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After Emotional Abuse: Do the Side-Effects Ever Disappear?

September 14, 2012 Kellie Jo Holly

After emotional abuse is out of your life, rapid healing begins. Then it slows down a bit and you wonder if this is as good as it gets. It isn't. Read this.

After the emotional abuse, or rather, after I left my abusive husband, I hoped the effects of abuse would disappear. Magically. Without any work from me.

Those hopeful feelings minimized the difficulty of coping with life and relationships after emotional abuse. The intelligent part of me knew that after the emotional abuse it would take time to recover from the emotional trauma and regain my mental health. Alas, the intelligent part of me was correct.

 

Mental Changes After Emotional Abuse

During domestic violence and abuse, victims, by and large, become people they no longer like. When someone you think you love spews hatred like buckshot, it is natural to retaliate against the abuse. Unfortunately, self-defense can get nasty.

Defending yourself in unhealthy ways can become a habit. Not only can that habit spill over to innocent people (like your children), but those unhealthy habitual thoughts integrate themselves into your brain - they become your new thoughts. In that way, you become someone you do not like.

At one point during my emotionally abusive marriage I wrote:

The abuse is bad, but the things I've allowed to change in my mind and heart are horrid.

That thought started my recovery from domestic violence. I had not left the marriage yet, but with that statement, I took one giant, healthy mental step forward. The understanding I gained was that I, not my abuser, have the power to change and create how I think, feel and act. I'd given my power to change to him. I needed to take it back.

I allowed my abuser's negative thoughts to infiltrate my brain during the emotional abuse. Now it was up to me to deny their ability to dominate me. I had to change my thoughts so I could be who I wanted to be.

My Recovery at 2 Years, 8 Months After Emotional Abuse

After emotional abuse is out of your life, rapid healing begins. Then it slows down a bit and you wonder if this is as good as it gets. It isn't. Read this.

Patricia Evans, the author of several books about verbal abuse, offers a *list of symptoms abuse victims may suffer. Here's a look at that list along with my experience in recovering from them.

A verbal abuse victim often . . .

  • distrusts their spontaneity and suffers a loss of enthusiasm

My enthusiasm for my future returned around three months after emotional abuse was in the rear-view mirror. My spontaneity took a little longer because I believed he had spies watching me. I kept it low-key so the spies would have nothing to tell him.

  • lives in a perpetually in a ready, on-guard state

If you suffer PTSD, this symptom will take time to conquer. For me, eventually, after realizing the spies were phantoms implanted in my head, I learned how to relax. I began to trust the peace I created in my home after leaving emotional abuse.

  • wonders about how they are coming across

Soon after the emotional abuse ended, I discovered that he was the only person who misunderstood what I said or misinterpreted my behaviors. Every new person I met understood me perfectly. Now I'm writing a blog that hopefully, you understand, too.

  • thinks and feels that something is wrong with her

Within the first year, I realized that I am not as damaged as I thought. Yes, I have issues to work through, but everyone does (except for my ex who still loves himself just as he is). I am at peace with myself and my point in recovery from emotional abuse.

  • soul-searches and reviews incidents in hope of determining "what went wrong"

I don't do this anymore. I am able to go through entire days without thinking about my ex or how things could have been. I could go longer without thinking of him, but we have children together and there is contact.

  • hears only her internalized critical voice

The hardest after emotional abuse, for me, is separating my internal nag from his criticisms of me. I sometimes ask myself, "Kellie, is this what he told you?" If it is, I banish the thought without question. Hell, sometimes I banish my internal nag too. Feels good!

  • suffers from anxiety or fear of being crazy

I am sane. I do not doubt my sanity any longer - not for one second. The anxiety associated with the fear that I might be crazy is gone. After emotional abuse ends, meaning I have a home that doesn't include him, the distance lets me see very clearly who is crazy. Not me.

  • wishes she was not the way she is - "too sensitive", etc.

I am perfectly me. Sometimes a person's statement or word choice will sting because they are similar to my abuser's words. Sometimes I overreact. But the people I choose to have in my life are safe; I can tell them exactly what I'm feeling and they respond to me with love. The more I let myself trust them, the less often I feel those stings.

  • is hesitant to accept her perceptions

Now my perceptions are the most important ones to me. I realize that the way I perceive things may not be complete, so I ask people what they meant when they said or did something. I do not try to read their minds. I listen to their explanations. I can tell whether they're lying or not in time by watching what they do.

  • tends to live in the future - "everything will be great when/after", etc.

I do look forward to future events (like graduation and moving to Austin), but I do my best to make now great, too. Life flows, and it feels good to be in the flow instead of predicting what will happen when or after emotional abuse occurs.

  • has a distrust of future relationships

I once thought I was unlovable and couldn't be a great friend because he didn't love me and he didn't want my friendship. After all of that emotional abuse, it is taking some time to trust my perceptions of other people. I'm relearning how to listen to my gut feeling about someone; not perfect yet, but looking forward to testing it.

Is Complete Recovery Possible After Emotional Abuse?

I believe we can conquer all of these horrible side-effects after emotional abuse is out of our lives. Some effects will take more time than others. Trusting myself seems to be at the core of it all.

I'm not done healing, but I will completely heal. I will completely trust myself. It will be sooner rather than later. It can happen for you, too.

 

See "Do the effects of abuse change you permanently?"


*Evans, P. (1996). The verbally abusive relationship: how to recognize it and how to respond (Expanded 2nd ed.). Holbrook, Mass.: Adams Media Corporation.

You can find Kellie Jo Holly on her website, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so do not take my pronoun choices as an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimized.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2012, September 14). After Emotional Abuse: Do the Side-Effects Ever Disappear?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, June 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2012/09/emotional-effects-abuse



Author: Kellie Jo Holly

Jon H.
November, 1 2021 at 2:02 pm

This is a good piece, however:
It does not mention that men are just as likely to be abused, and as a man who has endured almost constant abuse his whole life, it is alienating, and is making me feel even more ostracized and lonely.
Abuse can occur outside romantic relationships as well, which isn't in the scope of this article. This comment is for anyone reading this who's in a situation like that.

Chad
January, 3 2022 at 1:19 pm

Hey. I was emotionally abused by my wife. I understand exactly what you are going through. I know the alienation, social stigma, lack of resources for men in this position.
If you would like a supporter who understands reach out to me 2423chadfisher@gmail.com.

corey welch
April, 2 2021 at 9:19 am

i was married 20 plus yrs, lived together 25. We had our ups and downs, but i always believed it was a great marriage. Our friends even came to us for advice, and we always agreed with what each other said. When i became disabled, car accident artificial hip, twisted pelvis. It seemed she was eager to get out there and work and let me take care of the kids and the house. Kids were in school, so i could manage my time between bouts of agony. A problem with her work created a lawsuit against the company. Thats when the switch turned. Her friend helped her realize if she won she could get a real man not a cripple. Btw i still walk, still take care of myself and keep a clean home to date. Then the cheating, lying, flirting with men in my presence, always trying to make me turn into the bad guy. Didnt work, i didnt bite. I loved my family and adored my wife. I was happy. I believed she was going through the time of life so to speak. So i said I love you every day, though she slept in different room with door locked, talking to whomever on the phone for hours. Come to find out our youngest walked in on mommy and a so called friend of the family, bent over his desk on her birthday, as i was home preparing a party with friends and family. My daughter was crying later that night, and hugged me, asking why is mommy so mean to you. I said dont worry, i have enough love for all of us. One month later she concocted a story, and knowing the police chief, small town, i was taken out of my home paid for with my disability money settlement. (i pre-rented for 3yrs, to ensure we had a nice home). Long story short, kids and friends werent allowed in court so they couldnt hear the lies she and her friend were spewing. Judge didnt buy it. Divided everything in half. Course she had already sold my half in a garage sale and i got 50.00 for a lifetime of tools, car stuff etc. So to this article, my daughter has used the lie to get what she wants from mommy and the boyfriend she left me for. At 23 she is quite the Dr Phil contestant for narcissism. I dont talk about their mother, yet the kids always mention the boyfriend, making an effort to bring him up every visit. After the smears, lies, community disgrace i am terrified to even get close to a woman, though i miss the holding and touch so much. I just cant seem to find the spark any more. I comfortable and content with my life, love the Lord, and am kind like i used to be, before i was changed during the abuse. 10yrs later, i seem to only see women as a final choice. I dont believe in sleeping around, like i did when younger and in the Marines. Yet i get i guess, ptsd, and panic sets in. I am not afraid of anything in this world, except losing a child, other than what a woman could do to me and my heart. I dont know if i can make it through another brutal relationship. I dont mind being alone, but i am lonely. After 10yrs i wonder just how long that fear will last. Will i ever be able to trust myself enough, to know i can get through another failure. Or can it be the love ive wanted, only to lose them to age, sickness or whatever... how will i live through that? I believe the Lord will see me through all this, his strength has been a miracle so far. Sad thing is, the lies deceit and hurt are still ongoing. Seeing the kids walk on egg shells when i visit makes me hurry up the time. They talk to me like im an idiot and have nothing to teach. I love my children and only hope the Lord will help let all the truth come out, so i can be treated like the father i am, not what ive been made out to be. Hang in there people, its hard, but we can all prevail.

Matt
September, 23 2021 at 9:26 pm

Thank you so much for telling your story and your words of encouragement. I have been free of my abuser for 14 months now and still taking it one day at a time.

