Okay guys, I’m going to tell you something that you may not know if you don’t follow me on social media, and that’s that I’m not only a confidence coach, but I am also an abuse recovery coach for women.
I help women recover from abusive relationships so that way they can live the life that they not only are capable of living, but that they deserve to live.
This is something that I’m extremely passionate about because of my own journey. Since starting that journey to healing I realized that I haven’t actually shared the whole story
There are parts that I unintentionally left out parts that I had forgotten about, and parts that are playing a major role in my life today.
I’ve mentioned it briefly before, but I am an abusive relationship survivor.
I now use my story to help women recover from the abusive relationships that they’ve experienced.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing more about abuse, recovery and how you can get on the journey to healing.
Now, even if you haven’t been in that situation, which I sincerely hope you haven’t, this, these are going to be very beneficial episodes for you.
These are going to provide you with insight so that way you can better help those in your life. because based on statistics, there’s a very good chance that you know, a person or probably people that have been in abusive relationships.
And just before I get started, I want to make this very, very clear right now.
Physical abuse is not the only form of abuse just because they didn’t leave a bruise does not mean that they were not abusive. verbal abuse, manipulation, spiritual abuse, financial abuse, there’s a whole lot more to it than just physical violence.
And that’s not to demean the physical violence by any means. Trust me, I know.
But there are too many women out there that think that what I have to say doesn’t apply to them because he never actually hit her. And the fact of the matter is that if he didn’t hit you, but you still feel fear, it’s abusive period.
Now I’m going to get back on track and I want to make sure to mention that there are some possible triggers here. I don’t go into a lot of detail, but I was physically and sexually abused and the relationship that I’m going to talk about, so those things are things that could trigger you please do not continue listening.
I’m going to be sharing about my experience was my first very apparent physically aggressive, violent relationship.
I was in a cycle of abusive relationships from the time I was 12 to 23. However, the relationship that I’m about to share was when I was 17 years old, I did not know that there are that verbal and verbal abuse and manipulation or abuse as well before that. So by the time I reached this point in this relationship, I was already pretty dang beaten down.
But if you’re able to, if you’re able to listen if you’re able to push through the discomfort, please listen to this. It is so important for you to know that
The signs that I miss, I want to highlight what I thought were little things that that paved the way for the big things that left far more than bruises and scars. It’s so important to recognize how the situation escalates.
So often we think that abusive relationships are just abruptly abusive, we think that he’s going to hit us and that’s the sign. But really, it builds up to that.
Alright, I’m going to back off a bit and I’m going to get to the story. But again, if you can listen, please listen. But if you feel like you’re going to be triggered, please do whatever you need to do to stay mentally safe. Alright, let’s get into it.
Like I mentioned earlier by the time I met, okay, that’s what we’re gonna call him. I was 17 years old, and I was at the lowest possible point. I absolutely hated myself. I was in the depths of an eating disorder and a dangerous level of self hatred. I was so desperate for attention, so desperate for love that I told myself that even though there were so many red flags, that it was okay, because it was better than nothing.
I don’t really remember where it happened, but we met in a chat room on some website. He lived in California and I was here in Washington. After a few months of talking, you’re honestly I don’t even know who’s that long. I think I might have only been a few weeks. He decided he was going to move to what he told me was to be closer to me. What I didn’t know at the time is that there was a warrant out for his arrest in California. So he literally was fleeing from the police.
But again, I didn’t know that.
We met up at a local mall for a date at Chuck E cheese, and I remember thinking that it was a lot of fun. But however, I also remember feeling these little gut feelings that something wasn’t right but I couldn’t put a pin I couldn’t put my finger on it.
What those things were were a little snide comments that were made about me about my appearance.
About what games I wanted to play and about what I did and didn’t find funny.
I remember thinking that that was just the price of a guy paying for a date. I thought that because someone else was providing me the entertainment that I just had to take whatever was given.
At the time I thought he was very attractive. And I thought this was the price to pay for being with someone attractive.
A few weeks or maybe not even maybe there’s only a week or two into our relationship. I remember a moment very, very clearly because a local McDonald’s near me and we were there sitting and having, I don’t know lunch or dinner or something. I had recently lost about 70 pounds and K knew about it.
Now mind you, I was starving myself and working out for eight plus hours a day so please do not think it was done the right way at all.
He had bought me fries when a woman about the size of my former self walked by.
