My Story

“The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover

the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.”
- Max Lerner

I met my abuser when I was in my senior year of college.  He was 28, and I was just about to turn 21.  He introduced me to exciting activities like snowboarding and rock climbing.  We traveled across the globe and both thrived on new experiences.  I thought we had a healthy relationship, and that he was a considerable improvement over other guys I had dated.  He paid a lot of attention to me and was always telling me how lucky he was to be with me.  He had a way of making me feel special.

I did notice pretty quickly that he could be moody and that he had a temper.   However, I never took any of his outbursts personally as he always had a slew of “explanations” for his behavior.  I was the type of person who never let things get to me, so I thought we were pretty well matched.  If he was having an outburst, I would simply walk away and give him time to cool off.  Whenever he complained, I tried to fix whatever was vexing him.  I was convinced that he would have done the same for me if I asked him to.  Yet, I did notice that he tended to have rather explosive responses to seemingly minor upsets.  In truth, it didn’t take much at all to set him off.  Initially, the blow ups occurred only occasionally, but over the 6 years we were together they grew increasingly more frequent and violent.

After we had been dating a few months, I was accepted to a Physician Assistant Program.  He gave me an ultimatum that we either get engaged or move in together.  I was not ready to be engaged, so I agreed to move in.  I attributed his rush to the fact that he was older and in a hurry to settle down.  Although we lived together for several years, it was always clear that the house was his and not mine.  He would complain anytime I brought anything home that we didn’t have space for it.  I was never allowed to bring in any of the furniture that my parents had saved for me (they eventually gave it away to his brothers).  I wasn’t able to redecorate in any way, shape, or form.  The only area of the house that I was allowed to change was the yard.  He let me put in a few flower gardens, which then caused him to have an absolute meltdown about me “taking over the entire yard”.

He never had me help with any of the bills, but I was expected to clean, buy groceries, cook, do laundry, take care of his cat, mow the lawn, and help with any home improvement projects.  He would often leave a mess all over the house and then rant and rave about what a pig sty we lived in (truthfully, he would often have tantrums over anything simple to remedy rather than take care of it himself- something that seemed like a tremendous waste of energy to me).  While he would say he wanted me to feel welcome, he never actually acted like it.  He would turn his nose up at my cooking and insist the food tasted like “there are chemicals in it”.  In one instance, I made him brownies.  After he refused to eat them, I let my mother take them.  My mom then happened to serve them while we were visiting, and he told her about how delicious they were and terrible mine were.  Then he became irate when we laughed to each other as if we had been conspiring against him the entire time.

Once I started PA school, things began to escalate.  I was constantly reminded that I was “no fun”, “studied too much”,  made his life miserable,  was depressed, and thought I was smarter than him.  Yet, while he complained about my dedication to school, he regularly was preoccupied with his two greatest loves in life: drinking and computers.  He rarely paid attention to me, unless it was to point out something I needed to improve upon; and when it was time to celebrate the holidays he always cut time with my family short  in order to spend more time drinking with his brothers.

When I graduated from PA school, he announced to my family that he deserved an award for “putting up with me” for the 27 months it took to complete the program.  That was the extent of his ability to be supportive.  Not to say that he wasn’t capable of being completely charming and thoughtful because he was.  However, it was always in a very calculated and manipulative fashion.  In fact, he was an incredibly gifted manipulator.  He would make me feel guilty about everything.  Everything and anything that upset him was always my fault.  If anything upset me, that was also my fault.  I was criticized for not being assertive enough, for being too assertive, for working too much, for not drinking or having fun (we clearly had different definitions of fun by this point), for not wanting to hang out with his ex-girlfriend and her daughter; and for being childish, psychotic, and self-centered (his reasoning- “you only do nice things for other people because it makes you feel good”).  He made me feel guilty for “burdening” my mother with my problems, and went into a rage if he ever called my phone and I didn’t answer, claiming that I “never pick up the phone”.

