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Coming to first year, I had hopes of what the year could be with no idea of knowing about the dive that was coming way ahead. I gave two years to someone and was young and naïve and filled with the idea of new freedom. I made a sister from my roommate, only to lose her to the amount of time I spent with him. He occupied a huge time period in my life and the cycle was a relentless ride of confused and mixed emotions. A feeling of emotional exhaustion followed, severe bouts where he drove me to a point I would never want to be again. There are times I feel as if I was ensnared in some trap, but that’s just me being dramatic. I would never want to go there again.

Toxicity is never easy to suss out- so frequently we want the things that feel the best, the warmest, the most comforting, only to know eventually these are the ones to watch out for. My friends gave insight into the level of substandard treatment I was receiving, and I got scared. I saw my mom go through the same thing… Wwas I going to be another womxn in line, never knowing nor understanding the value she held outside of his affection or appraisal? I became co-dependent, and I realise that now. There is no point in more words needing to be said, only time for the rest and peace I can give to myself. At last. No more going back, or checking, or even thinking about it.

Amber is a final year architecture student at the University of Cape Town. A self-confessed aesthete and avid writer/reader- she is passionate about social justice with hopes of healing the world. 
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