Returning to Yourself After an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

By Sophia Stephens on Tuesday November 27th, 2018

Five Ways to Take Your Power Back

If I could describe the impact and aftermath of emotional abuse in one word, it would be invisible. Emotional abuse may leave no physical marks, but the depth of the scars and the weight of the pain creates a burden that people can’t see—or don’t want to.

According to Psychology Today’s Andrea Matthews, emotionally abusive tactics include constant criticism and/or control, verbal assault and/or abuse, shaming and/or belittling language, mind games, refusing to communicate at all, and isolation of the victim from supportive friends and family:

“I know what’s best for you. Your friends don’t care about you the way I do.”

“What are you talking about? I never said that. You’re making things up.”

“You won’t leave me…and I won’t let you if you tried.”

“You’d look more honest if you wore less makeup.”

The cycle of abuse, as developed by Dr. Lenore Walker and survivors, includes four stages—tension building, incident, reconciliation, and calm—that also apply to situations of emotional abuse.

Each stage works to hold the victim under the abuser’s control, and to keep them in a state of unreality where the victim is made to feel like they are not able to believe their own experience.

The anguish of being isolated, put down, and controlled by someone you love, work with, or share a personal relationship with carries immense consequences that can stay with the victim/survivor for years.

The invisibility effectOne word that describes the impact and aftermath of emotional abuse is invisible. Image: Jeremy Bishop.

Depression, anxiety, and complex post-traumatic stress disorder are common among survivors of emotional abuse, and the healing process can be made even more difficult by lack of support or outright disbelief when victims come forward.

Your experience was valid—no matter how hard people try to take that away from you. You deserve to be heard, and to heal.

When an emotionally abusive relationship of any kind comes to an end, there is often a massive question that takes its place: “Now what?”  We decided to create our own answer. We spoke with survivors of emotional abuse and came up with the following:

1. Take your time.

In an emotionally abusive relationship, time is often used to tie your attention, affection, and efforts to the abuser. Time is power, and abusers will do everything they can to keep you from having it.

Whether you were not ‘allowed’ to hang out with a certain friend, told that your long-term dream was a waste of time, or otherwise constantly questioned, controlled, and/or gaslighted on the who, what, when, where, or why of how you spent your time, being out of that relationship can often feel more frightening than freeing—and that is completely normal.

“I went from the love of his life to a [complete] source of frustration and a burden. Every time I wanted to spend time with him, it would cause a fight,” said Eva of her past abusive relationship of three years.

“Threatening to leave me or actually leaving me for short periods of time were his way of asserting his power onto the relationship,” Eva continued. “If I wasn’t exactly how he wanted me to be, he would start threatening me in that way.”

Your abuser wants you to feel lost, scared, and alone, and like there is a massive hole in your life without them, but that is not the reality. It never was.

Your life is your own to live, and you can take as much time as you want, on what you want, who you want, and where, when, and how you want to do it.

While the consequences of abuse may impact your ability to act on these things, there is no time limit on healing.

Self-care on your own terms.

That slam poetry group you’ve always wanted to join, getting the pet you’ve wanted for years, or chasing that dream job across the country… use your time however you want.

2. Re-draw your boundaries.

Boundaries are an essential part of practicing love with yourself and others.

As explained by online counseling service 7 Cups, boundaries allow you to define your limits—where they begin, where they end, and the terms that apply as you interact with the people around you. Healthy boundaries are established through consistent communication that holds the people involved with accountability, compassion, and understanding.

“For me, healing meant recognizing that my needs matter and that they are my responsibility, and that I can choose who I surround myself with,” said Jordan, who was impacted by emotional abuse from her parents. “I knew that was the right choice for me, because I felt less stressed and angry, and had fresh mental space and time to surround myself with people who did support me.”

While Jordan still shares family ties with her parents, she has gradually been able to proactively make and enforce her own boundaries with physical distance and time away from them.

It may not feel like it now, or for a long time, but the power is now back in your hands. It’s not going anywhere, and will be there whenever you are ready to redraw your boundaries.

The best part? It’s all about you.

3. Forgive yourself.

What the abuser did to you was wrong. You never deserved it. The guilt, shame, and fear are not where your energy belongs right now, or ever again.

Out of all the things that you deserve, self-forgiveness is towards the top of the list.

The importance of boundariesOut of all the things that you deserve, self-forgiveness is towards the top of the list. Image: BBH Singapore.

While emotional abuse is a defined form of domestic violence, according to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, people still hesitate to believe or support survivors.

“When it’s been with people who didn’t know him, everyone has been incredibly loving and supportive,” said Eva of the experiences she’s had telling others of what she went through from her abusive ex-partner.

“However, when I talk about it to people who knew us together, though they completely agree that it was toxic and horrible and I was being manipulated, they seem to get very uneasy around the use of the word abuse,” she added. “It’s almost as if my experiences are missing something for them to consider it abuse, or they are just uncomfortable with the word.”

Abuse in any form is never your fault. It doesn’t matter who the person was. It doesn’t matter how they got into your life. It doesn’t matter how long the relationship was. It doesn’t matter why you stayed.

None of that matters, but here’s what does: You made it through. You survived. You’re free. You did it.

4. Knowledge is power.

Trying to make sense of the abuse, and what to do after, seems like a difficult task on the good days, and entirely impossible on the bad ones.

After however long you were forced to only know and understand the world through the abuser’s perspective, it is absolutely normal to experience confusion—even fear—over where to start.

For many, therapy can also be a powerful tool: “With therapy I learned to ask for help and take breaks when I needed them,” said Katie, who was affected five years ago by an emotionally abusive friendship.

In the process of confronting the abuser and their actions, Katie lost her best friend of 18 years. “When I was able to talk about what happened without crying or having an attack, I knew I was starting to really heal,” Katie added.

Depending on the available resources in your area, there may be relevant workshops, classes, or seminars you can attend. A quick search online can turn up local organizations, communities, support groups, and more.

If resources are difficult to access or you are unable to get to in-person courses for any reason, the Internet is your friend.

There are thousands of articles on everything from defining emotional abuse, to what to know on how to love again after emotional abuse, to the why and how of moving on from sites like BetterHelpLove Is RespectThe Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness, and more.

From creating healthy boundaries to conflict resolution techniques, there is a class or article out there waiting for you—and the knowledge you gain from it will be yet another tool in your arsenal.

5. Take back your story.

People who emotionally abuse others often force false narratives onto the victim to justify the abuse. This often places the abuser as always being right, and the victim as having no authority or say on what the abuser says or does, except to affirm their perspective and decision-making.

You are lovedYou are loved and you are not alone. Image: Toimetaja tõlkebüroo.

Abusive false narratives can sound like a lot of different things. Among the many types of lies abusers tell their victims, the receiving partner may be told they are incapable of living their life without the abuser, that they are ‘damaged goods’ in some way, or that nobody else will love them.

This is also a form of gaslighting—the abuser is attempting to change your reality by altering how you see yourself. The conflicting emotions from being told a false, harmful story about yourself from someone that you trust or love can be heavily damaging, and with long-lasting effects.

After an emotionally abusive relationship, the lies that the abuser told you about you may continue to affect the way that you see yourself.

When the abuser is safely and securely out of your life, it’s your opportunity to take back your story. The undoing of the abuser’s lies and manipulations through your self-actualization can feel like an awakening, but can also be very emotionally difficult to process.

Rebuilding your story is a highly personal step, and you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to—including going public with your story, or sharing it at all. Regardless of where you take your story from here, all the choices are yours now.

Emotional abuse and its consequences are difficult to heal from. You are rebuilding yourself from the aftermath of months, years, or decades of harm, and it is very common to feel like you’re struggling, because you are. You were abused, and that is what abuse does.

Healing is not linear, and the process can take months, years, or decades. Everyone heals on their own time.

Your journey can take on many different directions as you address each part of your situation, and there are resources available at each and every step of the way.

Above all, know that you are loved, and that you are not alone.




The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage


Is it Time to Let Go of your Relationship?


How Trauma Can Lead to Radical Growth

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193 Responses to Returning to Yourself After an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

  1. I read this. I’ve been married for 43 yrs, and 4 months, and by the Grace of God only, have done it. I’ve had some really bad physical problems too, from arthritis and surgeries on my neck, knees. We had a baby boy that died of Sids when he was 11 months old. My husband was first physically abusive, then emotionally and mentally and verbally abusive. The physical stuff ended years ago, but was done in front of my kids at times. Husband is a charmer, Narcissist/sociopathic, able to get around everything. I’m a born again Christian, and of course, he says he is too. He’s a churchaholic, and yells praise the Lord loudly there, to get everyones’ attention.
    I agonized over this whole thing for several years, til meeting Jesus in a very special particular way, where he “pulled me aside” literally, and said “Im all you need. Everything was done for you that you need, at the cross.” Like the woman at the well, from that point forward, my life has really changed. In a way it got more difficult, as I pulled away from hubby, and got my own life!!! Got my teachers license renewed, and made enough money and worked in some very hard urban schools, til I could retire and draw a pension with all the years added up. Financial abuse from hubby has been a very big part of this “relationship”. Since he just turned 80, and I am 72, I am not thinking of divorce anymore. We are pretty detached. Only talk superficially and about “safe subjects”, if I try to “dig deeper” he resists, and gives me a barage of verbal abuse and mockery, so that I end up tape recording him, and going to another room to get him to shut up. I am telling you ladies from experience, abuse is hell. The Bible says “pray for your abusers” and the “glory of God rests on you when you are persecuted.”. I know if he weren’t 80, and I were younger, I’d leave, but God is giving me grace. I do see the fruits of committment, believe it or not, even with an abuser. He’s a good dad/grandpa, and really puts the charm on with them. I’m the only target, usually in private. He’s a bully. So there are various counseling techniques I’ve tried like “observe, but don’t absorb.” I also have 2 really close women friends I can confide in who have been there before too. One saw Jesus really give her victory too, after 55 yrs. of marriage to a mean man who died of cancer.
    It’s not easy at all. These guys are personality disordered, and I think, possessed with demons. The only one you have to answer for is yourself, really. Do you have an abundant life, and are you thriving as God would have you do? I have also seen counselors from time to time,and my youngest daughter even became a counselor because of this marriage.
    The Bible says “have no other Gods before me”. The Lord God, and Him alone will I serve, not to say I don’t have “setbacks”, cause I do. These guys are not normal at all. Mines very abnormal and eccentric, like he leaves the bathroom light on all the time and says it “saves on energy”, to do so, won’t let anyone shut it off. Or calling me all the time on his cell phone and closing his eyes, and walking away in person when I talk. May you come to Jesus and find he’s already met all your needs, which may sound impossible, but with God nothing is impossible.

    • Wow Shirley, thank you for sharing. I’m glad you have managed to find peace in your own heart despite the circumstances. I wish you all the best on your journey 💗

      Team UPLIFT

  2. Wow. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

    Also a guy here who fell fast and deep for the wrong woman. She used to keep a “run bag” in her car when we first met so I rose to the challenge of providing her security and stability.

    I thought I was doing it well until the first time she ran away, went clubbing and got tagged all over social media. But I was smitten and begged her to stay. She did, reluctantly. It was my fault that made her want to run. She hated me and even Shen she hit me it was my fault and she twisted that to telling everyone that it was me that hit her?!

    This carried on quickly as the relationship was like a roller coaster on super fast, within a few months she was pregnant and if I ever wanted to meet my offspring I had to marry her on her conditions.

    Despite accepting these having paid for the banquet new conditions were added. That was another trend, the negotiations never closed – she could always find any minor infraction of mine and negotiate it back and renegotiate ad infinitum to get everything.

    I escaped the house to exercise. Literally when she was still sleeping as that was the only time I could go.

    Then I had a major accident and woke up in a coma with no memory and the abuse escalated fast! As my brain was recovering she tried to rewrite it constantly and denied me seeing the doctor for my medication or church.

    Thankfully I ran away just before my son turned two. I’ve not seen him since and she’s manipulated the courts also – this all happened overseas so I’m now grateful to be living in my parents spare room and trying to get into school.

    One thing I found useful was something called a “hand mnemonic” by a therapist on YouTube. That helped me separate the evil past from my potential future.

    Yet I still found myself searching google for “how long does recovery from emotional abuse take?”

    • Oh. It was called “fortress tutorial” and that kept me busy while I walked the past away.

      She managed to steal everything I had spent twenty years building and leaving me with a single suitcase.

    • Wow Stewart, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this. Though it must be tough being separated from your son it sounds like it’s a good thing that you are no longer in this relationship. Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. We wish you so much love and healing on your journey to recovery.

      Team UPLIFT

  3. 36 years of abuse that I didn’t understand. After 34 a counselor knew right away that I was being emotionally abused. How could I not have known? All I did was fight back in disagreement to the gas lighting he consistently forced on me.
    My childhood was full of similar abuse from my grandmother and mother.

    There are days that I do not want to go on.
    My adult children treat me the same way their dad did. My friend recently clarified this for me. They learned how I deserve to be treated from how their father treated me.

    At 63 years old, I’m glad I am out of the relationship, but am so damaged that I don’t think I can ever heal fully. All I’ve ever wanted was to find happiness. Even years and years of counseling and self help books could not help, until I landed on one counselor who understood abuse.

    With Covid and isolation and all of these thoughts. I am still trying to create a person that others might like.

    Honestly, I don’t know who I really am.

    • I really understand where ur at im here now it hurts bad i feel like im going crazy i feel like i will never be able to love anyone again i want to go back to my husband and see if he has really changed he tells me how much he loves me everyday and he admits to having the problem and says he has been going to the doctor and has got help but…. I dont see the change he tells me i have to come to see it but i know that is no true we have 3 kids together and i know i could tell just by being around him i tell him all the time to stop calling and give me my space to really think and he will not do it that alone tells me he is the same it has to be his way or no way !!!

    • Hi Karen, i am so happy you are finally, i relate to your whole story – kids and all.

      I am about to begin the journey of self discovery and i vow to make it fun, because its my blank canvas i am designing on….all mine😁

      I do hope you start find the new version of you soon.💙

    • Karen, I feel deeply for you. I am in much the same position. I am also 63. I left after 25 years of marriage. He threatened to take the kids if I left and convinced me that the courts would believe I was a bad mother. The kids begged me not to let him have even partial custody. We finally separated when the youngest two were 14 and 13 because I found he was trying to establish residency in another state to make getting custody easier. In exchange for taking next to nothing in the divorce settlement, he allowed me to have the kids.
      Although they are now adults, everyone is very damaged. He was abusive to the children too. They have varying levels of contact; from no contact to speaking frequently. I feel hurt that any of them have forgiven him. He has never tried to make amends nor has he changed his behaviour.
      Like you, I don’t think I can fully heal, nor do I have any idea what I want. I feel like I’m too old to work it all out or for doing so to make a difference.

  4. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for most part of my life.
    I know it’s hard loves but let today be the day you take back your lives ,your emotions and accept yourselves .
    Don’t allow anyone to exert that kind of power over you after the separation.
    Some days you may feel like you have it together, other days you may feel as if your world is caving in …. it’s all on the road to healing. Trust the process and what ever you do never let it change who you are .
    Healing and prayers are on it way 🥰

  5. I am 40 year old guy father of 2. I have been emotionally abused by my wife and her mother. I have been belittled over and over again. My wife wants every single thing her way she says she is never wrong and I am the one who has problems in my life.. when confronted her reasons are that I have to be like a son to her parents. Her mother must be invited to every single occasions not only at our house but also my parents and siblings occasions. She needs to be respected unconditionally and if for once she feels she hasn’t received the attention she will make hell out of my life and that I have to apologise to her mother only then she will have better relationship with me.
    She says she didn’t ever and will never trust men in general and that she doesn’t see anything wrong with that because she is one of a kind and is entitled to be how she feels like.
    She has left home many many times and lived with her parents for days and I have gone and begged her to come back, her conditions to come back have always been apologise to my mother.
    Her mother has name called me 100s of times she had told me that there is no manhood in me and I am so weak that can’t keep her daughter happy and that I have to learn from other men
    In the beginnings I tolerated all out of respect, after a while anger got built in me and had to defend myself but that took everything to next level in their eyes I was now a useless piece of shit. Belittling stared more and more and still keeps going from time to time. Although it has reduced only because I have been hospitalised 3 times, receiving multiple ECT treatments and many different medications that I am still on.
    There have been no sympathy or empathy from wife and her mother.
    Right now I am clinically ill and have completely lost my sanity. I can’t know who I really am. World seems and feels like a foggy dream and I can’t feel any hope.
    I left my wife thinking I would be free and get my Heath back. But that made it worse so subconsciously I decided to come back for the sake of my children and now I am jeered up and told that I wasn’t man enough so I left her and still not man enough to stand by her and that I have plans in the head hence came back but she is on to me to find out what my plans are.
    My reality is I have been feeling disconnected from world and myself and the fact that I am alive is good enough for me so my children don’t grow up without their father beside them.
    I can’t decide what is good or bad for me to do as I only have very little mental energy.
    Before marriage I was a senior manager at work and a musician for hobby. Had great group of friends. Full of life and didn’t know what anxiety or depression really meant.
    I read some comments above and saw mainly women in similar situation as me. Now thinking my wife and her mother are right about the fact that there is no manhood in me. Otherwise I would have been not ever this ill.
    Wow life sucks sometimes.

