Just Walk Away

Treat your woman like you would your mother. That’s what they say, isn’t it? The relationship I had with him was no different from the one he had with his mother. She stood in the next room, most of the time, when we fought and threatened to leave one another behind. Here and there she would add a comment directed toward him, and tried to explain that no one deserved to be treated the way he treated me. But that only added fuel to his fire. It was almost like his mom and I were in the same boat, and each time he yelled the waves were close to knocking us off. I wanted to vent to her and let her know that I was there in return… but we were both terrified of the unknown. He had countless tricks up his sleeves and I didn’t want to be the first to experience one.

I thought I had reached my breaking point the first time he put his hands on me. I told myself over and over again that my buttons would no longer be pushed. One and done, I’m walking away. But I was in for a surprise. He was extremely apologetic, as they usually are. We talked about it day after day to try and get past the misery everyone was bringing upon us. “I didn’t realize what I was doing. I was drunk. It won’t happen again.” Apparently, that was all I needed to feel like my life was in good hands. Those around me were far from trusting his word and tried to convince me otherwise. But I was so blindly in love that I wouldn’t let anything come between us.

Until the next time.

I grabbed my things and reached for the knob that would free me from his foolish behavior. But before I was able to grasp it, he threw me against the wall and stopped me from breathing. This had all stemmed from another argument we had, which forced me to express my desire to leave him. He made it clear that breaking up would be the last thing I wanted to do. Meanwhile, I could hear his parents talking in the next room over. They had no idea of what went on behind closed doors. All I could do was pray one of them would knock and end my suffering. A lifetime had passed, (what seemed like) and again I was reminded why he had all control within his own two hands.

After he released me from his possession, all I could do was cry. I couldn’t bear the thought of allowing this to happen for as long as we stayed together. Deep down, I knew, it was never going to end. I wanted to stand up for myself and shout “NO MORE!” I wanted him to know that abuse, domestic and emotional, was not okay and I would no longer put up with it. Instead, I broke into thousands of unreplaceable pieces and wrapped the chains around my own ankles. It was made clear that this was where I was meant to be. This was the life I chose and there was no turning back. When was my way out going to be presented to me? Would there ever be a right time? I had so many unanswered questions. But instead, I went silent and continued to watch our relationship fall apart.

When we got together with our friends I saw a side of him that I hadn’t seen since we first met. Gentle, kind, appreciative… qualities that all men should have no issue conveying. But the second my car door slammed it was like he took his mask off to feel comfortable in his own skin again. There was always something I said that rubbed him the wrong way. If I made it known that we weren’t always a picture-perfect couple, my life would be hell for the next few days. I went from feeling like the luckiest girl in the world to not wanting anything to do with life in general. I was so burnt out and exhausted from the threats, the accusations, the lies. My head was constantly spinning and it became harder to keep up with the way he wanted to run things. When I was finally allowed to go home and recover from the day’s events, it was like I needed to turn my brain off until the morning. Just one switch, that’s all I cared for. But it was never as easy as I made it sound.

I dozed off into a land of fluffy clouds and bright green grass, soft enough to lie on and soak in the sun. One second went by, two seconds. My dreams were often interrupted by the vibrations of my phone under my pillow.

“Who are you so distracted by that you can’t answer me?”

I just want to sleep… Please, let me sleep.

Never Prepared

“Why haven’t you left him, yet?”

“What’s stopping you from walking away?”

“How far does it have to go for you to feel like you’ve had enough?”

There wasn’t a day that went by without being bombarded by those just looking for information. So many people wanted to know the secrets of our relationship. But when they were handed exactly what they asked for, they hit a dead end. Instead, they (my friends) used it against me to end everything we once had before I was trapped. It was like they were afraid of him more than I was. When we were seen together, a long pathway cleared to let us pass. Nobody wanted to exchange words with him, so it easily became that way for me as well. 

Trying to understand our relationship was like reading a manual in a different language. There were so many rules and regulations to follow. I lived my life on the very tips of my toes for one reason only: to be prepared. I had to learn his ways and be ready for the next scene. I eventually became so aware that I was always one step ahead of him. But I didn’t have the power to stop him in his tracks before he made his next move. That was something he proudly held above my head. All he needed was confirmation that I’d be there the next day, and the day after that. He tucked me under his wing for safety… little did he know that he was the one I needed to be saved from. 

