The Sad Story of Sabrina S. Emotionally Abused Wife, and Selfless Mother

by Annie Kaszina on January 21, 2014

If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel able to take on board a sad story, that’s okay.  Just stop reading here.  Because today I need to tell you the sad story of Sabrina S.

I’m guessing Sabrina would be happy for me to share her story with you.  Unfortunately, I can’t ask her, because I’ve just heard the sad news that she died.  In her early 50s.

She wrote to me in January 2013, for the first time, to say  that after 20 years of marriage she was finally divorced from her emotionally – and physically – abusive husband.      She wrote:

“I never left because I had a son, and I wanted him to have a good life.  I truly wanted my son to have what I never had as a child.  I wanted him to feel safe and happy.”

Sabrina did her best but, still, she couldn’t shield her son from the horrors of his father’s behaviour.   She didn’t realize it, of course, but she – not the marriage – was the source of her son’s safety and happiness.

Her own life was awful. 

Her husband’s behaviour finally drove her to leave in May 2012. 

She had an ugly divorce to fight, she suffered with PTSD, and had health issues.  But she went back to school and she started working with animals.  She  shone her light, and enjoyed happiness – I’m told – for the last 18 months of her life.  Despite the health issues triggered, at least in part, by her ghastly husband.

She had 18 months of happiness, freedom, and peace of mind.

That’s just not good enough.

When I was with my emotionally abusive wasband, I was brilliant at deferring happiness.  It seemed like a worthwhile trade to save the marriage, and protect my child – who was way too bright to miss an atmosphere in the house that you could cut with a knife.  

 My happiness didn’t seem to matter very much at all.

My life didn’t seem to matter much at all.

That’s the way it is if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationships, isn’t it?

I always told myself that I had plenty of time. 

Obviously, I’ve been a lot more fortunate than Sabrina S: she had 18 months.

Does 18 months sound enough to you?

It certainly doesn’t to me.

In her email, Sabrina also said; “I do not know if I am someone to read about.”

Sadly, she is someone to read about.  And someone to think about.  I feel truly sad that her selflessness meant she only had 18 months of freedom, and happiness. 

Don’t let that happen to you.

Your life and your happiness have to be important to you.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa January 21, 2014 at 10:14 am

I filed for divorce and he never responded all the while we are still living in the same condo! I requested a default ruling from the court, the papers arrived addressed to him but I am terrified to give him the papers, what do I do?


Annie January 24, 2014 at 4:30 am

Lisa, having got so far, you can’t let your terror get in the way.

You have options – none of them ideal, but at least you get to choose. You could:

a) pop the papers on his pillow
b) pay someone to deliver them directly to him at his place of work – quite a good option, because then he can’t say he didn’t receive them
c) put them next to his plate at a meal-time

Chances are. he will go mad and lose the plot – because you’re causing him unwanted inconvenience.

But, on the other hand, if you do nothing then you are paying your lawyer for nothing. And you risk going crazy and losing the plot yourself. Or, worse, getting to the end of your life without having lived.

Unfortunately, with an emotionally abusive man, there is no nice, amiable, sanitized way to end the relationship.

Paul Simon famously sang: “There must be 50 ways to leave your lover”. How about you fantasize about as many ways of giving him the papers as you possibly can. And then just choose one?

Warm wishes,



oliva January 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

yes, 18 months isn’t not enough time to only know happiness for that short period.i can only learn from her story and to share with others who might not feel that their lives are not important, because each and everyone are. i will contiue to fight for my place my space my time and the wellness of my soul


Christine January 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm

This is just so so sad and upsetting, Sabrina did what we all did in our misguided desire to want to rear our children in a 2 parent family – for those who like me left after the children had grown, lets ensure we embrace the freedom and try try try not to let the impact of the past horrors impact on our lives now. This for me resonates loud n clear, no more wasting precious years in unhappiness because of the past .


ina January 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm

I can’t help but cry for Sabrina. I can feel her pains because I have been there. I had breast cancer 7 years ago because of being married to an abusive husband. I should have left then but, normal people feel sorry for sick people, I thought he’d have a bit of a heart. Wrong thinking. Sick minded people are not normal people. Evil people do evil things and there is no “why”, no “justification” needed. I feel sad for my sisters (women) who are suffering inside their homes, the only place they should be feeling safe and nurtured but are instead suffering in silence.


Jennifer January 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm

OMG, this story parallels mine so close. I also stayed to raise my son and 4 years raised a grandchild. I left after 31years in April 2012. He is contesting and I now have a heart condition and am still not free of him.


Laurie January 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Sobering story, indeed. My heart aches for all of us with similar tales…I most likely would still be with my own malicious husband, most likely…had he not wooed my replacement and finally left for her a year ago (thinking he was wounding me deeply, but not understanding how very relieved we all were to help him pack and go), My health is much improved these days, and my happiness level is getting better and better.


Lynn Guay January 23, 2014 at 6:58 pm

I am grateful to all the readings and help I recieved in 2006 when I left a very abusive Husband. It was A God send to have this resourse! I still read from time to time! Thankyou for hrlping save my life!


josette February 4, 2014 at 7:22 pm

that is a sad story. Sabrina had put her own happiness aside so that her son can have a “family”, but, somehow, I can’t help but feel that “WE woman who live with abusive mates cause it because we allow the jerks to walk all over us. all for the sake of our children. I too, am guilty of that!! growing up in single parent home and being abused physically, emotionally and verbally. We know better and repeat the cycle for ourselves and our children.
Even though, I’ve left my husband my daughters treat me the same way he did, Like I am a nobody, Shit I am important !! I am your mother and I take care of them when they should be on their own by now. their 18 & 20 years old. I told my daughter I left her father because he make feel like a nobody.


Shirene Diedricks February 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I can truelly relate to these tragic stories.For the sake of my children and my sake i am hoping and praying to be released out of the claws of this evil monster.The emotional abuser!


Shirene Diedricks February 28, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Today is my 46th birthday!Wow married 16yrs and still putting up with a control freak,manipulator.I dn’t need to elaborate,because he is everything the emotional abuser does! To top it all off,he’s a rhumatoid arthritis sufferer since 5yrs ago and diagnosed with bipolar 8 yrs ago.I’m at my wits’ end.He isolates me from the world,but before he develloped arthritis he could come and go as he pleased.I had no say!I had to give up my job to be his home care nurse.He is also on no medication now.Together we have two beautiful children aged 15 and 8.I have two aged 27 and 21.He treated them like outcasts.Still does it to my 21yr old son,who he physically abused since 3yrs old.He was booked in for bipolar thrice.Defaulted on meds couple of times,now they refuse to admit him.His family gives no moral support accept his mother and stepfather that visits once in a while.He is only nice when things go his way.Filed for divorce twice,but he manipulated me with his illness.He even faked a heart-attack!I am terribly unhappy and i dn’t want my children reared in such a sick environment.Plz help.


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