1. Fear. I was scared for my life. Wherever I went, I was paranoid he was following me. I peeked through windows, and I hid behind the trees. I was dead scared of him coming back again.
2. Like I’m never going to be the same again. My emotional pain turned into a real one. My chest hurt; my heart skipped beats. It physically hurt me. I couldn’t get up a flight of stairs. I ran out of breath. His abuse made me physically ill.
3. My self-worth was crushed. It didn’t exist. I was so insecure, I was afraid of everything, and I listened to everyone except myself. I resented myself for letting him break me. I couldn’t trust myself for a long time.
4. I lost my dignity, and I lost myself. I needed to find the way back to living the life I once knew, but the path was blurry. I saw it in the distance, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get to it.
5. I had nightmares that seemed like cruel and harsh reality. I was waking up in the middle of the night screaming his name and begging him to stop. I was crying in my sleep because of the things he had done to me. My dreams became the projection of the fear that I lived with—him coming back.
6. I was vulnerable. Everything upset me. I couldn’t hold in my tears for the slightest thing that happened. At that time, it seemed unbearable. It seemed like it would never go away because my heart and my soul couldn’t bear more problems, more pain. I was like a delicate flower left to the mercy of a cold winter wind—just one blow could tear me apart.
7. Every person I met was a potential threat. Not only that I couldn’t trust myself, I couldn’t trust others either. I scared away some good people from my life because I wasn’t ready to let anyone into my life. Life seemed too hard and too shitty then, and every person I met was a part of it. That’s how I looked at it.
8. I tried to hide the pain and the contempt, rage, and anger which were growing bigger and bigger every day. I tried to act normally. I tried to be happy. So, I put on a fake smile, but my eyes told you the true story. My eyes held the truth.
9. I didn’t know what happiness felt like. It was a long time ago since I had laughed sincerely. It was a long time ago when I truly was myself.
10. I became guarded. I couldn’t let anyone get close to me and beat me to the ground. He broke me and brought me to the rock bottom. He put me in complete darkness, and now that I’d finally seen the light, just a hint of hope, I wouldn’t let anyone compromise it. I built walls no one was able to tear down.
11. I couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t want to. I felt safe there, away from everyone. I blocked people who love me, and anxiety became my best friend. We were together all the time. It was just one step further to an emotionally overwhelming state. Anxiety held me her prisoner for a long time.
12. People who loved me stayed anyway. They didn’t turn their backs on me. I’ve discarded them because I wanted to be alone. They knew I needed some time, and they never left. They knew I couldn’t just get over it that easily. They bore with me; they gave me time.
13. I felt judged. I felt people looking at me over their shoulders and commenting in silence about my life. I felt guilty for needing time to heal as if I was doing something wrong. I got sick of people who hadn’t got the slightest idea of who I am meddling with my life.
14. I needed someone to tell me that it’s all over. I needed reassurance. I needed someone to tell me that nothing bad is going to happen. I needed to know that I am going to be safe from now on.
15. I apologized for every little thing. I felt that everything that happened around me was my fault, so I immediately said ‘sorry’, even when I didn’t have to. I got used to taking the blame to avoid the emotional abuse, to turn down the fuss and calm him. It was always my fault because if I said anything different than that, I would pay in the end.
16. I felt like I needed someone who’ll keep their promises for a change. I was fed up with lies and disappointments. If someone were to lie to me, then I’d rather have them gone.
17. I’m going to need time to feel the love again. I don’t know when it’s going to happen. Maybe tomorrow, maybe a day from tomorrow, maybe a year.