How To Recover From Emotional Trauma of Domestic Abuse

May 31, 2015 Kellie Jo Holly

People wondering how to recover from emotional trauma really want to know how long recovery will take. Unfortunately, there is no solid time frame for recovering from emotional trauma. But, if we can slow down a minute and understand how to recover from emotional trauma, then the how long will it take part will handle itself.

How To Recover From Emotional Trauma When It Is Ongoing

If you are currently in an abusive relationship, I don't want to say you're screwed in your recovery from domestic abuse. But you kind of are. Just a little. Although there are things you can do to recoup from the day's abuses, while living with your abuser, you are continually recouping. You can't get ahead of the emotional and psychological trauma and into recovery when you live with abuse. Yes, you can have great days living with an abuser (see Holiday Madness). But they don't last forever. And for the entirety of the great day you're waiting for the abuse to happen, so it may as well happen. And it eventually does.

Do you know how to recover from emotional trauma? Does anyone? Well, yeah, someone knows.Find out how to recover from emotional traumas. Read this.As you've probably noticed, when you feel good, your abuser hates it. Abusers do not like you to feel good because happy people are strong people. And strong people have enough self-esteem to leave the abuser's sorry butt. So, as long as you're living in abuse, complete recovery from emotional trauma is practically impossible and at the least, improbable.

Even so, you can recoup some of the mental health you lose each day from psychological trauma by doing things that are good for you. Try:

  • Making a visit to your doctor to check for depression or anxiety
  • Meditating (or using alternatives to meditation)
  • Educating yourself on all aspects of abuse
  • Detaching from your abuser
  • Calling a domestic violence hotline to vent
  • Filling out a domestic violence safety plan
  • Building a network of supportive friends (online too), family members, and local domestic violence programs that include support groups

How To Recover From Emotional Trauma When You've Left Your Abuser

There are phases of recovery emotional and psychological trauma victims travel through after getting rid of their abuser. Knowing the phases will help shorten your recovery time because when you know what to expect, you feel less anxiety. And if you're dealing with less anxiety, your recovery from domestic abuse will naturally take less time.

According to the Manitoba Trauma Information & Education Centre, the three stages of emotional trauma recovery are:

  1. Safety and Stabilization
  2. Remembrance and Mourning
  3. Reconnection and Integration

Safety And Stabilization

First, emotional trauma victims should work to regain their feelings of safety and mental stability. Easier said than done, but still doable. What will help you feel safer and mentally stronger? You know yourself best, but here are some suggestions:

  • Learn to accept and self-soothe during an emotional crisis as your emotions may bug-out on you at first.
  • Pay attention to what triggered your emotional instability so you can avoid or disarm the trigger in the future.
  • You might find it very hard to talk about the trauma, so work it out in different ways like meditation, yoga, drawing, writing, running. . . anything that lets your emotions come and go without words.
  • That said, get into talk therapy with a professional if at all possible. There's a lot of ground you can cover without speaking of the trauma directly.
  • Work to regain worthy connections with friends and family. Don't bother with relationships that diminish or discourage you in any way.

Remembrance and Mourning

Secondly, you've got to work through those memories and mourn the relationship (the relationship you thought it could become, not the relationship as it was in reality). In this phase, you will get to the point where you can discuss your feelings with a wide variety of people in your life. The point is to feel the emotion without allowing the emotion to trick you into feeling the past as if it were the present. Feeling past trauma as if it is happening now is a symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In this phase, you'll still cry or feel angry or miss the good times or any other emotion as you talk about the trauma. That's okay. No one worth spending time with expects you to be flippant about being traumatized.

If you feel your confidence in your safety or mental stability fading, regroup and slow down. Don't push yourself backward when you're trying to move forward. Ways to work through this period include:

  • Maintaining the feelings of safety and stability.
  • Talk talk talking.
  • Journaling, drawing, painting, arts and crafts, writing or any creative activity.
  • Including self-care like eating better, exercising more and paying attention to the thoughts going on in your head. Don't let your negative thoughts control you as much as possible (it's an on-going job).

Reconnection and Integration

This phase is all about releasing the trauma to the past and feeling good about the life you are creating for yourself. Your psychological trauma story no longer defines who you are; it is integrated into the story of you. Here are things you can do to aid the process of reconnection and integration after emotional trauma:

  • Everyone says to volunteer and I used to hate it. I was recovering from depression too, so volunteering wasn't really an answer. So if volunteering somewhere isn't a good fit for you, find a way to teach what you've learned from the whole mess. That is the way to grow.
  • Make yourself more available to meeting new people. Not lovers, but friends. You may find a lover, but if you find yourself feeling emotionally destabilized or wanting to connect with that person very quickly, then perhaps it is too soon to date.
  • Decide what you want in your new life, make a plan, and go for it.

Recovering From Emotional Trauma's Time Frame

There is no time frame for moving through the phases except that it is rational to expect it someone who lived with long-term abuse for years to recover more slowly than it would for someone who experienced emotional abuse for a shorter time.

These phases make sense to me. I would say I'm between two and three because I still remember more often than I'd like, but I am working on reconnecting and integrating into this new life. How much time has passed for me? 5 years. I lived with my abuser for just under 18 years.

One more thing about my healing process. I think this last phase will be the longest. It might last the rest of my life, as long as the abusive relationship did or exactly one more minute. I don't know. But I'm okay with that. One step forward, two steps back; I'm okay with that, too.

I can give you only the time frame I know, which is my own. I would tell you how long it will take to recover if I could. Whatever you do, don't hurry the process. Be like Shrek and think of yourself as an onion - peel away layer after layer until you reconnect with the core of who you are.

