I didn’t recognize the abuse at first.  I had been raised in a physically abusive home, and didn’t initially recognize his beahvour as abuse. Over time, the name-calling, control, sexual abuse, and financial abuse (which I’d never heard of before) all worsened.

I have been hospitalized twice for attempted suicide and twice for breakdowns. I knew I was in trouble by then but didn’t know what to do or where to go. Few people believed me because they could not see the emotional abuse I endured. It left no bruises.

At one point I even tried to provoke my husband to hit me just so someone –anyone – would believe me. But the most physical he ever got with me was shoving or restraining me by pinning me down. This was not hard for him as I am only 5’4 and weighed just over 100 lbs. while he was 6’2 and nearly 300 lbs. I did call the RCMP four times over 19 years. All four times he was arrested, charged, and pled guilty. All four times, we separated for as long as a year.

The problem was that I always went back. I guess I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to live with the abuse anymore but I really missed the man I had fallen in love with. Plus, money was a huge worry. I’ve finally left again and although I am not quite ready for the next step (divorcing him) I am ready to start my new life without him.

I miss my home and the village where I came from and sometimes I still miss my husband. What I do not miss is the abuse.

I will find out who I am again, the person I was before I met my husband. I will be whole again.

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