I was quirky and broken, eager to find myself and stop the hurt that hung over my head each day. He was tall, handsome, and kind-hearted. Everything I thought I needed at the time and he had been through hell too. We connected on a level I hadn’t yet experienced in my young life and soon became obsessed with each other. Butterflies whirled inside each time he spoke my name. Countless hours were spent wrapped in each other’s arms, talking about life, rolling our problems up in a swisher and releasing them into smoke filled air. It wasn’t long before everyone in my life began to go, except him. Sure, I missed my friends and having a good relationship with my family but we needed each other; so determined to fix the other we isolated ourselves from those who loved us the most.
What I didn’t notice was the way our demons loved each other.
I’m a strong believer that many of the battles we face are caused by spirits we allow into our lives one way or another, or strongholds passed down in our families. You see, we both had terrible insecurities; depression running rampant in our households and anger issues that would put The Hulk to shame. We came from broken households that didn’t know trust and had a skewed vision of love that we projected on each other. If we could just “make it work” though, we only wanted to have something to be proud of, something we could control. I was blinded by love, cliché I know, but man, when you truly love someone, it gets easy to cover up to the little things they do. "I made excuses to myself, my friends and my family as I brushed his comments and actions under the rug; But those little things grow when left ignored and they aren’t so easy to cover.
I soon realized the butterflies I felt were trying to escape. They were not excited by his presence but fearful and knowing. My spirit, my instinct and intuition were warning me, but I ignored it. “We can fix each other”.
Our whole relationship was toxic. He would fill me with his love and then starve me of it until I begged and pleaded; always apologizing for something I didn’t do or didn’t know was wrong. I remember being terrified to even make eye contact with another man because in our relationship that qualified as cheating and came with great punishment. When words didn’t cut deep enough, we resorted to the physical and our love soon became a war zone.
The first time he put his hands on me, I knew it was wrong, but I was convinced I deserved it.
Covering bruises and creating elaborate stories of how they appeared became an art form. When I finally got tired of not knowing what I did wrong, I began to purposely provoke him so he would have a reason. I would wake up every day armed with an artillery of mean thoughts, words and ideas to punish him with. As we fed each other’s Demons, they grew to control us; everyday became more taxing and harder to get through. It became a vicious cycle of abuse that we both depended on. It took time for me to see there was no fixing it. Neither of us were equipped with the tools the other needed to heal and be wholesome.
Love should not be used as a Band-Aid or a quick fix.
By itself, it only complicates the process of fixing whatever or whoever is broken. It took a full 6 months of “leaving” to actually be able to let that relationship go. Those six months showed me how low I had become; the verbal and physical abuse reached an all-time high as the fear of being left alone drove us to do crazy things. At one point, I recall staring down the barrel of a gun, not knowing if it was loaded or not, believing he would really kill us both right there. In my mind I was trapped, I couldn’t tell my family or friends for God knows why. I was a combination of embarrassed and scared of how they would react, and still clinging to a little hope that things would change. So I stayed only leave to again, and again. Those last few months were some of the worst days of my life but when I look back now, I can see how much I have learned. I let myself hit a point where I was completely fed up with myself, him, the cycle, and just everything. I had to stop “trying to leave” and just do it.
I started my life completely over: cut ties with all our common interests, started new social media pages, got a new number, and got healthy in body and mind. I got serious about my classes and made friends again. The hell that followed was scary, but I didn’t look back and it was short lived.
I believe that the process of healing is ongoing but that forgiveness is essential.
I am thankful to have a story, as there are many that don’t have the same outcome, and many that still feel trapped. Know that you are beautiful and loved, created to do amazing things. You have a choice, you are not alone, please reach out. You never know where your help might come from.
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