You can also find Kellie on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2015, May 31). How To Recover From Emotional Trauma of Domestic Abuse, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

July, 27 2017 at 9:58 pm

I was recently abused and the feelings are like never before. I blame myself, I lock myself in my room all day. We have separated and he swore to the police never to get close to me again. I am still scared, I am disconnected to everyone and everything, but I am trying to carry on. This article really helps.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 2 2017 at 9:44 am

I so identify its helped dont feel so alone with it ,some of my friends are saying oh just move on now,its still to go court have to make a video via police for court yet

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

H3ather regan
August, 18 2017 at 4:19 pm

Stay the course. It's worth a new and better life. Have been away from my abuser for 4 years and recovering for 6. It's really hard and it's a windy up and down road. Right now it's down because I was recently triggered when he tryed to agressivly approach me the other day. It's amazing how I can still be so scared after all this time. The anxiety is horrible. I can't believe how I used to feel this fear every day when I was his partner.

July, 17 2017 at 1:05 pm

I am 17 yo , i keep receiving violence from my dad , threatned of my bones broken , of punches and kicks .. and yeah he did push me once till i bled my lip was purple thankfully i didnt lose my teeth . He gets angry for smallest reasons and insults me and my sister and mom . I hate my life .. i feel so bad . I have just assisted to a new violence scene half an hour now .. i cant sleep ? i am emotionally destroyed

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 19 2017 at 2:54 am

Hi Salma,
Well done for sharing what you're going through. I'm very troubled to hear of it, however, and would urge you to contact the National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence. There is a hotline number on the website you can call.
Please know that you are not alone in what you're going through. There are people out there who know what to do, and they will help to keep you and your mother and sister safe.
You will be OK. But you shouldn't go through this alone.
Emma-Marie xxx

June, 28 2017 at 6:59 am

My boyfriend abuse me and try to kill me ones, we have 2 baby's 2 and 4 yrs, been together for 6 yrs it's been about a year since he hit me we argue ALOT ...I'm always afraid he's gona hurt me so I run out many times I sleep in my car wen I can't get my baby's I always keep everything I may need in car. Wen he tell me my car is a mess I always have excuses so I dnt take diapers or clothes many times he takes it out so wen I needed to had to go goodwill and get stuff... my point is I'm always AFRAID OF HIM HURTING ME He has said his gona kill me or disfigured my face so many times he only said a lil think and my first instinct is run out it's not even an argument but I can't help it I need to run b4 he gets to me. What can I do to stop feeling this way and be happy? Plz help

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 7 2017 at 7:29 am

Hi Erika!
I hope you doing well right Now regardless of what happened in life for you.
actually my first advise to you is that you try to remember the best unrelated memory that left you a feeling of ecstasy or near that kind of emotions that stems from who you truly are ( because come on who could we be except the love that creates our possiblities to live!) and connect with that so you'll have a better time starting the process of freedom to see things with a higher level of clarity.
second know that all your memory will be lost after the physical aspect of you lies underground and you will never be in touch with this charactar that brought you pain anyways.
I am in Iran and will pray for you so you may feel yourself better.
much care and Love, Sadeqh

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 10 2017 at 10:41 am

Hi Ericka,
I am a victim's advocate. Threats of violence are a huge safety concern. Please safety plan. If your partner takes the things out of your car find a friend or relative to keep a box of clothes for you and your children. If you are ready to leave I strongly suggest coming into contact with your local women's shelter and see if they have beds available for you and your children. The feelings you are going through will stay with you long after the abuse. I recommend documenting what he says and get yourself some solid proof so you can get yourself a protection order and protect your children if he ever comes after you for custody. Abusers will do anything to keep control. So please be advised that abuse can get worse when you leave an abuser. He may respond violently. Please be aware of this. If you need to take you can email me. If you aren't ready to leave I can help you safety plan to assure you and your children are safe.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 25 2017 at 2:53 pm

Your family needs support -- him too. But safety is first, and it's important to find protection for yourself and your children. While a shelter may seem scary, the people there will know how to help you -- in ways your family (who loves you) simply can't. What is happening in your home is not okay. And it is not likely to stop without without some outside help. Please call a shelter. You are young and so are your kids. Don't wait until too much bad stuff happens making it harder to get out and recover. You can and you will, but the first step is to find safety. Reach out -- someone will be there to reach back. Remember how beautiful and important you are. You are special, and what you must do requires special courage. Encouragement will give you that courage -- please, please find it. Your life and your kids are so very critical to our world. You are loved.

June, 20 2017 at 11:50 am

This is a very helpful post, i have a friend who is currently going through this, i have recommended the post for her to read. i believe it will help her before things get out of hand.

June, 1 2017 at 6:59 am

Can someone answer this? Why do people keep getting into relationships friendships that turn abusive? I got out of an abusive marriage (cheating lying financial abuse). I couldnt even talk. Well now i just started sharing a place with my son and dil. She is so emotionally and verbally abusive and manipulative it is making me so anxious and scared and i already have an anxiety disorder.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 10 2017 at 10:44 am

When people get into abusive relationships they are often manipulated at the beginning the abuser will make them feel so happy that life appears perfect with them. They build a foundation on love and trust and little by little they use that to their advantage. It's unfortunate and heart breaking.It's a complete betrayal of your trust too..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 2 2017 at 9:46 am

So true,this helps

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 25 2017 at 2:43 pm

How we show up in relationships is all about us, not them. Yucky to think of that, but the good news is you have all the power. Attachment theory is an accepted understanding of what we do in relationships -- what you are tolerating is mother's milk to you, so you may not have a radar for it. Understanding the dynamic better will help you have a better radar and what I've heard called a "better people picker."

