So, this is a pretty serious blog. I have been debating for the last month whether or not it's a good idea to write something like this but after some thought and consideration I've decided that it is. Even though it kind of feels like I'm about to stand in front of a large crowd in my undies... So this is for all you beautiful women out there. Better yet, for all you men.
When I was young my Mom always told me, "Amanda, you are as beautiful as you feel. If you believe you are beautiful, the world will. And you are." This was the perfect foundation for a strong self esteem and self worth as a young girl and it only flourished. I had the perfect example of loving parents, grandparents, and friends. I always worked hard to set myself apart in all I did because I believed that being a strong, intelligent, loving woman was the path to my perfect life. I knew exactly what I deserved and what I stood for and I would never settle for anything less.
Then he came into my life. He swept me off my feet... He was charming, adventurous, and always found special ways to surprise me and make me feel like a princess. However, after about six months, things took a turn for the worse. Not only was there physical abuse, but verbal abuse, which hurts more than anything. I didn't want to believe that this perfect relationship had turned into my worst nightmare. How could this happen to me? This wasn't supposed to happen to me...
After staying away for about a week, I decided that I couldn't live without him. Looking back this is one of the worst decisions I have ever made. I thought that after all of that time of having a perfect relationship, there was no way that this was a true indication of who he really was. I was wrong. I took him back, and shortly after the same thing happened. Once again, I broke it off. I spent the summer having fun with my friends and family and gaining back all of the self confidence, self worth and self respect that I felt he had stolen from me. By the time it was back to go to school, I was back to being the Amanda that I had always been. With each call or text from my ex after returning back to school, I slowly fell back into his spell. "One more chance!" "Maybe he has changed...." "People can change, right??" My friends and family stood by me as they cringed and hoped for the best. They had to let me make my own decisions. Once again, I had been proved wrong.
The moral of this story isn't to make anyone feel sorry for me because as crazy as it seems, I am thankful for everything that has happened. I am the strongest I have ever been if you can believe it. I've had to do some seriously rebuilding and I'm better than ever! But what I really want, is to save the rest of you from having to go through this. You think growing up that this only happens to a certain kind of girl. Anyone but you. But the thing is, it can happen to anyone. If it is happening to you, or ever does, I offer you very very very important piece of advice. Leave. Leave. Leave. Those kind of people, unless they are the rare exception, don't change. I'm lucky that I had a strong support group when I went through all of this and still have to remind myself each day of not only what I deserve but who I deserve. My loved ones have to remind me too.
All of you are so beautiful and important. Nobody, not men or women, deserves a slap, shove, or any type of physical abuse from a "loved" one. Nobody deserves to be called a bitch or any other names. Nobody that truly loves you will ever ever ever treat you this way. My hope is that you all remember this and never let anyone convince you of any different or trick you into thinking that they really aren't hurting you.
I am sure a lot of you reading are thinking WHAT?! I don't blame you. It's definitely not the lightest of topics and I'm sure you wouldn't have guessed I'd ever write something personal about something like this. But honestly, it's worth it if it makes a difference to someone. It even helps to remind me.
I love you all and hope that every one of you sees the talent and beauty in yourselves. Like I've said a million times, never settle for anything less than what you deserve. Which is everything.
Peace, love, and kayaking.