Callie
October, 28 2021 at 3:44 pm

Corey; My husband had an MRSA abscess in his central spine in 2009 that caused the bone of his spine to slice into his spinal cord. It left him with very little nerve impulse in his legs but our troubles actually started with our wedding and his father's interference with his oldest son over the past slight between them of his having no respect for elected officials, and his father's intense white supremacy ideals in an earlier Engagement to a half Hawaiian half oriental woman my husband was engaged to in the army six years before I met him when he enlisted in the Navy submarine service in the care and launching of submarine-launched nuclear missiles called tridents.
Two days after our marriage we were signing out of his command in Virginia where he learned the ways the Fire control computers had to be operated and maintained and after a 30 Day PCS leave to report to the Fleet Ballistic training center in Charleston SC. When five of his rate were busted for pot use in a urinalysis In Kings bay. When a senior chief shore patrolman showed u thinking my husbands whole class was going to be at our reception and he could give five of them revised orders it was only five that included my new husband the rest were at a concert at Hampton Coliseum and his father sent him to intercept us at our wedding night hotel in Norfolk to hand my husband the fifth set of orders when the chief should have pulled one of the other four out of the concert. An hour later out of Oceana my husband was in his cracker jacks boarding a Greyhound to Jaxson vill and the next morning he was on his first patrol did not get our wedding night.
With his near eidetic memory, he became what was called a hot runner in his submarine qualls earning his dolphins, Qualifying nuclear weapons security. and due to his e4 rank, he was used as a replacement in his small rate every time someone needed a fast replacement for patrols. I moved to Charleston thinking that he was going to be home every three months for three months with a 30 day leave after that first patrol to have our honeymoon. i next saw him face to face three years later in his boat Mess deck where he had a half-hour to eat a Thanksgiving dinner and go back and releave another man to eat as they were loading a missile and he was the exclusion area guard.
He was flying out of Jxsoneville the next morning until his discharge in seven months and I was supposed to talk him into reenlisting even though for the needs of the navy he had already lost 60 days leave and still had 60 on the books. He was going to go back to his UAW position he had joined the navy to keep from the hard times he saw coming in the community due to the oil embargoes and took a military leave of absence. By that time he was the 2nd class, the Navy was offering any school command in the country that involved electronics and computers for the next four years, A 20000 dollar bonus, advancement to first-class, and a board for chief in the next year. between the regular army, the guard, and the navy he had 12 years in the military. I had become sick under manic bi bipolar a year earlier had gotten into an affair with an air force captain who a year before was told he could lose his wings and get a courts marshal or transfer to Europe without me.
He left and within two weeks I was in a full manic phase and in south Carolina mental hospital. My mother came down and got me out and the navy helped put my apartment into a self-storage and I was Back at my mothers in Virginia, On thanksgiving 1984 I was connecting with his mother and father in kings bay to go to the midwest with them if my husband refused to reenlist. otherwise, it was back to Virginia on a flight out of Jacksonville.
My husband after seven deterrent patrols he was tired after no rest in four years of schools and patrols he saw two more coming before he was getting his honorable discharge and his father felt it was imperative we get him to reenlist and never come back to disrupt the community by going back in May of 1985 and get his full seniority returned with his honorable discharge of 9 and a half years under a uaw contract and the law. His father wanted him to stay in and never return. He told me on the trip north that he was too dirty to ever touch a woman like me because he had been engaged to a none white and I should divorce him and he would get me a good white man that would never touch a none white woman by the time he was to get out however I had been denied a divorce or annulment due to my illness and the state did not want me dumped on it for support. They issued guardianship on my husband to start the day he returned.
Within three days after getting the liberty to come home until his discharge too effect on the 1st of June 1985 he had been in three major fights with his father over his first taking the UAW's contract provision that he had 30 days from the effective date of discharge to return. his father that first morning and my husbands hate of the problems he had already been through with Reaguns great society when he was bumped off a flight home by a VIP going to the 500 and had to drive a rental horizon home on a temporary military driver permit after the airlines gave him three times his fare back and rented the horizon for him to drive home.
He pulled in with four hours of sleep on the 29th of May at 4 am and within the hour his mother was begging him that she did not need a murder the first day home or his father sulking the next two months because he did not wish to do what his father wanted, just go reinstate taking his discharge with him and ask them to let him have a couple of weeks to land on his feet I would still be there when he arrived home I did not see my husband till the next morning after he got the guardianship ande was put on second shift. When I saw my husband it was until that time the most terrifying thing I had witnessed him doing. His father had yanked him off the sofa screaming hit the bricks and find a place to live. I heard his mother screaming he might deserve to die but he should not kill his father. His younger twin brother and sister and I ran out to where my husband had his father traped against the ceiling with one hand telling him his body was going to be used as a wreaking bar if I was not standing with him in the next half minute. I tugged on the white t-shirt he had on and told him I was going with him just put his father down he threw him down and said he had had only coffee the last four days and was going to get something to eat we went to a local dinner in the city and he got an apartment and house hunters and circled what he wanted to see and the number to the realtors by 130 we were looking at a house about five miles from his work gate he needed to go to the bank and deposit his last seven months pay in the navy since he did not get a chance to update his pays and allowances.
He had come home with over 21000 including the travel pay and the triple refund for his fare that he was bumped from. we went to the bank early the next morning and his father was too scared to approach him after the previous day. We added his name to the accounts and went to breakfast and signed the lease on the new house. Went to Ft Benjamin Harison and arranged for the things I had left in storage in South Carolina to be delivered the next day then back to his father's with Micky Ds for a lunch.
His father had two female guests. One had just been hired into my husband's department in January and had been the homecoming queen in the high school just eight months before the other was the director of admissions in the hospital and her father was an area manager in my husband's plant. They felt if my husband used his shift change right with 9 and a half years their daughter's social life was done on the second shift and she would lose her popularity by the end of that conversation my husband was throwing a 200-pound oak table at us when I told him to just cooperate with staying on second-shift and at his father's urging I told him just give us two years of cooperation so we could start a family in peace and since my bipolar would not allow birth control there would not be a sex life until after those two years to ensure his cooperation, I was crying saying that his argument with his father about reenlisting had become a really nasty thing that seemed they wanted to murder the other. He got angry and told me to go back to my mother's and when his father grabbed him he elbowed him in the side and kicked him all four of us got out the back door as the table turned into firewood. he got his old bivouac kit grabbed the keys to the house we had rented.. nearly ran over his mother sister and brother rushing back to see what sounded like a war started.
He told his mother to get his father out of his life and I would go back to my mother's and I could hang myself after what I said about not being a wife and the next interference from his father he would be dead if he got his hands on him. His father called a judge he helped get elected to the bench and got the first court order keeping him on second shift.
Two years later I was pleading with him to cancel his Rome vacation he got from the company for ten years of service to them and the nation and let the same girl have his slot so she could get married in June in Rome signed a promise upon my return I would go anywhere, any time and any conveyance he chose for a vacation. He would stay even though that girl's marriage was as doomed as ours was, as long as I was a willing sex partner and travel companion he would stay and work even though he had not had a day off since November of 1981, but he expected me to live up to my word. I wish I had never signed that promise. We went to the wedding where I was the matron of honor in Rome. I showed his mother what I had promised to get him to stay and instantly his father said he will have to wait till nobody wanted a vacation in January to not disrupt any other plans that summer. We made up a list of dozens of vacations he could take in the warm areas of the world like Barbados and Hawaii it was just six months away and we had over 40000 in the bank to use towards that vacation with all the overtime he had put in the last two years plus his requirement he is paid in full for the vacation he was giving up, he withdrew his time off.I told him for doing that he would be owed so many favors.
We went through customs getting home and found he was bumping the entire department vacations back by six weeks and taking his the day we returned for a western road trip with a week in the Wyoming roundup on horse back at his grandfathers and I would be cooking for them with his aunts and grandmother. I was crying telling him we were tired from the all-night flight couldn't he just wait six months and we could go someplace nice then. It was the fair thing to do for those with less seniority. he said and what was fair to him he had been nothing but used the last six and a half years. I was put on a bus to my mothers with a letter that he was returning me as he received me untouched by him and as soon as the two-year 45 minutes after landing he was willing to give up everything he had earned to get out from under and wait for a divorce was achieved he expected her to assume the guardianship on me and find another chump to use. he had asked if i was going to keep my word and leave with him as soon as he dropped his other family members at his father's I was put on a bus to my mothers 45 minutes after landing and he told me goodbye and good riddance he was going to live his life without my blackmail. he would find a better wife.
