::Note:: This next guest writer up on the blog happens to be my sister. I unfortunately witnessed some of the abuse she experienced, and because of that I felt that it was important to have her share her experience with abuse. It is my hopes, as is hers, that the story she shares will change someone who may be presently experiencing abuse in their relationship as well as those recovering from prior relationships. We can only pray that we instill some wisdom and insight into others in hopes that if they find themselves in an abusive relationship, they know the warning signs and realize that they deserve better.
When I was twenty years old, I met a man who was significantly older than I. I was young and naive searching for love, and I was searching in all of the wrong places. Our story began in the fall of 2006, and at first things were normal. We spent time together and time apart. In early 2007, March to be exact, he asked me to move in. I did. Over time I began separating myself from friends and family. I spent most nights and weekends at home with him. He wanted me all to himself. I was changing and it wasn’t a good change. I heard rumors and had been warned but still I was naive. The secrecy and affairs began in 2007 but I stayed hoping and believing that I’d be enough for him to change. The fights began. He would yell at me, belittle me and throw things at me. He made me feel as though I had nowhere else to go if I left. He made me feel insignificant. He made me hate myself. I was afraid to be alone, afraid to start over, so I stayed; I stayed for almost six years.
I began taking anti-depressants, and I became a professional actress when it came to hiding my pain. I’d smile all day long and cry myself to sleep at night. He was controlling, narcissistic, cruel and unfaithful and still I prayed. My family and friends begged me to leave. Evidence of the current affair was right under my nose and yet I refused to believe it. One night after I’d moved in with my sister, she came down to my room and said, “ENOUGH!” She went on to say that she was tired of hearing me cry myself to sleep every night over someone who would never care for me in the way that I needed or respected me the way that I deserved to be respected. She contacted him and demanded that he let me move on.
For a few weeks I still tried but eventually I agreed with my older, and much wiser sister. I had had it. I ended it. A week after I ended it he admitted his affair, his full year long affair. As if my heart wasn’t already broken enough, it shattered a little more.
As time went on I began to heal. I started spending more times with the friends that I’d isolated myself from while in that unhealthy relationship. Unfortunately some of those friendships would be lost forever. I found myself doing things that I enjoyed doing again like photography and writing. I began to smile, and not that fake smile I had gotten so good at doing, but really smiling. I began to live again.
Eventually I met a man, a really good man. It was so hard to let him in. I, at one point, told him to back off and give me space. I was terrified. I was overwhelmed. For so long I had to pry to get my exes attention and love and now I had that all right up in my face. I didn’t want to be abused again, cheated on again or torn down more than I already had been. Eventually this man proved to be different. I let him in even though I tried so hard not to and I’m glad that I did. He had I are now happily married for almost two years now.
I have been in many unhealthy relationships. I’ve been abused. I’ve been cheated on and my self esteem is now non-existent. Yet I was able to believe that I would and could be happy again. I’m so glad that I was able to heal. I had believed that I’d never find love or be happy and that marriage was never an option. I was wrong and I’m so glad that I was.
Believe that you are better than I believed that I was. You deserve respect and honesty, loyalty and love.
No one deserves abuse. No deserves to be torn down. Be stronger than I was. Be happier than I was. True love will find you.