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November 20, 2006



I am glad for this site. I have found a woman I truly love to be with, but she has been in a very abusive relationship in the past and we suffer because of it. We get along for a while and then she gets upset over nothing and we break for a while, then we re-kindel to repeat the same. I really want to be with her and love her but she will not let me.

Annie Kasina

Hi Shashie,

My pleasure. But, please, check out my new blog at recoverfromemotionalabuse.com for many, many more resources.

Warm wishes,


Shashie Reyna

Hi Annie, I have been away from my abusive spouse since Nov. 2OO9, so this trait list was great. A few traits have disappeared [difficulty in maintaining focus and drive; being paralysed by negativity] and a few such as 'difficulty in being lighthearted and taking everything seriously', are reducing. Thank you for putting all of this on the net.


@Janel, we become the problem when we stay in the abusive situation...Other than that, WE are NOT the problem !!!


I do see 2 characteristics of myself as a living abused woman...Thank God, I am no longer in that situation...the 2 are a lack of trust and always having to explain myself to others...if that's what you call JUSTIFY...I don't know..it seems you may be downing abused women...I have a lack of trust to protect myself from abuse again...I now LOVE ME !!! And I don't have to explain anything to anyone !!!

Annie Kaszina

Well, Jeff, it may be true, but here's the thing: I understand you may have felt upset if this woman was still too hurt and nervous to distinguish clearly between you and her previous partner(s).

But you have a choice, too: you can either take it personally - when it is NOT personal; or you can be understanding of where she is coming from.

Suppose you take home an animal that has been badly treated by its previous owner. You'd expect it to be nervous, and very, very cautious, wouldn't you?

Any abused woman has been through a life experience that is bound to make her very, very cautious. She has to be cautious, in order to protect herself from another terrible experience.

Now, you can say: "that is her issue, and I'm not interested in being involved in her healing process" - and that is perfectly reasonable. If you don't want to invest the time and energy that's fine, too.

Or, you could say: "There is something about this woman that really appeals to me, and I'm prepared to take things at her pace". The chances are she would respond as positively as she could to that.

But if you were insisting on having a dating relationship with her when she didn't feel ready, then it's not surprising she enlisted her stepfather's help.

In the end, it's a shame for you that your agenda and timescale are so different from hers.

Let's hope that in 2011 you both meet people with whom you can enjoy long-term happiness.

Jeff C

I tried to date a woman who had been physically and emotionally abused. I called her up, and talked to her for a while ( she knew who i was ahead of time), I was very polite and respectful.
2 weeks later, her stepfather phoned and told me she didn't want anything to do with me. I was just devastated. So the two points regarding abused women take everything very seriously, and that they overreact and catastrophize even over small problems, from my experience is dead on accurate.


This makes me sad and relieve at the same time. I've been out of my abusive relationship for almost 5 months now and didn't know to what extend I was affected by this until just recently. I dated a guy after and everything just when crazy and I couldn't understand why and just blamed it on the fact that he was the first guy I liked after my breakup, but after just kind of ruin something for the second time even before it started I realized that I'm the problem and sadly I have all of those characteristics.


