I left my boyfriend...
It starts with a look. You meet eyes with someone and before you know it that light that has been gone for so long becomes ignited.
Or maybe it’s a compliment made by a stranger in the line at Starbucks. A compliment was as simple as, “You have beautiful eyes,” but one he hasn’t said to you in over six months.
Or perhaps a text from an ex-boyfriend reminding you that you haven’t always felt worthless in a relationship.
So, you entertain these situations and realize you aren’t happy here anymore. You aren’t happy with him anymore. You are tired of playing the role of a woman you never signed up for, with a man who turned out to be the opposite of who he displayed on your first date.
For me, leaving my ex-boyfriend didn’t start with a late-night Instagram DM, it wasn’t a night out with too many drinks where the flirty words had an open door to come rushing out, it WAS a look, but not with another man.
It was a look in the mirror.
My once bright eyes were raw from many nights of crying myself to sleep in the realization of another day I was wasting with the wrong person. Tears of fear, but also tears of anguish as I truly did want to make it work. My thick red-dyed curly hair was falling out in handfuls, and on the rare days I had enough energy to wash it, it lived in a messy bun.
My clothes didn’t fit like they used to, and I retired my skinny jeans for sweats since they were more forgiving of the ten pounds I managed to put on. I had been living like this for over six months, but on a cold morning in January, I decided to leave my boyfriend. My boyfriend with whom I shared a home, a 9-month-old puppy, and finances. I left him for someone else…
In retrospect, there were a lot of red flags that I managed to ignore in my relationship with him.
A couple of months into our relationship, I was already moved in, we had bought a puppy together, and felt like my days solely depended on his schedule. What most people would see considering the fast pace as, “Well when you know you know,” was him working in a manipulative and controlling way that would take me almost a year to see.
What started as a few degrading comments, in the beginning, turned into him tracking my phone and social media, accusing me I was cheating on him when I was at the grocery store, to inevitably being thrown across our bedroom because of a post on Instagram I was tagged in.
Many of my days were spent in an ongoing abusive cycle of, “I’m so sorry babe, I’ll never do it again,” to getting pushed out of a moving truck because we ran into a guy I dated before him at a local bar.
After Christmas of 2021, after nine months with him, I was reading Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle and it was the catalyst that made me pick up my life and move back home to my parents.
Some women get sidetracked by other men who feed something in their hearts, that their significant other has stomped on. Sometimes it’s the extra compliments you get that haunt you while you’re being called names by the man you’re making dinner for.
And other times, like with the help of Glennon’s book, you realize that you, as a woman, were created as a WARRIOR.
Leaving him for no one but myself was the first step in my healing process.
There is no one more valuable in your life than yourself to remind you of your worth. Breakups can happen because you miss someone else, and for me, I did miss someone else immensely every day.
And that person was me.
I missed the woman I was before he turned my strength into a weakness. I missed what living, and not existing in fear felt like. And most of all, I missed the little girl inside of me that I failed to protect.
What we as women need to understand and accept is that it is OKAY to want your happiness. It is okay to put yourself first, to care for yourself the most, and to do what’s beneficial and healthy for you. It is okay to leave an abusive or not abusive relationship to better yourself. It is not only okay but mandatory. I want to share a quote that rings true for me every day.
“You are not obligated to sit there and smile and swallow every bit of shit everyone heaps on you. You are more than furniture, you’re more than window dressing, and you are not a shiny toy. You’re human and have the right to say, ‘Let me feed that back to you, tell me, how does it taste?’ You have the right to protest your mistreatment and set boundaries for respectful interactions. The rest of the world doesn’t realize you have this right and they will act offended and appalled when you exercise it, but it’s yours.”
I am learning that there is power inexperience. Power to learn, power to grow, and power to share. The power that comes from the experience isn’t always grand.
Because no matter how big or small the experience, power is never measured. When I picked up my car that cold day in January and loaded my puppy in the front seat, the empowerment I felt was unmeasurable.
I have a very healthy relationship. It's all only for content mwehehehe... I'm happy with my person 😊
Lead image from Google.