Of course, all of this was just the preview.  On the day of our wedding, it all came crashing to a head.

At this point I am sure you are wondering why anyone in her right mind would marry someone like this.  Let me explain: 1) Hindsight is 20/20.  All of these behaviors built slowly over time.  During the same time, my abuser was doing an exceedingly efficient job of needling my self-esteem and making me question my sanity.  He did all of this under the guise of being “very concerned” and caring about me deeply. It was not uncommon to hear “I love deeply you, but…”    2) I thought we were in a rut and it would get better.  I truly believed I was in a funk and that when I got better that our relationship would too.  I had unknowingly been walking on eggshells for years, trying to avoid saying or doing anything that might set him off.  He made it so clear that I was what was holding him back and making him miserable in life.  I convinced myself I could fix it if I just tried harder to make him happy.  3) I still identified him as the person he was when we first dated, even if that wasn’t the reality.  I was certain that he would do anything for me, and that he had just never had the opportunity because I never asked for anything.

Then came my wedding day.  What an awakening!  I can honestly say it was the most eye-opening, traumatic, and life changing experience of my life.  It shattered my perception of reality and turned my entire world on its head.  I wanted a destination wedding- something intimate and secluded.  He and his family wanted a “real” wedding.  I was overruled.  I got stuck planning and paying for most of it.  Anytime I had an idea, I was reminded that I didn’t want a wedding anyway so I should let him have what he wanted.  My requests were simple: First, I did not want small children there.  If he insisted on having his nieces and nephew there (all 5 and under) then I wanted him to explain to his brother (who frequently became drunk at family functions and dumped his kids on me to watch) that he MUST watch his children or not bring them.  As you might imagine, having two dead beat parents- his kids were both hellions.  Second, I wanted to start on-time.  We had a limited amount of time at the facility, and I didn’t want to waste it waiting on someone who didn’t care enough to be prompt.  Finally, I begged him not to get drunk.  I wanted to actually share the day together and not have to take care of him at the end of the night.  He managed 0/3, not because the requests were difficult; but, simply because he didn’t care that they were important to me.  It was a nightmare.  His family and guests were rude, got drunk , played frisbee with the plates and football, hit on my friends, and the kids ran a muck- with the final stroke being his nephew sticking his entire face in the wedding cake.

I had enough.  I was sick with disgust.  I couldn’t believe how blatantly disrespectful one group of people could be to another person’s feelings.  This was not a frat party; it was an intimate wedding at a winery. When we arrived back at the house, his brother told me that if his kids were misbehaving that I should have done something about it.  I calmly explained that it wasn’t my responsibility, and he laughed in my face.  My husband did nothing about it because he was too busy getting wasted to the point of not knowing his own name.  That is when I lost it.  I told him his behavior was unacceptable and that he shouldn’t bring his children to parties if he didn’t intend on watching them.  He played the typical victim card that I was being unfairly mean to him and left early.  His family railroaded me for this, claiming that I embarrassed myself and that he was too drunk to know what he was doing.  None of them thought it was a problem  that he drove home that way with his two kids in the car.  He could do no wrong, and I was a disgrace.  They were also upset that I disapproved of their drunken frat party behavior, and pointed out the “weddings are parties” and I should have expected it.  I countered that “receptions are parties and weddings are an intimate exchange of vows between two people” but my argument fell on deaf ears, as there is no point in reasoning with delusional people.  I did take an opportunity to write a much calmer email and explain to my abuser’s brother why I was so upset with him, but he never responded or apologized.  Instead, he shopped a story around to his family about how I hated his children (even though I spent more time caring for them than he did, bought their clothes, and took them on outings while he ranted about having their mother killed) and blew up for no reason.  I was subsequently ridiculed for my “crazy” behavior, told I needed “anger management”, and uninvited from Christmas because my abuser’s brother refused to go if I was there.

