By Monique
Violence Free Colorado Blogger

The worst thing that someone can do to another person is play with their mind.  This is the technique my abuser employed against me from early on in the relationship.  He targeted me because I was young, filled with naiveté, and had loose boundaries stemming from childhood traumas.  I was a successful professional, financially independent, and in a failing marriage.  He knew exactly what to say and what to do. Surprisingly, we shared the same interests, family views, long term goals, and childhood pains.  When we were together we were inseparable.  It was as though I was looking in the mirror.  Yes, he had flaws, but I was willing to work with him.  After all…I had my own personal issues, right?

Before I knew it, I was love-bombed, pregnant, and separated from my husband.  I found my prince charming and was ready to ride off into the sunset on our white stallion.  But there was one problem: my prince charming was hiding a big secret. He was not who had pretended to be.  As a matter of fact, he was the opposite of the person he had portrayed.  He was a monster.  He could not hold the fake persona together for very long.  As a matter of fact, when I announced that I was pregnant his mask fell off and what I saw was rather repulsive.  He congratulated me with a series of obscenities and total disconnect.  His response left me in a state of confusion.  What happened?  I could not comprehend.

I spent the rest of our relationship searching for my prince charming.  Instead, my prince charming became the occasional house guest and the monster under the mask took over.  The monster under the mask had a field day with me.  His words and actions were always incongruent.  He would snare, “I love you.”  It was the weirdest thing I have ever experienced.  The monster would hide my belongings and then assist me in searching for what he had hidden.  The strangest thing was that the monster always seemed to recover all “lost items.”  He would blame the children and me for misplacing things, such as my keys, my debit card, etc.  For a long time I thought I was going crazy.  I would repeatedly try to reassure myself by saying, “I know I’m not crazy! I know I’m not crazy!”  But the monster made it his point of duty to attempt to convince me that something was wrong with me and I was indeed losing my mind.  The monster under the mask made many empty promises and false commitments to our family.  In all of my naiveté, I held on hoping for change.  He was aggressive, possessive, and controlling.  I lived with the monster and his secret for many years and continued having children with him.  Whenever he was abusive he would apologize and become my prince charming once again.  Prince charming only hung around temporarily though, and the cycle of abuse repeated itself over and over again.

In the very end my prince charming had left for good, never to return.  The monster under the mask had taken over completely. The funny thing is…my perception of my prince charming had nothing to do with the monster under mask.  In the end, I realized that the beautiful prince charming that he had introduced me to was just a mirror image of ME!

Monique Henry is a life coach, motivational speaker, and freelance writer.  Her passion is domestic violence and women empowerment.  As a survivor of domestic violence she is eager to motivate others to take action in the fight against domestic violence.  To learn more about Monique visit her website at