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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 the victim of this abuse often does not realize that they are being abused until 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 and of itself can be frustrating and actually cause more emotional distress.

I was in a relationship for six years; 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 deeply involved and in love, I thought he was truly a good man. I explained away the red flags as minor bumps in our relationship. As time went by, my fiancée showed parts of himself that were frightening. The anger, name calling, shaming, blaming, manipulating, and put-downs were frequent. Drug use, gambling, silent treatments, verbal and emotional abuse, lying, manipulating, gaslighting, blaming, and shaming were everyday 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. I was told that no one liked me, so eventually I figured 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. We would have fun and love each other deeply and be very good together. But then the cycle would begin again. I would start seeing the red flags and then the catastrophic rage would burst forth once again.

At the end of the fifth year of the relationship, he would leave home for long stretches of time and not communicate with me. He would just take a bag of clothes and leave everything else. After about ten 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 week. 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 DVCCC to get assistance 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.

- Shared by a survivor of domestic violence

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