Sallie’s story

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Despite once being in love, Sallie made a choice to end an abusive relationship and started doing things to take care of herself and reclaim the person she was before.

Being in an abusive relationship made me realise that, just because you fall in love with someone, it doesn’t mean that they are right for you.

I was once in an emotionally abusive relationship. Before we moved in together he came across as a really nice guy but, when we lived together his pattern of behaviour changed. He became manipulative and suspicious and didn’t respect my privacy. He was always looking through my things, questioning my activities and questioning me about my past. He consistently put me down about my weight, compared me to his ex-wife and called me names. He made me feel wrong about everything I did or said.

He would ignore me as soon as he walked into our house. It was as if I didn’t exist except when he wanted something. I withdrew into myself and became depressed. It felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore.

How my situation changed
Somehow I found the inner strength to start speaking my mind. I made it clear that I wouldn’t put up with his abusive behaviour for much longer. I also began doing things to relax. I went for a walk every day, meditated and eventually talked to a close friend about his abuse. I realised that talking to someone else helped me cope because holding onto what was happening was hurting me even more. 

Eventually I made the decision to end the relationship and promised myself to never look back. After we broke up and I began a new relationship he came knocking on my door asking for a second chance. He even proposed, saying he had changed, but I knew his past actions could be repeated so I said no.

Regaining my sense of self
I took lots of steps to work on myself and gain my strength back. I structured my pattern of thinking to not tolerate my partner’s manipulation and intimidation any longer. Writing my thoughts and feelings down on paper or in a diary helped me develop my strength and reclaim the person I once was.

What the experience taught me
Being in an abusive relationship made me realise that, just because you fall in love with someone, it doesn’t mean that they are right for you. Once someone behaves in an abusive way more than a few times, it’s not just a mistake brought on by their own stresses, it’s what’s called character. Making the decision to leave an abusive person is incredibly hard but taking a positive step to free yourself is worth it. I learnt that I needed time to heal the hurt and feel like my old self again but it did happen. I also realised just how important it is to go out with friends rather than being alone.

About this story

While some names may have been changed, this story is true and was shared with consent for the purpose of raising awareness about the experience of family violence. Please do not republish or adapt this story without written permission. Contact us.

Telling your own story
Sharing your story of family violence and your journey to recovery can be powerful. It can raise awareness, challenge stereotypes and inspire others. There are many ways you can tell your story. This might include writing it down, expressing it through art, or sharing with a trusted person or support service.


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