Today is my son’s 15th birthday. Although it should be a day filled with celebration, it is also a reminder that he will soon start college without his savings fund. I live with the guilt everyday that I allowed SJC into our lives and turn it upside down with his empty promises and false hopes. My son did not and does not deserve to be collateral damage but that is exactly what is happening. The financial abuse I experienced in the relationship was a part of the short term effect with the ultimate impact affecting my son who will not have money for college since SJC is refusing to pay back the loan.
Through my journey, I felt very isolated and on some level, blamed myself for the abuse. I now know that I am not alone in feeling this shame. Victims of abuse struggle with feelings of worthlessness, embarrassment and guilt. If this sounds familiar, please know that you are not at fault and remind yourself, that abuse should never be tolerated.
At present, I am still a work in progress. I am trying to move past this chapter and “forgive” myself. What helped me was that I finally decided to make that courageous and scary first step in the right direction to break away from the abuse. If I can do it, so can you.