Recognizing you need help, is asking for it


I would like to share a story about a psychological abuse I had to deal with for several months. It happened last year and I am still under treatment  because of it. 

Three years ago, I started to work in a community pharmacy as my first job, where I met a guy  who was funny, friendly and very kind to me. We started to hang out and after some time, we fell in love and decided to begin a relationship. From this moment, things get complicated. His jealousy made it difficult for me to make any decisions in our relationship. . He used to text me all the time and if I did not answer fast enough, because I was busy at work,  he would get angry even when he could see me working at my workplace. It seemed like my entire time had to be dedicated to him. When he got angry, he would blame and insult me. Then he began to punch whatever he found close to him, such as a table, a wall or even himself. 

During that period, I started to doubt myself. I felt guilty and I suffered intense episodes of anxiety. I could not make simple decisions, I cried frequently, and I easily forgot about daily things. I did not want to talk to anyone about the situation because I feel ashamed. I started to isolate myself and stopped talking to my family and friends about personal matters. I overworked to numb my feelings of anxiety. . 

One day, I was talking to a client at the pharmacy. He was a young man and my boyfriend got really jealous. After work, we started to fight and decided to go to his apartment to talk about what happened. Unfortunately, the discussion got worse, he insulted me and blamed me further until I was fed up, so I decided to end the relationship and go home. At that moment, he stood by the door and did not allow me to leave the apartment. He was furious, and he kept hitting the walls and shouting at me. Thankfully, a few  minutes after begging him to let me go, he opened the door and I went  home safely. Believe me, I have never experienced such a terrifying moment like that. 

Then, he started to ask me to forgive him and he begged me to restart our relationship. He  promised me that he would change, that all of the things he did would nott happen again but I did not want to take the risk, so I rejected him. After that, we did not see each other for quite a long time, because he was on holiday.  

When he came back to work, he insisted that he wanted to bemy friend, at least, and slowly, we became closer again, even though I had been very clear with him that I did not want a relationship.  During that time, I had no energy to fight with him, so I did everything to avoid a fight. I started to isolate myself again, especially from my colleagues at work, because if I talked to them, he would get jealous. He used to come to my workplace with many excuses, for example, that he wanted to talk about medicine. As time passed, his anger got worse and he began to say rude things to me, threatened me that I was going to lose my job and started punching things like tables or walls near me. All of this happened at work, and he always found an opportunity to do it when no one  else was hearing or watching. This made me feel very sick and alone, I was ashamed to talk to someone about it because I felt that it was my fault, I was truly stressed. 

Fortunately, my bosses realized that something unusual was happening and offered me some help. I told them the whole story. It was not easy, as it took me some weeks to have the courage to talk, and now I remember how relieved I felt ever since I told my story.

They suggested that I start to do some therapy and contacted a very good psychologist that could help me, and is  still helping me now to manage diverse situations. They supported me the whole time, and are now the people I trust the most to ask for help.  

They confronted him and gave him a strong warning. In fact, they are keeping an eye on him. My bosses have told him that he is not allowed to approach me or talk to me for any reason.  

I think I am very lucky to have good people around me who are supportive. I really do not know how I could have managed this situation by myself. Nowadays, I am still working on my fears and I am recovering little by little, but at least, I’m starting to become myself  again. It is not easy, but it is the best thing that I can do. 

I really hope this story can help and encourage someone who is also experiencing the same situation.  Let her/him know that they are not alone, that the best thing they can do is ask for help even though it can be difficult, but it is possible. 

Thank you to the IPSF  team for doing this campaign. 


Luciana Tofa

Community Pharmacist,

42’s Pharmacy Mendoza, Argentina