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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

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Doc@DrIrene.com

Board: How To Leave Your Abuser

Board: How To Leave Your Abuser

"Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought." 
- Henri Bergson

March 3, 2000

Your web site has saved me years of heart ache. I read through it one day and snapped out of my denial, an uncomfortable place. So, I decided the site was "bunk" and avoided it for two weeks. Then went back. Now I read it every day. I hope you've also joined one of the support groups or participated in the board ... If you have concerns with your email address, get one of the free ones.

I am leaving him, and my feelings are so mixed up. Agony is a good word for it.  But thank you. Thank you so much. I read the stories of thirty-year marriages and think "That really could be me!"

Not to tamper with perfection (Wow...what a gal; what taste...), but here is a suggestion: I am in the process of leaving my abusive, co-dependent fiancée. But he is also a good and talented person who has suffered a lot - that's what makes leaving him so hard. I am terrified out of my mind. I think a page about "Leaving Your Abuser" with tips for doing it as safely as possible would be a great addition to your site. You got it. By the way, if you are scared, respect your fear. Better to find out later that you overreacted than be sorry that you didn't.  R

For example, although he has never hit me, I am lying to him because I am really afraid when I break it to him, he might turn violent, or dump my possessions on the street before I find a place to live. It is hard to cope with that fear and the guilt of being dishonest. Neither of you have been playing fair! You've been giving the store away and he's been taking it. If you both had been playing fair, you wouldn't be planning to leave! Start playing fair now: shut your mouth and do what you have to do to be fair to yourself - for a change. Dump the guilt; this is about survival. It is your responsibility to take good care of the precious gift you were given: your body, your mind, your soul.

I think for women who have been hit, it would be even harder. There must be some good rules of thumb like the ones you give in "Taking your power" that could help people in my situation: Ideas for protecting yourself, how to move out, ways to break the news, keeping strong during the backlash, getting your confidence back, how to cope with stalkers, what legal options there are, how to keep listening to your long lost instincts, a moving out checklist, etc.  

Or, how about a bulletin board: play-by-play stories about "How I left my ex," or "How I broke free" so people can see ways to break free (nuts and bolts stuff) that have worked for others. Hopefully in a couple weeks I will be in a position to contribute to such a bulletin board!

God bless you. God bless your web site.

Two great ideas well taken. Thank you! My very best wishes, Dr. Irene

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