One of my AH-HA! moments happened for me when I was 20 years old. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with a guy and I had become completely codependent. I had lost my voice, my ability to stand up for myself, and my sense of reason. I believed almost everything this person told me about myself....good and bad. I was becoming a shell of a human being. It was spring break, and I was going to Florida with 2 girlfriends from college. Of course, this didn't sit well with Mr. Emotionally Abusive, but I went anyway. When I got back to Indiana, my boyfriend called in the middle of the night (when he arrived back in town from his spring break adventure) and wanted/demanded me to get up and come over to his apartment. I didn't want to argue, so I avoided the confrontation and got in his car. He had just recently gotten a new car. I remember sitting looking out the passenger side window feeling miserable and full of shame b/c I had once again gone against my inner judgement. Right then I heard him say, "I missed you baby!".....which I thought was nice and before I could get those words out, I turned to look at him, only to see him bending down and KISSING HIS STEERING WHEEL!
That was it. I was done. For some reason, that was the last straw. I could no longer stay with this mean, abusive, aggressive, toxic person anymore. The last few years with this person all boiled to the surface & I could take it no more. To know he had so little respect of me to demand I get out of bed at 2:00 in the morning to see him, yet kiss his car?! Well, that was enough. The very next day I broke up with him. I felt such a relief!
This AH-HA! moment allowed me to rediscover myself, find my voice and open me up to allowing other friendships into my life. I decided I wanted to go to graduate school, which I probably would not have done if I had stayed in that relationship.
This moment was not all easy and roses. It was a rough road, but making hard decisions are supposed to be rough and life-changing. I hope you too can have the strength to find yourself in your relationships, and find the strength to take care of yourself if you find yourself in an abusive one. Thanks for reading!
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC *Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.