May, 31 2017 at 12:02 pm

I was with my abusive ex boyfriend for 2 years and I still feel so messed up from it all, I feel like i'll never recover. He would constantly manipulate me and control me, he'd control me, my money, what i'd wear, who I'd talk to, where I would go he actually banned me from going to certain places and I would completely isolate myself and just stay locked in my room I was unbelievably depressed and developed serious anxiety. He would tell me what I could and couldn't wear, he'd constantly put me down and say mean, nasty spiteful things about me and my appearance things like I never make an effort when I'm with him yet when I wasn't with him I get glammed up when it was never ever the case or that my skin is horrible or that I look like a slag etc. He would always stop me from going on a night out with my friends he would cause absolutely huge arguments whilst i'd be getting ready and reduce me to tears every time so most of the time I wouldn't go out or if I rarely did I could never enjoy the night, I'd constantly be anxious and so worried for what I had coming from him. He took thousands of pounds from me ( I was a university student at the time so he literally took everything I had, I failed a year at uni because I wouldn't go in because I was so anxious and I knew my 'friends' had been gossiping and bitching about me) I'd be living off pasta and passata because I couldn't afford anything. A lot of my friends at the time just didn't have time for me anymore because I would isolate myself so I had no one to turn to. He would threaten my friends and family and i'd always tell myself as long as I can handle him as long as I take everything then no one else will get hurt or know what he's like, I was so ashamed that I was being treated like this but there was no escape if I'd be off or negative or try to end it he would never have it he would turn up at my house or just would never let me escape. He would be violent with me too, one time he was dragging me by my head down an alley close to his house, someone must of heard me scream and called the police and they turned up to his house and I had to lie about everything, I knew the police didn't believe me but what could they do. I wasn't allowed to talk to any boys or no one he didn't know, he'd think the girls on my phone he didn't know were actually boys but I saved them as girls, clearly a guilty conscience. He could do whatever he wanted and I was never allowed to have a go at him, he would go on nights out and not tell me or even if he did tell me i'd never ever moan, little did I know at the time he was out cheating on me, he even slept with one of my friends which she completely denies but I now know for a fact it happened. He made sex feel like a chore, I hated it I used to lie about being on my period and sometimes I'd say I don't want to but he would manipulate me so much and make me feel so bad and so wrong for not wanting to he always got this way. I look back on it now and can't understand how I let it happen even typing it now I just dont understand and how much of my life I've wasted as a year on and I still can't get over it, every single day without fail everything runs through my head over and over, anytime a story line on TV relates to something he put me through I can't control my emotions. I have never ever spoke to anyone about how bad things were with him and I would never tell anyone I know about it all i'm still too ashamed and confused and embarrassed and hurt to tell anyone but I can't get over it and I just want to forget about everything so so bad but I don't know how I haven't even been with anyone since him I haven't even put any photo's up on social media since him because I just remember the things he would say when he would criticise me and I just think I look disgusting in all my photos. I just want to go back to my life before I ever met him I used to be so happy and so bubbly I used to have so many friends and had so much confidence but I don't know how and don't know if I ever can get back to my old self, I don't know if I can get over it all.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 5 2017 at 5:26 am

You will get over it. Maybe not as soon as you'd like. You are a beautiful person or he wouldn't have chosen you. Believe in yourself. You are stronger than you think. Surround yourself with people who support and uplift you. Stay away from blamers and criticisers. Treat yourself like you'd treat your best friend. With kindness tenderness compassion and encouragement. Find your courage. It's in there. You will recover.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 12 2017 at 9:20 am

I strongly recommend the Melanie Tonia Evans site, she has helped me recover from narcissistic abuse in my partner, its amazing and I'm just about recovered now

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 2 2017 at 9:48 am

Narcissist yeh exactly what he was he has analiated me it feels!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 5 2017 at 11:09 pm

I went through the same exact thing you described. If you ever need to talk I'm here! Single mother of 2

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 24 2017 at 5:20 am

It's been a few years since I left my two-year abusive relationship. Even typing that sentence "MY two-year abusive relationship" seems surreal. I find it so hard to believe that i am a victim of abuse - how did this happen to me, am i justified in feeling the way i do? (.... yes).
I had a similar story as yours. He physically and sexually abused me and took my virginity. But it was the words - the endless insults, put downs, sarcasms, that effaced me the most. I had always been a strong person - independent and confident. I recognised the abuse but i thought i was strong enough to withhold it, but day by day he ground me down and by the end, I was the closest thing to nothing that one person could be. I lost my closest friendships, my family, finances - I felt too guilty and ashamed and too worn down and confused to explain to them. How could I explain a situation, i didn't understand myself? He left me go days without eating, other days he force feed me - i am vegetarian so often he'd make me eat meat. He told me i deserved no better. I've always loved my hair - long, silky and blonde - one night he held me down and shaved my head - he told me it was because he loved me and he didn't want other men's eyes on me. I didn't even cry. Something broke in me with him, and i became an implementable shell - so emotionally numb, and closed off to the world.
Every. single. day. for two years after, i relived it all. Constant, relentless memories, thoughts, insults heralded through my mind, on repeat. I never thought I could move past this, how could i enjoy a life when so much sadness and confusion weighed me down? When i'd lost so much? How do you go back to trust and kindness and innocent living when so much has been taken?
But it happens .... as cliche as it sounds, time is a great healer. It's having the patience. The biggest and most pleasant lesson i've learned is that it doesn't even matter if don't believe in your ability to heal - somehow it just happens. The friends you'd lost, the real ones at least, they will be there when you're ready. I personally, never shared my story with them, i just started allowing myself into their friendship again. I felt so guilty at first, as if they were doing me a favour and i wasn't worthy, but with time, that faded and i started to live within the confines of a friendship again.
I was extraordinary fortunate and by chance fell into counselling with an amazingly kind and supportive therapist who specialised in abuse, rape and violence. I remember the first session - she was asking me questions and she asked me how i felt about therapy and i remember saying "you cannot help me, words and speaking will never undo this, or help me rebuild my life. This i cannot fix, i'm ruined". She never probed me or pushed. Each week, i chatted. Two years on (i've just finished counselling), and i cannot believe how far i've come. I cannot believe how far i've moved past. I still have times/moments where i remember, or a trigger - i think that will always be there, but i've noticed i laugh and i dream, and i'm a person again. I say no. Counselling helped me to redefine and relearn how to have a voice and needs. I spent so many years having my voice stamped out of me and told i wasn't worth one, that i had to re-learn what it was to be a person.
Honestly, i completely understand everything you have said. The helpless, the shame, the obsessive rut, but it will get better. I strongly advise you to get counselling. You will be incredibly low at times, it's a gruelling process, but someday, you'll catch yourself laughing and you will notice for that brief second or minute you were happy and it wasn't tainted. These build, and you will have a life again.
I wish you all the courage in rebuilding you're life - I promise it will get better. You will get better.

