When a longtime friend realized what I had been experiencing in my relationship and why I had left my marital home, she contacted the Betty Griffin Center to find out how she could help me.

She gave me the number and a listing of services that they offered. I wasn’t sure what I needed as I wasn’t sure what I was going to do at that point in time, so I made an initial appointment. That meeting was life changing.

I honestly had not realized or acknowledged I was in an abusive relationship; the only way I can describe it is that you shut down emotionally to a certain extent to make it all work and the abuser uses manipulation and blame to shift responsibility away from his actions. That initial meeting and the subsequent counseling I received was an awakening as I talked openly for the first time about the physical violence I had experienced in my home and numerous ways my now ex-husband exerted control over me and systematically chipped away at my feelings of self-worth.

It has been a long road to extract myself from a 22-year marriage which was not what it seemed to people on the outside. I still have plenty of healing to do but I am so grateful to be on my own, making my own decisions and living life on my own terms. I will always be grateful for the counseling, information and support I received from the Betty Griffin Center.

I think I would still be withering away in my unhealthy marriage if it weren’t for that phone call my friend made and the initial meeting I had when I finally realized what I had been enduring for far too long.