This story is part of the Love Life. Om. Survivor Story Series. All names and personal identifiers have been removed and/or edited. If you’d like your story published, complete the Survivor Story Series Submission Form.

Before I met this monster, I was happy and having fun with my girlfriends. I had been divorced for about four years when I met him on a cruise. Then my life “went to hell in a hand basket.”

I was not attracted to him at first. My gut was to say “no”, but he was charming and played his role so well. We spent an evening talking. Just talking. We did not kiss or have sex. No business went down between us. I felt respected and safe, so I dove into a long distance relationship with him.

Two months in, maybe sooner, I saw a side of him that scared me. He apologized by blaming his behavior on his past and his abusive family.

From that point, I felt sorry for him. And without realizing it, I became his willing victim!

I wanted to save him and prove everyone wrong. Instead, I endured many horrors at the hands of this monster and blamed myself for how he treated and harmed me. The details of what I experienced are too painful to share. But I will say my life with him resembled something you would see on ID TV.

At the time, my daughter was only 14. I had to lie and hide a lot from her — bruises, broken furniture, etc. I made up lots of excuses for the wrecking ball of chaos and destruction in my life, which, up to that point, I never imagined would ever be a part of my life. My life had become what I thought only happened to OTHER people, not to me — a trauma and drama filled life I used to read about and watch on TV, leaving my mouth hanging open in disbelief.

Not until after he put a butcher knife to my throat was I able to take the steps to put him in jail. I am ashamed to admit this, but it took me 6 long years of pain and abuse before I reached this point and left the relationship. I do not know how I made it out alive. I truly believe it was GOD’s divine intervention that saved me and allowed me to be here writing this today.

After leaving, I suffered deep depression and chronic fatigue. I had to change my phone number 5 times to be free of this person. I even quit my job, moved to another city, and took a $30,000 pay cut to protect my daughter and myself.

My advice: If you’re with a sociopath or narcissistic person, GET OUT! They are so good at convincing you and everyone else of their mastered lies. The fear, pain, and abuse they put you through are not worth sticking around in hopes they will change. They don’t change and can’t be saved.

Save yourself instead.

Today, I am grateful for how truly strong I am. I did a lot of reading…reading, reading, reading! And of course, I did a lot of praying to get to this point in my healing and recovery.

I am so grateful to have found Paula’s site. It has helped me tremendously through this ordeal. I have so much respect for the ladies of the world who are brave enough to share their stories. It helped me come out of my head, making me strong enough to forgive MYSELF and the monster who almost took my self-worth.

I love myself and will NEVER let anyone strip me of my self-worth and dignity ever again.

If you have advice or direct experience with this type of relationship dynamic, share your comments and support below. “Crissy” appreciates your feedback and any gracious advice you’re open to offering her.

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Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo

Mindfulness Coach at Love. Life. Om. Mindfulness
Paula is a passionate and innovative author, educator, and mindfulness coach.
Paula Reeves-Carrasquillo
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