Now, I don’t panic when I hear a man screaming at someone but I do cower when someone is screaming at me.
Now, I don’t have the flashbacks when something reminds me of the abuse, but I do still have vivid memories that hit at random times.
Now, I don’t automatically believe everyone hates me but I do have periods, however brief, where I do feel like everyone puts up with me and doesn’t actually like me.
Now, I am not always watching my back but I still panic if I think I see him.
I no longer believe I have damned near every mental illness in the book, but I still question myself at times- despite those who know me best saying I’m fine.
I no longer panic and lash out when something triggers a memory, but I will freeze and still can’t defend myself physically.
Every day is getting a little better. I’m slowly reverting to who I was before we met. I have almost completely gotten myself back but I know I’ll never be the same as I was. I could never be that young, naive, outgoing girl I used to be. The one who would sit down with strangers at school and make friends like I did in college. The one who would talk to everyone. The one who was told she made people feel comfortable in new situations.
I am getting better at talking to people, but my brain freezes and I either talk too much or clam up.
10 years ago, a decade, I was 20. I had just left college and got in my first adult relationship. It lasted almost 2 years. I started healing almost as soon as the final break up. Almost one year to the date of our break up, I met the man I ended up marrying. We have been together almost 8 years now with two beautiful kids. I look back and not only do I hate who I was, I hate who I became right after. I have slowly been changing myself and like I said, every day gets a little better. When we broke up, I lost a lot of my stuff. I was homeless and didn’t have a car. I pretty much lost all my friends with a very few exceptions and very few people even believed me when I did try to say something.
I started down a bad road- with drugs, alcohol and jumping in and out of living situations. That only lasted a few months until I woke up one day and realized I was wasting my time, life, and money so I moved back in with my parents to detox. I still had a drinking problem but I got and held a job, got a gym membership and got into boxing then ran into an old friend. I was with her when I met my husband. We hit it off fast and within a few months we were married. He has never been into drugs nor alcohol so he has helped me get and stay sober. Now, I may drink one glass of something one or two times a year but outside of that, I don’t drink. There was one time I said that I would smoke til the day I die- now it’s been 8 years since my last hit.
If anyone reading this has just gotten out of an abusive relationship, just keep in mind. It’s hard, yes but it does get better. Every day you’ll be a little stronger and every year will get better. You have to take it day by day, month by month and year by year but at some point, you will be healed enough to move on with your life and you will be stronger than you thought you could be.