Trigger warning: This article discusses emotional abuse

I was almost six months pregnant and I made the hardest decision of my life. I was tormented by mental and emotional abuse day in and day out. 

I failed to recognize this until the day I could no longer get out of bed and take care of myself or my children. I told myself because there was an absence of physical abuse, my husband really was better than what my mind perceived. 

I did not leave my husband nor the man that I fell in love with. I left a covert narcissistic person who constantly made me question my reality. I left a man who never took accountability for his actions and always shifted blame onto others. 

I left a man after a year of counseling and learning about conflict and resolution but still did not apply such techniques during high conflict situations. 

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I left a man who used my love for Christ to manipulate me and get a foothold in the door of my heart. I left a man who never spiritually led our family in Christ but portrayed to do so to the outside world.

I left a man who never took care of his family responsibilities.

I left a man who constantly lied to my face. I left a man who found it hard to interact with his children unless he was told to do so. 

I left a man who only showed affection toward my emotional needs when it was convenient for him to do so. 

I left a man who cheated on me twice. I left a man who had a child with another woman due to his affair. I left a man who could not understand my trust issues and insecurities due to his lack of faithfulness. 

I left a man who would get mad over the simplest conversations or disagreements. I left a man who would purposely avoid resolution in our marriage and make me beg for his forgiveness.

I left a man who made my oldest child feel uncomfortable as if she was walking on eggshells around him.

I left a man who walked away from our family after our daughter received a life-saving organ transplant. I left a man who put the weight of our daughter’s medical needs constantly on my shoulders. 

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I left a man who told me I was not the parent of his other children and therefore could not make certain decisions about their spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. 

I left a man who was inconsistent, hypocritical, and held a double standard. I left a man who never truly invested in our marriage and family long-term.

I left a man who I built up way more over the years than what I should have to justify to the world why I chose to stay with him. 

I left a man for the mental, emotional, and physical safety of myself and my children. In doing so, I gained a peace in my soul that has been absent for a very long time. 

Like I was, you may be facing one of the most difficult choices that life is throwing at you right now. Despite your circumstances, I encourage you to choose your mental and emotional health over the insanity of abuse. 

Nicole Sharkey

Nicole Sharkey is a single mother of three beautiful children ranging from 2 months to 18 years old. One of her children received a life-saving liver transplant at the age of 5 months old. She advocates the importance of organ donation and the mental and emotional health of families. Nicole is a devout Christian and her faith in Jesus Christ has allowed her to push forward through trials and tribulations that may come her way.