‘My Journey Through Emotional Abuse’ by Lisa Phillips published in Great Health Guide (Dec 2015). Emotional abuse can damage self-confidence & leave you wondering if you would ever find your perfect person. Read Lisa’s inspiring story, discover how you can turn your life around & how you can help inspire others.
Read other Impact articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.
IMPACT: My Journey Through Emotional Abuse
written by Lisa Phillips
It took me over seven painful attempts to get out and stay out of my 5 year relationship of emotional and verbal abuse. Every day that I choose to stay, I kissed goodbye to my sparkle, my self-respect and most of all, my self-esteem. After 5 years, my identity departed down the plughole and emotionally, I was a downright wreck. Looking back, I am still bewildered to recall how sneakily the abuse seized hold of me. Prior to meeting Rob, I was a relatively sane 30 something who, I recall, smiled and giggled a lot. My life seemed to ticking along rather nicely.
Then, one momentous day, along came my very own personal abuser who sucked the life out of me and swept me away into an existence stuffed with heartache, tears and craziness. Twelve months in, I was a nervous wreck teetering on eggshells, prone to random eruptions of anxiety and anger. My friends thought I was mad and I thought I was crazy. It was my unshakeable belief that I was publicly worthless and ugly – oh and I also felt convinced that nobody, apart from Rob, would ever consider dating me. To put it in a nutshell, I believed I was fatally flawed and a full blown relationship reject.
Thankfully, one afternoon, a friend spotted that I was about to curl up in yet another ball of depression, waved her magic wand dragged me out for a dose of girlfriend therapy. It was on this day, that I met Sarah, whose words changed my life. Sarah had been announcing to the group that she had decided to end her relationship with her long term partner, John. She explained that, ‘He informed me that he only loves me 90% – That isn’t good enough for me, so I told him that the relationship was over. I will only accept 100% positive, fulfilling love’.
Wow! – Those words smacked me right in the heart! This was powerful thinking and there was no way that Sarah would settle for less than she deserved. At this point, I realized that I too wanted to turn my back on situations and relationships where I was being fed leftover mouldy crumbs rather than being wined and dined on the full scrumptious chocolate biscuit. I wanted to prize myself enough that I was able to make choices for me which allowed me to honour, protect and most of all, take good care of myself!
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At last, the epiphany had arrived!
I had to quit depositing all my energy and hard work into saving a relationship which left me feeling exhausted and tormented. I needed to reclaim my life back from Rob and take responsibility for my own happiness. I had to get honest with myself, pluck my head out of the sand and throw away the rose tinted specs – my relationship was never going to work. So, summoning up every last miniscule of courage I had, I made one of the most momentous decisions of my life:
Using my coaching expertise, I knuckled down to work creating some straight forward action steps to rehabilitate my life and my self-esteem. I am not saying that this journey was simple, but breaking down some of my own relationship beliefs and patterns was a lot easier than staying in an abusive relationship. Every day, I felt stronger and less willing to have people in my life who left me feeling like I was losing my marbles. Each day, it became easier to practice extreme self-care and realize that in fact, I was actually abusing myself by staying in the relationship.
The upshot is that I now feel wonderful and far more contented in my life than I ever dreamed was possible. I have re-claimed my sparkle and have waved a terminal ‘adieu’ to abuse, leaving it fastened securely in my past.
Seriously, I take my hat off to people who are in an abusive relationship as they are really some of the most courageous people I have ever met. They are not weak, or cowards (as society may think) but they are just like you or me. Abuse isn’t rare and it can happen to anyone. A recent survey showed that at least 1 in 4 adults have been abused within an intimate relationship – now that is scary!
Thankfully, I can now assist other abusive relationship sufferers to recognize the destructive behaviors of their partner and to find the strength of will to say, ‘No more!’ Yes it can take time but one of the joys of my work is seeing abuse sufferers, make it out of their situation not only alive, but feeling alive and confident – excited about the world which can now open up to them.
Author of this article:
Lisa Phillips, is the author of The Confidence Coach (Exisle, 2015). She is one of Australia’s most inspiring confidence and empowerment experts. The founder of Amazing Coaching, Lisa appears regularly on television, shares her advice in many business and lifestyle magazines and has been interviewed on national radio shows. Her own popular ‘Spiritual and Irritable’ radio show attracts both national and international self-development guests. Lisa inspires people to trigger lasting change in their lives, while enjoying themselves at the same time! More information about Lisa and her book is available from this website.