    • Hey Robbie … I am sending you so much clarity. I can only say seek appropriate private support. Meditation and prayers to Existence help me. I always pray for the highest and the best for myself. Perhaps there are support groups that you can join. Find like-minded people who can truly empathise and co-support your wellbeing and mental health. Thanks for sharing that abuse is abuse, no matter our gender.
      Big healing love, clarity and strength to you. Paul and Team UPLIFT

      • Hi Megan. I am so sorry you are struggling. I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying. What you are feeling is completely normal from the emotional abuse you’ve endured. Look up anything you can on trauma bonding. It will explain a lot of what I think you are dealing with. I hope it helps you.

  6. I finally walked away from an emotionally and physically-abusive relationship 6 weeks ago after my partner hit me in in front of my kids. He is a narcissist with his own traumas that seemed to affect his ability to self-reflect and thinks every negative thing in his life is someone else’s fault. Despite his anger issues. Despite his drug and alcohol addictions. Despite being late to work nearly everyday. All of these things were usually on me. I was never allowed to do anything but smile. When I faced serious medical issues, he told me I complained too much about my pain. When my children misbehaved, it’s because I’m a terrible mother (nevermind my Master’s degree in education and a 15-year teaching career). And when I did stick up for myself, he would belittle me, tell me he could do so much better, call me a cunt, tell me his ex girlfriends were way hotter than I am, hit me, threaten to kill me, or dump me. He must have left 15 times, but always came back.

    Why did I allow this to continue for so long? Why did I miss him every time he left? And why, even though this is the first time I LEFT HIM, do I miss him even now? His absence haunts me. And I see myself becoming angry and bitter instead of healing and whole. How do I stop loving this man who tore me down repeatedly and traumatized my children?

    • I am in same situation. I got called a fat nonce. Fat slag. He imagines other people while having sex with me. He has hit me numerous times. He is a drunk. Lazy never held down a job. Was my career but abused me. And 6 weeks ago he attacked me and then attacked my son for defending me. He is a sociopath psychopath borderline personality. Antisocial personality disorder. Narcissistic. And I am going to court in new year about the assault. Social services are involved and he said it my fault for calling police. Bit the fact he attacked me and my children. These people are Evil. Some days I can get out of bed. But it’s a slow process. Unfortunately we were groomed from a young age for these monsters. They are Human Vampires. We can do this together Hun.

      • I’m so sorry you are going through this Aaliyah. I really hope it is resolved in court so you can heal and move on with your life.

        Much love,
        Team UPLIFT

      • I also just got out of relationship with a drunk who also could never hold down a job. He recently got retrenched and the bottle is his escape. He then starts with the swearing and afterwards denies it even though I sent him sound clips of this abuse. Then it escalated into him attacking me when I wanted to kick him out. This has happened before but this is the last time. He is currently living on the street as he has no one left that is willing to help him. Although I feel guilty knowing that he is living on the street I have also taken back my self worth. I gave this man a home and looked after him financially when he couldn’t. This is the 3rd time that he has lost a job. Enough is enough. The strangest thing that I always wondered when the abuse started (yes there were good times as well) was what did I do wrong. It would literally just start without anything happening. I have come to the realization that is the worst question to ask as that implies that I did something wrong. The truth is he is responsible for his actions not me. Yes, he has promised it will not happen again, begging for forgiveness, saying I am the love of his life and he does not understand why he treats me like this. The fact is I don’t care anymore, he is out and at the age of 47 can fend for himself. I am taking me back and have blocked him. Installed an alarm system at my house with armed response and my neighbours will also call the police if they see him. That is taking power and your life back but it is going to take time to heal.

  7. I finally left the guy after 4 years of extreme up and downs.
    I took care of him, emotionally, sexually and he used to go up and down like a rollercoaster… Sometimes he was kind and I forgot my anger about things he said. He used to say so many things that were extremely hurtfull, I was ugly, dumb, stupid, annoying, boring, and I was not his ideal women. He used to call me names whole day and I used to accept that. It makes me so sad to think how I was so blinded by my care for him. Which was not even real, as I always knew deep down it all was extremely wrong and unhealthy.
    After trying to leave him he would seek attention with a lot of messages… I feel like he was directing personal frustration towards me, even though I’m kind and I hold my head up high…

    I am sweet, kind, strong and he seems to cling to that, sometimes I feel he tried to suck it out of me, trying to make me feel as miserable as possible…
    He tried to position himself as extremely dominant.
    I still am processing and asking myself questions…
    Why do I cling to someone so broken, why the care of the emotionall toll and self-sacrifice. Why ignoring red flags? Why ignoring my worth? Why believing in potential? Why lowering my standards? Why ignoring patterns?
    I can’t blame myself. I know I have tremendous care for other people, but how can I direct this at myself?
    I am starting new, erasing this crazy past, trying to direct that love and energy to myself. It’s not the end, I rediscovered my worth…
    Some people will ask you to give and give, sometimes a person can’t give anymore, and it’s time they should think of someone else then themselves.
    Impossible for my ex, but good for me to realize.

    I am looking forward to my future self, balanced and smart, when you enjoy being alone no one can use it against me!
    I know… even tho I still have bad days full of disbelief, that happiness is around the corner. And I will be strong, vocal and support those who have gone through the same. I know that I will never tolerate any disrespect again. I deserve that future partner who will echo my feelings/thoughts and build eachother up. Not a one-way street! I find confidence and peace in this thought.

  8. I got out of an abusive relationship few weeks ago, I used to think of myself as a strong person that could go through any emotional challenge. But after this break up, all I’be ever wanted to do was to find someone to really talk to about how broken I am. I’m 22, introverted and it’s my first relationship. I’m used to being independent which always got him so scared because he wanted to see me begging him for help. He constantly said things to put me down and it was even a long distance relationship, how I ever got so broken is what I don’t understand. We only talked on the phone and had face time. I was going to introduce him to my family very soon and he’d come to see them. Instead of ending things with me, he’d constantly yell at me, tell me I irritate him, and say I’m giving him attitude and even ignore me for days and blame it on me saying he felt I needed some space. I kept complaining about it all and even had arguments until the 7th month when I was really scared that it was getting worse and if he comes to see me, then I’d be totally hooked. But now, that I broke up with him, he texted all kinds of things and wanted to make me broken. I didnt think I’d be but it’s overwhelming. I didnt think I deserved this. All I wanted was to be loved

  9. Thanks for telling your story. I’m still struggling to forgive and forget the boyfriend who used my long and complex history of multiple types of trauma to insult and demean me instead of just breaking up with me like a normal person. It’s odd to me that he opened a portal to my 5 year-old self and pointed out what a terrible person I’ve been all the rest of my life. As a mother, professional, and person in general. He blamed me for him calling ME names and using my darkest thoughts against me. He said he could’ve said worse, that I deserved it for saying something the night before (but he wouldn’t clarify or explain) then had the nerve to advise me to “let it go”
    I will thank him for opening a deeper dialogue with my adult children, who see me as a good person and great mother. They both thanked me for their childhood and current relationship with me. I’ve rekindled my relationship with their father and have learned to be grateful for a man that knows everything about me too and has NEVER called me a name or tried to hurt me.
    The abuser will NEVER take responsibility for anything he did to me including the last night, except to say, “I messed up, it was a bad night and you were trashed” (I had one drink)
    My other favorite is that he said many times about himself, “I make mistakes” with a shrug, and didn’t seem to get that when he’s trying to reconnect with the now adult children he verbally abused and emotionally traumatized (or me) that isn’t a comment that makes us feel like he’s sorry and he really takes responsibility for the fact that what he did wasn’t a MISTAKE but a CHOICE to be cruel, abuse, and strike out for “maximum damage” Like, “how could anyone love you” and “your son tried to kill himself to get away from you”
    I don’t wish him well, I hope he dies alone with his money but I’m hoping to work towards wishing him nothing because I don’t even think about him anymore.

  10. I’m finding it hard to get my mind back – it’s on a constant loop of grief, wondering whether I imagined it, replaying things over and over. I’m free of the relationship but despite all my self-care and reading and keeping busy my mind is not moving on. I had 5 years of being told I was old ugly and boring before leaving. Then two years later I agreed to go back before realising he’d met someone else. He told me all the time loved her, he spent all his time with her and only reluctantly came round and was bored and miserable the whole time. I kept saying goodbye to him and wishing them well but he wouldn’t let me leave. He kept saying he loved me too and there was nothing going on with her. I don’t know whether it was guilt that made him stay with me. So we’d try again and it was the same – he told me all the time how amazing she was and texted her all the time. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. So I made a final split but he wants to be friends. I know he’ll be with her now though which makes everything he said a lie. When am I going to be mentally and emotionally free of this?

  11. It’s been 2 1/2 months since I got out of a 12 year emotionally and mentally abusive relationship. After the 1st month he showed up at my house 3 times in a week very upset, which had no effect on me. I was doing surprisingly well until we “just happened” to run into each other 2 weeks ago (he had been stalking me). I was proud of myself because I said my piece and walked away but later I couldn’t sleep and cried all night (the 1st time I cried). I texted him saying if I see him in public again I will walk away because he’s not good for me. I felt very strong finally setting boundaries but ever since I’ve been an emotional wreck – crying, thinking about him. I haven’t heard from him and feel pretty confident I won’t, it’s been a very long time since I’ve set boundaries with him. I know the relationship is over,it was abusive and toxic and that won’t change. Why an I such a wreck now when I was doing so well?

    • Leslie … all I know is that it’s a very personal journey for everyone. Make sure you are getting all the support you can in your area. Much love Team UPLIFT

  12. I recently got out of a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship. Its been hard, I pretty much have been harassed everyday with phone calls since I’ve left. I have his number blocked, but he still finds a way to call and leave me hurtful voicemails. The relationship lasted 2 years I had tried multiple times to leave, but each time he would threaten suicide or him relapsing and would say it would be my fault. I felt trapped. He would then love bomb me, promise he would change, apologize for things that he would do again. It was an endless cycle and I feel upset at myself for enabling it by allowing him back in my life those times. As time went by he got more aggressive during arguments I’ve bled, had my personal things broken, and anything personal I shared would become ammunition to hurt me. Any time I was upset I was told that I was bipolar & had a personality disorder. Any idea counter to his I was told why I was mad or trying to argue. No matter how badly he hurt me, I always wished him the best in life. Instead, I was told multiple times that I got the treatment that I deserved, that bad things are going to happen to me, that I got what I deserved because I was a “f**king” bitch, that he hoped I died. Him wishing death on me was the breaking point for me. It’s been hard to stay strong because being told over & over that I got the treatment I deserved makes me feel belittled and worthless. I’ve fallen back into drinking just to try to not feel anything. At times I just want to fall off the face of the Earth.

    I know I was an enabler by allowing him back into my life those times. I guess it could have even been considered a codependent relationship. In response, to his verbal abuse I become mean.. whenever I had defend myself against false accusations and being unjustly interrogated. Being abused that way brought out the worse in me. I just wish I can be me again one day.

    • Thank you for sharing your story Nessa. That sounds incredibly hard… I’m so sorry you went through that. I’m really glad you have managed to leave him, I can’t imagine it would have been easy. I’m also glad that you can see the way he was treating you was not healthy or loving. These are the first steps to healing, and I feel certain that you will feel yourself again, so long as you remember to keep being kind to yourself as you heal. I would recommend reaching out for support from a professional, even if that means simply calling a free helpline when you’re feeling down. It’s important to express your emotions in a safe and held space.

      Sending you so much love Nessa.
      Take care,
      Team UPLIFT

    • This feels like I could have written this. I was in a very similar situation for 2 years. I left for good over 3 months ago and am still dealing with his harassment. It’s so difficult some days, the anxious pit in my stomach praying for a day where all this will be over and he will be gone from my life forever.

    • Wow your story is my story to the T. This is a very hard thing to go through. I dealt with it for 3 years then after my dad passed and the abuse got worse I decided enough is enough. he would do the same things your abuser said and did. I always took him back to because if I didnt he would make the same threats. Worse he would threaten to try and get our own daughter taken from me. We must stand strong. Emotional abuse is worse than physical I believe. It confuses you so much. Just remember your worth. Remember you cant reason with a sick person. there is a reason they abuse us!

    • This is very similar to my situation…. I have just split with my ex of 4 years on and off the whole relationship. He love bombed me every time he’d smash my house up take my things make threats kidnapped me even. I’m due in court next month against him stealing my car and kidnapping me and I’m terrified. I go back to him so easily how does everyone stay so strong. I block him on everything but he always finds a way back to me. When do you wake up and realise that they won’t change. I’m hoping facing him in court will help me see what he’s really about. I hate the person iv become because of him almost feel like he’s made me be a narcissist

      • I’m so sorry to hear this Sjd. I really hope you find the strength in your heart to face him in court, for your own sake. I also hope you have a good support network via friends and family, or a therapist at the very least. We all need support sometimes and particularly in a situation like this.

        Much love and light to you and all the best on your healing journey,
        Team UPLIFT

  13. Hello.

    Two days ago I stormed out drunk and terribly sad out of a former friend’s house at 4 a.m. For a year I have been his emotional, sexual, you name it, support. Dealt with his abuse of benzodiazepines and alcohol, dealt with his self-harm… out of my care, my worry for him. But when he decided to entertain himself with someone else, suddenly we were “just” friends. Just friends who hooked up weekly, went on dates, shared intimacy I had never shared with anyone. I went so far to trust him that we started having our “friendly and casual” sex without any protection. This went on for a year. Last week I stopped everything I was doing with my own life to take care of him because he was really sad about his work and some family issues. We basically “played house”. This week, like many times before, he said he had a new date. Again insisted we were just friends and I was reading the signals wrong (but how was I supposed to read the signals when he said one thing but did another?!). During our year together and our on and off situation-ship every time I tried to explain how hurt I felt I was called crazy by him and he insisted that I had to go to therapy (but not because it’s something nice to do but because I was someone deeply flawed). I don’t know. I know it’s a good thing that I’m “free”, but I feel awful. I have been crying for the past few days feeling all kinds of bad things. Guilt, shame, sadness, regret. I wish he would feel at least a fraction of what I’m feeling right now… but it seems to me he just doesn’t have the depth. I don’t know. I hope I get better soon.

    • Bianca,
      Thank you for sharing your story. That sounds really difficult, upsetting, hurtful, confusing and very unfair. Sometimes, those deeply wounded souls attract caring, loving, healing and comforting souls, such as your own, and so begins the often destructive cycle. I’m glad to hear you have stopped interacting with him. Space is important for you to be able to repair and come back to yourself again. It’s natural to feel all those feelings too… please try to be kind to yourself and know that your emotions are not YOU, they simply come and go, and if you can observe them and acknowledge them, you will gradually heal your heart.

      Sending you so much love Bianca.
      Team UPLIFT

  14. Dear Team UPLIFT ~

    I am so thankful to have found this article. After three years of completely doubting myself, and being told that I was over-reacting and that I was “crazy”, I realize that I had every right to doubt myself, simply because of the choice I MADE to commit to this man instead of to my intuition and common sense. I am no longer a captive in our explosive narrative, and the lessons learned from my time and choices with him, will forever change the way I approach emotion, response and reaction. I hope to go back to the person I was before I met him, fell for him (obviously not in love with him) and hated (oh so closely tied to love) him: a loving, generous, spiritual, TRUSTING and sweet person. My hope is that victims of emotional abuse find their way to your site and bookmark the article to read and reread.

    I am blessed and lucky to be free…free to start the new narrative in the forms of bucket lists, volunteer work and work related excellence.