I was turning into a person I wanted no part of. I started lying to avoid arguments and blowouts. My phone was kept on silent each minute we spent together because he couldn’t stand the thought of someone reaching out to me. It was never something that was worth hiding, that wasn’t me. But each time I ignored text messages from my mother was another reason to stay away from home. That was an argument waiting to escape from our mouths. If I wasn’t home, though, I was with him. Just when I thought I didn’t have any fight left in me, it would start again. Every notification was treated like I was doing something behind his back. It was a never ending nightmare… there was nothing I could do or say to make him believe me. I was wrong and always would be. It was his way or the highway. 

Nothing more. Nothing less. 

So how far would I be testing my limits? Each time I felt ready to better myself I was reminded why I didn’t deserve that. Over time, I just believed him. He was so convincing in telling me why I shouldn’t be with anyone else. I didn’t dare look, either. It was just him and I… I made sure my eyes didn’t look elsewhere. For months in and years out I settled with what I had. When I think about it now, I really can’t give you a straight reason to explain why I put up with it for so long. I just did. It was less complicated that way, even though the voice inside me screamed otherwise. 

The bruises became harder to hide. The look of desperation to wake up in a new life took over me. Each time I looked up to the sky searching for answers they went unnoticed. I had one life to live and this was far from it. 

Has your patience run out yet?

The Liebster Award

Liebster Award

 

I have recently been tagged by the wonderful Mag, a blogger at https://foreverbookblog.wordpress.com, for the Liebster Award. This is a tag that was designed to help new bloggers become discovered and connect with the rest of the blogging community. The rules are as follows:

  • Recognize who tagged you and promote their blog on your blog
  • Answer all questions asked of you
  • Create 11 NEW questions
  • Tag 11 people with under 200 followers

Questions from Foreverbookblog 

1. What’s your favorite thing about the blogging community or blogging?

I didn’t realize how large the blogging community really is, especially on Twitter. When I made my twitter blog page I told myself I would promote my work here and there, nothing crazy. But as my followers kept growing I was becoming more attached to the community and blogging in general. My favorite thing, by far, is how honest everyone is with you. They answer any and all questions, and when you ask for feedback/comments on your work they have no problem doing so. The community really is great.

2. Any memorable memory you created from blogging?

I’m most proud of how active I’ve become since starting this journey. I’ve put myself out there and guest posted a few times, meanwhile, I’m only three months into blogging. A lot of the memories I’ve created so far come from being noticed for my work and being told that I’m not like other bloggers. I stand out from everyone because I have a different voice, and that is what my purpose is. I’m different, always have been.

3. What made you start blogging?

My dream has always included writing. I was a huge poetry and short story fan in school. I had notebooks full of poems about my life and submitted a lot of them in contests. When I became familiar with blogging, it interested me but I had no idea how to get into it. I actually came across someone who explained it to me and made it sound so easy! That same day I started my blog and published two pieces in one night. I was hooked.

4. Who is your role model?

My role model is anyone who strives to work hard in order to see the outcome they dream for. It’s not about recognition or popularity. It’s about doing what you love because you love doing it. If you’re that person, I’m all for it. We’ll get along.

5. What is your passion?

My passion, besides publishing my work to reach out to others, is being the best mother I can be. My daughter is my world and soon I will also have a son. I am dedicated to creating a schedule we will all be comfortable with, one that will still allow me to write and feel confident with what I’m putting out there.

6. What do you wish atm?

At the moment, I wish that my writing is recognized for what it truly stands for. I want it to be known how hard it has been to put most of my work into words, and the anxiety I feel in fear that I’ll receive a negative outlook on what I’ve put out so far. I wish for everyone to know that I’m not doing this for attention. I’ll go into more detail with that in question eight.

7. Are you happy with who you are? Why?

If I were writing about the person I was a few years ago, my answer would be no. But since then, I’ve grown into a woman. I became a mother. I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be. I became a role model for myself and for that, I’m happy. I have a few nicks that need to be tweaked, but doesn’t everyone?

8. What do you hope for?

I hope to truly inspire those who are struggling to wake up and realize what they deserve.. happiness and respect. As I said earlier, I’m not revealing my darkest secrets to the world for attention. Right now, I’m acting as the voice and the strength for those who have suffered or are suffering right now. My hopes are to get them to find their own voice, build up their own strength so that they can release all pressures and finally feel free. That’s all I want to come of this. I want them to know that they are not alone and there is nothing wrong with being mentally unhealthy. Find your inner voice, and listen to it.