He pointed to her and asked, “Did you look like that when you were fat?”
I was so taken aback by the comment. I remember thinking that it was rude, but I didn’t know what to say. I was scared to say the wrong things. So I just said, Yeah, and that’s what he shook his head and shame. Yeah, if you ever gotten that big again, we would definitely not be together.
I looked down at the fry in my hand and that I had already taken a bite of but I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. So I sat it down. I didn’t want to eat anymore. I was so worried about getting fat again, I thought that I lose him.
But then he started yelling at me in the middle of the restaurant, because I was wasting his money because I no longer wanting to eat the fries.
I’m going to go into this a little bit deeper further on into the story, but this is something that I really, really want to make clear.
When it comes to abusive relationships, you can’t win. If you ever reach a point where you feel like you can’t do anything right. Or no matter what you say or do there’s always a negative and explosive reaction, then you need to get out. When you feel like there’s nothing you can do to keep you safe.
Please get out.
Situations like this continued throughout the time of the relationship until it became more and more aggressive.
The comments and physical harm became worse and worse and more and more obvious. I’m not going to go into detail about each one of them. But that comment was just the beginning.
That was just the beginning of so many horrible things that he would say to me. And it wasn’t until I started documenting this story that I remembered something that happened a couple months into the relationship.
At the time I was writing a miniskirt so my legs were bare the skirt went about halfway down my size.
And I can’t remember whether I was going into his house or leaving it but I was outside and he was on the porch in his hand was an airsoft gun.
As I noticed this I immediately felt uncomfortable. I even right now just thinking about it, I feel that fear welling up in my chest I feel my hands starting to shake. I was really scared to bring attention to it because I know that the moment I mentioned that he would get upset and yell at me for being scared of him.
But I did try to hide kind of behind a car a little bit, hoping that he wouldn’t aim for my face. I figured if the rest of my body was hidden, you wouldn’t be dumb enough to aim for my face. However, he caught on that I was hiding my body behind the car and realized that I was avoiding it.
K immediately got upset with me and started yelling at me, yelling at me aggressively and telling me that I shouldn’t be afraid of him, telling him telling me that it was my fault that he acted the way he did, because I was so skittish. That it was that it was all me.
I can’t remember exactly what I said. But I tried to justify it and I tried to keep them calm. I try to distract them from what I knew would happen. But it happened anyway, standing about 15 feet away from me, he shot my bare leg with the airsoft gun.
I remember the initial sting I felt while I was holding back tears. I couldn’t allow him to see how much he hurt me even though he was still mocking me because it obviously hurt, you know you have a human reaction to those things. And of course, he immediately started mocking me and got angry at me.
It ended up swelling really bad into a massive welt on the side of my leg, probably about the size of a softball. And I couldn’t let anyone see so I lived in jeans and sweatpants. I wanted to hide it. I didn’t want anyone to see what had happened.
But movement was uncomfortable wearing the jeans over a welt like that is extremely uncomfortable. And every time I went he would walk by and smack it while telling me not to be such a baby. This situation seems extreme, but what I want you to understand is that these events were not far and few between, it happened more and more often in and out of the bedroom.
It reached a point where he didn’t care when I said I didn’t want to sleep with him. He decided I didn’t have a choice and he was going to take it whether I wanted it or not.
A moment that I remember very clearly was walking into class the morning after one of the attacks occurred. I walked around the table to my seat and sat down. I wasn’t able to suppress the winds from the pain my body was in. I purposely wore clothes that hid the bruises and scratches that span my back and thighs.
A classmate asked if I was okay. And I knew that I couldn’t just say yes. So I played it off. I smiled and shrugged saying that I had a fun time with my boyfriend the night before. Things got crazy, but I enjoyed it. I was into those things. I remember a few of my friends hearing it and I’m honestly not sure that they bought it but they let it go. I couldn’t sit back in my chair because my back burned so badly. Sitting down was difficult because of the bruises that covered my backside.
This is something that is so important.
I am not angry at any one of my classmates. I am not mad and I do not hold judgment against any of them.
But if you experience this, if you see someone acting like this, and you don’t feel comfortable with they’re playing it off. Please tell someone
had they told someone I would have been angry? Yes. But had they told someone it wouldn’t have got as bad as it did.