    In the name of love and forgiveness ~


    • This is so wonderful to read Catherine, we’re so happy you are coming home to yourself and creating the life you want to live!

      Thank you for reading and for your kind words 🙂
      Team UPLIFT

  15. I was in an emotional abusive relationship for 17 years and left him when it became physical. I lost many “friends” or at least that’s what they called themselves, I’m 3,5 years out of the relationship and still struggle on confidence, on what I can do myself, on finding a job and still sometimes feel like I’m not smart enough or good enough to get the job I want. I’m in a new relationship with someone so sweet and supporting and sometimes it scares me if he tells me I’m beautiful and perfect in his eyes. He is all I need but sometimes I still feel like I don’t deserve him. Thanks for opening my eyes with this article, now I know I was in a emotional abusive relationship and I think this will be my starting point of healing more and more!

    • Gavriella,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story 🙂 It is so heartening to hear that you have found someone who cares for you so deeply. I hope that you can soon accept his love and feel it towards yourself too. Much love to you on your healing journey.

      Team UPLIFT

  16. I’m very grateful for this article and everyone who has commented their stories.

    As a man, I feel a LOT of shame. Since my divorce I have found it difficult to share my story with anyone. Any time I have shared the smallest portion of my story with family, or what few friends I have left, you can literally feel the ‘disbelief’ when I tell them I was emotionally and verbally abused by my ex-wife. Most days I am terrified of how I’m supposed to make friends again or date again when the weight of everything I’ve been through is so incredibly heavy. It seems like every story I have is linked to another traumatic event where I was put down, criticized, shamed or ridiculed.

    I’m not sure how common it is for a man to speak about and actually use the word ‘abused’ when talking about how they were treated by their ex-wife but it feels incredibly hard and shameful. Thank you for this article. It’s a start.

    • Scott,
      I’m so sorry to hear you went through this. It’s so very brave of you to share, as I’m certain there are many other men out there who will read it and feel the courage to speak up as well. I hope you find some support, whether through friends and family, or professionals so that you can begin to repair your heart. Much love to you on your journey, and thank you again for sharing 🙂

      Team UPLIFT

    • Yes, it does come with a huge amount of shame. We’re men and supposed to be strong and stoic, but the reality is those attributes reinforce the prison. I am 2 years out of a 30 year relationship and only just figuring out who I am again. As a man I can also say don’t bother reaching out to a support group as the few I contacted wanted nothing to do with a man. I Know I have value, but in the early stages after leaving I got scepticism from women and scorn from men. Society does not seem ready yet to hear of abused men.

      • I’m so sorry to hear this is your experience Gerald. As a woman, I cannot imagine how difficult this must be. I really hope you do find a support group somewhere that accepts you with open arms so you can begin to heal that heart.

        Much love to you on your journey,
        Team UPLIFT

  17. I don’t even know where to begin my story, but it wasn’t until I broke up with my ex that I truly realized that I was emotionally abused. All my friends and family could see from the outside from what they knew that it was emotionally abusive. But that’s the thing when you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship it can be really hard to realize that you are as they have taught you to deny your feelings and you start to question whether how you ever feel is valid because they have such a crazy reaction to your feelings whenever you try to express them. We were in a relationship for around a year and it started out so well we both understood each other and listened and helped each other, but once I went to school for the semester everything changed and this should have been the first red flag that then time apart caused issues. I had to juggle university and a relationship and we spoke every day and I even suggested phone calls as well and it was not like I was going to school in another state she even then came to visit every weekend which became an issue as if I tried to say I might have too much work to see each other on the weekend she would instantly get upset and angry at me as if it was my fault that I had school work. Ultimately, I became trapped that I suppressed my own needs and put hers first as it would cause less argument and any time she was upset I truly did my best to listen and offer help but that just made her angrier and she never wanted to hear how a certain situation made me feel. It was basically a situation of constantly having to be the bigger person. I even was perfectly okay with her ruining my birthday after she started an argument the day before she was supposed to come to visit to celebrate my birthday. She always wanted me to change and put in the work while any issue I brought up with her she did not do anything to change. Things just kept getting worse she picked fights with me all throughout my finals because I couldn’t see her and she couldn’t handle that I was at home studying for my finals and so close by to her house. About a few months before we broke up things escalated even more that lead her to explode and hit me and drag me out of her room that for the first time I feared for my life. I had to escape out of her house without her noticing yet it was only after this incident that she was apologetic but that did not last as she went back to her old ways. It was silly of me at the time to stay with her after that. Finally, this October I ended things because I was done with the way I was being treated we had been on a break for a bit and she was posting on social media about working on herself but never would talk to me about those things and she even came to the city I go to school in and did not tell me which was hypocritical. It’s been a few months now and while the bruise has healed there’s still a physical reminder and emotional.

    • Andreas,
      Thank you for sharing your story. That sounds really difficult. I’m glad you came to see that leaving in the relationship was the best thing you could do to take care of yourself, and I hope your heart is healing more and more each day.

      All the best on your journey brother.
      Team UPLIFT

  18. Thank you so much for this. I needed this help more than you could possibly imagine right now. From the heart, thank you ❤ x

    • So happy it found you at a good time Anne. Stay safe and well and please make contact with someone you trust if you suspect you’re in danger.

      Much love,
      Team UPLIFT

      • I was in a verbally abusive relationship for 26 years. It has been nearly a year that I have been out of the relationship and I’m finally divorced but I still do not even feel like the same person. I am now just realizing exactly what the emotional abuse did to me and what it took from me. I am slowly in the process with the help of amazing friends and family and finding myself again and learning self forgiveness and self love most importantly. For any women going through this please stay strong and just take it one day at a time and just always try to love yourself even though it’s still hard for me and some days I still have to look in the mirror and tell myself I am worth it and I love me. I thoughts are with anyone going through this. 💕

        • I’m so so happy to hear that you’re learning to love yourself again Alicia, and that you have friends and family supporting you. Sending you so much love and healing energy to you and your beautiful heart.

          Blessings on your journey,
          Team UPLIFT

  19. So, here is my story….

    I worked with this man and everyone told me he was no good. We were put on the same shift together (graveyard) and became good friends. We talked about relationship issues and became each other’s best friends. So, we never hung out out of work one night I asked him to bling me for a beer one thing lead to another and that morning we were in a relationship and living together… he made me believe he was something he was not. He claimed to be from California but really was from a small small small town in the state that we live. He claimed to have been a super intelligent and incredible Marine. He claimed to be one of the top solders in recon within the Marines… later finding out everything he said was a lie. He lied to me about his past marriage how his ex wife cheated only to find out he was the cheater… he cheated on me… hit me.. made me believe it was all my fault… I believed it I stayed we went to counseling for our relationship issues he is such a good manipulator he manipulated our counselor into recently he got into a very bad physical fight with me over a dog my ex had given me. He stated that I made him feel less than a dog so he left our home that night drank alcohol which was forbidden (due to his alcoholism) came home the next morning pulling me out of bed and telling me to give him his bed back. I was furious that all his things I took out of the home he tried and tried to flip it on me again. He got an apartment and made me believe that we could make it work out first disagreement we had he had his ex with him at his apartment. Now I’m trying to heal and he continues to call and blame it on me I’m the reason he called his ex and had her go iver to his apartment.!!!!!

    • Gabriela,
      I’m so sorry for the pain and difficulty you have, and still are, experiencing from this relationship. Thank you for having the courage to share your story, it is so important for your healing process and also gives others permission to share theirs. I’m so glad you were able to see through the deception and remove yourself from the situation, that is the first step. I wish I could say I know what else to do but unfortunately, all I can offer is my deepest love and hope that you find peace and healing for your beautiful heart. You deserve it.

      Much love to you on your journey,
      Team UPLIFT

    • Thank you so much for sharing. Going through abusive trauma. Yet the added injury of being told it didn’t happen or it was you that committed that act is the hard part for me in resolution, healing, and closure. It’s like your voice and thoughts were robbed from you in addition to the initial abuse.

  20. Thank you for this article. I thought because the relationship was only a couple of months long that it couldn’t be emotional abuse. Also, I thought I deserved the way he treated me because I had deleted some texts that I didn’t want him to see. I now know that it all started with the texts. I shouldn’t have had to delete texts from a guy friend because I was afraid of his reaction. I walked on eggshells a lot. However I stayed with him. I thought he had the right to be so upset, call me names and then to tell me to commit suicide. He belittled me about everything and took any vulnerability I shared with him against me. I can’t believe how much this has effected me after a short time. I can’t imagine dealing with this over a long period of time. I’m so glad I’m done with him. I have to make sure I take the steps you have listed and reinforce I’m not what he portrayed me to be. I’m worthy of good things. My heart goes out to anyone having to go through this abuse.

    • Hello my story is similar I erased text and numbers and aloud him to go through my phone and call people. He forbid me to have guts as friends and even some girls. He tracked me by GPS he put me down every day he hurt my soul. I just left him after 3 years and it hurts bad. I am not sure I can stay away. He texts and calls and sais the most hurtful things.

      • Fay. Know that you are loved. abuse permeates all aspects of our being. It resides within us on a cellular level. Energy healing is extremely helpful. I can help if you resonate.

    • It’s an intense healing journey! I was engaged to a sociopath for 2 years. I left him 6 months ago and I still experience moments of indescribable pain. It was a horrific experience and I send love to anyone who has gone through this. Big love and blessings to those who are quarantine with an abuser.

  21. My story sounds a lot like yours. I was divorced with 2 kids and meet this man that was incredible. Instant connection we both fell so hard. I always thought I was a strong independent person. If someone didn’t treat me right, I was able to stand up for myself and walk away. Until him, looking back, there were so many red flags and so many times I knew it was wrong the way he treated me. I broke up with him and he always reeled me back in and I thought he would change.

    He would put me down, calling me damaged , ruined , no one would love me like he does, would interrogate and torment me when he was in his mood, even stated to put my children down. That what made me walk away and finally kick him out.

    The crazy thing is that I miss him.. not the abusive person, but the charming guy he would be and I feel lost and just out of place everywhere I go. Even when I’m with friends , it’s not the same anymore.

    It’s been about 6 weeks. I’m
    Not sure if this is normal or not , I’ve never been or felt this way before. I was with him over 2 1/2 years

    • Hi Jenn,
      Thank you so much for your share. Love can be so complicated and confusing for our hearts, and I can imagine missing the good in someone, someone you love, must be really hard. Six weeks is not a long time, given how long you were together, so I hope you can find the strength in your heart to remember – the most important relationship is with yourself. Keep loving you and your heart will heal. Who knows, you may even go on to find someone who has all the wonderful traits your ex had but who also treats you with the love, support, and tenderness you truly deserve!

      So much love to you on your healing journey.

      Team UPLIFT

  22. I am overwhelmed by the thought that i was in an emotionally abusive relationship.I am only 16 and the relationship was 10 months.He threatened to hit me, told me i made him want to kill himself, told me how bad i made him and others feel everyday,made me feel guilty for his feelings etc and i started to believe it.I feel ashamed as i frustrated all my friends and family because i kept going back to him.I ended it as he kept hitting things in front of me and obviously a lot more. its been about 2 months now and hes tried to turn everyone against me the last things he texted me was that i should feel bad and that its all my fault that hes on medication, this is not fair as he has made me a very vulnerable person and normal everyday things will trigger me. Hes in a few of my classes and i cant stand it,he will purposely say things loudly to make me hear it to get inside my head.Throughout the relationship i developed body dysmorphia and was on the verge of an eating disorder My therapist told me a metaphor relating to this. There’s you on one cliff and a monster on an opposite cliff, your playing tug of war with a rope, the monster keeps pulling and pulling,you don’t want to fall in the water so what do you have to do? LET IT GO, its harder than it sounds but it gave me a different perspective.

    • That sounds incredibly hard and traumatic Amy. Thank you for having the courage to share your story, as you can see from the other comments, you are not alone, I hope knowing this helps… And well done for doing the hardest thing of all – letting go. We wish you so much love on your healing journey.

      Team UPLIFT

    • Hi just know you are here for your own spiritual journey see yourself as precious and must be treated that way except and forgive yourself for your fault we all have them I was in a relationship like this at 17 I had no boundaries I kept letting him back in and it only gets worse the disrespect and manipulation until you lose yourself I did it for 20 years and it nearly killed me from the stress and I lost myself, it’s taken so long to heal but I’m getting there I SO wish I would have let go of that rope back then and saved myself instead of trying to love him there is no room for love in that and you just get pulled down I wished I would have known I needed to highly regard and love myself first in order to know someone else wants to treat me that way too and that is recognizing love the rest is just unhealthy toxic behaviors that other people need to be let go of so they can hopefully figure out theirself and they cannot heal and you can’t heal them if they don’t take responsibility for their actions I gave in to the begging he would change all manipulation take responsibility for yourself first know your worthy of love your spirit came here to experience this, be true to yourself love yourself first heal childhood wounds live in the moment be greatful and keep an open heart and life is a journey💖

  23. I’ve been out of a 23 years emotionally and psychologically (covert narc) abusive relationship for about 4 1/2 years now. It’s been a long road to finding my way back to me. The first couple years were almost like a honeymoon period. I just ran and experienced life like never before, almost fearlessly. The last couple years were full of therapy, education, healing and a lot of ups and downs. Facing the abuse with your eyes wide open and being in touch with your feelings feels harder than actually experiencing the abuse the first time. It took time to sort through what was true and what were his dark insecure illusions. It definitely changes the core beliefs I had about myself, others, my perception of the world. It’s like the true me eroded in that relationship. I could walk into a store and know exactly what he liked, wanted, what he would approve of, but really had lost touch with my true wants and desires. Anyway, I found myself again, I have peace in my life again, but I still suffer from C PTSD (more so in trusting others and socially). Articles like this are important.

    • Tammy thank you for sharing. I think that’s another reason I’m holding onto bitterness. Because the new scary feeling is who am I? Will I be able to love, will I find forgiveness for the well being of my heart and soul. I’m going through all the symptoms of trauma which is also shock and hard to process. Thank you again for being an example of what phases we have to go through to process and move forward.

    • Tammy, thank you for sharing your story. It’s devastating to read the effects these kind of relationships have on so many people out there! I’m so happy to hear you’re on the path of healing and finding yourself again. Much love to you.

      Team UPLIFT

  24. I am going through the same exact feelings. You are addicted to the love bombing phase of the relationship which wasn’t real love then. Mine lied, cheated, manipulated, controlled, verbally abused (whore, loser, liar, no one loves you) and in the same breath of saying he wanted to marry me, and praying with me like he was a godly man and knew the right way to live. I struggle with substance abuse (alcohol) since I was 12 I’m 34. He knew that from the very beginning. Because we wants to be god in control me and I wasn’t progressing like he felt I needed, he punished me for it, kicked me out all the time, living out of a storage unit. It made it hard to ever plan for growth, be productive, be safe, get to work, or have peace. Boundaries yes we should all have them. Saying I’m sorry I can’t have that type of lifestyle is acceptable. However, abusing someone and ripping them down because they are already weak is wrong. Justifying abuse, lying, cheating, and calling someone names because they have a mental illness is worse than doing it to a sound secure person. It why it was even possible in the first place. It’s praying on the weak and saying it’s their fault for it. Almost like you deserved to be raped because you drank too much or had a short dress on. It’s so wrong and you are left with no voice, go crazy trying to get them to understand, but they won’t because they have a personality disorder. No one that is is control needs to make themselves feel like they are. I’ve never dated a Christian man and I’m new to Christianity. What I realized is that is separate from spirituality. Christianity is reading the Bible and knowing what’s right. Spirituality is doing what’s right. It messed my faith up big. No none Christian man I ever dated did anything but treat me with respect, didn’t cheat, didn’t lie, didn’t emotionally and verbally abuse me all while saying yeah buts it your fault. I’m struggling with shutting my ex out too. But I moved out a couple of months ago. And with less communication daily I hope the feelings of hurts and still loving that person that didn’t love me will go away. I too am depressed, not eating correctly, not working out, can barely hold down a job, isolated myself from people because of the extreme anxiety and shame. Just not able to do my activities. I suggest counseling. I just started one session and already see a glimpses of hope for my future. In addition I set up a psychiatric assessment so I can be treated properly for the depression. The only thing you can change is your feelings, reactions, and your environment. We are not God and cannot get someone to see that their acts are flawed. We can also love ourselves, find supportive people to share with, but need help and cannot do it by ourselves. Thank you so much for making me realize I am not alone. In addition to God saving me so soon, not after 5 yrs, marriage, or a child. I am extremely grateful for that gift from him. I am so proud of us for being open. If any one needs helps on steps for support, or wants to chat I will leave my number. There are 100 voices in this room that matter. We also have sisters out there that don’t even know there is a better way of life. I am so grateful for your stories for making me see the errors in my ways. People capable of abuse have a character defect and will not change or hear your voice.

