It’s weird. I have almost reached a year since breaking free from my abusive partner. I used to be able to tell you what he was up to, what his favorite thing to do is, what his voice was like, but now we are complete strangers who used to call each other soul mates. We don't speak, nor do I think we will ever speak to each other again. As rough as the beginning of the 25th year of my life began it couldn’t be ending on a better note. Are things perfect in my life? No not necessarily, but I can state with full honesty that things have changed dramatically and for the better. I can’t remember much about my 25th birthday celebration thanks to my girlfriends starting tequila shots at the beginning of my dinner party at the Ivory on Sunset, a rooftop restaurant connected to Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel. I can remember the events that day, those past couple months that led to the breaking point, the eruption that ended it all. It scares me, to have lost myself in “love” that I would ever allow myself to be treated the way I allowed him to treat me. People can grasp and imagine what it is like, but unless you have been stuck in a toxic cycle of a relationship you don’t really get it. How terrifying to love someone so much that you forget how much you love yourself? How important it is for your survival and general happiness in life is to love yourself. And I think it is something we should be working at everyday.
I was not happy turning twenty-five. I was not a happy person in general last summer. I thought I was, but I was in this charade and I was playing a game with someone and I was constantly losing. My friends saw it, but they couldn’t get me to see it. Until the night of my twenty-fifth birthday when I finally saw the person I loved was no longer the person I fell in love with. I’m a simple girl. You could write me a hand-written note and buy me my favorite candy and I ‘d be happy. But he couldn’t even do that. I know I wasn’t the easiest to deal with, I felt so lost in the midst of the day, the typical in your twenties meltdown weighing in the back of my mind, “Why am I not happy? Why am I not where I thought I’d be?” Instead of me breaking down, he broke down and cried in my arms that day. Before my friends arrived to get ready with me. Sitting on the edge of my bed he leaned over and started crying to the point where his tears were soaking me. It was the first time in a long time I had seen true emotion from him, and unsettling enough that he was upset it was comforting to see he had emotions still. We were so stuck together and we weren’t moving forward. I couldn’t get past the idea that he cheated, and he couldn’t escape his lies, his financial burdens, and our repetitive arguments. Things that I believe would’ve been avoided if he had been honest with me. It’s very hard to find happiness with a man when he is not happy. In my eyes, for a man to truly be happy within him and within a relationship he must be financially able to take care of himself and not see his woman as the provider. At this point in time my partner was not happy with his career or finances and he would take it out on me constantly. When you are exiting an abusive relationship its very hard to not find blame within yourself. And there are two sides that need to take responsibility. But there’s no excuse for your partner to verbally abuse you, to belittle you, to tell you they love you but continue to treat you like you’re nothing. Nothing hurts more then feeling alone next to the person who used to feel like your other half.
There’s nothing quite like being told fuck you on your birthday by the person you love. But it happened to me and now it’s a joke, like for-real I laugh now. But at the time it was like a slap in the face. To walk into my apartment and not be able to remember the majority of our last conversation hurts the most. I don’t know the horrible things I said, despite if you deserved them or not, despite you telling me to fuck off on my birthday. Despite you trying to get me to pick you over my girl friends (something I will never do) I wish I could remember what I said, what you said. My friend actually recorded a part of the argument on the balcony. When she played a part of it the next day for me once I was sober enough, I had her shut if off within seconds. I sounded pathetic, I sounded sad, I sounded weak. All of the things I didn’t want to be, all of the things that I am not now. This year I will not be spending the end of my birthday crying in a Denny’s. I’m not quite sure where I will be spending it, but if I’m crying it isn’t because my boyfriend couldn’t control his temper and ruin my birthday.
I used to cry every night after the night I kicked him out. The pain was close to unbearable. I couldn’t believe he was gone, that we were on the brink to being done. And sometimes I still find myself lying in bed some nights with a chest beating empty. I don’t feel connections like I used to, my heart has hardened over the past year, and I thank you for that. I thank you for this entire year of tremendous growth. I needed you to make me the woman I am today, and I had no idea I needed you to make me this strong. I thought the original men that gave me the idea to create ManEater were it, but no. I needed you to show me the meaning of true heartbreak, to show me love gone wrong, to show me abuse. I used to question God every night before falling asleep with my tear stained sheets. Why me? Why am I going through this? When will the pain go away?
I welcome the pain now, because I know the pain I feel will never be close to the pain I felt a year ago. I thank God now instead of asking why. What used to feel like a wound that would never heal now feels like a small scratch that I know was extremely painful to patch up but now that it is patched I know I am better off. I am able to teach others what they should run away from. I hope that others read my blogs and feel inspired to never settle. Or feel inspired to leave the person that is treating them like they aren’t special.
I feel so lucky to be alive. That sounds a bit dramatic. But if you saw me around this time last year I was 104 pounds. And if that traumatic birthday hadn’t happened I honestly don’t know what would’ve happened with my health. The fights had gotten to the point of our downstairs neighbors being able to hear him screaming at me, what would they have escalated to? The memories used to make me really sad, old photos used to pop up on my phone, finding old notes from him to me, or me to him. It has stopped hurting. It’s like some alternate universe I used to live in. Some small part of life that used to seem so big is now just a fragment of the past.
I’m not sure if you guys believe in God or are spiritual. But a situation like this will make you thankful for one. Sometimes you have to look back and really thank whomever you pray to for taking you out of a situation. Even if at the time it is one of the most painful things you have ever experienced. The universe has this funny way of working itself out. I just hope you remember to fight for yourself. I hope you remember how important your dreams are before you settle with your partner. Love is amazing. And I am still grateful for the love at first touch I experienced with my ex even if it did turnout ugly. It was all an experience that made me who I am today, and who I am today is a woman I wouldn’t trade for the world. I am not bitter towards the ones that hurt me, I am not bitter towards the ones that are more successful than me. I am not bitter. And that is more than I could say for myself last year.