You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
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.
#vfurrmstheblogger #metoo #metoomovement #whyme #whynotme #somebodysaysomething #sexualassault #1800656HOPE #sexualassaulthotline #RAINN.org