    • Your story is my story exactly, I am isolated from my friends & family, I feel stupid sharing with them or asking for help. I would so appreciate talking with you. I left my email address if u can email me Thank you Karen

      • [email protected]

        I believe we can only see the comment portion or at least I’m not seeing your email. I had my second therapy session and I’m reading a lot of articles. It turns out I didn’t realize I was rehearsing the pain and this is a part of bitterness, which is basically helpless anger of us justifying our unheard hurts. Thank you very much for reaching out. We need a community and help. Only we can find our power and boundaries.

        • All these words make me stronger I’m in the process of healing the mental and emotional and physical abuse was beyond belief how could I be so blind but now I see more clearly than ever before! Knowledge is power I’m stronger than him and I will survive xxx

    • Julie, thank you so much for so bravely sharing your story with us. This sounds like it’s had a huge impact on your life. I’m really inspired by your courage and determination to heal your heart and take your life back – you’re amazing! Sending so much love to you for your journey <3

      Team UPLIFT

      • Hi I’ve just come out of a 3 year relationship a very difficult one 🙁 I’m struggling feel like I’ve got a whole in my heart .. it’s been a week and I’ve had some awful messages from him but have such strong feelings of loss and love .. I have four children to previous relationship and have been married .. this relationship we had no children as I have been sterilised so he blamed me for the fact he couldn’t have kids that was all my fault .. I remember how it began I use to be so bubbly had allot of friends work fake lashes tan but that all quickly went as he had a problem with it it sounds rediculous I know but all these things add up he wouldn’t stay over if I put tan on so I just stopped .. if things didn’t go his way I new about it ..
        He started to make comments about my parenting which I’ve struggled with having two boys on the autism spectrum.. even judged my mum .. he referred to his ex as a slag n now il be that slag I wasn’t allowed social media and now I darent even go on it because the abuse I get would be endless as I signed into my old Instagram as we are in lock down I’m on my own with my four children in a small village I don’t see anyone and social media is my only way of communicating with the outside world ..anyway I signed in 40 mins later the txt started Nd didn’t stop for 4 hours 🙁 I ended up permanently deleting it which has upset me as their were allot of photos of my kids growing up but I felt that bad like I had done something wrong like he said I had but I haven’t I never have .. I know it’s all wrong the way he has treated me but I feel totally lost I do t know where to go from here ..I’ve felt so suicidal.. I’m not sleeping eating can’t concentrate it’s just evil 🙁

        • Hi Claire,

          Thank you for sharing your story, it takes a lot of courage to talk so openly about something that has caused you pain. I’m sorry to hear this has been happening for you but I am glad you’ve taken the difficult step to leave the relationship. I think it is really important to find support in this time and would recommend finding a professional that you can speak with about what you’re going through now, emotionally. There should be services available if not in your area, online or even via the phone.

          Sending you love and all the best on your journey.
          Team UPLIFT

  25. I would have never thought about reaching out to strangers on the internet but here I am at my last resort. Much like many of the people here, I’ve too been (and am currently in) an incredibly abusive relationship. To sum things up I met a man who we’ll call Devin; Devin and I were love at first sight (or so I thought) and well long story short we ended up getting together. He was incredibly sweet, funny, and everything I wanted, especially being that he was a family man. The first few months were incredible, I had genuinely never felt this kind of connection with someone before and it was just absolutely amazing. Well fast forward a bit, I learned he had a very bad drug addiction (both selling and using). Eventually, with time I helped him overcome this addiction, however, that’s when things started to go downhill. He became moody, offensive, rude, distant, and denied everything I confronted him about. However, I continued to stay with him since I thought he was simply going through some things, maybe (like his drug addiction) I could help. We started to fight very frequently, over very minuscule things as well (such as misunderstandings or jokes). That’s when I learned that what I was going through wasn’t okay, the constant jokes that put me down, remarks about what I wore, the fighting, the way he made me distance myself from things I love, such as games, family, or friends. None of it was right. So we ended up splitting apart, he went my ways, I went mine. It was incredibly hard dealing with the feeling of being alone. I felt like I wasn’t myself anymore, hell, I couldn’t even get out of bed without crying or suffering from extreme anxiety/panic attacks. But, I started to get better, I started to go to therapy, made new friends, spent more time on myself, and I got back into the dating scene (after the years of trauma I went through with Devin). And overall I started to heal. However, that’s when Devin came back into my life. We ended up getting back together and I thought that perhaps he had changed, maybe he was a new man now; after all, he had gone through many changes and obstacles much like myself. Much like the first go-around, things were amazing at first. However, just recently (after around a year of being together) things have gotten worse than before. He now blames me for things, especially when I try to talk to him. I’m no longer allowed to express my opinion, whether it be verbally, or physically, with my hobbies or what I wear. I know I need to leave again, it’s quite obvious. But I’m incredibly scared. I don’t want to go through the healing phase again, because I know I’ll have to get through the pain once more. I don’t know what to do anymore. Very sorry for such a long message, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • You have to leave , this sounds like my story. Dont waste any mire of ur time , time is way too short . Follow ur gut instinct itll never fail. Ur heart is uneasy with him cuz he wont ever change

    • I know your struggle – ditto on your story. Healing and recovery are so much better than the pit we remain in which continues to harm us. I’ve learned that after the first blow (whether physical or mental), where we forgive and remain open, our brains change. That part that has self respect, pragmatism, self-love atrophies as we try to survive each day and each injury that comes with it. Neural pathways form that feed this cycle. But these neural pathways are plastic, new neural daughter cells form whether we’re in abuse or recovery, those daughter cells trigger the craving, just like an addiction,their hungry for cortisol, or GABA, the only natural internal inhibitory neuro transmitter (stops the fight, flight, freeze) response. As the saying goes, ‘no pain, no gain’, but the pain of leaving won’t kill you, I promise. And everyday you can restore both your mind and spirit. My ex almost killed me. Not through the physical, which there was a lot of. But from the desecration of my spirit. I’m much better now after lots of therapy, but he almost broke me. I pray that doesn’t happen to you.
      Sending prayers for self love and strength to you – who deserves so much better.

    • Hello dear one,
      I am so sorry to hear of this terrible experience you had with this terrible guy “Devin”. I have gone through something very similar lately, and I am now emotionally recovering, thank God!!!!
      Similar to you, the person I was seeing was also a heavy drug user/and sold drugs as well. He hid this very well from me, and I ignored red flags. He was abusive, mean, rude, stole money in the form of not repaying thousands of dollars I spend bailing him out of jail, he broke property, urinated on my sofa, my bed and bathroom floors on purpose, broke my dining room table, tore off 2 different necklaces I was wearing, one a gift from my father and the other a gift from my mother.
      Unforionately, these type of guys NEVER CHANGE. I am so sorry you healed and then got back together with him.
      The best you can do is get away from him again and permantly. You are stronger now and the healing will begin again after you ditch that guy…I pray for you and hope you do quickly.
      God Bless you, and be safe. You derseve peace and happiness, and to be treated like gold with respect and love.
      I thought too, I could “help” the guy I was with. No…they are men and need to help themselves, not take advantage of the kindness of women, which is what they do and it is disgusting.
      Again, best of luck to you and get away from that monster as soon as you can!!

    • Hi Miley

      I have been through much the same as you, I’m still going through it. Staying is hopeless, you can’t change him and he will never change for you. He has a NEED for this type of relationship, for control. It’s who he is. He can survive for a short period of time without it but as time goes on he will continue to bring the relationship around to what he requires and he will not care about what the effect is on you.
      I have been working directly with a lady named Dr Heidi Westra Brocke. She has podcasts and does many things in relation to toxic relationships. You will find her on the internet under her name and ‘rid your life of toxic relationship’. Sites such as this and Dr Heidi’s have helped me to understand why some people are like this and what to expect next. It takes a lot of the stress, worry and anxiety out of the problem your having. I hope this has helped you some, keep looking forward.

    • Miley,

      Firstly, thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. You are very brave. Secondly, it sounds like you know what you need to do, and it’s understandable that you are fearful of going through the difficult and painful healing process again, but it is going to more difficult the longer you stay with ‘Devin’.

      I hope you find the courage to make the most loving choice for yourself. Best of luck.

      Team UPLIFT

    • I hope this message finds you well. I hope you were able to do what you needed to do. I hope you are healing and better than before.

      This is a really hard time for everyone, but I believe it is harder for people who suffer from abuse. Well I know it is becasue everything is more difficult when you can’t be happy and can’t seem to fix the problem.

      Throw yourself into healthy hobbies and things that make you happy. Know when your lowest moments are (mine are in the morning, late at night) and have a plan for them. I have my favorite snack and treats ready and Bob’s Burgers on my phone and I use it to keep myself distracted from going into my bad place of feeling and mind. It is a tool that I use when I really can’t control my spiral of feelings.

      Im very lucky to have my girls to talk to. Let them know that you need to vent a lot, what the situation is, and that you know it is not ok and you want to leave but ask they not pressure you about leaving (unless it becomes physical) that it takes time.

      My poor best friend hears me when he is at his worst. Im bawling to her about how I am packing my bags and this is it. And shes encouraging and has advice, but the next day when I haven’t been able to do it, she never questions it or has any negative comments. We just tall about whatever. She is really the greatest person ever. I know she will be there for my next attempt without judgment as well.

      And of course my reason for living, my sweet amazing son. Hes the reason I stay. I of course will always have him, but I can’t stand the thought of splitting his time up or tearing his world apart. Not yet. I try and protect him from it all the best I can, but I’m mostly angry at my partner for effing all this up. Making me be in a life that is not the happy healthy home I knew I could have had for my son. There is no physical abuse. And I know it is not healthy for him to have a depressed mom. But I can’t not see him every weekend.

      Look into online therapy. Know that time is greatest healer of all. Know this will pass and one day it will be a memory.

      Keep your head up. Stay strong but never combative. Speak but pick your battles. Stand your ground when it is safe to do so, but don’t do it if you can let the thing slide. This is to create more peace for yourself. Know that CHOOSING THESE THINGS ARE YOU IN CONTROL OF YOU!

      When he screams or calls you names or belittles you, if it doesnt trigger him more calmly say that you feel he is not being kind or respectful of your emotional and mental wellbeing and if you could both please take a moment to cool off and then he can continue the discussion.

      I unfortunately have been through emotional abuse before. Now I somehow am on one and had a child with him.

      I’m keeping my sanity the best i can.

      Best wishes and luck to you and all our fellow women/victims of emotional abuse especially in this time.

    • I’m sorry this is how you feel Toni. There is so much love in the world for you to feel. I hope you find it.

      Team UPLIFT

    • Oh no! Please do not allow anyone to get you to that point in your life. I was born into abuse. Married to two abusers. Married a third time to a beautiful man. We found each other at fifty years of age. We loved each other dearly. He passed away three years ago and I’ve been alone ever since. I met a man and that relationship didn’t end well. He was the passive aggressive type and was too much like my father. I don’t think I’m going to date at this late age. My heart couldn’t take it. At sixty-two years of age, I’m no match for the con games, gaslighting, silent treatment, head games and all of the other nonsense that is orchestrated to keep me unbalanced mentally.

    • No girl. Not at all. So many women have been through this before and come out on the other side!

      It can absolutely feel this way at times. There are ways out and you are still the strong woman you have always been.

      You’re just struggling through a moment that will be a bad memory one day.

      Don’t give up. You will find the world you deserve one day. You will be free and happy. You will. You just have to keep pushing through each moment.

      All the love.

  26. This is probably the absolute best article I’ve read on emotional/psychological abuse. And I have read A LOT. I can’t believe that there were ways of writing about this that I hadn’t already come across, but this article actually had some very valuable and powerful NEW ideas and perspectives. Thank you! Having been on this “journey” of discovery for almost three years now, almost at the end of a NASTY divorce ending 27 years of marriage to the man I believed was my soul mate for about 20 of those years, it’s amazing to find an article like this that doesn’t just repeat the same concepts. I hope this gets read far and wide. I’m sharing it with all of my support group buddies and the few remaining friends and family who have stuck by and supported me and my girls through this. I found this article searching for “loneliness after abuse”, and it was helpful in that regard and in so many other ways. Reading it will be part of my daily recovery routine.

    • Thank you so much for your comment Kim! We are so glad to hear our article has made an impact on you. This is what we strive for – so thank you.

      Team UPLIFT.

  27. I am 45 and left after 15 years of horrific marriage. Omitting details, I can say that abuse has damaged me to the core. I am completely broken, and gluing tiny pieces is not going too well, although it has been a year. What makes matters worse, I decided that to recover any sense of self I have to go back to a dating scene. It’s brutal out there. It’s so bad that I started thinking all men are psychopaths with the intention to harm or use another in some way, at the least being very dishonest. But I already had that! At least I was very financially secure. NOW WHAT?!
    I divorced to find a respectful partner who treats me right, not someone who adds nothing to my existence but wants to use of body, mind, or heart…for now. I looked at other marriages thinking how wrong is what happening to me!!! Now I am broke figuratively and literally, and it seems I will have to spend the rest of my life alone. Nevertheless, he is already in a new relationship and talking about his new spouse soon to be!
    Still, despite how bleak my future looks, I know I made the right choice. Consciously, I know that… It’s just while nightmare takes place, you are in a somewhat altered mental state, and reality is upside down. It’s a war against you while you fight it. The situation is clear, and the goal is to survive. But once no more shots fired and smoke settled, all that is left is very similar to pictures of tornado aftermath. All living is demolished, including you. I don’t remember how to live, not in a war zone. I wished it for so long, and now I am not sure what to do with peace and quiet. How to be me again. Who am I?! What I am doing among the living?
    And they walked away safe and sound.
    Perhaps, I naively was under the impression that abnormal is somewhat on the rare side, and humans (males in my case) mostly good and kind. Now I realized they are at large just like my husband, who is nothing less of a monster.

    • Tanya, we are so sorry to hear you have been through traumatic experiences. We hope you find kindness and love, you deserve nothing less <3

  28. So pretty much I’m a 13 year old right now but since I was around 2 years old to 2018, I was being abused by my ex-stepmother. She abused my mentally and physically and she also did that to my dad. She manipulated my big sister into thinking that she was right and that whatever I said was a lie. Multiple times I was almost killed by her and at 7 I wanted to kill myself. She always called me a psychopath and I had to take weeks off school because she would hit me so hard with a belt that there were massive bruises across my back. When the school asked about them, I had to say that I fell off my bike. She really messed me up. There was only one teacher that was suspicious of something but my sister told her lies. I got in trouble at school and when my sister, my ex-stepmum and myself were walking to the car, she pushed my head into the side of a building and I couldn’t see anything properly. Anything that went wrong in the house was somehow my fault. I thought that everyone’s parents treated them like that, so I thought it was normal. I was pressured into getting high grades and when I got anything less than an A i was beaten. Then i was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I wouldn’t remember a lot of things, including emptying my lunchbox. Yeah, you guessed it, beaten again. I had to sit at the office by myself eating the two things she packed for my lunch so that the staff there would make sure I would eat everything. With my dad, she would always beat him, too. She would then punch herself in the eye, stating that my dad was the one abusing her. I was holding a ring that my friend told me to one day and of course my sister told my ex-stepmother that I stole a ring. My ex-stepmum then gathered a bunch of things that my friends had given me as either a christmas present or birthday present and took me to the police station with all the things. She threatened to throw me in one of the cells there and one of the police officers came into a room with me and her. The police officer believed my ex-stepmum and gave me a chat about taking things that weren’t mine. He didn’t yell, or throw my in jail like my stepmum wanted, though. He asked her if I was being abused (he had suspicions) and my stepmother immediately got defensive and started yelling at him that he can have a female officer check me for bruises, etc. (i’m a girl). On the way home from that, she yelled at me and said that I should’ve gone to jail. She told my deputy principal that I steal things and I had another thing that my friend had given to me and he thought I had stolen. He told me that he would have to tell my parents and I begged him not to. When I told him that my stepmum would throw me in jail, he went to talk with another staff. I don’t know what they were talking about. I guess this isn’t really an abusive relationship like everything else here, but I thought that I could share it. If any of you don’t want this here, I’ll delete it. (if i can) I just needed to get that off my chest.

