Okay, before I start this, please know that this was extremely hard to write. And it’s not because of what you’re thinking. No, I’m no longer heartbroken or sad. It seems to be assumed a whole lot that when you talk about a past relationship at all, you’re still hung up on the person, but that is a myth. A lie. And you’ll find out why in just a little bit. Also, I had to think of my audience–the people this post might affect or hurt. There was a lot to take into consideration, but I have to remind myself that this is a place to write down my thoughts, despite what anyone says. This is my truth. And it’s more-so about the strength I’ve gained in the last 7 months, and the reason God has been the real homie ever since. If you do not wish to read because you feel awkward, PLEASE do not continue. But if you would like to gain insight and maybe find your own strength within a toxic relationship you are in now, please keep reading.
On a Thursday night, the person who was my fiancé (I feel weird referring to him as anything else) texted me informing me that he was going out with friends who just got back from deployment. Of course I was ecstatic for him and never thought twice about it. I ended up falling asleep, and the next morning, I woke up to nothing. No text, no call, nada–which was extremely out of character. There was a small part of me that began to worry. I checked his Twitter to see if he had posted anything about the night before–and his Twitter was gone. I checked his Instagram–gone. Facebook–gone. At this point. I knew something was wrong, but I thought it had something to do with the guys he went out with, like maybe they weren’t as safe to be around. I tried calling him multiple times, texting him telling him that I was worried, because I knew something wasn’t right. My instinct kicked in and I just KNEW.
I ended up getting a **text** from him later on in the morning telling me that he was on his way to work. That was it. No explanation. And if you think I just sound like a crazy person at this point, well then just keep on reading, dude. I tried calling again to try and reach him before he got into work, and he wouldn’t respond. To make a long story short–he ended up refusing to talk to me all weekend, until Sunday night when he texted me asking me how much he owes for the wedding, stating, “You’ll get your money.”
That was it. That was how he chose to end a 4 year relationship and 2 year engagement.
But the sad part is that it wasn’t the first time. It was maybe the 10th? 15th? I think I lost track. He constantly tried breaking up with me within the 4 years we were together. But I fought for him because that’s what I thought you were supposed to do. And because he’d break down every time, and make me promise that no matter how many times he tried doing it, I’d never leave him. Because he needed me. I was needed. I was his cure. I was his answer to every problem, and sadly, I began to feel special.
I never told my parents when he did it… because if I did, then it would be real. And I always knew that I could change his mind. But this time… this Sunday. I told my mom and dad. I sat on my bathroom floor sobbing with my mom. Screaming on her lap. Holding my chest while she cried into my matted hair. I was exhausted. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t ‘fix’ him anymore. I remember sitting on the bathroom floor with her, telling her over and over again, “But he was good to me, he was so good to me.” As if I was trying to convince her. Trying to convince myself.
But he wasn’t.
He hurt me in so many ways. Made me feel stupid. Constantly saying, “Use your brain, Alexandra.” Talking down to me, as if I was 4 years old. I wasn’t allowed to be mad at him, otherwise, he’d find a way to flip the victim and throw a pity party for himself. He’d make me feel guilty for spending time with my family when he wasn’t around, so I began to revolve my every movement around him. But then he made me feel like a terrible daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, cousin, friend, etc. because I isolated myself (with him and only him) away from them. He’d get mad at me for making plans without his consent. He would say horrendous things about my family, even though they treated him like their own family. And he’d always tell me, “I can’t wait to get you away from them.” Away. Far far away. He was wishy-washy. One day he’d be in such a good mood and say so many nice things about me and the people I loved, but then as soon as he was in a bad mood, it all came crashing down. Full force. To understand this rollercoaster, just listen to Taylor Swift’s “Dear John”. It describes it perfectly. “You’d paint me a blue sky, then go back and turn it to rain. And I lived in your chess game, but you changed the rules every day. Wondering which version of you I might get on the phone tonight.”
He’d make me feel worthless when I wasn’t in the mood to satisfy him. ‘I never did anything for him’. He’d delete every picture with me in it off of his social media any time he was mad at me, even though I literally did nothing. He liked to do it most when I was hanging out with my family or friends without him. But that’s how I was supposed to catch the hint that he wasn’t happy with me and that he ‘no longer wished to be with me.’ He’d lie about small things. About big things. I remember I went on twitter randomly one night and saw that he tweeted that he was being deployed around the same time as our wedding. He tweeted it. Didn’t tell me, didn’t even discuss anything with me. And then I was made to feel crazy for being angry with him. And the thing was, it wasn’t even true. He made it up. He would lie about things that he didn’t even need to lie about. He’d tell me that I’d have no choice but to work out and eat healthy as soon as we were married. The list goes on.
Well, on the Tuesday after the Sunday night I spent naked on my bathroom floor (because I needed to feel the cool tile on my sweat-soaked body)…I was sitting in the Starbucks on my campus. I received a message from a girl on Facebook. And as soon as I saw it, I knew. I knew everything. She went on to ask me if I was engaged to him. She told me that he’s been talking to her best friend for over two weeks–while we were still ‘okay’ and Skyping each other every night *BECAUSE HE WAS JUST STATIONED IN EL PASO MAYBE THREE WEEKS BEFORE THIS WENT DOWN* She then went on to tell me that he’s been staying at their house every night for over a week. Okay so to catch you up…this is on a Tuesday. This whole thing began on the Thursday night before, so an entire week would be from the Tuesday before, cool? Cool. So anyway, I found out.