In an ironic twist of fate, this rift between my abuser’s family and I put accelerant on an already blazing fire.  He was threatened by my refusal to back down.  His behavior escalated as he tried to get me back under control.  He began screaming , throwing and breaking things, and calling me names on a regular basis.  At no point did he stand up for me despite admitting that his family’s behavior was wrong.  Instead, he also pointed out that I was “psychotic,” “acting like a 5-year-old”, “unable to handle any little thing“, and in need of “anger management”.  On our 2 month anniversary, he drove this point home by hitting  me with his pillow, shoving me off the bed, and repeatedly throwing me into walls and furniture before finally throwing me out- in the middle of the night while it was down pouring.  I made it out of the house only with my work clothes and my dogs.  I never had a chance to fight back or defend myself.  He caught me off guard because we hadn’t even been fighting.  It came out of no where.  I was terrified of the look in his eye.  He was completely out of his mind and out of control.  Most disturbing- he was smiling.  He had enjoyed pushing me around.  In his head, he was teaching me a lesson.  He later told me it was because he was being “mentally abused” and “couldn’t take it anymore”.

I went straight to my parents house.  It wasn’t until I went to work a few hours later that the gravity of the situation struck me, and I fell apart.  I asked my supervisor for the Employee Assistance Hotline number and spoke to a counselor.  She firmly told me that it was not my fault- he was the one who lost control.  She recommended I go to the police station, so my sister and mother brought me to file the report.  The officer who finally came to “help” me was nearly 3 times my size and felt the need to take it upon himself to ridicule me in front of the rest of the force.  He told them I was “only married for 2 months and already at the police station”.  He gave me an attitude for not calling while my husband was in the act of beating me because it would have saved them a lot of time and paperwork.  He said he was only going to charge him with disorderly conduct because “it’s not like he hit your face,” and that I would probably get back with him anyway so this was really all just a waste of his time.  When I described the size and location of my bruises his reply was “that’s all?”   Then he explained that I was not eligible for a restraining order because feeling like your life is in danger and actually being verbally threatened are not the same thing.  When it was all over, the station claimed they were too busy to provide a police escort and left me on my own to retrieve my belongings.

I am very blessed to have a tremendous support network.  My sister’s husband immediately took action to help me reclaim my possessions.  My coworkers all offered words of support and encouragement, and my parents allowed my dogs and I to stay with them for over 6 months while I saved for a house (no small inconvenience!).  I finally have put my life back together, but it has been a long, arduous process.  I have experienced crippling anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, obsessive cleaning, and a host of other post-traumatic symptoms.  Although they have lessened dramatically, I don’t know that I will ever be rid of them completely.  I am thankful, however, to finally have gained back my self-esteem and sense of identity. I feel like running has played a big part in that.  I also owe a great deal to Susan Omilian, her My Avenging Angel Workshopsand all the women in her group.

Since starting this blog, I have run in (and survived!) two Tough Mudders, multiple Half Marathons, a Full Marathon, the very first Spartan Ultra Beast, and, most recently, my second 50K trail Ultra.  Many of these races were a part of my  Running for the Color Purple Campaign which I started as a way to give back to CT-ALIVE- the organization that funds Susan’s workshops and had helped me so much.  As a survivor of abuse and THRIVER I feel it is not only my responsibility to help raise money and awareness for victims of domestic violence, but also to give hope to other survivors that anything is possible.  To date I have raised over a thousand dollars for the Never Going Back to Abuse Project and hopefully some spirits along the way!  Through my fundraising efforts I have also had the opportunity to join the CT-ALIVE board and help other women transition from survivor to thriver.

My life has changed in so many ways, beyond anything I could have imagined.  I was always a happy person- even through most of the abuse.  However, now I am happier and stronger than I ever!  Rebuilding my life after abuse was both the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life; and while I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I also don’t regret any of it.  The fact of the matter is, the roughest patches of our lives are what help mold and define us.  They force us to change because they offer only two options: crumble or overcome.  I chose to rise up and overcome.  No person or situation is going to defeat me in this life- not while I still have breath in my lungs. Bottom line: living, leaving, and rebuilding after abuse have helped make me the person I am today, and I like who I am.