9. Do you think society pressures you?

As much as I want to say it doesn’t, it gets the best of me all the time. I struggle with daily anxieties even when I’m trying to motivate others to overcome them. I see so much talent in the blogging community and it puts a lot of pressure on me for being so new. But I have to constantly remind myself that with time, I’ll get there too. Keep working hard, and it’ll happen.

10. What are your future plans for your blog?

I hope that in the near future my blog will be used as a scapegoat for others. I’m trying to be a mentor and motivator for the mental health community. My future plans include building a larger audience so that my work is being published in places I dream of. I want everyone to know who the Unfiltered Mama is, and what it is that I proudly stand for.

11. What’s your favorite and the least favorite aspect in the blogging community or while blogging?

My favorite aspect in the blogging community is how fast the word gets spread around. It’s so easy to make new friends and promote each other’s work. We all have different talents, yet everyone is so willing to help each other out. My least favorite aspect, especially with blogging, is not getting the views you expected to. More than half of my following is from the U.K (you guys are awesome), so it’s hard trying to post early enough for them to read yet late enough for everyone else to see as well. I’ve balanced a pretty good schedule so far, I just hope to continue it once my life becomes busier.

 

To continue the chain, I nominate the following bloggers for The Liebster Award:

  1. Jade-https://lotsoflovebyjade.wordpress.com
  2. Nicole-http://myuninspiredblog.com
  3. Charlotte-https://blossomingchar.wordpress.com
  4. Dynamite Gal-https://dynamitegaluk.wordpress.com
  5. Daniella-https://daniellalynette.wordpress.com
  6. Vanessa-http://www.vanessakingson.com
  7. Ams-http://www.toyoufroma.com
  8. Sarah-http://sarahbobbeal.blogspot.co.uk
  9. Anxiously,Me-http://anxiously-me.blogspot.co.uk
  10. Devina-http://devinamay.blogspot.com
  11. Dee-https://moodsreflective.wordpress.com

My questions that I ask to be answered are:

  1. What type of blogger are you? How did you get to where you are right now?
  2. When do you find the time to blog?
  3. Out of all your published posts, which one is your favorite? Why?
  4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time, besides blogging?
  5. Is you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?
  6. Are you a book reader? What book would you recommend everyone to read?
  7. Have you had any negative experiences with blogging? What did you do to overcome it?
  8. Where are you from? Favorite place to go in your town?
  9. What has surprised you the most about blogging and its large community?
  10. What are your long-term goals for your blog?
  11. Name something you can’t live without and explain why.

When you are done posting the replies to these questions, make sure you tag me so I can follow up!

 

Thank you again, https://foreverbookblog.wordpress.com, for the nomination. I truly enjoyed answering your questions and appreciate all of your feedback!

I hope you guys were entertained with my responses. In the meantime, keep an eye out for my next blog post. Make sure you are all caught up with my work! As always, thank you so much for the constant support. I look forward to hearing from my readers!

 

Lost Battle

The stairs became my friend that day, as I was dragged down a short flight by girls I had only spoken to a few times before. The only thought in my mind was to lash out and make him regret putting his hands on me. I tried to kick and scream my way out of the hands who only wanted to protect me, but I failed. My emotions took over my body and I became limp. I cradled myself in a corner and watched everything unfold before me.

Fear struck instantly when I heard the commotion of what sounded like a fight. A group of guys took him down to the floor to calm his nerves, but he took it as being proven that he was the weakest in the room. He was so worked up over who he had thought texted me and wanted to get to the bottom of it. My name was angrily shouted over and over. The girls who surrounded me knew nothing but to keep me away. They were afraid of what would happen if he and I crossed paths again. Glass was shattered and doors were slammed, yet not once were the police notified. Everyone in that house was an underage drinker… but all I cared about was my safety, as well as everyone else’s.

