For 25 years, I have worked in the human service field assisting people from various walks of life, ages and socio economic backgrounds. During this time I have seen how neglect and abuse takes a toll on individuals, love ones and the communities. However although I worked closely with families that were in crisis, I was unable acknowledge my own abuse.
I was in an abusive relationship for over ten years before I was able to identify and come to terms with the truth. It was extremely confusing because there wasn’t any physical abuse, but the world had taught me that words shouldn’t hurt, real men don’t leave their women, and that a happy wife would provide a happy life. But nothing was working and my body and health started to fail.
It took one doctors visit to change my life; my doctor told me I had less than a year to live and that’s when I knew I had to make some serious changes. I was in a psychological abusive marriage and it was literally killing me so I could either make some very hard decisions or die. I finally decided to get out and it was one on the hardest decisions I have ever made because it cost me everything. I lost my home, belongings, friends, respect in my community, and it damaged my children.
I quickly learned that there are a small number of national organizations that support male victims of abuse yet their primary focus is on male victims of childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual assault. I could not find any organization that represented or supported male victims of domestic violence. I was alone, angry, and confused with no one or nowhere to go for support.