Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.


I was wrong. How many times do I have to say it?

This book chronicles the sorrows and joys that Kellie experienced when she left her abusive marriage. Did she heal herself in the end? Or had the abuse changed her forever?Book Excerpt

I’ve been told that I don’t admit my faults, that I am verbally abusive, that I am physically abusive. These are ideas I’ve struggled with myself. … More than once. Will says that I’m not honest because I do not tell the other side of the story; I do not tell of how I’ve hurt anyone else and him in particular.

The problem with listing all my faults at this point is that I am only now realizing how my actions contributed to the abuse in my marriage. So the following list is not intended to list every single time I was wrong in my marriage, nor give an example of every single WAY in which I was wrong. I am trying very hard to face up to my actions, and I am working very hard to not make the same mistakes I made in the past. I am trying to change, and I am changing.

I did the best I could with what I knew at the time, and now that I know a better way, I’ll do it differently. The point is that I have faults, and I know it. This list is my admission of some of my “wrongs” as a survivor of domestic violence and abuse.

I was wrong. How many times do I have to say it?Anyway, here we go:

  • Recently Will reminded of the time I threw keys. I did throw the keys and fortunately I missed because if I’d hit the target someone may have gotten a bump on the back of his head. And I don’t mean that lightly; if you’ve ever caught a set of keys that you wished you’d let fall, you know the pain. I was wrong for throwing the keys whether they hit him or not.
  • I was wrong for throwing the dish towels, too. Not because they hurt anyone but because I was throwing a childish fit and allowed my anger to spill out into physical action. I was also wrong for slamming doors in anger.
  • I was wrong for slapping him last year. It doesn’t matter why he said it or even what he said. I was wrong for slapping his face.
  • I was wrong for calling him a bastard and an asshole, and labeling him in other ways. It’s not my place to tell him who he is or to expect him to accept it.
  • I was wrong for saying things just to hurt him. And for many other times I tried to hurt him. These things make me feel worse than others, and I wonder why I don’t feel as badly about slapping his face as I do about intentionally hurting him emotionally. If physical abuse is punishable by law, then why do I not feel worse about putting my hands on him than anything else?
  • I was wrong for telling him that I hated him.
  • I was wrong for nagging and for not being able to forget anything.
  • I was wrong for partying when I should have been a better mom and wife.
  • I was wrong for being angry and bitter.
  • I was wrong for being arrogant.
  • I was wrong for yelling at people who were trying to help.
  • I was wrong for communicating in passive-aggressive ways.
  • I was wrong for many other things that I haven’t given examples of on this page because I haven’t (yet) found examples of them included on this site. I made the list to illustrate the point that I am not trying to glorify myself as compared to Will.
  • I am very sorry for all the bad things I did, all the times I knew I was wrong soon after committing the offense and all the times when I look back and see where I was wrong but didn’t know it then. I am very sorry for the ways I contributed to this nightmare, and the ways in which I hurt Will.

I know this blog also hurts Will; I feel conflicted over whether to continue writing it, whether to erase it from the web. I also know this blog helps many other people. You tell me so. This blog is validation for others experiencing abuse, and a peek into the abusive cycle for people who are not a part of one. For the latter group, I think THEY would more easily recognize my faults and what I’ve “done” more clearly than I can.

I know writing this blog, chronicling my experience, has been my saving grace through the past year and a half. Without it, I would be more likely to gloss over and try to ignore the events and pain I’ve experienced. I may not have had the strength to leave the night I left if I didn’t have a record of my truth to check.

I’m torn. If you were to ask Will, erasing this blog and all memory of it is the right thing to do. I’m not so certain – it would certainly be right to him but would deleting it be right?

I went to the court-house today and registered two business names, “Kellie Real-Surname” doing business as “Kellie Jo Holly” and “Verbal Abuse Journals.” I figure between the two DBA’s,  I can completely eradicate my given name from any Internet searches including Whois so far as this website. It will take some time, but any online hint of who I am will disappear.

I am also going to go back and comb over the site looking for pictures and removing them or making the people in them unrecognizable. I thought I had done them all already, but while looking through to complete my list, I found a couple that need to disappear. I’ll be doing that promptly.

Doing those things is, I know, an unacceptable compromise for Will. But I am not sure that deleting everything is an acceptable compromise for me.

Please don’t respond to this blog saying, “But Kellie, you were justified” or “You were in the middle of a horrible situation!” or any such platitude. I did what I did. I want to feel ashamed so I can remember to never do those things again; I want feel ashamed so I can begin to put this horrible situation behind me, and so I can move on in strength and in harmony with my true nature.

Admitting wrong-doing doesn’t suck. I think if I sat in denial of my own wrongs, then that would suck the life out of me, eventually sculpting me into a bitter, lonely, mean-spirited blamer. And I didn’t try to bring change to my marriage to become THAT.


Notes from 7/25/2014, about four years after writing this post: Some of my “wrongs” were not technically wrongs. For example, apologizing for partying when I should have been a better wife and mother is a response to his charge of such. I am a “good mother” and have always been so. A definition of a “bad wife” is in the eye of the beholder. I would not apologize for being a “bad wife” today. I acted and reacted in ways I felt preserved both my sanity and my soul.

I was very bitter. I was turning into someone I didn’t like and didn’t recognize. I am sorry that I regressed to acting like him thinking I could fight fire with fire. I am sorry I acted in ways I would no longer accept from myself (or my significant other).

I now try very hard to be loving and soft, and I choose to calm myself before arguments get out of hand. I control my anger now instead of merely reacting to someone else’s anger. I am sorry I acted in most of the ways I described four years ago. At the same time, I beg you to understand that abuse victims lose their sense of self and begin reacting to the abuser and others in uncharacteristic ways – partly because a passionate reaction protects us in some instances and partly because it’s what we’ve become accustomed to doing.

Despite the pain endured during my marriage, I am no longer angry with my ex-husband. More importantly, I am no longer angry with myself.