After this event, the entire senior class wanted nothing to do with his existence. We weren’t invited to anymore parties, (I say “we” because I had no choice but to stay by his side) and liquor officially became off limits. All I needed to do was survive the next few days and everything would hopefully go back to normal. WRONG! The group of girls, who I thought I shared a connection with, went back to taking charge of the hallways and only mingled with “their kind of people.” But no one forgot about what happened over the past weekend, not even a little bit. “The girl who got hit, the abused girl, the girl who.. oh I forgot her name, but the one with the crazy boyfriend!” … this was nonstop chatter within the 2011 senior class, which ended up traveling through the entire school. No one knew my name, but they knew my battles. This was one I just could not win.

What would have to happen for this scene to be erased from everyone’s minds? When were people going to stop looking at me like I had chains wrapped around my ankles? Everyone knew about what happened, yet no one would speak up. They were afraid to approach me, my own friends even. It was like I had a huge bubble wrapped around me and everyone was afraid that it would pop. I didn’t have the strength to stop the rumors… well, they really weren’t rumors, anyway. The gossip being spread around was actually true. I just couldn’t deal with the image everyone was giving me, so I let their words speak instead of doing so myself. In the end, he got what he wanted. People knew him for who he really was, but that didn’t matter because he had a girlfriend who put up with his shit and still respected him come nightfall.

There is no right kind of abuse. It is not okay to control someone with actions or words. It will never be acceptable to put your hands on someone to get them to listen, obey, or respect you. I knew that because this had occurred, it would only bring more tension to the relationship. It happened once, and nothing was done to fix or prevent it from happening again. But maybe, I thought, maybe I’d be more prepared next time. Maybe there was a way for me to feel it coming on and stop it before it went too far. Was that even possible?

No, and there shouldn’t have ever been a next time. I shouldn’t have felt obligated to accept this as my new life, and neither should you. Don’t sit there and wait for it to happen again. Stand up, open the door, and slam it behind you as you walk away with your head held high.

A new door has just opened… are you willing to see where it takes you?

Liquor Acts

Prom weekend… every students’ dream (and focus) from the moment they walk through the door as a freshman. I was excited to escape the real world. I planned to hang with crowds I didn’t usually associate myself with. I wanted to show my face more and catch some rays. It was officially my turn to spread my wings and fly. I had never felt so prepared to make bad choices and meet new people. Off I went into a weekend full of music, alcohol, tanning, and whatever else would be thrown my way.

Hours of driving turned into a daze. I was so ready to dive under the covers and drown myself in my own dreams until the next morning. I tried to enjoy the sound of the wind pushing against the car at the rate of speed we went, but all I could do was focus on the lecture going through one ear and out of the other. There were certain things he felt that needed to be said… rules to be understood. But this was nothing new for me, I was used to his checklists. It didn’t come as a surprise that he wanted me attached to his hip at all times. There was still room for me to have fun, wasn’t there? Little to none. I had a set of eyes on me when he went to the bathroom or needed to fill his drink. That’s just the way it was. 

I was just warming up to being around the popular kids of our school. I bumped my head to the music and tried so hard to ignore the fact that my partner was completely wasted. It had only been an hour or so since we showed up, and I already felt like dying of embarrassment. He had no control over his mind, body, or words. There I sat with my face buried in my palms, hoping the weekend would fly by so I could return home. My phone vibrated in my pocket and I felt a sense of release. Finally, a reason to look away from the car wreck piling up right in front of me. Before I could even read the message my phone was ripped away from my hands. He suspected a guy was trying to get in touch with me. The name he read aloud was a long time friend, a female friend, who I had planned to meet with on the boardwalk. But he came up with a persona of his own, and it all went down hill from there. 

This “man” that wanted to see me had caused such a rage within his body. I saw it in his eyes. He wasn’t drunk anymore, he was angry. We proceeded to argue in front of a house full of unoccupied teenagers. They surrounded us as if we were on an episode of Jerry Springer. When I felt too uncomfortable with how close he was getting to my face, I pushed him back with as much force as I had available. His reaction time startled me considering how much liquor he had in his system. But before I even realized what was about to happen, his fingers wrapped around my neck and squeezed until I couldn’t breath. Everything became a blur when people started jumping in to stop things from escalating. I was so full of emotion that I couldn’t bare to keep them hidden. I met a new person that day, in both him and myself. It was quite obvious that after this event, things would never be the same. 

The scene that unfolded before me was terrifying. The only thing I could think about was how almost every senior just witnessed the truth of our relationship. It was the first time he built up the courage to put his hands on me, and it was a long time coming. I was ashamed of myself for letting it escalate to that point. All I could do was wish to snap my fingers and I’d show up somewhere far away. But I was now the center of attention which lasted for weeks, months, and years to come. 

