Lynn’s Story of Manipulation and Reclaiming Herself

Thank you to Lynn for sharing her personal story with us. Here it is…

A Rocky Foundation

I came from a highly dysfunctional family and even endured sexual abuse at a young age. It was a rough childhood, and my father showed no love or care towards me or my siblings. It laid a rocky foundation for me to build on.

I met someone at fifteen and we became inseparable (co-dependent). He was seventeen and did everything for me; cared for me, loved me (with conditions) and basically told me what to think and say. This actually suited me very well at the time as I was unable to live a full life – I was just functioning.

To me, work was very difficult, and I was scared of everything. I only felt safe when I was with my boyfriend and this made him feel special. The only things I longed for were security, marriage, a home and then children, which I soon got.

Marriage Isn’t Always Bliss

When I was eighteen we married and got our first home. I was still having nightmares at this stage about the abuse. I had told my husband everything; the rest of my family was in denial about it.

I had my daughter when I was twenty-two and my son at twenty-four, and I felt as though motherhood was the best thing that had ever happened in my whole life. My marriage was strained since my husband wasn’t very involved with our children. He believed it should be “business as usual” and didn’t share any parental duties, believing that the kids should be up to me since I was at home all day. Our sex life was also very difficult, as my husband still wanted it every night no matter what, no excuses.

I had started my journey of self-discovery early on and read everything I could lay my hands on with regard to child sexual abuse. During my re-education I started to realize that my husband was controlling, manipulative and abusive (not physically, but emotionally). He used emotional blackmail. He also exploited the fact that I had been abused and found it difficult to say “no”. It was not that I couldn’t say no, it was that I was shut down, and he used this fact for his pleasure.

I started to grow up very slowly, taking driving lessons at twenty-two and trying to forge a life outside of the marriage. He did not like this at all and refused to fund anything unless he paid for it. I frequently had no money at all. I started up my own business whilst the children were at school but he always tried to get any money I earned, or he would give me extra financial responsibilities so I would still have no money.

I got to a stage where the nightmares were becoming more and more frequent and I found sleeping with him intolerable.

Breaking Free

I then got the chance to go to University and I jumped at this with open arms. He didn’t like this at all and gave me a really hard time. I was also diagnosed with cancer and needed to have an operation to have a tumor removed from my leg. My husband said I had made it up and demanded a full report from my Consultant. This was the last straw, so I went to a solicitor and got some advice. She suggested a separation within the same house as both the children were studying at the time. I thought this was a brilliant idea, but he did not and hit me for the first time in our marriage. I endured two years in the same house until I finally met someone six weeks before the Decree Nisi, and he said I could stay with him until the absolute, as I feared for my life on many occasions. I moved back in once the absolute was final and he moved out

My new man, unbeknown to me, was agoraphobic and an alcoholic; a serial womanizer and a liar. He put me through more pain than the whole 28 years of my husband but that is another long story.

My Silver Lining

The important thing is that through my self-discovery and desire to heal, I have gained a strength that is unstoppable and wisdom I never dreamed of.

I left an extremely well paid job with a lifetime pension in the health service; Fifteen years ago I walked away and started a small business with my gardening, and I’m still as passionate today as when I started. I have an allotment where I grow organic fruit and vegetables, which I sell to my customers. I love being out in nature. I also do various crafts for income, like card making, crochet and knitting. And I have a greenhouse where I grow a supply of bedding plants and shrubs for my customers.

I have been on my own now for three years and I’m very happy within myself. I feel that a future partner will come along if it’s meant to be. In the meantime I’m happy to wait and get to know myself, living a life of service to others whilst honoring myself.


If you’d like to share your personal story, feel free to contact us and let us know.

If you want more about healing from negative relational patterns, enter the fields below and we’ll get you started on our free Conquering Codependency Mini-Course right away.