“Agony, Pain and Love”
I hate when he gets like this. I run but I can’t hide. I’m crying and pleading for him to stop. Before I know it I taste blood.
He’s calling me names, insulting everything about me, and throwing things. Then I feel the kicking. I ask myself, “Why, why does he do this? Why must he mess with my self-esteem? Is this really what I want? Is this really love?”
As I try to get up he punches me, so I fall back down. I can barely focus because my head is spinning. I black out.
I awaken to a body in so much pain. My head is throbbing so hard think I hear my heart beating. My black eye is swollen shut. Fresh scrapes and bruises cover my body from head to toe; there are some old ones too.
I consider going to the hospital. I’m in the restroom doing what seems to have become a daily routine. I’m putting on my mask, which of course is makeup. I try my best to conceal what he has done. With each mark or bruise that I blend away I feel shame and worthlessness, and physically I’m fragile.
I hear footsteps and sense his presence. He stands behind me and wraps his arms around me. You probably know what he is about to tell me. You guessed it, he says he’s sorry and he’ll never do it again. I’d heard this one time too many, but I played along. I kissed him. Told him I forgave him. Then watched him leave and locked the door behind him. Once he was well on his way, I made a phone call. When he answered the phone I announced, “It is over!”
For several years I suffered through that relationship. Love kept me prisoner. Also I was too frightened to leave because during one of our many battles he had threatened, “I love you to death and if I can’t have you, no one will.”
But now I can proudly state we’re finished. It’s been over nine months since we’ve had any contact with one another. And even though this man has scarred me emotionally (and physically) I am grateful to him.
He taught me a plethora of things about myself. Today, I stand tall and refuse to let anyone destroy my confidence. I know I deserve nothing but the best. I am a strong black young woman who has found her independence. I will find academic, career, and relationship success; I can have it all.
I have come to realize that while I was with him I underestimated all I am capable of. This is partly due to the fact that I did not value myself more than my love for him; this is no longer who I am – and never will I be this person again in any relationship. I now know I do not need a boyfriend to feel like I am somebody. I have found happiness within myself, and I do not need to settle for just anybody. I will contently go about my life until I meet someone who is truly worthy of my love. For I now know if I don’t love myself the way God intended, no one else will either. This is what I believe .
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.