May, 30 2017 at 6:15 am

I am just after leaving an emotionally abusive relationship with a sexually manipulative woman. We were together for almost 9 years, I have lived with her for 8. At first she used to worship the ground i walked on. She was so sexually obliging that it intimidated me and my sexuality. She had a child with a former partner and between her relationship with him and the time i met her she used to tell me how many men she had been with and her coworker friends with benefits. I feel so stupid now that i didn't see the signs but she treated me so well I enjoyed it and wanted it to continue for a while. I was planning on moving out after one of her outbursts when she declared that seh ws pregnant. So I stayed for as I wanted to raise my child. Over the course of our relationship she would humiliate me infront of her exes family and my family and her family. She would always make me jealous at most opportunities. She got pregnant again. and just 5 months ago she got pregnant again. She was lying to me about when she would finish work, bought sex toys at christmas ahich were not for me, i was devasted on christmas day. she used to stave me of affection, sex, comapssion, loyalty, companionship and self worth. She is and has been pushing all the buttons on my heart, now that i have left her she is using the pregnancy against me as she is leaving sublte hints that she is seeing someone else, while bearing my child in her wombe. She is utterly toxic.
Now i know what most people will think of this a, why in gods name did you ever get involved, but it was a slow process off entrapment and i had never experienced anything like this before. I was naive, no question, but this has been a gradulal attack on my good nature and now i am suffering from PTSD and panic attacks.
I am not free from her although i have left her as between visitation transitions and arrangements she is still abusing me.
Her correspondence is written by a third party, probably her new victim, and it is completely impersonnal and extrememely condecending.I have a good job so child mainteneace is not a problem. i intend on getting a dna test when the unborn child arrives.
I am using all the advice available for stress amanagement and am making arrangements for new accommodation.
I will build my life again piece by piece but the thought of her being cruel and manipulative for years to come sets of anxiety in me.
Thanks for reading.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 5 2017 at 11:14 pm

I am so very sorry you were put through something as horrible as this by someone you loved! I'm a mother of two, i couldnt imagine! You are a very strong person for being able to leave after being treated like that for as many years as you stayed! Head up, it'll get better!

May, 29 2017 at 9:54 pm

I dated an abusive boyfriend on and off for six years. In the end, the relationship ended because he tried to have me committed. He was a serial cheater. He cheated on me with countless women. I lost all the girlfriends I had because they had affairs together. As our final ditch-effort of making it work he invited me to move to New York with him and move in together. I wasn't there a week before it became clear to me he was cheating on me with his co-workers. I tried to leave him. We got in a huge fight one night and he called the police and told them I was suicidal. He was a clinical psychologist, a graduate from The New School. He knew that if he told the police I was suicidal, they would have to arrest me and take me in for evaluation because suicide is illegal in most states. He did that. They took me in. They kept me in a holding facility in a mental hospital in Harlem for 17hrs. I got out because I said, "I have to be at work on Monday" as they were trying to have me moved from the holding facility to their in-patient program upstairs. I got out. I never spoke to him again. That was over four years ago. After it happened I couldn't stay indoors. I had a fear of being inside. I became a long-distance runner. I started dating someone else that was very large and intimidating and angry. Someone that claimed he would protect me against anyone that would do what the first guy did, but who ultimately ended up being just as abusive in a different way. I can no longer run. I still mourn the loss of myself and of my freedom. I'm not over it. I don't know if I will ever be over it. Every time I tell someone what happened they think that I'm crazy instead of seeing this man as dangerous. He's moved back to my hometown with a new girlfriend. She doesn't know what a monster he is. Friends that I thought were friends have stopped speaking to me or answering my text messages because they want to be his friend instead. It's very sad. I've lost everyone.

May, 28 2017 at 11:44 am

I just got out of an abusive relationship , my ex boyfriend broke up with me and said everything was my fault he blamed his bad grades on me and said he couldn't focus in school because of me. He told me he'd have sex with one of my friends and got mad when I confronted him about it. I just feel like everything is my fault just like he wanted it to be, he would never let me be around my friends and get angry when I talked to them or left him out of my conversation with them he even would get mad when I wouldn't let him see or read my text messages to the point where he put his fingerprint into my iPhone I and now he seems like he doesn't even care about me when I cared about him so much I just don't know what to do and he was very sexual towards me and did things I told him not to do.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
May, 29 2017 at 8:36 am

Hi Rachel,
I'm so sorry you went through this. You need to stay away from this person. If he did things to you sexually that you told him not to do, that's sexual assault. You do not _ever_ want to be with someone who would do that to you.
Help help now.…
Note that you do not have to be suicidal to call the National Lifeline and you do not have to be _in_ an abusive relationship to get help. You need support so you can stay out of this relationship.
- Natasha Tracy

May, 13 2017 at 1:47 pm

I have been married to my abuser for 45 years. I can never escape and am completely depressed. He thinks he is the victim. He thinks that because he no longer physically abuses me it's ok but mental abuse is horrible I am trapped physically. I am falling apart

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Concerned reader
May, 27 2017 at 8:02 pm

Get out now & don't look back no matter what the cost just do it!!

May, 10 2017 at 2:38 am

I don't usually do this...but I know that I need to in order to move past this feeling of blame, the feeling of fear, hurt, anger, resentment but mostly disappointment. My ex boyfriend who I still saw after our break-up, I suppose during this time we tried to fix and mend things before he hit me, he hit me, after humiliating me publicly by flirting with other girls in my presence, he still expected me to go home and sleep with him to which I responded and said no...there was no way in hell I would ever allow a man to touch me right after disrespecting me...on the way home he abused me verbally first...the verbal lead to physical. The following day I made my way to the police station, made a case but dropped the arrest because I feared it might affect his career... days later I find myself questioning that action, I find myself questioning everything...I'm so afraid of being alone I know that when it's quiet the memory of him, the thought of me being physically hurt by him...all that will come rushing in. I've endured my fair share of bad relationships but non like this...non like this...I can go back and open up the case, he couldn't even hold to one agreement and cover my medical costs...his not sorry...what should I do? I'm not someone who destroy's peoples lives but where is the justice?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Councerned reader
May, 27 2017 at 8:09 pm

He's destroying you! This is where we make the mistake we feel for them - the ones who destroy us!! Is that right? they can say / do what they like & we still give them a chance ?? No it's not! Let's wise up! End it! Do it now! Get away & live life! We only get one shot at life & it's short it's so short! Live life - leave that excuse for a ***** & don't look back. OVER & live!

