I'm strong. I have always been strong. I will always be strong.
And somehow, despite my strength, my intelligence, and the troops who surround me; when I was 28 years old, I allowed myself to get in to an abusive relationship.
It lasted just over 2 years. While I was in it, and for a long time after it ended, I struggled with accepting the term "abusive relationship". I sometimes still struggle with that term.
Nooooooo....surely that couldn't have happened to me. I'm the one who always told her girlfriends to run as fast as they could away from the jerks they let in to their lives.
Nooooooo....I would never allow a man to mistreat me, call me awful names, humiliate me and make me feel badly about myself.
I had always said that if a man ever hit me, he'd lose the ability to father children.
And I would most certainly never ever ever be so blind that I would allow a man to break me down in such a way that I didn't even see it coming.
And yet, it came.
Now that I have walked so far away from it, and as things continue to become clearer to me, I have come to discover that it is not only important to put yourself back together, it is equally as important to examine how you came to find yourself in that place to begin with.
What did he see in me that let him know he could prey and I would play dead? What did he see that let him know how vulnerable I really was?
I believe that underneath it all, he saw the darkest and saddest parts of me - a lack of confidence, the inability to stand up for myself, the desperate need to be "loved", and the desire to fit myself in amongst all the other couples who surrounded me.
He saw a big, beautiful woman - BBW, for short, as we are known in online dating ads. And at first, he wooed me by saying that he loved me - all of me - exactly as I was, which was all I had ever really wanted. He would tell me I was beautiful, and that he had never met anyone as "extraordinary" as me before. Music to my lonely ears.
It happens to strong women all the time. It happens to all sorts of woman all the time.
I can tell you this though.....it won't ever happen to me again.
I am not the same girl I was 4 years ago. Fundamentally, not much has changed - I still maintain all the same core qualities I always had, but I now have my two feet planted firmly in their own unique place in this world. I am filled up with happiness in a much deeper way than I ever was before, and I have discovered my own inner strength - something I never knew I had.
Nobody can take that away from me. I won't let them.
I hope that you are having an awesome day!
P.S. It's better to have loved and lost than live with a psycho for the rest of your life.
P.P.S. I wish this video was the whole interview with Kirstie Alley - she touches on having the same sort of thing happen to her... I like how she put it. And sadly, it just goes to show that nobody is immune.