My eyes are dead, my heart feels empty and my mind is tired.
I was once care-free; I didn’t care what people thought of me, I had confidence, I felt sexy and now, that’s gone.
I gave my everything to someone who didn’t deserve it; I had all of my love saved up and I threw it away like it meant nothing to someone who was nothing.
I look at myself in the mirror and I still hear the cruel names, the taunts and his wicked laughter after I’d cry because he’d hurt my feelings.
You see, when you leave an abusive relationship, it doesn’t leave you for a painfully long time; it’s a very slow and draining process – a recovery from an addiction.
From poison, actually.
Leaving the person who drip fed you lies, excuses, hate and self-hatred is the easy part – recovering is worse than the abuse itself.
Like most addictive drugs, you get withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking them and then you have to train yourself to go back to life how it was before you fell down that very slippery slope.
It’s no lie that it’s had a knock on effect on my family, my friends, my children and my future – I no longer believe I’m good enough.
This is why.
I’m scared to cry because I was told I was stupid for crying when he called me fat, when he laughed at my laugh or criticised everything I did; this was my fault.
I’m scared to voice my opinion because I was shouted down – he was always right and I was ignored. I was inferior.
I’m scared to date someone new because he made me believe they only want one thing.
I’m scared to ask for help because I was told I was a burden and incapable.
I’m scared of letting someone else in to my life because I’m worried they’ll leave.
I’m scared to wear nice clothes and make-up because of how I’ll be judged by others.
I’m scared of trusting someone else because I’m petrified they’ll abuse it.
I’m scared to say no in case I get the silent treatment.
I’m scared to say yes because I think I’ll get taken for granted.
I’m scared to make a decision without being told off.
I’m scared to answer a question in case it’s the wrong answer.
I’m scared to open my phone in public in case someone snatches it from me to read my messages.
I’m scared of opening up to people because I know they won’t believe me when I tell them how badly I was treated – it really is unbelievable.
There’s not much that I’m not scared of anymore.
I doubt everything I do and I feel everybody has a hidden agenda; that everybody’s laughing at me.
I feel angry, I feel hurt, I feel disappointed and I feel betrayed; I don’t know if this will ever go away.
I need time to heal, please understand.
I’m still grieving the loss of myself.
F: The Unicorn in Black