I was in court two years later that my husband knew was corrupt and was denied a divorce. He was totally in contempt daring them to arrest him so he would be fired and he would just leave the state after the contempt jail time was done. 11 years later over the millennials all he had to do was take the two months and a half after them instead of raising so much hell he had not had a day off of his choice in 19 years. he had not had a day off period and instead of making five younger seniorities work the job he could do by himself The good old boys with his fathers urging of the judge and sheriff included stopped him from leaving with me for Munich . he had flattened two deputies and had an investigation in the counties judicial and law enforcement initiated which got him jailed without charge and made to work the holiday. I came home with his family in hopes that he would accept our solution about his using his 25 years the highest in his department. by taking the company's two fully paid weeks off like it was the millennial shutdown then his own vacation months anywhere he wanted as long as it was not the mainland of Europe I had places like the Agean and creat and Santorini, Malta if we could get permission, the Bahamas south to the windwards. We would spend the time from his 45th Birthday to the 24th as if he had been deployed in the military all we wanted was some solution to the hell he had unleashed on the community in his revenge he had nearly 100000 since he had not worked a day less than 12 hours in a decade and a half that would work for both him and everyone else without his hurting everyone over his seniority there had to be some kind of mutual deal we could make with him. that would get him a few months of at a nice place. As I sat there after the Christmas gift he gave me a box of dog sh** that had to be trashed it said to the worthless wife who had not earned her way in any respect as a wife. I thought on the ride home there could not be anything worse than what was happening on a day we hoped would be in peace. We got to his father's with a crowd calling us racists. the Sheriff had deputies trying to disperse the crowd as we pulled in and in 33-degree weather, my husband took his coat and shirts off and shoved a bullwhip in his father's hands told him this time don't cut him down until the uppity slave had no pulse. he put his hands on an old wagon wheel and asked if everyone there was just too big a coward to tie him to it and help his father lash him. It was not the new year we had hoped to celebrate but his father's friend going to prison for bribery and cocaine use the sheriff left his office and the state to stop a lawsuit that would bankrupt the county he let his father know he was nothing but the leader of a KKK klavern and a bigot that believed he had a right to rule everyone's life as for me when I met him at the door after talking to his committeeman asking if there was any way the union could stop him from tearing everyone's guts out over the seniority rights, he said let he use them as was his due. His mother folded under the stress with a coronary telling his father to start whipping him and show everyone who he really was. A beast.
The next nine years trying to get him to do things a different way he beat over 35 men into the hospital m all over trying to force him into any compromise I was given a broken leg in 2001 when he kicked the front door and frame in on top of me as after he put fur men in critical care for trying to force him off a new job bid. in 2002 he ambushed several friends for forcing him to work the holidays at the shotgun point with a one-handed machinist sledgehammer causing one to lose his arm then through the pictures of the man holding him at gunpoint at his work gate making him go to work even though we had secured another time off after the holidays for him without touching his time for vacation In 2003 to get him to stay and work the Ireland vacation. his father put his passport and the funds he paid to give him back after our return the day after the fouth of July weekend on the seventh since we were coming back on the third he met me and forced me into the suburban telling me his father better get him his passport by the time he was back in town with the full amount he paid for me to go and the amount he was shafted out of. everyone hurried to get their luggage into the suburban and piled into the truck to go back home wondering just what could be offered to get him out of his fury. He did not stop at home but went straight to the bank to get his passport as I begged he could ruin the holidays and take them as he decided with 28 years pulled his father out on his rear hitting and screaming he was to have everything return in the next five minutes His foreman came over and told him everyone else had left town refusing to work the 4th so he had to go in and work and he cared less what the contract said my husband flattened him with one punch and the police made him go to work and the unio narrowly avoided a wildcat lead by my husband by adding ugly to his returement savings and promising him the holidays and whatever other time he wanted off.
His committeeman, foreman, the deacon who had missed too much time supposedly for the church was supposed to work in my husband's place for the holidays. colluded away to get my husband to work the 28th year without a day off as well as his father who told his mother and me my husband had been too defiant about getting his time off so he was not to get any he knew when the time he chose to replace the last summer vacation was turned down he was not getting his choice to take the holidays off. I went out dressed for church on Christmas morning as he ate a bowl of Rice Chex for his Christmas breakfast before going into the 16-hour shift. I asked if we needed to call in to get him to come to the gate for his sandwiches from the Christmas meats that evening he said no the slave deserved nothing did, not even a decent meal a wife should hold for him until he came home. I was as always crying asking what he wanted from us he said his own choices. A sex life a wife that cleaned the house once in a while and a meal he did not fix for himself or pay for everyone else to eat while he was getting nothing for his earnings, not even the family he had wanted just a call from security he had a pair of sandwiches at the gate we delivered on our way to having fun while he was pi**ed on year in and year out for those we felt had the special privilege. He laid me out in Lavender with his words and left jumping on his fathers hood then urinated on the windshield and car in freezing temps yelling that was what he thought of us and the society whos a** he was expected to kiss He said he hoped we enjoyed the show at church that had his mother decide to go home. his wrds caused us to be looking over our shoulders for a fist to our heads or even a ball bat.
He was meaner than that knowing the committeeman the substitute committeeman his foreman, deacon, and his father had colluded in the making him work another year without a day off.. He had gone to the midnight service taking off early the night before leaving the shift manager two scared to stop him since he was supposed to be off and the company wanted the trouble to stop and my husband allowed his 28 years seniority rights as he chose.
He had left an envelope for the deacon's church secretary wife as his gift to her on Christmas morning it just said for the wife of a pious man. It was the same pictures that got him written up the prior fall of him going into a motel with another woman we saw them put their twin daughters and 10-year-old son in the front pew then go up to the dais where she found an envelope on her chair, She started crying got up and collected her ids and let telling the deacon to stay away from them until after the new year. When she dropped the picture we knew that was the show my husband mentioned outing the deacon in front of the congregation as a meane personal gift over being made to work the holidays she had taken their savings the furniture and the pickup and moved to El Paso and her fathers where she filed for divorce leaving the deacon the house and nearly nothing else. the deacon used a shotgun between his knees two years later after the divorce was final to kill himself my husband cared less than that he had set that result up. He would not talk to me or anyone else to tell us what we could do besides just make him angry about his rights both in civil rights and seniority even over the three-year vacation to Scandinavia that before we got to the suburban I was doubled over in a kick and his father knocked out again in front of the airport loading zone and he just left a note if his passport was not his hands by sundown he would make us hurt even worse The next week they had to stop him from punching the button and crushing his foreman in a box crusher when he said just take what he was told to take off and forget his seniority, his foreman left for another plant two weeks later in terror and himself written up, he took a demotion to leave so he never had to cross my husband again In 2009 he was taking the summer off from memorial day to labor day starting with the orient express.
His father and I resorted to canceling my husband's vacation start on the orient express in 2009 and by extension, his right to the summer off for the county council presidents son who was my husband's trainee to go on his honeymoon with his 4-month pregnant bride they had not even been born the last day had off in 1981 We decided to tell him in the airport knowing he was going to be intensely furious and e thought the more public the place the less possibility he would break our necks was the first at the door to tell him why his boarding pass was not being honored and it even sounded bad to me he was being forced to give up his trip for a man with 32 years less time than him. I was telling him in just 184 days he would get a vacation that was just as nice, I had already arranged the best I could that would I hope be of equal value and time I had his full 6354 in a cashier check in my shoulder bag and would be back in 12 days to talk to him about anything else he might want to try instead of what I had set up anything he wanted would be available to him after the first of the year without any complaint he would get the check back at his wor gate on Christmas after he started his 35th year. I was not trying to deny his time off just structure it better for society and he had been a terror about it for nine years. every interference since 2001 had resulted in pain he said to sign the check over he was going to cash it and beat us to Europe and rent a fast car to beat us to every stop of the express and make our lives hell until he was able to introduce me to my social equals at the bottom of the golden horn, the sultans traitor concubines but don't worry i would see his fathers head and body follow.
then after he dislocated my shoulder took the check and the rest of the money I was taking and tore my boarding pass up as his father screamed just be a man his trainee needed the time more than he did to get his marriage started. my husband said he should not give something up because the kid and his wife did not keep their pants on
as he had been forced to do since 1981 for the sake of the lousy society then he landed on his farther fully intending he was not waiting to see him dead all over his summer off when we felt it could have been after the new year with his agreement and patience and extra work on his part. He was not allowed to get on another flight his mother tore her pass up and left with him.
His mother and father were supposed to have their 55th anniversary in Brussels and my husband had paid the lions to share until his fit about staying home and ruining it his mother paid the 3000 back for the dinner and party I had a terrible trip with a torn rotator cuff in my single berth his father kept the double and tried to hide his badly bruised throat his brothers and sister would not speak to us because they tp felt we were wrong in doing what we did instead of just to my husbands disgust he had us arrested when we got to his father's house for acting as false agents when we canceled his berth father and I had to sign the check over to him and py an equal amount in punitive damage and serve a minimum of three months in county jail called his union hall from the jail trying to find a way to a peaceful solution about vacation and personal time we had denied him thy said things had gone far beyond that. the trainee was making 32. 85 an hour now he was probably making less than six at Micky ds no benefits and was having to pay the dr bills for his wife's pregnancy and she was working as a nurses aid. her parents were paying her way until she was an RN which she earned a year after her daughter was born she left for navy officers training in Road island and when she received her orders to Guam she took he, daughter, with her telling her husband he could also go into the navy and the rates to get him assigned the same place. he said no the military was not for him and neither was college he divorced him for being lazy and he has not seen his daughter since 2010, She is a girl of 11 living in the marshal islands with her stepfather and mother the man fire fro his job the summer of 2009Has not been seen in the community since 2013 when he left just as my husband was getting out of rehab after MRSA in his spine a heart surgery and several strokes that he developed in the fall of 2009 being so unhappy with his life and the way we were trying to push him into depression killed his immune system.
