Eight years ago, you never would have imagined the pain you would be living inside of right now. You never could have known how much meeting just one person could change the trajectory of your entire life. You never could have known how badly they would hurt you and just how much of yourself you could lose to someone else’s abuse. It’s okay. The person you were eight years ago was not a bad person because they happened to fall in love with the wrong person, and the person you are right now is not wrong for not being over them yet.
Healing takes time. Putting yourself back together after someone has broken you again and again and again is no easy task. Sometimes, the healing can hurt just as much as the abuse. But what comes from the healing will help you grow, instead of pushing you back down. You deserve to heal on your own timeline, at your own pace, and in the way that suits you best. Healing is not a one-size-fits-all garment that you can wrap yourself up in to make all of your pain go away. Each person has their own unique way that they need to heal, and you need to let yourself understand that. Your recovery is not a race or a game. You will not win a gold medal if you are “over it” before your friend who went through a similar experience. The only person who matters in your healing process is you.
You are allowed to take your time. You are allowed to take breaks on the days when the healing is just too much. You are allowed to fall backwards; you just have to promise yourself that you will always be there to catch yourself. Time does not always make things better, so you need to stop trying to convince yourself that you are doing something wrong because you are not okay yet.
It is much easier to break something than it is to put it back together properly. You can try to temporarily tape your broken pieces back together, but what will happen the next time the pain comes storming in? Temporarily putting yourself back together will only offer you temporary comfort. If you truly want to get better, then you have to put in the work. You have to give yourself the time. And you have to dig deep, deeper than you ever could have imagined so that you can finally free yourself from all of the pain that has been weighing you down.
You deserve to feel whole again. You deserve to reignite the light in your eyes that you lost the day you met them. You deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin again, and you deserve to take back ownership of the body that someone else forced you to let them control. You deserve to have dreams and goals and big plans for your future, even if for right now, those plans only involve you.
You deserve to let yourself be selfish for a while. Do all of the things that you love without worrying about someone else’s opinion of them. Dye your hair your favorite color, and relish in the fact that they would probably hate it. Wear your favorite clothing and patterns and prints and know that for the first time in a long time, the only person you are dressing for is you. You are doing everything for you. You deserve to embrace the person you were before them.
You deserve to remind yourself of just how worthy of a wonderful life you are. You did not deserve the abuse you endured. There was nothing you did or could have done to make you deserving of that kind of treatment. Take care, and remind yourself that the abuse you suffered from this person was never a reflection of who you were as a person. You were not abused because you were weak or because you deserved to be punished. Their abuse was something they chose to inflict on you. They took advantage of you. You cannot change a person who does not want to get better, but you, you will be able to change because you want to get better. You did not choose to be abused, and you did not choose to bear all of this trauma. But, you have the power to choose how you will recover from it all.
I hope you let yourself have the recovery you deserve. I hope you let yourself cry and scream and curse the world for putting you through this. And then, I hope you let yourself start moving forward. I hope you let yourself put one foot in front of the other so that you can finally start walking away from the pain of a life you never wanted to be yours. I hope you do not stop trying on the days when the trauma comes knocking at your door, and everything just seems like too much.
Being abused is devastating, and you are allowed to acknowledge this devastation. You are allowed to mull over it and wonder why. You deserve to let yourself take the time to process your pain instead of trying to stifle it. If you do not let yourself deal with it today, I promise you, it will be back for you tomorrow.
The kind of recovery you deserve is patient. It allows for you to fall because it is always there to pick you back up. The kind of recovery you deserve is understanding and knows that even if you are not okay today or tomorrow or next week, it doesn’t mean that you will never be okay again. The kind of recovery you deserve will always be there for you because it knows that healing is a long, complicated process and that even if you have moved on and let go, you may never be able to forget what someone else has done to you.
The kind of recovery you deserve will remind you that it is okay to not be okay. It will remind you that you are a remarkably strong, resilient person who has been through so much and has survived it all. It will remind you that you are supposed to be here and that you will make it through this process. The kind of recovery you deserve will always be there for you because you deserve to be supported. You deserve to give yourself the chance to live again. You deserve to be happy and healthy and to make your dreams come true.
You may have lost yourself at the hands of someone else, but I promise you, you will be able to find yourself again. Healing is not linear, and neither is your life. Always remind yourself of this.
Always know that you can return home to yourself.