Susan Omilian begins here workshops with the quote that “living well is the best revenge”, and I believe she is right.  However, I am beyond the point of wanting revenge.  I have found contentment and have truly moved beyond (FINALLY!) even thinking about the abuse.  The abuse can’t control me anymore.  I am in charge of my own life and happiness.

I hope that by sharing my story and journey that I can help other victims of domestic violence realize they are not alone and don’t need to be silent any longer.

For those victims survivors still suffering abuse- no matter how bleak or hopeless your situation may seem, there is a happy, productive life waiting for you if you’re willing to work for it.  There are people in this world who will be willing to help you.  Stop listening to the lies your abuser is feeding you and free yourself.  Find a safe plan and get out!  Men who belittle and try to control women do not change; they only manipulate people into thinking they’ve changed.  Don’t become another statistic.  Your life is too important!

If you or someone you know may be suffering from domestic abuse, please get help.

Diva Half Finisher

Officially Mudder Tough

I survived the Hartford Marathon!

Taking on the Ultra Beast!

Taking on the Ultra Beast!

159 comments

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading! I’ve never thought of myself as an “inspiration”…just someone who tries really hard and refuses to give up. ;)

      Warmest regards,
      Jenny

  1. Thanks for reading my blog “My Mom Faked It With Dad.” Stories like yours are difficult for me to read, nevertheless they must be told. It is near impossible for me to see a scene from a moving with family violance. One is left with the feeling ‘how can they get by with it.’ Much of what you wrote was what my mother expressed, even to the day – he could be very good at times.

  2. What a powerful story! Things like that are hard for me to read, but sometimes necessary to remind me that I’m not the only one who has gone through things like this and that I will never EVER let it happen again. Thank you for the like on my page…much appreciated!

    Rose

  3. Jenny – Reading your story was heartbreaking, and I’m truly sorry you had to endure an experience like this. I’ll never understand the need that some men have to physically or mentally abuse another–particularly someone who cares about them. I guess there are some people who are so used to being mistreated that they either feel entitled to visit the same treatment on others, or simply don’t know of any other way to deal with people. Of course, this doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it may at least shine a light on it.

    Regardless, I’m glad you finally found a way out and had the strength to share your experience with others. Best of luck, and may you someday find a partner who values, appreciates and loves you for who you are.

  4. It’s amazing how some people can be such horrible people. I’m glad you have been able to get away from it. Thank you for reading my blog, reading yours gives me so much hope that anything is possible. Luckily, all I’m striving for is health and happiness, you’ve had to endure so much more.

    Again, thank you for your story.

  5. Good lord, it never ceases to amaze me with just how much I read my own story in the stories of other women like yourself. Thanks for sharing this, and for your entire blog. You gave me the courage to be more open about my own experiences.

  6. I’m glad you’re out of that hell now. Sounded familiar on my side too. Continue to be strong and no more abusers in the future!
    x

    p.s thanks for dropping by and reading my blog :)

  7. Thanks for the “like.” When I was 18, I was physically abused by a boyfriend. I got out FAST! However, later at the age of 36, I experienced a different kind of abuse, the mental abuse you speak of that leads to feeling crazy, helpless, and worthless. It took me three years to get away from the narcissist and his manipulations and controlling behaviour. I think, if it hadn’t been for my son (with my husband, not the narcissist), I wouldn’t have been able to spot his sickness in time–I was ready to marry him after my divorce was final this past March! It is so important that we spread our stories. Thanks for sharing yours. Paula

  8. Thanks for liking my post “victim of life no more!” You are a courageous person for sharing your story and especially for getting away from the abuse. Getting away from it was just the first step. The road to recovery sure isn’t easy or quick but we are all worth the fight.
    Abuse comes in many forms and recognizing it takes time…but you did it!
    Many blessings for your future,
    Melanie

  9. Thank you for taking the time out to read my post and letting me know you liked it. I commend you for having the courage to tell your story, the strength to rise above it, and the determination not to be defined by it.

