|Dear Dr. Irene:
I have been reading your site for months and I wanted to tell you my
I have been in an abusive relationship for two years. Two weeks ago it
came to a head and I left. During this time I was told I was a "pea
brain", "stupid", "loser", "can't do anything
right", "when will I ever learn", "my way is
the only way", "your opinion does not matter", "you make me sick to my stomach."
I was punched, choked, spit on, my hair was pulled, etc. I could go on and on, but you
get the picture.
Kevin continually told me I was the problem. He did not want to hear my
excuses every time I made a mistake. I was in boot camp and he was going
to teach me the right way to walk, talk, listen, and obey. Also during
this time he told me I was sick and needed therapy. If I would stop
arguing with him, because he is always right and just do as he says, then
everything would be OK.
If he became angry with me he would scream at me
anywhere: in a restaurant, in front of friends, in front of his son. It
did not matter where or who was around. I did not deserve his
respect. Since his standards we so much higher than mine, I was not good
enough for him.
I was so confused! Leaving and coming back, begging to be good, begging to
change for him...all the while feeling worse and worse about me and life.
You see after we started dating we opened up two business and I worked
with him out of his home. When he became angry or mad he would not give me
any money, or tell me leave his house. I had to borrow to pay my
rent, during this time I dropped all contact with family and friends
because he said they had too much of a negative impact on me. He said that
if I truly wanted to change, I needed to get rid of all the old people in
Last August he asked me to move in
with him. All along bells were going off, "bad idea Dora", but I
did it anyway. The same night I moved in, he became angry with me and said,
"I have got you now, you have nowhere to run". He had me right
where he wanted me. For two years I would cook, serve him on a tray, wash
his clothes, take care of his son, shop, pay his bills have sex every time
he wanted it, bring him his drinks, serve his friends food, jump when he
said jump, etc.
In January, 1999 while bike riding, I broke my back. Not a bad break. I
was lucky and have fully recovered. Three weeks after I broke my back he
picked me up by my neck and threw me against the wall, and then he called
911! (Yeah, it makes no sense.) He told me it was my fault since I
cornered him like a dog. If I would not open my mouth, then he would not
do these things to me. Reminding me of all of the things he had done for
me: trips, dinners, teaching me, etc., he said that all he wanted from me
was to grow and to become like him!
I tried therapy with a couple of people but always ran until I finally
found the right therapist. I thank God I was led to her. She is also an
abuse survivor. We have uncovered a great deal of issues that have been
haunting me. I was diagnosed with extreme depression and post traumatic
stress disorder. Now I am on medications. I have also had EMDR. I am so
much better. When I asked ,"Why now and not before?" My
therapist said simply, "Because you were ready."
As I was becoming stronger, he became more abusive. She had told me this
would happen and kept telling me I needed to leave. But something always
came up. In July we traveled to his family reunion. While at his grandma's
he spit on me - because he was angry. I knew then that I had to leave. That
was the straw that broke the camels back. Yet, in his eyes he did no wrong!
During this time my mother, who
lives abroad, had a mild stroke, I started to make plans to go to visit
her. He knew I was going and became more abusive. I just wanted out, but
still afraid to leave. I knew I was leaving - just holding out until my
Well it did not work out that way.
One day he would be so sweet, the next so abusive, I could no longer
tolerate it. He became so angry that I was leaving, he started packing my
stuff for me. Then he choked me twice, took my brand new laptop and hit me
over the head with it, and punched me.. I knew then that if I did not get
out this time and stay gone for good, next time, or maybe the time after
that he would kill me. I hope you went to the
I cannot tell how good it feels to be able to wake up and not have someone
yelling at me or turning his head away from me, ignoring me, telling me I
don't matter. Yes you can! I went to the mall
two days in a row and spent six hours there each day. I do what I want, I
read when I want, I eat what I want, I go to bed when I want!
I cannot nor do I blame him for everything. You see, I danced this awful
dance with him. It was all we both ever knew. But, I am finally starting
to know me and to know I deserve better. I want more! I am free to make my
own choices! I will be a better person because of this. I told my shrink
that I use to cry everyday, but that I had only cried once since I left. I
did not cry because I missed him. I cried because I was grieving over
losing the relationship I so wanted, but never had. I had wanted to be
loved and accepted so badly, I would do anything for it!
But I am growing and learning to
love myself and all the inner children within me. I feel peace inside that
I have never known before. I know I have a long road ahead, but I welcome
the challenge. I do not hate him, nor do I ever want to go back to that
kind of life. I want to move forward and begin my new journey. To take off
like an eagle...freedom. I thank Kevin for teaching me that I must set
boundaries. I never, ever want to be treated this way again! I am grateful
for finding my therapist and your web site... -Dora
Wow! Keep up the
wonderful work, and thank you for your submission. Keep on flying, Lady!
This is the kind of mail I love to get!