I was this person too. And when I came out of it there were no friends. I’ve been out of that situation nearly 10 years now and still have not gotten over the inability to connect to other people and be close to them. Because of him I pushed away my family members and all the friends that I had at the time. I learned to keep people at an emotional distance. And at 46 I am still doing it. It is difficult for people to understand without thinking that you are just living like a victim. I didn’t choose to be victimized. And I choose not to be victimized again. Having my guard up has been a part of my healing. Thank you for sharing this story. It hit home for me. And I’m sorry that you went through this as well. We are survivors and I feel we have a responsibility to help people understand the best we can what is happening in these relationships so that people don’t judge the victim. The best thing anyone said to me during that horrible time of my life was a guy at church who leaned over and whispered in my ear “ when you are ready, we will hide you.” That day was the beginning of my hope.