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Maybe they never hit you, but they constantly made you feel like you were walking on eggshells. Maybe they never laid a hand on you, but the words hurt more than any slap across the face could. Somehow, you become so blind because the view seems so amazing. The red flags get lost in what looked like paradise in your eyes; they are perfect and could never do wrong. As time goes on, the truth becomes more apparent that they really aren’t the person you thought they were.

As time goes on, it becomes harder to please them. No matter what you do, it’s not enough. At least, it doesn’t feel that way. No matter how much of your heart you pour into something, they don’t care. Any mistake you ever made is held over your head, argument after argument. They are one way to everyone else, and different to you. Everything becomes draining and begins to feel like a chore. You fear to make them mad because it’s a fight you would rather not have. Their priorities and needs come before your own, and you start to lose yourself in the process.

People around you eventually begin to notice something is off. Your friends tell you that they never see you anymore and that you don’t seem as happy as you used to. You assure them you’re fine, however, you know that something is wrong. You feel more isolated from the people who love you the most. It’s hard to admit sometimes what you think is best for you is ultimately the thing hurting you most. 

As time goes on, the same fights begin to grow old. All of the sadness begins to turn into anger. It starts to reach a point where enough is enough. They have you so broken down to the point where you feel like without them you have nobody. And yet, that’s far from true. You deserve more than that. Much more than that. Over time, you get sick of wondering why you can’t manage to make them happy and why you’re not enough for them. There comes a day where you finally build the strength and courage to tell them how you feel. 

You realize the person you once thought you couldn’t live without you don’t actually need around. Like a placebo prescription that has run out, you realize you didn’t need it anyway. The days aren’t as dreary and hazy, the air isn’t as heavy or thick, and the dull pain in your heart that you’ve ignored truly begins to fade for the first time. Sunlight and friends lift the bad weather and bring on a new day with warmth and brilliance. For the first time in months, you feel the sweetness and joy that only true happiness and unconditional love can bring. It is in that moment, in this realization, that you know you’ve escaped that toxic prison and became yourself again.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania '21 - Hospitality Management & Psychology - Phi Eta Sigma - Eta Sigma Delta - CMAA