How did you find the courage to leave an abusive relationship?

“Today, do something that your future self will thank you.” ~ Unknown

My life is full of toxic and abusive relationships, starting with extreme physical and psychological abuse from my parents and ending with the last relationship I left in 2013. I am the only abuser (physical, sexual, emotional, verbal). Known so far.

My life. I knew it wasn’t normal.

I desperately wanted to be loved, appreciated and respected. Whatever it was, I desperately wanted “normal”. I wanted a fairy tale romance. I was anxious for happiness and peace. I didn’t expect it to be possible.

And I was afraid to be alone.

Longing for being loved

I spent most of my adult life free to devote myself to those who paid little attention to me. I went in and out of unhealthy relationships and was looking for love in all the wrong places. Mainly on dating sites. I was always convinced that the next man was “the person”. Until he’s gone.

The mission of my life was to find and care for someone who loves me in the way I deserve to be loved. That way, we will continue to live happily.

I sacrificed myself in an indescribable way just to be loved.

The problem was that I didn’t even know what true love was and how to love myself. I had little or no respect for myself. I was looking for happiness in another human form. The man was convinced that he would bring me eternal happiness and true love.

Until I left the last abusive relationship, I realized that I couldn’t find happiness and true love until I loved myself.

My last toxic relationship

He was desperately waving the red flag, “Mr. not too bad,” but I was convinced he would be one of them.

The first year was touch and go. He lied to me and looked down on me many times, but I ignored it. I clung to him. He checked a lot of boxes on my list. Indeed, I was able to overlook his shortcomings. Besides, I wasn’t perfect either.

Verbal and psychological abuse have been together for the third year. After enduring it for another 5 years, I finally packed it all up.

He looked down on me and bullied me almost every day. At the end of the day he apologizes and things will get better. He assured me that he really loved me, and he would improve. It gave me false hope, but there is still hope. I was convinced that things would be better.

They never did.

In our fifth year he worked on a Caribbean island and left me. I was completely shocked. I just bought a house and I just bought a hairdresser. I couldn’t understand why he was doing this. Our relationship was far from perfect, but it was okay.

He came back eight months later and once again promised to resolve this. Things got worse. He became a complete control freak and bullying continued.

Everything was always my fault. I became a “yes, no” girl. He got whatever he wanted. He did whatever he wanted to do. I no longer said anything about relationships and household decisions.

We did everything his way or didn’t do it at all.

I became the shell of a woman clinging to things in the hope that things would get better. That is, he always apologized at the end of the day, so he certainly had good intentions. Sure, things needed to get better. And we were no longer spring chickens. We were both heading for 50 years old.

“He will change,” I thought. “I know he does. I can help him with it. Show him his sneaky and wicked way and let him know how hurt they are. I Knows that this will change him. He will get it someday. “

That never happened either.

I was a complete failure

By the seventh year, I had probably already written ten letters, “Dear John, I will leave you.” I couldn’t leave him. Where on earth are you going?

By this time, I was dying slowly (as in our relationship) and had to close the hair salon business. He bought another house for me and built a small salon there, but all my clients had already abandoned me.

I made very little money and relied entirely on him for financial security and stability.

My life has become a complete disaster. Emotionally, financially and professionally. I didn’t have anything left.

I looked in the mirror and cried at the woman staring at me. She broke and broke in so many ways. The once cheerful and happy girl I knew before was now empty, hollow and emotionless.

At the age of 51, the idea of ​​ending my life came to my mind more than I admit. I didn’t have anything. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore.

I always cried. I have become a meek, obedient and frail woman with no hope for the future. In my eyes, I was a complete failure.

I had to give something.

The beginning of the end

It was the Easter weekend of 2013. We were having dinner with our family at home. The whole family. He wasn’t near anyone. My family loved him enough. I was convinced that it would be a beautiful dinner full of love and laughter.

The start of the day, when the two of us were preparing dinner, soon became the biggest battle ever, and he jumped out of the house before the guests arrived.

He returned home late that night after all the guests had left. It was enough. I couldn’t do this anymore. I spent the night in a spare bedroom and started writing yet another “Dear John” letter, but this time I intended to deliver it to him. finished.

I was an emotional wreck. I knew I had to leave, but I was afraid.

I didn’t have anything. It was a human shell, with no money, no work, no belongings other than clothes on the back. What I had was a small thread of hope. That night I asked myself a hundred times. “Iva, if you don’t leave now, when will you leave? How long can you live like this?”

I was afraid of my future. There were many unanswered questions. I didn’t know what would happen. I wasn’t sure if I could survive on my own. I didn’t have anything. I officially bottomed out.

Then I realized that the only way was above. It was up to me to resolve this disaster that I called my life.

My healing journey

That night I handed him a letter, we spoke very briefly and two weeks later I left home. I have found the courage to put all my faith and trust in space, first tackle self-esteem, then self-love, and rebuild my life.

A friend came out of the woodwork and helped me recover. I was able to regain my old job at a salon where I worked for many years before opening my own salon. People donated items and furniture. My sister lent me money to buy an apartment.

Everything magically fell into place.

I still remember the fears and uncertainties I felt on a daily basis. I couldn’t believe he finally left, but I still didn’t believe I would make a good decision. My entire life was the result of all the bad choices I made.

I didn’t know how to love or respect myself. I was not confident and had little self-esteem. I had to learn what the boundaries are and start drawing them. thick! I needed to learn what love is, self-love, and how to find happiness in myself.

I had a lot to learn. It took time and a lot of work to unplug for 51 years, limiting beliefs, and be told, “You’re not good, you’re worthless, you’re stupid.”

I literally started from zero and went up.

And I didn’t know where to start. I have never felt so lonely and afraid of my entire life. Now it’s all up to me.

Learn to love yourself

I found and read a self-help e-book online. I found an article on personal growth and self-improvement. I listened to motivational podcasts and watched inspiring YouTube videos until my eyes bleed. My healing journey was exhausted, frustrating, messy, and beautiful.

Every time a suspicion came to my mind, I declared, “I deserve, shit!” And shouted it. I did this every day.

The more I read self-help, the stronger I became. Every day, slowly but surely, I finally learned to love and respect myself. My confidence has grown beyond my imagination.

I got out of my comfort zone and made some scaring changes to my poop, but it was added to my growth.

I completely reinvented my life and became a freelance writer by trading a hair styling career for over 25 years. I write about my healing journey, give hope, and encourage others to live the life they really want. A life of happiness, joy and inner peace.

I still have more to do. We never stop evolving. It’s not so scary anymore and it’s absolutely beautiful.

The change is up to you

Looking back on my life, I wondered where I would have been if I hadn’t left the toxic relationship, and trembled. My desire to change my life has become stronger than my desire to live in my comfort zone.

Yes, I’m scared. We all want to know what our future will be. We are all looking for answers to our questions. We all want to know that it’s okay and life will be better.

But life won’t improve until you make the decision to make those big changes. It’s up to you to do that. Is it spicy and scary? Yes. Impossible? Absolutely not.

You have to ask yourself this one question: “How bad is it?” You take control, boldly escape from your misery and comfort zone, and faith When you decide to have, you must believe that life can and will be better.

It may not magically work as quickly as I do, but if you believe in yourself and keep moving forward, things will improve over time.

The life you want is one step ahead. Please take a step forward. You are worth it. You deserve a better life. Do it for you, baby!

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