Thank you so much for sharing your journey and what you have been through at the hands of your expartner. What you have written may help another person in their journey too. What you really bring up here is the impact of her behaviour had on you, and how you found the strength to leave, seek counselling and grow past the abuse. To continue with your life after abuse, which can be a daily journey, but such a valuable one. It is such an important message – ‘this has happened to me but it does not have to define me.’
I am so sorry to hear how your ex-partner weaponised your immigration status as a tool to abuse you. We hear this again and again on the helpline and it can be such a powerful threat, especially if a person’s country of origin is LGBT+ phobic. The abuser knows this and yet still continues to use it as a tool against you.
For every person who is LGBT+ the decision to come out to friends, families and colleagues should be yours and yours alone. There are many factors in why we take time and care in coming out, like as you mention here, your African culture and it being ‘anti-gay.’ Coming out is perhaps another journey and there is no right or wrong, someone may never come out and that is a decision for them and that is OK. It is wrong for a partner to pressure or belittle your decision about this.
It is really good to hear how counselling helped you so much.
Thanks again for sharing your story,
The Helpline Team