Prepare yourself for the fact that they will probably be mad at you. But I need you to realize that they’re mad at you because their brain and their mind is so far gone.
That’s that they don’t understand that what they’re going through is not okay.
They ignore the gut feelings. They’ve been taught to ignore the gut feelings that this isn’t okay that this is inappropriate.
So even though that they’re going to be mad at you, please tell someone, please reach out and find help for them. I don’t care if you’re an adult or if you’re a teenager, please say something.
The thing that really got me the most was a constant comments about how attractive he was. I was told that my man was so hot and I was so lucky to have him. The girls couldn’t believe I scored a guy like that. My already low self esteem, absorb this information and told me that I was going to keep them around. I needed to just deal with it.
I told myself that it would get better if I could just keep going. I told myself that I owed him something.
I was completely under his control. He would text me so many times that my phone would crash. You know, back in the old days where we use flip phones, I had a super pretty pink phone. And when you got a text the message with a light up across the front of top of the screen and scroll through.
He texted me so many times that the phone crashed to the point that I had to go get a new one. And then he got mad at me when I didn’t have my phone for a day because I had to go get it replaced.
And he would post things on social media.
That would make everyone think that I was a whore and an awful person.
The reason that this is such an important part of my life to share is because it didn’t start out this way. No one stays in the abusive relationship for the abuse.
It’s just that thing where you if you put a frog in boiling water, they’re going to jump right out. But if you put a frog in cold water and you gradually turn the heat up, before they realize what’s happening, they’re cooked.
That’s what happens with abusive relationships. It starts out so small and
And gradually increases. It starts with one snide comment that doesn’t get called out. It starts to playful shove, that turns into a pillow being thrown at a wall, which turns into a fist being put through that wall.
I am dead serious when I say that read that ignoring red flags could mean life or death.
And I’m not being dramatic. I am so grateful. And I am just being honest about how grateful I am that I’m alive. I’m so grateful that it didn’t get worse. I’m so grateful that I’m a survivor. And I’m so grateful that I got out when so many women didn’t.
And what I need you to realize is that the red flags aren’t always the big things.
Is abuse of any kind of red flag? Of course.
But by the time it reaches
That point you’ve been so broken down mentally that you don’t even know which way is up.
Here are some examples of the red flags that I didn’t think were that big of a deal.
Eye rolls about what I was uncomfortable with.
Physical aggression that didn’t result in pain, like having things thrown at me. hellos, cups pens.
I’ll also say things being thrown at the wall in an aggressive episode.
Not respecting me when I said I wasn’t ready to get intimate when I wasn’t ready to have sex. But instead he mocked me.
Constantly telling me that I was eating too much, while simultaneously telling me that I needed to eat more.
He would police my phone and blow it up to the point that I didn’t have any room to talk to anyone else.
He told me how I should talk to my parents.
He told me that I wasn’t capable of reaching my dreams.
He kept telling me to suck it up and not be so sensitive. Now not only was he an asshole, but I had a yet to be diagnosed chronic illness and chronic pain. So I was going through a lot and he just told me to get over it. What I really need you to remember is that abuse is gradual.
Abusers are very, very good at hiding their abuse and making you feel like you’re crazy. They push and pull until you feel like you’re in a vortex of chaos. The craziest part is that you feel like it’s your fault.
Now I’m here to call this bullshit out and tell you that it is not your fault. You are not crazy and you deserve freedom.
When I finally had enough, I broke up with him. It didn’t last long, however, because he begged me to come back. He blew up my phone and he stepped up just long enough for me to get pulled back in.
We danced to hey there Delilah in the YMCA parking lot. He took me out to dinner and a movie. He spoiled me with flowers and a necklace.
I was brought back in entirely until I realized that he’d been cheating on me. his reasoning, I didn’t cheat on you, I just never got around to breaking up with you.
This is something I want to point out because I broke up with him first, which meant that he no longer owned me. And this is something you’re going to find very common in a lot of abusive relationships. They need the last word because they need to know that they’re in charge and that they have the power.
So when I broke up with him, he brought me back just so then that way he could say he broke up with me. But the thing about this is because he said, I never got around to breaking up with you. I felt like I wasn’t allowed to feel free because I wasn’t the one that ended this time. I wasn’t the one who was brave enough to leave because I went back, even though he continually harassed me.
