I had been in a long term relationship – 8 long years of my life. It was the time when I was in love. A time when I was happy because I was with someone who loved me too. But it was also a time when I felt low of myself. I was ‘loved’ but not ‘respected’. And honestly, I didn’t know the difference.
Especially the last 3.5 years of the relationship I was in, where I got subjected to constant rejection and disapproval. Whatever I did was wrong, stupid or unnecessary.
Sometimes the blame used to be on how emotional I am – and how crying was only for the weak. Other times blame used to be on me, for being a ‘typical woman’ – the definition of which I still can’t find. And other times, the blame was on my identity – the ‘kind’ of person I ‘was’ – ignoring the foundation of my being.
He didn’t raise his hand once – but I felt abused emotionally, physically, socially and mentally. I had become a person who had the lowest level of self-respect. Frankly, I just hated myself.
But who will value me if I don’t value myself? It took me a herculean amount of efforts by the people around me, and a lot of courage at my end to move out of that toxic relationship. I, even now, feel that I could do more or ‘save’ my relationship. But, it was important to realise that it was doing more harm than good. I was losing the most valuable thing – myself. If I couldn’t love and respect myself, then who else would?
I didn’t give up, but it was time to let go.