    I wasn’t aware Oct. was domestic abuse month. I learned something- thank you

    I have an experience( one of many @ the boutique) that relates to domestic abuse, I’m going to post it on my blog and I’d like to spotlight your blog on mine, as a guest. I’m new to blogging so, I think you would be a guest (?) Well, your indepth writting will be the go to for those that need encouragement when dealing with the blows of domestic abuse I’ll do the intro. Thanks again!
    Happy blogging to you

  10. This a heartfelt story of a wonderful resilient woman. Congratulations for having the courage to move on from this psychopath. Sharing stories like this is a wonderful thing to do for other people. When they read of other people being able to escape and find a better life, it gives them the courage they need too.

  11. Wow, it’s eerie how much your story sounds like my first marriage. You’re right that hindsight is 20/20. Abusive men don’t let their violence show all at once and by the time you realize it, it’s hard not to see them as the person they were when you met and think that it will get better. I understand the bad experience with the police as well. When I was sexually assaulted as a teenager, the police treated me like I was the criminal and so did my abusive boyfriend (who would later be my abusive husband.) Good for you to have the courage to share this story. I definitely look forward to reading more of what you’ve written.

    1. Thanks Ashley! Someone once mentioned that abusers all seem to operate like they’re reading the same manual…I’m starting to think maybe it’s true. ;) I’m glad you’ve moved on from that bad situation!

  12. Your story has similarities to my own past nightmares with abuse. Thank God I am focusing on my own dreams, and do not have time for drama anymore. I am happy that you found an area in which your confidence can and has grown – and a boost for your self-esteem. Not many abused persons have found that special place within their souls as yet. You have. Stay there, and keep it close to your heart.

    Thank you for visiting my blog, and for the “like” on my post, “WITNESSING ABUSE – WHAT WOULD YOU DO?”

    I will be back from time to time to read more of your inspiration. Stay strong!

    Peace
    Terry (ssofdv)

  13. Jenny, you are an amazing woman!!! I agree that training for a marathon really can redefine your life more than the actual marathon itself. I am so glad u found my blog! Your story is horrible, but you are amazing never lose site of that. Deana

  14. Thank you for sharing your story. It was very inspiring that instead of breaking down more, you chose to rise up again and be renew yourself. You also have been blessed by people who loved you and supported you throughout the way. Keep staying strong!

  15. Thank you for sharing your story! What a courageous thing to do! I see much of my story in yours and am so very thankful that women of your generation can speak up and become empowered to love themselves enough to get out of such troubled relationships. It took me one heck of a lot longer to see the truth. Keep on Thriving! You are an amazing woman!

  16. Thank you for sharing your story and for continually finding courage to keep going, to stay true to yourself– you are an inspiration. Your honesty and bravery teach people that abuse is not okay, that it is often subtle, that there are resources out there and that one can and will survive it. Thank you so much again.

  17. I am in tears and have chills reading this. I can’t imagine how difficult that was. I am so impressed by your strength to leave immediately after it became physical and to not forgive him and return to the marriage and home. Congratulations on having the courage to get your life back together. Stay strong and continue to heal! I look forward to reading more about your journey in running and life.

  18. I am touched by courageous women like you who can share their experiences. I am discouraged to hear how unhelpful law enforcement were in you situation. Glad you have found safety, are building a new life, and are sharing your story.

    “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” –Ernest Hemingway

  19. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    And thank you, also, for sharing your story. It really hit home, as I, myself, recently ended a relationship with a major manipulator/abuser. As much as I know he was the one who was wrong, and as absolutely certain I am that there’s no way I can or will go back to that, lately I’ve been finding myself rationalizing some of the things that happened, and reading your words helped me put things back into clear perspective. Thank you for giving me new strength.

