Never go back to what broke you.
A couple of years ago, I experienced sexual abuse that constantly made me seek validation from wrong sources. I desperately needed assurance that I was still beautiful and hadn't lost my worth and appeal as a woman. This was a big mistake because I attracted a toxic man who could see right through me — and he took full advantage.
In the relationship, I did 70 percent of the calling; he'd only ring me up at late nights or when he was bored. His excuses were the usual lame "I'm not used to calling" or "I'm too busy and tied up at work." I wasn't treated like a major priority in his life and when I finally got the courage to leave, he became loving and caring, cajoling me to stay, fix him and give another chance, saying he couldn't commit or call because he was "wired that way."
He struck me as a troubled individual whose soul and heart needed healing. Word of warning: Don't waste your time trying to fix or change a man who doesn't want to help himself; I learned this the hard way.
He was quick to turn the tables on me and accuse me of being with other guys. At first, I thought it was just normal jealousy but my instincts kept telling me his controlling behavior just wasn't right. Gradually, his disrespect toward me grew. Whenever I was with him, he'd continue flipping through seductive pictures of women on his iPhone without batting an eyelid.
I endured his terrible behavior and thought I could fix him but when he started threatening me with a breakup, I knew it was time to pick up what was left of my already shattered dignity and walk out the door with my head held up high. Even though I was more depressed and kind of broken, I was able to give myself a pep talk and walk away. Trust me, I was more than grateful for the courage.
Here are some lessons from emotional abuse I learned during this abusive relationship.
1. Don't let any man half-love you.
The human mind has a way of degrading a person when they go through an ugly ordeal. Sometimes when these things happen to us we lose our sense of worth and we're ready to embrace any Dick and Harry who shows an ounce of love or attention. These men can be manipulative — if they sense your desperation, they capitalize on it and make your life hell.
You should be aware that you deserve the best that life has to offer because you're a special woman. Do not by any means allow a man to half love you or be the only one calling the shots in a relationship that's supposed to be mutually expressive.
2. Abuse should never define your life.
Whether it's physical, emotional or sexual abuse, it should never be the yardstick used to measure your self-worth or beauty. There's nothing wrong with you. It's the abuser that has a problem. Allowing insecurity to set in only makes you vulnerable prey for monstrous men.
3. If you're saying NO, stand by it.
My abuser sensed my inability to stand by my choice and thrived on it, manipulating me because my footing wasn't stable. Don't be feeble-minded in making decisions. Stand by your word and you'll be thankful for it in the long run.
4. Give yourself time to heal.
When you find yourself in any ugly ordeal, the human instinct is to plunge into denial mode, trying not to process the event and pretending it didn't happen. As much as this may appear to be a good way to handle issues, it isn't healthy.
For the moment, the trauma and aftereffect are suppressed but not totally dealt with; in the near future there'd be frequent breakdowns, snapping, crying, frustration and depression as a result of accumulated or pent-up emotions.
The right thing to do is to deal with it, face it, cry all you want, talk to someone, consult a counselor or shrink. Take up yoga or meditation, get healed. Don't jump into the next available relationship with the hope of being healed totally by that person. True and long-lasting healing comes from within.
5. Work on yourself.
Pursue other interests, acquire skills, learn a new language or new things, get busy with your life because life is too short to sulk, be repulsive or depend on other people for your happiness. Devote your time to lucrative and productive things; you're grooming yourself to be a greater asset.
6. Let your positive vibes flow.
There's a meme on Instagram that says, "Be a queen busy with her kingdom until her King arrives." There's so much truth and inspiration in this quote. If you're busy working on yourself and doing other productive or important things, you'll be unconsciously emitting a positive vibe that attracts the right person to you.
7. Never go back to what broke you.
After a while, my ex came back begging, saying he had changed but I knew better and had long closed that chapter. I don't know if it's purely coincidental or some dirty trick life likes to play, but there will be times when the abusers ask you to take them back, and it's usually during the period you feel a little low-spirited.
But please, don't fall for it! It's a trick. You're most likely going to relive the whole experience all over again. Don't go back to what broke you, no matter what.
8. Take control of your life.
Our lives can be likened to a moving car: you are the driver, the one behind the wheel. However, how you choose to be driven is way you will drive. Do not let other passengers in your life force the wheel out of your hands; they'd either steer you to destruction or depression.
Take control of your emotions, feelings, and life. Be in charge and watch yourself soar higher. It doesn't only help in self-improvement but in your choice of partners and the state of your relationships.