abuse warning signs

‘I like you around my mommy because you don’t yell and scream at her.’ The judge thanked him for stepping up and loving us. I couldn’t hold back my tears.’: Woman marries ‘fairy tale’ man after abusive relationship, new husband adopts her 3 kids

“I didn’t think Brian could ever love me, a single mom to 3 kids. ‘You need to tell him about the abuse.’ I was broken, terrified I’d scare him off. He looked me dead in my eyes: ‘I want YOU, that’s not changing anything.’ He never gave up. When I had nightmares about my abuse, he woke with me and talked me through them. One day, he said, ‘I’d like to adopt your kids.’ Fairy tales aren’t just for the movies. I’m living one!”

‘When he hit me the first time, I fought back like an animal. Until I had to decide if I wanted to be the woman who fought back or the woman who lived.’: Woman details journey through physical, emotional abuse, ‘I have an incredible life now’

“He showed up at my house. I was convinced I was going to die. I was obsessively checking my yard each morning for rat poison in case the dogs went out. I was afraid. Afraid I’d have to fight him off. I just wanted to be strong enough to survive. When I realized I could deadlift his body weight, I felt less afraid.”

‘My marriage reared it’s ugly head. I was at a fork in the road. I could leave and save myself heartbreak, or I could stay.’: Woman finds ‘strength’ to divorce abusive husband, admits there’s ‘beauty in vulnerability’

“I never planned on writing my story. While I was more fearful of the future than I care to admit, I remember leaving the courthouse the day I filed for divorce feeling like I could breathe for the first time in years. It was the feeling of freedom. For years, I allowed the world to wash over me, resigned to the lies I’d been told about who I was, who I wasn’t, and who I could never be. On the hard days, I have to remind myself to call these thoughts what they are: lies.”

‘The first thing in his search was, ‘How to track girlfriend’s phone.’ Blood drained from my face.’: After becoming a ‘shell’ of her former self in abusive relationship, woman finds true love, realizes ‘I am enough’

“I saw bruises on my 2-year-old’s face. I figured, ok he’s clumsy, maybe he fell down or something. Then I found a bruise on his neck that looked like a handprint. I pushed the feeling aside, and thanked her for watching my boys. I ran my little guy a bath and started taking his clothes off. Immediately I knew something more sinister had happened. My baby had bruises from his upper back all the way down to his ankles.”

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