  20. Hi :) Thanks for liking my post and leading me to your wonderful blog! What a remarkable story and such a show of strength and courage. I look forward to reading your posts!! Cassie

  21. Thanks for liking my blog. I am so glad that you left and are not letting this wear you down. As my wife says you can either let the memories take over or you can make friends with it and move on. It happened and that will never change so continue with the great things you have achieved and maybe I will see you at a Mudder. I am doing the one in Toronto in August this year.

  22. All I had to read was your quote at the top of this page to know that I’m really going to enjoy reading your blog, and that we probably share a similar philosophy. As I sit here is Starbucks with my baby sleeping, I know that I must get some work done as I have just started my own business . . . but I will come back and read your blog in the evening, when mom gets to read! Thanks for the “like,” I’m glad you enjoyed reading my article. Please come back and visit again!

  23. I ache for your pain and am thrilled for your triumph! Keep at it!
    You are blessed to be so surrounded, many don’t have that chance; it’s awesome that you are fighting for them.

  24. You’re clearly a tough lady. I find you opening up yourself on a public forum not only courageous but touching. You’re quite an inspiration for overcoming hardship, and turning it into fuel for success. Thanks!

  25. God bless you for sharing your story and your strength with others! Sadly too many women and especially young girls don’t know that it is never okay to be physically or verbally abused. Yours is an important voice, and it’s much appreciated :)

  26. Great blog! So glad you “liked” my post so I could find yours! It’s so synchronistic that I went running today, out of the blue, and then because I tagged “Running” on my blog, you found it, and now I am enjoying your terrific writing! Blogging is so powerful, isn’t it? :)

  27. wow! blown away by your story and your inspirational blogs! thanks for finding me – and hence letting me find you. keep up the amazing work and training… i look forward to keeping up to date with you… and i guess i’ll see you at an event soon – inspiring lady!

    1. Thank you!!! Sometimes I think it’s sad that I didn’t realize how abusive he had become until he got physical, but I am ALWAYS glad to have moved on with my life. It’s so great to be me now and not have to feel guilty about it!

  28. Thank you for visiting my blog! I’m really glad you did because reading yours made me realize what a beautiful person you are inside and out. I’m glad by visiting my blog you gave me an opportunity to know you through yours! Keep safe and strong! I admire your strength…. it’s something to aspire to!

  29. Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I’ve shared a similar experience and I admire your courage and determination to become a positive and empowering role model to others who’s experienced your story. Stay strong and keep inspiring! :)

  30. Great story….you look wonderful and strong! I’m sending a big ((hug)) to you for all you’ve been through, good for you….love the component of exercise and recovery, great place to put all those crazy survivor emotions…

    geesh, you made it through PA school which is hard! with this guy dragging you down, must be very proud of yourself for that accomplishment….

    LOVE your image of “Dear Abuser”….would love to use it somewhere on my blog, is that okay?

  31. I’m so happy you liked my “One Ugly Mudder,” because it brought me to your story. You are one courageous woman, and an inspiration. Keep with it, never stop running, writing about your life and helping others. You are making a difference.

    1. Thanks so much!!!! That race does look like a lot of fun, and I especially liked the bulldog shirts. I already am trying to convince some friends to sign up next year with me and make a road trip! :)

  32. Hey Jenny,
    Thanks for stopping by and thereby let me get to know you. What a powerful story! I wish lots of great races and mostly of all: keep staying fit and strong ;)

  33. SO amazing, you are. First, I am so sorry anyone would ever treat you, or another human being, that way. Second, I am floored by how open you are to the world by sharing your story so that others may benefit from it. Third, a huge congratulations on what you’ve achieved and what you will continue to achieve. Thank you.

