And this is how it ends or does it?

A journey through verbal and emotional abuse, is not just a mere event in one’s life. The experience is long lasting because usually the victim of this abuse does not realize that they are being abused before the damage is done. Once a victim detaches from the abuser, healing takes time. My journey through verbal and emotional abuse left me with scars that are very deep. Many people who have suffered from abuse will agree that It’s difficult to explain to others why healing is a long and difficult struggle. That in itself could be frustrating and actually cause more emotional distress.

I went through a relationship for six years and the first five months were amazing. I thought I hit the jackpot when this man came into my life. The attention, the love, the caring he showed was the cause of great happiness and security in my life. It didn’t take long for that euphoric feeling to come crashing down. The red flags started popping up but, because I was in deeply involved and in love with this man at that point in the relationship, I thought he was truly a good man. I explained the red flags as minor bumps in our relationship. As time went by, my fiancé showed parts of him that were frightening. The anger, name calling, shaming, blaming, manipulating, and put downs were frequent. Drug use, gambling, silent treatment, verbal and emotional abuse, lying, manipulating, gaslighting, blaming, and shaming were every day occurrences. Because of the love I had for him, I changed myself and was quiet and submissive during his rages. The few times that I tried to defend myself I was called a liar and accused of denying when I was wrong and I was told that no one liked me. So eventually I knew that there was no point in defending myself any longer.

After those awful bouts of rage, blaming, gaslighting, shaming, silent treatment as well as smearing my name to friends and family, he would show me that wonderful man that I first met for a short while. We would have fun and love each other deeply and be a very good together. But then the cycle began again. I started seeing the red flags and then shortly after that the catastrophic rage would burst forth towards me once again. At the end of five years of the relationship, he would leave home for two weeks, a week, two days and not communicate with me. He would just take a bag of clothes and leave everything else. After about 10 times of this behavior, I finally told him to move everything out if he didn’t come home that night. He called me out on it and didn’t come home. He didn’t think I meant what I said. After he moved out, his behavior towards me became worse. It took a lot for me to get him to take all his belongings out of the house and separate things like insurance. He was holding on and contacting me at the beginning of the breakup like clockwork, almost every 10 days. As time passed, he contacted me less frequently while in another relationship. Recently he came by and pulled into my driveway and proceeded to intimidate, shame, and blame me. I finally went to the DVCCC to assist me in preventing future attacks on my character. The court sent him a warning letter stating that future contact with me might result in further legal action. This experience has spanned a period of over eight years at this point. I’m waiting to find out if this is the end.

- Written & Shared by a real Chester County Survivor

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Last update: September 2020