Survivor Story #6


The story was a fairy tale, right out of the movies. We met and became best friends at the age of 14, but he lived across the country. One day, on one of our 6 hour long phone calls, he tells me that he’s moving across the country to my home town. We begin planning what it would look like to finally be with each other again. I thought he was such a gentleman, asking my dad to date me as soon as he moved, I could not believe the type of guy I got. We had many conversations on my boundaries and morals and he was more than understanding. How lucky was I?!

Sooner than later, the world got a glimpse into the relationship. It was idolized by many. So many people saw it and wish they had what we did. The perfectionist I am, I strived to keep this façade. This was an easy task for about a year until things began to happen behind closed doors. Controlling, manipulative, emotionally and sexually abusive was the guy I found this once “gentleman” to be. But, how could I let my family, church, friends, and spectators down by it not being perfect like they saw? I continued to put on a happy face and assure myself that it was okay, this is what love looks like.

Love looks like being told you aren’t allowed to hang out with anyone if it takes a moment away from your boyfriend, and God forbid you hang out with someone of the opposite sex, prepare yourself to be ignored for hours. Constantly being told you’re not enough, that is normal, right? He is just trying to better you as a person, right? He knows you best, right? Compromising your physical boundaries because it is how HE wants to feel loved and you’re selfish to have morals. Manipulating you to make you feel crazy. So. Much. Pain.

Four years of pain, hurt and manipulation behind closed doors while striving for perfection for the world to see. Until one day, he finally said it. The words he had alluded to and threatened for 3 years. “I am breaking up with you because you are not enough and I have been trying to make you the girl I was going to marry for long enough and you’re not it”. That sentence absolutely stung, I would never be pretty enough, confident enough, sexy enough, athletic enough or smart enough for him. But, I already knew that.

So, although that sentence stung, those words also meant freedom. Freedom from all I did having to get his approval. Freedom from being pushed around to go too far in the back of his car. Freedom from being told I was insecure. Freedom from the fight for his attention. I was free. I am free. I have found who I am and where my joy comes from. Not from a boy but from Christ and from the unique individual He has made me to be. I have found a confidence I have never had before. I am content. I am still healing but I am happy and I am thankful for the day that the sentence intended to hurt me more and leave me lost and broken left me found and catapulted into a life of getting to know the incredible, unique self I was made to be.

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