All that was being asked of him was he consider changing his outlook and look at things, not as an absolute right to do as he pleased because a contract said he could but consider the community needs over his For three years from October 24th, 2009 when his spine was fused and his legs lost most the nerve impulse as well as a year in isolation on vancomycin and Morphin after 2010 It was try and find a sense of peace with his father and many of our friends the next three years he was in hospitals and more rehab In 2011 I did not sign for the rehabs wheelchair van a second year to bring him home on the holidays. I was keeping the peace with his father who felt he was nothing but an embarrassment retired at 55 and still crippled two years later. When we went to visit him in 2012 things deteriorated into a shouting match with his father yelling he was a stain and a leach on society collecting social security before he was seventy and his retirement he had been nothing but a drain on everyone's life by not fully cooperating in a willing way and now he was not cooperating by not getting his spinal cord fixed and walking right. so he could work. and be of some use.. My husband said like he was of use always chasing the next ball game and told us to leave his room. I was noticing how angry the two were getting and ran to the nurse's station to get her to calm things, she grabbed a hypo and as we got to the room a bedpan went clanging down the hall and his father went out flat on his back.
I went in and he again called me a traitor bit** and hit me with a full urine bottle. I wore some borrowed scrubs home after taking a shower again crying and wondering how one day we could find peace without giving my husband everything he wanted and was willing to fight us tooth and nail for. his mother got the call from the director of the rehab asking her to tell his father and me we had abused my husband for three decades and we were a detriment to his recovery and we were not to return to the rehab.
I was so lonely I learned about Facebook and was contacted by an old boyfriend who asked when he was in town on business if he could take me out to dinner. it had been so long without a fight that I jumped at the chance I was with him until my husband returned home on January 28th, 2013. things did not go well that next morning when I was bought home the morning of the 29th, my husband was using a 13-pound red oak cane he had carved that was carved to accommodate his 6'4" tall height. When the other man swept the cane and called my husband a pathetic loser it was about the last thing he said when that cane was thrown to shatter his skull followed by a vicious beating with my husband yelling who's the loser now it took the arrival of the police to stop the nasty beating and his being sent to the regional mental health where his father and I were again accused of abusing my husband for 31 years.
his return home a week later was me getting ready for a community awards dinner and my husband had already decided he was going to come before anything or anyone else wanted. I was going to do exactly as he said as I stepped out of my bedroom, as I cried and begged he did not have to always be angry about his place in life he could work out a meeting in four hours to try ad find the solutions we had searched for the last three decades that would be good for all. He did not have to wait decades we could try and hash out a solution in four hours. nobody had to be pushed or have their brains beat in for things to start being righted we could grow old together and I would agree he had his rights. I said he was 58 and I was 48 and nobody was right in the way things were done but things needed to be clarified in peace just said he cared less about the dinner that evening or my need for the society he was tired of hearing n he had not been a good boy and now he was going to take what he had been due since our wedding I knew exactly what he felt was his due. I was telling him if it was just sex a friend of both of ours was willing to help out in that. she also had felt I had abused him hour whole marriage and would run off with him if he wanted but with a little work we could find a middle place somewhere could keep my promise to his father that evening and talk later. and telling him that just added fuel to the fire with my clothes torn off and I was forced into sex on the floor as I screamed he was hurting me. he could have tried to work things out. I got up hurt crying and bleeding. He decided to add insult to injury by telling me to call 911 and report him for sexual misconduct and not to clean up for the rape kit and don't pick up for scene photos he said he would go to jail but remember all the things I had written in my journals and the people named in them in the attempt to control his rights and make sure he remained a slave. I was sitting there as he started a fight with his father's friend at the door not allowing his entrance he slammed into the drive face first after telling him I was indisposed and not going. When he said out of my way crip he was coming in he went flying over the deck rail.
his father had to run him to the ER when again some way could have decided things in peace after the way he forced me to submit that day I would have canceled the evening before someone else was hurt, it was just such an impossible situation of any wills working in opposite ways and my husbands training in two services just did not let him back down any longer because he felt he had given more than his share upI heard his mother asked if she wanted in would she find herself flying. She knew exactly what happened to see my torn up clothes all over the place and me sitting there bleeding and crying as she said looking at me staring at the phone and she said go ahead and call let everyone go to jail for something I should have left my husband decades before over but chose to use him as my piggy bank instead and kept him trapped in our marriage.
She asked the last time pre-MRSA was ay sex was and I told the truth in Charelston a month before our wedding looking for an apartment after his transfer explained it was his father's idea after the navy to withhold until there was any agreement on societies terms, She just about tore my face off in the first of two roundhouses asking what right did I have to make him pay my way through life and then deny him any comforts and a family and worked him out of any rest until he was nearly dead them made him a prisoner in the rehab for three years. It was no wonder he decided that the society was nothing but a slavers camp. And his father just used him as his prize slave.
If his mother had not stepped out and nearly knocked his father out yelling get in the car the evening was done and she had many things to say before she let his son kill him his father was wondering what gad he done. it was his son telling him to get out of his face or die then his mother telling him he should consider himself lucky she did not let him kill his father who thought he was doing what was best for the community. I found my house being emptied the next week and I was on the road west to his dead uncle's old place in NE Wyoming with my mother and sister following in the HHR our things were going to meet us when we got to the turn-off and lead into his uncles place a 16 x 85 Mobil three-bedroom on a block foundation with a 60 x 50 pole barn on a concrete slab with a loft. my husband concentrated on cleaning the firepit to cook dinner on and then install three of the for LCD TVs we had to the direct TV he bought with him the last and smallest stayed in the midwest until our return in May 2014 to get what was left and sell our house of three decades and give the money to his cousins on August 1st, 2014. . There was more trouble those two months we were back because his father was feeling the sting of contempt I had my only child the December before at an advanced age pregnancy clinc on the east coast. My husband was 58 and I was 49 when I introduced his son to him on his my husbands birthdayin 2014.
We left him with my mother out west feeling that a long drive in a used Dakota would not be good for a less than a year old going to a nearly empty house. w. ith us sleepibg on a air mattressWe drove into the drive on the 24th of may with his father and mother waiting for us to tell me to get the outside table and chairs clean and the gas grill with new propane to fix the cookout on memorial day ndgo to the grocery store and pick up the supplys since wehad left nothing in the fridge or cupboards excelt for two sets of coreel and cast iron and a set of stainless. I was hostessing the cookout on the deck on memorial dayWegot a short term living room set in the cable restarted with the phone and all the utilities. Since we needed to have my husband cooperate in getting ready for the cookout there was no mention to my husband he was expected to not be there until two hours before when his father handed him 200 and told himto wait to be called home and he could cook his meal after we left to go to after dinner drinks at the club. That went over like a lead ballon with a thud with my husband nearly feeding the money to him and telling him his house still, his equipment and his food he was supplying and if his father did not like it he could take himself and go to the park and figure out how to keep the snobs happyHim and I would eat the things for the cookout the next few weeks His father was so angry it was again defiance instead of get allong with him and his orders he was nearly blue yelling some of his friends did not want him there and my husband said then tell them to go home as the cookout broke up his father was handing out reservations for after dinner drinks, again my husband did not make any attempt to get along with his father when II was on a ticket with his fathers best friend. My husbands cane across the dioor stoped us and my husband asked the friend if he wanted another trip to the ER if he did not he would be taking his own wife e droped the ticket in my husbands hand and took off. His father slaped him telling him was he retarted he was not invited, and it was a instant full fist backhand returned and his mother said pigs just flew.
He grabbed his fathers belt and droped him in the yard shooed everyone out and locked up and when getting to the club the bouncer doorman was told to keep my husband out he was not going to defy them and there was the 200 my husband had refused . The bouncer admited me and started pushing my husband back to the street and then he ended up with his teeth all over the street with one last shove ethought for sure the police wouod arrest my husband but it was the bouncer in jail when he got out of the hospital because the bouncer had no right to shove my husband. On July 28th his father came over and toldmy husband he was going to have a talk with me and my husband was to finish the last of the uhaul packing.Two friends held a 45 and a glock on my husband to make him stay while i was going to breackfast to talk about how to get my husband to remain out west for the cruise of 2015 and just let me go. My husband in the resteraunt came out from behid our waitress and two swings of that cane tore the faces of the two that were armed oen to the bone and he threatened to impale his father through the chest for his interference of 42 years in his life. If four off duty officed=rs had nt stoped him before he pushed he would have just shoved it through his chest.
His mother decided to go back with us follwed by my sister and her new husband movingto the house my mother had built across the road from where we lived his mother moved into her room abd both spent their time with the new grandson unitik his fatger and a few friends showed up for Christas and again trouble started. I tried t head it off by asking my husband to have his meal in the pole barns workshop and he could come back for seconds at the back door, I had his plate ground into my face and told he was not a field hand to begg charity from the massas wife he was the houses master, and would have the respect due him in itI ran to the bedroo cryingHisfather ad severa friends threw him out yelling when he had manners he could come back the I saw him put his 30 30 lever action in his horses saddle holster I thought he was going to wait inambush up the road but found us all under the barrel of his rifle telling them to leave their guns on the coffee table and pick them up at the sheriffs office.
I had never meant in 1985 when he came back from te Navy to allow things to go as far as they did just a few years to let thngs get stable. It came t me under house arrest with a ankle tracker for violating my husbands civil rights decades latter and never secured the stability I had hoped forMy husbands heart stoped on June 3rd 2019 up at the Cabin after he went up there the prior fall and was folloewed by my LPN friend to take care of a stage 3 parkinsons in 1019 and 20 i hoped my son woud like the schools in the midwest or in Virginia but he feltmuch as his father did about the midwest and Covide really stopped School in Virginia, so I came back west. my lpnfriend is still up at the cabinbecause my husbnd willed that she could live there for as long as she wants for taking care of him. I still have my home in newport News but rent it out there is nothing in the midwest to go back to.
Except my husband parents graves and my sons aunt his brother is in Kentucky And his father is intered in the ridge over the cabin in the black hillsI just wonder what besides sexI could have used to bargin with my husband in 1985.

