This can go both ways. Unfortunately


Abusive relationships happen silently but as long as you are breathing, you can still get out, writes Raechelle Chase.

After 14 years together, my husband and I separated in February 2015.

I don't really know how it happened, but I fell into a relationship that I would quickly discover was empty, lifeless and loveless and would take me for everything I had spiritually and emotionally.

Since I managed to get out of this toxic relationship, I feel like I need to speak up about my experience so that maybe I can help encourage and inspire people in the same situation to do the same.

As long as you are breathing you can still get out of a toxic situation and regain control of your life.

Abusive relationships happen silently. They're behind closed doors of so many homes of people we know.

Yet we know nothing about the struggles and emotional torment these people endure from their partners on a daily basis.

And they remain silent, hoping their situation will change, as their self-esteem, self-belief and confidence is stripped bare.

Being in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship is soul-destroying. I pray that in sharing a little about my experience, you too will remember who you are and make the decision to move your life into a better place.

Being in a relationship with an emotionally-controlling, manipulative and abusive man totally wore me down and was destroying my soul.

The lying and cheating was there from the beginning and was a consistent part of our relationship until the end, but it was always accompanied with smooth-talk.

For reasons I can't explain and even though I always questioned this talk and knew in my heart it was wrong, I stayed in the relationship.

I kept believing things would change, believing it was the last time and I hung onto all the empty promises and lies.

He always had excuses for his actions, no matter how obvious it was that he was wrong. He always had an answer and in the end, I had no voice.

As time went on the put-downs became more frequent, and I lost sight of who I was and where I was headed. It was like I was suddenly stumbling around in the dark and couldn't see.

Anyone who is going through or has been through this will understand what I mean when I say that you question your own thoughts and even though you know your thoughts and feelings are right, you begin to believe you are wrong and that you're worthless.

For me there were signs of physical violence and I have no doubt this would have become a more common occurrence.

So often over the past year I felt that all was lost, I felt like I had nothing left to give, spiritually I was empty and emotionally I was scarred.

Since moving back to New Zealand from Australia at the beginning of the year, I needed to take hold of whatever little control I could pull together to begin the climb back to regaining my confidence.

I am now raising my children alone, even though in hindsight I was all along anyway.

And honestly, even though I'm nearly nine months pregnant with soon to be two babies and a total of five children, I feel the most confident and empowered I have felt in a very long time.


My confidence is slowly coming back and I am now able to start making positive goals and plans for myself and my children's future. My kids are also the most happy they have been and maybe the most important point is the example I have set.

Although it took longer than it should have, I'm showing them that it is not acceptable to allow someone to treat you the way he did.

The relationship I was in taught me many things about what I don't want, and what I need to steer very clear off. It wasn't just me that suffered, it was my entire family.

If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your children. Your children are suffering just as much as you.

They feel your pain, they hear you crying in your room every morning and every night.

They can see you drowning and losing yourself and they lose themselves along with you.

So if you know you are in an abusive relationship and you don't have the courage to leave, do it for your children.

Just grab hold of whatever you need to just long enough to survive crawling out of that hole because I promise you it will be worth it.

And then you can begin to heal your life and find peace again.

Raechelle Chase is a IFBB professional figure competitor and fitness model.