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Olivia, age 28

My children have different fathers and I experienced abuse in both relationships. The first relationship had some physical abuse and I have also experienced verbal and financial abuse. I think there is a certain type of man that saw me as an easy catch. I learned I needed to break that cycle.

Someone walking in my shoes at the time would have felt tension, fear, and like they were never good enough. My ex was shorter than me and I always had to wear flats so he could feel larger than me.

Part of what finally brought me to counseling was the feeling that you can mess with me but do not mess with my children. One of my exes is with the federal government. He lied about child support for us.

Today I am so much more confident. I have learned, yes, it’s nice to receive love from another person but it starts with yourself.

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