Sunday, October 7, 2018

“Comfortable” in Uncomfortable Situations.

Meet Whitney

This is her story...

Where to even begin with this? I want to start by saying that not every guy I have dated has been a complete nightmare. In fact, some of them have been pretty good and the same can and will be said for every girl out there. Not all men are pigs and I want to make it perfectly clear that I wholeheartedly believe that. Unfortunately, I can’t narrow down my bad dating experiences to just one relationship. I would love to be able to, but I can’t. Just as I believe there is not one person that you will love for the rest of your life (it’s scary to think about that I know) there isn’t just one relationship that will teach you things that only a bad experience can.

            I met a few guys here and there and went on a few dates with many of them. To this day, only one of them ended things in a decent manner. Yes, men are jerks. But so are women. The relationship world is hard, and there is a right and wrong way to handle things. You’ll learn that most people choose the wrong way. But that is just how dating is, it’s an ugly, cruel world. Really, it is. HThings didn’t get quite so bad until I had recently graduated from nursing school, was living in a new place, and was by many accounts, highly vulnerable. I met a certain guy through a friend (to protect the identity of these next two men I won’t go into too many details, so “through a friend” is how I will relate this meeting). He was charming as can be, everything about him. His face, his physique, his southern charm. I’m not sure what else a single 22-year-old would have wanted. We went out on a few dates and everything seemed like everything I had ever wanted.

 Until one day things all just sort of changed and I am not sure when they went south, but they did, and fast. He began telling me about all these “fetishes” he had and how he enjoyed women becoming submissive to him. The anxiety I struggle with is a beast and, especially when I was younger, I had this little voice in my head telling me “you better just do what he wants”. I found myself literally doing things I did not care to do but did them anyway with fears of losing him and never finding anyone else to love me. I want you to know that sexual abuse occurs even if you aren’t physically having intercourse. There are many different forms of sexual exploitation and abuse. If you don’t want to do it, if any ounce of you says it’s not right, don’t do it. Period. I wish I hadn’t, and that this time in my life didn’t exist. But it does. After this I thought I would never trust a man again. I didn’t for a while. But, I think this relationship sent me into a downward spiral. I didn’t know what a “good” man looked like anymore. I just knew I enjoyed the attention he gave me even if I didn’t enjoy what I had to do to get it. Anyone that came along to give me attention I flocked to and that is probably the most unfortunate thing I could have ever done.

            I was 25 the next time I met a love interest. While 22 and 25 may seem like a huge gap, I must tell you that within those three years the “man” mentioned above continued to try and weave his way back into my life, and I continued to let him. Between girlfriends of his, he would contact me. So, it was a continuous nightmare of a revolving door. (And also, some of the guys I dated between these were good and not worth mentioning here 😉). Anyway, the next guy knew all the right things to say. Again, he had a nice job and we knew a lot of the same people, so it was easy to be drawn to him. We went out on 2-3 dates, he talked about how I “seemed different”.  Before I knew it, we were sleeping over at each other’s places, and the next thing I knew, he moved in with me. I rearranged my whole life for him (literally) and it was a trap I could not get out of. I didn’t have time to develop real feelings for him because I had fallen in to that trap. I was always that girl that wasn’t keen on the idea of living with someone before marriage (still overrated in my opinion). But, everything he said had me believing it was ok. He talked about marriage. He talked about babies. Once we lived together, it’s like we stopped dating. This was one of those men that had the mindset of once he had you, he had you and there was no need to try anymore. I begged for us to go out, to take a vacation, there was always some excuse. It was in this relationship that I also learned all the multiple ways that cheating can occur. Again, it’s just about intercourse.

 Sister, you deserve to be respected and treated like you hung the moon. If you aren’t, then kick him to the curb. This is what I should have done. Instead, I allowed myself to get comfortable in a situation that wasn’t at all comfortable. 10 months after we started dating, he woke up one morning and decided he was going to leave, with very little warning. Let me say this a little louder for the girls in the back; YOU DESERVE SOMEONE THAT FIGHTS TO KEEP YOU. Unfortunately, we live in a generation where if things get broken we don’t fix them. But let me tell you something else, you are not just a “thing” and you are never broken or unfixable.

            I let this man convince me that it was all my fault. That even after I had given up my life as a 25-year-old single lady and given him what little was left of my moral value from the previous guy, it still wasn’t enough. Things were dark after this. Very dark. My depression was at an all-time high. I cried way too much. I even had to sign a safety contract that read “I will not harm myself”. Yes, that’s not a lie. I find it hard when you go through a breakup and have all these people who are happily married saying “there will be someone else”. 

This is your time to hear it from a girl who is yet to find her happily ever after, but still believes, KNOWS in fact that the pain doesn’t last forever. I hold firm in my belief that our pain has a purpose. Maybe God chose me to withstand those struggles because when I do find that real love that I have always laid in bed at night and dreamed about, I’ll know it without any doubt and will fight for it with every fiber of my being. Or maybe it is just to share my experience with other women and serve as proof that life does go on, and you will survive this pain. Remember everything thing in life is temporary, even that broken heart of yours. It really is, I promise.

Look at how much confidence, and self worth is radiating off of her face.. Her story is raw and uncensored, but truly hope it helps y'all relate in any way. So if this makes it to you, know you are not alone. You deserve to feel worthy again. 

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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