1. Someone’s perception of you is not your identity.
When we love narcissistic or abusive people, sometimes the way we see ourselves becomes warped. Instead of seeing the good, the strong, the beautiful, we see what our abusers see—unworthiness. And we learn, through mistreatment, to accept that negativity as our identity.
But the way someone sees you—especially when their perception is skewed, broken, or plain wrong—does not define you.
You are more than their words and actions. You are more than what you’ve been conditioned to believe. You are more than the hate they have thrown at you, physically or emotionally or in any way they have. You are not what they think/say/believe you are. Only you can create and embody an identity. Choose to lift and free yourself from their chains.
2. What matters is your next step.
You may have been under someone’s tight grip for so long. You may feel a heaviness over your shoulders that you can’t seem to shake. You may be so exhausted, so tired, so weak. But what matters is not where you’ve been or what you’ve gone through. What matters is what you do next. What matters is how you choose to stand, to rise, to step. What matters is where you go, from this moment on. Choose to believe. Choose to fight. Choose to heal.
3. You are heard.
You are not alone. What you’ve gone through is important, and people are ready and willing to hear your story. It will feel like no one is on your side. It will feel like you’re fighting on your own. It will feel as if you’re abandoned and helpless.
But you are none of those things.
Reach out to people around you. Ask for help, for guidance, for support, for strength. Realize that you are powerful—enough to overcome, enough on your own—but still seek out friends, family members, and professionals to help you heal. Your story matters. Your struggle is relevant. Your pain is real. And people care.
4. Your embodiment of strength is beautiful.
Strength looks different for every person. Sometimes strength is silence. Sometimes strength is walking away. Sometimes strength is picking up the pieces or simply finding your footing when everything around you has fallen apart.
Sometimes your strength may look like weakness to someone else. But that’s not true. Your embodiment of strength is beautiful—in whatever form, whatever speed, however long it takes.
5. You will rise.
Pain is temporary. That doesn’t mean what has hurt or broken you doesn’t matter, or won’t be carried with you. But you won’t be held down by it forever. It won’t always hurt, won’t always ache the way it does right now. There will be a day when you take a breath without thinking of the person’s words or hands on your skin. There will be a time when you are no longer afraid, or heavy with the weight of someone else’s presence. There will be a day when you break free from this, and look back with strength and resilience and fight. There will be a day when you rise.