Four Years Ago

Four years ago, I thought my life was over.

Four years ago, I received a letter in my mailbox informing me that my relationship was over and I was to “go have a nice life.”

Four years ago, I screamed and fell to my knees sobbing, and experienced my first-ever heartbreak just three and a half months shy of my nineteenth birthday.

Now, of course, I can look back at that day and realize it was really one of the best days of my life. It was the day when my toxic, manipulative, and emotionally-abusive high school “sweetheart” (and I use that term very loosely here) ended things with me and started me off on a path of, shall we say, unconventional healing.

I’ve learned a lot of things since then. Mostly, I learned that I’m stronger than I think I am and that I am worth something. I have the right to be happy, I have the right to go out with friends at night without being tied to a computer (we were long-distance before he left for Basic Combat Training [BCT], and I had to Skype with him every night), I have the right to live my life as see fit, and not have to conform to his ideas of “normal.” I have the right to do what I want with my body and not be forced to wear what he wanted me to wear or worry about how he’s going to react.

I’ll admit, the first few months were incredibly tough. I’d wake up with screaming nightmares late at night. (It was during one of these that I heard my father curse for the first time.)

This was also what really set off my anxiety. I can say that out loud now: I have anxiety. It does not define me, because I will not let it define me. But I will say that the end of this relationship set me on a path that I’m still having trouble recovering from. It’s difficult some days for me to think that I’m worth something. But that’s okay.

It’s taken me a long time, but I know that my journey to full recovery from what this boy (I refuse to call him a man, because he is a coward and he knows it, and it gives me no small joy in life that he has failed at what he set out to do, according to LinkedIn, where he showed up under my recommendations) did to me.

Today marks four months with Tony. Four months with Tony, four years without the awful creepy controlling jerk who turned my life into a living hell for a year. Things are looking up. I’m walking with my head held higher and with a spring in my step, and I’m smiling. Really and truly smiling. Life is good.

So let me tell you, things do get better. Things will get better. Just give them time. I know everybody is telling you to give it time, but they’re right. I didn’t think they would be. I was ready to end everything back in October 2016. I thought there was nothing left. But trust me. Things look up. Things get better. Old wounds may scar, but they eventually will heal. Just allow time to work its magic. (And surround yourself with really good friends.)

If you ever want to talk, know that I’m here for you.

Love y’all. Thanks for letting me ramble.

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