Done With Silence: Getting out of an abusive relationship

I consider myself to be a very strong, independent woman, yet I found myself in not one, but several emotionally abusive relationships, which would have turned physical had I stayed. There is no ‘type’ of woman that ends up in these situations, therefore there is no shame in it. The ones who judge are the ones who are ignorant.

There are so many reasons why women choose to stay with men who hurt them, either they’re financially dependent, or have children, or are just too scared to leave. Some have real concerns about their safety, and with the recent spate of femicides and women who have died at the hands of their partners, it is not hard to understand why.

There are so many monsters in the masks of men. It is impossible to know who to trust but there are always tell-tale signs at the beginning of a relationship, which as women, we just don’t pay attention to. We ignore our instincts and bulldoze ahead anyway. The reason for this is always the same: desperation.

Desperation is an ugly word. I hated to believe that I was desperate enough to accept ANY kind of man, but the fact was, I WAS desperate. For many, many years. I was desperate for love. So, I accepted any kind of behaviour, no matter how bad. I endured cheating, ghosting, one-sided love, lack of commitment, sex-only relationships without any emotional attachment…the list goes on and is not pretty.

Getting out of an abusive relationship takes strength and courage but the biggest factor that influences a woman’s decision to leave, is self-love. Without the belief that you deserve better, you would never leave. I had to make this distinction for myself when all my energy was lost on loving a man more than I loved myself. I was never happy, always anxious and scared, not sleeping, behaving like a policewoman, lying to myself and others and eventually stopped talking to the people who kept asking the hard questions. When I was ready to face the truth, I realised what I was accepting. We all have control over our lives. We must take responsibility for our choices and that is never easy.

If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, now is the time to take back control of your life. It is time to be #DoneWithSilence and own your truth. There is no shame in the choices we make. It is not what happens to us that counts, it is what we become from it. It is time to believe that you deserve so much more than what you’re getting and knowing that it is out there but can only come into your life when you’re strong and healed. It is time to focus on being the best version of yourself now, for the women that come after you. It is time to break the cycle.

*Remember, if you want to create your own #DoneWithSilence post, you can create a post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Just tag @chomamag and use the hashtag #DoneWithSilence.