This one is for all of the girls who lost themselves to toxic men.
I know how it feels because I was one of them.
I know how much pain you went through looking for the courage to walk away from him, even though it felt impossible.
And I’m proud of the day you left him. The day you packed your bags and ran for the hills from him.
That was the day you started your life again, and I know how terrifying it felt.
I know that your hands were shaking the moment you decided it was time to leave.
I know your heart was pounding because you were afraid he’d walk in and you’d have no idea how to tell him face-to-face that you’re leaving him.
But you made it! You walked away from him and you saved yourself from a life of pain.
I know that you did exactly this, because I was in your shoes.
I also dated a toxic man – a guy who acted as one person when his real self was far different.
He pretended to be the best man I’d ever met. He fooled me with his sweet words and I had no other choice than to trust him.
I was convinced he was a nice guy who knows what he wants from life. And I guess I was right in a way because he certainly knew his goal.
He wanted to destroy me and he did everything to make that happen.
He pretended that he was a real, mature man who loved me dearly. But the second I gave him my heart, he crushed it into pieces and convinced me that it was all normal.
I made excuses for him, falling in love with the picture of him that I created in my head.
How foolish of me to look for explanations when the truth was plainly obvious.
I kept thinking that he’d change, that he was just stressed because of work or something else.
I kept convincing myself that the man in front of me wasn’t the man I fell in love with.
Unfortunately, I was only delusional for not accepting the truth about who he actually was.
But they say that when you fall in love, you fail to see the flaws of your loved one. I guess that was the case with me.
I kept pushing aside the reality of the situation and continued making myself believe that he’d change.
But his time of change never came.
I dated a toxic man who made me doubt my self-worth. I became too weak in his hands to be able to react to the bad treatment.
I believed him when he told me that I should change or people would never like me. So, that’s what I did.
I started thinking about my words before I said them out loud. I was no longer a girl who cracked jokes because he told me that they weren’t funny.
That’s why I kept quiet most of the time, because he and other people liked me that way. At least that’s what he told me.
I used to be a girl who had so much confidence in herself. I used to walk into the room aware of my worth.
With him, I became the complete opposite. Whenever I looked in the mirror, I saw a girl full of flaws.
I was too much of this and not enough of that, and it was all as a result of his words. He always made sure to show me I’d never be as good as he was.
No matter how hard I tried, he always found some way to bring me down.
And over time, I became so self-conscious that I couldn’t look at my own reflection anymore.
Where was that girl who smiled all the time – the one who had fun, no matter who she was with?
Where was that spark in her eyes that used to light up the whole room?
I couldn’t find her anywhere, and I was fighting so hard to do it.
He made her disappear completely, and he turned her into a smaller, weaker version of herself.
She was quiet, sad, and lonely, but she had no idea how to run away from that.
I dated a toxic man who made me afraid of all those I came in touch with. I even questioned the intentions of my own family.
Whenever they tried to warn me with “You should leave him” and “He’s bad for you,” I thought that they were saying it because they wanted to hurt me.
I no longer believed my best friend when she told me that this guy would ruin me. I thought she was jealous of the love we shared.
The only person I trusted was him. He brought me to the point where I would trust him even if he told me that the grass was blue.
That’s how much power he had over me.
I only saw him and ignored all those who actually wished me well.
And even after I left him, I felt the consequences of his deeds.
Whenever a guy tried to get closer to me, I pushed him away thinking that he’d be the same as the toxic man I used to date.
I thought that everyone was intent on ruining me the way he did.
So, in order to save myself from pain, I’d run away from people whose intentions weren’t the same as his.
He shook my life to the core and changed me forever.
He first knowingly destroyed me, then unknowingly taught me that I need to love myself in order to escape the terror he put me through.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I ran away from him and kept running until I couldn’t breathe anymore. I longed for a life where I’d finally be happy.
And I think that I’ve found it.
It’s the moment you realize that you need to love yourself the hardest in order for others to love you.
If I’d only known that earlier on, I’d have been able to escape his cage a long time ago.
But I guess that you learn new lessons every step of the way. And I’ve learned mine with him.
So, to every girl who has ever lost herself to a toxic man: You deserve so much more than a guy whose toxicity will never let him love you the right way.