Opinion: Breaking Patterns of Abuse Requires Taking Ownership of Future Choices

Stacy Ann

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All the voices of my coworkers blended together into a murmur as I stared blankly at my computer screen.

Focusing was next to impossible. It had been two weeks since I had finally left my abusive, narcissistic ex-boyfriend.

Although I had reclaimed my freedom and thought things would go back to normal, I was looking around and realizing that normal wasn’t necessarily what I wanted.

My job was exhausting, I didn’t like the city I lived in, and I felt so sad and worn down.

I was twenty-five years old and should have been excited about the future ahead of me. Instead, I felt like the last of my energy had been drained from my ex and I had nothing left to give.

He had truly broken my spirit and caused me to question whether I could trust myself.

Although I felt defeated, something within me was awakening for the first time. My entire life had been full of choices that primarily depended on either my friends or my significant other.

The desire to make other people happy had left me depleted because I hadn’t saved any of that energy for myself. It also had made me more vulnerable to emotionally manipulative people who seemed to constantly waltz into my life.

Something had to change. I wasn’t sure exactly what, but I had the reoccurring thought in the back of my mind that if I stayed in my current situation, I would keep repeating the same destructive patterns. The nagging feeling that I needed to make a drastic change wasn’t going away.

I was at my desk when the thought popped into my mind as if it was whispered to me.

For the past few years, I had constantly talked about living in Oregon. Yet here I was, letting life pass me by and not making decisions to get where I wanted to be. The thought came back, and this time it was crystal clear.

If I didn’t make a change now things would never be different. I was going to end up stuck.

For the first time in my life, I was going to make a decision that didn’t have to do with anyone else except for myself.

I told my best friend about what I was doing, and I was thrilled when she decided to come with me. We packed up our things, quit our jobs, took a trip to Europe, and then headed to Oregon.

We didn’t have jobs lined up. We didn’t have a place lined up. We didn’t know anyone. It was absolutely terrifying.

Days went by where we applied for jobs and laid on park benches moaning that we weren’t going to make it. There were some very scary days. But, eventually, we both got job offers, and we rented an apartment in the city. Our quality of life was so much better, and we were both so much happier.

We took a chance, and it had paid off.

It’s been years since I made that decision. Today, I am sitting at my desk in the new house that my partner and I closed on three days ago.

Looking out the window from where I’m sitting is a view of beautiful trees. When I lived in the desert, I always missed the green. Now I get to see it every single day.

I’m writing this because tomorrow is my birthday and I am feeling extremely humbled by the blessings in my life.

A few years ago, I was in an abusive relationship. I wasn’t in a good place mentally, or physically. I wasn’t taking care of my body, and I certainly wasn’t taking care of myself.

When that relationship ended part of me felt like there was no fight left in me. I felt like I was stuck and destined to keep repeating the same destructive patterns.

But I didn’t do that. I took over at the wheel. I stopped letting other people decide my future, and I stopped letting people abuse me.

I want for you to know that it wasn’t an easy decision to just pick up my life and do a major overhaul at an age where most of my friends were settling down and getting married. I felt like I was doing something crazy.

However, every day I think about what my life would be if I hadn’t taken the risk. The road to healing is continuous. There isn’t a point where the journey stops and you can get off. It’s something that is part of your life.

You have a choice. You can choose to take the more difficult road. You can make the choice to fight for the life that you want and that you deserve.

These days I am the happiest that I have ever been. These days, I have taken control of my mental health. These days, I cultivate strong boundaries and only let positive influences into my sphere. These days I am in a respectful and loving relationship with someone I love very deeply.

None of it would have been possible if I hadn’t decided to take ownership of my future.

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I am a writer & relationship consultant that primarily deals with narcissism, overcoming abuse & trauma, and self-love. Contact me @ Blog: carriewynn.com Instagram: carrie_wynnmusings

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