Living in an Abusive Relationship Described by Domestic Abuse Victim

Living in an abusive relationship stole my self-image away and replaced it with what I thought my abuser wanted to see. Giving up myself didn't even help.

Living in an abusive relationship took my self-image away from me. When I look into the mirror, I don’t recognize me. I see dimmed eyes, a down-turned mouth and weary shoulders from carrying the weight of abuse. That isn’t how I saw myself at 19 before meeting my husband.

I recorded this video while living in the comfortable home I shared with my husband and our two children. I miss that home’s illusion. The illusion told me that

As you may guess, the illusion lied. It was nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

But, let’s go back to this time and listen to what I had to say about living in an abusive relationship.


See also: Crazymaking, Brainwashing and at HealthyPlace, Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Why Can’t I Just Leave?

Click to visit Kellie Jo Holly's author page with writings on what it's like to live in an abusive relationship and more.

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  1. Ella Park says:

    I like this video especially because it is unscripted, when you talk it is like I am watching myself…….the pausing, the questions, the wondering, the sadness, the look on your face, I can see & here the similarities. It’s almost like a disease, the same symptoms, the look in you eye, the mannerisms, even the tone of your voice… familiar!

  2. I am researching verbal/emotional abuse since I disovered I was in an abusive relationship too. After watching your video and seing your art, I think you are a very talented and brave person. Thank you for what you have done here. And yes, Patricia Evns’ books are great for everyone who is wondering if they are survivors of verbal abuse. Take care.

  3. I agree with your point about therapy! I left every session feeling worse and completely crazy. When I tried to repeat the name calling and the way our fights go, the therapist said “those are just garbage words, forget about them!” Ha, at that time my husband would repeatedly call me crazy and insane and a lunatic. If you hear that a few times a week screamed at your face, how can it be just “garbage words”?! Thank you for the video! I really can relate.

  4. your husband is a sociopath. I am married to a socipath.
    I feel your pain & frustration. And I totally agree about therapy.
    Be strong. Get stronger. Make a plan. EXIT from that relationship.

  5. narcabusesurvivor says:

    I did all the work and responsibilities and he twisted things around just like that. Telling me what I said. and then going off telling me about something I did which may or may not be true. but, had no right being in that conversation. They are delusional.

  6. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU~this is beautiful Kelie Jo! Thank you for your courage, it has given me some! I just figured this out after 22 years of marriage!!!!! I was 15 when we met and dated for 8 years before we got married; so he’s all I’ve known! But somehow I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I have given 110% and bent over backwards to always give him everything he needs to be happy thinking it was all me! I was clearly not good enough or whatever he wanted me to think to keep me feeling less than. I now know, it’s not me. Watching you was like watching myself. Unfortunately, we have 4 kids and I feel I have no recourse. I will continue researching and gathering strength. I’ve realized how to act (never complain, never disagree, walk on eggshells and give him everything he wants) just to keep the peace. Distract, distance, use humor. I never J.A.D.E. I have an appetizer and a beautiful meal for him every night; have no life or ever make any plans so I can watch the kids while he goes skiing, duck hunting, golfing. I clean and cook and caretake but boy I better be ready and excited if he comes home to take me out on a Saturday night, for a night of listening to him talk about himself and showering him with compliments. I can play the game, but I am so lonely. He withholds affection and says he does everything for me. Yes, he brings home a paycheck and plans wonderful trips and says thanks for dinner; but has never once complimented me on anything that matters to me. In fact, tells me I can’t spend time doing those things that I love (being with my parents and sister, painting, blogging) because it cuts into family time. (it rarely if ever did). If I dare to have an alternate opinion, it’s WW III. If he’s mad, he takes it out on me for hours, following me and locking me in a room for hours, then he takes it out on our kids, has only hit one once, but completely makes them feel like they’re the worst person in the world, for something completely benign like not setting the table properly. Completely controls our finances and tells me where I can and cannot spend our money. It finally all makes sense. Thank you so so so so much for your website. I am gaining strength everyday. Forever grateful.

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