Well first off I am a man, and not an abusive one! I am researching the feelings my girlfriend is having. I have dated her for almost two years. It would appear every time we get to a point of going to that next step of trying to live together she falls out of our relationship, the numb feelings kick in and her walls go up. I feel so badly for her that she feels no self worth and fears this partnership will lead her back to a life she had previously. It wasnt good, at all. Im exactly opposite of what she fears, she sees this but hasnt accepted it in her mind. Its very saddening, but luckily she is taking a break to find herself and get in touch with her feelings and memories to move through them and on with her life. I thought we were to the point of engagement and now I am demoted to a friend. This was extremely hard to accept and as I write this, I still fear she may never return. I dont know how much to contact her if at all, although she tells me were friends and we can talk. The bottom line is I love her dearly. I wish I could take her pain away, and the only way I can do this is to let her do it on her own so that she can see that she can and so that she feels self worth. It comes and goes for her, somethings just trigger it in her mind and the walls go up. It was a year ago that it happened before. She has it rough with two children and a night time job. Her sleep habits are bad because of her need for the job and the money. I offered for her to move in, but that was the trigger I think, because I believe she perceived that she wouldnt be in control. The fact is I want to make a life WITH her not for her. My intentions are pure, I feel I truly love her as I have to let her go right now to grow, and to rediscover herself. I fear that once she does this, she will move on or I will just be the "friend". She adds immensely to my happiness, and the fact that she was abused has never bothered me, or made me feel differently about her. For me I feel she is the one, the only hiccup is that she has her issues that surface and scare her into a shell. I am happy she is getting help professionally. I want her happy with or without me but of course would prefer her happy. I am her first relationship after that abusive one. I hope that my patience and understanding and our past love and time we spent together doesnt fade. I would like to know if you women think theres a good chance of reuniting. I wish I could help her feel better about herself more, but she needs to feel it for herself. Im sad, I dont want to lose my honey, and I fear that her love for me after time will fade if I am only a friend. I am willing to wait, but my fear, is that she fixes her needs and then only views me as a friend or will find someone else. Any advice on how to be more supportive of her and keeping her love alive to return would be appreciated. I dont want to rush her, I only want the end goal to be her healed from her scars, and us to reunite, and our children to reunite as well. When she left she told me she loved me, but she couldnt be with me, she couldnt have that tie. That hurt, but I understand and want her to succeed. Any advice on this, or sites/books etc, would be great. Thank you for your time.
I miss you honey!

Annie Kasina

Hi Royauna,

Thanks goodness you have found your way here at 18. You've discovered an abusive relationship early, and, hopefully, you will heal early, and go on to create healthy, functional relationships in the future.

You will find masses of useful information on this blog. I would urge you also to go to: www.EmotionalAbuseRecoveryNow.com where you will find more FREE resources and information. Do sign up for my free ezine, to get regular insights delivered into your Inbox. Check out, also, the products you can buy, like the Accelerated Healing Journey Teleclass Program, which can turbo charge your healing. And, above all, focus on yourself and your daughter, not your abusive partner. You are the important ones.

Never, ever forget that your life is hugely important. Find ways, however small, to treat yourself like a valuable person.

Warm wishes,



I am only 18 years old.. had my first child 7 months ago. and Her father was very abusive I've only been without him for 5 months.. and i cant let go every character istic fits me and i dont know who to talk to or how to take the next step.. but anybody reading this feel like this in a relationship get out!!!

Iva Larry-Harris

This is so painful to read, I don't want to beleive this is me. But I have no choice, it is me...I have ran long and hard, slow and fast. Everywhere including only my bed, yet what I always knew I never wanted to admit....Because I fear someone will have to be at fault and I fear the fault lies within me.

This type of thinking is nonsense. I am a superstar at talking myself out of this one. Well, I no longer can deny the truth I am 48 and the trust has to be better than the run. I am exhausted...

Annie Kaszina

Hi Jody,

Well, the good news is that you now understand why you can't move forward. That is already movement.

The next thing you need to do is get help from a specialist in moving abused women on fast. (Strange to say, that is what I do!:-)

With the right help, you will find that you feel much, much better about yourself and your ability to pick up the threads of your life, within months, or even weeks.

If you do nothing, then nothing will change. But only commit to your recovery, and you will soon heal yourself.


Wow!! 3 years out and I have EVERY symptom.......it makes sense why I can't move forward..how do I fix it!!!


As an abuse victim from teenage years under an alcoholic mother then to a bipolar relationship of alcohol and verbal abuse for 10 years, I exhibit characteristics of insecurity, feeling unlovable, fear of abandonment, and difficulty trusting.


This was very helpful for me. The realization that even after almost 3 years since I left my abusive husband that I still act like an abused woman and still need to care for my inner self.

zoe LOKE

I was wondering if your list of characteristics of abused women was from a particular source or general observation. Thank-you

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