    • Skye, this is most certainly an abusive relationship, even though it’s not a romantic relationship, and it’s more than okay to share here. I’m so so sorry for all that you have been through. I really hope you are in a safer, healthier environment now, and have the proper support and care you need and deserve. If not, there are professionals and free services out there that can help, I’d recommend doing a google search for your area (maybe try ‘lifeline’ or ‘free counseling’). Or perhaps there’s a counselor at your school you can speak with. Please take care. Much love to you on your healing journey.

      Team UPLIFT

    • Please tell someone you trust about all this. There is so much hep available. Talk to child protective services. There is probably free councilling available for low income individuals. So sorry you had to go through all this. You do not have to put up with it. Stay strong. ❤️

    • Kiddo, this is never ok. You are strong and you are wise beyond your years.

      You need to tell a trusted adult,like a teacher or counselor at school. Tell them everything, tell them every day. There are good adults out there.

      My step son and I but heads all the time. We struggle with our relationship. But I would never hurt him. And I always say sorry if I yell.

      You deserve to be free from fear and feel loved by all adults in your life.

      Read and learn about psychology. I learned a lot about people in my life and myself through education about how and why people are the way they are. Knowing why is not validating their behavior in any way, but knowledge is power.

      Take care of yourself.

  29. I met my abuser on line on a dating site. I now know that he was married and that it was a classic gaslighting by a malignant narcissist. Love bombing lies promises never kept disappointment and let-down over and over and over again Future faking also to keep me dangling . There was snide carping criticism, sneering contempt for me and all I love and value including religious beliefs Wouldn’t even spell my name correctly!. It ended up with a relentless tirade of emotional missiles on holiday in Lanzarote . It was so intense and unbelievably harsh. Every criticism was actually what he knows himself to be. I’m now 4 months into healing. I want to move on and be happy, something he will never be as he is addicted to the pleasure which hurting people gives him.
    To all I say : listen to your inner voice, love shouldn’t hurt. Be strong. You are worthy

    • Thank you for sharing this Wilhelmina. I’m really happy to hear you are now free of this relationship and in the process of healing. And thank you for your wise advice <3 Much love and light to you.

      Team UPLIFT

  30. Hi. I’ve never did this before, so I’m going to just hope for the best. About six months ago, I got hired by a boiler making company, and it was good at first. But then they put me in a situation that was bad for both me and the guy they stuck me with. We both, separately, complained about how we couldn’t work together, and they just kept saying “You got to get use to it”. Eventually, I snapped and screamed and we got into an argument, and when we took it up to management, they treated me like I was the sole reason for the entire thing. So in the end, I got reactively abused, betrayed, and lied to at the same time. They tried to fire me, but some good people that understood me forced them to not call it a resignation, but also not call it a termination. More like a trial run, and decide mutually to not work there. Naturally, I was furious at them and myself for what happened to me, and the circumstances of the situation. But after some time and knowledge gaining, I found out it was a BLESSING that I got away from those idiots. With the reputation they have, decisions they’ve made, and the stories people have said about that place, I learned that I am actually one of many examples of abuse from that place, and no matter how much they deny it, that place is eventually going to go out of business, maybe even sued some time in the future. And even though I still have thoughts of ME taking revenge on them from time to time, I know that’s not what I truly want. I don’t have to take revenge on them, and I don’t want anything to do with them. The good people that are there, I will feel some sadness for when that place goes out of business. But for the idiots that hurt me and others for ridiculous reasons, I will only say this: “Karma has finally come at you at full swing.” And as I look at this website, seeing what people have gone through, I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in this injustice, and that there are others that understand how I feel. Please stay strong everyone, and God Bless.

  31. With the help of this contact email R o b i n s o n b u c k l e r {@} ya h o o. com, you can get your relationship problem fixed for life……………….

  32. My wife left me last six months and there after she refused to come home i called and i called and she persisted then instantly i new something was wrong somewhere i searched for helped from the vertical to horizontal and yet to no avail. I cried and cried but she was not gonna come back to me. on 8th of January 2018 i picked up my computer to get suggestions form anywhere that i can then i came across Robinson Buckler, i wanted to do anything to have my wife back i still have doubt that this couldn’t work cause i don’t believe in superstition. The reply i got was striking that my wife had been spellbound by another man. i screamed help but he said not worry. this is what i should do and i did. to my greatest surprise 24 hours time on 9th of January my wife called and she was crying to me and not knowing what to do i bust into tears too but of joy. so i will use this medium to urge every single soul with problem of any kind try and contact this email. * * *R o b i n s o n b u c k l er ( @ y a h o o. ) c o m, * * * 🙂

  33. It’s been about a year now since I broke up with the father of my child who is 6 years now. It hasn’t been an easy journey but I’m going through it regardless with hope that one day I won’t feel any of the pain he has left in me. We dated for about 7years and through out those years he would use my awful past experiences that I had shared with him against me. For instance I would tell him how my previous relationship ended and whenever we had an argument he would remind me that no wonder your ex did this and that… Until it reached a point where he would put up statuses on whatsapp saying no wonder I’m breaking up with him I’m damaged from my past and whenever people see me they should give me a hug because I need it, and when I would ask why he was doing that he would say I’m doing it for you I meant no harm. Through out the relationship when he did something wrong or when he hurt me instead of talking about it as I would suggest he would ignore my calls or ignore me when I try to reach out. I had to call him and apologise for making it a big deal when it wasn’t and I knew it was that’s when he was in the wrong, I had to let things go and he would expect me to come over his place immediately after letting go… Not even considering that maybe I’m still hurting. When he was apologizing he would do it just so we can stop talking about it, I remember he would say, okay fine I’m sorry now can we move on… For a lot of times I had to swallow my pain and wear my smile and live on. He had nudes of other girls in his fone, he cheated on me and once tried raping me and blamed it on his horrible history with women. We were in the process of finishing our degrees and he was failing each year I have had to financially support him from my bursary allowance and he would be super mad if I used that money to help my parents at home. When I started working and being the only one who had to take care of us all I remember he told me that “you know, if I was the one working I’d pay for your registration fee” which I couldn’t afford because we have a child that i have been taking care of and also I had to buy him food and clothes…and just when he said that, that’s when I realised that he was actually using me and I couldnt take it anymore and so I broke up with him. And that’s when the name calling started and he told his family and friends that I turned against him because now I feel like I’m better than him and maybe there’s another man and I don’t want to tell him. I don’t know how many times I have tried to explain my reasons for the break up but he would come up with more insults… Until i stopped explaining myself, he threatened to take the child which he still does, he later apologised for that, he even told me he doesn’t know what he might do if he could see me walking with another man… And that’s when I realised that we were no longer safe around him and so I cut all communication with him but he would come to my house and try and talk to my parents who never bought his stories and would tell him that everything is up to me not them.

    For the sake of Co parenting
    I had to keep in touch with him, he would come fetch the child and bring her home later but everytime in between the visits he would send messages saying he can’t keep fetching the child or calling to talk to her because whenever he sees me his feelings are revoked. And he said the best he could do is send someone else to fetch the child and being them back again… Which I couldn’t agree to because these days it’s never safe to hand over your child to someone else… And he said or else he is going to stay away from us for about 2 years so he can heal. I tried talking to him for the sake of the child cos in anything that happens between us the child shouldn’t be affected but he doesn’t feel that way he believes the child will understand.

    He later on came back to me apologizing claiming that it’s his anxiety and depression that has lead him to do what he was doing and he will never do it again. And foolishly I believed him. Everything continued as arranged until just yeaterday when he sent me a message saying he still has feelings for me andn he misses me therefore he will not be able to come see the child, he will come when he feels that he is ok with seeing me. But the problem I had was that we had arranged that when schools reopened he has to fetch the child from school as I’ll be taking them in the morning but I’ll be knocking off late. And when I asked him about the arrangement he said he will fetch the child and leave her near my house… Still thinking about the safety of my baby I told him to leave it to me as he ddnt seem to care about our daughter. I actually realised that whenever he was feeling stressed or whatever he feels he tries to take it out on me and now he is using the baby as he sees that he gets a reaction everytime he does it. So when he said he won’t see us anymore maybe for a year or so I just said my goodbyes and blocked him everywhere possible on my fone and I told him if he has anything important to say or enquire about our daughter he will contact my parents.

    Im not sure if the blocking will help there’s no day that goes by that I don’t pray for our safety and wellbeing…because with his previous threats I can never trust him again…im not even sure what I’m doing and if what I’m doing is good for the child or not… All that I know is I live my life with pain, having to remind myself of my self worth each and every day and that I’ll be able to love and trust men again. With the recently established relationship I’m currently in, I find it very hard to trust my partner, I’m Always wondering if he is not with someone else, I’m always wondering when he tells me I’m beautiful and smart what exactly does he mean. I have not even had the courage to tell him more about myself because I once told someone and he used it as a weapon against me.

    I constantly wanna end things because I don’t feel like I’m enough in this relationship. Life has never been this hard because of someone who is no longer a part of me, but I have hope that I’ll be completely fine one day

    • Khanyi, thank you for sharing your story with us, we are so sorry to read that you have been treated this way. It is clear you are a beautiful soul and a loving mother, you deserve all the happiness in the world. We hope you find the healing you need and are able to reach out and trust those around you who are there to support you. Sending you Blessings and Love, Team UPLIFT <3

    • Thank you for your honesty. It helps to know I’m not alone in the way I feel.
      Sometimes I wonder if I’d feel better if I were gone.

      I have 3 incredible children though, so for them I’m here.
      I was married for 18 years to an abusive cheater who took all of my self worth.
      He started lying and cheating before we married.
      He turned mean on our honeymoon and for the next 18 years I was who he could blame for everything that was wrong with him.
      He would constantly put me down. Usually in little ways. He’d say things like ‘you’re not a clean as you go cook are you?, as he walked through the kitchen. “Your glass is always half empty”.

      I could never say anything to him about the way he behaved . He’d become unbearably hateful, arrogant and cruel.
      I became someone I despised. I was beautiful, intelligent and felt that I was not good enough for anything. I pretended to be okay. Everyone else was better than me.
      The signs that he was cheating were always there. The calls, the panties in his suitcase, the lock on his phone and computer. Not allowing me to open bills. But I completely blocked it from my mind. I refused to see it – until I finally I did and confronted him. We spent 6 years in therapy were he admitted to some of the cheating, but not the abuse and continued to blame me. He’d say I take full responsibility for my actions, they were wrong but if you’d been different … It was a place we’re he continued to manipulate and hurt. He lied, refused to remember events and completely made up others.

      I finally left him. And he continues to hurt me as often as he can.
      I wanted so badly for him to feel empathy and become real. He can’t and will never.
      Forgiving myself is hard. How could I have let such a horrible person ruin my life. I look back at family pictures and am sickened with myself. It makes me want to curl up into a ball and sleep until the pain is gone.

      • You never LET ANYTHING HAPPEN TO YOU, an abuser has a toolbox to know how to slowly reel a person in thinking things are ok until one day they go too far.

        It is not you, you did not do anything wrong or let anything happen to you. It is not ok what he did to you.

        But how strong you are to leave and how amazing you are to share your story.

        Keep your head up. You’re not alone.

  34. Reading these stories has helped me get a grasp somewhat on my situation. I married my wife 3 years ago and we attempted to blend our families. She had 3 kids, 20, 17, 16 and I had one son 14. From the time we moved in it was pure hell. She tried to turn me against my son by saying he didn’t look like me and he was my biological son. How the world was looking and wondering and laughing at me. She taught her kids against us and kept a divide. Her 16 year old is now 19 and has graduated from high school. My son is a senior this year and she refused to sign the proof of residency form for him to go to school. Once we were married I sold my house and moved with her to make it easier for the transition. Her kids were already in high school and mine was going from middle to high school and she had the bigger house to fit us all more comfortably than buying another right away. Her refusal to sign the papers was an act of basically putting us out. I have since moved and gotten an apt in the same school district so my son can stay with his class and friends his final year. During this whole time she hasn’t tried to build a relationship with my son. I have tried several time to have one with her children but they are selfish just like her and require you to come 90% for there 10%. This whole experience has been numbing. I question myself being a man, how could I love a lie and fall in love with a horrible human being and stay for so long. Now that I am away I feel so dumb and stupid but know that I was just in love with an abuser to made me feel like everything wrong was my fault. She felt like she was better than me. I was a single father when she met me and she took the most vulnerable part of me and tried to use it against me. Her justification was that she was suppose to come first in my life and I was not living up to GOD’s order. She wanted me to disown my son and love her only. What a sick individual I call myself being in love with. I have been gone for 4 months and although I hurt, I know tomorrow will be a brighter day. I just have to keep breathing and living.. Thanks for allowing me to express myself. This helped!!

    • Hi,Please stay strong to get over this. I met my husband 21 years ago in that time I was told it was his wages that pay the Bill’s not my poxy wages even though I worked two jobs. I was called a fat [email protected], half wit, your not up to much, you will never leave me,everyone [email protected] hates you, I would have treated you better if I knew you could have been more than a domestic(This was said when I got a better job) I only said those things because I knew you could do more!!.
      I done everything for him, rang the doctors when he was ill or out of medication, applied for jobs even done his CV and had flyers made and posted them, i was like his mother.
      When i was Ill or injured or even an ambulance outside my house he would remain in another room or go to bed!!
      He played his children who have shown the same disrespect calling me slags etc.
      He played his family off against me and rang his mother and family daily for over an hour each one sometimes a few times a day but ignore me as if I wasnt even worth talking to.
      I told him to go visit them but he refused, I told him to have tea with them but he couldn’t be bothered, I told him to visit his family but he said he didn’t want to! He liked doing what he was doing that’s why!

      I am struggling to overcome the abuse but he now has a restraining order for 2 years but it’s hard as there seems no last words to finalise it and ask the question WHY?

    • I hope things are still going well for you and your son! Your light at the end of the tunnel will keep getting brighter!

      Your son has an amazing remodel and a loving father. You did right by him and he knows this.

      All will be well. Love yourself. Keep a kind heart. You are better off without that negativity in your life no matter what.

      The devil only holds his/her power in the dark. They will always try to take you from the light to the dark, so they can manipulate and control.

      Be well.

  35. Hi all,
    I escaped… In my case it was my partner and to an extent her mother too. I think I have settled for now with the term ‘Covert Narcissist’. I have given up my successful business, my children, my home, my friends, my therapist of 6or 7 month and have run away from London to another part of Europe. I have been doing voluntary work in exchange for shelter and food. I am now in an affordable apartment. I wouldn’t of been able to afford my own place in London. I am in pieces really. I don’t go out much. I lost total interest in the things I loved. I am exhausted emotionally and scared shitless to be honest. I am hyper vigilant and slowly getting depressed I think. I’m worried sick and I miss everything. I don’t speak the language of the county I am in but am trying to slowly pay for tuition. I know the abuse has ben going on for more than ten years and I take some responsibility for allowing it to continue. I left 3 or 4 times before. On one occasion early on I remember not being able to walk because I felt so hurt and dismissed. She has said the most hurtful things anyone has ever said to me. A couple of years ago I started drinking a lot and staying in the kitchen. I wasn’t getting any comfort or communication from her. I was really very hurt inside. It wasn’t going anywhere and she was always in an angry mood about her job. There was nothing I could do and I began to fall out of love, or, wasn’t able to love her, wasn’t willing any more. Nothing I did or didn’t do and I mean nothing warranted this. Now I am getting the silent treatment from her and her mum. To be honest, I believe it is her mum who made my ex the way she is. Her mum is a grade A narcissist but everyone goes on about how she helps everyone.

    I’m skimming over things here because I have just found this place. I do have a story to tell but where to begin and I feel so guilty, I can’t go home, to what? She never ever takes responsibility for her feelings or actions or lack of them. It’s all down to me to continually make it all OK. I’m devestated

    • Funcy:
      That sounds truly horrible. Leaving takes a lot of courage–I know, I’ve been there. That kind of abuse is degrading and devastating. It destroyed my sense of self-worth and confidence. It locked me in a prison of fear and shame. This response is from a fellow survivor, not a professional; get help.

      This is not your fault; no one should be treated that way for any reason. Nothing you could have done could have changed it. It doesn’t matter why they acted like they did, the way they treated you was wrong. Tell yourself every morning, “Funcy, I forgive you.” It is hard to believe a first, but don’t give up, keep telling yourself that you forgive yourself. You didn’t deserve the way you were treated, you did all you could do. The guilt is not yours to carry. I still work on this myself; it is a process, not a one-off.

