Robyn led a good life, she was a psychology major and mother of two with her husband of 10 years, and after an amicable divorce she started a long distance relationship, but soon things took a turn for the worst. With her background Robyn never thought she would find herself a part of an abusive relationship, but it happened so gradually that even while it was happening she didn’t realize she was in one. It started off as what seemed like a healthy relationship. They had so much in common and were in love. Early in the relationship he started aggressively yelling after an argument. Robyn was ready to call it quits, until he said she was just like every other girl; running away after any sign of trouble. That day Robyn made a pact with herself that she would work through any problems.

When she found out she was pregnant, he moved in and problems drastically progressed. Although Robyn’s past marriage ended on good terms, she always felt she failed their two children. Her boyfriend knew she never wanted a failed relationship with kids again and used it to his advantage. As a result, his aggression increased tenfold.

He ended up renting a barn to live in and left for unknown amounts of time, leaving Robyn to take care of the kids by herself. She never knew when to expect him back and felt torn between not wanting him to and desperately needing him to. Robyn’s confidence plummeted after hearing over and over that it was her fault. He never apologized or took any admission of his actions, but instead continued to deny and redirect blame. Robyn had an ongoing dialogue with herself trying to sort out what was true or not and started to feel confused and lost.

At times things became calm, but Robyn always found herself tense anticipating what would come, so when an outburst came she wondered if it was her being on edge that caused it. His actions were always very calculated and happened when the kids were gone and they were alone. There were times she would kick him out, but he would break in and leave signs he was there, like a window open in the middle of winter or something in the wrong spot or missing, but again, no proof. All his behavior messed with Robyn psychologically. Since she had three children and they lived in her house she felt she had nowhere to go and didn’t know what else she could do.

One day his actions became so aggressive that Robyn had to call the police. He stormed in with anger and followed her around the house. Robyn held her daughter in her arms and tried desperately to find a safe space in her own home. With nowhere to go Robyn tried to leave, but he pushed her and locked the door shut. Her daughter started to cry, but he still blocked her to berate, push, and throw things at her. When he finally left Robyn locked, but he returned instantly and tried kicking down the door. The door flew open and hit Robyn and her daughter. Robyn felt scared and at the time could not believe what was happening. Even then didn’t know what to do. She felt hopeless not being able to protect her daughter in her own home, so she called her friend who told her of course she should call the cops. The cops arrested him the next day.

“It was just so validating and it was so emotional because it was that time that I realized I’m not the only one experiencing this and I could have really gotten a lot of help a long time ago. [Family & Children’s Center] was such a blessing.”

After he got out, they saw a counselor in hopes if he understood his actions, he could change. Robyn emotionally opened up to the counselor and he just laughed. The counselor gave Robyn a book about abusive relationships. She packed up her kids and went to her uncle’s cabin. She read the book cover to cover and realized that it was describing her life. At the end of the book was the Domestic Abuse Hotline number and they informed her that there was a local chapter that could help her and connected her with Family & Children’s Center. She told the counselor she was connected to that she wasn’t sure if she fit into this category and told her story. They set up a time to meet. It was the first time Robyn received any validation about her situation.

Robyn met with Family & Children’s Center the day she got back and was shocked to find that she was greeted with support and without judgment. She had so much judgement on herself and received judgment from the people around her, including family and friends. They wondered why she wouldn’t just leave if these things were really happening. Family & Children’s Center was the first place she was able to be completely vulnerable about everything. It was important to have one person who she could trust completely. Family & Children’s Center also gave her peace of mind. She didn’t have to worry about if insurance would cover it or who was going to watch her youngest child. They took care of things before she even thought about them like new winter coats, gas station gift cards, or anything they knew she needed so she could just focus on rebuilding herself.

It was empowering to have Family & Children’s Center help her find her truth. They helped her trust her intuition and use appropriate language. This allowed her to see things clearly and correctly define what had happened. She was able to correctly place blame and not minimize what had happened. It was also important that they never told her what to do or what not to do, but instead made her think of things from all angles in order to make the best decision. This allowed her to gain the tools she needed to graduate out of counseling.

Robyn really loves life now and tries to focus on the good. However, it has been 8 years and she is still vulnerable. She still sleeps with a hammer by her bed and still gets anxious every time her dogs bark in the middle of the night. She has now hired an attorney so that she only gets notified if she has to show up for court so he can no longer contact her by filing endless claims as a way of harassment. Robyn continues counseling and sees a counselor who is also a life coach. Now, instead of discussing her abuse, she focuses on herself, her boundaries, and even her business goals.

Out of her small family farm Robyn started her own company called Blue Egg Farmstore selling organic body products. She had concerns about using chemical containing products on her kids so she started using alternative methods and transformed her hobby into a career. Since she had done so much healing herself, it was important for all her products to be healing. She grows her own plants and hikes to forage for others, and connects with different neighbors and local Amish. Her online shop is thriving so much that it could stand on its own, but Robyn really enjoys attending Farmers Markets to meet people and hear their stories. Her three kids aged, 10, 15, and 18, help out with the business. It’s a great way for their family to bond and learn about life lessons. It supports all of them and has given them the ability to travel.

Robyn did take a hiatus from relationships for a while in order to gain trust in her intuitions and to allow herself to just breathe. She has now formed a relationship with an old friend who knows her story and her boundaries. She loves her relationship, her kids, and her business. She loves knowing she can feel peace, safety, and happiness every day. Robyn is grateful she can start focusing on her own emotional health through her counseling and blogging, instead of focusing on her abuse. She chooses to look at the beauty in her life instead of focusing on her past darkness and feels so blessed with all the opportunities she now has.