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I’ve been out of my abusive marriage for about 7 years now. It hasn’t been easy, I won’t lie. The beginning was extremely difficult, and there are still challenging moments. But here I am, I’m sitting in my own peaceful home with my dachshund sleeping calmly by my feet and knowing that he, as well as my 3 beautiful children, are in a safer loving place.

I get to express my emotions without interference and without being told that I’m wrong for feeling the way I feel. Nobody tries to shut me up. Nobody tells me that I am worthless.

I am surrounded by people who love me. I am surrounded by people who encourage me. Because since leaving my unhealthy marriage, I have learned self-love and know that I am deserving of respect. I am now free to surround myself with healthy influences.

There are no voices in my home that scare me. There are no sounds in this house that worry me.

I don’t jump. I don’t cry for reasons I don’t understand anymore.

I am at peace. I have found freedom!

I don’t have to explain what I do. I can go where I want to go. I am friends with who I want to be friends with and not friends with people I don’t want to be friends with.

I get to parent my children in the way that I see fit.

When I wake up in the morning, there is calmness and peace. There’s no yelling. There’s no name calling. There’s no head games. There’s no doors slamming.

My house is peaceful. Just listen. …