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Freedom from bondage.

I remember being five years old on the playground and seeing the other little girls running away from me because they didn't want to play with the weird tall girl. Every day at school during lunch, I would go to the nurse's office and would pretend to be sick, so my mom could pick me up, but eventually, my mom saw the pattern and would get out of work so that I had someone to eat lunch with me.

In middle school, my height was 5'8, and kids were even meaner. At some point, I remember girls telling me "are you sure you're a girl, you look like a man," and the boys thought it was funny - decided to hop on to the bullying train and so they created the nickname "crimson chin." After that, I started slouching; Became depressed and because of all that. I had suicidal thoughts that haunted me every night and day.

In high school, I was trying so hard to fit in that I started abusing alcohol and drugs. Was in the wrong group of friends, but at least I had friends, right?

At 18, I was kicked out of my house, moved in with a random dude I met in my photography class in college who ended up taking advantage of me, miscarried his child, lost my job, had a breast tumor, and had no family. At this point, I was numb, my morals had changed, and I couldn't feel God anymore as much as I begged for his presence. ( I will talk further in-depth about this later on.)

When I started dating Robert at 19, I finally felt seen, he gave me attention and all the compliments I so badly craved my entire life. So I thought that's what love was. Thing is we were both so messed up because of our childhoods that we both had the subconscious belief that we needed to be in a relationship to feel and be whole. Robert never received the love he needed as a little boy - his mom would always tell him she wished he was never born. He was neglected from his family because he was a child of a drug lord, so subconsciously I gave him the love and attention he was deprived of his childhood. Somehow I made myself believe we could fix each other, which that's not how it works. We just became more and more toxic for one another instead and lifting each other.

About two years ago, I received a DM on Instagram from my 12-year-old cousin that said, "I'm scared, help," so I immediately called her, and I could hear the shaking in my aunt's voice she told me "my dad hit my mom." My blood began to boil - my aunt (her mom) is the kindest person I know, she raised me for half my life so I freaked out and called my mom. My mom told me to calm down and be rational so instead of showing up at my aunt's house with a bat we decided to invite my aunt to breakfast the next morning. She agreed, and we met at an Ihop; we were catching up, and after we ate, I told her that my cousin/ her daughter had said to me that she was getting abused by her husband. Her lips began to shake she couldn't make up the words she just nodded and broke down. As she cried I held her hand and told her you have us. You do not have to deal with this alone; you and your daughters don't deserve this. She told me that he was trying to change and that things will get better. I tried so hard to convince her to leave, but she was comfortable - she doesn't work, lives in a big home, and has two children with this man. I didn't understand why she would stay after everything he's done but to this day she's still there with him. The reason I bring up this story is because that was me, not the exact scenario, not physical abuse but that was me. As I laid in bed next to him, I would stare at him as he slept and think to myself, "this can't be it," but I didn't have the nerve to leave. I was scared of change and convinced myself that nobody else would love me. The reality was that I was living under the same roof as a narcissist. I was manipulated to believe that I could not trust my thoughts. He consistently made me question if I was good enough, made hateful comments about my family, and did not give me the emotional support I needed. I thought I had no other option but to live like this, I was too deep in it.

Coming from a traditional/Christian family, being raised to believe that you can only have sex with the person you will marry. And while I was with him, my parents decided to tell our family and friends that he was my husband because they were embarrassed about the fact that I moved in with a man before marriage. It only made it harder for me to leave because I knew if I went back home, they would be disappointed with me yet again that I had let my soul and body used by a man that was not my husband.

Now that I have taken time to process everything, I realized that I was trying to fill a void - you see it's all physiological, because of my past trauma, inherited traits and childhood attachment wounds. Which, for me, resulted in needing someone to feel whole. I made Robert the source of my happiness and trusted him while he cheated, played mind games, and made me always question my character. I couldn't move on because I wasn't moving forward. I was only thinking of the small number of good memories I had with Robert when we had first met, but we are two completely different people that were seeking love in the wrong place. While with him, I would pray and hope that things would work out differently, but I had already given the relationship my all I had to stop wondering what I could've done differently because what could have been had already happened. From now on, I will move forward with my life, knowing that I am strong, kind, talented, beautiful, and worthy of real love. Robert wasn't the person for me, there are a billion people on this planet, I will be patient, and with God's perfect timing, I will fall in love again. So I will continue to pour my heart out and hope that even after all this information is out there about me, I will find someone that will love me for me.

If you are going through a similar situation

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Only time will allow you to heal, and break from the chains holding you back. Do not allow your past does not defy you, or bitter you. You deserve to set free from your past and move forward with your head up high so If you ever just want to talk over coffee and pour your heart out to stranger I am here!

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