I was that girl.
The one people gazed upon with pity. “Why is she still with him?” they would whisper. “She could do so much better.” I secretly carried the same thoughts, though I couldn’t bring myself to take that step towards the door.
Years of my life spent dedicated to someone who didn’t value my worth. Memories of milestones tainted with heartache and low self-esteem. Though many young women typically go through a time of self-discovery, this wasn’t your typical coming into your own skin kind of story. The emotional abuse I endured by remaining in a toxic partnership tarnished my expectations of relationships.
Who would have thought a teenage romance could be so poignant? Over half a decade of lies and deceit grow heavy on future expectations. My view on relationships became twisted. Maybe this is how things go. I am not pretty enough, not smart enough, that is just “how guys are” these days. It’s natural for them to shop around. Monogamy is a thing of the past.
I had to run.
I prayed for a monumental sign. “God please slap me in the face with some kind of sign that I shouldn’t be with him!” (This in itself shows how young and naive my line of thinking- praying for a sign to leave IS a sign!) But God was faithful, I got my sign. It was so blatant he couldn’t talk his way around this one. All he could do was sit in silence and catch the thrown engagement ring from across the car.
There are moments in life when you can feel the season changing. I remember seeing the mascara from my tears smeared down my shirt and legs. It feels good. To release the years of frustration contained so tightly, tied together with a sparkling smile on the surface. I didn’t have to pretend anymore.
Every anonymous tip I received about his infidelity that he so quickly had an explanation for, I let it go. Every bottled up feeling of not being good enough, I threw it with the ring that day. He couldn’t control me anymore.
I snapped back to being who I was meant to be, who I was without him. I wasn’t defined by my relationship status, “Oh you’re so and so’s fiancé …” NO! It was ME again.
It doesn’t matter how much of your life has been invested in a relationship, it’s never too late to leave. Don’t let convenience cloud your judgment of self-worth. No one deserves deceit, no one deserves humiliation through lies and infidelity.
If he loves you, YOU ARE ENOUGH! You, with or without the popularity, with or without the degree, with or without the make-up, YOU are enough.
I’ll leave you with the same words spoken from his best friend just days before the fallout, “You can do better, RUN!”
If you or someone you know are victims of abuse, there is help. You have a voice. Reach out. Please call the Capital Area 24 Hour Crisis Line :: (225) 389-3001 or 1 (800) 541-9706.
Beautifully said. As a woman I think a lot of us go through a toxic relationship at some point in our lives. This story was right on, you, we, are worth it. Thank you for reminding us we deserve better. Always.
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