Tale of Two Husbands: Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde

I can't believe it happened to me. I thought I was too smart, too wise. I'd had therapy. Hell, my husband had worked as a mental health therapist for 10 years, and we both have PhDs. Here's my realization:  That I'd been excusing his "moods" and assuming he'd mellow out over time. But after his mom died, and dad is failing fast, his moods have been all over the place. Here's what he's said / done:

-While driving, flipping out into a rage b/c he took 2 wrong turns on the freeway, saying "I'm so mad I want to just drive this truck off the road into that wall." 

-After being asked to move stuff out of my ONE room (it had been there for  4 1/2 years, and I was trying to feel more at home), he picked up the box, and shook it, flew into a rage, and said, "what do you want me to do stop everything just to help you!" It was a Sunday afternoon. He could have helped or have said no. He stormed towards my room and I had to hold up my arm / hand and stop him because his behavior was threatening and scary.

-A million other times he's flown into a rage -- over how I washed / stacked the dishes in the drain, over forgetting to dry and put away his knife, (the kitchen is HIS . .  .clearly).  There are a lot of other stories. He's never physically struck me, at least not yet. Oh, and he has guns. At least a  half dozen.

When I tell I'm scared, he dismisses it -- he says "I'd never hurt you" -- meaning physically. But isn't terrorizing someone hurting them? 

This all coincides with my starting a great career opportunity -- in another city. I admit I took the position BECAUSE I couldn't stand to be living with my husband for over a couple of weeks at a time. We've never TOTALLY lived together because I've had this feeling for 5 years (almost the time we've been together) that he'd get worse, and that I should delay every possible way permanently moving there (I was there 2 months in the summer, and then off and on 2-3 weeks at a time. But now he's pressuring me to move completely, which would mean jeopardizing my job. I doubt if  I'll ever move there b/c I'm finally realizing  he's probably bipolar, and will never get help (he's toooo smart for that, plus he'd know what they'd say -- yeah, right).

TO WOMEN WHO MAY BE READING:  You do NOT NEED a husband.  No matter how much money they make, no matter how charming they might be when they are wooing you, no matter how great the sex is.  You do NOT NEED A HUSBAND.

I can't wait until I'm single. I'll never marry again.

Signed, Mrs. Jekyl-Hyde



FormerDoorMat FormerDoorMat
51-55, F
61 Responses Mar 12, 2009

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I read these stories you all share and feel validated that it wasn't me overreacting, or being over dramatic about the things my abuser was doing to me and my children. It helps give me the strength to move forward knowing I am justified in my choice to call off the wedding and end the relationship.

Thank you for this. I'm 18, and I wish I realized these same things years and years ago. My dad is like this. And it's gotten to the point where, while I was once a Daddy's Girl, I no longer care if I see him again. I head off to university in about a month and all I can think of is how happy I am to be going there away from him, never mind the wonderful new experiences I'll have there, I could care less about that. I think it's terrible that anyone can take that kind of happiness from you. Stay strong, there are better things out there, and there is always support as well. I hope all is well and will get better for you.

i am 52 have just come out of such a relationship.please believe me.the world is your oyster please get out now.with your talents of kindness and compassion.you are just amazing.its just a little adjustment to being valued x x

Very similar to what I m getting away from...... best of luck

That is similar to my husband.I don't know know he is,I've been with him for 25 years.I have a 16 yr old daughter,I'm scared to leave.I know he''ll get worse with her then.It's her dad,she won't leave.She see's the strange behaviour,then dismisses it,it's dad.Who will she end up marrying.

Thank you for the reminder.

Why do you need to live in fear. Those abusers ( *** hole type) they feed on your fear. The more you let them, the more they treat you as dirt. Do not confront them but u can let them know what you feel. If they can't change or dont wish to change, you're also free..... LEAVE... Or you will spend the rest of your days in fear....

by the way its not just men---i have a girlfriend whos is realy showing her true colours after 7yrs of friend ship shes got a bad temper--yell alot... human nature--people are irrated. lifes can be tough. take care.