Lauren
November, 15 2021 at 11:03 am

Good luck to you. You sound like a decent man and I hope you do find love again.

Shannon
August, 15 2019 at 8:02 am

I am almost 3 weeks into my new life. I had been in a controlling mentally abusive relationship for 24 years , the last 14 yrs I've been married to my abuser. Even just saying that brings all kinds of emotions out.
I've been doing so good, felt strong until last night ....I started to really acknowledge all the verbal assaults, the not being allowed to do anything...the name calling. The gaslighting, not being allowed to visit family. . ..or work. It's all hitting me like an ocean of salty tears.
I'm not crying because of him, or because I miss him (not one bit do I miss his chaos). I'm crying because I miss me ...that girl who use to believe in life and having fun. I don't know if she's in me anymore. 🥺

August, 16 2019 at 12:16 pm

Shannon, I cannot stress enough how inspired I am that you left your abuser and started a new life after 24 years. You are a hero!
I've had those same feelings. I used to get upset that I left a part of me behind and that I would never get it back. Now that I'm almost 11 years out, I've realized she served her purpose and that something even better was waiting for me. It's a new improved me. You WILL find her. Just be patient and kind to yourself in the process. Give her time to grow. <3
Love and light-Jenn

Tamara
August, 20 2019 at 8:26 am

Shannon,
You are incredibly strong and an inspiration! You will absolutely find YOU!! Be kind to yourself. Give yourself time to heal. I also left a relationship filled with verbal and emotional abuse. I divorced my husband of 3 years in April. I find that I am struggling more and more with that decision but also miss the old me. But when I am feeling down I remember that often the best things are the hardest to do! If I went back to the relationship I would NEVER be the person I was meant to be! And I have faith that I will absolutely find the me that my abuser tried to destroy.
Be proud of yourself!! Leaving an abuser takes incredible courage and strength!! You did it!

Angela
July, 13 2019 at 10:43 am

Thank you so much for this. I am divorcing my husband of 8 years. He is an alcoholic and an emotional abuser. I still don’t think he understand that he is abusive in that way, but he does not see what he is doing wrong. He can say something highly offensive to me, I react and tell him how it makes me feel, and he’ll say “Chill, I’m just joking.” He never apologizes. Instead he will say “I’m sorry that you’re so sensitive that you’re offended easily.”
When he’s upset with me, he would withhold affection, and often times, he would give the cold shoulder for days on end and make me constantly pester him about what the issue is. I would constantly sense something wrong. It felt like a dark cloud and air thick with negativity. I’d ask him what was wrong over and over. I would begin to carefully do things extra thoughtful and nice for him until he would finally talk to me. And when he would finally open up, it was always more of an explosion. An explosion of complaints on why I make him unhappy or why I was the cause of his alcoholism, or why he couldn’t be himself because I didn’t want him drinking.
Although we are awaiting the final judgment of our divorce, we have agreed to live together as friends. We get along great now. He is understanding of the implications on our daughter, so this arrangement has worked out for he both of us. When our house sells, we will go our separate ways with plans for weekly family dinner and to remain friends for the sake of our daughter.
Even still though, he does sometimes try to cast blame on me. I wrote in the parenting plan that even with joint custody, I had the right to refuse his parenting time if he had been drinking on his days. He was upset about that, but I wanted that protection for our daughter. He knows I would not abuse that. I am a fair person. His response was “No, I want a clause that says I can refuse parenting time for you if you go crazy.” He’s referring to the anxiety I have developed over the past 8 years. I simply told him that I am not crazy and that I have multiple therapists that would back that up in court if he wanted me to get a lawyer. He backed off.
Then yesterday, he thought he would pry once more by asking me if I ever thought that my cellphone addiction was the cause of the marriage breaking down. Yep, he ignored his alcoholism, gaslighting, and stonewalling once again. I simply told him that my cell phone has been an escape.
The truth is, I have become isolated, the sounding board to chauvinism dressed up as innocent jokes, been blamed for alcoholism that was there before we even met, blamed for unhappiness, and scapegoated for the reason for our divorce. I am waiting ever so patiently for my half of the house profits so that I can go start over fresh across town.
He has never been violent and doesn’t have a violent bone in his body.

July, 14 2019 at 10:11 am

Angela, he sounds like a text-book verbal abuser. They will do anything to take the blame away from them and put it on you. Keep standing strong! It sounds like you've created clear boundaries which takes so much energy and strength. I commend you so deeply for being able to safely get away from him in a way that is good for you and your daughter. It sounds like you have done a tremendous amount of inner work to get where you are. You are a role model for everyone on this blog! I'm sending you positive energy and healing vibes in hopes the rest of this process will go smoothly for you and your family.
Peace and love-Jenn

Gemma
March, 2 2019 at 7:19 pm

Not that im trying to compete or relate oranything, but 2-3 years is a very short time to recover for some of the comments/stories iv seen posted.
I almost feel jelous of such short recovery time. That people can keep going on with life and fully recover. Not once did i ever think this was even remotely possible.
I cant.
I struggle with recovering, because of consistant abuse, my brain has become itself a muscle memory to bounce back to the ‘ptsd submissive victim’ after any singular reminder, past events of daily anxiety (and panic attacks due to interacting with 1 on 1 people being extremely dismissive and selfish for years) plus previous people in my life, and the months and years of trying so hard to be me again, and to blossom.
Iv been suffering time and time again since childhood with emotional abuse from my mother, sister, ex husband (physicale abuse, verbal, rape), ex bf (gaslighted), miscelanious exs who have only ever intended to use me for visas, current ex (psychological projection/ defensiveness/ critisizm), all of which made it harder to become aware it was happening or that it wasnt okay, bcs at any time i tried to defend myself or make them realise it wasnt okay, they wd become dismissive. And not once did i ever think to involve the police. Thats how severe my issues were. To not have someone listen or take me seriously i feared it and relived it daily in my head and through the desperate begging and interactinf with others. That i unforgettibly regret on a daily basis for all of them getting away with everything theyve put me through while they continue on enjoying their lives probably doing it to the next person after person they meet. But the likeliness of other people being “street smart”, “self aware” and able to avoid manipulative, cunning people who lurk on others vunerabilites to lure them in; is probably allot higher than my chances ever were.
And fact i never had support from my family, at a younge age even in childhood. They wd constantly alienate me, critisize me negatively and never encourage or praise me when i did anything meaningful or worth praise, which always left me feeling like i wasnt good enough or valued in their eyes ment it kept happening. It left me in constant state of despair that i try and still try to ignore and focus on good things time and time again as i searched for love and comfort and support elsewhere in another human being (because essentialy loving myself was not going to happen bcs i never felt able to grow, feel safe, or express myself without being harshly critisized or punished in order for that to happen). I continualy tried with my family even after leaving home as a teen, and they kept failing me and critisizing me every step i made in life. Like they were poison and didnt want any good to happen to me.and so i had only option to continue cutting them out of my life, and periodicly hope like hell that they wd show me love i deserved. So yes i kept going back. They expected me to be subserviant, obeying, respectful, empethatic, responcible and independant, all while completely being emotionaly void towards me, ignorant, arrogant, dismissive, and selfish always expecting “better” from me and shaming me when i did things wrong even when they were pushing my boundries and speaking out of line towards me bt it was never okay for me to do the same.
So everytime it happened i was essentialy pushed back from all the good effort id made for myself to feel ‘free’ and ‘hopefull’.
Its given me many issues to sort out in myself. And its made me less of a human being and more of a shell of a person who believes that i deserve this and its what i was born for because even the little things that i get happy about dissipear and never last long. (They never do anyways for anyone i suppose?).
But its like happiness never lasts long enough for habitual turnover to take place.
I feel like the whole world is against me, that i will never be able to heal, so over time i have lost my will and given up many times, and just accepted that its what life wants for me bcs of being a realist.
That being in abusive and psychologicly abusive relationships and friendships do change you. Shape you. Without your own concent of change bcs of such subtle process.
Even though iv lernt to adopt the whole “you only live once” rule, its so hard to find things to be happy about bcs of consistant ongoing trauma that i cant escape or that always comes my way with every new person who i carefully let into my life.
The trauma does something to you. I know many cd relate to this. It affects every future endevour, relationship, adventure, hobby and interest you decide to try and take on in life. It shapes your experiences of it. It feels so crucial that i feel desperate wishing and hoping that it turns out to be a good experience bcs it will just go into the “NOPE” pile with the rest of what iv tried to say “yes” to, if it ends up negative, sad, overwhelming, anxiety provoking, hurtful, or frustrating experience. When all i want is to take interest in and to experience all life has to offer in order be happy and grow. Its a terrifying thought to know interactions with others can shape how you feel and possibly destroy your experience and view of how life “should” be lived due to early childhold alienation and “self discipline” anytime you hear someone say something that you should or shouldnt do. (Via psychological subtle consistant habitual suggestion by others that lingers for a while in your subconsious making it re emerge as a good idea after a while, or a hard “NO” when someone denies you a conversation or doesnt like the idea or action that you wish to pursue. Somehow the brain feels complied to obey. Echoing through your thoughts irritating you for a while until you comply. Makes you doubt your own opinions and feelings when everyone you know leads you to believe that your the one in the “wrong”. Regardless of how much you communicate to them that its hurting you. They dont listen and they dont stop. They continue it because your a desperate victim looking for closure and validation.
It leads one, it leads ME to feel useless, helpless, distrusting, even though id tell a perfect stranger anything and everything if they asked bcs of being an open book (and maybe bcs of early childhood guilt and shame and justifying every choice i make to anyone who cant/wont accept me) of being okay with who i am as a person and accepting myself).
I always find myself paranoid having learnt to constantly second guess peoples intent and the words that are left unsaid bcs of psychological games played on me, which makes me both internally and externaly critisizing(though i keep the thoughts to myself unless they r constructive) and judgemental, better or worse, i in no way EVER wish to bring a child into this world just to have them be treated like how my mother treated me and her mother before her. No child shd ever have to go through this ordeal. But it still happens and much of it goes unnoticed.
The cycle has to stop.
In new zealand, abortions are illegal.
(I am infertile anyway among other things and yes i felt robbed of that decision, but
not everyone is ment to be a mother, or a good mother at that).
Some are better off being single or in civil relationships with lifelong friends. Which is what i hope for myself to have a support network. There are TOO many Seniors in the world living alone too, unable to have their own independance but to rely on their families for sustenance and support.
But what can i hope for in life if nothing brings me happiness and i am not only limited by my own desires needs and wants but also because of trauma, lifelong struggles, and roadblocks preventing me from getting on with life?.
Thats what will always scare me the most. People.
I hope whoever reads this finds relative mutual support and is not triggered by what iv said.

