Growing up with two parents that loved each other in the unhealthiest ways was supposed to shape me. It was supposed to teach me everything I didn’t want in a partner.

I met my ex fiancé at 19. He was quickly someone I felt safe with. Someone who made me laugh and smile. Someone who had my back, loved me endlessly, and supported my every decision. Someone who listened to me. Who respected me and my body? Who took my word, trusted me, and loved me on a deep level.

Like a lot of these survivors’ stories I’ll simply say- he changed.
It didn’t happen overnight. It happened one crossed boundary at a time. Arguments became being trapped in a room for hours until I would give it and talk to him- or tell him what he wanted to hear to de-escalate the situation. Small disagreements became smashed windshields and broken cell phones.

Attending social events became filled with anxiety and paranoia of what would come of the event. I spent the last year of my relationship hating myself every day for not doing what I knew was inevitable- we would not be together.

I lost a year of myself love and self-worth that I can’t get back.
I lost time with friends and family.
I lost happiness.

When I ended it there was one thing I didn’t lose- a person.
Leaving him wasn’t planned. While I knew it would happen I didn’t think it would happen the way it did.
I simply knew due to his aggressive actions, I was staring into the eyes of a total stranger.

Everyone says it- never be afraid to walk away. I wish those words were enough. Walking away has changed my entire life in more ways than imaginable. I’ve met some amazing new friends. And I’ve lost some I never imagined losing- ending my engagement seemed to be too much for THEM to handle but me?

I can whole heartedly say that I am happy. I am content. I love myself. I love my decision. I love the strength I found. I love the way I respect myself. I love me for all of me, for my choice to leave my fiancé to find my soul mate.