Most people are surprised about my past. ‘I had no idea,’ they say. And they wouldn’t. It was all hidden abuse, no scars or bruises to tell the story.

When I began opening up about my past, most people were surprised. ‘I had no idea,’ they’d say. And  why would they? It was all hidden abuse; no scars or bruises to tell the story.

Even under the influence of my abusers, I was a pretty smiley person. In fact, for a large part of my life, I wasn’t even aware that what I was experiencing was called “abuse” because it was all I’d ever known. I had grown up thinking that the anxiety and insecurity I had were just part of everybody’s lives.

As I got older and started to interact with others more, I began to become aware of how how unhealthy the relationship dynamics were in my family. And through developing healthy, external bonds with other people, I began to see the difference between what I had with them and the toxicity of what I had with my family.

Once I began to start telling my story of abuse, I started receiving messages from people I know. People that were suffering in toxic relationships with partners or parents. It turns out quite a few people in my circle were living the same pain I was living—and I didn’t have a clue!

It’s easy to cover up emotional pain—at least for a little while. No foundation required. Just put on a smile, or say you “had a bad sleep”.

If you’re worried about someone, ask them. If they’re persistent in telling you they’re fine, ask again. Let them know you’re concerned and why. Look into their eyes, and tell them you’re here for them.

They may brush you off. They may also confide in you if they are ready. But at the very least (and most importantly) they’ll remember.

I can recall all the people in my life who showed me that kindness. People who reached out, and gave me a hug (whether physically or emotionally). If I had your addresses I would send you all thank-you-notes because you may well have saved my life. As it is, I’ll let the cosmos send you my gratitude. And I’ll pay it forward by asking others

Are you okay? Can I help?

Fly Free,




Having gained experience while working for a variety of European non-profits, I am proud to now work with SwanWaters. My connection with the website is not only professional. I am glad to tap into my personal experiences to help those who are living in toxic relationships whether with parents, partners or in their professional life. We need to make the world more aware of the devastating effects of emotional abuse and help more people on their way to heal and thrive.

Latest posts by Mags (see all)

Leave a Reply

Concerns or Questions?

See our FAQs page or submit a question to our support team - we're here and happy to help.

Ask a Question

Subscribe to receive special offers and the latest news delivered to your inbox for free.


Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information.


Go up