Don’t shame people suffering damage from being in wrong relationships. You have no idea why she sticks around and cannot bring herself to pack up and go even though that’s an option. These relationships are complex, and it’s hard for victims to separate themselves from them – at least understand that.

Never for a single moment think she knows this is how he would turn out when they began dating. In their first meetings, when they parted ways, she would go home thinking how sweet, kind and gentle this man is. She had fantasies about him meeting her parents because she had finally found a man deserving of the honor.

You see, this kind of man will give you his divided attention, kissing the ground you walk on and making you feel like the only girl in the world. You certainly knew you were the only girl in his world. There was nothing to be concerned about. Not until many months or years later.

Then he was like a tornado, he hit you and left you lost, not sure what to do. You don’t even have enough time to consider what a life without him would be like. He is not physical in his abuse, but he manages to leave you hurt and in tears.

You try to bring it up, but he laughs it off as a joke. ‘You take things too seriously,’ he says. So, you brush it off and move on. But it happens again.. and again. It’s like a broken faucet. The dripping never stops.  

Nowadays, he hates your friends, outfits, and haircuts. He seems to hate everything about you.

It does not get easier with time. It gets worse, and you make it significantly much worse by turning on yourself. You think – ‘I should have talked to him first before putting on this outfit.’ You conclude that it is not his fault: ‘I’m just a little more sensitive, I’ll get over it.’ You use such statements when he rains down hurtful comments on you.

Self-doubt has found a home in your mind, and you feel numb. Your instincts tell you that you should walk away, but you cannot bring yourself to do it. After all, you need him since you seem to be getting everything wrong. You feel worthless.

What has happened is that you have been broken and worn down. The smart, decisive, strong and beautiful woman is gone. Right now, you are full of fear. You are weak.

Under these circumstances, her voice of reason is drowned out. And so, she cannot find a reason to leave. And until she has enough reasons to leave, she stays. But she can get through this with your support and reassurance.

And even after she leaves, the effects will still linger; at least for a while.

The best thing you can do to someone who has suffered emotional or physical damage is to let them know they are not alone.

Sure, depression and anxiety can bring about PTSD. But with time, you can find happiness in life once more. All it takes is that bold step out of the toxic relationship, and then you can build a happier life.