      If you are worried for your children, then call your national abuse hotline (I assume there is such a thing in the UK, like in the US). You can’t rescue them, but the folks at the hotline are experts, and they might be able to do something.

      I am currently reading a book called “Whole Again” about recovering psychologically from abuse. I recommend you read it and seek a therapist that specializes in helping abuse victims. Perhaps your old therapist could help you find one, or be willing to talk on the phone until you do. Don’t try to do it alone; I can tell you from experience that you need help to heal.

      Mindfulness and spirituality are also big helps to me. Seek what is good, true and honest. In brotherly love and deepest sympathy,


    • I know it is a while later and a different world it seems now, but I hope this message finds you well and in a better frame of mind.

      Ther eis no reason for abuse. It is not your fault. Partners can disagree but be respectful. Partners can fight but apologize. Partners can have different ideas, goals, plans for the future, parenting styles, dreams, needs etc. But true partnership and love from someone who is worth your time is someone who can always acknowledge your right to be human, and work through life and the ups and down with you, you together, and it works out.

      Being treated poorly is never ok and never your fault.

      Stay strong, keep your head up. Do the best you can and remeber you can’t make happy the ones who NEED all the control.

      Love is not control, love is letting that control go. To trust someone else to have your heart and well being in mind when they live their life.

      Be well and be kind to yourself. You are healing and that takes time and that is ok.

  36. This is the first time I’ve written of my verbal and emotional abuse. I was married over 25 years to a very skilled manipulator. I always believed that somehow I was the cause of her anger, her criticism, her threats. I came to believe the horrible things about myself that she told me, and she used this to destroy my confidence and independence. With the help of friends, faith, and a counselor specializing in abuse, I recognized what was happening and have escaped. I still struggle with feelings of worthlessness and failure, but am gradually finding peace and joy. I may have lost everything I worked for, but have started to regain a sense of independence and self-respect.

    To all of those who are still trying to escape: (1) No matter what your partner says, this is not your fault. (2) Get help. (3) You are not what your partner tries to make you believe. (4) No one deserves to be treated that way. (5) Have an escape plan and put it into practice.

    To the women reading this: Not all men are like your abuser, and you do not have to put up with abuse to find love. Get help, and get out. My heart breaks for each of you. Do not believe the lies you’ve been told, do not believe the fear.

    To other men reading this: Yes, it can happen to us too. If you’re reading this you’re probably wondering if it is happening to you. Get help. This is not something that you can do on your own, especially if your partner has worn you down and broken your self-worth. I struggled with feeling even more worthless because I let it happen, but of course this too is a lie used to control.

    To those of you reading this because you suspect someone you know is being abused, your friend/relative needs help. It wasn’t until my friend gave me a copy of The Emotionally Abusive Relationship, by Patricia Evans, that I realized what was going on. In a safe way, speak to them, tell them you are worried, and why. Point them to resources like that book, the National Abuse Hotline, a counselor specializing in abuse, or a place they can take refuge.

    • RB – THANK YOU for this truly touching share. I’m so sorry that has been your experience, but I’m really glad you were able to change it. It makes such a difference to know we are not alone, so again, thank you for bridging that gap and for the excellent suggestions and resources.

      Much love to you on your journey,
      Team UPLIFT

    • I am reading er book now. After 38 years of marriage my abuser wants out. I have realized for a while how abusive he has been and the last few months it got so much worse. Probably because he was feeling guilty for his secretive behaviors. The terrible things he has been saying to me have hurt me to my core and heart. My heart goes out to you. I hope you find the mutuality and co-creation you deserve. That was all I ever wanted but now realize that was not my “husbands” reality.
      Wish you the best

  37. I’m still in love with my abuser. After a few months of going back and forth with talking, we decided to remain friends. Despite everything he put me through, both emotionally and physically, I still want the old life we had planned. I wake up every day in my new home and feel so out of place, so lost. My friends and family have done what they can to try and make me happy, but there’s a hole in my heart. Maybe i got used to what he did to me and my head normalized it, I’m not sure. All I know is that with him, I was miserable, and yet somehow I’m worse without him and I want to tell him every day how much I still miss him. It’s all so confusing and it’s too much to handle. I don’t know what the solution is or even who I am without him, despite us being split for months. I can’t go out in public or to any fun events without thinking about him every single time. Everything is such a mess and I miss the man that I first met.

    • Cameron, I’m so sorry to hear you are having such a tough time… I wish I knew how to make it better! I hope you can find a way to give that unconditional love you have for him to yourself and heal that heart of yours. We wish you all the best on your journey.

      Much love,
      Team UPLIFT

    • Cameron,

      You said you were miserable with him, but life is somehow worse without him.
      Something that helped me when I left my abusive ex was framing it this way:
      While it may be best for us to be apart, I am still allowed to feel love for him. Even if he hurt you, you were invested in this person, and you truly cared and valued them. This was real for you. That doesn’t suddenly go away, and feeling that way about someone who has hurt you extensively is so confusing and exhausting and debilitating. Your feelings are real, please don’t shame yourself over them, it is okay that you have an open full heart and want to love even the people who hurt you. It is honest, and it is okay to feel that way, even if you don’t understand. You have a full beautiful heart.

      THE GOAL: to be able to send him the love and positive energy you have for him-without feeling an attachment to him, or need to be with him. Because ultimately, you WERE miserable in the relationship. You don’t deserve this. You deserve more than what this person is capable of giving you. It’s okay that they can’t give you what you need because that is honest for them, but you need what you need Cameron, and it is not here with this person. This relationship isn’t sustainable. What you want won’t be found here. But it can be found elsewhere…first you have to look elsewhere. Inwards maybe. You have a full beautiful heart after all.

      Cameron, you deserve to be and feel CELEBRATED. Everyday. Every hour. No matter the circumstance. Even when you make mistakes. You are always worth celebrating. That is what real love feels like. Does this person make you feel that way? No.

      Instead of reminiscing or getting stuck missing him, make up a ritual for yourself that feels healing and productive. Light some candles, wear your most comfortable sweat pants, make a clean and positive space. Take specific time out of your day to pause and focus on sending this person positive energy and love. Imagine the love in your heart spreading across miles and reaching this person. Imagine it however you want. Say whatever you need to feel like you are successful in this notion.

      Take specific time out of your day to also send yourself love, as much as you can. Say things like “I am Capable” “I am Beautiful” “I am Intelligent” “I am Creative” “I am not a mess” “I deserve real love”. Say these things OUT LOUD and say them like you mean it, like you have to convince the whole world that you are dead serious. Say it to yourself every single time you feel that longing creep in, that feeling of being a mess and being confused and not being able to make it by yourself, of missing him. Every time you feel these negative feelings, stop, call yourself out. Because you are actually a human being who has a lot to give and a lot to enjoy, but you can’t do that with this person in your life. You can do it alone, you have a full, beautiful heart.

      This process is difficult and impossible for people to understand unless they’ve been in your shoes. I highly recommend trying these things. Channel that leftover desire for this person into the idea of sending them love. For some reason it helped me. More than anything, be patient with yourself, be forgiving to yourself, and pamper yourself. You are doing great, you have already come so far, and you are about to go even farther, into the next part of your life where this pain doesn’t exist anymore. You got to witness a particular kind of sadness, a particular flavor of life, a particular human experience, and you showed up for it, you felt it, you lived through it. And now it will be time for you to witness the next experience.

      Whatever you feel right now, is valid, but does not define you. You are not sad, but you are feeling sad. You are not weak, but you might feel weak. You are not confused, but you may feel this way. All of this is overwhelming, but it’s going to help you grow, and you will grow, and then you will flourish, and you will keep find ing other human experiences to taste in your lifetime and you might even find yourself on an online forum trying to extend your love to people who are going through what you’ve been through 🙂

      I don’t know you, but I extend my love to you. You are loved. You are safe. You are worthy of your dreams. Give yourself the gift of time. Feel what you need to. Journal, play music that inspires you, take baths, lay in soft blankets, eat yummy food, go outside, have a dance party in your bedroom. Take care of yourself. I will be sending you positive thoughts and energy 🙂
      Your heart is breaking. Your heart is open. Let it be open.
      You can do this. You are strong.


      • Thank you Magnolia. I have read your comment over and over, and it holds so much truth. I am in the same sort of boat as Cameron and what you said is exactly what I needed to hear. We don’t know each other but in just one comment you have become a friend, savior and mentor.

        I never understood the weight of abusive or how it could effect someone so deeply until it unfortunately happened to myself. Or even learn a part of yourself to allow that behavior to happen and keep on letting it happen. Its hard to not be upset with yourself and to see the person you’ve become during that relationship. You always think when watching abusive happen in movies or shows, I would never let that happen, or think I would get out so quick, look at all the warning sign. Red flags everywhere. But when you are deep in it, its so unclear and happens so fast it just becomes “normal.” Or you think this is just love, a different type, a deeper connection then you’ve never had before. You lose sight that this is not “normal.” Loved ones don’t rip your clothes, scream and hold knives in your face.
        Its hard to not turn on yourself as well.

        You are not alone Cameron, I miss my ex as well. All the memories we shared that were true. Its hard to think it was all a lie, that he must have had some sort of love for me. And is it ok to miss that man?

        I just wanted to say thank you. All of you.

      • That was beautiful. I needed to hear that after a 30 year marriage. I think of him all the time and wonder if I should go back to him because I dont know anything else. It’s only been a month but I cry every night. I hope this goes away.

  38. Your Scared, deep down you cant think of a way out. Maybe financially you don’t see it. Maybe There are other difficult circumstances that tell you I cant because…..If you keep looking for an excuse you will find one you like. What is your Worth? Not to Him….To you? The ones who dont just say they care, but actually show it? What if we had the same love for ourselves as we do our children? Where did we get to the point where we didnt know right from wrong? You teach a child from a very young age not to hit, not to steal, not to lie, to say they are sorry, that its not okay to call others names, that others feelings matter too…So If a man, a grown a** man is doing all this to you, says he is sorry and continues to do it yet again…How does He get away with it?? I believe its because We dont want to accept that we could have been fooled. From the person Who portrayed themselves to be a great loving person in the beginning. We feel confused….was this all fake? What was real? This is not your fault. You were abused. You deserve better.You were made to be loved and honored and cherished. You were NOT made to be abused. If you know you are not respected if your heart tells you that you wish deeply that you were…but you know deep down your not and you can say the things you went through were horrific, and I know how this goes…He’s blown chance after chance…Lay it all out. Every Feeling Everything You Need and Deserve, and If He Cant man up and treat you correctly no matter how much you think you love him, If he doesnt respect you his words will never mirror his actions…You say all the time I cant keep living like this…Because You wanted it to be him, you loved him. You dont want to face and accept the truth that he doesnt love and care about you, that this kind of person exists. You see…There is nothing wrong with you, You are Good Enough, You already know that because he wanted you in the first place, Theres something wrong with Him…He has gotten comfortable with treating you like dirt…I bet when He first met you He wouldnt have gotten away with it..Its a slow Process of what extent can I get away with? She’ll never leave…Let her Cry. You hold the key in your own hand to say no more. Rebuild your self esteem, Learn to Love and Care about yourself-READ about it…Read about Narcassists, Talk kindly to yourself constantly every day what you love about you and who you are and what you stand for. God has not called you to be misused and you know that.

  39. I just got out of my abusive relationship with my ex husband of 3 years. It been a real struggle trying to understand why he treated me so harshly. He controlled everything I did and if I was five minutes late he would drill me and assumed that I was cheating on him. He decided when and if my parents even though she was dying in the hospital. And no matter how hard I tried to do the right thing I was either stupid or a bitch or many horrible things. Things really got bad a few months when he became convinced that sleeping with someone, and he kept me up and lock me in the room for hours and search through my Facebook and email to try to prove that I was unfaithful to him. He threatened to kill me and my dad and everyone I cared about. He was so manipulative that even though he was at fault somehow I was apologizing. I finally left but there are days that I still don’t feel safe or his voice is in my head. I know that these things take time but I just want to get back to normal

    • Nat, we are so sorry you had to go through this but so glad you got out. Sending you love, healing and blessings – Team UPLIFT.

  40. I was with my ex for over 20 years, since we were 13-14 years old.I am now 41 years old.. To make a very long story short…he was mentally, emotionally and physically abusive. In the past I’ve tried to leave him so many times..he would stalk me and ask my friends where I was..until they caught on to him..I was successful in leaving him..in the beginning. However, he found ways to manipulate and promise and lie his way back into my life. He was rough in the bedroom, never cared about my dreams and wellbeing. Was always angry about decisions I was making or wanted to make for myself.. he always downed me..and when I stood up for myself he found ways to knock me down. I’ve been raped by him practically everyday I was with him or every chance he had. He would get mad because I wanted to stop him from touching me, there was blood on the bed from him being so rough and not stopping, my clothes were torn, I was sore, he held me down..it got to the point he injured my rotator cuff in my shoulder from pinning me down until he was done…my head used to bang against the wall..he still didn’t stop…I had cataracts in my left eye and had cataract removal from the trauma of my head hitting the wall..nothing could have stopped him and if I tried to fight back or push him away he would hurt me..It was horrible, he has thrown me across the room in to the dresser where I injured my back and later on had a miscarriage..that’s another story in itself…he would grab me, push me, played Cat and mouse with me and cornered me and prevented me from leaving..when I defended myself he choked me up against the wall pervertedly…he has put so much fear into me it’s unbelievable..we have 2 beautiful children…and he was always angry and yelling at them and picking on them especially our son..he was and still is more abuse to him…he has hurt our son in horrific ways and I don’t believe him when he says he didn’t hurt our daughter too when she was young..I finally grew strong enough to leave him..he was hurting our son, dragging him into the bedroom to beat him..I had to keep running in there and pulling him out of his arms .I told myself not another night..I went to the police and they helped me remove him from the house..if I had just told him I don’t want to be with you anymore..I don’t want you to hurt us anymore, he would have killed me…the last time I tried to leave he said “if I was still a monster you would be in the back of the house under dirt”..I had no choice but to leave him with others around to protect us and not give him a chance to secretly hurt us. I had custody of our children..he is so manipulative and dangerous he told the courts I manipulated all the doctors and therapists and anyone else that heard what was happening… I manipulated the CPS reports etc. he took my children away from me…my children tell me everything that happens over there…he is now married with a baby and another on the way..I have appealed it and is being represented by Albany..the truth has come about..and it was proved I didn’t not make those CPS calls except for 3 of them out of 19 calls made by doctors and therapists…I called when he slapped our daughter, pushed our son and on New Years the kids did not want to go see him..they locked themelseves in their rooms and I could not get them out..so I called around asking what should I do..my son used to run across the couch and throw things and scream when it was time to go visit their father..my daughter would have such anger and attitudes beyond the norm young girl attitude…I left him 1/20/2016 and I am still battling this…my son still cries, my daughter still gets angry..his new wife is just as mean..in the beginning I thought she was nice ..now she hits me under the mommy belt…I can hear her in the background…the way she talks and the way he talks…it’s like a battle zone over there…I will not give up on my children…he has knocked me down so much between him and my mother they have drained me of who I could have become…my father is in NYC somewhere, my brother is homeless in NYC, my sister won’t talk to me because I won’t talk to my mother because of her lies and disrespect to my children…I have been upstate NY for about 9 years now…I have no family here however, I have made a few good friends, met good people, I have a mom circle and have protected support and encouragement…I’ve gained good work experiences and have some good opportunities that I am looking forward to..a few minor setbacks with my car and work and rent…however, it could be worse…the worst physical part is behind me…now I have to save my kids…it’s been almost four years since I have been that intimate(I wouldn’t call it intimacy with him) with someone…there was one man I got briefly close with..however, we were looking for different things in life…I do have a crush..and when I have had chances to get closer with him I wound up scurring away and becoming so shy as if I was a deer in headlights… I have had many chances to be with others even if it was for one night…what I am looking for is someone who is worth giving myself to and introducing him into my kids lives…I am scared to love and scared for my kids..however, knowing I can say all this with out crying tells me I have come along way..with the help, support, encouragement and protection that I have ,I feel I will be ok and in time so will my kids…I say to girls and women out there: it’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to getaway, it’s ok to ask for help, get to that help as soon as possible and don’t look back. I am a survivor. Not a victim.

