I Can’t Believe It Could Happen To Me

23 Aug 2008

"Hi Annie,

I have been struggling for = months to dig myself out of what feels
like a bottomless pit ofloss and despair. I feel like I have completely
taken on someone else’s definition of myself.  I can’t believe something like this could happen to me. I thought I
was so strong. I still feel myself daily questioning whether I deserved it or
not. I feel like maybe I was wrong all along… that I did deserve this…
otherwise how could he be so happy now without me in his life? Isn’t the abusive
one the one who is tormented afterward because his object of control is gone?
Maybe I was the one who was abusive? Maybe all of the horrible things he said
about me are true.
I’m so lost. And so hurt. And so confused. And all I want is to love myself
again. To respect myself again. And to stop loving and missing someone who was
so very, very cruel to me.
I don’t know if you’ll ever respond to this, but I appreciate the email and
the website. I find myself googling at work… just trying to find some sense of
hope. And this helps, at least for tonight.
Thank you


Hi G.,

many abused women do you think have said: "I can’t believe something like this could
happen to me"?

say just about every woman who has ever been in an abusive relationship.

We all
think that we were strong and smart and…

Because we thought that stuff – and on what basis did we believe that
about ourselves? – it left us vulnerable.

course, you didn’t deserve an abusive relationship.  Nobody does.

here’s the thing: only start to take responsibility for the relationship you
found yourself in, only start to acknowledge, ‘I ended up in an abusive
relationship because’:
  • ‘I
    didn’t know any better’
  • ‘I
    didn’t see it coming’
  • ‘I
    thought relationships would naturally conform to a game plan that I had in my
    head, that I learned from the media, and films and the sanitized stories that
    women tell each other of their relationships etc. etc.’
  • ‘I
    didn’t really look at my partner, I just jumped into the relationship head
  • ‘I had
    some self-worth issues in the past’
  • ‘I’d
    seen lousy relationships in my family of origin’
you start to do that, you can get over it.

you can never get over what you don’t own.

can you possibly get over something,  if your only belief is that it shouldn’t
have happened because you didn’t deserve it?  That’s powerless thinking and all
powerlessness ever gets you is more powerlessness.  You don’t need me to tell
you that, you’ve seen exactly how it works.
horrible things he said about you are just that: horrible things.  If you want
to believe that they are true, you can make them true.  If you choose to believe
they are hurtful, manipulative lies you will be proved right.

can learn to love yourself again.  My ebook is a great tool for learning
how to love yourself. 

As you learn to love yourself you will be amazed at how easily you stop ‘loving’ your cruel ex-partner.

is plenty of hope for you, as there is for all women who come out of abusive
relationships.  The number of women I work with who say: "You won’t be able to
help me.  I’m past help" and then make huge change and rebuild their life.

happens all the time.  And it will happen to you, if you just allow
yourself to be open to that possibility.

wouldn’t you want to believe that your life can improve out of all

would you deny yourself that hope?

future is in your beliefs.



PS  You say that your ex is now happy in his life, without you in it.  How do you know that?  If he told you that, why should you assume that he is telling the truth?  We both know that he could always be ‘creative’ with the truth.  And if, by chance, he is happy, I say: rejoice.  Rejoice that he will not be back to bother you.  That is the only gift he can give you.  His absence leaves you free to heal.  (If anything, spare a thought for the poor woman who has taken your place.  It is just possible that she has a better time of it than you had.  But more likely she will end up putting up with the same behaviours you found so painful.  Whereas you have the opportunity to build a good life for yourself. 


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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