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Living in an emotionally abuse relationship can be far worse than being with someone who physically abuses you. Not only does the emotional abuser systematically rip your mind to shreds, they can also place you in a vicious cycle of terror that never ends.

However, there is a life outside of that relationship, and while it may seem to be a journey far into the horizon, it is much closer than you would have thought. While Webster’s dictionary defines abuse as “language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily”, psychologists have discovered that the pain and trauma can have roots far deeper than that.

While much of the cycle of the abuser is typical and can easily be pointed out, some abusers will use tactics to make you feel as though YOU are the bad one, or that you even deserved it. But no one deserves to live in agony or to be mistreated by the one that loves them.

Of course, it will not be easy to leave the one that you love, even in situations of abuse, but it has to be done. By following a short cycle of steps you can remove yourself from the situation and begin taking steps to rebuild your life.

1. Breaking Down the Mental Ties You Have

In order to leave, you must first understand that the abuser is not the person you once believed them to be. In the beginning, they may have made you feel so valued and loved that you couldn’t believe him to be anyone other than your soulmate. Unfortunately, as time went on, they began to tear you down. They secluded you from everyone you care about, and now, your entire existence revolves around the egg shell laced path surrounding them. Once you understand that they were never Mr. or Mrs. right, you have taken the first step to escaping the hell you have created.

2. Get Support

If you are ready to leave, you will need to build a support network. Have a plan for where you can go, and what you will do. Reach out to people who can counsel you, or even organizations that can heal your mental scars. And then leave. If you need a safe place to go, contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. 

3. Build Your Own Self Up

Find a job, and build some stability for yourself. Begin to save money and get yourself up on independent ground. Many, not all, women stay with abusive partners because they have been forced to depend on them. Once you have stabilized and earned some financial independence, it will become easier not only to leave but to stay gone.

4. Don’t Give In

Once you have begun the separation process do not go back. Don’t even speak to them. If you need your belongings, have a mediator that can protect you from your ex do it for you. If you give in and even talk to them for five minutes they can begin planting the seeds necessary to reel you right back in. 

5. Cut Them Off

Change your number, don’t let them know where you live, or work, and don’t allow anyone to give them the details of existence. It is time to act as though the other person never existed.

6. Begin Building Relationships with People that Empower You

Seek out people that will empower you. Don’t spend time around negative people that will drag you back down or try to attempt to get you back together with your abuser. Instead, find people who understand what you have gone through and will be there for you entirely.

7. Rebuild Your Life Without Them

Branch out into the world as a free individual. Similar to a caged bird that has finally found her freedom, fly high and with confidence. Remember how absolutely wonderful that you are, and understand your worth. You have successfully broken free from your cage and only good things are on the horizon. Give yourself a pat on the back, and raise your glass high and proud. You did it!