All the while, he was emailing me (because my dad was a dad and did what any dad would do and told him to never contact me again.) But he was asking for forgiveness. Throwing pity parties. The whole shabang. While he was still sleeping with her and making her feel like the only girl in the world. Blah blah blah. It wasn’t the first time he cheated, so it just didn’t surprise me at this point. He was so good at coming up with excuses. He was so good with keeping his cool when he was confronted every time…because he knew that if he acted defensive, he’d sound guilty. He was so good at having a story prepared.
BUT MY WHOLE POINT TO THIS:
The weekend that he was ignoring me, I prayed to God. I asked him for guidance because I wasn’t sure if I was on the right path. I wasn’t sure if he was who I was supposed to marry. I begged God for answers because I was at a loss.
The moment I asked God for help, He answered my prayer. He brought darkness into light. Not only that, but He gave me the strength to walk away.
No matter how many times the guy tried pulling me back in. I began ignoring him. The guy thought it was because I needed time and space. But he soon realized that I was being serious. And he began to get angry. He was furious. He started to lose control of his ‘cool’ because he began to realize that he was losing control over me. I was no longer at his beck and call. I was no longer his puppet on strings. I was no longer his.
Please. Walk away. Pray to God. Ask Him for help. There were SO many nights within the 4 years I was with that guy where I’d find myself sobbing on my bathroom floor because I was so hurt. I was just too scared to ask God for guidance. I knew how He’d help me, but I never wanted to believe He was right.
Please remember that you have no clue what’s happening behind closed doors. It took me being outside of that toxic relationship to realize how much I was hurt and destroyed. Over and over again.
It always bothers me when people say, “Find someone who takes your makeup off when you’re drunk.” “Find someone who buys you [insert nice gift] or pays for a nice night out on the town” “Find someone who will call you beautiful even when you look your worst” “Find someone to laugh with” , as if those things (that any gentleman would do without needing recognition) are the most important things in relationships. Guess what? He did those things for me. He called me beautiful every day. Told me he loved me. Calmed me down when I was having an anxiety attack. Told me he was proud of me. Did everything he could to look good.
Those things mean shit if they don’t respect you.
Hold out for someone who is honest. Hold out for someone who doesn’t even care about who you’re texting or Snapchatting or talking to because just the thought of you two even flirting with other people is baffling. Find someone who lets you be you. Find someone that lets you be you by yourself, and lets you flourish on your own, while supporting you. Find someone who never makes you feel guilty or worthless for being too tired to have sex. Find someone whom your soul adores and desires, but doesn’t make you feel like they should be everything to you. Find someone who would move mountains WITH you. Not for you. Usually they end up feeling like you owe them something in return. Hold out for someone who is your genuine best friend, but also has other great friends that he/she goes out with while you go out with yours. Hold out for someone that understands that you are an emotional person. Someone that gives you the space you need when you need it, but someone who also knows when you just need a hug and shoulder to cry on. Hold out for someone that isn’t trying to fix you. Or trying to fix every situation you’re in. Find someone who is patient. Who is kind. Who would also fight for you when life gets hard. Hold out for someone that you don’t have to worry about how he or she might talk to you in front of your future kids (or current kids). Someone who you know will be respectful of you and your entire family. And all of your friends. Someone who respects their parents and family. Someone who complements (not just compliments) you. Someone who lets you be an independent woman or man. Who lets you have your own political opinions, and admires your intellect.
Above all, hold out for someone who believes in God with his or her whole heart. Someone God-fearing. Someone who puts God before you. Someone who prays with you and for you.
If you see red flags, stop giving them excuses because of the “good” things they do for you.
“How cool is it that the same God who created mountains, and oceans, and galaxies, looked at you and thought the world needed one of you too?” He didn’t create you to be anyone’s punching bag (physically or verbally). He didn’t create you to allow someone else to make you feel worthless. He didn’t create you to dedicate your life to fixing or forgiving someone who sins over and over again. That’s His job. He created you so that you can fulfill your OWN purpose on this Earth. For Him. And for you.
So let go. Let yourself breathe. Let yourself cut the strings that control your every move. Let yourself pick up YOU. Regroup YOU. Restructure YOU. Make yourself happy. Stand by an ocean, close your eyes, breathe in, breathe out, and let yourself feel peace again.
I promise you, it will be the greatest and bravest decision you’ll ever make.
Tomorrow, I would have been putting on my wedding gown, stressing over the finishing touches, walking down the aisle to a stranger.
Instead, I will be sitting in the rocking chair on my front porch reading. Knowing that I just graduated with a Bachelor degree, magna cum laude. Accepted my first teaching job for the Fall. Considered a highly qualified North Carolina teaching graduate. Holding my head up high. And living my absolute dream life, surrounded by family and friends that love me unconditionally.
This. This is what God created me for.