April, 29 2017 at 3:42 am

I was pretty nervous going to college, after so much publicity of campus assaults on a National level. Even a friend of a friend was nearly sexually assaulted at her University, someone saw her and stepped in luckily. Knowing some personal defense moves has improved my confidence, and carrying pepper spray just in case. I bought a defense device, and feel a lot safer now.

September, 22 2016 at 12:42 pm

It feels weird writing on here... but I think its time to vent. I was with my ex, three and a half years. It was a very abusive relationship. I had lost friends and become isolated from everyone, I had lost myself, confidence, everything, id fake smile my way through every painful day.. A year and a half later after finally moving house twice and settling in at university I have met the most amazing guy, hes been so much help, and with the help of new friends I've started to gain my confidence back. I may be happy.. but when i'm alone and particularly at night (since He stalked me, his family stalked me and 'our' friends) I still struggle to sleep... I have nightmares quite often, not as bad as I use to now that I have confided in my partner and a close friend who has been in an abusive friendship..I struggle badly when my partner isn't there. I don't want to struggle against this.. I want to keep rising up and enjoy university and new relationship instead of staying in and hiding these emotions. My friend suggested I vented... so here we go i guess..I feel like Il never have a day to myself where I don't think about the past.. even though my present is quite good..I wish Id grown a back bone a long time ago..

September, 21 2016 at 1:26 pm

It has been 8 years since I left my abusive husband. We were together for 14 years. I have remarried and have problems with my new husband touching me when I do not expect it. it is causing us problems. Any suggestions on how to get over this?

Think I have to give up
August, 8 2016 at 5:53 pm

My abuser is not a partner in fact I've been single 16 yrs. no way I have confidence to meet someone. My abusers have been my alcoholic Mum, Brother with scitziphrenia and Sister with undiagnosed mental health and she's now the worst. Mum died recently so no abuse there. Sister who I'm so kind too and enable her forever is so paranoid and terrifying. I'm fake all the time so scared she will go nuts. I was abused again this week and I go into depression takes me a couple says to get over it. She puts me down and is a controlling angry human. I forgive because she has no one. She has abused every person she can in cold friends and family. She has ruined our rships with relatives. I can't so it anymore I'm getting older and she's a lot younger. I need to build up my confidence. I hide away and eat.

July, 30 2016 at 5:44 pm


In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
August, 3 2016 at 2:36 pm

Contact the NDVH - - by phone or chat.

June, 13 2016 at 5:35 pm

I am divorcing my abuser and now I and having to relive everything in court. His lies, and the lies of his attorney are taking me down. Sometimes I wish I would not be alive anymore. I feel so depressed constantly. No one really cares, and certainly not the court system. It is a circus that I never want to go to again

Miss K.
May, 31 2016 at 8:00 pm

I'm blown away by all of these comments. I have been talking to the hotline since February and in this abusive relationship for 5 1/2 years. I keep thinking I can leave, but something always keeps me there. Now last week, he found out I was looking for a place to live, and he is ANGRY. Constantly brings it up if I am upset about anything, he puts that in my place, like I've hurt him so bad. He told me he doesn't care if I go, only cares and is mad that I am taking my dog from him. Making me feel less than a dog.. which is common with him...the dog is treated better than me, and it honestly hurts. I've been working so hard at getting my self-esteem back, but don't think I know how. I am seeing a counselor this Friday to finally talk to someone that can help me. I have been too afraid to tell my own family, which now I understand is a form of the isolation that they pull us into. I have told a variety of friends, and only a few understand and are sticking with me until I can make a move. I feel so confused and hurt all the time, and the depression has hit hard. I feel like my head is always in a fog and I cannot even have feelings at this point. When I am away from him, and at work, I feel like my confidence comes back and I remember that I CAN survive and make it without him, but then the feeling fades and I cannot imagine leaving him after investing 5 1/2 years into this. I know the abuse is only going to get worse, especially now that he knows I was making plans to get out of it. But what is holding me here still?? I am so glad I found this site and can use it to gain strength and encouragement that I CAN SURVIVE TOO! one day..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
June, 2 2016 at 2:09 pm

Yes, you can survive, Miss K. You can do better than survive when the abuse is out of your life. You can LIVE.

Miss T
May, 13 2016 at 1:36 pm

I have just left my abuser after two years. I cannot believe how reading all the posts above have made me realise that I have definitely been a victim of abuse. I never thought I would end up where I did. I should have realised 3 moths after meeting him, when he kicked me that something was not quite right. I'm an intelligent women with a high profile job! Yet I let this animal reduce me what what I am today, scared, looking over my shoulder, feeling I cannot phone my son or speak to my grandson.
Everyone and everything that mattered in my life he tried to turn me against. Like others he would say nasty things to me and accuse me all the time of flirting. I ended up walking round with my head down so not to draw attention to myself for fear off accusation.
On reflection every holiday and family occasion has-been ruined by him and his jealousy. When he dragged me round the bedroom floor by my hair and threatened to put my shoe in my head.. I should have left then.. But I stayed and forgave him.. Then he traumatised me in the car slamming the breaks on throwing me forward .. Accusing me of sleeping with my son "sick"
Threw me out of the car in the middle of the Yorkshire dales, threw all my clothes out the windows and down the stairs, smashed lots of things. Took everything back he had bought for me..
I ended up managing he behaviours to protect myself! It was emotionally draining. Walking on egg shells all the time, having to be careful what you say so not to upset him. He even took my phone whilst I was asleep and downloaded all my old messages then held me prisoner while I answered to them,
He looked at old pictures then abused me about them and they were before I even met him.
He dragged me across a pool area on holiday and threw me on top of someone.. He asked to be moved away from me on a plane then left me alone to travel to our holiday destination..
I do nothing wrong and struggled to undertand why I was being treated like this. He apologises and offers me holidays, clothes, money to make me feel better. None of it matters, I have realised that being yourself and having your basic human rights is the most important thing. I don't know who I am anymore and I yearn for the person I was before I met him. I was also trying to study for a masters and hold down a full time job while all this was going on.
I am going to fail my masters and it his fault, I got in trouble at work for taking him to a work conference, which I had to do due to his accusations. I ended up getting disciplined and I thought oh my god! I'm going to loose my job because of him..
I have been left a week and he is texting me night and day .. Morning baby, night baby, choose. A holiday you want to go on etc etc etc.. I cannot breathe right, I question everyone I do, I'm isolated alone need to find myself again.. I look at pictures of my self before I met him and I don't know who that person is in the pictures anymore, my family and work colleagues have all said I have changed.. They don't know me anymore, he has isolated me from every me and everything I ever enjoyed, music, gym, going out.
However on appositive note after reading all the posts.. I'm not going back! I need to find myself, however I know the recovery process is going to be slow!
One of my colleagues once said " you will wake up one day and think, how on earth did I get here" she was right, good luck everyone be strong we don't deserve to be treated like this

