Two years ago, the pressures of settling down caused me to dumb down and settle into a settlement that stripped me bare naked of the woman I thought I was supposed to be. I willingly bounded myself to a man that lacked the capacity to cultivate the garden of my greatness. Overtime, the relationship depleted me of my goodness- left me barren to myself and others.
“Damn, did this man physically abuse her?” You’re probably thinking.
No, but his inability to effectively communicate and mange conflict bludgeoned me. He reached for my insecurities like a pistol on his hip. Whenever the opportunity was present, I was target practice. Every instance of critique and humiliation reduced my esteem. I found myself pitifully burying seeds in his garden to find validation in him. I came up short at every harvest, for, bad soil can’t grow healthy fruit.
I was perpetually gaslighted, which gave birth to me regularly questioning my reality, doubting myself- old thoughts of self-harm resurfaced. His mismatched words and actions led me to believe that I was the problem. As a result, I distanced myself from friends and erased all traces of me from social media. Those closest to me noticed the isolation and shared their concerns. But I coveted “the husband” more than my own sanity. I didn’t heed their counsel, in my eyes they were being haters who didn’t want to see me happy.
This unhealthy version of love I thought I deserved pushed me to the edge. I conflated biblical context and convinced myself that if I loved him selflessly the way The Bible says to love others that maybe things would change. If I prayed and fasted longer and harder that maybe he would finally see how much I was approaching my breaking point and change his behavior.
That never happened.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was me admitting that in seeking comfort elsewhere, I was unfaithful. Of course he raged and shamed me, publicly wrote my indiscretions in the sand for others to throw stones. But time showed me that the most embarrassing thing became the most beautiful thing. We both finally let go, I was free from the prison I voluntarily stayed in. In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was free at last, free at last thank God almighty, I was free at last!
I’m able to look back on that experience with a lot more insight and wisdom. This past Fourth of July circa 2017, I exercised my unalienable right of being endowed with life, liberty, and happiness and celebrated my growth with friends. I remembered where I was 4th of July 2016, poured myself a second glass of lemonade, and danced harder.
With the help of family and close friends, I now shine brighter, smile harder, and think sharper. I’m opening the doors I was once too bashful to open. My glow up has been amazing and tears flood my eyes every time I think about the journey. This is an ongoing journey that I fully embrace with discernment and patience. Yes, at a vibrant 28 I desire romantic relationship but I’m in no rush. I’m leveling up, no longer abandoning my path to get on someone else’s. No longer dimming my light so someone else can shine. As Hattie White eloquently stated on Beyonce’s Lemonade album, “I had my ups and downs but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons but I made lemonade.”
All forms of abuse is abuse, it’s unsafe and unhealthy. If you or someone you know needs help call 1–800–799-SAFE (7233) at anytime.