5 years ago, on the first Monday of August, I left an abusive relationship. It’s been a process and a lot of personal work to clean up and get myself feeling whole and solidly grounded again.

I’ve been able to arrive at forgiveness (for them and myself) and gratitude for the experience’s lessons learned.

One of the most critical was this: never tell someone to just leave and never give up on them, even if you have to back off and wait. I didn’t see it until I did. Others saw it at the time and tried to point it out. But because I didn’t see it, all their suggestions had no where to land. I deflected, I defended.

Some friends left and had no time for re-connection when I was out and able, others waited and then made themselves available to help in the recovery.

I know it’s frustrating to see someone you love in a relationship that’s hurting them, be that a primary partner, friendships, co-workers or bosses, or family.

We really don’t see it or we can’t, yet, do anything about it. We’re stuck until we aren’t. We’re surviving as best we can until we can see and do something different.

Keep loving us, even if you have to do it at a distance and it hurts you to watch. The first thing someone who leaves a situation like that needs is friends and family who blanket them in love, not in told-you-so’s and blaming.

Love them and help them learn to love themselves. It will make all the difference for them. I promise.