I wanna start off by saying, if this helps one person then I have done my job by sharing this story. This isn’t something I like to talk about often and honestly its hard even attempting to write this because I spent so long trying to surprise this time in my life. But, I’ve recently come to the realization that this made me who I am. It contributed to a lot of the reasons that I suffer from anxiety and depression and I wanna share it with you all.
When I was 15, my parents uprooted me to a state that I had no interest in living. I was moving from all my friends and going to somewhere that I was not entirely too thrilled to live in…Missouri. We knew no one in the town except my aunt, uncle and two cousins. My parents and I had went for my cousins wedding and my parents decided it was where we were meant to move to. I disagreed but I was 15 so…I had zero say. Looking back, it was probably the best decision for me at the time and I will always say that I grew up in Rolla, Missouri. Because…I did. I learned a lot there but, we’re getting off topic.
I remember the first time I saw him. It was science class and I was feeling extremely awkward because I was the “new” kid. I sat in the back for pretty much the entire semester before, he finally walked to the back of the room as I was texting my mom about something probably not important and said “put that phone away.” I looked up and saw a half crooked smile and he walked away. I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat. From then on, he would say small things to me and we had some mutual friends in common who would constantly tell me how he liked me. Ya know, high school stuff. He’d walk me to class, text me, etc but there was never really any commitment. I was 15 and smitten and wanted so badly to call him my boyfriend.
It was Christmas Break, I was sitting in my aunts kitchen when he texted me and I was beaming from ear to ear. My cousin, Trevor (may he RIP), made fun of me. I laughed and walked to the living room to text him. Finally, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Let me stop here and say, yes I know it’s cheesy that he asked over a text but I didn’t care. We started dating January of 2006. Over the course of the next couple years, I completely fell in love. I even lost my virginity to him at 16 because I swore he was going to be the one I spent the rest of my life with.
My senior year, he had graduated the year before and well let’s just say that I should’ve saw the signs. He began to get controlling to the point where I didn’t even have a license because he wanted me to depend on him for everything. My Senior Prom, he told me not to wear heels because I would be taller than him in them and because I wouldn’t keep them on. I scoffed and wore them anyways only for him to tell me when we pulled up, “if you take them off you can walk home.” I was petrified he would do it so I didn’t take them off. This is just some of the psychological abuse he would do yet I had no clue.
After I graduated, we broke up. I cried like a baby and rebelled like no other. I ended up seeing a guy for a short time and when my ex found out, he flipped. He called me and told me we needed to go to lunch the next day and being so blindly in love with him and wanting it to work out because I was 18 and young, I went. We spent the entire day together and it felt so magical. Like things were finally how they used to be in the beginning. We had spent three years fighting constantly and it just wasn’t right anymore but I loved him so who cared. We spent 3 weeks of spending every Sunday together before he finally said that we could get back together. I was so ecstatic and we immediately went back to acting like we had never broken up. He was living with a friend and I spent every waking minute at their house. It was not a good situation and I witnessed more drug abuse than I probably should have.
A few months after that, I told him we needed to get out of there so he bought a house. Around this time, my parents had decided to move back to Florida to be around my brother and sister and their kids. I told them I would stay behind and live with my boyfriend and everything would be fine. I lied. During the time that we had been living with his friend, my then boyfriend had start physically abusing me. Small things but still physical and the psychological abuse had gotten worse. I’m talking leaving me on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere because I embarrassed him in his friends moms house type of abuse.
The physical abuse only got worse and I became his “bitch” so to speak. He would spank me if I didn’t fold his laundry and put it in the right drawer. If I didn’t have dinner done for him when he got home, I would surely get beat to the point where I couldn’t sit. I ate my feelings and ended up being 200 pounds when I left him. I wouldn’t show up for work because I was so depressed that even going out was something I had no desire to do. I spent every moment of my day, attached to him and what he needed or wanted. I was quite around his family and they just assumed I was rude. They didn’t know that I had basically shut down because this man that they loved was hurting me mentally, physically and emotionally. Daily he would tell me that I was fat, no one would ever love me, that it disgusted him to have sex with me and that I should be grateful he chose me. I believed him. Why would someone ever love me?
I used to be so confident. I’m talking “I’m so beautiful” comments on the daily. He took that away from me.
My breaking point, or revelation I should say, came when we went to my parents house in Florida for Christmas. We had been together for 4 years and everyone including myself assumed he would propose. He knew I had always wanted a Christmas proposal. When he literally got me nothing for Christmas, I knew I had to get out. We went back home to Missouri and I told him I just missed my family too much and maybe some distance would do our relationship good. He agreed too easily and I knew something was up. I then became paranoid and found out he was cheating on me. All the “late night” working was him going to another girls house while I sat home. I confronted him the night before I left, he went to punch me in the face and I moved and when I did he put a hole in our bedroom wall. That night, he slept on the couch.
I left the next morning in tears only to find out 4 hours later that he had the girl he was cheating on me with come over minutes after I left. I knew it was a matter of time before things would be over between us but man, did I not wanna believe it. In the back of my mind, I felt free. I was finally away from the one person who made me feel like I was nothing. Three days into being home with my parents, he broke up with me. I cried for weeks and begged him to reconsider. I didn’t think it was the right thing for us. We were fire and gasoline. We weren’t right for each other.
I spiraled for a couple years until I found my self worth again. It’s been a journey finding that girl who I was before he broke me. I suffer from anxiety over every little thing and I have these moments where depression kicks in hard. I have wanted to walk away from life more times than I care to admit. I have struggled so hard with coming to terms that I’m worthy of love. Even now with my husband, I think “why does he love me” or “am I pretty enough.” I struggle with my weight all the time because I taught myself to eat my feelings and during a depression that’s all I do. Eat. It’s a battle but I fight it every day because deep down, I know the girl I once was exists and she’s fighting like hell to come back.