I was convinced that it was all my fault. And I wasn’t strong enough to leave that he pushed me away. So I wasn’t allowed to feel peace. The harassment went on for weeks until I was able to get a new phone number and was blocked on all social media.
The point that I would love to make here is that it doesn’t matter how you got out, whether you were pushed out or you left on your own accord. What matters is that you survived. What matters is that you made it out.
What matters is that you’re still breathing. What matters is now you’re able to find freedom to find healing. This was not the last abusive relationship I was in. This was a relationship that opened the door to the comfortable, uncomfortable. This was the relationship that taught me that I wasn’t good enough and that I wasn’t worth anything.
This was the relationship that taught me to be comfortable with settling for accepting less than I deserve.
The crazy thing is after all that I have found freedom. After being in an unhealthy marriage for five years and getting kicked out after he decided to end it, I was at rock bottom. What I didn’t know is that the greatest gift my ex gave me was that moment. Because in that moment, he gave me my freedom.
Now I’m happier than I’ve ever been. A lot of people ask me how and why. And it really comes down to the fact that no, I don’t rely on anyone else to provide me with happiness. I create my own happiness. And in doing so, I’ve created a brand new life, a life where I know my worth, a life where I don’t allow anyone to treat me with disrespect a life where I know that I deserve so much more than what I allowed myself to accept.
This journey to freedom hasn’t been easy, but it is so freaking worth it.
This is the reason that I’m so passionate about helping women see their worth
That first relationship with case started me on a chain of abusive relationships until I finally got out of that broken marriage 23. No one deserves to go through what I did.
And that’s why I’m determined to do my part to change the conversation to change the narrative regarding abusive relationships, and recovery.
I want to help women see their worth because when they see their worth, they don’t accept any less than they deserve. When women know their worth, they don’t let abuse continually happen.
When women know their worth, they recognize red flags the moment they see them. They don’t allow themselves to be questioned.
They don’t allow their boundaries to be crossed. I spent most of my life feeling like I wasn’t important didn’t matter. So I allowed myself to be treated like garbage.
As strange as it sounds, if I could go back and change it, I wouldn’t. If anything, were different. I wouldn’t be here today sharing this with you. If things were any different, I wouldn’t have my son. If things were any different. I honestly don’t know that I would even be here today.
If you’re in a situation like this, please ask for help. Reach out to someone. Even if you don’t reach out to me, please reach out to somebody. You don’t have to stay. You don’t have to know your next step. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Just get out.
I am so passionate about this. And I am so passionate about abuse recovery, because I let my abusers run my life for years after they were no longer in it. I let them have so much power even after they weren’t in my life anymore.
Because I didn’t know what my next step was. I didn’t know that I was allowed to feel any different. I thought that it was all my fault and I had to continually punished myself.
Girl That’s not true. I deserved better than and I deserve better now and I will not settle for any less.
And that is why I created Worthy.
Worthy. is a monthly group a membership program, where every single month I’m going to dive in and teach you something specific to help you on your recovery journey. every single month you’re going to receive group coaching from me and you’re going to connect with other women who have been in similar situations.
You’re going to be able to talk with them and work with them and grow with them. You’re never going to have to explain the situation and you will never ever, ever once hear anyone say you should have just left. That is something that makes me so angry. Every time I hear it because people don’t understand how it messes with your brain.
Whether you got out 10 years ago or last week or yesterday, worse
The is for you. Worthy opens up again next month on September 5, but I want you to get on that waitlist. So then that way you can be the first to know and get some fun early bird stuff.
So go to karleighlynne.com/worthy to see everything that’s in it and sign up and get on the waitlist. Trust me worthy is going to change the narrative and change the conversation when it comes to abuse recovery.
We are going to change the world I swear it. So again karleighlynne.com/worthy get on the waitlist, get in there, you’re not gonna want to miss it.
Alright guys, thank you so much for listening. Thank you for sticking through. And thank you for listening to my story. For so long. I thought that my voice didn’t matter and my voice was unimportant. For so long. I didn’t believe that my voice had any value at all and yet here I am.
Here we are together. And if it wasn’t for realizing the power of my voice I would not be here talking with you today and frankly I don’t think I’d be here at all.
So when I say it means the world to me that you listen to this podcast, I mean it from the bottom of my soul.
Thank you and girl, never, ever, ever forget that you are strong. You are capable, you are intelligent, and you are so damn worthy. I will talk to you so soon and I love you so much.