From surviving to thriving…

I was in high school when I met him through a friend. In the beginning, the relationship felt great, but as time went on, things changed. There were definite signs of things being “off” that I ignored or rationalized. However, as the abusive behaviors progressed, they eroded my self-esteem. I often felt alone and isolated, and as if I was doing something to cause the abuse. The whole time, it was always so difficult to recognize. Domestic violence does not always look like what it’s portrayed to be on tv and in the movies. My ex-husband was very charming and liked by many people. The abuse was insidious.

Today, I no longer feel like I was the cause of the abuse. I realized that I was just suffering from the normal effects of narcissistic abuse. Even better, today, I feel amazing! The best part is that every day I wake up and get to be me. I no longer feel like I am walking on eggshells. After my divorce, I went back to college and got my BA in Psychology, then my Master’s in Social Work. This was all at the age of 42. I’m now 54 and a licensed therapist and love the fact that I help people every day to improve their lives. I became a therapist because it was my therapist that helped me to get out of my horrible marriage of 16 years.

To anyone experiencing abuse… Know that you can get out of the abusive relationship, but it will take some time and planning.  Also, know that no one deserves abuse. You can go on to live a rich and fulfilling life.

Susan L., From surviving to thriving…