I was in a very abusive relationship when I was quite young. My first husband began beating me shortly after we got together. At that time in the 70’s we lived in a remote area. There was NO help for women like me, especially from the cops! Once he forced me out of our house late at night in sub-zero temperatures, without shoes or a coat. I had to hitch to the police, only to have them immediately call him to tell him to come and get me. Yeah. Things were terrible back then. Unfortunately, no one cared. My family sure didn’t. I was advised to “work it out” because that was my “duty”. Those days are long past, thankfully. He’s long dead, and I’m still here. I no longer believe that I’m obliged to tolerate abuse from anyone. At least that’s what I tell myself. It’s been a very hard road for me, because I didn’t know my own worth. As a child my father was very emotionally abusive to my mother and me, the only girl child. He was a complete misogynist. He believed that females only existed to fulfill whatever needs the males (including my brothers) had. He cheated on her constantly until he was too old to attract other women. He ignored me other than to let me know how awful I was and to complain that I wasn’t a proper female. I’m in my late 60’s now. I’ve raised my own kids and I’ve been married twice (I left the 1st one and the 2nd too) and now I’m divorced and live alone. I’ve spent my entire life fighting with myself for the confidence I need to succeed. To feel worthy of love, or even of being liked or respected. Every time I think that I’ve finally won that battle, something happens and I’m back to fighting the same old internal beliefs. Even my own children know how to beat me down, and they treat me like someone they don’t care about at all. I know that it’s me that I have to convince that I’m worthy of love and respect, but sometimes it feels like I’m always climbing the same mountain, and just when I think I’m at the top, I fall all the way back down and I have to start all over again. I’m really, really TIRED.