Ah, Valentine’s Day.
I start off each year with a long list of things I want to achieve and then, the year hasn’t even begun as it should, and there is already a painful reminder of my past.
I want to shed that skin. The woman I was last year is not the woman I am this year, but this holiday makes me remember the person I want to run away from.
There is a story about why I hate Valentine’s Day.
When I roll my eyes at my friend’s excitement over this holiday, she always gets mad. Like I can control the fact that it brings unwanted memories into my mind.
I want to forget that part of me. I want to run away from it and never look back.
But when Valentine’s Day comes around, my mind is flooded with triggering memories. It never stops.
Every Valentine’s Day since I ran away from him reminds me of who I was before I left. Every Valentine’s Day makes me aware of what had been done to me.
So let me share this story before I change my mind. Let’s start with the basics.
He was a man who made sure to capture my heart and every ounce of his effort was dedicated to that purpose.
I was a lovesick girl, always looking for more in this world. I sought romance and true love.
What I wanted the most was the bond two people create when they are truly in love with each other. But I took what I could get.
The very moment he stepped into my life, it was like I had finally made all of my romantic fantasies come true.
He was a delight. He would take me out on dates, he would kiss me on my forehead, and he promised to marry me one day.
The bubble of love I had created around us guarded me even from my own rationality. I didn’t make any moves to see the bad sides of him.
There was a part of me that made me trust the process of becoming soulmates, so I had time to work on it.
We had to work on our relationship, as mistakes had been made and problems occurred every once in a while. But I was completely oblivious back then.
When people were making sure I was okay, I would brush aside their confusion when I said I was doing amazing.
I didn’t see the way they stared when he would hold me by the neck as if he owned me.
I would tell them that he loved me every time he would burst into a frenzy in front of other people.
They would look at me with concern in their eyes, while he would lash out at me for something minuscule I did.
He never did anything outright to hurt me physically then. He never laid a hand on me, so I thought that they were imagining things.
It couldn’t be abuse if it wasn’t physical, right?
The moment when I started to doubt my own reality, I couldn’t dream of thinking that it was his fault.
I had been brought to the point where my reality didn’t exist without him.
If he said that something wasn’t true, I would take his word for it and wouldn’t doubt him for one moment.
People came to me asking me what was going on. They saw that I had lost weight and I had bags under my eyes.
What no one saw was the inner turmoil that started to unleash itself. I actually thought that I was going crazy.
On the one hand, I loved him, and he said he loved me too. But love shouldn’t feel this draining, right?
Love should be energizing. Love should make you think of beautiful things, not make you shiver in fear.
So when people came to me, I’d ask them for their opinion and then I’d wait and listen.
Even when they explained what they had seen, I would still find excuses for him.
I’d tell them that he didn’t mean the words he said because when he got mad, he just said hurtful things.
I’d excuse the way he would aggressively shake off my touch and I’d say that he wasn’t someone who liked PDAs.
Every excuse sounded like a lie, even to my ears.
When I finally realized that I had been gaslighted and groomed to believe only him, it wasn’t the easiest thing to admit.
A heartbreaking story, right?
But what does this have to do with Valentine’s Day? Why do I hate Valentine’s Day so much?
Well, when the time of the year came around for everyone to celebrate love, he pretended like he had forgotten about it.
Even though we had a reservation ready and I spent extra time looking good that day.
He made me believe that I was stupid for celebrating something this trivial – just a holiday.
He knew about it, he knew how important it was to me, and he didn’t care.
It was the last straw. It took everything in me not to scream at that moment.
But I just cried. I cried my eyes out right there in front of him and instead of comforting me and changing his demeanor, he did the opposite.
He pulled my hair and slapped me as if he had the full right to do so. I didn’t hear the words he barked my way.
I only thought about how I would run away from him and wondered about where I should hide.
The need to get away from him was stronger than the sting on my cheek.
It still hurts to think of that day.
When you love someone so dearly and then they misuse your trust this way, they take you when you’re most vulnerable and that’s when they show their true face.
I wanted to marry that man. I wanted to have kids with him and start a family.
So since then, whenever Valentine’s Day comes up, the PTSD comes back. The memories flash in my head.
There hasn’t been a Valentine’s Day since then that I haven’t spent crying.
It’s sad that he managed to make such a beautiful day seem like a curse. He didn’t just crush my trust in men, but he also ruined my favorite holiday for me.
I’m still trying to work through this, but for now…
I hate Valentine’s Day.