What happened that made you decide to leave?
I was in an abusive relationship for 3 1/2 years. I was trying for over a year to break away from the relationship as things were getting worse and worse. What happened that made me finally decide to leave for good was when I was away from my abusive boyfriend visiting my daughter, and I made an excuse to her for the last violent act he committed against me. She said to me “Mom, did you just hear what you said?” I blamed myself for the abuse he inflicted.
When I returned to my home, I took a stand against him. He threw me into my bedroom door. I was able to get him out of the house though. He pursued me for weeks after. I was trapped in his manipulation game until he tried to strangle me to death. That is when my fear hit a high level and I took action against him and filed an injunction. Unfortunately, the law does not protect us women here in Florida as well as it should and it has been a battle to protect myself.
How did you feel about your abuser and/or your relationship in the days before you left?
The days before I left him, I loved him, feared him and hated him.
What three emotions did you most experience in the days closest to leaving Abuse? How did you deal with them?
Three emotions I experienced the most were fear, guilt and confusion.
What planning did you do before you left? Who knew you were leaving besides you?
My kids were the only ones who knew I was trying to leave him. I feared being hurt and I knew leaving him would bring violence. I actually wrote a business plan to help him purchase a business in a city over forty miles away from me. My thoughts were to get him away from me in the easiest way possible to avoid any violence. I never got to get the business.
He manipulated me into going out to a bar with a girl (who I later found out he slept with) and that night turned out to be a night of violence. I was designated driver, but was pulled out of the car and tossed on the ground, left in a neighborhood to walk home. When I finally arrived home, I packed his car and told him to leave. He threw me through my bedroom door hard enough to break the door frame. The cops did nothing. It took me calling his father to get him out that night.
What were the one or two BEST things you did before you left?
The best thing I did before I left was to research abuse and recognize that I was in a highly abusive relationship.
If there was anything you wish you had not done before you left, what was it?
I wish I had never deleted the threats he left me in my text messages.
How long ago did you leave? How do you feel today?
I left him three months ago. Today I feel a true fear of him still. I have a hard time believing he is not going to come back and exact revenge. But I also feel free; a sense of freedom I had lost a long time ago.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I wish I would have listened to the many friends and family members who told me to leave him on many occasions. I wish it was not so hard for a victim of abuse to have to fight to get heard. I wish the law was really on the victim’s side.
I realize now I am a survivor. I am a stronger woman for opening my eyes and stepping away from someone who didn’t respect themselves and would never respect me.
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