Love is incredible. Love is kind.
I've seen so many of my friends fall in love and be the happiest they've ever been but I've also seen so many lose themselves and fall apart because of this vicious thing wearing a mask called "love" disguised under a face called "toxicity."
This Valentine's season, I want people to be so in love they can't fall asleep at night, so in love that they catch themselves smiling in the middle of the day, so in love that their stomachs become the home to millions of tiny little butterflies that flutter at the thought of their loved one's name, so in love that they feel alive, and intrigued and excited to live every day and take on the world.
Love is positive, love is encouraging others, love is patience, and empathy, it's communication and understanding, it's pushing your partner to become the best they can be, and being open to their thoughts and opinions. It's sparking curiosity and knowledge within each other, it's adventure, it's compassion, it's passion, it's reciprocation, it's freedom. It's feeling safe in their arms.
Love should not be harsh or controlling or manipulative.
Love does not come in words of possessiveness and forcing restraint against your partner.
Love is not isolation and making your partner stay in instead of going out with their friends because you get jealous.
Love does not discriminate.
Love is not apologies with presents after each bruise or tear.
Love is not forced isolation or abuse.
Love is not danger in the presence of each other.
Love is not abusive whether it be emotional or physical.
Love can make you blind to what love is and that is its biggest threat.
It's important to recognize the signs of abuse despite the mask it wears. It's important to let your friends, your loved ones, your family members to get out of an abusive relationship as immediately as they can. Often times it is easy to fall into the vicious cycle of abuse and continue to say that you will leave the next time it happens.
Leaving is not easy. On average, it takes a victim seven times to leave before staying away for good. Statistics recognize that it is hard to leave. Abuse is a disgusting thing that nobody deserves to go through and something that I wish could be prevented before the very first time. It's also important to recognize and acknowledge the signs in their earliest nature.
That is a truly terrifying statistic that is not spoken about nearly enough.
This Valentine's season, I want more people to be familiar with the signs of abuse and recognize how easily disguisable they are.Love should not come in words of harm, or actions that invoke pain.
Everyone deserves love in it's purest form and I hope that one day everyone is able to experience it.
If you are a victim of abuse please do not be afraid to confide in someone you trust. It's never too late to get out and seek help and support.
"If you think you're in an abusive relationship, it's time to get out of it. Confide in someone, such as a parent, trusted adult, health provider, or friend. Let them support you and help you end the relationship and stay safe. If you have been physically harmed, get medical attention or call the police. Get help from a counselor or therapist if you feel confused or unsure of whether you're in an abusive relationship."