17/10/2014 08:52 BST | Updated 17/12/2014 05:59 GMT

Dealing With Emotional Abuse

During my life I have discovered that emotional abuse came from several directions. It came from my first husband who, for years, told me that I was not clever, no use at ironing his shirts, not like his mother, not good enough to be part of his family..... and so on, and on he went.

It also came from my parents who encouraged me to stay with my first husband even though I was plainly unhappy and the marriage wasn't working. I was told that I was far too young at 20 years of age to know my own mind and that divorce was out of the question. Although they happily backed my decision to get married at 19 years of age.

My parents-in-law agreed with my husband that I wasn't good enough for their family and therefore I should learn how to be a good wife and do everything that I was told to do by my husband.

I dealt with this in the only way that I knew how at the time. I kept my head down, did as I was told and just plodded on through life. I was unhappy and I couldn't see any end to the misery that I was enduring.

I did, however, find a way out in the end. I was more and more unhappy, the marriage was just not working. My husband was diagnosed as being schizophrenic but he would not accept this. He refused to be treated in any way and accused me of being the instigator of his illness. He was unreasonable and unpredictable and became obsessed with the idea that I was having an affair and would tell me that because I had taken five minutes longer to do the shopping than he expected I must have been meeting a man. This was plainly ridiculous as I had three small children and the shopping to carry. I had neither the time, the energy or the inclination to do so.

This emotional abuse went on for 12 years. In the end something clicked in my head and I couldn't take it any longer. I plucked up the courage to leave. I took the children and left. I sued for divorce and got enough money to buy a small flat where we could live in another town twenty miles away. A new start, in a new town, with a new flat and no emotional abuse day after day.

I am now a much different person and I won't tolerate emotional abuse from anyone, not from my children, my parents, friends - whoever. My husband now of 30 years would never emotionally abuse anyone and I am so very happy now.

Looking back I do realise that I allowed this to happen to me. At the time I didn't realise it, but now I understand. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

So to deal with emotional abuse can be difficult. The abuse can become impossible to bear. If it becomes impossible for you then you have to choose whether you deserve better or not - I believe you do.

So what can you do to get out of this place where you are emotionally abused?

• Get some help from a qualified coach or therapist - make sure it is someone who understands what you are experiencing and can relate to what you are telling them so you can begin your healing process.

• Look online for some blogs that refer to what you are going through. Read them, make comments on them. Open up a dialogue to help you get some answers.

• Buy a self help book and take some action to change the way you think about yourself.

• Make the decision to not allow yourself to be emotionally abused any longer.