Next time he flys in a rage tell him to f-off--but have your cell phone ready--call the police if he threatns you--have the police number on speed dial. let them hear him yelling at you. dont even tell him.---dont be scared be strong---just keep your cell phone on you. --let them hear him clearly--they will prob show up at ur house and take him away.

I wish I had thought to do that.

I think we are all married to the same man. In dallas and looking for a face to face support group just to get that last little bit of courage to stop the madness. after all, the good there was at the beginning wasnt the real him, yet so often we know it is in there and we cling to that small part..going through the end is the hardest part-especially since it is my house in my name and he wont leave. and im scared.

I agree-from abusive father-to abusive husband--as for the sex part you dont realy need it its the men that suffer with out it .

I have been there. I grew up watching my parents beat each other and said it would never be me. But then the cursing and yelling started. Even now he won't admit that he was chastising me like I was his child...his excuse was he talks loud when he's "excited". But the hole he punched in the wall was a little harder to dismiss. But he did and fours years later I finally have the courage to say that he wasn't just controlling and domineering or just mean. I knew it was wrong when I noticed all of my friends and family were slowly fading away. And once it was just him and me he laid in on me with constant criticism to make me better. But I was never better enough to stop the attitude, the annoyance he felt, the nastiness in his voice. He knew that the only thing that would bring me down was admitting that my dad wanted nothing to do with me and that I fear rejection and being denied love. He eventually used that to hurt me. I was so embarrassed. I married this man and I knew the moment he asked I should have ran away as fast as possible.

Im still married to him, but we dont live together. He watches me, tho, even sleeps outsidein his car if we r fighting. I love him and hate him. Im so lost.

Dear Croygo, It's shocking, isn't it? After all the romance and courtship, you begin to see the real person ... I'm really glad to hear you left. I don't know if you had any inkling of his true character -- the slightest feeling that something was off -- I did, and ignored it. I'll never ignore that kind of feeling again. Take care, FDM

wow. i just recently found out i was in an emotionally abused marriage. my husband sounds alot like yours. i finally left. we have been married only 1 year. the temper tantrums started very early into the marriage. i was stunned. i did not know what to do. i should have left right then and there but was not sure what was going on. it only gets worse you know.

Do any of your ealize that they feed on your fear? Honestly, these people feed on your fear. They use it to control you! Stop letting them do that! Stop it at once!<br />
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Whenever they say or do something negative to you or around you in your presence, Stop what you are doing, turn and just walk away, be it in another room or even out the door. Do not react to them or what they are doing because it feeds the beast! Cut it off at it's source! Once these people realize they cannot get an emotional response from you, such as fear, then they will have to change tactics or leave you alone altogether. Stop this fear ba<x>sed thinking. Do not live in fear!<br />
This is a part of the lie that are constantly fed. Remember the old saying, when someone says something nasty to you or about you, just smile or laugh in their face. It will confuse them because they cannot figure you out! This is true! It does and will work! You are cutting off the beast at it's source! Do this with everyone negative in your life and watch the results. <br />
Do it today and see what happens. Good luck!

He has broken me to the point I don't know what's my fault and what's not.

Best to you on your new beginning.

Thanks so much for everyone's comments. I'm officially divorced now, and my ex was reasonable through the process. Life no longer includes being humiliated or controlled and I've gotten used to being alone. But if it hadn't been for my friend who was dying, I'd have stayed with my husband, and life with him would have taken it's toll. So I'm grateful for my friend's support, now three years ago -- it was just enough, at the right time, for me to get out before things got too bad. <br />
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I wish you all love and peace. <br />

Mazel Tov! to your new life.

Thanks FeatherlessBird!

Reminds me of my ex!There was nothing I could ever do to please him enough but.......he is just the EX now!

I agree with Yohanna. Look up Attachment Theory.

It may very well be bipolar. Could be any number of curable sickness. My husband is an alcoholic. The problem is, you can't fix him. Only he can. But you can save yourself and have a wonderful life. That's what I'm gonna do. Luck to you girl.

