You never think it's going to happen to you. Of course, you hear stories of others and how it's affected their lives, their confidence and their ability to smile, but, no, you're different. You'd know the signs, you'd never let anyone do that to you. But it's not that straight forward, is it? Everything starts out fine, you're laughing, joking around, you're happy. Isn't that the way it always starts? You find yourself wanting to spend more and more time with them; they become apart of your day to day life and you start to look towards the futures and wonder about the "what if's" in life. You wear a smile on your face and yet slowly but surely you become isolated. You start to forget who you are, your personal traits become lost. You're stripped of what makes you, you and you don't even notice it. You're happy, this is normal you tell yourself.
Every day you see that person, and if you don't you're filled with dread and guilt. You should have made time for them. You're being selfish. You stupid girl, do you not care about them? And that's how it goes. Day in, day out. The days you do see them it's always about them. What can you do to make them happy? You're so lucky, you don't want to do anything to rock the boat, you don't want to lose them. If you mess this up nobody will ever love you.
Friendships become a distant memory, you're completely isolated. You don't talk to your friends and family anymore, but I guess you don't need them anyway. They only bring you negativity and drama. You're better without them. You shouldn't want to spend time with them, you've got everything you could ever need in your "partner". You don't see the warning signs, you don't understand people's concern, not even when small bruises and marks start to appear on your skin. It was an accident, it won't happen again, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have upset you, I was asking for it. I completely understand why you acted out the way you did. I don't blame you. Please forgive me, you say.
You start missing meals. You could do with to budge a little weight anyway. You're letting yourself go and that's definitely not attractive. You're fat. You're ugly. You're a waste of time and space. Nobody will ever love you. You've got marks on your ribs from the last time you acted up, they're more prominent now your rib cage is showing. Don't worry though, it's our little secret. As they push for the relationship to progress you build the confidence to say no, but they don't like that one bit. You're useless, nobody would want you anyway. You start to look for help, but you're alone. You pushed away everyone that cared and you didn't even notice you were doing it. It's like you're waking from a dream, everything's a little cloudy, you're not entirely sure where you are but you're fearful of something. Perhaps it's the uncertainty.
Walk away. You know what you should do, but you can't. You feel paralyzed, you no longer have control over your own body. You're not your own person anymore. Your identity is gone. You drown yourself the only way you know how, you start dressing in over sized clothes, that way no one will notice the missing weight or the tally counting a number of times you've "disappointed them". You submerge yourself with books, take your mind away from it. You try and talk, but nothing ever comes out. What will happen if they find out you betrayed them? They'll be furious.
After months of this, it's as though the clouds finally start to break. You can't explain it, but finally, there is someone who helps. They never understand, how could you even begin to tell your story? Nobody would listen, people would view you differently. You go on, you find the strength and you manage to break free. It's strange how you can remember the entire "relationship" up until this point, isn't it? How you remember everything they did to you, everything they made you feel, but you can't recall exactly how you managed to walk away.
I know this isn't the usual content style for around here, but I recently was reminded of you. Not like I'd ever forget. I bumped into someone who reminded me of you. Yes, that's a better way of phrasing it. I'd never forget you, you were scarred on my arm, my memory and there's no escaping that. But I'm stronger now, I'm happy.
If any of this rings true to you whether past or present, please remember you're not alone. This does not define you and you will get over this. You will be able to laugh and smile one day, you'll be able to open up your heart to someone again, and you'll be able to love again. It's unfair to tarnish everyone with the same brush, but honestly, who could blame you with what happened. If you feel you need support, then there are a bunch of confidential and safe spaces you can talk, why not try here. We all walk around with these battle scars, but just remeber, you are good enough.