Yesterday marked the 18th anniversary of ending a very unhealthy relationship. I had just turned 25 years old.
This former relationship was toxic, verbally abusive and robbed my soul of its joy. I thought I could change him. I thought it was me that was causing the issue. I tried to better myself as much as I could for him, but all of it wasn’t enough.
About every other night while dating him, I could tell he was drinking, and on those nights he would tell me everything I was doing wrong. He became a different person on those nights.
I could not stop him from drinking or from the result of alcohol in his system: ugly words being tossed at me and accusatory statements being hurled my way.
After being degraded to small pieces within this relationship, I felt like nothing. I wasn’t sure who would want me because he told me repeatedly that he was the best guy with whom I would ever date. I had been worn down.
Of course, all of us have faults within a relationship. But when verbal abuse is present, our agency to better the relationship is limited. Whatever that is holy within any type of abusive relationship no longer exists.
My greatest fault was that I couldn’t convince myself to walk away sooner. I couldn’t focus on the value of my own heart and soul and being.
I haven’t written much about it in detail. As time goes on I will write in detail how my mom had to comfort me on mornings when my eyes were puffy from crying the night before. I will write in detail how my sister used to tell me that this was an abusive relationship – even though I wasn’t being hit. And I will write in detail how there was a small piece of me that wished he would hit me so I knew definitely that it was a toxic relationship.
Walking away was hard at the time. But now I can’t see how I could have stayed so long where I was not truly loved and appreciated.