You are not what they made you feel. You are not the things they said about you, the lies they made you believe about yourself. You are not the pain their words caused you, you are not the scars they left behind. You have to remember that people with unhealthy behavior patterns know the best way to hurt you and they don’t shy away from using it. It gives them control over you. And so, if you believe all that they’ve said to you to bring you down, remember that you’re still giving them the power to control you. The only way to take back this power is to remind yourself of who you truly are.
Your time with them was not wasted. As much as you may feel this way when a relationship doesn’t end well, this isn’t always true. Your time with them may not have been what you expected it to be, but it certainly taught you something, about yourself and about relationships and how people function so differently from you. This time with them, both the pleasant and not so pleasant parts showed you what’s important to you, what you’ll stand up for and what you won’t put up against. It showed you what you really need from someone who says they love you.
You do not have to carry this burden alone. Sometimes we’re afraid of letting people see the ugly parts of our relationship when there are no longer any filters to mask the reality of an end. You don’t need to broadcast your breakup, but reach out to someone you trust and feel comfortable confiding in. Just having them beside you helps, whether you want to pour your heart out or simply need them to distract you, they’ve got you.
You are allowed to heal in any way you choose to. Your healing is your own. You know yourself better than anyone else and you decide what will help you get through this. You can ask people what they think you should do, but don’t allow them to shame your choices. Listen to yourself, tune into what it is you really want to reconnect with during this time. Healing looks different for everybody and what works for you may not make any sense to someone else. And that’s okay.
You are not to blame. It is not something you did or said or didn’t do or didn’t say. Sometimes things end, and unhealthy relationships find a way to crash and burn no matter what. And you need to remember that it is not your fault. You did not set up the relationship to fail. You did everything your resilient heart possibly could for the relationship to work. You would have done more and more for it to survive. So, if they made you feel like it was all your fault it came crumbling down, please look back and remember all the times you went an extra mile, all the times you held the relationship up alone with trembling hands. Remember all that you gave and gave while they kept taking. So no, you are not to blame when this toxic relationship ends. Because you did all that you could to not let it come to this, and you did more.
You do not need to feel sorry for choosing to stay so long. Looking back at your relationship, when you start piecing things together and you realize that the signs were there all along, but you didn’t do anything about it, you may begin to feel sorry for yourself that it took you so long to get out of this unhealthy space. But let me tell you, you were brave for staying so long. You were brave for believing in the goodness they showed you on some days. You were brave for giving them a chance time and time again, even after they let you down. You were brave to trust that they would do better. You don’t have to feel sorry for choosing to stay so long, you should feel proud of being able to love someone so fiercely and with every inch of your being, holding nothing back.
You have to remember that good love exists. Even if it’s difficult, you have to believe that there is love out there that is completely different from what you’ve experienced. There is good, beautiful love that will remind you of what you deserve. A love that will see all that you are, all that you have to offer and won’t take it for granted. A love that will never leave you to hold the relationship up alone, a love that won’t leave you reaching or questioning or fearful or anxious. I need you to believe that there exists a love that will make you understand why all your other loves didn’t quite last. And until that love finds you, I want you to love yourself with all the love you so readily, so fiercely offer someone else.