After a couple more months, my best guy friend and I started dating. I never expected to love anyone as much as I loved my ex, but I was wrong. I tell people that it took some getting used to be treated properly, but I honestly couldn’t believe what I used to put up with now. When my new boyfriend and I fight, we talk things out, and he never says anything mean. I have moments where I feel that I don’t deserve him because I’m “damaged,” but he’s been helping me feel better about myself by telling me that any guy would be lucky to have me and telling me that I’m beautiful.
It’s been exactly a year since my ex and I spoke. Although he’s tried to contact me many times, I’ve made sure to ignore him. He even called me three times once and threatened to hurt himself if I didn’t answer. I stayed strong. One of my friends told me that I don’t need that poison in my life, and she’s right. I make sure to cut him out completely. It’s helped me heal as well. And I can truly say that I don’t want him anymore. Not only because I have someone new, but because being away from the hurt has allowed me to see that there is so much better out there. Some friends have also told me that he’s still angry and mean when drunk.
Emotional abuse gets pushed under the rug because no one really sees the effects. And it’s easier to justify words than bruises, but they both hurt equally, and they’re both unhealthy. No one deserves to be degraded or to have someone put them down. As far as being a victim goes, it can happen to anyone. I used to be the girl that pitied abused women because I thought I was better than that. But abuse isn’t always obvious. Because my boyfriend wasn’t always abusive, I was already in love with him when the abuse began. You can be the strongest person, but sometimes you love someone too much to notice that they’re hurting you – or admit it.
There are times that I feel embarrassed for letting myself go through emotional abuse, but I remember to tell myself that I’m stronger because of it. If you find people to help you take steps to get out of it or take positive steps to regain your self-esteem, breaking the cycle of abuse will be easier. When I was with my ex, I’d give anything for someone to understand why I stayed. And I do understand. But I also understand now that it’s more important to put yourself first. You are a person worthy of more than put downs and abuse. It’s going to take some time and you’re going to be hurting for a little, but I guarantee you something. You will come out stronger. You will be okay.