The response for Broken has been overwhelming! After publishing the introduction on Thursday, I have already been contacted by many women eager to tell their stories in order to help others. If you are interested in submitting a piece on damaging relationships or want to read more about the series, see the Broken tab at the top of the blog.
This first piece is from a young women who wanted to remain anonymous. Nonetheless, I know the courage it took to write this and am so grateful you are speaking out about your experiences. Thank you.
I started off being in a happy relationship with a guy that I met at a high school dance. I thought we were perfect together. I was convinced this was the guy I was going to marry. The only problem was my parents did not like him one bit. I never understood why. They said how wrong he was for me, but I looked past their judgments and remained in a mostly happy relationship.
This was until college, where we went to our separate schools. This was when the fighting started. We were fighting every single day over seemingly meaningless things. We would break up for a day right before my finals and I would do terribly. I would hang out with my guy friends, he would get extremely angry. I would go to a party to hang out with friends, he would ignore my texts and not talk to me. He threatened to break up with me if I even had a sip of alcohol. I was threatened to get broken up with on a daily basis. But I succumbed to his requests. I didn’t want to be alone, I was still sure of our future together.
Throughout our relationship, I became depressed, right around senior year-freshman year of college. This only made our relationship worse because he had struggled with it in the past and had no idea how to help me. I physically hurt myself through this. He couldn’t handle it. I was needy. I needed to see him every single weekend or I would go crazy. I was literally acting crazy with all the fighting. The problem was, when he was there with me, he distanced me from my friends. I wanted to hang out with my friends WITH him, but he just wanted me alone. Some of my closest friends were angry with me and stopped talking to me because they couldn’t handle all of my drama with him. He threatened to kill himself if we ever broke up for good. I was stuck in a completely unhappy relationship with that additional weight on my shoulders. I didn’t know what to do or how to make this better. I wanted so much for us to work out, but I was upset on a daily basis with how our relationship was going. By this point, the people I thought were my friends stopped talking to me because they were sick of hearing about our fights. I was completely alone in this. My parents could not even be supportive since they were the ones that wanted us to break up all along.
We finally broke up the beginning of my sophomore year. I was pretty much a mess. I decided to ditch my true friends and start hanging out with a different group, which led me to going to parties more, and eventually drinking more. I was going out 3-4 times a week. My grades were suffering and my extracurriculars became a chore. I turned into a person that I didn’t like. I started dating my then-boss (about 2 weeks after my ex and I broke up), only to realize that he wanted me for my body and nothing else. I let this go on for 2 months, which took a large emotional toll on my self-esteem and self-worth. I was so excited that someone wanted me and someone liked me that I compromised my beliefs for someone that I barely even knew. Only to find out he was heavily involved in drugs and was borderline alcoholic. I was so broken by this point that I did not care what was happening to me or who I was with.
I think the worst part of my rebound relationship was that my parents somehow found out about it and tried to stop it. They took away my car and phone hoping that I wouldn’t find a way to see him or contact him. Being the person I was, I found ways around this and still (unfortunately) saw him. Now looking back on this experience, I wish I would have listened to them and listened to my friends. My new “friends” encouraged this relationship and thought it was good for me since he “cared” about me so much. Boy, were they wrong.
Once some of my true friends started realizing something was wrong, I started really understanding what I was doing to myself and my self-worth. I started realizing what damage I had done and promptly got myself out of that situation. Lucky for me, it was easy to get out of it. It wasn’t so easy to pretend it never happened.
Looking back on all of this, I feel guilty more than anything. How could I let something so bad go on for so long? What was I thinking? It is unfortunate that I went from one bad relationship to another in such a short amount of time. My inner instincts should have told me that dating someone right after getting out of a long relationship was a bad idea, but that was not the case. I still feel guilty honestly. The person that is writing this is pretty much appalled at the person that is being described here. I keep trying to tell myself that all of these experiences have made me who I am today. I wish that I wouldn’t have made these decisions or had to experience this. I feel guilty that I had a past while the person I’m with now doesn’t. I feel guilty going into my marriage with all these bad feelings and guilt about things that I can no longer change.
As hard as this may be, I’m still moving forward knowing that I changed my life and I am now a better person. I have a new relationship with God and a much stronger faith. These experiences made me appreciate so much more the relationship I have now and how blessed and lucky I am. Sure, there are days that I still feel terribly guilty, but that is where love and forgiveness come in. And I could not be more grateful for that.