miss x
May, 11 2016 at 10:04 am

very scared left him 8 weeks ago after 9 years im scared shaking crying lonely he found me trying his best to get me back ive had the police round 5 times
he keeps ringing me texting why am i in such a panic about been alone? i feel afraid evety bang knock or phone call makes me jump
i cant sleep im scared to go out ive contacted a womens aid they told me to block him and not let him in and have no contact so why am i so weak i give in to him
he says i need him and cant cope alone im scared stiff ive no one so frightened from all the abuse will i ever feel normal again?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
May, 12 2016 at 9:19 am

I'm not a doctor or therapist, but it sounds like you have some symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. And you can take control over your life again. As women's aid advises, stop contact between the two of you. Knowing he won't interrupt your day (by blocking texts, sending his emails to trash automatically, NOT ANSWERING the door, etc.).
When he says you need him and can't cope alone, he's really saying that HE needs YOU (to abuse) and can't (emotionally) cope alone (without someone to abuse). Stay strong. Continue calling hotlines. See your doctor or therapist about the jumpiness, fear, inability to fall asleep, etc.

April, 23 2016 at 2:04 am

I have just recently left my partner. I feel so confused about everything. He was just taken by the police. I told him i was leaving and then he started telling me what friends he could bring in. He is a heavy drinker and can have massive mood swings. I will say one sentence and if hes not in the right mood it will turn from talking staight up to yelling in my face. Oh did i mention we have two kids and he couldnt even tell the officers their birthday. He was flicking through our pages for their bitrth certs i had to tell them the dates. One of them happened to be the policemans birthday ironically. I have been through all the abuse. I was stupid enough to get pregnant to the guy straight away which he initiated. When i fell pregnant he started to control me. Didnt want me to stay out late, which i needed to because of study. Started to talk aggressively. And it started with pushes. Then hed hit me in places that are unseen but the most painful. Eg hed hit me in the back of the head squeeze my jaw, strangle me, pull my hair back so my neck would click, etc. He kept putting me down saying im a whore and started the brainwashing. He didnt like to see me happy and hated my family. Always had an excuse when it came to family occasions and when he did come hed be really awkward and not want to participate. That goes with the kids sporting events also. He made it hard for me to feel comfortable in those environments. You would think hed be happy to see his kids doing things. But when came to his friends he was the happiest man alive. Came to the point where hed bring his friends over for a drink two or three days a week after work. He was a couch potatoe and rarely did anything in the house except cook because thats the only thing i could cintrom with the man. His hunger. He always said i did nothing when im studying horticulture which involves physical labour. I come home and get no credit for doing all the housework. He crashed our car with the kids in it. They ended up in hospital my youngest has a large scar on his forehead and the other had a face twice the size. He lost the keys to our current car so im left without a vehice. Hes behind in rent and power. Everythings under my name except the sky he had a scowel when i told the man it will be his. Oh and his family comes every christmas and visits leaving with all our valuables. I told him not to take the classic dvds. The only dvds missing were the classics. He does things deliberately to make me weaker. It came to the point where i would look at him and my head would go into a negative rampage... to the point where i have to cut it. Just stop. He goes and it stops. His presence is very gloomy. The most recent scenario that opened my eyes was when he was lounging on the couch with the t.v right up loud as usual and then he starts putting me down. I telm him his behaviour is unacceptable and that only fueled the fire because once its lit with him,one word anything will set him off. So he drages me to the door. I sit down i have the right to watch t.v he tells me to go and look after the kids spend time with them. He doesnt even give them the time of day the lazy father. I come back in and he throws the pillow hard and didnt stop. So i sit and watch lie in the couch and cry and watch t.v. Something set him off again and he comes up and squeezes my face i already have serious jaw problems. He does it twice, not three times because my legs are there fending him off. He didnt hurt me so i have a feeling he wanted to make sure i was hurt. I told him why doesnt he pick on someone his own size like those people that are bothering him at work. He told me because they are not my wife. Noone can see what i do here to you. Thats when i knew he was a monster. I called the cops and used the protection order that i should have. I shouldnt have to leave my house. Im still struggling to keep the negative out. I mean i know its early days and the emotional damage and physical damage to my head is really intense. Its a longterm injury. It helps when im positive and dont think about it. Stop myself from thinking negative. But i think its going to take a long time to remove all the crap inside there. I just hope its physically possible. Anyway i can already feel the freedom. Oh yeah isolation n all that yeah thats me. So nice to hear im not crazy and alone in this.

