At the start of 2018 I ended the emotionally abusive relationship I’d found myself in. We’d been together about a year and a half. The first few months were blissful, but little by little I found myself feeling sad, lonely, confused and at fault. I was like a frog in a pot of cold water, gradually boiled to death. Leaving him is still one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and I still feel broken and damaged everyday from the aftermath.
I still grieve for the innocence I lost during that time. The all encompassing trust and vigour that only accompanies inexperienced love. I can feel the fortress I’ve built around my soul and how that affects the way I let people in.
I’m relearning how to express my needs, respect and make my boundaries known and feel connected to my sense of body autonomy. He expected that he would be at the forefront of my decisions, and felt entitled to my time, body, career trajectory and finances. It’s left me feeling protective of my autonomy and freedom (and also heavily contributes to the aforementioned soul fortress)
I recently reclaimed my space. I didn’t realise for the longest time that I had continued to arrange my bedroom in a way that he deemed “optimal” (read this as bed accessible from both sides) I’ve since moved all my furniture around, and started sleeping smack bang in the middle of the bed (It’s taken me a very long time to realise that I am the sole owner of my bed and can sleep in the space how I want)
I still feel incredibly uncomfortable whenever I have to drive towards his suburb. I no longer get anxiety attacks, which is lovely, especially when I’m behind the wheel, but I still feel very flighty, and get flashbacks to arguments we had and feelings I felt.
In my pain comes a strength rooted in loss of innocence and the need to protect myself and make sure this doesn’t happen again. I can identify romantic toxicity and let it go before it destroys me. These are skills I am grateful for.
I’ve also reached a new level of closeness with my chosen family. They took me back when I returned to them a shell of a person, and were patient and loving as I relearned how to be a human again. I’m now in a place where I can be their support, and their rock.
I think it’s going to take a really long time before I feel completely recovered. I’m doing better, but I’m certainly still negatively affected on a regular basis by the trauma he caused. A healthy relationship shouldn’t leave you confused, depressed, sad and drained. It should empower all parties to want to be better for a shared future. I hope I find that.
On a lighter note, how cute is this dress!? It was a little experiment I whipped up with some fabric from the sale rack at spotlight (I couldn’t pass up the gigantic yellow dots). I recently purchased the same fabric in fluro pink. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be making this dress in that fabric VERY soon!