Then out of the blue, another girl friend sent me a link for an article about Domestic Abuse. I can remember thinking, ‘why the hell has she sent me this?’ I was completely baffled.

I scrolled down the list of points outlining abuse, completely lost as to their relevance to me. Then, I stopped short.

The words at point 5 screamed out of the page ‘financial abuse: the conscious withholding of finance for an abuser to maintain control’.

Time stopped.

I felt like I had been dropped down a well.

I scanned the other points, my sickness and disorientation only deepening. Oh God. I had experienced them all. ‘How had I not seen this? I was an experienced psychologist! How could I not have seen this?!?

After that life-changing moment, what followed, was 2 years of intense learning and re-alignment: reading books, watching videos, writing, doing therapy.

During my difficult divorce. I have regularly doubted my own sanity, my version of events. I asked Sharon, my long-time mentor, colleague, and therapist ‘is it really that bad?

Her unequivocal, ‘yes’ became my anchor, my go-to place, when I was at risk of overwriting the true horror of my marriage and now divorce, with my automatic ‘I must be exaggerating?’ thought.

PS I will be forever grateful for my friend who was brave enough to send that link – she could see what I couldn’t and changed the trajectory of my whole life by putting herself out on a limb.

Read on Difficult Divorce Day 3

Missed the start? Go to Difficult Divorce Day 1