When my abusive relationship ended, I felt so lost and confused at that point in my life. I remember feeling so destroyed and feeling like everything I had built myself up to be before that relationship started had been shattered. I was a shell of what I was and I knew in my heart that my life had been forever changed. It was so easy for me to hide my sorrow and allow myself to be alone in the world, but every person who was there for me, every one of you, has shown me by being there for me that company is always positive and it's been making my recovery easier than I would have originally thought.

I remember I had a conversation with my abuser not too long before I finally came out about what he had done to me where he admitted to me that he doesn't see the wrong in his actions, small or large actions. This made me think long and hard about why I was "protecting" him and why I didn't leave when he first laid his hands on my throat. I made excuses to myself thinking that maybe he didn't realize what he was really doing to me? Maybe it was something I did wrong? Maybe I deserved it?

I would always place the blame on myself for not being good enough instead of realizing that what he did to me was wrong and not my fault, end of story. If you're going to put your hands on someone in any type of way, communication is key, asking your partner if you can touch them is healthy, this is not what he did to me. This was so hard to talk about when it was happening and even writing this is taking more courage for me than I intended.

I remember the morning I first came out and told someone that I had been choked in that relationship. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, telling someone I love and value that someone else mistreated me, and I know it was the hardest thing he had to hear. I later went on to tell my parents, my therapist, and a few other close friends and every single one of them has constantly stayed by my side and helped guide me in my recovery every step of the way. To any of you who have been there who are reading this now, I cannot thank you enough.

Without your love and support, I don't think I would have ever come out about my struggles. I have finally gotten to the point where I can forgive him for hurting me so we can both move on in our lives without holding grudges, I want to love instead of hate, but I know I will never be able to forget what happened to me. I thank all of you for getting to me this point where I can begin to move on towards a happier and healthier life for myself and I can't even begin to thank you all enough for loving me at my worst. I have never experienced pain quite like this before and it was one of the hardest things I had to go through, but I am so thankful that I don't have to go through it alone anymore. Thank you. I love you.