Open Letter to My Abusive Ex-boyfriend

Subject: Open Letter to My Abusive Ex-boyfriend
Date: 17 Dec 2016

I was like a puppet to you.
You controlled me emotionally and mentally. You controlled my actions and feelings towards others. You alienated me from my friends, family, education, work, my true self. You turned me against the ones who were always there for me. The ones who saw the true you early on. The ones who I did not listen to because I loved you.

You broke me, but you did not ruin me. Your manipulation is what kept me in the relationship. I was too blind, too in love, to see your real intentions. You threatened suicide multiple times just to keep me. You told me that no other guy would want me. I believed you. I wanted out so bad. It took three months to finally be free. Be free from you, from your power, from your manipulation, from your abuse.

I felt like I had no voice. You made me feel like I was always wrong, like I had no idea what I was talking about. You made me feel stupid. I lost my confidence because of you. I learned to keep my mouth shut because I was scared to voice my opinion. I did not want to deal with the argument or guilt you put me through so I stayed quiet. Everything was an argument with you. Everything had to be done your way, on your time.

I got so used to this way of living that it was hard to end things. I felt so trapped. It felt like there was no way out. It was hard to picture what life would be like without you and your ways of "loving" me.

You called me names that tore me down. No matter how mad I got at you, I never verbally attacked you. You made me feel worthless. You threatened to physically hurt me...only this threat became a reality that occurred several times. You blamed me for YOU hurting me. You had a way with words that made me feel like everything was my fault. I started to feel guilty. I began to believe that it was my fault that you physically hurt me. I found myself apologizing for things that I did not need to apologize for. I found myself apologizing for things that you should have been apologizing for.

I gave you so many chances, over and over. I believed you every time when you said you would change. You did not change. Things only got worse.

You put me in such a deep hole, that it took everything to dig myself out of. But I made it. 

15 months of my life that I will never get back. 15 months of my life that I had to repair. 15 months of my life where I gradually lost myself. 15 months of my life where I thought you actually loved me. 15 months of my life that I gave everything to you. 15 months of my life that I lost relationships throughout. But I do not regret these 15 months. Why? Because you taught me the signs of a toxic person. You taught me to be cautious of who I love. You taught me to be cautious of who to keep in my life. Who to trust. You may have taken a lot from me mentally, emotionally, and physically...but you did not take my strength. Because of you, I am the strongest that I have ever been. I found the little strength from what I had left, and that was all I needed to be where I am now. I did not give up. You did not win my strength.