Uncomfortable Truth: Most of Us Have Been in an Abusive Relationship
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Uncomfortable Truth: Most of Us Have Been in an Abusive Relationship

Sometimes the most abusive person in your life is the last person you thought could actually hurt you.

Uncomfortable Truth: Most of Us Have Been in an Abusive Relationship
Jenna Petrone

I was always taught to seek help when you’re in an abusive relationship. My mom always told me to be strong, to know when you’re too weak to go at it alone. I thought if I ever came to a point in a relationship where I was being hurt, I would lift my favorite finger straight in the air, walk out the door, and never see them again.

But I found out that I’m not that strong. What was the most difficult about my abuse, is no one around me ever noticed. No one saw my bruises, or heard the nasty words thrown at me. No one knew what was going on behind closed doors. I kept this secret locked inside my heart. No matter how many times I wanted to cry for help, I thought there was nothing anyone in this world could do to help me escape.

That’s because my abuser was not a boyfriend with bawled fists or a girlfriend with fire on her tongue; no, I was my own abuser. My fists inflicted the pain; the fire was on my tongue. I would awake in the morning to see my red, blotchy face, and would tell myself how disgusting I looked. After showers, I would look at my chunky, naked body, full of stretch marks down my sides, and pinch the pockets of fat so hard I’d let go to reveal bruises on my sides that wouldn’t go away for days, and then I would cry. Not from the pain, but from how much I hated myself.

I wore the most mundane, shapeless clothing to hide my body, I put on layers of foundation to cover my acne, and I never smiled fully in photos to hide my crooked teeth and braces. All I wanted to do was sink into the background of life. Every day I would throw awful words at myself as reminders of how much of a worthless piece of waste I thought I was. Sometimes I would take a washable marker and draw circles around my fat like I had seen in plastic surgery shows. I was marking what I wish I could just cut off, because in my young mind, that’s clearly how that worked.

My self-hate continued daily until I got my school photos one year. My friend mentioned how I looked like I was trying to hide. Which I was; I had insisted on being in the back, to be least prominent. I pretended like I didn’t noticed, but it was unnoticeable. While everyone else smiled, I stood next to the tallest kids and smirked halfheartedly, hoping no one would see me. I realized then that maybe trying to disappear was actually making me stand out miserably.

That night, something changed. I kept thinking about the picture and how I was hiding myself from the world. I got out of bed and stared at myself in the mirror for what felt like an eternity. I don’t know what came over me, but I told myself I wasn’t going to hurt anymore. I deserved to be happy.

It wasn’t easy getting to where I am now. It took years of reminding myself of my worth. I started by telling my inner circle what I was going through. They were in disbelief because I was the happiest person they knew, how could I be secretly raging an internal war against myself? But they assured me they’d do everything they could to help me.

I hung up reminders telling myself I’m beautiful, smart, and important. For every awful thought that came, I made myself think of three things I liked about myself. Through talking to others I found I wasn’t the only one struggling, and if we open up about these issues, maybe, just maybe we’d be able to heal together.

It’s been years since I was there. Sometimes I still get hateful feelings, but I remind myself I am no longer that girl. Like anyone else who struggles, I’ll always have to fight off urges, but I’m stronger now. What was once a terrible voice shouting at me 24/7 is now an occassional whisper, and is easier to silence.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

A Beginner's Wine Appreciation Course

While I most certainly do not know everything, I feel like I know more than the average 21-year-old about vino, so I wrote this beginner's wine appreciate course to help YOU navigate the wine world and drink like a pro.

White wine being poured into a glass

Keep Reading...Show less
Types of ice cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? People from all over the world enjoy the frozen dessert, but different countries have their own twists on the classic treat.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

100 Reasons to Choose Happiness

Happy Moments to Brighten Your Day!

A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less

Remember The True Meaning of Christmas

“Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you?”

A painting of the virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, and the wise men

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Christmastime is a celebration, but have we forgotten what we are supposed to be celebrating? There is a reason the holiday is called Christmas. Not presentmas. Not Santamas. Not Swiftmas. Christmas.

boy standing in front of man wearing santa claus costume Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

What many people forget is that there is no Christmas without Christ. Not only is this a time to spend with your family and loved ones, it is a time to reflect on the blessings we have gotten from Jesus. After all, it is His birthday.

Keep Reading...Show less
Golden retriever sat on the sand with ocean in the background
Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog. I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments