( Caution: This post discusses mental and emotional abuse. This may be a trigger for stress and anxiety for some readers. If you are suffering any type of abuse and depression stemming from such acts, I encourage you to seek help. You are not alone and you can make it through)
When things appear to be falling apart, those beautiful broken pieces can be shifting into the place they were always meant to be.
I haven’t always been so at peace with myself and the woman I am today. I have been down the road of self-hatred, brainwashed and utterly convinced of my worthlessness. Avoiding the mirror when I could, and avoiding eye contact with myself when I couldn’t.
Mental and emotional abuse can be a terrifying thing. Especially when you don’t see what is happening. In the early stages, you believe you still know who you are. You may make excuses for the way you are spoken to, the tone of voice being used and the harsh words being thrown your way. You rationalize every negative interaction to the best of your ability as something you must have done wrong. Maybe said something the wrong way. You didn’t do something quickly enough.
So you quickly apologize and promise to do better next time. Not realizing that with each day that passes in this constant state of unrest, the person you are is being chipped away. Slowly and methodically, you are being stripped of who you once were to your very core fundamentals and being transformed into what someone else would have you be.
No longer are you the strong, independent person you knew yourself to be. You are now a shell.
That is a painful place to be. Realizing that you are no longer the person you were. And also knowing that it will be a long road to travel for healing. But it can be done!
I wish I could say that this realization dawned on me rather quickly, but it did not. It took family and friends, both blood relatives and my spiritual family, to help me realize I was not in a safe place. Nor was I loved. I was merely allowing myself to be used.
My faith unfortunately suffered during this period, as did my relationship with God. I was completely convinced that if an earthly man was unable to love me, then how could a loving God, so compassionate and steadfast, choose to love me?
This had been something I had struggled with for a while, quite honestly. But my turning point came when I became brave enough….to leave. After that day, I began to see how broken I was. How destroyed my mind and emotions were. And how very tattered my faith had become. I was seeing life through an unaltered lens, and I could finally see the fractured shards of the woman I once was.
I missed her.
It took some time to reevaluate my life and begin that healing process. And the extensive process of unlearning all of the abusive behavior I had been conditioned to receive before. I had to relearn how to love myself. I had to relearn how to be happy with my own company and the woman I was becoming all over again.
It has been a long road. And will still be a long journey before I feel completely whole again. But as I travel this journey, I know I am not alone. I know there are other people out there, regardless of gender, who have and are still going through what I have escaped.
My hope is to offer peace and encouragement. Remember, you are not alone. You are seen. You have a voice. And you can make it through this.
I would love to hear about your own self-love beginnings and how they have lead you to where you are today. Feel free to share if you would like. And thank you all for reading! God Bless!!