Share Your Story: How I Overcame Abuse and Left A Toxic Relationship

In light of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, a brave Choma (who wishes to remain anonymous) shared her story with me on how she healed from her toxic relationship. The young woman showed signs of courage and strength that many other women can learn from. Here’s her story,

“I am a 28-year-old homosexual woman and was born and bred in Dobsonville, Soweto. I was raised by my grandparents from my father’s side. I had a good upbringing and was the only child staying with my grandparents. Sadly, by the year 2008, I lost my granddad then later lost my grandmother in 2011. Despite my grief, I didn’t let it bring me down.

I continued with school and matriculated in 2011. I tried studying and went to different institutions but after a while, I dropped out and moved to Soshanguve. That’s when I finally got taken in by an amazing family.

Not long after, I got a job. That’s when I met my now ex-wife, and it was love at first sight. We dated for about a year and got married in 2017. Unfortunately, my then newlywed wife didn’t get along with the rest of my family.

I lost my job in 2019 and we moved back to Soweto. That’s when things changed.

I noticed that my ex-wife became very demanding. It was because of this that I started a few businesses by selling achaar, ice cream, sweets, snacks, and beers. I did this to put food on the table and meet her demands. Despite my efforts, she didn’t value me. She would swear and hit me. She also cheated on me. Things started to turn very sour. One day, she hit me and to my own surprise, I hit her back. Despite this, we tried to make our relationship work but she was still romantically involved with someone else.

My partner called me names and insulted me by saying I’m a control freak. Because of the continuous emotional abuse, I started believing my ex-wife and developed a bad self-image.

With the continuous abuse, I started to lose a sense of self and my esteem was at an all-time low. The relationship came to an end when we had a physical fight that would have changed both of our lives and that’s when I realised that it’s time to go.

I ended my marriage and moved back home. It felt so good. It was like a huge mountain of weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I finally found the peace I have been longing for.

My advice to others – Please be kind to yourself and notice the red flags. Get out of abusive relationships and get help.  

Remember Choma, healthy love should feel like growth or something that nourishes you and this might mean walking away from people you care about – parents, sisters, brothers, friends, but this can be done with love and the door can be left open for when they are able to meet you closer to your terms – ones that don’t break you. Set boundaries with grace and love and leave it to the toxic person to decide which side of the boundary they want to stand on. Abuse is never your fault and there is help available.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp message (071 172 3657).