The Reality of Abusive Relationships

The Reality of Abusive Relationships

They are not talked about enough, if at all.
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This week, I have invited someone I know to write an article for me! She has wanted to share her story for a very long time, and has not had the opportunity to do so. She wants to stay anonymous, but we both hope you enjoy her story. These are all her words. I find this topic just as important as she does.

Finally out of high school and onto my first day of college. I saw him standing there and I knew my life was going to change. He asked me for my number and I could feel the butterflies. I was excited to be asked on our first date. Which I later would realize would be our only date. We dated for nine months and I convinced myself that I was in love. Seven days before I turned 19, I broke up with him. I didn’t know until I got home but I was in an emotional and physically abusive relationship.

I was stupid, my friends were not good enough, and he controlled my every thought.

I thought that since I had been in an abusive relationship before that I would be able to tell that I had been in one again.

The truth is, this one was different from the other one. This one, lets call him Robert. Robert was amazing. Brought me flowers, told me I was beautiful, and said everything I wanted to hear. For the first month Robert wanted to know what I had done, how my day was, if I had a good night sleep, all a part of the honeymoon phase. But the questions never ended. Robert got jealous of my best friend whom I had been friends with since diapers. If I talked to any male, I would hear about it. But I would tell myself, its ok, he got cheated on in his last relationship, he just needs more reassurance and trust.

I rarely ever saw him.

Things changed in our second semester of college. His friend hit me. A guy who easily weighs 50 pounds more than me hit me. It felt like a freight train. Robert did nothing about it. However, when we were at a concert, a guy we didn’t know pushed me, and Robert went to my defense. He only got protective of me because a stranger was encroaching his territory. His friend was not because his friend knew who I “belonged” to.

I broke up with him because he looked at me dead in the eyes and said, “When you do that it makes me want to hit you.” I was livid. All I did was correct him on how to say something properly.

“Jason”, the one before Robert, he was the stereotypical bad boy that every girl has an encounter with in her life. We had loved each other for six years and we were finally able to do something about it. Until I found out I wasn’t the only one he was seeing.

He always told me I was his number one and that he knew once he dated me he was done dating. We had planned our future. But he would never be with me, but he always gave me some sort of hope. He said we couldn’t be together because of my anxiety and because he couldn’t trust the guys I would go to school with.

It was my fault that we couldn’t be together, my diagnosed severe anxiety.

He told me that if I talked to any other guy while I was talking to him that he would leave me and never talk to me again. But if he talked to a girl or even dated her while he was with me, it was ok. I thought I deserved this. I thought this was my worth.

We were on and off for a year. My depression worsened when I was with him. I became the person I never wanted to become. I ended things July of 2015. I recently got back into contact with him and I was finally able to get the closure I truly deserved.

Emotional abuse is not always seen. It starts out perfect because why would you go out with someone who says on the first date “I want to hit you”. In reality you wouldn’t. You would go out with the person who brought you flowers and told you ‘you were his number one and always will be’. Emotional abuse increases over time: it starts out with little comments and escalates to controlling behavior.

It turns out that I am worth so much more than what Robert and Jason made me feel. I deserve to be loved the way I love.

Cover Image Credit: Picture Quotes

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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To The Friend I Rarely See Anymore

I wish you nothing but the best.

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When we graduated high school, we thought it was the end for us. The distance would ruin us and we wouldn't be able to call ourselves friends. Thankfully, you were my rock for the first year of school. You were the one I turned to when the adjustment was hard or when I needed someone to talk to and just listen. We never lost our connection for a whole year. We proved that nothing could pull us apart no matter how far the distance, no matter the different schedules. We were still best friends.

Another summer came and we only got stronger. We went on countless beach trips, late night hangouts, and Starbucks runs. I didn't even think it was possible to be this much closer to you than we already were. If we weren't together, we would Snapchat or text to never stop the conversation.

Now summer ended, we didn't think twice about losing our connection this time. We had a bond stronger than anyone could fathom. We once again went our separate ways and kept our texting and Snapchat habits.

But something changed.

It must've been the comfort level of sophomore year. It must've been all the new friends we got. It must have been the boys who entered our lives. We don't speak anymore. I haven't seen you since winter break. I haven't texted you since New Year's Eve. Our connection, one that was once thought to be indestructible, came crumbling down with sophomore year. I am not going to lie, sophomore year was the best of my life, but I knew you were missing the whole time. It wasn't the same without you.

I'm not upset you chose to focus your time and life on your new boyfriend. I am happy for you. I am not upset you spend more time with your school friends. I am happy for you. I am not upset you don't text me anymore and killed our streak. I know you're living a happy life. And I am too.

We may have gone our separate ways like we never imagined, but I am happy you are finally happy. Don't forget for one second that I will always be here for you. I will still always answer your text. I will still always be your shoulder to cry on even when no one else is there for you. I wish you nothing but the best, and I hope you're doing ok.

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