Some people are good at hiding things. They do this to protect the people they love or to protect the person they thought they loved. And in doing that, there comes a price.
I was one of those people, and keeping that secret destroyed me mentally, emotionally and physically. If you're confused, I guess I should start from the beginning and tell you what I hid for so long.
I met this guy. Let's say his name is Chris. Chris and I were friends at first. Then he asked me on a date, and we saw a movie together. We instantly clicked. We started dating in December, and I fell hard for him.
He was my best friend, and I adored him. Around late December, my grandmother's cancer came back, and I was devastated. Chris was there for me, and I was so grateful for that. But after she passed away, he changed.
After my grandmother's memorial was the first time I saw Chris get angry. We headed back to my dorm, and when we got to my room, I was still upset. And he got annoyed with me and slammed me against the wall. I hit my head pretty hard.
I apologized to Chris. I was afraid of him, but that was only the beginning. When he came over he would grab me and leave bruises. He would yell at me, breaking my spirit more and more.
Chris would be angry whenever I would focus on school or hang with my guy friends. He'd threaten to harm himself. I would always drop everything to make sure that he was okay. I would end up coming back with bruises and scars.
This continued to happen over the four months we dated, and I kept my mouth shut. I was afraid and depressed. I felt so alone.
I changed a lot. My grades began to slip, and I had trouble getting out of bed. Worst of all, I began to fear the people I loved - my friends and family. I didn't want to leave Chris because he would hurt himself and because I loved him. I began to believe that I deserved this, even though I never did.
I was drowning inside, and I didn't think things would ever get better. But one day, after not seeing him for a while, I came back with cuts on my face from Chris.
That was the moment that I finally broke down and told someone. My friends finally knew, and they convinced me to leave him. It was the scariest thing in the world. When I left Chris, I didn't know what to feel. I honestly felt empty. I told my family, and they were shocked and devastated. But I felt nothing.
They say time heals all wounds and scars, and it has taken some time for me to heal. The day after I left him, I still felt empty and afraid. There would be moments when I would have random flashbacks of events that happened to me, and I would just break.
I began to believe that nothing would get better, but eventually, things began to look up. I began to see a school therapist which helped a little bit. But part of me wanted to start fresh and leave this dark part of my story behind. So I did. And I will be starting school somewhere new this fall.
But here I am two months later. I'm still here, processing and putting myself back together. And in all honesty, I'm becoming a much happier person. Yes, I still have nightmares and flashbacks of the events that have occurred, but it's slowly getting better.
And I don't want to be silent about this part of my story anymore.
Yes, I was abused. And I'm slowly putting myself back together. But I won't let it define me anymore.
I will be okay. And to anyone who is reading this and has been or is in an abusive relationship: You will be okay too. I've found peace in this dark part of my story, and so will you. Things do get easier, I promise you.
If you or someone you know is being abused, reach out for help. I promise it will get better.