Denise
May, 22 2019 at 5:41 pm

I just want to say that this is my story in its totality. I understand you completely and presently I am trying to overcome my demons of being mentally, physically, and verbally abused my whole life. It's not easy and it will be a long time before I heal, if I ever heal at all...

Lu Ray
August, 1 2019 at 11:36 pm

Gemma I had to write to you because I understand where you are coming from...I too was emotionally abused as a child by my mother (no affection, warmth, kindness etc). I was always being criticized harshly with no praises. I learned at a young age that I had no validation no value. It's a horrible way to make anyone feel like this. I didn't quite understand what I went through until a few years back when I was married. At the time I was being abused(in all ways possible) by my ex and it must of triggered my childhood. I started researching why I was feeling so broken and lonely all the time as an adult. I came to find out I was neglected emotionally as a child so bad I even blocked out lot of my childhood! My ex use to tell me I was crazy and that there was something wrong with me but in reality I was just abused as a child. He used this against me of course because he was a narcissist and I was an easy target for his abuse.
I've felt lonely, unvalued, unloved, broken and mistrusting for as long as I can remember. This all before I was even a teenager. Then came the toxic relationships...trying to find value in myself through boyfriends and Platonic friendships. I found myself in bad situations and all my mother ever did was rub it in my face. I was the ultimate black sheep. I was the person that disagreed with my mom...that showed the world how twisted my inner family life was. Eventually I moved away and didn't talk to her for 10 years until recently. Till this day she acts like the victim and hasn't changed much. I've come to realize that she too is a narcissist like my ex.
I have two children and I am a widow at 31 years old. My ex died a few months ago and some people would say God is giving me the chance to start over (my mom's words). I have been through hell and back...I have seen the Devil in my ex husband's eyes when he would physically abuse me. Things can only get better for me and my kids. You are not alone in what you have been through. Dont be so hard on yourself. You sound like a wonderful woman. How do I know this?? Just by what you wrote and how you view the world tells me your a special person. Let the hope you have inside you blossom ....that light of hope is in there you just have to feed it. Pray that God can help you find your way. He has done that for me. Man may fail us but God never does. God bless you in your journey of love and forgiveness. Hugs from the U.S!

jay shaheen
August, 28 2018 at 10:44 am

In brief: my girlfriend has been divorced for 6 years from a 25-year marriage--most of which found her a victim of horrible verbal/emotional abuse and a subservient life. Our 4-year friendship and relationship have been second to none--totally outstanding on all fronts (I am not abusive in any way. I have extended consistent kindness and love toward her as best as I possibly can). Out of nowhere, with little-no warning, she chose to completely end our relationship. No stated reasons except that: she is confused, lost, unsure, not ready for a relationship, needs to find herself...she started to experience frequent, crippling anxiety. Suddenly, cut me out of her life completely. Please recommend reading for me/her on this topic. I love her to death. I do not wish to lose her.

Michelle
April, 27 2019 at 1:48 pm

My name is Michelle and I too suffered horrific abuse by my husband, even being shot and almost dying I went back for years. I can speak for myself, she is probably scared s***ess at letting anyone that close again. When you have given your all to someone and bared your soul to that person and they stomp on that "figuratively speaking." It can be all encompassing and frightening the thought that I can trust someone and that they may betray that trust. I know it seems illogical, but it's deep rooted from fear. Don't push or force your way back in her life. Send flowers, a card and tell her you love her and respect her decision, but you will wait for her to be comfortable IF EVER. Sounds like there's still a lot of healing to he done inn her heart. You sound like a decent fellow, I pray it all works out for you!!😊

Lot
July, 14 2019 at 12:04 pm

I would recommend her (or you) to read: recovering from a narcissistic relationship by margalis fjelstad or Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood. She is Just not used to a Guy treating her well.. she first needs to heal before she accepts the love you give her. Now it Just feels alien to her. Goodluck and all the best!

Kir
July, 30 2019 at 1:34 am

Steven stosney "you don't have to take it anymore"
As well as his other book "the powerful self"

Muz
August, 23 2018 at 7:44 am

To any women or men suffering abuse who has posted. You are doing the best with what you can right now. Summon the courage and commit to leaving your situation. You are so worth it.
As a young boy I suffered verbal and physical abuse growing up. As a result I have self esteem issues and abandonment issues. My step father was abusive and my mother didnt stand up for me.
Im yet to have a healthy relationship as a result as I fear I'm not good enough and sooner or later partner will leave me.
After a failed relationship attempt which left me completely broken hearted I'm seeing a psychologist.
Though I'm able to open up easily with friends and write, feel and cry about things this stuff I need help with as it was too much to deal with myself.
It's so sad when you know your an amazing guy with heaps to offer that everyone else sees it but you just don't believe yourself.
Hence the decision was made to change my life and the journey has begun! You can all do this too!

Paul
May, 7 2019 at 3:51 am

Hi, I feel I’m reading your post as if it is me. I hope you are doing great man

Rachel
July, 25 2018 at 10:12 pm

Rachel here again. I am 44. Just to note . Very active after my surgery. A smile that cannot be erased. Despite horrific abuse. I have some emotional scarring but I refuse to let it swallow me. I am more than worth respect and honour. And I will extend that in the face of the lack of righteousness in this society .

Rachel
July, 25 2018 at 10:06 pm

I am separated from a severely abusive marriage of 17 years. Details are those of a horror story. So I will spare them. I took our son , I took a few things to begin with and I left . Miracles happened . I had just came thru a spinal surgery. Prior to his last assault. The police pressed charges and I have custody of my beautiful 16 year old son whom I lift up daily , he is an honour student and kind and whole. I was given a house to live in with a beautiful yard for three years at no expense ( in which time I healed) and now am proceeding with a court division . I prayed . And I am safe. I work to capacity at a beautiful quilt shop. I am a beautiful woman and I believe I am worth it. I am a believer in God . No one can take my worth . Get out of your abuse. I left with the cloths on my back and my son. Leap. You are worth it . I’m living proof.

Donna
May, 13 2018 at 4:40 am

I was with my bf who is now my sons father. I was mentally not well. I lost my virginity to being raped at age 14 and child molested by uncle's., grandfather, and dad. Afterwards a toll of unstable relationship abuse cheat on me everything. I messed up my relationship I had PTSD thought he was gonna be like everyone else and I was so low on myself from everything I cheated had no respect for myself. And just really felt no good. But I left fixed myself and now I'm a beautiful strong woman. None of that was my fault yet I took it out on someone who didn't deserve it. I was stuck everything was my fault I thought. And now I know they were scumbags not me I'm good and damn happy were back together he loves the woman I am. Ladies keep ur head up don't let nothing tear u down nothing ur fault. I've Ben through lotta suff bad stuff but I'm truly proud of myself.

