Almost exactly one year ago, I found myself in an abusive relationship. It wasn’t physical; he never hit me. But it was very psychological. He told me things that made me believe that I wasn’t good enough for him, for my friends. He made me believe that I wasn’t worth the space I took up on this earth. He made me believe that I wasn’t good enough to keep my life.
The relationship started off great. I was happier than I had been in a really long time. But that was extremely short-lived as things began to change. He became more hostile, more manipulative. In hindsight I know that he’s always been that way, but I struggled to see it at the time because I had longed so much just to be happy. When things changed, they changed slowly, then all at once. He started spreading rumors, telling my friends things that would make them dislike me, and convinced me that all of it was my fault. And then all of a sudden I was really alone. He had taken all of my friends away and isolated me from the rest of the world. While all of this was happening, what friends I had left told me that it wasn’t as bad as I was saying it was. They said lots of couples go through rough spots, and that because he hadn’t hit me, that I shouldn’t worry about it. That a lot of other girls had it way worse than me. He eventually got tired of me and ended things. I held my tongue and took the hit to what was left of my pride and happiness because after all, other girls have it worse.
All of this sparked a deep depression that took me months to get out of. Every now and then he’ll find a way to contact me and tell me how worthless I am. “I never loved you like I said I did.” “You failed as a person.” “Whatever you think I did to you was absolutely ridiculous.” All things he’s said to me in the last 5 months. To this day if I see him in public my heart starts to race and my hands start to shake because I’m so afraid of him.
During the recovery process from this, I learned that it’s okay to not be okay. I was tired of people telling me “it could be worse,” because at that point for me, it couldn’t. I learned that no matter how insignificant the problem is compared to other things, other people, it didn’t matter. Because it was my problem, I was struggling with it, and I shouldn’t have to say that it was okay just because someone else was struggling a little more than I was. It’s okay to be hurt by the things going on. Just because someone else might deal with something worse doesn’t mean it hurts you any less. I believe that no one should underestimate the gravity of their own situation. I believe that no one should minimize their problems because they’re not as massive as another. I believe that no one, under any circumstance, should utter the words, “it could be worse,” because one day, there’s a chance that it couldn’t be.