- 3 years ago
I would like to share my story with you. This will be only the second time I have told my story to anyone, ever. I hope it inspires, gives strengths, and maybe helps us all realize that we are not so different after all.
My freshman year of college was a mess. I attended school at the University of Southern California and was addicted partying. I was partying 4 days a week and pretty much failing all of my classes. Because of my excessive partying, I had slacked on the one thing that had given me strength: fitness. I quit the school dance team after I had auditioned in summer and I hit an all-time low. Parties were my new twisted passion and it was crazy because I was still feeling pretty crappy about myself despite the high.
Cue Dennis. This was the perfect time for such an insecure man to come into my life and mess me up for good. I was too low to stand up. I let Dennis come into my life and emotionally abuse me for 1 year. He would accuse me of being a slut though I had not been promiscuous. He would cheat on me, flirt online with dozens of girls, and break up with me numerous times. Mind games rant rampant in our relationship. He would go into drunk love rants where he would claim he cared about me. He basically sent me on an emotional roller coaster and I continued to ride it. Dennis made me cut off the few good friends that I had. He made me choose between us and them. I chose them because I was a silly whipped girl who had never had a boyfriend and thought that he justified my worth. I kept on going back to him because I felt like I had no one else at my out-of-state school to return to. I then took a semester off in my sophmore year to get counseling.
While still in counseling, I remained with Dennis. It went from me knowing he was a jerk to me believing I could change the jerk. We broke up numerous times while I was back in TX to get my head straight. This relationship was really was counter-acting the counseling. I felt like I was cheating myself and all those who believed in me but I could not get out of the abusive relationship. One night, I went out to a small get-together with my friends. I met my SO through a mutual friend. We really bonded over the course of the night and he gave me a kiss! I felt awful. I was technically still with Dennis, but something about that kiss felt like a relief. I could have a wonderful, sober conversation with a bright man who respected me. It was like my eyes were opening for the first time.
I took a huge risk and broke up with Dennis. I want to say that this was inevitable but I cannot. Abusive relationships are unpredictable yet can be horrifyingly steady. I know people might wonder why I needed a new man to let me know my worth. I do believe in fate and I do believe that my SO was my push in the right direction. He certainly did not determine everything. I also realized that as much as I wanted Dennis to change and be a good man, if I truly loved him, I wouldn’t have let the situation with my SO escalate.
I also transferred out of USC and moved to a smaller liberal arts school back home. I needed to be around my true friends and family who have known me for years. It was liberating to move to a more focused environment where I knew I could allow myself to thrive. Over the course of my six months of counseling, my SO and I began to hang out at a slow pace. Eventually, we started dating. Some might argue that it was too soon and I needed more time to heal. I have the most amazing SO and I knew I could heal with him. I am glad we waited a while but I knew I could not close off myself because of a bad experience that someone else put me through.
I know there are so many girls out there still in abusive relationships with no where to turn. It breaks my heart everyday. To think someone can violate you and manipulate you to such an extend actually pisses me off. As women, we should band together, support one another, and never trivialize the abuse of anyone-may it be physical or emotional. My SO saved me and came into my life when I needed him most. If I had no met him, I know I would have never gotten that kiss, never felt obliged to leave Dennis, and probably would have gone back. He is a wonderful influence on my life as he does not drink. I have now been sober for 1.5 years and I just feel so blessed to share my life with someone I consider to have been my angel that night in the summer