Unfortunately, he did it again.
You remember lying there on the floor, hurt and in pain. It plays over and over in your head. The tears roll down your face.
You can’t stand the thought of it.
The name calling…
His hands around your neck….
His fist against your face….
You have a broken spirit. You wonder how he could do this to you.
You wear sunglasses at night and long sleeves during the day. You don’t want anyone to see the marks and find out what’s going on. The bruises will expose the truth.
He promised the last time was the last time. But yet, you find yourself in this place again.
You love him so much and you treat him so good. You can’t understand why he would want to see you suffer like this.
You wonder when it will stop, or if it will stop at all. Love is not supposed to feel this way, but you don’t know how to escape.
You feel trapped.
1. Accept That Things Are What They Seem to Be
I met my first boyfriend in High School.
I convinced myself I was going to marry him. I truly believed that he was the man for me and I didn’t need to look any further.
I was so wrong.
It’s amazing how you can go through life so blind and believe something that isn’t true. For 8 long years, I went through emotional, mental and physical abuse.
Throughout our entire relationship he hit me, talked down to me and cheated on me. He made me feel so small; so devalued.
I had a fear of being alone, a fear of not having this man by my side. I’d rather be abused than be single. I’d rather be treated like this than have him leave me for someone else. I accepted the good along with the bad.
As long as he was with me I believed everything would be ok.
In reality, things would never be ok.
It was completely clear that I was in an extremely abusive relationship. Pretending everything was fine did not change the facts. No matter how many times I tried to convince myself he would change, he never did.
I would come up with a million fairytale endings in my mind, but none of them would ever come true. My relationship was dysfunctional, and until I fully accepted this, there was no way out.
I had to first admit that his actions were offensive. Making excuses for his behavior didn’t help the situation at all.
I had to accept that this man had a serious problem, and putting his hands on me was unacceptable.
In any abusive situation, you must be honest with yourself. Making excuses for inexcusable behavior only makes things worse. Once you acknowledge that a problem exists, you can begin to find a solution.
2. Understand Abuse Is Not Just Physical
When we think of abuse, we normally think of someone being physically hurt.
That’s not always the case.
I was being mentally and emotionally abused as well. On top of calling me names, he also cheated on me all the time.
After a while, he didn’t even try to hide his cheating anymore. He would leave at night and tell me he would see me in the morning. He spent almost every night with someone else.
Eventually, two women turned up pregnant by him. It felt like my heart exploded. The day I found out was the worst day of my life.
How could he share intimate moments with another woman? And how dare he have a baby with someone else? That tore me apart. I thought he was mine. I didn’t want to share him.
Every second of the day, worry consumed my mind. The thought of him having a family with another woman would play over and over in my head.
I was being mentally and emotionally tormented by this. I couldn’t function normally.
If this man was the one for me, I wouldn’t be going through all of this. My physical, mental and emotional health was at risk.
I had to realize that my relationship was jeopardizing my health and well-being. I had to learn to value my sanity.
Don’t wait until your mental health is at risk. Guard your emotions. Seek the help you need to get your mind back to a healthy state.
3. Stop Believing the Abuse Will Stop
Over the course of those 8 years, the abuse became worse.
I remember one night he told me was going to kill me.
We argued so bad that the neighbors heard us. They began banging on the door, yelling his name, and begging him to stop.
He choked me until I passed out.
I fell on the floor, and when I finally came to, he was frantically pacing back and forth because he thought he had killed me. Fortunately, he didn’t. I was able to walk away that night.
It was a horrible way to live. The good never outweighed the bad. The bad times were so bad that I would forget about the good times.
I would wake up destroyed and go to bed destroyed every night. This was my way of life. This type behavior happened during the course of our relationship.
It never got any better.
I begged, cried and pleaded with this man to change. I even professed my love for him over and over.
At some point, I had to stop believing it was going to get any better. The only way I would be able to live a happy life was if I escaped this relationship. I had to understand that I couldn’t change him. It was not my fault that he did this to me.
He needed help.
And no matter how many times he claimed that he was going to seek that help, he never did.
And he was never going to.
I had to accept that my relationship wasn’t going to change. Things were going to stay exactly the same unless I left him. I had to let go.
You can hide from the truth, but eventually it will find you. The best thing to do is accept that your problems will stay the same unless you change them. If you face them head on, you can begin to work on a better future.
4. Consider Your Loved Ones
I tried to hide the abuse, and I tried very hard. I had everyone fooled for a while, but eventually they found out.
