From Surviving to Thriving: How I Healed After an Abusive Relationship
Tips on discarding your emotional baggage from a survivor
Eight years ago, I was an emotional wreck. The man I was engaged to had become mentally abusive to me, physically abusive to our dog, and manipulative to his rotten core.
He had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from war and I always made excuses for him. I felt I couldn’t leave him because he was so sick. It was a complete shock when he broke up with me to pursue “younger women”. I was 25 years old.
I left that relationship feeling broken inside, a shell of my former self. However, I packed up and left with my pride, I didn’t beg him to take me back. That’s not my style. Never fear animal lovers, I took my dog Lucky with me!
Initially, I was devastated by this “loss”. After a few weeks, I realized I was more upset about the way Lucky and I had been treated than the loss of the actual relationship.
So what did I do? I began dating again. I thought there was no way I could find someone worse than I already have.
Naturally, I was attracting the same type of men: Egotistical, self-centered, and vain. They were mirror images of my ex.
For the first time in my life, I decided to see a therapist. He was amazing and he really helped me. He made me realize something: I needed to be alone. I needed to be single, probably for a few years. I needed to heal myself before I could date again.
I was seeing a guy during therapy. Naturally, he was just like the others. I actually called him during one of my therapy sessions and broke up with him. I didn’t feel guilty, it was quite liberating. It was time for me to date myself.
This was the beginning of a new life and it led me on a journey of self-discovery.
I moved into a little one-bedroom apartment with my dog. I lived alone for three blissful years. Honestly, it was one of the greatest times of my life. I reconnected with old friends, spent time with my family and found my spirituality. Most importantly, I learned to love being alone.
Many of us are terrified of being alone. I was too until I realized how essential it is to stay single after a breakup. Living…