April, 17 2016 at 5:06 am

I just recently made a descision to end the cycle with my partner. Im still coping with it. It doesnt help matters im in an isolated job and i just found out im going to be let go in 2 weeks. Lots of emotional abuse and a bit of physical and soo much gas lighting i cant count. It came to a head when we both had to move to different parts of the world for work to reestablish our income. She accused me of cheating on her which i did not do. Kept on going back and forth with her affections. Making me feel as if i am completely at fault. I have my own part to play in this, i felt trapped and i didnt want the day in day out confrontations.but it has been too much. The threats, one day us comminicating fine and then it just going down hill and 3 to 4 days later another screaming match, more threats of retaliation and her basically saying im at fault for everything. Im just trying to cope with this situation and struggling at times. I just feel numb due to some of this situation. I would live some advice someone in my situation can do to cope with this, since my enviornment here for its resourcs, isolation and also a language barrier.
Thanks for listening

April, 14 2016 at 9:30 pm

I was married for just 4 years to a man who verbally and emotionally abused me. It took me 3 years to realize that it was abuse. I finally got the courage to leave him a few months ago but the damage he has done in those few short years is still manifesting itself. I hated who I became when I was married to him, I acted in ways that I NEVER have before because I just couldn't take it anymore. I spent hours sitting on the floor with my back to the bedroom door while he raged incessantly at me from the other side of the door. I eventually kept an overnight bag packed in the trunk of my car for the nights when I would have to escape and go sleep in a hotel for the night. I wound up in the hospital one night with 4 staples in my head and a shoulder injury that still reminds me every day of what he did because I am in pain from it every day. The abuse has changed who I am, I have moments when I feel like the old me again but they are quickly destroyed by one memory of something that he said to me. I'm a fucking bitch, a Nazi, a poor excuse for a wife, I'm selfish, vindictive, malicious, I only care about myself. Some of my closest friends that I had known for years before I met him do not get it. They welcome him to Bible study groups while I'm left on the outside because he only shows to them Dr Jekyl, never Mr. Hyde. I'm so very weary of this, he has literally destroyed my life. I desperately miss who I was before I met him. Tonight it all got too much and I attacked myself, punching, slapping and hitting myself in the face because I am so stupid to have kept trying with him. My life is in a million pieces on the floor and I have no idea how to pick them up or how to start putting them back together again. Tonight it feels like he has won.

Shirona Naidoo
April, 12 2016 at 1:00 pm

Thank you for sharing this. Even though I have been to therapy, I share a child with my abusive ex; and the journey
to be free from the pain and damage he caused; some days seems unlikely. I have come to understand and accept how impotent the system is in dealing with abusive narcissists. Frameworks for abuse exist but true meaningful support and change is not a reality. Abusive men get away with their denial. Lies. And delusions.
However. I realised how far I have come after reading this. I'm between phases 2 and 3.
I also realised my child would have to be taught to be strong and resilient to manage this personality as a parent. He started showing signs of verbal abuse towards my son.
I came to realise as weak as society systems and structures are in stopping and healing this fracture in humanity... the little you do daily to be strong... To stand up and own an experience and use it to help others even in little ways, does make a difference...
You can't heal those so sick they need to hurt others. But as women and mothers we have the power to grow a new generation free from this scourge. And empower our children to love.
I read once you never realise how strong you are until you forgive someone who wasn't sorry and accept an apology you never received.
More than loving myself everyday enough to make my life better and beautiful. I have taught my son to love himself and never let anyone disrespect undermine or destroy his essence.
The only way to suffocate narcissistic abusive men is to be strong self assured and successful.

March, 13 2016 at 6:20 am

After months of terrible emotional abuse , fits of rage , being spat on while I cried and he pretended to play the violin over me, 2 anxiety attacks of where I wet myself after 5-10hours of being yelled at & made to admit it was all my fault and I was emotionally neglecting him, my basic human rights to my freedom ... Seeing a friend alone , wanting to walk the beach for some fresh air alone , popping to the supermarket alone
I was denied all of these basic rights not to mention my cellphone and car keys
My heart is breaking because I do love him
But after months of maybe believing I was all these things & feeling frightened embarrassed , I finally realised I don't deserve to be treated like this he is actually very very nasty to me he hates who I am he doesn't want me to be me or have an identity he want to be my king and he doesn't give a shit about who I am, so mr M!thews fu"k you for treating me so horribly when I only ever showed you love f"Ck you for trying to change my happy kind spirit Fu!k you full stop , I'm getting a protection order this morning and I'm never going to let you mess with my head or my life again

March, 13 2016 at 5:04 am

My husband of 18 years grew unbearable a few years back. We walked on eggshells, he'd flip over the smallest of things, he never showed love but would wake me when he came to bed expecting sex...if I pretended to be asleep he'd physically push me away. He'd dominate everything and 4 years ago he became physically abusive one day when he pulled me by by arm across the room, pushed me and pinned me down telling me I would listen to him. He used enough force to leave bruises.
He never seemed to feel remorse & when I would get upset about it he would say "I didn't hit you" like his behaviour was ok. We split up, he suddenly broke and seemed remorseful for the way he had treated me in our marriage. A year later we tried to build a relationship. He had changed but yet still I can't let go. Any argument I feel ready to defend myself. He shaves and I hate his face as he looks like the man who treated me nasty and it triggers a fight or flight mode in me (stupid I know but he's had a beard for a while now). I don't ever want to feel weak with him again. I also do not enjoy sex with him as it feels he has power over me and I hate it.
Guess my above reasons are enough to call it quits. But it's so hard to end it for good. I guess as this isn't the life I wanted for me and my three children. I wanted a happy marriage and I got far from that. We go through cycles of being 'ok' but my life is full of triggers and not liking him :(

withheld for privacy
October, 5 2015 at 11:18 pm

I was in an extremely emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive relationship. The person would start these terrific fights. I never could figure out where they were coming from. Then if I reacted, he would say I started the fight. He would refuse to acknowledge what he was doing to me unto I just thought I was crazy. He was gaslighting and preying on me.

