Tw: signs of abuse on second slide
As a survivor of both physical and emotional domestic abuse, something that had always seemed crazy to me was the idea of a healthy, stable relationship. It seemed like a foreign concept and almost imaginary because no one talked about it. People who were satisfied in a relationship, who could discuss important issues in their relationship and address them calmly and never disrespect the other person seemed unreal. I began to accept that any relationship would be somewhat toxic, that the other person controlling you or being mean was normal and I lived with that mindset for a while. I had given up on relationships and decided that I could just be alone, which wasn’t bad, I felt free, like I wasn’t trapped anymore. But then I met someone who treated me with respect and kindness, who deeply cared about me and I fell in love with him easily. And being with him didn’t feel like a cage, in fact, it felt more free than ever before and I started to understand more about him and about relationships and ultimately about myself, more than ever before. He’s very understanding through my traumas especially involving past relationships. Having someone to support me and care for me has been an amazing thing and I’m glad I have a healthy relationship.
Healthy relationships can come in many forms, from a guardian or parent, from a teacher or mentor, from a friend or sibling, from a partner. And once you have a healthy relationship, it’s easier to see the toxic or even abusive ones and make a change to create a better environment for yourself. After you build one, the others seem to fall in line. I’m glad I’ve built other healthy relationships and have many supports, I’ve come a long way in the last few years and I’m glad I’ve had many people by my side to support me and care for me as I do for them. And now, even with my struggles still alive as ever, I know they have my back and I feel less alone.