It’s the end of Oprah as we know it and everyone is telling their “Oprah” stories so I thought I’d share my own Oprah story with you…

It was the early 90’s. I had just had my 25th birthday, my career was at a point where I was finally starting to make good money, and my husband and I had purchased a two-bedroom condo in a nice area of Orange County the month before. I was so excited that my son, who was 13 months old, was going to get to live in a nice home, go to a good school.. you know – all those things that we want for our kids.

But it was the marriage that was falling apart. I had been married about 5 years and it had been a rocky relationship. He was a Marine and we had gotten married when we were both 20 years old. We were both so immature and, coupled with a military lifestyle, it was troubled from the start.

The relationship was volatile. The relationship was exhausting. The relationship was abusive.

Looking back, I don’t think it was much of a relationship. It was him wanting to live his life the way he wanted to and me trying to change him. (Trust me boys and girls, it never works.)

I tried everything I could. I read books, I went to counseling. I even went to a hypnotist! I wanted to make it work in the worst way. But I was so miserable. I don’t think we went an entire week without arguing. We must have moved about 10 times because we’d fight, break up, move out, get back together. Exhausting I tell you.

To make matters worse, he was never home due to the long working hours and the constant deployments. It makes it hard to work on anything for any length of time because whenever I’d get to the breaking point, he would leave for a few months and those few months apart would give us time to cool off. Back then we would write letters (phone calls were too expensive) so we’d have a lot of time for reflection.  So we would reconcile and the cycle continued.

After his 4-year enlistment ended, he got a civilian job and we began living our ‘normal’ life. I thought things would get better, but it did not.

So there I was, sitting on the couch watching TV. A rare primetime Oprah special was on and the topic was about abusers and the effects of abuse on the family. That 2-hour special opened my eyes it seemed for the first time. Why did I let this person make me feel horrible? Why was I putting up with the name calling and the embarrassment?

I don’t remember a lot about that night but I do remember feeling so empowered! I knew I didn’t want this for me or for my son. I felt like I had wasted 5 years on a person who could care less. Yes, I loved him, but I’m sure that Priscilla loved Elvis, and trust me, my ex-husband was no Elvis!

I told him that very night that I had had it and that the situation just wasn’t healthy and that we needed to separate for good. He left 2 days later (after charging up the credit cards and leaving me with a ton of debt).

The condo went into foreclosure, I had to go through bankruptcy, I never did get any child support – it was messy. But it was the best thing I ever did.

That one night with Oprah changed my life. She came at the right time, just when I needed that kick in the ass to finally face the fact that he would never change – I mean REALLY change – and that I deserved better.

I remarried a few years later to an amazing, fantastic, Marine who has treated me like a princess for 17 years. Thanks Oprah!

Wondering if Oprah has touched your life?