I’d been dating a guy for a few months when I realized he was too good to be true. He wasn’t charming, he was manipulative. He wasn’t loyal, he stuck around because it was convenient. He wasn’t a victim, he was his own destroyer. I wanted to reach out and confide in my friends about what I was going through, but since I couldn’t leave the relationship, I thought it was better to keep it under wraps.
I was holding on. Things with the guy had been amazing in the beginning of our relationship, and I was holding on for that time to come back. I wanted to feel happy and in love with him again, and I told myself that I just had to wait out the dark days. Ha, what a joke! The dark days were the reality of the relationship, but I just didn’t want to see it—and I didn’t want people to tell me that, either.
I was pulling up my sleeves. I had the crazy idea in my head that I just had to work harder to get our relationship back on track, and that I just needed more time to make it happen. I didn’t want my friends to see the tough times, though, because I feared they’d say it wasn’t worth sticking around during them. (They’d have been right, but anyway.)
I was lonely AF. It’s really crappy to go through struggles on one’s own. Yes, I’d made the choice to stay away from friends, but it was stupid. I needed help and advice. I was just dreading the type of advice I thought they’d give me, so I chose to be alone. What BS.
I kept the pretense going. I wanted them to think I was happy and in love, but what the hell for? I was miserable! I just didn’t want to be seen as miserable. I cared too much about being seen as perfect and living an amazing life. SMH.
My boyfriend was embarrassing AF. Deep down, I knew the guy was really bad for me. I wasn’t feeling happy or good. I was a bundle of nerves every day. But I hoped that if I just helped him through his tough times, he could become that amazing man he’d been earlier in our relationship. I didn’t want my friends to see this dark dude, though, and honestly, I was embarrassed by him. I didn’t want him to be rude, angry, and idiotic around my friends. I knew if they hung out with this jerk, they’d say I could do better—and they would’ve been so right.
My lies started to crumble. I thought I was hiding my real situation and feelings, but I didn’t take into account how the lies were starting to show on my face—literally. A friend came to visit one day and she asked why I was looking so drained and tired. I looked in the mirror and saw what she saw. I was a wreck. This was not the face of a happy person.
I wasn’t ready to face the reality. It sounds crazy, but even though I knew I was tired AF of being with a toxic man, I just wasn’t ready to face the reality that I had to leave him. I wasn’t done hoping for things to get better, even though it was destroying me. Ugh.
I feared what they’d think. My friends knew me as the type of woman who spoke her mind, had strong opinions, and didn’t allow people to treat her like crap. I feared they’d judge me for losing myself and staying with a toxic loser. I couldn’t bear to be seen as less in their eyes, so I stayed away from them.
I needed to take my time. I didn’t want people to tell me to wake up and get out of the relationship. I just wasn’t ready to hear that, as crazy as it sounds. But you know what? Maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t jump ship just because of what my friends would’ve advised me to do. They were on the outside of the situation, and I was blinded inside of it. I had to take my time and come to realize things on my own. I was the only one who could save me.
Self-worth? what’s that? I had no self-esteem or self-worth. It’s sad but so true. It was only by getting treated so badly by the guy – the guy I was trying to heal and love—that I realized he was total BS and I had to look out for myself. I had to hit rock bottom in order to bounce back and realize just how worthy I was. The good thing about this is that when I had that light-bulb moment, I wanted to walk in the light and leave that douchebag behind me, knowing that there was no way in hell I’d ever return.
My friends were shocked. When I eventually got out of the relationship and confided in my friends about what had been going on, they were shocked I’d been in the situation. But I reminded them it’s so much easier to end up in a toxic or abusive relationship than one thinks! It can happen to anyone, even the strong, self-assured, and fierce women.
I regret some things. I don’t regret doing things my way and in my own time when it felt right for me. But, I do regret cutting friends from my life. They just wanted the best for me and hearing logical, objective words when I was stuck in a whirlwind of a toxic relationship would’ve given me the perspective I desperately needed. Plus, it would’ve been really nice to know that beyond the darkness of my relationship, there were women holding lights to guide me back to who I was.
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