  34. I am so glad to have found you after you found my blog first! Thank you for liking one of my posts. Your story is inspiring and I am so glad you were able to use your experience to find strength and share that strength with others. I hope someday to have your courage and resilience, and am SO happy you have a community of women that stand by you every day. Congratulations and I look forward to following your posts!

  35. Thanks for “liking” my post about Shaun-t. I decided to browse through your blog and wanted to ask – are you in ct? I saw the post about the colchester half and this one also referred to the state (I am from eastern ct myself). Anyways, thank you for sharing this post. It is very inspiring!

  36. Awesome, me as well. (860 represent!) And you are welcome. I am new to wordpress but I will sign up to read your blog, if I can figure out how =)

  37. Wow!! What an amazing story!! What an amazing lady you are!! I am so happy for YOU that you got out of this situation! What a sick man he is!! I hope by your story you will inspire anybody living in abuse. Big hugs to You. Congratulations on everything you have achieved!! :)

    1. Thank you so much!!! I truly appreciate it! I think my story is unfortunately more typical than amazing, but I definitely want to let other women know they are not alone and there is a prosperous life ahead beyond abuse. :)

      1. You are right although I still think you are amazing to have gone through it all and come out of it ‘stronger and wiser’. Good for you!! :)

  38. with each word I read,I wondered how many others felt the uniqueness of your strength
    I am sure all, for the words flow into a world of living life not merely surviving but indeed thriving
    your words will help so many realize what they had and walked away from or were pushed away
    was the beginning of finding how strong they really were…and it may show them if they are still in the situation that it isn’t them that has the anger management issues…
    You are indeed an inspiration…
    Thank You for sharing your world with us…
    Take Care….
    You Matter….
    )0(
    maryrose

  39. Wow, wow. I probably sound like a broken record, but I’m saying what I feel. Your story made me cringe. I got goose-bumps. I was gripped and sickened at the same time, but I thank you so much for sharing your story. It adds, like unfortunately for so many other women (and men too!) who have suffered similar fates, an ugly wake up call. I’m glad you are on the road to a healthy mind, body and spirit. Good luck!

  40. What an amazing story! I am sure you are helping so many other people who are in similar situations. Thanks so much for having the courage to share. I’m also so impressed with your running! You’re amazing!!

  41. Wow! Thanks for sharing your story!! As a child of domestic violence…I am so inspired by your courage to leave. It’s a hard thing to do…to open your eyes to the real man in your home, and not the one you want to see. Keep on keepin on!

  42. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so rare to see people unafraid to speak up. Even though the domestic abuse I suffered was at the hands of parents and siblings, I really got a lot of what you were saying. Congratulations on all the positive things you’ve done, your courage, and everything you’re yet to do. :) Cheers! (whoareyoushoving)

  43. What an inspirational story! It’s great you are able to share your story and bring awareness to domestic abuse. I enjoy your blog and reading about moving forward!

  44. Thanks for dropping by and reading my blog “Definitely Tough Enough”.

    Your story and survival is truly inspirational for everyone that lives their lives as victims. Your ability to turn that around is amazing!

    I look forward to reading more of your stories and adventures.

  45. Hi there! Thanks for dropping by my blog. I never thought even until the last moment there can be a life-changing event such as yours. I wish you happiness and more mileage to cover! Cheers. :)

  46. You’re such an inspiration – reading your story filled me with such anger but also such hope; You had the strength and courage to put an end to the torment you were faciing day in day out because you knew in your own heart you deserved so much better that the lot you had – So many people just roll over and take it from sheer terror because even though they’re terrified – it’s become routine normality, and the thought up upsetting the “norm” is more terrifying. Not you – Way to take life by the balls and realize you own happiness and goals, what *you* want!! Respect!! <3

      1. Awesome :o) I actually just sent you a tweet and was wondering if you’d be interested in being interviewed for my website http://www.girlhabits.com? i think you’d be an amazing inspiration to my readers! feel free to peruse it and let me know your thoughts whenever you have a moment. XoXo, C