  41. I was married for 20 years and used to spend at least one night a week sleeping on the floor of the locked bathroom, with my back to it so that he couldn’t kick it down. Why would anyone want to me nice to me, my own mother had convinced me I was shit.(She was mentally ill during my childhood).We had four great kids who he totally ignored, even though it was him that was desperate to have them. When I came home from work one day to find him in bed with our 14 year old daughter I grabbed this man I was terrified of and threw him out the door. For a year he stalked me and used to regularly smash all the windows and threaten me, until one night he broke in and beat me up so badly he only left when he thought I was dead. It left me in a wheelchair for a year but I made myself walk again(even if I do walk a bit funny).I kept myself to myself but I was still attractive then and very lonely, and I met someone else. We were just chatty for a long time and he was always interested and caring – until he moved in. I was with him for 18 years. He spent all my money and made me think I was mad. I thought he must love me he doesn’t hit me. he didn’t and when he left me I was desolate. Now he wants to come back and I hope I don’t let him. He is a serial adulterer and treats me abominably but he is like a drug to me.

  42. My boyfriend and I have been broken up for a week, and we were only dating for a month. I know that sounds pity, but it was a very emotionally draining relationship. We were friends for a while, and the whole time we were friends I had the biggest crush on him. We went on a date, but he told me he only liked me a friend, even though he considered it a date. I told him that we should stop talking because we both got different impressions. I eventually forgave him for the date, and that we should stay friends because I liked talking to him as a friend (also the fact that I was not over him). We became friends, but later on I found out that when we went on our date he still had feelings for someone else. All I could do at that point was cry, because I was still not over him, I still had these ridiculous feelings for him. Even though I was sad we still remained good friends, and like any good friends do they talk about what’s on their mind. One night we were talking about relationships, and he told me how he felt about me, and I told him that I never got over him. The next day after talking about how we felt about each other, we started dating. The first day we started dating, we were fighting like we had been with each other for years. The emotional toll that it had on me was awful, I did not realize how toxic he was until we broke up. He had Asperger’s so he would consistently say what bothered him. He would say that I would look better with makeup, but it didn’t matter, and had little patience when it came to me and my family. I soon understood how unhappy I was, I was fighting with my parents, and sister, and I would shut them out. I am a naturally silly person, but he would criticize that. He didn’t accept me for who I was, he would just judge me with every chance that he got. A few days before we broke up, I thought about breaking up with him, because I was so unhappy. I thought that he made me happy, but it wasn’t him that did, it was the thought of being with someone that did. A few days later we saw each other and he got frustrated with me, and hit me. I didn’t know what to think about it, it was so unexpected I knew he was a lot of things, but physically abusive was not one that I thought he would be. That was the straw that broke the camels back, I realized then and there that he wouldn’t get any better, but that he would get worse. I understood that this was a toxic person, and a toxic situation. Of course the initial breakup was hard, because it was the heartache that it left me. After that I did a lot of thinking and realized something, which was I am thankful that I am out of that situation, and that someone who treats me right and is not an asshole to me or my family will come along. He was my first boyfriend, and there will someone so much better then him. I look at myself now, after a week, and I’m a thousand times more happy then I was when I was with him.

    • Wow Eliza, that’s been quite a journey for you by the sound of it. Thank you for sharing so openly about it. I’m really happy to hear you were able to know what you had to do to take care of yourself. I think this is the hardest part for people in situations like this.

      Much love,
      Team UPLIFT

  43. Hi guys I’m struggling to cope with the after effects of an emotional abusive relationship, I still love him and I feel very depressed, angry all the time, don’t want to socialise, crying, etc, I don’t eat losing weight, I don’t have the support from no one and don’t know what to do, I keep taking him back, he called me last time I took him back said that he loves me and then it all started again, he was also growing up feeling rejected by everyone, and then 2yrs in our relationship I made a baby by my ex husband whom I WS still married to that time when we were seeing each other and then things just went out of control since then,we not seeing each other now me and the ex boyfriend I need help cause I can’t cope with what I’m going through

    • Hi Claudia,

      Thank you for sharing about your situation. It sounds challenging indeed… Have you had a look online for services in your area that may be able to help? Most bigger towns / cities have resources equipped to help people in situations like your own. Or perhaps trying your local Lifeline for someone to talk to (free of charge). They might also be able to tell you where else you can seek support.

      We wish you all the best. Much love,
      Team UPLIFT

  44. Thank you are so much for your comments. I have been with abusers since childhood and my father was the first as well as my mother who had a nervous breakdown. I have never married and have been in many abusive relationships. I’ve been avoiding men totally for 3 years because my doctor messed my brain up with taking me cold turkey off of a very dangerous drug I had been on for 20 years and it was just a two-week drug. Anyway long story short because of this I’ve been avoiding people and men and I think this very tragedy is the thing that has saved me from becoming involved with any more toxic men. My health and brain are improving now and I’ve been very concerned about getting back out in public for fear of getting involved with another harmful man.

    your posts have absolutely shined intense light on the situation for me and I can’t tell you how grateful I am. I’m going to read the recommended material you talked about and educate myself heavily on this. the trauma bonding sounds like what I’ve been doing. I will be back again but once again my thanks from the bottom of my heart to you all.. You may have saved my life. Blessings on you all!

  45. This is not a reply.i have been in an abusive relationship for 11 years but not married.he used to manipulate me that he will soon pay lobola for me but never did.he caged me in his life away from family,church,friends and my workmates.we work together the same position but whenever i get a promotion he will manipulate me from taking the opportunity.i was his sex slave even when am on my periods.we have two kids together and i had c-section on both of them but he will insist that we had sex immediately after my discharge from hospital.whenever we have misunderstanding he will take it on the kids.i remember the other time he almost killed my son with a vehicle because he was speeding off from the drive way after the argument and he didn’t even stop to check him.the list goes on.i think i can fill the whole book if i start about my life.i always have to apologize for the sake of the kids even when am not wrong

    • Hi Lebogang, thanks for reaching out and sharing with us. Nobody deserves to be treated that way. Do you have a support network around you? Please consider reaching out to a women’s centre or help line – they may be able to help you and give you advice on how to protect yourself and your kids. Sending you love and strength, Team UPLIFT

  46. My fiance of 6 years committed suicide after i left him in February 2017. i wanted him out of my life so badly but not this way. i would get beaten up and get thrown on the floor and kicked because the child is crying, because i asked him when he will find work and start assisting me financially in the house, because i asked him where did he sleep last night or receiving a call from a male friend or colleague. i was living in fear for a very long time and i was afraid to be judged and not believed if told my story. at first i was not aware that i was in an abusive relationship but i knew something was wrong then i started reading stories about domestic violence and i started realizing what was happening. he would strangle me so bad that i felt that i was dying and that time my daughter would be screaming asking him to stop. i went to he police station and i got a protection order against him then i moved out but he managed to stalk me and found out where i stayed. he came to my place on Christmas eve of 2016 and tried killing me again and i had to beg him and tell him i’m no longer leaving him, then two weeks before he committed suicide he came to my place and started shouting at me and beating me then he put me in his car and locked and took me to a veld and tried to stab me, i can say that night i saw the wonders of God i saw what they meant when they said we praying a living God because every time when he picked up his hand to stab me he would lose power and bring back his hand then he would say to me how did we get here, how did my quite and loving woman start standing against me and then he finally gave up and he took me to his place then slept with me. the day he died he phoned me and started shouting at me because i refused to come back to him then he said i’m coming to kill you then i ran away to my friends place and later on i went home and took a nap when i woke up in the late afternoon i got his 3 missed calls and immediately his sister phoned me to tell me what happened. i am grateful that i managed to get out of the relationship even though i still feel guilty that he died because of me.

    • Boitumelo, I don’t know what to say… My heart goes out to you and your daughter. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

      Much love to you,
      Team UPLIFT

    • For two years of a (4 decade) relationship with a controlling person that would do things over and over and then tell people I was the one who caused or demanded it. And then TELL me what he told them!
      Presents and my name on all his property, bank, stocks and bonds from the 1950’s so that if I didn’t sign, he became threatening with how I am “trying to destroy his life”.
      But here is what I can’t get past emotionally: his friends and family and neighbors constantly called me a spoiled brat because of the presents,etc. NO ONE KNEW since my 20’s.
      I am 69 years old and free now, but I feel guilty with everything I do,people I meet-just saying hello to people makes me feel I did something to annoy them. I feel a mess today. Today I found this site.

  47. Hello Uplift and Survivors, I finally broke up my ex-boyfriend of 8 years after I finally have a brave and got my stronger personality back in me because he has stopped drinking beers for a couple of days now. I already knew that I needed to leave him about 2-3 years ago, but, I was stuck on how to break up with him until I talked to a medium. It hit me so hard and realized that I have been in this emotional abuse with alcohol due to his addicted to drink, and I needed to get out of this toxic relationship, so I did it. For him, it hit him so hard and hurt. I suggested him to get help and he told me he wanted to fix the relationship and I told him no, I am not doing this anymore because you took all my emotions and energy away. I also on the processing to ask him to leave the house and find his own place. When he was drinking beer, he always complained about me, work, and put all angry tantrum toward to me. Since he is off with beers and he realizes the big time. I am grateful for who I am and have a few supporters who are supporting me now.

    • I’m happy to hear you are looking after yourself by making this hard and, I’m sure, difficult and complicated decision Mary. Also glad you have support. We need each other. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Much love on your journey,
      Team UPLIFT

  48. I just left my abuser of 6 years. I dont know if I could leave him for good or that I would come back later. I really don’t want to. Last time we broke up once and he came back begging and crying, admitting to all the faults he did and seemingly knowing he was at fault. but he also didnt give me time to get over the PTSD of his abuse and kept pushing me to accept him back, while offering to give me what i always ask of him; more commitment by coming and see my parents and planning a wedding. i finally accepted him back under 2 months where i knew i had to take more than that to think things through and also to get over my trauma. because i didnt get over, i kept on hovering over things he did. when he didnt deliver what he promised to, i didnt ask nicely, i lashed on him a few times. he had the tendency to not want to be upfront and honest and preferred speaking vaguely to confuse me. and then he started gain control and said he is unsure to commit to me because of my lashing and said if i dont change, he would not commit to me like he had promised to. he cancelled all plans impliedly and when i confronted him, he said i imagined things and that i hurt him for not trusting him. he tried to speak vaguely to confuse me and then called me stupid and many hurtful names when i didnt get any answers from him. and he said i was the one controlling and manipulative when he was the one blocking me every time i tried to raise what troubles me by saying his feelings matter more. he found out i reached out to friends after enduring 5 months of his abuse. he didnt like that i ever reached out. i tried to lie because i knew it would just make it worse but he found out and he blamed me for lying. if i had told him the truth, he would also verbally abuse me. either way i got his wrath. he dangled his love to me by making me comply to his rules and kicked me anytime he feels like it. as simple as misreading a whatsapp conversation can cause him to call my mum a prostitute. i dont want to feel bad for lying to him about getting help. i dont want to feel bad about hurting his feelings. i feel like im going crazy for sympathising an abusive person like that. and i dont know if i can ever trust and love anyone at all after this. but i do want to settle down and have my own children, something he knows i want but keep on dangling and making empty promises and making me hope and i lost 6 years being frustrating of not getting it and he wont admit that he doesnt want to do so with me.

    • We are so sorry to hear you have gone through that experience. You did the right thing by leaving him, even though it can’t be easy. Do you have the number of a local help line you can call to talk things over?

      You will get the happy ending you deserve. Stay strong!

      Much Love,
      Team UPLIFT

  49. Hello to everyone out there,

    I have just came out of a relationship that lasted under a year. I’m really not sure whether I was being emotionally abused by my ex-girlfriend or not. She ended the relationship and was very cold and distant a few weeks prior to the break up. At the beginning of the relationship, everything was wonderful and breezy but after some time passed, I began to realise how difficult it was to converse with her. Everything I seemed to say was stupid or not worth speaking about and I just felt as if I couldn’t say much because whatever I would say would be deemed as stupid. There were a few times where her emotions would be quite unstable and almost child like. There was one occasion when I couldn’t make love to her because I had a severe migraine which lead to her becoming very cold, not talking about it and threw her hairdryer on the bed (even though she knew I was on the bed), it hit my ankle quite hard which then lead to her sobbing uncontrollably and leaving me to console and support her. I observe a lot when people interact with one another and I can even see that her friends really struggle to be around her, leaving uncomfortable atmospheres and she would be very confrontational at times and angry when trying to get her point across. I had always felt that I was being too sensitive or taking things to heart too much when she would talk to me in harsh tones. I would just like some views on whether or not I was being emotionally abused by her and whether I should give it another go if she reaches out again?

    Thank you!

    • Thank you for your honest sharing … We really feel your dilemma and recommend you seek a kind and supportive professional therapist … There is so much clarity in supported self-enquiry. We wish you love and courage …

  50. My man is back and now he is more open and he admitted he loves me and really wants to try a relationship with me again, After a year of separation we are now back together, and he plans to move in when his lease is up. Contact Robinson Buckler today if you need to get help to get back your lost lover via email: [email protected] hotmail.com,,

  51. I just left my abuser therapist Wednesday. I’m still in pain. Wanting him. Controlling me. Hating him. Loving me wanting to revenge him. A jungle. I would love to know the process of healing. Time. Feeling. What to expect.

  52. i dont no if but he told me that everything was fine with what happened to me he said that it shouldnt defie me but defined me by it he saw me like i was damaged and he didnt even help me he saw me as i was disgusting .now he left and he ignores me but i still love i may be the wrong place but i dont know what to do.

  53. I left my ex of seven years in March. He’s been so bitter, hurt and angry and he makes sure I know just how much. He threatened to kill me, not once so I decided to record him the time he did. Now he accuses me of leading him on to say those mean things to me. He says I’m a bad person for leaving him after all he did for me. Somehow, I’m tempted to believe I am.
    This is someone who told me to stop being friends with my bestie after he learnt he was gay. We broke up over that but got back together on the condition that I would never mention my friend’s name in the relationship. I stupidly agreed. He used to say he could love me more if only I would be submissive to him and that I should consider myself a child and he the leader. He was hell bent on ‘taming’ me.
    The difficult part is explaining to people why I left him barely months after joining him in France. He’s always talking about the financial help he offered to make this trip a reality but doesn’t want to even hear me talk about paying him back.
    I can’t get over the guilt of leaving him especially as he’s vowed to never forgive me. He helped me find a well paid job when I got here and he makes sure I’m reminded of that. There are times I feel like quitting the job so as not to feel indebted to him, but I need it.
    It would have been easier if he had physically abused me or cheated on me or something. I’m grateful for the support of family and few friends; the people who love me. Now I just have to focus my energy on taking back my power.
    This article and others always remind me of why I left and how right that decision was.

  54. I was married 35 years to my abuser, I couldn’t figure out how to get out of that bad situation after that length of time! He should have won an award for being the biggest manipulator and deceiver on earth. I finally went to our local women’s abuse shelter and they advised me to keep coming for counseling, join a church (because church families will always emotionally support you) which they did!

    I finally just ran for it (I lost everything that I owned including all of my money) but you know what? Freedom from abuse is priceless! I had to start over from scratch, but its been a such a blessing to not deal with a controlling, lying, thieving, cheating, manipulative, raging monster anymore. I am still healing but I am happy and safe after a lifetime of on and off hell with him.

    Go NO CONTACT completely, its the only way out of being coerced by your abuser.

