I learned a lot while I was in five years of recovery from childhood sexual abuse. I learned I didn't have to answer anyone's questions or that I could respond with one of my own, like, "Why do you ask". It took awhile. I had to wear a sweatshirt that said, "What part of no don't you understand?" It took several weeks for me to wear it around the abuser I was currently married to. It seemed to put up a boundary that he was afraid to cross. Once I was finished with my recovery program my entire life changed. I became the happiest person I knew. Now, I was free of visual images like getting beat up, getting raped, getting slapped around, using a large knife to threaten my husband with if he took one step further, living in a women's shelter and other such fun mental pictures.
I was elated to know that I could say to myself, "What would you do if......". If, what? If my books started selling, if I lived near one of my favorite places in all the world (Sedona, AZ 20 minutes away), if I began traveling, where would I go, if my life was totally mine and I had to answer to no one. I could wear what I wanted, make friends with who I wanted, speak on the phone to whomever I wanted for as long as I wanted. I was free to date healthy men that treated me the way I wanted to be treated. It was all heady stuff and the first time since I had been raped by my father at the age of 13 to do and be all I wanted to.
If there is anyone reading this that has ever been in a domestic violence situation or has any abuse from their childhood that needs to be healed, get the book REPAIR Your Life (from amazon.com where they have several five star reviews) and begin working the program. Join a 12 step program such as CoDependent Anonymous and begin working that program. Take baby steps for you can't get rid of the demons you've had for so many years overnight. But little by little you can cross that Bridge of Recovery and become like me, the happiest person you know.