This is a topic that I debated on writing about. Frankly, I wish I could delete the memory of this relationship & person from my mind forever and never speak of it again. I also didn’t want to be disrespectful to my current relationship in any way, so I kept putting off this blog topic. Then I came across this picture last week while scrolling on Instagram:
This reminded me of what my ex-boyfriend used to tell me. Now I see this picture and think “yeah, duh!” At this point, it doesn’t hurt anymore. But, I do know there are some women (& men) who are currently in an emotionally abusive relationship like I was. Maybe currently hearing these things from the person they love. Maybe someone is trying to muster up the courage to leave the relationship, or maybe they are trying to heal the open wounds of a breakup. I’m hoping that by me writing this & telling my story about how I moved forward might help someone that is going through a similar situation.
I’m here to tell you I know how painful it is & yes, you can find love again. The love that you deserve. It is possible to turn that pain into power.
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Here are some things this individual said to me:
“You’re too emotional.”
“I’m too busy.”
“My goals are bigger than your goals.”
I felt like I had to be better & do better. I constantly felt like I wasn’t enough & I had to do everything I could to make him happy. I was in this relationship when I was at the lowest, most depressed time in my life. I did not love myself and found “love” through him, I was pretty much dependent on the relationship. I was in denial about how toxic it truly was, kept blaming myself, thinking I was doing something wrong every single day.
Until he said something along the lines of this to me:
“We’re only together because you’re too emotional & I’m too busy to deal with it if we break up.”
That was the moment that it hit me that I did not want to be with this person. I wanted to respect myself more than to be with someone who treated me like trash. So, I initiated the break up, blocked his number & blocked him on all social media. I went from one day relying on him completely for my “happiness” to having to figure out how to love myself again. Let me tell you what, it was really freaking hard, but 2 years of healing & I am so happy I did it.
Everyone handles break ups differently, so it will look different for everyone. But, for me, I focused on myself & my friendships. This breakup was also when I realized that I had neglected my friendships for a year and a half for the most part. After feeling so lost and unhappy for so long, I really just wanted to find myself again & be truly happy.
I journaled.. A LOT. I went to counseling. I cried. A LOT.
What I had to learn was to let myself feel the emotion that came to surface at every moment. The rollercoaster of emotions every day, throughout the day was crazy. I would be doing homework & randomly felt like I had to cry. So I did. I think often we feel guilty for feeling this way. “You should be happy that you’re not in that situation anymore!” Well, yes. But the emotional damage is real & it doesn’t heal overnight.
My mom also told me “You don’t have to have everything figured out right now.” I didn’t feel ready to delete all of the pictures off my phone or give away the jewelry he got me. So, I approached those things when I was ready to deal with them. About 2-3 months after the breakup I deleted all the pictures off of my phone & completely cleared him off of my social media accounts. Now I’m selling the jewelry he got me! I think that piece of advice my mom gave me was very important. It is important to make sure you are dealing with certain things when you are ready to do so. That definitely helped me not feel completely overwhelmed.
If I could go back time, I would have never got in that relationship, knowing what I know now. It was an empowering thing to experience because now I finally understand my worth & I’m not afraid to stand up for myself anymore. Not to mention I finally found the love I deserve with such an amazing guy! There’s always a silver lining, even though it might not be obvious right away, or still hurts years later.
Finding Love Again
You will know when you are ready to jump back into the dating game again. But, what I wasn’t ready for was all of the emotions from my past to come back once I started again. I hadn’t felt those emotions in a LONG time, from when I was in the bad relationship. I could feel myself pulling back & naturally just wanting to retract, protect myself & not fall for the same mistake again. It was really hard, harder than I expected. It took a lot of time & patience for me to get to the point where I’m at now. I kept fighting for the relationship & have now been with my current boyfriend for a year and a half!
Finding love again is possible. But, you have to fight for yourself first. You have to let yourself feel the pain, so you can grow and eventually turn that pain in power. Power over your own life & your own happiness. It’s hard & at times you might feel like giving up. It’s OK! You’re not alone & you are not “crazy” for feeling how you feel. You do what you need to do to get to where you need to be. It takes time & it takes patience. Most importantly, it takes choosing yourself over anything else first.
The most important thing that I got from this experience is my strength and power over my life. It taught me a lot of lessons and I can’t even begin to explain how much I’ve grown from the experience. Would I still go back in time and not get involved with that person? Yes, absolutely. That would’ve saved me a lot of pain & heartache. But, you have to move forward with your experiences. You must turn that pain into power. Pain isn’t fun. But it’s what we do with that pain that can make all of the difference.
I hope you found this to be helpful if you are going through a similar experience! If you are going through this kind of emotional pain, don’t give up on yourself & know that you are not alone. Feel free to reach out to be personally if you need any additional advice or guidance!