Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Layla’s Story of Leaving Abuse

What happened that made you decide to leave?Many things. I had just had our first child. We were going to take pictures with family. He disappeared the night before, didn’t call or text, and showed up the next morning still drunk and missed the pictures. He then claimed he was sick, so I stayed with my parents. He strung me along for months. Last straw was for New Year. He didn’t spend it with his daughter. I told him I would be thinking of him and apologized if I was annoying.

I realized how toxic it was then, and filed the next chance I got.

How did you feel about your abuser and/or your relationship in the days before you left?

Confused, heartbroken, disappointed.

What three emotions did you most experience in the days closest to leaving Abuse? How did you deal with them?

Nervousness, fear, depression.

Prayer helped me. Letting myself cry away from everyone. Letting people help.

What planning did you do before you left? Who knew you were leaving besides you?

Had a place to live, and a job. My family and a small handful of friends that I trusted at the time.

What were the one or two BEST things you did before you left?

Got out of the house and sought counseling.

If there was anything you wish you had not done before you left, what was it?

Saying things I knew he wanted to hear with the hopes it would convince him to try and work things out.

How long ago did you leave? How do you feel today?

Almost 9 months. I feel liberated, empowered, and confident.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

When I filed for divorce, I was still in love with him. He knew that and tried to use my love to further manipulate me even after the divorce had ended. It wasn’t until recently that I knew for a fact I was no longer in love with him.

Seek self-healing. Do not jump into a relationship quickly. Do get out of the house. Do spend time with friends and family. Do cut yourself off from the abuser and all those who advocate for them.

Do not let it become a cycle throughout your life. All of us have a choice to make. We cannot control what they do, but we can control how we move on. That’s what makes us survivors.

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