September, 25 2015 at 1:13 pm

i left an abusive relationship after 2 1/2 years. i finally had had ENOUGH! he put his hands on me for the last time and drew blood; whether accident or on purpose, i got no apology for it! in fact, he stood right in my face after it happened and said nothing-NOTHING! over the past 2 years he broke alot of my belongings and i just didn't want to believe HE IS A MONSTER; i told myself NO, NOT HIM. but he is, he was. he fits the narcissitic personality traits to a T, refuses to seek help and is in complete denial of any wrong doing. although he never cheated on me, was responsible when it came to running a household (sort of), occasionally got me flowers and other presents, he had a very VERY nasty temper; he says he was not jealous or insecure BUT he was! i was always accused of "flirting online" then eventually because he wasn't getting it as much as HE wanted, i was accused of saving it for someone else, then CHEATING! he had a sneaky way about him; he somehow hacked into my fb and was reading messages in my inbox and said i was talking bad about him to any bitch that gave me 2 seconds of attention. i tried working outside the home, that was a problem. the jobs i had were early morning and if i tried to go to bed early and he wanted some, he would fight with me saying i was denying him, not pleasing him, not attracted to him; during 1 incident and this should have been the first & last time i should have LEFT, we were arguing and he poured beer over my head, did not let me sleep in the room with him and told me i disgust him. (lucky we had another bedroom). i got up the next morning to take a shower in the 2nd bathroom and he flew in, turned off the water and WOULD NOT LET ME TAKE A SHOWER! i told him i cannot go into work smelling like beer and he said I DONT CARE, YOU'RE NOT TAKING A SHOWER. i cried all day at work, i could've went home but since that was some time to be away from him i didn't. i have so many horrible, painful memories of how he treated me, even after i left! the names he called me, and is still calling me. he's 34 and is acting like a 4 year old. i have accepted im not going to get any heartfelt apology. its been over 3 months since i left; he stalks my fb page and gets mad about what i post; its my effin page i shouldn't have to worry what pisses him off but if he reads something he doesn't like, i get a nasty message; i am planning to move on my own in a few months and he told me WE BOTH KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE, assuming i've been with other people here. he called me 1 morning and i didnt answer because i was in tears at the nasty messages he was sending and he says YOU MUST STILL BE AT HIS HOUSE HO...i was driving in my car from a grocery store! i'm 44 i don't have for games and i am not even looking for anyone else after what i went thru. i am just enjoying taking care of myself; getting my nails done which he got pissed off about that! i get massages every 2 weeks, i bought myself a car and all of this, he sent me messages calling me na mes, how i didn't do any of this for HIM and i must be doing it for someone else; if i post something about going to the gym he says NOW YOU'RE GOING ALL FULL FORCE TO GET YOURSELF SEXY FOR SOMEONE ELSE, smh. i have cried to him how hurt i am, how i am heartbroken and devestated; i asked him if he wanted to make it work and he flat out told me WITHOUT ANY HESITATION "I DON'T WANT TO WORK IT OUT". but yet, i get accused of things he's making up in his head, to fuel his anger and rage! when i ask to see him he tells me no because that will only confuse the feelings more. he is seriously so caught up in the past AND will not own up that the reason i left was because HE IS ABUSIVE; and he has a history of it, others before me! he had his chance to get right but no, its just more anger and name calling (he's called me EVERY name there is, including a FATASS!) i did so much for him, for his son that he gives me NO credit for and thats fine, he doesn't have to; but at the same time LOVES to throw in my face what he did for me, smh. well, i just needed to vent, i know i did the right thing for me because he was very capable of hurting me worse; my heart aches sometimes and im so heartbroken because i was so committed to him but i don't know who he turned into.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 7 2017 at 9:44 am

i just want to thank this page and also the comments underneath it was definitely what I need to hear so many stories that have similar circumstances of how the started
I'm 20 and in a few months I'll be 21 which I am honestly not excited for at all my domestic releationship with my ex parter absolutely tore me apart and it's nearly been two years and I feel like Iv only taken baby steps in my healing. I was with him for almost 2 years and It was about a year and a half that I wanted to leave. That I knew I did not want to say .
By the end on the time I had with him I was so scared every day for my life my family and my friends - he became so abusesive my life or feelings where not important to him . I have a scar on the side of my leg from him holding me down and cutting me with his hunting knife - he tried to murder me nurmours times and the treat of it was just as easy for him to say to me as he loved me - he drove me out to the country three times to places he was going to do it he had his hands around my neck and was about to do it I was saying my last word and a random car from no where came down the road and it stopped him the second a random bike rider and on the third time a turtle I don't know how but I remember being on ground. I nearly got drowned twice one of those was times was honestly the scariest i swallowed so much water I was on the ground coughing for ages my reaction so close to death and fear was when I got up I punched him one of my most proudest moments I hit him as hard as I could straight in his face I remember the exacted reaction as his draw dropped in shock it's a shame I don't remember what happened after though. The worst was the mental abuse - I wasn't alowed to get a job I wasn't allowed to see my family or friends and the things he promised he would do to them if I left or if I didn't show him the right love he wanted . He said he was going to gut my little sister and mother like pigs. I remember being so numb distorted about how I did this to him but it wasn't me . I wasn't allowed to cry or even show the emotions that he didn't like I was his puppet and he is evil and has go a twisted mind ,, Iv had guns and knifes pointed to my throat he has a gun collection and used to tell me stories of how he liked to mutilate animals and his passwords where hitler . I believed he would kill me and my family if I fucked up so I was so scared to reach out for help . The manipulation and the mind games also made me think there was no other option and how other people would just play me you see he loved me so much and he was the only one there for me and helped me and I'm still now stuck in the mind games I constantly isolate myself or use my phone or really talk to people and it's really bring to my own deminish I feel as if I can't trust anyone I feel honestly alone Iv tried to get out there but people can tell I'm week and when I'm and I'm going awesome my ptsd will come out of know where and I'll snap - I hate the feeling I could be dead and my family and friends wouldn't even know because people are to self exsorbed in the own life's - my own sister who actually I sent a secret email of his phone to tell her i need out now or I was going to bed dead shit there and tell me to pull my head in and I keep tigging myself bigger holes and how I'm selfish to get upset that people don't involve me in there life's when I actually have a serious problem with trying to talk to people and I think even using my phone give me ptsd and I'm upset on how society's treats people like us and get told where crazy and what not for something that is not even our fault .. im over how people treat domestic violence and I'm happy I found this to not feel so alone and lost

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