I spent 15 years going from one toxic relationship to another one. The first one started off as more emotional abuse, being called named, accused of cheating, checking my phone, lying to me, hiding money and ended one night after pulling me out of my bed and ripping my pajamas after he came home drunk accusing me of cheating.

The next major relationship I married. The abuse started earlier but I felt too old to start again and figured I could deal with it. He was verbally abusive, would make comments to me under his breath, told me no one liked me, I shouldn’t talk so much because I was embarrassing. It started to get to me.

I still married him. On our wedding night he chased me around the suite, naked and ended up climbing on top of me and strangling until I nearly lost consciousness. I was too embarrassed to leave him. The spitting, name calling, lies, sneakiness, belittling, waking me in the middle of the night, turning lights on and pulling blanket off me. It just kept getting worse.

Finally I decided to leave him after he told me “just like typical cunt butch not supporting her husband” after he quit his job out of nowhere while I was at my second job and asked him to try and get his job back. I left and he stalked every new man I tried to date I had to live with a friend for a while just to be in a safe place, although he was slicing for free in my home.

I did a lot of work on myself and am now married to an amazing man and have a gorgeous son. I get to help women rediscover their life’s purpose after toxic relationships as a coach. I know all too well how hard it can be. So happy I left because this beautiful life I have now would not be possible had I not.

S. McPhail