  55. I left my abuser 2 years ago, and the thing is: we never really realize we are in an abusive relationship until you leave it.
    We were in a relationship for 2 years, and he lied to me since the beginning of it. After 3 months together, he told me he was in a relationship with another girl who he couldn’t leave since she was blind and had no place to go. I left him. After some weeks he came back saying the girl found out and they were not together anymore. And he always used it as an excuse (“i left someone because of you”).
    It was great at first, as every relationship. After some months he started changing. First he used to treat me like some stupid person in front of others. Then he started screaming at me in public. After grabbing my arm abit stronger, and stronger and stronger.
    When I tried to break up, he used to say he would change, he loved me, he couldn’t live without me, and that things wojld be different. Up to the moment that he started being physically abusive. He used to lock me in the bedroom for days without my belongings, including cellphone, no tv, no radio, no food and no water. He only gave me water and food when I was almost passing out. He used to say he did that because he loved me. He wanted to protect me.
    When I tried to break up and go to some friends’ house, he used to threat me saying he would go to my parents’ house, because he knew where they lived.
    When I finally realized I was in an abusive relationship, I decided to leave my country (I’m Brazilian), and go to USA. When he found that out, he freaked out. I went to our house to pick my things and leave to my parents during the visa process, and attacked me. He broke my finger, he grabbed my neck and almost killed me. I left home without any of my things and never went back.
    In the month I was about to leave my country, I found out I was pregnant. It was a devastating moment. My parents called him so we could discuss how things would be (my parents didn’t and still don’t know he was abusive).
    He got nervous and said he didnt want a child. And said I had to do an abortion. I said I wouldnt, and so he threatened me saying I knew his family was rich and would take the kid away, and he would make my life a hell if i had the child.
    I said I would do the abortion if he left my life for real. And he said he would.
    So I did. I was forced to do.
    And my life was like hell anyway.
    He didnt leave. He went to my parents’ house saying he wanted to get married, he loved me and he wanted to spend his life with me.
    I pushed him. I got crazy. I screamed and cried. He insisted on talking to my parents and ask THEM to get married with me.
    Of course they didnt understand why i was so mad, but respected me.
    He left. But he sent one last email. Threats. Threats about showing videos and pictures he had somehow from me. Said he would find someone who would accept the love I didnt accept. Saying no one would love me the way he did. I would die alone.
    But i ignored. He called once again, but that was all.
    It has been 2 years. I still have issues. I regret the abortion. I feel ashamed of not leaving that situation, of accepting that. I feel guilty and angry at myself for not making things different.

    Just time helps. Just forgiving and trying to move on makes you live.
    It is hard. It has been hard. But I know it will pass.

    • I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that. I’m so glad you are safe now, and so glad that your parents respected and trusted your reaction. That is invaluable, as abusers can often so easily manipulate and deceive. I hope you are much happier now and with people you can feel safe with as you deserve.

  56. (((robinson.buckler @ yahoo. com))) … restored my relationship and my boyfriend came back to me……………………

  57. I am just now learning how abusive my 8-year relationship has been. One of those where you shrug away all the red flags, assuming you misunderstood the situation. We have 3 kids together and I have been a stay at home mom the whole time at his insistence. I just began reaching out. Tried to break up but he said if I did, he would either kill himself or remove himself completely from the boys’ lives. He is trying to get into law enforcement so I feel like I can’t go to the dept about anything because he works there and I would be interfering g with his long-term goals. He also says if I don’t want to have sex with him every day, we might as well break up or he will end up cheating. “I wouldn’t be able to help it. I am a man and it is biological. If a man isn’t satisfied at home, he will be led around by the nose by anything with a vagina.” Tried to tell me to go off birth control. Like hell. I am dreading an hour from now when I have to wake him up with unwanted unconsenting sex so he can get ready for work. I am going to the women’s clinic Monday to figure out a plan. I cant keep doing this. Daily marital rape is just dreadful. Either this coming week or next, I will set an alarm clock with a note breaking up with him. I will be gone with the the kids. I refuse to be a prisoner.

    • Please leave him. And I hope you can care more about yourself than this abusive asshole’s long-term goals.

    • No no no, please don’t believe any of that ‘biological’ bs, don’t let him pressure you into sex if you don’t want to, it’s heartbreaking, you don’t deserve that and your children deserve better for their mum who they love! When they grow up they will understand. If he is emotionally abusive, they will be better off without him in their lives too. Think if it was your mum, would you want her to stay? Also you have a right to go to the police and protect yourself, regardless of his future career; he is not respecting you or your safety and well-being and that is the most important thing. If you feel uncomfortable or think he would lie, is there another police station you could go to? Don’t let him deter you either way. You deserve safety and sanctuary from this man, and so do your kids, I really hope you all get the healthy life you deserve.

  58. Once he is gone do you need to forgive him in order to heal and move on.? He is now deceased and everyone tells me they hope I can forgive him. I’m not sure that is possible

    • No, you do not have to forgive him to move on. Forgiving an abuser is completely up to you and you can move on without doing it. I will never forgive mine.

    • You 100% do not have to forgive or excuse anything he did. I think knowing it was wrong, that people emotionally abuse and gaslight consciously, helps us to better protect ourselves in future. Take care of yourself and acknowledging things for ho wthey were will help you to heal and be strong.

  59. My husband of 37 years just decided to call our marriage over..
    i worked ,paid the bills while he saved his money..
    i know now that he was an emotional abuser cutting me off family and friends for years he belittled me saying things like
    ‘nobody would have you’calling me names, throwing things at me and cheating on me…he never even used to wish me a happy birthday in all those years but when it was his, he expected a celebration… but now as of last week i have legally separated from him and feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, our children feel better too, they had been telling me to leave… he took everything only left me half the house cause
    i do not have the funds to fight him in court…but thats ok.. i work and
    i have my health thats what is important.

  60. I left my abuser 2 days ago. He physically restrained me to keep me from leaving and purposefully hurt my dog in the process of trying to keep me around. I spend 6 years with him and he ruined my life. He maxed out all of my credit cards, made me think that I was the crazy one, and even used my Emotional Support Dog to manipulate me. He insisted on going with me to family gatherings, and then would complain about the food and when we would leave he would have only mean things to say about my family, who was always very nice and welcoming to him. He keeps emailing me and trying to tell me that he loves me but I know that if he really loved me he wouldn’t have abused me. I have spent the last two days trying to figure out what to do with my life and my time. I take care of myself, allow myself to heal as much as possible, and take care of my precious dog. I am planning to live in my car, which will be a major improvement considering my situation over the last 6 years. I look forward to someday being okay with myself and loving myself as much as he claimed he loved me.

  61. I’m sitting here on the couch, surrounded by my stuff thrown in garbage bags and my partner wants me out. This will be the 4 th time in 10 years that he’s thrown me out, taken my credit cards, calling me every name in the book. He knows my triggers and weaknesses but still pushes me. I lost it yesterday and screamed and cried like a madwoman. I threw my water bottle at the door and cracked it and that was it… I shouldn’t have. But we always have these insane blowups and then make up. Im scared to leave, part of me still loves him, the old story, when it’s good, it’s amazing, but the bad is horrendous…I feel like I’ve finally totally and completely lost my mind. I don’t feel like myself any more. The energy and life has been sucked out of me. I’m so sad.

    • Margaret, I’m so worried for you after reading your comment. Please take care, and no matter what don’t ever go back to that guy. I completely understand how you feel and I have lived through something similar. There is only one way: Keep going through it… It will hurt like hell, but day by day, step by step, you will find your way back to you. Enjoy that at least the power is YOURS now. I want to recommend you to read this book: “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft. It absolutely safed my mental health, and first of all started me on the road to understanding what had happened to me, how I had been manipulaled and broken down to become just a shadow of myself. I send you so much love and wishes for your healing and protection!

  62. My abuser whom I had a year long relationship with is using the legal system to inflict psychological attacks. Despite him being charged and sentenced for assault with a blunt force instrument on me and I successfully getting a protection order against him (which he is opposing so I’ll see his ugly face yet again in court) he can still accuse me of having antisocial personality disorder, being a liar, irresponsible, abusive, all the things I jokingly say he was inspired to write down when he looked at himself in the mirror and decided it was me, yetthere is nothing I can do at a legal point of view because his message is sent between our lawyers. He is trying to destabilize me after I’ve moved on. In the meantime, I have written some books, got one traditionally published, to get my mind back to normal. I want to say that things will get better and sing Kumbaya, but sometimes certain abusers just can’t leave you be, they’re set out to abuse you for the sick joy of it. I’m barely keeping my head above the water as he claims my property. I’m just sooo glad he never stayed longer or I would have lost my house.

  63. I asked my abuser to leave after he called me a bitch for throwing out a cup and then later, breaking our pics when I asked to see his phone and questioned him about a conversation he stated that he would tell me about. I ended up cut. After a week of no communication, he changed his profile pic and our status. I texted him and told him do not put anything bad about me on FB. He flipped the whole story on me and said that I was crazy and bi polar and that I was the abuser and kept him away from his family. The sad part is, his family believes and defends him although I am not the only one who abused. Now, he told me he doesn’t want me to stop contacting him and blocked me from everything. The way he is trying to do me hurts. I am crying daily at work and everytime I thnk I am okay, I keep crying. He was very abusive to me in the past and currently has a warrant for harming me back in 2017.I am so distraught and don’t know if this gets better.

  64. I’ve been free from my abuser for 8 years. But I still feel like anything I do that in anyway confirms his opinion of me is him winning. For instance, he and his family are perfectionists, narcissists, when it comes to having a perfectly kept house. I do not. So he constantly told me that I wasn’t a real woman and no one would want me because of that (among other things). So I have a very difficult time cleaning my house because I feel like he is winning. It’s almost as if I’m rebelling. But I’m disgusted with my house. It’s an ongoing inner conflict. And I can’t seem to overcome it.

    • I was in a 2 decades long abusive relationship. NO ONE could believe he was as abusive as he was to me to my children. I have put my foot down many times. I even divorced him 6 years ago. He is not going to change. He could be the most fun person to be around and then the most awful person to be with. Krav Maga helped me stop the abuse. Helped me know I am worth more. I do struggle with depression. PTSD. I am working on feeling anything and being happy. But. Because of Krav I will no longer tolerate any type of abuse

  65. I’ve been free from my abuser for 8 years. But I still feel like anything I do that in anyway confirms his opinion of me is him winning. For instance, he and his family are perfectionists, narcissists, when it comes to having a perfectly kept house. I do not. So he constantly told me that I wasn’t a real woman and no one would want me because of that (among other things). So I have a very difficult time cleaning my house because I feel like he is winning. It’s almost as if I’m rebelling. But I’m disgusted with my house. It’s an ongoing inner conflict. And I can’t seem to overcome it.

    • I totally understand where you are coming from. My partner ex partner used to constantly critique me about the same thing, and I found myself rebelling in response, because even if I did clean the house spotless he always had to find something I missed.

      My advice to you is to let go – not easy I know. Just remember, it’s been 8 years, he literally is no longer in your life. Whether you clean your house or not, he has absolutely no hold over your life and decisions anymore. You are the one in control. You have the power. Grasp it with both hands and revel in it. He is no longer ‘winning’ because you are free of him. Take control of your life! Pay someone to come clean for a few hours a week to get you on track. Stop making yourself unhappy to rebel against someone who is no longer around. Go see a therapist. It’ll do you no good to continue to have your choices dictated by some dickhead who tried to ruin you. I wish you luck and hope you are doing well now.

    • I’ve been away from mine for 5 years. And I go through severe bouts of depression. I feel like I don’t belong anywhere. I don’t have emotional attachments to things as I learned that lesson. It just seems like I have nothing. I have a great job and everyone thinks my life is great. But I hate my life. I hate who I’ve become. I spend all my time by myself. It’s funny I want to be who I was before. I was married for 18 years. And I only remember parts. Dr said it was normal. But I don’t feel normal. I don’t feel anything.

      • Hello
        I am crying as I am writing this. You have put into words what I haven’t been able to admit or realize. After 2 years of emotional abuse I found out that that is what it was. I was 100% under his manipulative control and only rebelled when I didn’t like the treatment towards my children. After I found out, the cycle of on/off continued but I felt more in control because I decided when I didn’t like a certain type of treatment I just walked out and refused to see him for a while. However, I kept returning and other abusive traits did their work without me realizing.
        I moved to another country for 5 years to escape and then I returned again (to my own home) and to him as a part time partner and to work for him. I felt that with more knowledge I could deal with it better or that time may have changed him. No. When not with him I am alone although he invents that I am not. Luckily we don’t live together.
        I hate that I am not as social or friendly as I used to be. I was led to believe by him that my friends and acquaintances said horrible things behind my back and that I was ‘flirting’. I want to be the friendly, giving happy person I was before. This person isn’t normal. I don’t want to go out, I don’t want to see anyone, I feel I am too sad and have nothing to contribute to a gathering.
        Yes other men are boring compared to this. I sometimes thought that because I knew what I am getting myself into I could deal with it. However when the abuse starts in earnest it really hurts.
        Thank you for your post, it has helped me a great deal.

        • Jenny, thank you for sharing so openly. That sounds incredibly challenging… I’m so sorry you went through / are still going through that. I hope you have someone you can go to for professional support to aid your healing.

          Much love to you,
          Team UPLIFT

        • Awwwwww wow I really understand how u feel I have just got out of an abisive relationship I have no friends because to him they were all bad news and I am a stay at home Mum to my son so feel so isolated from the real world xx

          • I’m so sorry to hear you feel isolated Louise… Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly – this is a great and brave step towards connection. I hope you soon find people you can share your journey with.

            Much love to you,
            Team UPLIFT

    • What I am hearing here is that you have PTSD … like a soldier away from the battle field, to you the sound of 4th of July fireworks sounds like an attack. Post Traumatic Shock Disorder. I have read that little by little it will fade and be written over by new experiences… Don’t wallow, don’t let it eat you up, don’t drink more than glass of wine with dinner, alcohol and PTSD don’t mix…
      maybe hire a maid, maybe just don’t do it until it bothers you enough so that you want to do it…
      I am hearing others here reflect this same problem… it is Shell Shock.. you were in a war, shot at and now you are tramatized. There are a lot of crazies out there… mean and crazy, search out only the best people and become the best you that you can be for yourself. Remember that the enemy hides and disguises themselves … look for good people… learn how to recognize good people, character and depth… oddly … they might seem boring to you … because you are used to crazy and mean… spiced with a bit of con man glibness and falsehoods … don’t buy it anymore. It is sizzle no steak…

      • Hi both, I hear you. I was in a severely abusive relationship for a number of years. It’s been two years and I think I’m just starting to understand the magnitude of the damage done to me. I feel like there is a huge crater where my identity, personality, heart and soul used to be. I can no longer connect or even see people the way I used to and not sure I ever will again. Often I am completely numb and can’t feel anything and my memories of much of my life are no longer accessible to me. Where they are – they are either fragments or memories of memories ie I know they exist but I can’t feel them (these are memories before the relationship). That said, I’ve done all the right things to heal and 2 years later am no longer in excruciating pain and panic each day. 2 weeks ago I started dreaming at night for the first time in about 5 years. I still have very little energy or motivation, and my brain does not function like it used to. That said for PTSD, I strongly recommend EMDR, it is the one therapy that has made a massive difference to my healing. I’m in the midst of a second lot of sessions and can say it’s the only thing that has helped me move forward with the PTSD. I wish you luck, love and healing.

        • Ive been emotionally/mentally abused all my life. Ive always tried to portray a strong confident persona but inside I feel ive been dying. The harshness of society now is making it worse. I do wonder if its something im doing. Although I get on well with people, people do actually feel they have the right to put me down. So many dreafful things have happened, I told my doctor yesyerday that I feel like im touched, ive diagnosed with syress, anxiety and deptession following the treatment I have recieved from a well known organisation, ths was following a job I got for a family member in my then place of employment she turned people against me and when I tried to return from maternity leave they refused me flexible wkg completely and forced me to resign. Even writing this im thinking is it me, what have I ever done to people to be treated this way. Im trying not to feel sorry for myself. I was molested as a child and there was an attempted rape and physical mental abuse from partners. Now as a single mum with no family aside frommy children the ongoing abuse has to stop. There is so much more that has happened but I feel I was led tothis page just now I my quest for healing and throygh your courage to express yourselves, relay your traumas and discuss them I found the ciurage to do so myself. Im just so tired and feel I have allowed myself to have tgese negative things happen. How will Iebe able to claim and live my true self who is not bad and be treated in-kind. Ive truly had enough and am possibly fir the first time in my life realuse that no matter what has happened somehow its only me who can heal me. My son has literallt as i write this just told me I have to protect him because he dosent know how to fight (his 8) he has been bullied at school, there has been no support from his school and my mariral status and my sons fathers whereabouts wasof more interest to them. For his saje and tge sake of my oldest child I’ll have to try to heal although sometimes I feel if it wasn’t for my children I could no longer go on. I feel scarred but noone could eversee them.

          • Hello. I have just left a 2 year long abusive relationship. I am fighting depression and PTSD. For sure. I can tell you what gave me the strength to stand up for myself is Krav Maga. It is a self defense class. I am struggling with all the other things. Feeling good about myself. But. This class helps me to stand tall. I will not accept any other abuse. Both my mother and father are emotionally abusive. It is what it is. Feeling anything is tuff but I will no longer tolerate any abuse from anyone. I urge any person to take some kind of self defense class

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