People will notice the sadness in your eyes. Some things you just can’t hide.
There’s one thing I never took into consideration. And that was my family. My relationship was hurting them and the people who cared about me.
When you are in an abusive relationship, it is very easy to get caught up in the way you are feeling. I never once considered how everyone else was feeling.
Imagine being a parent whose daughter is in an abusive relationship.
Imagine knowing your sister is being hurt by a man who claims to love her.
Imagine knowing your mom is being mistreated and taken advantage of.
It’s very hard to see yourself on the other side of the fence when you are the victim. But abuse doesn’t only hurt the abused.
It hurts everyone!
I had to ask myself a few real questions…
How long was I going to allow him to keep hurting me?
What would happen if he actually killed me?
Was he really worth all of this?
I had to wake up and remember that I had a family who loved me, and people who really cared about me. If this man took me out of this world, there would be a lot of people hurt and destroyed.
I had to consider the people being hurt behind my relationship.
Looking back now, I wish I went to my family for help. It’s usually the ones closest to you that can help you find a way out.
Remember, you’re not alone. There’re people out there who love you and don’t want to see you hurting like this. Find someone you trust and confide in them. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones for help.
5. Have Faith That There Is a Better Way
Eventually, I was able to find my way out.
I wasted so much time on someone who wasn’t worth it, someone who didn’t really love me.
I could never get that time back. I could never be 17 again and enjoy life.
I decided not to waste any more time in my life. I couldn’t bring back what I lost, but I could change the future. Once reality set in, I was able to put my life back together again.
I truly believe that God gave me the strength to remove myself from that terrible situation. He rescued me.
I put my faith totally in Him.
He heard my cries. He felt my pain. And he delivered me from it.
I’m married now to the love of my life. I have the family that I always wanted. The family I always prayed for.
Actually, I have the same exact family that I wanted with my ex. I always wanted to live in a house and take family vacations. I wanted to live a certain lifestyle.
And at this moment, I have everything I ever desired. Only now it’s with a man who truly loves and respects me.
He compliments my confidence.
Sometimes, I can’t believe I’m truly happy now. Back then, I would have never believed any of this was possible. But with God, all things are possible!
I had to believe and have faith that God heard my prayers. I put my trust in Him and He answered faithfully.
You have to believe you can get through this. Regardless of how things seem, you do have a way out.
6. Realize Pain is a Blessing
I learned a lesson from every painful experience I went through.
I had to go through that situation to be a blessing to someone else. My experience is my testimony. And like the saying goes, you can’t have a testimony without a test.
I believe that God allowed me to go through this because He wanted to use me for His purpose. He wanted to use me to help other women that are going through similar situations.
If I was never abused, I couldn’t be living proof that things can turn around and get better.
You see, someone needs to hear my story. Someone reading this now has found a bit of hope. Someone needs to know that you don’t have to go through this. You don’t have to hurt anymore.
You deserve love and respect.
If I give just one woman strength to say enough is enough, and take control over her life, then I’m fulfilling my purpose.
I believe you have a purpose too. Someone out there is waiting to hear your story. Someone is waiting for your victory to give them hope. Your story is someone’s blessing.
7. Forgive and Let Go
We can’t see the future, but God is already there!
He sees you happy with a man who is just for you, the man who He hand-picked.
But how can that man come into your life if you are filling that spot?
It’s time to let go. It’s time to move on.
Time heals everything, trust me! You don’t have to deal with the pain anymore. I am fully healed from my past. I have truly forgiven my ex for what he did to me.
I have no hate in my heart for him, whatsoever. Forgiveness released all power that he had over me. It gave me control over the situation because I let go of all the animosity in my heart.
And now, I actually feel sorry for him.
Sorry that he is still trapped in his anger, misery and frustration. Meanwhile, my forgiveness towards him has set me free!
Set me free from my pain.
Set me free from my tears.
I now have hope.
If you hold onto bitterness and animosity, you are only hurting yourself. You deserve happiness. Don’t let anyone steal your joy. It’ll be hard at first, but forgiveness will set you free.
I have an exercise for you. Close your eyes imagine the man you’ve always dreamed of. Imagine going on a trip with your beautiful family. You are laughing and smiling with them, having the time of your life.
Look how happy you are. You now know what it means to truly be loved. Cherish this feeling because it can and will be a reality if you let it!
Just pray and ask God to show you the way. He did it for me and I know he will do it for you.
God bless you!