I think hes Bipolar .. and he seems to have a sadistic streak.. I dont understand either because like you, I am a gentle peace loving person who just wants to be appreciated and loved. I have had experience with that type of person and they destroy you little by little. At first you think you can change them. Then when that doesnt work you try to be like them. Then when that doesnt work you give up and become insulated to them. Its not a nice place to be. I think you should DEFINITELY leave him and do it quickly and without remorse. Would love to hear how youre going. Please let us know. Love and Light to you.

You nailed it when you said "at first you think you can change them." Thank you so much for your comments and concern. I did indeed leave, and am now divorced. I'm much, much better now. I remember when I first wrote this story, almost three years ago -- I was a wreck. Life is better. Take care PrincessOz.

hugs and prayers

Thank you goodseemore. Life is much better now. Take care.

This treatment is not limited to men. I know that it is popular to portray men as the Satan of the earth, but you women have an equal opportunity at being cruel too. I am married to a woman who does the same things to me. After reading on the internet, she checks every symptom of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder. She does not seem to have any feelings of compassion toward any other people. She has set-up accidents for me, like putting broken glass (in the middle of the night) in the center of the hallway leading to my bathroom. She said that it must have been an "explainable accident" and refused to talk about it She knows I go there in the morning with my eyes hardly open. She is just like my Mom. I realize that I am co- dependent and working on building up my self-esteem and moving out of here. She constantly does what she can to tear it down or harm me in any way that she can. I would eventually like to find a loving, kind and feminine woman to share my life with, but I know that I am incapable of sustaining a healthy relationship until I deal with my problems. I know that all women are not like this.<br />
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Sorry about your husband,<br />

Larry, I know it's not only men. I hope you can find a way to protect yourself and build yourself back up. Take care of yourself. Life can be much, much better. You deserve happiness.

Wow, you are talking about me!! Maybe u could read my story it may help too see that ur not the only one, 27 years 3 children and a lifetime of hell, ive gotta get out and thanks for your story, it helps to read others experiences, be very careful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He also has undiaognosed bi polar! Peace & love.

My husband is also a therapist. You would never know it. Total lack of insight. Well he did actually admit that he was passive aggressive, but refuses to address it. I have never, ever responded to a blog before but yours touched me because of the similarities. My husband's mother died and that was the beginning of the end. His covert emotional abuse became overt and cruel. Towards the end it became physical for example rolling over in bed and elbowing me"by accident". Most of the time I try to be thankful that it ended. I often wonder why he chose not to work on the problems...we weren't worth it? We had so much going for us....no money problems, great sex, no infidelity that I am aware of. I tried to love him with unconditional love, but it just made him totally disrespect me. At least I know I tried, but I wish I had gotten out sooner when he told me that he wasn't happy. The worst of it is that our two children treat me with the disrespect. I am working on finding a family therapist now. I am glad I have a strong spiritual belief. It is the only thing that gets me through the day sometimes. Lack of friends and a family rife with dysfunction are difficult to swallow....looking for an emotional abuse support group and found this site online. Take care of yourself.

Dear Roasting, My condolences on the end of your marriage, but I am glad you are no longer subjected to his abuse. I'm sorry your children are being disrespectful. I don't have children, but I imagine this would hurt a great deal. I hope you continue to find support and new friends. Have you heard of "meetup.com"? It's a good way to start ... I don't think we'll know why these men became abusive. I sometimes think I never really knew my husband until long after we married-- that the abuse was his true self leaking through. I think quite often, in fact, that he is a sociopath, and that while we were dating he "acted like" a loving person long enough to hook me, but then got tired of the act and/or realized that he could not control me sufficiently. One thing I remember is that his embraces and hugs were somehow shallow -- his touch was too light. I tried to discount it as a kind of a quirk of his. But I wish I'd taken those facts more seriously -- it was like a bad attempt to appear loving to me. I separate out this physicality of love from the mechanics of sex. Incidentally, I now am in love with my first serious boyfriend from college -- who after 31 years found me on the internet. He turned out to also be in a loveless marriage. We are making plans to marry next year some time -- he is out of the country; We talk or text several times a day. His embraces and touch are nothing like my ex's -- it is genuine love. I've never felt so loved before. Take care. FDM

