Read 1, 2, 3, and 4 first.
I have been mangled, battered, broken, bruised, torn, cursed, and scarred beyond recognition. I have been stalked and I have been pushed around.
I'm not going to lie.
I have been convinced I was weak enough to go back.
On some level, I thought if I kept trying, he would realize that he didn't need to fight with me to keep me. I thought if I stayed, he would suddenly change into the sweet and shy boy he had been when we met.
I failed to see that the fact that he was just a boy was part of the problem. He was just a boy. And he would never turn back into the loving person I wanted to be in a relationship with.
Sometimes I'm still afraid to write personal things on my Facebook, Twitter, and even on this blog, which is one of many reasons I didn't write this post for so long, and why I get vague and weird about saying where I live and what my plans for the future are. Sometimes I'm afraid to answer the phone at work (which is, unfortunately, my job). I'm afraid to drive home late at night because I think someone is hiding in my car.
I am afraid of the sounds outside my window.
But I don't care. I'm afraid, but I don't let that fear control me. If I changed my plans as a result of fears I have based solely on things he did to me or threatened to do, he would still be controlling me and my life. Something I refuse to let anyone do to me ever again.
Honestly, I'm sometimes thankful. I needed to grow up. I needed to learn who I was. I needed to learn what I wanted and how willing I was to get it.
I needed to learn that I do not need a man.
I needed to learn I am stronger than I feel.
Sometimes I still cry. Not because I miss him, necessarily. I haven't seen him or heard from him in months and for that I'm thankful as well. I cry because I miss having someone love me like he did when things were actually good. But the love he showed could never compensate for the cruelty he also showed.
Sometimes I cry because I miss being part of something bigger than just myself. Not often, but every once in a while.
Mostly, I cry because life is so completely unpredictable. And PMS is a bitch.
I am so different from what I expected myself to be at 24.
I am so much better. So much more honest and real.
And if it took this huge relationshit to show me who I actually am, so be it. I know I can handle whatever life throws at me now. I know how much I can take. I know it's so much more than I ever imagined it could be.
We're (when I say "we" I mean my cat and I, because he's more awesome than any boyfriend I've ever had. My apologies to any ex-boyfriends who happen to read this.) survivors.
So you know what, life?
P.S.-- Thank you, Bambi. For making me a better and stronger person without ever realizing what you were doing. I'm sure you're out there, somewhere. Watching.