I would like to share my story to inspire people who lived in domestic violence and those who are still living in abuse.
I hope that my story will encourage you to take the right actions because you too deserve to be happy.
I lived with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from the age of 12 until the age of 38. After spending my teenage years being bullied, I escaped Italy hoping to find freedom and happiness. After coming back to the UK, I couldn’t even picture myself in the wildest dreams as a domestic violence recipient for 16 years by two partners separately.
Within four months of marriage, the abuse began. Each time, he hit me, he told he was sorry for the abusive act and would never do it again.
Unfortunately, I believed him every time.
I was unhappy in my marriage but somehow I could not gather the courage to leave him. Deep down, I felt as if I was destined to live in hardship with no real future. I never fought for my happiness until the day I hit rock bottom.
Though my traumatic past left behind mental and physical scars, I faced and survived the rough tides for a reason. Today, I work as a Healing and Personal Empowerment Coach. I use my experiences and knowledge to mentor others overcome emotional pain from traumatic relationships and difficult childhood.
What You Are Told is a Lie
Your abusive partner may belittle you and call you nasty names, but you are not what your partner is projecting on you. You are not stupid or worthless. You are not ugly or unlovable.
Stop History Repeating Itself
After 13 long years of living in an abusive marriage, I reached out. The police intervened. Me and my former husband went our separate ways. At that time, my PTSD state intensified and my outlook towards life was extremely negative.
My motto was: “Expect the worse and you won’t be disappointed.”
To protect myself, I avoided dating at all costs. I feared that if I dated, the next partner would also turn out be a abuser.
One year later, my fear became a reality when under the adulation of a man I lowered my guard. Five months later, after our first date, things quickly started to degenerate.
He was so violent that I was filled with fear of him. Most of the times, I was ill. I was too scared to ask for help. What if I told anyone? I couldn’t imagine asking this question because I was scared about the consequences on me and my kids.
When you end an abusive relationship, deal with emotional hurt and any trauma you may have lived. Burying your pain and pretending everything is fine don’t work in the long run. I tried the same and it led me to depression.
Throwing yourself into a new relationship won’t help either. History is likely to repeat itself. You are the only one who can stop the unhealthy cycle by changing how you see yourself and what you believe about you.
It’s not Your Fault
You are not responsible for your partner’s violent outbursts. You are not a bad person and don’t deserve the punishment. If you are in an abusive relationship and want to leave, PLEASE do it safely with the help of professionals.
“I wanted to end the relationship,” I told my partner when I was alone with him. He became angry and strangled me. The only reason I am alive today is because I was saved. Please be smart.
You can Heal from Your Pain
After enduring mental and physical abuse, there was a burning desire to kickstart the life on a positive note. I was tired of being ill and unhappy.
For days, I waited patiently for the day my former partner left the UK. I remember counting the days for his departure like a prisoner marks his days on the prison wall.
In November 2011, I began my recovery. I was so traumatized by the abuse that if a man sat next to me or looked at me I had the urge to throw up.
I consulted several psychological and holistic therapies. There were times when I felt like giving up because everything became dark and dull. Though the journey was difficult, I didn’t lose hope to get better and inject positivity in my life.
The more I healed from my hurts and trauma, the more progress I made in achieving my goals.
Healing may not be an easy journey but it’s much easier than living in fear and pain.
You can do it, and you deserve it.
It all starts with a decision. If one particular therapy or counselling does not work for you, try something different. Don’t give up.
When you begin to heal, you will start looking at things in a new way. Your self-worth and self-respect will grow. You will want to care for yourself the same way you shower love and care for a baby.
Don’t Allow Guilt to Hold You Back
At the early stage of my recovery, I felt guilty for my past decisions. I felt blameworthy for not being a good mum to my kids.
By persisting with my therapies and the studies of self-healing and self-development, I fully recovered from PTSD and ended the long cycle of abusive relationships. I overcame my addiction and my eating disrobed.
Author Bio: Sofia O’Hara is a Healing and Personal Empowerment Coach and Mentor dedicated to use her experiences and studies as skills and knowledge to help people overcome their pain. She also wrote children’s books to help children experiencing bullying.