Remembering, Me Too

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.

~Maya Angelou

I ended up in a downward spiral this past weekend. I didn’t even know why I was spiraling so quickly. I went into a depression. I knew something was wrong when I found myself in tears as I watched an old episode of Grey’s Anatomy concerning a rape victim. In the show, she had trouble admitting that she had been attacked and raped. She wouldn’t even tell her husband. It brought back old, bad memories.

It made me think about a time in my life when I was struggling to hold on to someone who wasn’t trying to hold on to me. He had left mentally, long ago. He had been a serial cheater or as I refer to him, a hoe from the heart, our entire relationship. But I thought he would change. When I looked at him, I could see the man he could be. I loved him more than I loved myself. That was the problem.

When you sacrifice self-love in order to love someone else, you are causing a few detrimental issues.

One, you are disrespecting yourself. Two, you are giving more love than deserved at the cost of your own happiness. And three, you are putting yourself on the back burner. Most people know that you can’t fully love someone else without loving yourself first.

But back to the “Me Too” movement. Most young women believe the one they love will not harm them. I know I did. But one day my relationship turned from complicated to violence. In a split second my whole world was turned upside down. The one I loved took more me from me. After the assault, I felt completely physically, spiritually, emotionally broken. I had stayed, I believed in him, I picked him up, I supported him, I loved him. No matter what I did, why was it not enough?

He took all the joy, will, hope, strength, and peace I had left that day and sucked all the life out of me. I became an empty shell of the woman I once was. I didn’t even know how to respond to it. I was in shock. All I knew was I had to go. I had to get out of there. I couldn’t even look at him. I thought if I told anyone, they would’ve blamed me. His parents would hate me. It would ruin his career. His children would suffer. I told myself all these things.

In the end, I didn’t tell anyone. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t fight him off. I felt that if I hadn’t done this or had done that, it would’ve never happened. I blamed myself, my circumstances, even the alcohol he drank, and whatever he smoked. Everything but him. Mostly, as angry as I was at him, I was even angrier at myself for not being a stronger, more equipped woman who wouldn’t allow a man to do that to her.

I didn’t realize that it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t realize that he was the broken one, not me. I didn’t realize that I didn’t deserve it, I deserved better. It’s weird because at the time, I knew he had done wrong, but he had always done wrong. I was constantly in the habit of forgiving him. That was our life. It became our cycle so much so that forgiving him became automatic regardless of this crime against me, he was forgiven before night fell.

I know, it’s crazy, right? But when you live in the cycle of abuse for so long, how you react to it becomes the norm. It doesn’t matter if it’s emotional, mental, physical, or verbal, or a combination, the result is the same for the victim until you decide enough is enough. So many, like myself, have to hit rock bottom, to realize the abuse must stop. For me, the verbal, emotional, and mental abuse had to become physical in order for enough to be enough.

Even then, it took me a few weeks before I left. I thought I could forgive him, but I didn’t look at him the same way, nor stomach him touching me. When I found the courage to leave, I went home for over a year. I had to somehow pick up the pieces and find a way to fill the emptiness inside of me. I tried, but stress seizures plagued my life and although the doctors insisted I was having them because I was hiding trauma, I didn’t tell anyone. I pretended it didn’t happen.

A few months later, I was still caught up. I mistook being used to someone as missing loving them. I’m begrudged to say that I right before I went back to him, I confessed to my mom. She didn’t want me to leave, but I felt stronger and like most young folks, I thought I knew what I wanted. But of course, our reunion didn’t last. Now, although we were together a decade, we’ve been apart more years than we were together. Thank God!!

I really thought that a few years of therapy made me whole again. I was still hurting. Y’all believe this, if you still get angry or have emotion when someone’s name is mentioned, you’re not over them no matter what you tell yourself. In reality, it took me over 15 years to be able to truly let go and let God. It can be done in less time if you actually listen and do what the therapist tells you. I had been so much I thought there was nothing they could tell me I hadn’t heard. I should’ve been focused on doing the steps instead of hearing them.

No one can tell a victim of abuse or one in a bad relationship when enough is enough. They have to come to that realization on their own. I would hope that no one has to hit rock bottom before getting out but, I know from experience, it happens. Perhaps this blog post will reach someone going through the same silent painful storm. I pray these words touch your spirit, invade your heart, and shake your soul so that you wake up, get out, and live a beautiful rest of your life.

