Trigger Warning, this post talks about physical and emotional abuse.
The person I am today is so far removed from the person I was a few years ago. I was broken, alone, trapped and invisible and had let myself become the very definition of a “psycho” girlfriend, forever chasing the highs, only to live with extreme lows. However I am no longer that person, I am greeted by such amazing emails and messages from you all asking how I am so happy, which is why, it’s time to share.
I have wanted to write this post for such a long time but in all honesty I didn’t have the guts and there is still a huge part of me that doesn’t want to upset the person this involves. I don’t regret anything that happened because I am in love with who I am today, however, if I can help just one of you to get up, grab your things and walk away, then experiencing this was totally worth it.
Several years ago a once happy relationship turned toxic. There had been so many signs that he was cheating on me however I chose to ignore them. He had all the answers and promised these women were just trying to break us up. My gut was screaming at me to listen but my heart was obsessed, as I loved the very bones of him and he was armed with every answer to make me stay. We had been happy together for years but suddenly I found myself checking his phone, trying to login to his Facebook, even driving out late at night to find him. I was a woman obsessed, my heartbeat was always pounding in my head, I couldn’t sleep, I doubted every female I came across and started to hate my own appearance in the mirror.
I became the very definition of a psycho girlfriend, a term I hate but can relate to. The funny thing is, that version of me never existed before that relationship and it’s never reared its ugly head again. The difference is trust. Without it you have nothing, you turn into a detective and fight with your very own instinct every day. What actually upsets me most today is that there are women out there who will only know of me as ‘that psycho ex’ and that there are so many other women out there being branded the same.
It’s crazy to think how much I let one person change me and even more upsetting to think that even at my lowest, I would still do everything I could to make sure he was ok, even if I was broken on the floor. I lost friends, male and female, confidence in my appearance but more importantly confidence in my personality. I was made to feel like I was the flirty one and that it was my fault that he had no trust in me. I felt like I was letting him down, that it was me who didn’t deserve him.
My weeks had a pattern, he would love me on a Sunday and then slowly destroy me by the Wednesday, leaving me lying awake all night without contact, only for him to come home drunk and filled with anger. Every Thursday I would find myself in tears as someone on the internet tagged me in a photo of him with someone else or forwarded me sexts. It had to stop.
The relationship became physical, regular pushes, punches and endless broken glass. Weirdly I actually ended up craving the drama as at least it meant he felt something towards me and once it was over, he would be filled with such remorse that I’d receive the love I had been longing for. This wasn’t right and we both knew it. I hated what had happened to our once happy relationship and was embarrassed about the type of girlfriend I had become. I was stronger than this and we both deserved so much more.
The relationship should have ended at the two year mark when I first caught him cheating, the final three were torture for both of us and I just wish that we had both had the guts to walk away. Growing up is never easy and we all take different paths. I thought I could help him work on his anger but that never works when alcohol gets in the way.
Love does crazy things to all of us and it will always be the most exhilarating part of your life, but that doesn’t mean you should suffer physical pain, verbal abuse, loss of trust, a change to your own personality, or the loss of friends or family. Walking away will always be hard to do but years down the line you’ll hopefully feel as I do, happy for the highs, lessons learned from the lows and knowing that you’ll never let it happen again.
Photo credit: The incredible Alex Cameron.