May, 23 2018 at 3:37 am

Donna, I'm so sorry to hear about everything you've gone through. I'm glad to hear you're making your self-care a priority and feel you're making progress toward a happier life. Thanks for reaching out to us, please do so anytime. Thanks again! -Emily

Michelle Fuqua
April, 27 2019 at 2:20 pm

I am really struggling in my life. I left my "husband" who was also my pimp nearly 26 years ago. I was 2 months pregnant. I've never really had support and I've been abused since childhood, I was adopted. Never knew love, always wanted it. My son helped me change my life, I'd been prostituted, beaten, stabbed, raped and shot before I finally left. I also lost or gave up 2 children for adoption because of my traumatic lifestyle. I've never remarried and my husband came to live with me and our son the last 7 months of his life, he has end stage rental failure. It was a nightmare, I even tried to commit suicide. When he died I was relieved. It's been nearly 5 years since his death, and I still can't function normally. This one guy has been chasing me for 4 years, he says he wants to be friends but we had sex the first day we met and it's never happened again because I don't care for him in that way. The friendship thing isn't working because he brings the sexual stuff up on occasion, plus having slept with so many men Ihave no desire for a sexual relationship. I keep telling him I'm not interested, but he still want's to be 'friends ' but I always feel in my guard with him. I'm such a mess, I isolate all the time, because when I let people close they ALWAYS hurt me. I love people, but I can't stand to be around them except in short intervals. To top it off I'm a Christian and I don't feel very loving. I've sought counseling but I just can't seem to gain traction or find anyone who really gets what I've been through and can help me. I'm already 58 and I feel like I'm just existing. I REALLY want to live..help me!!!! I really love to help people, and I do when I can, I just don't feel very valuable and that makes me sad

Kara
July, 16 2019 at 8:57 pm

Dear Michelle,
I have learned through my years that there is not another person who can completely understand I have been through. There are, however, so many people who can understand the pain and feelings of deep, dark depression, hopelessness, helplessness, deprivation, sadness, anxiety, worthlessness, and not loved. I am sorry to hear you do not have family or a close friend to help hold your hand through these tough and challenging times. You surely have been through so much. What I can tell you, and promise you is that God knows it all and gets it all. Michelle, He made for a purpose that nobody else can fulfill. It is hard and trying but a step is to stop listening to the negative thoughts about yourself and start choosing to believe what God has said about you. He loves you. He cares for you. You are His daughter, a daughter of the King. Read the Bible, continue to pray, and I promise He will speak to you. He is already there beside you even though you probably don’t feel Him near. I have not lived your life, but I have lived through your feelings due to my own story. I pray this gives you some hope and reaches you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely,
Kara

Gillian Green
April, 29 2018 at 4:21 am

Nearly 4 years ago I left my husband after years of mental abuse. I didn't even know it was that until I went back to college. The staff there gave me the strength to do something as I had lost contact with my friends and family years ago. I'm however still not over it. I'm still afraid to get into any new relationships in case it happens again.However, I'm so glad I did leave him that someone like me who is so "weak" had the courage to actually leave him. To all those men and women out there suffering now, please find the strength to get out of the situation. You deserve a life of happiness and not darkness. Yes, it's frightening, but if you have friends and family who can support you then please tell them and make yourselves a better life. God bless you all.

Marie
April, 12 2018 at 5:51 am

I left an emotionally abusive marriage after 28 years. The best thing that helped me was reading a book recommended by my marriage counselor. It is called “The Verbally Abusive Relationship.” I didn’t know that I was living with emotional abuse until we received marriage counseling. This book is older but helped me so much. It helped me realize that I was not the pathetic failure I thought I was & that all his issues were not my fault. I felt as though the author watched a movie of my life to write this book. I highly recommend this book because it changed my dark & dreary life into an adventure I love. This is the first time in my life I can wake up, thank God for the gift of my life, & look forward to my new adventures. I still have my moments of sadness and “what ifs” but I refocus on the present (with the help of my support system) & refocus on the positive.

Juliette
March, 26 2018 at 12:47 pm

I have been abused for 5 years this December 2018..god help me.juliette

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Maria
March, 27 2018 at 1:57 pm

I have been for about 10 years... don't have the ability to move on, maybe we can help each other

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gillian Green
April, 29 2018 at 4:23 am

Please find help. You don't deserve this.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gillian Green
April, 29 2018 at 4:24 am

Please can you find some help. Anyone you can talk to?

Nick
March, 25 2018 at 9:12 pm

I’m a man, all I can find is articles written by women, I’m a man that suffers from emotional abuse by my wife.i feel stupid n week for allowing this to take place, I’m so tired of being told how weak n insignificant I am. Being called names I could never emagine a woman saying but I can still hear the words n see her face. I tried fighting back, because I felt maybe she would listen or care but that didn’t work. I came to the exceptence that nothing I would do or say would ever be enough or make her happy. The pain I was feeling by her words n actions was nothing to the pain of her past that must live so deep inside. I came to a point where my heart became hard to the words that were repeated and the situations that could never be resolved, no matter how hard I tried or changed. There would always be something new .it was like a unquenchable thirst that was never satisfied. Always problems with my family and my friends, my job , the activity’s that we’re healthy and good for me . Complaining and wanting me to change myself and then complaining that I changed and wanting me to change back . It’s total insanity and I hope my words can help someone . Thanks for listening .

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Clint
April, 13 2018 at 11:55 pm

Nick, i can so relate. I was with my ex for about 8 years. Damn did she ever screw with my head. I found some books really helpful and also Spartan Life Coach on YouTube. I agree it’s difficult in an entirely different way when it’s the man receiving the abuse. This isn’t to polarize the issue. Abuse is horrible for anyone to receive. I found out there is one organization in Canada that treats men and about 700 for females. Given that’s the stats are pretty much 50/50 that’s a tough reality. I also felt significant shame that I allowed things to get so out of whack and didn’t stand up for myself etc. The truth is abusive people suck and are devestating to those around them. I am 11 months post leaving. I’ve been able to rebuild a fair bit of my life so far but am still dealing with the fallout inside of me. I used to believe that I had intrinsic value but now I honestly struggle to believe that. I took on her constant messages that my value came from what I gave, earned, contributed etc. It’s very difficult for me, now solidly in the dating scene to remember that the true value I bring to being with a woman is simply who I am. Anyhow all that to say, I feel your pain bud. Keep the good fight. I honestly believe that the more difficult the climb the greater the view (but thank god I’m out of that hellish marriage!)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Anonymous
April, 14 2018 at 1:47 pm

I was a kind hearted man. A little troubled from my inability to succeed in my ambitions. But I still used to stride to make some progress in my idea of success. I ran into my wife after moving to a new state and town. She had 2 children from a past relationship. Her daughter's father "didn't want her." So I signed the birth certificate and claimed her as my own. We got married fast, against my idea. But in her eyes, it was the only way her ex couldn't "take Emma" from me. So we rushed into it. Before the marriage there was signs of her neglect to my emotions, but I used to see the good in everyone. Years went by, things spun way out of control and I became just like her. No regard to her feelings. My defenses were her offenses. No I'm labeled as the abuser. I've been sitting for 3 weeks, getting 2-4 hours of sleep a night. While she's with a new partner and having no side effects of our relationship....Not a soul in that town believes me and the worst part, I had a child of my own with her. So I cut communication, started making progress. Started working out, learning a new skill to chase an unfulfilled dream and began to be "ok" again. I still have unnecessary defences with friends and family. But I was making changes, finally. She started getting back in, letting me talk to my kids again now that I wasn't "manic" anymore. But I was told I couldn't have anything to do with my step children. Well I got a call from my step children yesterday. No contact with my own kid though. Spent the entire night going in circles, worrying at the fact that she's manipulative to even our children's emotions. Scared to death as my step kids show signs of mental abuse as well. Although, I'm a man, I'm the bad guy...

Sam
March, 14 2018 at 8:34 am

I have decided to leave my husband after 24 years of marriage. I've never understood why I felt so anxious and unsure of myself all these years. Often felt like I was walking on eggshells because I was nervous for his scolding or berating over pretty much everything. My feelings of loneliness and emptiness have intensified over the last several months and I started googleing my symptoms and low and behold....there I was described to perfection! I am being emotionally abused!!! I've since spoken to a counselor who has confirmed this. I needed confirmation because I always felt like I was crazy or being weak for feeling so effected by his comments. I will be seeking out a lawyer very soon and I can't wait until this marriage is over. I have not had the conversation with him yet as I'm waiting and planning the execution. I am scared, relieved, unsure, excited, anxious....all rolled into one big mess. I am so sad for my 2 daughters, who are young adults still at home, because they have endured his wrath as well. How did I miss this ???? I pray for me, my daughters and all those that have suffered this insidious crime against us.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Maria
March, 27 2018 at 2:03 pm

I can relate as well, I am trying to get out of a 10 year relationship and its so very hard.... he is a descent father but has a very bad temper, I am looking to seek therapy because he has a hold on me that I cannot shake, I feel depressed as well, I pray for all people enduring this

Ame C
January, 21 2018 at 5:52 am

I’m still in the stage of not feeling comfortable for fear he will say or do something else. Or fear he will continue to tell lies to our boys. I stayed in my marriage for years, knowing he was mean. Knowing I’d never be w him my whole life. But I never understood the toll it was taking on me mentally. I stayed for the boys. My goal was to get them to college, then I’d ask for a divorce. I couldn’t take it. I got close. Only a few years away for my youngest. When I went to a psychologist, she told me I was being abused. I left her office and never went back. I am a strong professional woman. Strong women aren’t abused. I was staying intentionally, enduring the pain. How was that abuse. A friend also told me I was being abused. Our friendship suffered a bit, because one again, I didn’t believe. Finally when we both went for joint counseling and, after 20minutes with both of us, the counselor separated us, and told me privately to file for divorce based on abuse...I started to listen. I started to read. I started to come to terms with what I did to myself by staying. When I moved out, he called the police on me...and blamed me for it. He drained our accounts. And turned the kids against me. One still asks why I abandoned them. I will never speak poorly to them about him, nor will I do anything that puts them in the middle. Sometimes the pain I feel is so bad, I can’t breathe. I just want to sleep. I just want to end it all. ...but then he would win. ...and I pick myself up....and try another day .... I’ll keep trying.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Maria
March, 27 2018 at 3:09 pm