I just ended an abusive relationship of many years. I had wanted to end this for quite a while, but did not to want to cause the old man to have another heart attack. Well, after an altercation at the Drs office, it came to an end. I had asked him to go with me to the Drs because I was worried that the Dr was going to deliver some bad news to me concerning my recent MRI. We waited an unusual amount of time and he finally went out to the receptionist and quarreled with her. She told him that there had been an emergency. He came back into the room and became like a smouldering volcano. A few minutes later the Dr came in and he began an argument with the Dr, who suggested that he could leave if he couldn't wait. So, he left in a huff. When I was through with the Dr, with good news, I found that the guy had left. He has not phoned me (he regularly called every evening to deliver his boring, narcissistic monologue) So I have taken the opportunity of not making myself available. I am letting my answering machine take all calls so I do not have to talk to him. I will never have anything to do with him again. It was the easiest break-off ever.

i dont think you should give up hope for men. this sounds like my ex boyfriend. im not going to give up on men and say "all men are abusive." im in no rush to find someone new but i know ill find someone who treats me right someday... if i dont, so be it!

I love the ending of your post. I never realized how good it is to be single until I'd lived with my SO. Aptly named title too. How can a man appear so sweet and charming one minute, only to reveal a venomous six-year-old, tantrum throwing, demon the next? (Joking. He is, of course, human.)<br />
When I realized I was in an emotionally abusive relationship I was embarrassed too, because I consider myself a fairly stubborn feminist.<br />
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Good thing you have a PHD. I'm an English undergrad, a single mother, and poor. Please let me win the lottery so I can afford to move! Only three more quarters till I graduate!--Then I hope to get more financial freedom. Until then, I'll just be over here tip-toeing on egg shells. (BTW--he doesn't support my financially, but our area is so expensive that moving seems like an option from hell.)<br />
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My SO is currently pressuring me to have a child by him--by tantrum mind you. He tells me that he only entered into our relationship because he wanted a child. He tells me that, because I had a child by another man (I was 19 and do not intend to repeat the mistake), I am obligated to have my SO's child. Then, when I try to discuss the expenses of children, and the complication of our different philosophies of child-rearing (I don't believe in physical punishment and my SO thinks I am too "child centered") he tells me that he is sick of my face and could care less if he ever sees me again. He tells me that I contribute "zero" to the relationship, that I am a "screw-up" and that he cannot take me anywhere into public because I will disrespect him by talking to other people about topics that he doesn't know much about, or by disagreeing with him about some opinion. <br />
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The other weekend was my birthday. We agreed to go on a trip, and I asked him, for my birthday present, for him to be nice, respectful, and not mean to me for the whole weekend. That was all I asked for, and he agreed. But on the second day he decided not to talk to me because I was spending too much time with my child. He berated me because I asked him if he wanted some salad for lunch--because I asked him before I had made it--he thought I should have asked only after I had made the salad. His grand finale was drinking all day, and finally taking his ring off and threatening to throw it away--and telling me that he was going to sell the house that I pay half mortgage on, but is technically his. Needless to say, he did not keep his promise about being nice on my birthday.<br />
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And yes--you do not need a husband. You need freedom and respect.

This also describes my husband to a T. Which is exactly why I left. I have moved 3 states away. changed my phone number and have kept my new location a secret even from my friends so that he can't find me. When he started keeping a loaded shotgun under our bed "for protection" I knew I had to go.

He sounds just like my ex husband. Leave and never look back. Don't let him con you into thinking he's suddenly a changed man. He isn't.

Thank you for sharing your story. I am 31 and find myself in a likewise situation to a man that I've been married to for barely a year. He has been deployed for most of our marriage. But yet still finding a way to argue and fight and attempt to control me from 5,000 miles away. I'm Getting out! I plan to be moved out before he returns in a couple of months. But, just as any emontionally beaten down woman...we always second guess, "Can we make this work?", "Maybe if I do things differant he will treat me better...". So, I went in search of related stories from others experiences to help "Shock Myself back into Reality!" You're story definetly helped. I hope you are doing well these days, since you posted this in 2009. If you're ever on I'd love to chat with you.

