For four years I was with a guy who I thought was the one. For his sake, I’ll call him Hayden. Hayden was everything I wanted in a man, a friend, humorous, musical, strong, and brave. At least that’s what he led me to believe he was... Through the first year we had some fights like every couple had, but I always thought that no matter what happened we would get married and start our lives. He was my idea of forever. I have been suicidal since 2010 and he knew that I had made numerous attempts on my life. While going through these thoughts I also suffer from anxiety. He always managed to have a way to keep me calm through this. But one day he looked different to me, like something inside of him changed. It was the first day he ever hit me. I immediately thought to leave him but I couldn’t. I was so afraid of letting go of him. He would always tell me how nobody would love me because “I was too fat” (At this time I only weighed AT MAX 120 pounds) or “I was too ugly” or “Nobody would want someone so used up”. So what was I to think? If nobody wanted me, I wouldn’t get anything better. So I beat myself down. I started to starve myself to become skinnier, more appealing. I eventually got to the point where I was 90 pounds, I was always pale, always feeling weak and only eating crackers and rice to keep myself full. I constantly told myself I was too big and that’s why he had been hitting me and cheating on me. I was so cruel to myself in order to make someone who didn’t and wouldn’t give me the time of day satisfied. I was so weak... Nothing got me out of this funk that I was in. I was constantly destroying myself for someone who since day one didn’t care about me. But I was so blind for how much I love him. I thought that if I loved Hayden with every fiber of my being, he would eventually love me back. He would want that future that I had been so desperately craving. After he realized that no matter what he did, who he did it with and who he did it in front of that I wouldn’t leave. It became so much worse. Every single day I spent my nights crying alone, self-mutilating and self-medicating. I cannot stress enough how much I regret doing this to myself. I saw my friends slipping away from me and my family starting to not care. My family always tried to help but I would push them aside and tell them they didn’t know what they were talking about even though I damn well knew they were perfectly in their rights. The younger version of me would have sobbed uncontrollably if she saw me during this. I couldn’t stand up and fight anymore, I was too weak. I couldn’t find a life boat. So I decided on December 18th, I would cut my thighs and lay in a bath. At least this way, nobody would see it as a clean get away. My brother ended up finding me and getting me rushed to a hospital. As you can tell, I am still here. Thankfully my brother came in when he did. Hayden decided to come visit me and he literally told me “So if you were trying to kill yourself you should have cut deeper baby” and kissed my forehead and walked out. I had NEVER been so disrespected, so ashamed, so broken. 2 more years has passed and he hadn’t changed, hadn’t helped, and hadn’t grown weaker. I was never allowed to hang out with my friends, but one day something told me I needed to see my friend Ian. When I saw Ian, he talked to me about Hayden. He asked to see my arms and legs to see if I had done anything else to myself. I showed him that nothing on me was recent and h was proud. Once I showed him he said he was going to drop me off back at my house. When I was out of the car he handed me a letter. This letter gave me so much confidence and power. I felt like I could leave Hayden. So I called and called and called him, getting no response. I later found out it was because Hayden was having relations with my former best friend... But when I did get in contact with him, he told me he was at a show. I expressed my full emotions to him, explaining how I wanted nothing more than to be the woman he married and even though he was so cruel, that I would stay with him as long as he showed me that there was reason to. So he told me he would show me and that he loved me. From this point, I thought, “good. At least he knows I’m serious this time.” And oh my god was I fucking wrong. By showing me he “cared about me” he ignored me for two straight weeks. I was so crushed. To think I spent 4 years with this guy. 4 Years if my life wasted on someone who never cared about me. I decided that it was the time to end it with Hayden. So I drove up to his place and told him that I couldn’t do this anymore and as I was telling him, another girl came out of his bedroom wearing my clothes...

It was an extremely hard time for me. But I didn’t trash his place, I didn’t yell nor scream. All I did was grab what I had left there and told him that we wouldn’t be talking again. He flipped me off and called me a whore. Typical right? When I left though I felt an odd sense of relief and an even odder sense of clarity. Finally, I was free. Finally it was time for me to start healing.

A year and a half passed and I met a wonderful and sweet man named Steven. As July approached, so did our wedding day. Today, we are happy and living in our own home and trying for a baby. We are starting our lives and making sure that every aspect of it is bright and happy.

I never would have imagined that I would ever be in the place that I am now. All that it took was standing up to a coward who never deserved to get a second glance from me. He never deserved my love and once I stepped up and realized that I was worth more than what he made me out to be. That’s when I started opening up doors to this wonderful life I’m living now.

E. Morningstar