Have you ever been with someone that you loved so deeply, trusted and was fully committed to? Only to wake up one day to your world turned upset down and your heart shatter!!

I fell in love with a man that I felt was “the one”! He was my everything, best friend, lover, partner in crime. We had plans to marry and face this world together! Everything changed; in one sweeping moment, he changed. This man, who we will call Stephen, became violent and cold. The love and sweetness that he gave to me was gone. His attentions were focus more on his “friends.” He was always on his phone, hiding it from me or deleting information. Stephen spent hours sitting on our balcony, talking to someone on his phone. Watching him flirt, laugh and smile was hard to bear. The worst was hearing him tell someone else ” I love you babygirl!”

I knew that this relationship was becoming toxic fast when Stephen raised his hand to me. He degraded me consistently. Insulted me and manipulated me into believing that I was worthless and unworthy of him. He became violently angry if I did not give him want he wanted. Drugs were a big part of his life. Cheating started to became an even bigger part of his life. I was with this man for over 10 years. He torn apart my life. I lost relationships with family members, lost my home and lost my children become of him. He destroyed my life.

One day, I was driving alone when I came to the realization that I needed to break free from Stephen. This was not the life I wanted to live nor the message I wanted to send to my daughters. No man should treat a woman this poorly. I was literally living in hell. My confidence was gone. My smile and bubbly personality was gone. My family and friends, all noticed a drastic change in me. I have completely lost everything…. I lost me! I needed to reclaim my life!

It was hard but I started to stand up to him, call him out on his lies, caught him on camera cheating and even stopped hiding my bruises with makeup. I made sure his friends and family saw those bruises, which caused them to ask questions. He pushed back harder but I didn’t give into his manipulation. I started to do things on my own, making newer friends, and distancing myself from him. Afterall, he was busy fucking someone else!! So why do I have to stay home alone? Hell no! I went out and reclaim ME!!! We did have more arguments than before. He made more threats than before. I will admit there were times that I feared for my life. But I never backed down; this was my chance to break free from a very toxic relationship. Besides if he truly loved me, he would have never treated me like this. I believe he was in love, just not with me. He was in love with controlling me. So I ended that control. No man will ever control me again.

Stephen tried really hard to keep his grip on me. He told me what I wanted to hear, made promises of changing…he did what most narcissistic men would do. It was very clear that he was not going to let me go. I had to make drastic changes to my life. I moved from my current to a new home on a different side of my hometown. I alerted my boss of my situation. I even called the police and started a paper trail on him. Every time he threatened me I reported it and made sure it was documented. Everything that Stephen said to me, I did not trust. I knew he was a master liar. I continued to stand up to him; never once backing down. I refused to loose to ME again. All of this drama and stress was just not worth it anymore. I blocked him! I blocked on social media and on my phone! I did not want or need this madness anymore in my life. Please don’t get me wrong, it was the hardest thing I ever done in my life. I did love him. I just could not live that kind of lifestyle anymore.

It actually didn’t take long before he had someone else to control. It’s been months since I have seen or heard from him. My life is better, at least I am not waking up to yelling or bruises. I don’t have to worry that my man is cheating. There is actually a little more changes in my pocketbook. I made my own rules, go where I want to go and actually do what I want to do. There is life after a toxic relationship. It does take time to mend and to pick up the pieces that have been shattered. Definitely a work in progress…. who’s know I might meet someone who is right for me, re-marry and life an even fuller life with someone. There is hope!