It’s very hard to imagine how bad it can be, even when the abuse is only verbal or emotional. When physical intimidation, sexual coercion and physical violence are involved, it is an absolute nightmare. Always on edge, dreading the ring of the cell phone, never knowing whether the next day, the next hour or the next minute is going to be peaceful or not.
I’m going to tell my story (using pseudonyms) over the next couple of months. I’ll start with when I was dating my future husband and keep posting as the relationship evolved and continues to evolve. I still have to deal with him on an ongoing basis because of the kids. I also plan to include some topics for open comments to build some support for those who need it and to get ideas on prevention. The web community and various web sites played a large role in my understanding that how he was treating me was not acceptable. Domestic abuse takes a lot of forms, it typically gets worse over time, and it’s not okay. It took a long time and lot of courage to come to the decision to leave, but I know it was the right one. I have never looked back and am now looking forward to helping others.