Hello Ame, I can only imagine what your going through... I am going through one of the hardest times of my life. My husband is a tricky situation because he does not belittle me or insult me but has a flaming temper. I do not know why I decided to have a child with him. Our boy is only 4 but feels the tension in the home when he explodes. He uses pot daily and becomes belligerent and sloppy but I cannot seem to leave him
I admire your strength and it does get better

Dana
January, 18 2018 at 3:08 am

Your bullet “wondering about how they are coming across” made me smile. As did the next. I’ve been so stuck and ashamed of being abused, that I hadn’t even thought it might happen to others. I am strong and smart, very successful in my profession, yet rendered completely useless and insignificant in his shadow. I can’t believe I’ve let myself become that, all in the name of love. Thank you for your words and thoughts! It helped me truly open my eyes to what has happened, and to what the abuse really did to me. I have a tween that I am navigating through the mess as well, and for him, I need to be strong and almost clinical in my descriptions and support mechanisms, but here I finally allowed myself to acknowledge what “he” did to me. I don’t have friends around me, he pushed them all away, and I don’t know how to make friends anymore, broke as I am, but reading everyone’s comments helps me move on. Thank you!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Nancy
February, 6 2018 at 1:07 am

I’ve read so many of the comments and could be literally several of all I’ve been able to read. It’s heartbreaking. It’s devastating. It’s unimaginable, but it’s happened. I too, intelligent, embarrassed, ashamed, because I couldn’t imagine how so much BAD could come from one human, (I’ll never believe they’re human), but didn’t know exactly WHAT I’d been married to for all 18 years until I learned of this and what they’re capable of. Nobody gets me. I’ve lost everyone. Everything I had. Started over from rock bottom or below because the court was ALL in his favor. They’re sick demented demons and we’re finalky free of the daily struggle and pain to some peace of mind. I hope and dream that someday we’ll all see this sooner. This was the defining and breaking point of my 51yesrs at the time. I’m 57 now and feel like I’ve lost so much of me but there’s still time. We’re still alive. I want some happiness someday, and I wish that for you and everyone else here and everywhere to find peace and happiness. We all deserve it so much. Best of all to you.

Nichola
January, 17 2018 at 1:33 pm

I left my husband 6 months ago and I spent7 years feeling alone made fun of in front of people and lost who I was. I've struggled to go back to work im too scared of getting things wrong. I became a complete prisoner and couldn't look up in fear of being accused of making eyes at people. He would spend full nights making me stay awake while he qiestioned me over and over. I don't know how long it'll take to get over because it took so long to recognise myself. I hope I can move on

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Maria
March, 27 2018 at 2:13 pm

you will definitely move on, I am so proud of how you were able to leave him and move on, you are deserving of a better life, never ever doubt that. I myself am trying to get out of a verbally abusive relationship of 11 years... I have not gained the courage yet to leave, he has a temper and a drug problem... also financially unstable and yet I cannot let go so I when I read stories like yours I am feel hopeful. Keep your head up and pray

Diane
January, 16 2018 at 12:26 pm

I left a man I was married to for 41 years about 1 1/2 years ago. Overall I felt that I have adjusted . Every few months I have an emotional breakdown for no special reason. I would like to think this is a release of all of my pain and suffering. I am working on loving myself. I know happiness comes from me and no one else is responsible for my happiness. It is a struggle to not let yourself become emotionally shut off and be able to trust again. I realize this will take allot longer than I though but that's okay. One day at a time. Good Luck and God Bless all of you who are facing these same struggles.

orire omatsola
December, 28 2017 at 6:19 pm

Im so thankful i stumbled on your blog. Its been two years since i left my ex boyfriend who mentally abused me in ways I'm still recovering from. The week i finally left him was the best week of my life until it took a turn for the worst. I ended up having an acute psychotic disorder and was hospitalized for two weeks. The trauma from the mental break down evolved into terrible anxiety and depression. I just feel so damaged having to deal with the trauma of mental abuse, then a mental breakdown to now anxiety and depression. Its just frustrating how one person altered the course of my life and how i feel about myself and now I'm afraid ill never recover from all that trauma. Its affected my romantic and platonic relationships. Now I'm incapable of forming proper relationships with people because i feel so damaged and undeserving of people now. I have a decent enough support system but its hard talking to people who cant familiarize with what I've been through.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Bridgett O
January, 15 2018 at 3:39 am

Orire, Honey, I FEEL your pain! Do not give up on yourself! You are a beautiful, wonderful, worthy human being and you are more than what happened to you. Your ex's estimation of your character is flat out wrong. Love yourself enough to tell yourself the truth about who you are and who God created you to be. Saturate your mind with the truth of how God sees you in scripture. You will make it and you will be a "surthrivor". Great things like at the end of your dark tunnel. Just don't give up!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Maria
March, 27 2018 at 2:25 pm

Guys I understand and am currently going through that pain as we speak, I feel I am walking in quick sand everyday, its so hard, I do not know why I accepted being yelled at, slapped, spit at and controlled, I feel I cannot get out of this abyss, I am so proud of people who get out of these toxic relationships

Lori
December, 18 2017 at 3:31 am

This has really shed some light on my own situation. I left my ex about 2 months ago. He'd been extremely emotionally abusive for the majority of the 3 years we were together. He started doing drugs and cheated on me at the end of it and I had enough. He tried to manipulate me to stay and when I didn't he went around telling lies (although he had done that before also) about me and about our situation and he turned one of my best friends against me and slept with her. It took me a while to accept that I'm a victim of abuse. So far these first couple months have been hard. Adjusting to life now is rough. I had moved across the country with him a couple years back and made so many wonderful friends, but I had to go back to my family and leave all my friends behind. It's been hard having to deal with that. Healing is hard. I hope I can get through this sooner rather than later. I've got other things to focus on now. Sometimes I feel like my recovery is going well and then something comes crashing down and I feel awful again. Hopefully things begin to go smoother. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. It was very enlightening to read. Much love, Lori.

Michele
November, 27 2017 at 7:23 pm

I have suffered physical, emotional and spiritual abuse since early childhood. I was not a wanted child and was blamed by mother who had no.oroblem telling me I was unwanted and to blamed for why she had to stay in a marriage she wasn't happy in. I was beaten, dragged by my hair, beaten so bad with a belt for not making it to the toilet on time so.i vomited on the floor and got beaten on my bare fanny until.i wet the floor and got beaten for that. The verbal abuse was everyday. I was called every me.in the book and told to go toy room everyday because she couldn't stand to look at me. There were s many times she wouldn't even en a knowledge my existence. I was choked because my sister's room was a mess. Needless to say I left at the age of 17. I married someone just as abusive. So for the next 18 yrs input up with the second exact treatment and worse. Even though I've been divorced for 18yrs now, I'm extremely sensitive to others comments when they are hurtful. I can't seem to trust anyone. And I'm tired of not being strong enough to overlook other peoples bad behavior. When this happens, I get super defensive and I Rumi ate about it for days.y feelings are deeply hurt and I feel angry and sometimes find dyslef wanting to fire back. I trust no one and am tired of waiting g for the next bad thing to happen. I have been diagnosed with PTSD. But my frustration also comes from not wanting g to feel this way anymore. I'm tired of being the odd duck that can't overlook what I consider inappropriate comments.

Dan
November, 21 2017 at 6:42 pm

Hello, I could use some direction in our situation. My wife and I have been married for 12 years and we are in individual and couples therapy over a whole myriad of issues. At first it was infidelity on her part, but then it came out that I had been physically abusive toward her in the first half of our marraige. The infidelity was pushed aside, needless to say. When I say it came out, neither my wife or I understood that what I had done was physical abuse. We were both floored, and horrified. I/we have come to understand that because of both of our abusive upbringings, we normalized the few instances it happened. We knew they were bad and wrong however, so the 3rd time I shoved her in a fight, saw red, and had a panic attack when I realized I had handled her again, I determined I'd never touch her again in anger. I haven't. The problem did persist, we found out, because everytime we'd have a fight during which I'd get angry, she would feel scared because I had put my hands on her before. This causing emotional abuse. I know, I'm a son of a bitch, you don't have to tell me. I hate myself right now and am sick to my stomach all the time over this. We are in a separation stage right now. She may leave me over this when the separation time is over, and she'd be completely justified in doing so. Of course, if she will stay, I want to make this work. I never tried to blame her for my actions, only wondered why I would lose control. I hated it. This is where my question comes in. We have always had a very destructive cycle of unhealthy communication that has lead to psychological abuse towards one another, even before any physical abuse took place. When I read the list of symptoms of the victim of emotional abuse, I can check every one of them for myself. My actions are my responsibility, nothing she has ever done warrants being touched in anger. Having said that, my wife is heavily psychologically abusive towards me, and has been since the first couple weeks we became a serious couple. She knows I am desperate for her and our marraige, and she uses that against me to get things she wants. She withholds affection, calls me names, hits me, and uses me when it comes to sex with almost no return. I've been lectured during sex about how I was not performing well enough. Very uncomfortable. My question is: because my physical abuse is on the table, does that over shadow everything else? Does any of the other abuse have a way to be addressed for my own benefit of healing and recovery, or do I need to set that all aside until we find more stable ground? Until she heals and recovers...or leaves? I just dont want to have a counceling session where I come across as trying to defend or justify my actions...i just know that with this whole situation i'm messed up and need help.

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