How was I going to get past this? How long would I hear my name surfing through the school crowd? There was no going up from here. I officially became “the girl in the abusive relationship.”

Intimidation

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear someone is being abused? Fists are flying, bruises are present, words are said that are meant to hit hard. But do you think past the physical aspect? Do you need the scratches and bruises as proof that there is abuse within the relationship? It is so much more than you think it is. I didn’t come to this realization until I went through it myself. There was so much to know and learn, but I picked up on it quickly. Once I was in, that was it. I had a long road ahead of me. 

Every relationship starts off with the cute jealously. You send playful messages talking about how “no one can have you except me” or “he better not look at you again.” But you don’t think of it as anything more than aw, he really does like me. At some point those messages become more violent and threatening. Why was I still confusing his obsession with the jealousy I once thought was cute? Of course, he wanted me to himself. But the thought of me even having a conversation with another man boiled his blood. He wasn’t afraid to show his jealous ways in public, either. When I was approached by a friend or co-worker about why he acted the way he did, it confused me because I truly thought that’s how men were supposed to be with their girlfriends. He was protecting me, wasn’t he? 

His obsession became ugly. He was dangerous. I had to watch my own back even when I thought he was sheltering me from all the negativity. But the truth was that he was out to get everyone. He waited for me to show a moment of weakness like it was his job. He would set me up in situations with other men just to see how I would react. But I knew him a little better than he even realized. When he tried sneaking up on me at work, I already expected his presence. The fake social media accounts he made to catch me in a lie were ignored. I knew all of his games, and I was a master at them. You would think that after all of this I would’ve put an end to it right away, but this was only the beginning. I was controlled both mentally and emotionally, and he got away with it like murder. 

My personality was being abused. I was becoming numb to the fact that he made most decisions for me. All of this just became… normal. I no longer questioned why he accused me of cheating every second of the day. I stopped hesitating to answer his questions like I was his pet taking orders. I started walking with my head down because I was ashamed of what I was allowing. The stories I had to constantly make up exhausted me. I couldn’t show even the slightest negative emotion if we were around other people. He was in full control over me and I just accepted it. This was my new life and boy, was I in for a ride.

At this point there was no physical abuse. But the pain I felt within my body was unbearable. I was so unhappy and it felt like everything I had just worked up to be was ripped away. I never thought in a million years that I would be one to suffer from abuse. I was always that ‘tough chick’ that people stayed away from. But his concerns quickly turned into obsessions. His love was outshined by his awful actions. And there I was letting it happen… over and over and over again. 

If you are reading this and thinking how familiar it all sounds, you are facing a problem that needs to be fixed right away. Emotional/mental abuse goes hand in hand with physical abuse. If it’s not happening right now, it almost definitley ends up reaching the peak of the mountain that you don’t want it to reach. End your pain, now. You deserve so much better and shouldn’t be convinced otherwise. There IS someone else out there waiting to shower you with love and kindness. But it’s up to you to put a stop to the guilt, the accusations, and the tears. 

And let me be the first to say, you’re ready. Don’t wait until tomorrow, or the next day, or the Monday that you decide to start working out again. 

“I deserve better. I don’t need or want you in my life anymore.” Can I be happy now?

Control

What frustrated me the most was how much denial he was in when I brought his controlling ways to light. He swore up and down that what he was doing wasn’t defined by the word control. I wasn’t allowed to use that term because he was perfect. He told me he knew plenty of women who ached to be treated the way he treated me. I was “royalty”, in his words. But I felt myself being pushed farther from the throne each passing second. I was slowly becoming the piece of gum on the bottom of his shoe, deteriorating until there was nothing left of me. 

It wasn’t easy being in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship. But that was the problem; I refused to be seen as abused. That was something I just couldn’t admit to myself. But all of the signs were there. He was better at refraining from these habits when we were around our family. When we attended gatherings I usually stayed in one spot and let people approach me. They would continue to brag about how sweet of a couple we were and knew we would be together for years. But then there were the few, even from his own family, who took me to the side and asked “Are you truly happy?” This question terrified me because I must’ve done something to give off a negative vibe. I couldn’t make it known that I was miserable with how my life turned out, especially by him. I forced a smile to grow across my face and put him on the highest pedestal there was. All I could do at that point was tell everyone how blessed I was to have found such a perfect man… just perfect. 

