I was in a toxic relationship for three years of my life. That was three years of verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and so much more. However, while I let him have control over me and my thoughts for three years, he doesn't anymore and will never again.

I'm not here to talk about my relationship with my ex, that was our business and our business only and what he did to me is something I have to live and deal with on my own. I'm here to tell the story about my life after getting out of this toxic relationship.

Life after a toxic relationship is like a recovery period. You get relief knowing you'll never be put down by this person again, never have to see or hear from them again, never be abused by them again.

It took me so long to realize that I was actually in a toxic relationship. My family tried telling me numerous times, my friends tried telling me— but I was too wrapped up in this relationship to realize what I was actually dealing with.

Here's the thing… There's nothing wrong with me. He tried telling me I was a psycho, that I was crazy, that there's something messed up in my head. He tried playing these mind games with me telling me I wasn't worth anything and that all of these negative characteristics surrounded me.

So tell me, why, when I look in the mirror do I see my passion, my love for everyone, my determination, my intelligence, my humor, my smile, my laugh…? Why do I see those things but he just saw me as crazy and psychotic? Why is he the only one that sees me that way? He tells people all of these negative things about me, which, he turned me into. And here's how I know it was him and not me.

I was in a relationship my second semester of college right after my ex and I broke up. I have always had a hard time trusting people, but with my new boyfriend, I was able to trust him right off the bat— there was nothing about him I couldn't trust. He was honest, caring and beyond respectful towards me. I never got jealous over other girls, I knew I was able to talk to him about it and he would give me an honest answer and we would have an adult conversation about it if I was worried about someone. He was always there when I needed him, whether he was busy or not, he made time for me even if it was just to swing by my dorm to give me my favorite tea. I was able to show my love for him and never hesitate to because I knew he never had any intention to hurt me and still doesn't.

I'm not comparing my 3-year relationship to the one I have. Trust me, there is no comparison. Not to the relationship and not to the people.

If there was something wrong with me like my ex said there was, I wouldn't be able to have the relationship I have now. There would be jealousy, fighting, anger and so much more like there was in my past relationship.

Here's what I realized after getting out of the toxic relationship, there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. Yes, I have flaws, everyone has them. But no one looks at me and sees just my flaws as my ex did. No one looks at me and thinks I am incapable of being loved. No one fights with me and thinks, "wow she's just psychotic." No one. Except him.

He made me think I was worth nothing to everyone. He made me think that every possible thing to be wrong with me, was wrong with me. He made me believe no one could ever love me… Well, I hope karma bites him in the ass.

See, with or without a boyfriend, I am capable of being loved— by my friends, by my family, and most importantly, by myself. Even with my flaws, I am fully capable of being loved.

It hurts seeing him move on, I think it's safe to say it hurts everyone when they see someone they loved move on. But it's not a jealous pang I have, and it's definitely not wishing I was still with him. In all honesty, I don't even know why it hurts, it just does. I guess one reason would be, he found all these things wrong with me and thinks I'm some terrible person, but somehow this girl isn't? Meh, whatever.

I took this time to realize my worth and my own being. This period being broken up has opened my eyes showing me what was really happening to me for three years. I honestly was finally able to realize it when I moved to college. I was able to become independent and find myself, without him, and was able to think, "Hey, what's so bad about me anyway?"

I wish I could say I don't regret the relationship, but I sure as hell do. I wish nothing more than that I didn't let him control my life for so long and put me down for so long to the point where I would sob at night trying to figure out what was wrong with me.

My life after a toxic relationship is pure happiness. I never have to worry about him ever again. I'm able to spot and stop a toxic relationship if I ever happen to be in one again.

No one is going to put me down anymore, there's no way in hell I am letting someone come into my life and try and control my actions and thoughts the way he did. He never deserved me and the unlimited love I gave him.

There's only one person in this world that deserves that love, and it is myself.