Thank you for sharing your story. I am 31 and find myself in a likewise situation to a man that I've been married to for barely a year. He has been deployed for most of our marriage. But yet still finding a way to argue and fight and attempt to control me from 5,000 miles away. I'm Getting out! I plan to be moved out before he returns in a couple of months. But, just as any emontionally beaten down woman...we always second guess, "Can we make this work?", "Maybe if I do things differant he will treat me better...". So, I went in search of related stories from others experiences to help "Shock Myself back into Reality!" You're story definetly helped. I hope you are doing well these days, since you posted this in 2009. If you're ever on I'd love to chat with you.

yes get out. its hard im sure. please b ok

Doctorirwin is right -- there is financial aid available. There's no doubt that a change like this would be stressful -- but look at it as positive stress, something that will lead to positive change for yourself and your family. You might think it's too much, but if you start the process of connecting with admissions staff, I think you'll find them very helpful. Once you connect with people who are knowledgeable and helpful, it will be energizing.

0hSillyMe99, apply for a Pell Grant, they usually come with work study. Work study is a job on campus, or off, but both ways you have a job that works around your classes.

I have a job that I love. I work 7 hours a day. IT just isn't enough. I would basically need a degree to get a job to actually get out. I looked into going back to school, but hardly any classes match with my schedule, I would basically have to stop working and we can't afford to lose my income, even though it is small, it is about 1/3 of what we live of off. Banks here won't give loans on trailer houses, cuz they lose value too fast, and my income is too small to qualify me for more than a car. HOuses here are too expensive- even dumpy ones. I just don't know what to do.

To both 0hSillyMe99, and tryn2getout I feel that you both need to get out. and fast! I have witnessed these types of situations oh so many times, and they only get worse. There are shelters to get you started. They will help you find work. There are also state and federal programs that will help protect you and aid you. What you do not need is to stay in a situation of physical, mental, or verbal, abuse.

Ohsillyme99, I understand the financial dependence you experience, I also am in the same situation. I have began seeing a therapist, of course without my husband knowing about it, and hopefully I am moving in a more positive direction. I do have a part time job now, but it's not nearly enough to do anything on my own.

Ohsillyme99, I understand the financial dependence you experience, I also am in the same situation. I have began seeing a therapist, of course without my husband knowing about it, and hopefully I am moving in a more positive direction. I do have a part time job now, but it's not nearly enough to do anything on my own.

Ohsillyme99, I understand the financial dependence you experience, I also am in the same situation. I have began seeing a therapist, of course without my husband knowing about it, and hopefully I am moving in a more positive direction. I do have a part time job now, but it's not nearly enough to do anything on my own.

I am in a similar situation. The man I married "looks" like the greatest guy on the outside. Everyone at church always says how wonderful and awesome he is. But he is NOT that person at home. The last 41/2 years have been hell. He is mean, selfish, lazy, sexually dysfunctional, spoiled, a slob, mean, critical, bossy, a bully, etc. I want out soooo bad. What I wouldn't give to just be alone with my kids again. BUT I feel trapped. Financially I am stuck. MY mOm died of breast cancer before I met him, and I put the money from her estate into this house. He knows I can't afford to live in a home on my own. Not in this town. <br />
You are fortunate that you have a good career and can make it without him. If I had that, I would be gone.<br />
So sorry that others have to deal with this also. You sound like a smart, capable woman and you are worth much more.

Thank you for sharing your story. <br />
It's nice to know I'm not alone.

You must trust your gut instinct, he wont change and will probably get worse. I ignored many signs in the hope that things would get better. I one day realised that enough was enough, and after 20 years of marriage i just upped and left. I have been away now over 3 years and am rebuilding my life from scratch, its very hard at times, but it is worth it!, i am my own boss and no longer have to worry about him or his moods. My only regret is that i wasted so much time, i should have left years back.

sticks2283, I read "why does he do that" too. Worth every penny. I vomited so many times reading about narcissists and then reading that book. But yes, it was rather enlightening. I still review it from time to time.

It's okay to feel that way. I am glad you are strong and fighting it. Best of luck to you. You sound very intelligent. You'll be just fine. One day when he is looking back on his unsatisfactory and empty life, if he has any brains at all, he will be sorry for what he missed.

