Escaping from the harsh realities of life has been heavy on my mind since I was a teenager. I would imagine myself on an island in the middle of the ocean with complete peace and tranquility away from the negativity of modern humanity. When I learned that The Godfather himself Marlon Brando once owned an isle in Tahiti, that archipelago nation became a fixture in my fantasy. But like many dreams, I never thought I’d see Tahiti until one day I did.
My soul felt like it was fighting to disconnect from my body. The edges of my reality were caving in. My vision went from normal to blurry and dark. Moments before I was fine. I was happy. I was dancing. How in mere seconds could I go from blissful to terrified? It’s called anxiety.
Doubt and I are very well acquainted. We’ve known each other for years. I’ve seen Doubt hang out around my family and my friends. I have even seen Doubt when I look in the mirror. She looks worried and then half shrugs as I walk the other way pretending not to see her. Doubt acts like she cares about me. But no, I wouldn’t say that we are friends. In fact, I can’t stand that b*tch.
Practicing love for all humankind is what I do regularly, so this next admission may come as a shock. There are a few people that I don’t give a shit about. I’m no saint or angel with a golden halo. Sure, you can call me petty. Harboring these feelings isn’t healthy, but the truth is I’m having a hard time forgiving them for what they did. I’m not as forgiving as God or any messiah. Yes I know the past is the past and it shouldn’t affect my present or future, but it does. All experiences good and bad have helped shape me. Some of those experiences have been more traumatizing than others. How can I forgive some one who has severely hurt me?
It happened again: the nightmare that my ex-boyfriend is holding me hostage. Although he never physically held me against my will, he wouldn’t let me go emotionally. Nearly five years after our relationship ended and I am still mending my scars. I try not to talk about it much publicly, because it’s really nobody else’s business. But I can’t keep quiet about this when other women are experiencing similar pain. Mutual friends that he and I shared don’t even know what really happened, but it seems like they still took his side. He tried to make me out to be a liar, but right now I’m going to share my reality. The honest-to-God truth is I was in an abusive relationship and I’m still trying to heal.
Let’s be completely honest. I haven’t always been the best at taking care of myself. I used to put my emotional and wellness needs on the back burner in order to be the best student, the best friend, and eventually the hardest worker. On the outside I’m sure I looked like I had everything together. My hair was always done. My clothes were fresh. My shoe game was on point. But on the inside it was quite a different story. My well-put-together facade made it even harder for me to admit to myself that I needed to slow down and make real time to take care of Number One. After years of dealing with anxiety, self doubt, and depression and finally having the courage to stand up for me, here I am.