I wrote “I lived half my life not knowing “the problem” was abuse. I don’t want you to do the same,” at the top of every page. And that is true. I do NOT want anyone else to live my life. Hell, sometimes I don’t want to live my life! And the idea that I COULD help you keeps me writing like nothing ever has.
The idea that I am not saving myself but instead saving YOU compels me to share every convoluted or healthy thought I have. Maybe something will strike a chord with you, because I sure as heck haven’t bought into any of it.
But a voice that probably isn’t mine keeps urging me forward. Keep writing. Don’t be afraid of the day “he” finds this site. Don’t be afraid of the day “he” takes his next step. Don’t be afraid of the day I am forced to choose, once and for all, if I am going to live or slip back into the shadow – the day I choose to live or die. Don’t be afraid.
Maybe when the day comes to choose to live or die, I will look at this site and realize that SOMEONE had to write these things. SOMEONE existed on these days beyond who I think I am. SOMEONE who has the energy to fight for life.
And, if I’m lucky, I will realize that the SOMEONE who wrote these pages is ME.
But, until that day, YOU are the reason I’m writing these journals. If I can validate thoughts and experiences, then hopefully you will choose to live, but not to live with it like I have. Abuse kills you.
My biggest qualification for creating this site is my experience. If you want to know about the verbally abusive experience honestly and as it progresses, then I’m your girl.
I’ve only recently learned the vocabulary for my experience, but I’ve been married to an abuser for seventeen years. Who knew? I didn’t, and you may not realize you are living with one either.
I promise that I’ll always be honest with you because I know how hard it is to have someone you trust lie to you. I won’t use my family members’ real names, but my name is Kellie Jo, and this site reflects my story as clearly and accurately as possible.
How I Found Out I Am Sane
One day I went to the library to check out a paranormal book. Shelved among the ghosts and goblins, I found a book called The Verbally Abusive Man: Can He Change? by Patricia Evans. It was obviously on the wrong shelf, yet I reached for it. “Maybe I need to see this for some reason…” I thought.
I started flipping through the pages. I noticed headings like [He Says] “It’s All Your Fault” and“Sometimes Counselors Just Don’t Know.” But the section that got my attention was in the appendix -Verbally Abusive Statements.
The list of words and phrases on those pages perfectly summed up almost every conversation I had shared with him for as long as I could remember. I remember my heart stopping and my knees buckling.
In an instant I knew the truth. It took about five minutes of reading the book there on the library aisle floor before my brain caught up with what my soul had known all along…I AM NOT CRAZY.
How I Found Out He Is Crazy
Short answer: I read Patricia Evan’s book, “The Verbally Abusive Man: Can He Change?”
The research says that my husband is probably not crazy, in the clinical sense of the word. Only 10% of abusers suffer from some sort of mental illness, and that’s the same as in the general population. (See “Are Abusers Mentally Ill?“)
However, as a layperson, I believe he is crazy. I am defining crazy as exhibiting behavior that causes you to act against traditional good character, and the behavior you chose hurts someone else AND YOU DON’T CARE.
Working with that definition, my husband, in my opinion, is crazy. I can’t call it anything else at this point because I’m still emerging from the fog 17 years of verbal abuse created. I am untrusting and skeptical, and I have a LOT of questions for him, but even if he answered, I’m not sure I could believe him.
I’m just now sorting through thoughts such as:
- …does this mean that when he told me I was lying (when I wasn’t!) that he was lying?
- …what about all those times he told me I said something when I didn’t remember saying any such thing?
- …does he really think I am all the terrible things he says I am, or does he just say those things to humiliate me? To make me question my own intentions?
- …how long am I willing to battle with these questions before I can accept the fact that I accidentally married a verbal abuser?
- …why is it so hard for me to say that I deserve better
So, you see, he seems crazy to me. He defies logic (at least MY logic) and I can’t get a grip on the slippery word-play and strange behaviors he exhibits. I don’t even know if I want to understand it. I may just want to get out from under it. I may just leave.