First to set the scene, I was a freshman in High School and just landed a spot on the Varsity girls soccer team. Growing up my dad always pushed me to practice practice practice, and if I would have ended up anything less than varsity, it would have only been a major letdown and disappointment.
There was a senior boy, who seemed like a man. He played football and basketball and was stunning to say the least. He was the kind of boy you would walk the long way to class for, just to possibly get a glimpse of. You know the kind? I ooh’d and aww’d over him all year and it was the best feeling in the world when a teammate of mine introduced us. I was on cloud nine. He signed my yearbook and then went off to college to never be seen again.
Oh how I wish the story ended there.
I ran into him the following Christmas break at Fred Meyer and he said we should hang out while he was home. “Um yes please!” I thought. But cooly said “Sure,” and gave him my phone number. He asked me to a movie and I thought my parents would absolutely be excited for me.
Well, they weren’t. They knew how madly in love I had been with him the previous year. Why wouldn’t they let him take me to a movie? They said he was too old. But I didn’t understand. That night I made one of the worst mistakes of my life.
I snuck out for the first time.
He came and picked me up night after night. Each night he was more charming than the last. Until the day arrived that he would be heading back to school. His school was about and hour and a half away, which was exactly not far enough away to stop us from seeing each other.
A couple of months passed and he asked me to be his official girlfriend. My dream come true. I was so blinded with the idea of this superstar, that I couldn’t see him for who he actually was.
He was broken.
He ended up flunking out of college and moving back into town to work at a gas station. That summer we saw each other almost every day and began to fight, a lot. My first drink of alcohol was at a party he threw, and I was the only one there still in high school (sophomore). He hit me and I didn’t know what to do. I ran away only to have to come back since
there was no where else to go.
As the months passed, he told me I was crazy. He told me I was many awful things. He deleted every number from my phone he didn’t know. He called me on every break at school to make sure I wouldn’t talk to anyone in the halls. He told me I was a bad girlfriend if I didn’t. I believed him.
The day came when I tried to leave him. He knocked me out cold. I woke up on the floor and saw his face in fear. I cried as I ran out of that old apartment and finally called a friend to help me. He chased me and said things like “I love you,” as I ran as fast as I could. He told me I wasn’t being fair and I needed to give him another chance.
My parents finally found out about our romance, months too late. After much fighting with them about it, they agreed to letting us date since we were going to do it anyway.
Bruises showed up all over my body. For each one, he helped me make up an excuse.
But thankfully my story doesn’t end here.
My dreams far surpassed this boy. He was not what was going to make me happy. Having the senior football star was not worth loosing all I had worked for. I realized the lie he had been telling me wasn’t true. I wasn’t crazy and this relationship wasn’t by any means normal or healthy.
I knew the only way out was if I had help. I told my mom <almost> everything and she helped me put an end to the disaster for good.
Can I just tell you that was the most freeing moment of my entire life. The chains were set free.
The main thing that stopped me from breaking up with him sooner was a lie I believed whole-heartedly. “He will never make it without me.” I thought I was the only one who knew him enough to “fix” him.
Unsurprisingly, he was able to move on. If anything, I was only standing in the way from him finding the help he really needed.
I can forgive him for the way he treated me because I know we are all messed up and broken. I know that he has been hurt too. Forgiving someone does not mean you are saying what they did was okay. Forgiving them is a crucial step to truly freeing yourself from the pain they have caused you.
Fast-forward a couple of years and I met a man who truly cherished my heart. He saw where my heart had been hurt and he was willing to love me anyway. He showed me what it meant to truly love someone. Everyday he puts me before himself. Never has he tried to cover his faults or try to convince me I’m crazy or worse. He has shown me that love covers all wrongs. Love does not hurt you. Love can admit its faults. Love knows when to say I’m sorry. Love doesn’t hit you. Love doesn’t manipulate you, and love certainly doesn’t rip you to pieces.
I was such a strong girl and never thought I would fall victim to abuse. Yet, I did. So if you are in an abusive relationship, don’t believe the lie that you somehow deserve it. Whatever kind of abuse it is, YOU DO NOT DESERVE IT. Period. There are much better things out there for you than being beaten and broken.
My friends, I am in love and it is so beautiful.
Wishing you all the best on your journey. ❤