Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Blinded by First Love

Meet Katherine

All of our stories are different, but we can all relate to how it is being in a toxic relationship. It takes every ounce of energy out of you, you don't feel like yourself anymore, and your happiness slowly fades away. My dear friend of 24 years, Katherine, has went through hard times but has pushed through. She truly is now radiating more confidence, and feeling worthy again. 

Here's her story....

As a child imagining what love was, I envisioned a beautiful connection full of respect and trust between two people. When I reached my twenties, this image became skewed as I found myself in a compromising situation. My first real relationship started off pretty magical. He was charming and seemed to say all of the right things. It was the first time I had received that kind of attention, which also blurred my rational thinking. It wasn’t long before the control began and his temper grew stronger. He became enraged when I was with friends or made any plans without telling him. He would say I didn’t care about him and I was being selfish, and unfortunately I believed him. He slowly isolated me from friends and later family. That was one of the worst parts because it was such a lonely place to be. 
            As time went on, nothing I did seemed to be right. He would put me down constantly, and everything was my fault. He took his insecurities, anger, and sadness out on me. He tore me down to build himself up, and he sucked the life out of me. It wasn’t long before he began to physically assault me. It started with pushing, shoving, and grabbing, which left bruising. I told everyone I bumped into tables or chairs. He had broken me down so much that I no longer felt I had a voice. He choked me a couple of times when he was really mad. I remember praying in those moments that he wouldn’t kill me. Sadly, I stayed with him through that and believed that he would change, that he didn’t mean to get so mad, and that he loved me. This relationship lasted about a year, and parts of it I cannot remember.
 I do remember leaving. It took a while for him to leave me alone, but eventually he was out of my life. Support from family and friends, therapy, and my faith have helped the healing process. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have been able to write this, as it would have brought about too much sadness. But today, I’m thankful I can share my story. The process to leave was difficult, and it was hard to rebuild the confidence in myself. But it was worth it to stop living in the lonely and frightening world that had become my norm. The moment I left was the moment I regained my freedom. I hope my story can provide courage for another that may be struggling with an unhealthy relationship. 
To those of you out there, I hope you know you are loved and you are worthy. You deserve someone who treats you with respect and who cherishes the beautiful person that you are. Reach out to a friend, family member, behavioral health center, or anyone that you trust. You have a voice and you have the power to take control of your life. You are not alone. 

If any of y'all want to share your story please contact me through my email, or private message me on Instagram. And if you are in the Knoxville area, you are able to participate in the Happiness Photoshoot. 

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