He was the one...

"Listen, Lucy,

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” 

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

He was the one. THE one. I knew it from the moment I met him. He was charming, funny and drop dead gorgeous. The first night I met him, we talked until 4 o’clock in the morning. The very next day we took a walk in the park, he met my parents and soon became the gentleman that opened doors for me.  Before I knew it, I was driving 4 hours to see him when he worked out of town, and was lavished with diamond jewelry, “just because.”  Months into the relationship, we decided to move in together. I kept thinking to myself, “This is it. This is the happiness that everyone always talks about.” He knew the things I needed, before I knew I needed them.  It wouldn’t be for almost a year later, that I realized he knew exactly what I needed, because I no longer thought for myself.

Our relationship was great at the beginning.  He worked out of town, so I kept a great balance with my friends and family.  Then one day I decided I didn’t want to go out anymore. Why would I go to bars when I already had the man of my dreams? Besides, the fight it would create the next day wasn’t worth it.  

I would see my family when he was out of town, and we would spend time with his family once he came home. I didn’t mind always driving to go see his family, because he never saw them.  Besides, the fight to stay in town wasn’t worth it.  

We stayed home and had quiet nights.  I didn’t mind not being social anymore because I adored the time we spent together.  Besides, the fight to go out wasn’t worth it.

My friends starting noticing the difference in the social, happy go lucky and fun friend they once had. They tried talking to me about it, but they didn’t know what they were talking about--I WAS happy. I told my boyfriend about it, and he told me they were jealous and I didn’t need jealous friends. Besides, the fight for their friendship wasn’t worth it.  

Weeks went on in my new world and I was happy and content. Around the holidays we decided to have some friends over for a small gathering and we both got drunk. I watched him whispering to a girl in the corner, right in front of me. I was crushed. I got upset and tried to talk to him about it. A broken bed, three holes in the wall and a door ripped off the hinges later, I realized I made a mistake. I was wrong to think he would ever do something like that in front of me. He would never do anything to hurt me. In turn, I would never do something so foolish to make him mad at me again, because the fight I created was not worth it.

I started to not live my life, but instead, one that was devoted to not making him upset. I was happy. I was numb. It was a relationship that I willingly stayed in. It was a relationship that I could not get out of.

I knew things started to really go wrong when I would get in trouble for not satisfying him sexually. I felt bad. I felt like a disappointment. I was told that if I didn’t do it, he would find someone else who did. Before I knew it, I became THAT girl. And finally, I knew I wanted out.

I did it.  I left. I found the strength to tell him that I was leaving, and I was gone....for a week. 

He missed me.  He lost the best thing in his life. He didn’t know how he was going to go on without me. He was in a bad place before, but he knew what he did wrong. He changed...and I believed it. After all we lived together, and I loved him.  Our relationship deserved one last shot.

My parents, siblings and friends all told me he was just telling me what I wanted to hear. Yeah, right.  What did they know? They weren’t in the relationship.  They didn’t see him cry.  They didn’t know him like I knew him.. and maybe that was a good thing.  I could lie to everyone else, but how much longer could I lie to myself? I, too, knew I was being the girl that believed everything he had to say, but I chose to believe it. I chose to ignore that pit in my stomach. I chose to ignore everyone I trusted that made me who I am today. I chose to ignore the (now patched up) holes in the wall.  I chose to believe that things were going to work out because he was the exception. 

My heart wanted to believe the world I created and ignored, but my head knew better. It took me a couple weeks and a public lashing later, but I finally listened to that sneaky little woman’s intuition. It took me a little bit, but I finally found strength to be done. 

Finally, the fight for ME was worth it.

Moving out was hard, but the people I didn’t want to listen to for the past year made it that much easier.  It was easy to lose sight of how much people cared about me when I was in the toxic relationship, but I learned quick that I have a good support system that will always be there for me.  They knew someday I would find myself.  I just needed to be the one to know what fight was worth it."