This morning I read Ginger Zee’s personal experience on domestic abuse and it struck a chord with me in more ways than one.
Twelve years ago, I ended my engagement with my abusive, narcissistic psychopath ex. It was an emotional and verbally abusive relationship. There was an incident where I feared for my life and knew I had to get out and end things once and for all.
After ending my engagement, he stalked me & my daughter. He’d drive in our neighborhood to see what we were doing at random times of the day and night (mind you, he lived a good 30 minutes away from my condo).
Quite some time after the break-up, he stalked the new guy I was dating.
To avoid his unwanted text messages and voice mails (he’d call me and leave recordings of him out at night clubs to make me jealous) we changed our phone numbers so that he’d stop harassing us. I looked into a restraining order but that wouldn’t be enough.
Even before Gabby Petito’s case, I have been thinking about my own experience and how after twelve years, it’s time to tell my story. There’s more, a whole lot more that I can touch on but for now, this is a start.
While we lived an enviable life (living in a prestigious part of OC, driving expensive luxury cars, going on lavish vacations, etc…) there was a lot that people don’t see that goes on behind the closed doors in the gated community…it’s easy for others to judge you and think that “it can’t be that bad!!” Yes, it was “that bad!!” so bad that I moved my daughter and I out of his house while he was vacationing with his kids in Chicago, what does that tell you?!?!
I’m grateful I had the support of my family and friends to get out! I know that many don’t have this same opportunity. If you are in an abusive relationship, please know that you have options…call the cops, a pastor, counselor, friend….you are NOT ALONE!!
**Copied from Ginger Zee**
We also know that not everyone in an abusive situation has the support or education to ask for help. They likely don’t believe they deserve it.
Psychological abuse is often a precursor to physical and sexual abuse.
If someone had shown me these questions back then, I could have also answered yes and more. I feel so fortunate to have gotten out. Please tell someone if you are answering yes to any of this or more:
AM I BEING PSYCHOLOGICALLY ABUSED?
Does your partner:
• Threaten to harm you, your children, your family and/or your pets?
• Tell you are worthless and that no one else will ever love you?
• Isolate you from your friends and/or family?
• Control your behavior and monitor your movements and whereabouts? • Tell you that you are crazy?
• Demean you in public or in private?
• Constantly criticize you?
• Blame you for everything that goes wrong?
• Stalk you?
• Cause you to feel guilt over things that are not your fault?
• Threaten to take away your children
If so, your partner may be abusing you. For help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800- 799-SAFE (7233), or visit Domesticshelters.org to access professional help.