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Alicia, age 41

My abuser lived to sabotage me. He was a doctor and when we moved out of this area for his job, I had to give up my biomedical career. He controlled all of the money and I was trapped.

I was terrified people wouldn’t believe me, or they would ask how I could let this happen. I was part of a playgroup with other doctors’ wives and kids, and I had to pretend everything was ok.

Someone walking in my shoes would have felt isolated and like they were constantly walking on eggshells.

Once we moved back to Montgomery County, I had resources. I confided in co-workers, and they raised money, which I have paid back. I went to a shelter for help.

You need to act rationally, not emotionally. Maybe have a secret stash of money that you can access. Reach out to the Family Justice Center or another provider. And make sure someone knows you are in danger.

Today, a walk in my shoes would be much more comfortable. Running or hiking. Counseling has been a huge help for my kids and me. The abuse is something I still carry, but I won’t let it take over. I keep going.

Do you have a story to share about domestic violence? You can submit it here (you will remain anonymous).