You're not alone

A young woman viewing the ocean over a cliff
In the moment

Just recently I learned that there is a purpose for the pain that we face. I now use this space to speak out on my experience with physical abuse. I believe that even if one person gets encouraged by my story, I will have accomplished my goal. It may be a long shot, but it is better to try.

You should know that I was broken at this point in my life. At 21 years old, I felt I wasn’t pretty enough, didn’t have breasts as big as other girls and didn’t think I was smart enough. Everything came from a place of feeling inadequate all around. It is not that I was brought up in a toxic home. In fact, my family is the best gift I could ever ask for. For a long time I didn’t believe in myself and what I could achieve. I often felt like I didn’t have much to offer.

So when I met a boy who told me how beautiful I was and how much he wanted to have a relationship with me, I agreed.  This was just so I could tell my friends that I too had a boyfriend who thought I was really beautiful. It is clear to see that in this particular relationship I was dependent on his love for me. When he didn’t profess his love for me, then I didn’t love myself. This was all very toxic.

It was no surprise that the relationship didn’t last. My, did it end badly! He couldn’t believe how I could just tell him that I didn’t want to continue our relationship. This led to his severe anger. One night I heard a knock on my door at about 11 pm. I went on to answer it wondering whom it might be at such a weird time of night. Upon opening the door and seeing him, I told him to leave, but he didn’t like that. As I stood at the door, my phone rang inside my home and I left to grab it. Unknown to me, he had found an opportunity to get in. He locked the door using my padlock and held on to the keys so that I couldn’t get out. He confiscated my phone and wrote cryptic texts to my parents, friends and even members of my church whom he knew. All this time I was crying begging him to leave. I remember feeling as if I was in a real life nightmare, but instead of waking up, it went on and on. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. He claimed that if he couldn’t have me, then no one else would have me. He made a point of saying that he would ruin my life and detailing how he would shame me so no one would want to associate with me ever again just because he couldn’t have me. I wanted him to leave, but he wouldn’t. I was in distress and shock. I tried fighting him off to leave, but I felt powerless and he wouldn’t budge. I didn’t know what to do. All I knew was that I didn’t want to be in the same place as he was. He dared me that if I tried pushing him again I would regret it. I was tired and I wanted him to leave so I pushed him and the last thing I remember was his hand moving towards my face and now blood was gushing out of my nose profusely. I do not kid you when I say that the whole house had blood all over. It was after this that he was satisfied and decided to leave.

There I was holding a towel to my nose crying helplessly. The shame that I felt was unlike any other. The first people I called were my parents at 5:00 am, crying while telling them how I had been hit by the boy I was dating then. My family and friends supported me throughout the whole ordeal and luckily a restraining order was issued out stating that if he tried to contact me he would be incarcerated.

Though it took me almost a whole year to regain my full confidence in life, I was able to accept Christ into my heart and this filled me with great hope because Gods love for me is beyond measure and I have hope for the rest of my life. I know I have potential to create change all to the glory of God. Above all, I emerged victorious and determined to use my story for good.

Today when I get a chance to interact with young girls I always love to remind them that they are beautiful just as they are and smart. I do this because I know how important it is to love yourself first because with self-love, they will look for love within themselves first before somewhere else.

So you might be in a similar situation or you may feel that you’re not enough, but just know that you are uniquely you and born for a purpose. So wipe off those tears and know that the best is yet to come. Learn to love yourself so that you may not grow dependent on other people’s approval of you. Simply love yourself. Reach out to people whom you know you can trust on their counsel and simply share with them your fears. I believe all this will leave you feeling better. You may feel that you are alone, but you are not. There is no other person like you and therefore you are unique and have something to offer. Thank you.