I was in an abusive relationship for 12 years before I finally had enough. The final straw was when he was yelling and swearing at me in front of our two young boys, 3 and 6. I didn’t want them growing up to think it was okay to treat people that way, or be treated that way.
A couple reasons it took me so long to get out is because I was too ashamed to talk to anyone about what was going on, and I considered myself a strong, independent woman, so surely I wouldn’t allow myself to be abused. But the truth was I allowed myself to be isolated from friends and family so my husband could control and abuse me. I lied to myself that it “wasn’t that bad” because he never hit me (a lie he now tells my kids) – his preferred form of abuse was emotional, verbal, financial, and sexual. Although I’m not saying it’s worse than physical abuse, it is JUST AS BAD!
I asked him to leave in March 2015, and in September that year I ran the first 5k sponsored by You Can Stop Domestic Abuse. I finished the race in 3rd place overall and was the 1st female! It was the confidence boost I needed and the comradery from fellow survivors was invaluable.
Since then I’ve only become better and stronger. My boys are thriving and I’m raising them to become good men. I started my own business as an Interior Designer (Three-Sixty Interiors) and Photographer (EmPowers Photography). Someday I hope to start a non-profit to help supply survivors of Domestic Abuse with furniture and clothing, as a lot are escaping with just the clothes on their back.
Anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, religion, etc. can be victims of abuse. But you don’t have to stay a victim! Tell someone, anyone, your story. We believe you and you are loved!
*Photo Credit to Negrean Photography*