#LiveLaughandLove, Val

#vfurrmstheblogger #metoo #metoomovement #whyme #whynotme #somebodysaysomething #sexualassault #1800656HOPE #sexualassaulthotline


Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.

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  1. Valerie, thank you for your vulnerbility in sharing something that so many experience. It’s hard to love someone thinking they might change and then the longer you are with them, the harder it is. This depends too on the sort of heart one has. You don’t sound Narcasisstic, which if you were maybe you would have reacted differently or left earlier the situation, but I feel you have a compassionate heart, and that is what causes the ones who have experienced to stay in keep trying. God bless you, I can relate in many ways, but know too that loving yourself first and foremost is part of the remedy to move on. I will keep your name in my prayers.

    • Lynn,
      Thank you. This brought tears to my eyes. I wasn’t sure the piece conveyed why I stayed but now through you, I see that it did. I loved him beyond his faults, beyond the hurt he caused, so much so that I used all my love on him, leaving none for myself. I didn’t even see it until it was too late. I hope someone reads this and leaves before they get to that point. Thank you for your prayers, they are much needed and appreciated.

  2. Oh Valerie,
    “ Most people know that you can’t fully love someone else without loving yourself first.”. This is so true. I know this more than anything now. It doesn’t register so many times when you are in the abuse…until one day you get it.

    “… when you live in the cycle of abuse for so long, how you react to it becomes the norm…”. So very true… we forget what real is…abuse distorts you, your thoughts abort you and there is no you when you want to die…

    “… stress seizures plagued my life and although the doctors insisted I was having them because I was hiding trauma, I didn’t tell anyone. I pretended it didn’t happen.”
    We pretend to survive… and we felt dead.. for me anyway…

    “ No one can tell a victim of abuse or one in a bad relationship when enough is enough. They have to come to that realization on their own. I would hope that no one has to hit rock bottom before getting out but, I know from experience, it happens. ”
    I hit the bottom hard… then realized I had to love me first before anything else.

    I really thought this article was most moving and hits my heart! I can relate. Although no two experience are the same….the profound intensity of abuse is relatable in “why we stay”. Many who cannot relate are the first to say “Why don’t they just leave?” The proverbial and well known statement was one I use to think myself, I have a BA in psychology….and I was a victim … it flabbergasted me That I knew of such abuse… but then became involved not once but twice in relationships. Psychologically the damage was deeper than any physical to me. Triggers are there, but after years of work and climbing out of the abyss of depression, PTSD and anxiety… it is one thing to talk about and quite life threatening to live.

    I’m very grateful to you for sharing here Valerie and let me say this to you! You matter, you are worthy, you are not alone. You are now a certified champion and ringleader by writing to others and expressing the raw core of abuse is like from the victims perspective. I wish such crime on no one. Walking around feeling dead is not living…there is potential for self harm as they say, but I always think of the serious illness and massive killer called suicide. So many crossover from the area of grey and don’t make it back. Not by choice.. they just have been pushed by the invisible hand of evil. My heart wishes for more attention to Dignity, self love and worthiness. Not everyone has strength if they have never seen it or knew it existed.

    Ok I’ll stop. I’m getting lengthy here. Almost another article… I apologize
    You have provoked my thoughts and this I do like and always learn more by doing so.
    Thank you again from my heart you precious human being.🙏🙏❤️Paula

    • Paula,
      Thank you for your response. I am grateful to have touched your heart with my word but at the same time so very sorry you went through this as well. It becomes your new normal and your mind goes from knowing this is wrong to accepting it as right. It’s an awful recurring cycle I wouldn’t wish on my worse enemy. My goal was to ignite self awareness, hope, and self love inside of sufferers so they can see a way out. Thank you for letting me know through your words that I have succeeded.

      Much love and healing hug,

      • I’m truly in a better place. I have forgiven, I feel healed and keep believing I am. I can be momentarily affected with thoughts, but now I control them, when before I let someone else control them. Big lesson there. I too would not wish this on anyone else. It is horrific! I admire you beautiful strength and greatly written work that is and will help many
        Happy heart day ❤️ And a great big hug ack! I cant Thank you enough for this✅ P