They say a person can only pretend to be someone they’re not for so long. A person’s true colors usually show within 6 months. 

I had never experienced the feeling I felt with him before. Nor had I ever trusted someone wholeheartedly from the beginning. I looked in the eyes of this man and felt safe without a shadow of a doubt.

Little did I know that it would all soon be crashing down…

He was only able to hold up the potential of the pretend man that he made me fall in love with for about 3 months. With no warning at all everything changed.

Lies started becoming an everyday thing, communication was absent from him, the compassionate person I had fallen in love with was gone and the only person he truly cared about was himself.Then the cheating began.

Manipulation became his favorite hobby. Along with degrading, disrespect and abuse. I still remember the first time I caught him cheating. Disbelief, confusion, pain, and anger filled every part of my heart.

And that was just the first time of many.

This was the man that kissed me goodnight and whispered that he loved me. This was the man that I had wanted to plan a future with.

This was the man that promised to always chose to love me and protect me from anybody or anything that would cause me harm. But the real question was who was going to protect me from him?

I stayed fighting for the relationship and hoping that one day the man that I fell in love with would come back. In the back of my mind however, I knew that he never would.

It wasn’t possible because the man I had fallen in love with was nothing more than a figure of imagination that he himself wanted to be, not the man he really was.

His hobbies of lying, cheating, manipulation and abuse got worse and worse. As it got worse, he would just pour on the promises to change, apologize, etc even more.

My self- esteem, dignity, confidence, and health was at an all-time low. Insecure became the main word I would use to describe myself. It was also the word he would throw at me in arguments in attempt to put the blame of our toxic relationship on me.

I looked in the mirror and no longer recognized the woman I had become. My smile no longer lit up the room, and the appearance of exhaustion showed thru.

How could you destroy someone who’s only intention was to love you? How could you treat me the way you do if you love me?

Then FINALLY one day I just realized. He didn’t love me, I just wanted to believe that he did. In all honestly, he probably doesn’t know how to love another human being other than himself. Selfish and narcissistic is what he was.

I decided that I no longer wanted to fight against his demons for a love that was nonexistent.  I made the best decision I have ever made in my life, I completely removed him from my life.

Now when I walk into a room, it lights up. I look in the mirror and I see strength, beauty, and confidence.

I am proud of the woman that I have become because after all, I survived HELL.

By Kayla Diebold for ThoughtCatalog