  47. You kindly sent me a message re my blog golittleleggies as we share an interest in running adventures. I was startled to look at your blog to see we share a lot more besides. The thing I remember most from my first marriage was being held by the hair while I unpacked and repacked the refrigerator because I hadn’t done it properly…it stands out in my memory because I felt guilty/sloppy/ugly/incompetent at the time and yet now it is so clearly an utterly bizarre situation ..and I would be outraged to hear of another woman being treated that way. And we are both clearly strong ladies both mentally and physically, with a lively sense of humor which gets us through tough things. It can happen to anyone. Thank you for helping yourself and others. Go girl! – Penny xxx

  48. What an inspiring story :) Thanks so much for speaking up and sharing with all of the rest of us. I fully agree that “living well is the best revenge”. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of having my abuser see how I turned out and telling me that he should have treated me better and he saw what he had missed out on. It may just have been more of his manipulative comments, but it felt good at the time. Keep on going!

  49. Thanks for sharing your story…. Mental abuse is a form of domestic violence that is often overlooked as it has no physical signs but your story bring both to the forefront. Looking forward to reading about your many achievements!

  50. Glad you had the sense and courage to get out! No one deserves to be subjected to what you had to endure. You deserve better and are an inspiration! Keep running! ;)

  51. You. Are. An. Amazing. Woman. Holy moly.
    It is SO important that people that have gone through this share their stories as broadly as possible. I sat here, reading it, my mouth dropping even more. The part that pissed me off the most was the police officer’s response. Good god. Asshat.
    Thank goodness you got the dogs out, too. You know he would have beat the crap out of them had you left them behind! Thank goodness you had the presence of mind to open up and share your story, call for help.
    THANK YOU for THRIVING!!! :-)

    You are an inspiration and I’m so glad I found your blog!!!

  52. What a wonderful story. I’m so proud of you. I began my healing journey three years ago pretty much the same way: getting involved with long distance running and focusing on being a badass. I ended up also quitting my job and focusing full-time on finding ways how I can help eradicate gender based violence and empower women.

    Lots of sisu and smiles,
    A fellow thriver and an outspoken anti-dv advocate <3

    1. That is so awesome! I wish I could do anti-DV work full time, but at least I have the volunteer work! Thanks so much for taking the time to read more story and blog :) I’m always happy to meet another thriver!

  53. You may enjoy looking up Norma Bastidas btw! She is an amazing ultra runner on a mission to spread awareness on domestic abuse. She recently ran 2600 miles from Canada to Mexico (self-supported) and next year she is attempting to finish 25 (full) Ironmans in 25 days. She is one of my biggest sheroes and inspirations as I prepare for my own ultra journey : )

  54. What an amazing story! I’m so glad you got out of the situation safely in the end and have turned things around for the better. You are a true inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and keep moving forward!

  55. I read your about me page and am so proud of you for moving forward!! I have family members who have been in abusive relationships. Some verbal were more damaging than physical sometimes! But my family member snuck out in the middle of the night one night. She is battling the idiot in court now because he is trying to manipulate anything she does to try to move on and sever all ties. I see you are in CT. I am also! How did you find my blog? What races are you doing in the area this year?

    1. Hi! I think I found you though the running tag and saw you were local. I wish your family member a lot of luck!!! Getting out and rebuilding my life was the hardest thing I ever did, but it also made me appreciate how tough I can be. I am doing the Traprock Ultra next weekend, and maybe the Cheshire Half again this year. I don’t have much mapped out yet beyond that. ;)

  56. you are so AMAZING! thank you for being so brave and sharing your story, and im so happy I found you on Twitter and now your blog. I look forward to reading about all your adventures!

  57. wow. I can’t believe this! How amazing you are that you have turned such a negative life experience into something SO incredibly positive and rewarding. best of luck in your future endeavors!!!

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