Who am I?
I am like millions of people out there – picking my way out of an acrimonious divorce and discovering the real me. The ‘me’ who was suppressed and plonked firmly inside a box when I married at the tender age of twenty is a very different ‘me’ who is emerging after almost thirty years from an emotionally abusive relationship.
When I left my husband of twenty five years I didn’t expect it to be easy.
I had thought long and hard about the possible consequences of leaving before I took the plunge, but never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what happened next.
Harassed, bullied and frightened by the man who I had believed loved me, ostracised by work colleagues and eventually disowned by our children, my health rapidly spiralled downwards, culminating in a breakdown because of the intolerable pressure and stress.
Friends and family rallied around and the police eventually intervened and offered support of sorts. I received counseling and I slowly clawed my way back up to a position of strength from which I could finally begin to build my life up again. However, despite these problems I know that:
- The decision to leave had been the correct one
- Ultimately I am so much happier than I was whilst I was married (and here I refer to the time with my husband NOT with my children)
- There are resources out there to help people in similar situations – they are just not easy to track down, especially when you are confused and vulnerable
- My case was not unusual. Prior to my troubles I didn’t know anybody who had been through what I was enduring, yet sadly, I now know that my experience is relatively commonplace.
- The me who has seen friends and family choose sides and denounce me, never ceases to be amazed that people are interested in my story and ask for advice, either for themselves or for a friend.
Why am I doing this?
I know many people who have dealt with, and in many cases are still dealing with the crap that life sometimes deals out. They are incredibly strong, brave and resourceful and are ultimately, survivors.
We have picked our way through the boulders which litter our paths – often rolled there by ex-partners who refuse to acknowledge that we have a right to our own opinions, and beliefs.
Constant threats and harassment are NOT symbols of love. We should not have to hide our address or our identity nor conceal our movements. We should not have to live as if under siege, continuously on edge and always looking over our shoulders.
There are practical resources that can help us all to live safely but often, when you are busy coping with the crisis, you don’t know where to find that useful information or who you should approach for help.
On this site you will find the hints and tips that helped me. I will give you the tools to identify whether your relationship is abusive and these will hopefully help you, a friend or a relative to stay safe or even give you the courage to leave an abusive relationship.
And if you are ready to take the next step and take on the world you should take a look at this online course. The Smash the Pumpkin Project will challenge you to step outside your comfort zone. It will boost your self-confidence and raise your self esteem.