Angela has been a celebrity fitness trainer and nutritionist in Hollywood to Tom Cruise, Katie Couric, and Jimmy Buffet among many others. She is also a survivor of domestic abuse and has bravely shared her story in order to erase shame and stigma and assist others with knowing there is a way out.
I ask her how her domestic violent experience began. She explains that it was a very young, passionate, bold and whirlwind romance. She met him on the beach in California and within 9 weeks, she was living in New York and they were married. Angela didn’t see any signs of physical abuse, mental abuse or emotional abuse in that short time. “He just wanted me, he wanted me and it was a really great feeling at that point in our relationship.”
She describes the first time he hit her which was only 2 weeks after they had married. When he slapped her in the face for touching another man’s hand in casual conversation. Immediately, he made the physical abuse her fault, to which she took responsibility for and begged for forgiveness. “The signs are there. Absolutely. I should’ve left immediately. I mean, that was a huge sign for me. He slapped me across the face for no reason.” She took the blame and justified his actions by telling herself that if she were better, it would stop, but it only progressed and got worse. It took her 5 years to leave him because he completely broke her and blew her light out.
Angela shares more details about the abuse saying, “It was horrendous sometimes. At times in my life, I thought I would die. I thought nobody is ever going to find me.” He isolated her, so she felt she had nobody to call for help. She talks about the mental abuse and the confusion that caused her. He would control her, physically abuse her and then apologize, telling her it wouldn’t happen again. “You don’t know if it’s you; you don’t know you’re the one messed up because he has controlled your mind and your self esteem for a period of time.”
“I wanted to make sure that I was ready to leave before I told anyone and I wouldn’t advise anyone to do that. I would say talk about it. Tell people what’s going on. Make sure that you’re safe.”
We chat about the cycle of abuse, the horrible love to high love. It’s recognizing that sometimes we get caught up in the drama of it all and we start almost liking this cycle. Angela agrees, “It becomes an addiction for sure. If he didn’t text me 500 times a day, I thought something was wrong. If he didn’t call me 60 times a day—because that’s what he did—I would think. ‘Oh my God, what am I going to be walking into or what’s going on?’ “ Even though she knew that behavior was crazy, it became comforting. That’s when she knew she had an addiction to him and that she was not okay.
After she left, she had to really take care of herself by eating right and exercising. She had to take on the role of comforter to herself and turn off his voice in her head that controlled her.
The greatest gift in this experience for me was knowing that I wanted to be safe in my relationship and knowing what that really meant to me. And knowing what kind of love I really wanted in my life. And who what happened for me is that I absolutely created that and wanted that in my life. And I valued myself enough to find it. I have the most amazing man in my life that I feel safe with, that absolutely adores me. And we have a very health, beautiful relationship. I don’t think I really would’ve known what that would’ve looked like had I not gone through that relationship.
If there is anyone in your life that is treating you bad, whether it is a partner, family member, friend, or boss, find your voice and do not allow it anymore.
Learn more about Angela Martindale at www.iamangelamartindale.com
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