Little did he know was that I had a secret. I confided in someone who was closer to him than anyone else in his family. From the few times we met at BBQ’s and birthday parties, she knew something wasn’t right. Once we exchanged numbers, words started pouring out of my mouth faster than I could control. I knew that even though I told her some of the darkest secrets about my relationship, she wouldn’t act differently towards him. Her love for him never changed whether the things she knew were good or horribly wrong. But she was always there to give me her two cents, which in most cases… I needed more than ever. 

It was hard for me to put our relationship in the “abusive” category because he had yet to put his hands on me. But I knew by talking to my newest source that what was going on was slowly leading in that direction. If I didn’t stop it now, things would go left rather than right. All of the advice that was given to me sounded like it would help in the long run. Yet, I couldn’t help but let it go through one ear and right out the other. I kept telling myself that next time would be the last time. Kind of like how you tell yourself you’ll start working out again, but it has to be on a Monday. That’s how my life worked and I knew it wouldn’t change. 

Next Monday, I thought. That’s when I’ll leave. But leaving wasn’t an option. 

When was my patience going to run out?

Step by Step

Every morning I woke up saying, enough is enough. But who was I kidding? I knew my day would turn out to be just like yesterday, and the day before that. I was officially turning into a person who made her decisions based off of how he would feel. Whether we were in the same room or not, his presence was there. “Hey Court!” Hold on, let me look around and make sure it’s okay to say hi back to my guy friend (which I wasn’t allowed to have). But I didn’t have the voice I wanted to have. I started greeting people with a smile… and even that was something I second guessed every day of my life. 

Behind closed doors was when his personality switched up on me. There was never a minute that passed by without hearing from him. If I didn’t have my phone glued to the palm of my hand there were consequences, threats that I thought he wouldn’t back up. I always told him to give me at least ten minutes to eat dinner with my family. But even then I felt an argument brewing. You know the usual rule, no phones at the dinner table? My only option was to ignore my mother’s wishes. I kept my phone tucked under my leg, and with one finger I would slowly type back using my other hand to eat my food. Yup, you guessed it! If I didn’t respond in a timely fashion it was because I actually lied about where I was and in fact was not eating dinner at all. Nothing was ever easy for me. 

There was one incident (out of many) that really opened my eyes to what was going on in my relationship. I walked into work excited to see what sales I could bring to the table. It was a slow night, a weekday that usually meant the mall would be empty. Whether I had a customer or not I always kept myself busy. I kept my phone tucked behind the keyboard to check it when my manager wasn’t around. I saw that I had a bunch of missed texts, so I glanced as quickly as I could to see how much trouble I was in. 

“I know you’re talking to someone.”

“Is he there right now?”

“We’re done. I’m not going to be with a cheater.”

“Have fun with whoever is at your job right now.”

It went on and on and on. Once I finally had the opportunity to text him back, he flipped out. He didn’t believe that I was at work. He would call my job and if I didn’t get to the phone fast enough, he would hang up at the sound of my coworkers voice. He sent me one last text telling me to take a picture of myself in front of a specific object at my store. There was no way for me to have planned this out before hand (which is what he thought I was doing). One picture, in which he specifically asked me to create, was me holding the stapler with my left hand, and another picture showed me pointing at the computer screen proving the date and time of that very moment. I couldn’t forget to point, though, because then I was lying. Pathetic, right?

All of this happened with another set of eyes watching me. I was embarrassed of myself. I couldn’t even begin to explain why I was letting this happen. At this point I started to feel like it was normal. When I was getting looks from people I was actually confused as to why everyone else wasn’t doing what I did. I truly started to believe that I followed his orders because that’s what a loyal girlfriend did. But why wasn’t anyone else tagging along on this new trend?

This trend, as I called it, was nothing even remotely close to normal. But it was hard for me to see it as I went through it. I honestly didn’t know what it would take to help me break free. When was I going to draw the line and throw in the towel? I had the patience of a snail. My shell, however, wasn’t as strong as I thought it was. Each day I woke up to was a blessing,  but I already knew what was in store for me. Don’t forget to text him during your morning routine… he wants to know every step you take. 

And I mean, every step. 

Losing Myself

Trust.

