I walked away from my mental and emotional prison, then I found freedom.
The most difficult thing about falling in love with someone is that often, if that person is toxic for us, we only start to see the cracks much later in the relationship.
I remember that part of my life all too well, a rollercoaster ride of emotions day in and day out and I had convinced myself that this is how love was supposed to be. On the outside, to strangers and acquaintances, we were the most perfect couple; on the inside we were a disaster.
I look back on my life now and I have to ask myself why I didn’t see the signs earlier. I suppose they were always there but my naivety and emotions for him had me blinded. Do I regret that relationship? No. Why? It taught me a lot about myself.
I learned that when you love someone, even when things are bad, we accept the things that do some incredible damage to us personally. Those are the issues that keep coming up in fights. The issues that run through your mind when you’re alone, and the situations that even years after the break up – you are terrified of being in that space again.
I spent so many nights crying in my room alone, and yet, when we were out together, you would never say that was my reality. I spent so much time away from the people who truly cared about me because he had convinced me (and I allowed him to convince me) that those people were only trying to cause issues between us. I spent so much time away from those people, and he became the centre of my world. When he would disagree with me in a manner that I now won’t tolerate from anybody, I used to justify his anger. When he would break me down emotionally, I would justify it to myself that he was only looking out for me. When he would tell me who I can or can’t see, where I can or can’t go, who I can and cant speak to – I would justify it as having given him reason to doubt me – yet, he was my everything, and no matter what I did, I wasn’t willing to give that up.
We were stuck in a cycle so toxic that even when he would do something so wrong, I would be the one that apologized. When he swore at me, I would cry and tell my close family and friends that it’s acceptable because I messed up.
Then we broke up.
This person went from being the centre of my world, to not being even 1% of my world. And when I tried to move on, he was there. He would tell me all the things I’d needed to hear when we were together, he would tell me he messed up and he wants to work it out, but when I’d give him the chance to prove himself, he didn’t step up. When he would see pictures of me with other guys (I had no guy friends during the relationship), he would tell me that it kills him seeing me like that, it took me a year to realize that he was keeping me trapped. He knew what I would respond to, and how mentally and emotionally that would affect me, but it wasn’t about the betterment of me that he loved, it wasn’t me that he loved, it was the control he had over me that he loved.
I finally realized what all my family and friends had been saying to me for years: He isn’t the one for you because he spends more time hurting you than loving you.
When I finally understood that, I started taking back my power bit my bit, and as expected, he didn’t like it. So I had to make a decision. Do I allow this man to keep pulling me back into the devilish pit I know, or do I allow myself to move forward without him having any glimpse into my life? I chose myself.
It’s been almost two years since that break up and the words he used to say to me to keep me stuck, but I’m learning how to deal with it better and better with each passing day. I’m not the girl I used to be, and I don’t think I would have been able to cut him off completely and walk away with the little bit of pride I had left in tact, or make it through that period of my life if I didn’t have the support of my family and friends.
I never would have believed that I would be where I am today. Never. I’m also aware that I never would have taken a leap of faith and trusted myself if I was still with him.
I ran into him, and I was so angry at him at first, because he felt that trying to hug me was the best thing for that moment. I didn’t hug him, but I walked away from that situation, knowing that the best thing that ever happened to me… was the day I walked away from him, that was the day I gained my freedom back.
That is why; I now know when a situation is more toxic for me, than healthy for me. I thank him for it, because at that point in time, being the woman he wanted me to be was preventing me from being the woman I was destined to be.
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