Thank you, Janelle, for the very kind words...
I am recently divorced, from an abusive husband who had a personality disorder that led him to get fired five times in the last two years of our marriage. He also wouldn't let ME work out of the home (didn't want me in "social situations with men" -- this is how he viewed work, lol!).
So in the last 2 years, I divorced him, got a demanding (but great) full-time job in the area I was trained in (I'm a lawyer), repaired all the financial problems caused by his job losses, and found a new home for me and my kids. So I have made ALOT of changes, and I feel really good about them. Figuring out how to have a say in relationships with men will be the last piece of the puzzle. I think it will help if I can learn to choose men more carefully. Controlling types of men tend to seek out women like you and me. I need to learn how to identify those men early on.
I will be rooting for you too, Janelle!!!
Galagirl -- I'm not so sure how I'm going to practice those skills with no-one to practice on. But getting rid of that boyfriend did help. He kept looking at me like I was crazy when I told him it was over. I know he was thinking "but I know you still want me". And he's right. But not on those terms. I can't remember the last time I rejected someone's terms. So I guess that's a step.