We all need it, want it, crave it. Knowing you’ve established that comfort in your relationship is a huge weight off of your shoulders. But what do you do when the trust is nonexistent? How do you cope? He answered that question simply by controlling my every move. I walked, talked, smiled, napped, and worked with eyes behind my head. Not because I was doing something wrong, but to avoid an argument over why I swayed my hips a certain way always seemed like the best decision. I was a stiff robot in a crowd full of personalities, and only he had access to my controls. What was I supposed to do?

It was difficult trying to live a normal life when the people around me noticed something was off. The moment I stopped doing things I used to do, I had to come up with reasons that sounded believable. I was a full blown liar and I hated myself for it. The days that passed leaving my hair dry and greasy… that wasn’t the me I knew. I  was turning myself into a person that he wanted me to be, all while losing myself as a whole. My nails were bitten down to the skin, I was eating less often because of stress. All I wanted was to wake up one morning and say, I’m free. But I was too scared to make that happen. I felt like I needed his permission to leave, but deep down I knew I was stuck until he grew tired of me. Would that ever happen? Only in my dreams. 

Why didn’t he trust me? What did I do so horribly wrong that made him treat me like I needed a leash? He would only let it go so far, and the moment I pushed his limits I would be snapped back. The sad part is everyone knew it was happening. I was embarrassed to go to school. He waited at the end of the hall for me like he was my security guard. But he felt pleasure knowing people recognized his behavior. As I said earlier, my friends took a step back because they didn’t know what to do or how to handle what they saw. I know they expected me to put an end to it. But I didn’t have the strength because he constantly ripped it away from me. I couldn’t ever be myself again. I was who he wanted me to be… only that made him happy. 

I thought maybe this was just a phase. I almost wished I could rewind time to watch where it all crashed down. I needed a reminder of what led up to my life turning out this way. But I was way in over my head. Day by day it became harder to survive the long hours of making sure I did everything by the books. If a chapter was misplaced, it never ended well. That was always what I feared the most. 

Where would this chapter end… WHEN would it end? Does it get any easier? Was I ever able to enjoy the fresh air filling my body? 

Only time would tell. 

Lost Puppy

“Stop wearing leggings to school.” Wait… what? Was I just being told what to do by someone other than my mother? I talked a big game, but I always listened. From the moment he said it, leggings were no longer in my wardrobe. If he felt they were too revealing for me to wear, then he was right. I didn’t do anything to change his mind. Not only that, I didn’t do anything to prove that he wasn’t in charge of me or my decisions. I just let it happen and day by day, it worsened. “Your hair doesn’t need to be done all the time. Make-up is a no. Stop smiling at everyone.” Okay, check. What else? I’m listening. 

I started waiting for his demands like they were something I couldn’t live without. But sure enough, I followed his rules. Doing my hair was something I always put effort into. I didn’t feel like me if I woke up and threw it in a bun. But if I went a whole week looking like I was trying to impress someone, it was because I really was (according to him). Someone must’ve been getting my attention that I wanted to look decent for. Make-up? I wouldn’t dare. I was never really into putting loads of crap on my face that I didn’t even know the names of. But once in a while I liked a little eye liner just to change things up. That too was quickly put to a stop. Sure enough, I started caring less about what I looked like and caring more about what he approved of. Who was I turning into?

I was being molded into someone I didn’t recognize. I woke up every morning asking myself, would he be okay with this? And every decision after that became questionable. I was afraid to breathe without knowing that he was okay with it. But the crazy part about all of this? I became so used to being treated this way that I thought it was normal. If my friends wanted to hang out after school I told them I had to ask my boyfriend, and didn’t think twice about doing so. I didn’t understand their looks then because I thought it was the right thing to do. I was respecting his wishes, what was wrong with that? Little did I know… everything about it was wrong and I was just digging myself a deeper hole. 

I didn’t have any friends left to lean on when I needed them most. They stopped asking me to hang out because they were tired of hearing my excuse of why I couldn’t this time. But just a shrug of a shoulder was enough for me to move on and think, it must be them. My relationship was perfect and headed in the right direction. People were jealous of the bond we created. They wanted what we had, didn’t they? 

No, Courtney. Snap out of it! This isn’t normal, this isn’t okay. But it took me a long, long time to come to this realization. Without being told what to do I was like a lost puppy… so again, I let him do it. 

Again and again…. and again.