You may recall a letter from our beautiful friend, Layla, who reached out for support and advice back in January.
She sent me an email recently with an update on her situation and asked if I would share it with all of you.
Here it is, Layla; for you and all of our lovely readers who are going through something similar ...
In January I wrote to you for advise on a man who was treating me less than I deserved and got such great feedback from yourself and others.
In 10 days it will mark 2 months since I finally walked away and broke the hold that relationship had over me. It has been tough, it has been sad and everything in me wanted to believe that I was not wrong, that things were going to work out.
I read all the advise that was out there on the internet, I spoke with friends and I tried to figure out what I could do to make this guy understand he was treating me wrong and for the first time I realised.... it is ok for me not to have all the answers, not to understand what went wrong.
I am sharing this with your readers because, somewhere out there, someone is in a verbally abusive relationship and they don't believe they are or, they believe if they just fix themselves it will all come right... I want my story to be used as motivation that it is ok to not know everything and it is ok to walk away, you are not giving up.
For as long as I can remember, I have had such low self esteem and allowed my past mistakes to be the reason I settled in my relationships... only to realise that I was hurting myself even more in the long run. I walked away from a guy who I still believe I loved dearly but, I loved him so dearly that I stopped loving myself and that is NOT ok.
He accused me of cheating, told me I was not attractive in order to justify his porn habit, shouted at me, called me an idiot and I soon started to believe the lies. He smoked weed every day and I found myself getting caught up in that world.
I was the only one who worked, so I was supporting two people and borrowing money from my dad to try and pay my bills. It got out of control and on the 12 May 2014, I finally said ENOUGH! I asked him to leave after a huge fight but, I made sure he knew that we were never going to talk again, no friendship... NOTHING.
Has it been hard, absolutely and anyone who tells a women it is easy is lying.
But, my motivation has been the extreme joy I have found since he left. I am not trying to find another relationship, I am focused on building myself up and doing things that make me happy.
It took a lot to accept that I was being abused and I would not accept it for a long time, believing that we were having normal fights. I cried a lot this last month, I got angry, I cursed and I missed him. BUT, I never went back and I got up and told myself that I can do this, no matter how painful.
I deleted all conversations with him on my phone and 2 weeks ago, I had the courage to remove him and his family off my facebook.
I read an article that said, keeping a man who hurt you as a friend on facebook is giving him the impression that what he did was not bad and that you may still consider being his friend in the future. That was enough for me to say, for myself I am removing him.
Firstly, thank you Jane for playing a part in me finally walking away as your blog encouraged me to be strong. Secondly, I know that it will take time to move into another relationship but when I do, I have learnt so much from this experience and know what I will and won't accept.
I am a Christian and my strength and healing has come from God, who I give all the credit to...my life is not over, it just began!
As the quote says: " Sometimes you just have to turn around, give a small smile, throw the match and burn that bridge"
I know so many of us understand what Layla's talking about here. If you have a similar story to share that you've gone through - or are still going through - please share it with us here in the comments.