This isn’t a scheduled post. This wasn’t planned, thought out or even really considered postable until yesterday.I feel like I need to throw a content warning in here just incase. Who knows if this post will even stay on the blog, it might not even make it out of the drafts. But in case it does, I want to state this as a safety measure:
Content Warning: Emotional Abuse
I won’t be posting any kind of actual details, but just the way that I felt then compared to the way I feel now. I know that might not really call for a CW but when I read survivors posts or pov I sometimes get really emotional or panicky.
It feels so weird typing this right now, because I am in such an amazing place currently, but yesterday marked my 4 year anniversary of leaving a very unhealthy relationship, and a friend suggested that I talk about it. So 4 years ago yesterday I got to start my life over again. Thanks to a best friend and his van, I was able to leave a city and a person that I dropped literally everything for, and I got to come back home.
I’m going to share an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote while I was still there, about a month before I left.
” I have never been the type to get stranded somewhere. Never the type of girl to get legitimately stuck. I have always thought things out so that when things boil down, there is nothing left unknown, nothing left to hurt me, that I didn’t already know would. I’m here now, in this place that is okay most of the time, in this place with you. I guess that this is the indicator of how much you meant to me before everything. I would never sacrifice my ability to drop everything and run away at any given second, not for just anyone, but for you I signed a dotted line …or maybe two? and now I’m forced to stay in one place for a year with you. It’s nights like these, when we fall asleep back to back and regardless of how cold the distance between us, I am genuinely relieved to not be wrapped up in you. These are the nights and the kind of feelings that show me how wrong I was to get stranded here.”
(21 year old me had a kind of cringey style of writing, sorry!)
I never realized how silly it was that I felt so stuck there. So helpless! No piece of paper should be able to trap you in a relationship you don’t want to be in anymore. No lease gets to dictate who you have to share a room or bed with. No dotted line can suddenly grow prison bars and trap you somewhere. If you aren’t feeling safe or loved or happy in a situation, don’t let a piece of paper bind you anywhere.
I’m sitting here now looking back on those desperate feelings, and I can’t help but feel a bit reminiscent about it all, if thats not completely messed up. I remember writing this, late one night when I couldn’t sleep. I was so uneasy, and trying to contact anyone I could, but it was 3 in the morning and no one was awake, so I just opened a blank document and started typing everything I felt. It had no punctuation, so many spelling errors, but I just kept typing. I talk about the things that had happened that day, my breaking point, the things that were said and I just got it all out. I remember thinking to myself that I should just leave, pack a bag, and write a letter to our landlord saying sorry. But I shook it off, thinking it was impossible and then I convinced myself that how I was feeling was normal, or at least it was my normal now, and that everything would be fine, and that I had no choice. So I closed my laptop, and crawled back into bed.
I wish I could go back and knock some sense into myself. Tell myself to go with my gut feeling, and just leave. Tell myself if you don’t leave, its only going to get worse.
I wish I knew what I know now. Which is I didn’t have to wait for it to get worse to have an excuse to leave. I also wish I didn’t leave so much damage to clean up when I left, and that leaving silently and tactfully would have been enough. I’ve since found my mantra of “do no harm, but take no shit,” which has really helped me in situations where I’ve felt taken for granted or hurt. Its a reminder that I don’t need to have the last word, or the hardest hit, just as long as I stand up for myself and what I believe in. Thats enough. I wish I could have realized that earlier on in life.
So here we are, 4 years later. I’m 25 years old, working full time in a career that he never thought I’d make it in, living with the love of my life, despite the fact he said I was unlovable, and happy with the person I have become, even though he told me that he was doing me a favour by being with “someone like me.”
So what I hope you have taken away from all of this, if anything is that you are a strong person, and if someone in your life is tearing you down or trying to dull your shine, you are in complete control and you can edit that out of your life, no matter how permanent it might feel. I learned this after the fact, and after some damage was done, but there are still people that haven’t learned this yet, or people that have learned it too late, and that weighs heavy on my heart.
I spent all yesterday feeling like I wasn’t doing enough, and that raising awareness can only spread so far, but there is so much more work to be done. I spent part of my day researching different organizations, local shelters and programs that aim to help people who have been in emotionally or physically traumatic relationships. And I spent the other part of my day trying to brainstorm what I can do to contribute. So I came up with a little something that might work.
I designed this little graphic that says “Do no harm, but take no shit” on it and put it up on my Red Bubble page. On the page you’ll be able to see which products I’ve enabled but here are my favourite ones! (Of course they are stationery related!)
I’ve decided that any money made from any product with my graphic on it, will be donated to a local or online program that focuses on rehabilitating and empowering abuse victims/survivors. I’m still researching to find which one I want to contribute to, but if you know of any please please contact me with your suggestions so I can look into them! I’ll be posting updates once I pick one! (Note: I’m looking for an all inclusive group or program! Groups that exclude male abuse victims don’t really sit that well with me. Men can be abused too, and they should be provided support as well, in my opinion.)
As usual, thank you so much for reading this post and please stay tuned for more content in the future.