Wow " FormerDoorMat" your username in itself is so inspirational! I feel you, i'm 20 and ive been in a relationship for 6 months and i think i'm being controlled i want to travel and explore the world and this relationship hinders me... thank you for your story

I too am with a man with 2 personalities and he is extremely abusive. We went to a therapist which did no good. I am finding my strength now after reading "Why Does He Do That?". It gave me power to find out it's got nothing to do with me. I am disabled but hope to find a way out. My prayers are with all of those who live in this nightmare.

Update: I'm in the process of divorce, and left "Jekyl" last August. Coincidentally, my best friend for almost 30 years, Mac, was entering the last phase of his battle with colon cancer at the time. Ironically, he was a domestic violence counselor (!), and affirmed my fears and understanding of just exactly what is this thing called verbal / emotional abuse. While Mac was much to savvy and respectful to tell me what to do, there was a persistent theme that came up on his blog, "daddyBstrong," during the last months of his life, quoting the words of "I loves you Porgy" from "Porgy and Bess." The words to this song describe a woman (Bess) in slavery who's in love with another slave (Porgy), another slave, but who knows she has to go back to the slave The master ... the night before Mac died, we got to share how much we both meant to each other. He passed away on December 22, 2009, surrounded by loving friends. Peace and blessings to all of you in this circle... the journey goes on. FDM

I agree!!! run for your life and don't look back, (been there 2) (<br />
They don't "change', it just gets worse)<br />
And b t w, he is to blame not you!!!

Get out NOW! Things are only going to get worse. I have known too many women, and men who have been in abusive relationships. It only moves in one direction. But you already know this, that is why you never moved in all the way. You said that for 5 years he was only going to get worse and he will. GET OUT KNOW YOU LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT!

Hey all,<br />
I am sorry Former, about all the mental, physical, spiritual pain that this man has put you through. He is going through it too. I think it's too late to get a handle on it. Getting older is a very scary thing and I believe it is in our EARLY middle age, like I am now, 43, that we have to start dealing with it, so that, if God grants us life and health, we can be gracious older people, and not nuts, angry, depressed and bitter. It is 2 weeks since your entry, and I trust that you've made progress towards your freedom Former. Keep us posted. It sounds like a dangerous situation. He needs help, but if he won't take it, your life shouldn't be in the line. <br />
My love and warmth to you and all the women who have and do suffer unnecessarily with stupid men who don't deserve them. And there are some horrible women out there too. Depressing. <br />
Hugs,<br />

A woman needs a husband, like a chicken needs a bicycle:>)

adapted from unicorn59<br />
"I'm leaving my boyfriend, not because he's mentally ill (he has gotten treatment, is on meds)...but, because he choked me....throws things at me....cheated on me.....because he has no goals....because he won't work....because he only thinks of himself....because he doesn't like me acting free....because he doesn't want me to be an atheist anymore....because he puts me at risk in many ways, physically....because I just don't need him anymore. What's to need?"<br />
<br />
Honestly, this describes my BF to a tee. And I love the part in your story where you warn women they don't need husbands. I sure don't need one!! And, I keep not moving in, too. That's definitely a huge red flag, IMHO.

Emotional abuse is pretty draining.<br />
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I hope you can find a place on your own soon... far away from him :-)

Sounds like both physical and emotional abuse to me. Although the physical may not be manifesting itself yet, the potential is there. Be careful!

I grew up with a sister like that. She's on her fifth husband and can't figure out what is wrong with all the men she's been with.

He sounds like my dad! In that case:<br />
Get the heck out fast! Never look back!

I think that what your husband is expressing is mis-directed anger from his parents passing away. Anger is sometimes a sign of pain (in this case his grief) - I call it the wounded animal syndrome. The other form of anger is control / dominance (then get the heck out).<br />
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I would believe (from your story) that this is temporary, but has to get / stay in check. Talk to him about how he has been acting and let him know that it worries you. Maybe he should speak with a minister, therapist, and /or attend a support group.<br />
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If you still feel threatened, or if things are too hard for you to handle, get yourself to a safe place.