The Girl is currently sleeping beside me because she has to work tonight. So freakin adorable. I find myself falling a little more each day and it is so very worth it.

Today I want to talk about a difficult topic. Difficult because not only has it happened to me and people I love but also because it tends to have a taboo around it. Abuse. Emotional and physical abuse (in this case spousal or relationship).

First of all I want to stress more importantly than anything ALL ABUSE IS BAD! While some situations may be worse than others anything that traumatizes you is BAD. Your pain is valid and your recovery is worth fighting for.

Today I dealt with a very close friend having to get out of an abusive (emotionally, psychologically, and potentially physically) relationship and I was a country away. We had no idea how he would react. We were going off of previous threats that he had made to her in the past and frankly I was scared. I was scared that I was about to lose a friend and at one point I even called the cops and asked them to drive by her house just in case. Luckily it looks like everything is settling and she will be free from this situation. The thing is that its not that simple. Because while the physical threat is gone it’s going to take time to heal. And sometimes I feel that people don’t understand that.

My very first relationship was a psychologically and emotionally abusive relationship. I never noticed it until many years later when a therapist pointed it out to me. Long story short: I used to have confidence in myself and I used to have self esteem but that’s all pretty much gone now. I struggle every day with my self worth and image. And pretty much 99.9% of that is because during my early teenage years (14/15) I was with a boy that would repeatedly tell me how he dated me out of pity, how I should stay with him because no one else would want someone that was loud and spoke their mind. He would pull away from kisses and make disgusted faces if I showed any sort of public affection. He cheated on me with someone who I thought was a close friend and even started to spread rumors about me throughout school when I refused to sleep with him because I wasn’t ready. All of this piled up until I frankly became a mistrusting basket case (and many more things but frankly there’s not enough room here and some things I’m still working through).

I have to work every day to not look at myself and be disgusted. I cant take compliments because I automatically assume that they’re either out of pity or because the person feels obligated to make them. I am terrified of showing affection first, of leaning in for a kiss or reaching for someones hand. And if I do those things and someone pulls away, even in jest, it crushes me. And I know that this all comes from him. I know that those lies and misdeeds are the cause of this and yet I cant help it. I have been working on it and I have gotten better. But I still struggle constantly. And it’s hard. Especially when I know that someone is teasing or playing and I know that they care for me but there’s still this little voice in my head that says I’m not good enough and it sucks and its painful.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that abuse comes in many forms and affects everyone differently. If you’re with someone that has been in an abusive relationship in the past just be patient. If they’re anything like me they are really trying and really working on it. Somethings just take time and practice. And having a partner that is patient and kind and reassuring helps so freakin much. And no matter how many times I tell you that you’re crazy for calling me pretty just please keep doing so. Because each time you do I believe it just a little bit more.

-M

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