What It Feels Like To Fall In Love When You've Been In An Abusive Relationship
*Originally published on Thought Catalog.
You have been conditioned to believe that falling in love brings consequences. You have had it drilled into your head and your heart that there cannot be love without pain. Someone has made you believe that you will never be deserving of a love that does not hurt you. Once someone shatters your self-worth, you truly start to feel like your life is over.
So, how could you ever let yourself fall in love again? Why would you let yourself fall in love again when all of the love you have ever known has done nothing but hurt you?
You let yourself fall in love again because there is someone out there who wants to love you right. You let yourself fall in love again because their hands do not feel like pain and empty promises when they touch you. You let yourself fall in love again because of the way they pick up your broken pieces instead of creating new ones. You fall in love again because you are finally learning that all love will not hurt you.
Hurt does not have to be synonymous with love. Love with the right person will be beautiful, and it will be meaningful. There will be more to your relationship than just control. There will be balance because two people who truly care for each other will work together to create their ideal life. Being in love should never mean that one person gives up everything for the chance to be with the other person. Real love will want to compromise with you, not constrain you.
For the first time in a long time, you will feel heard. When you fall in love after being in an abusive relationship, you will be afraid to share your true feelings because you have been conditioned to hide them as a means of saving yourself from your abuser’s wrath. But this person who truly loves you will want to know every inch of your mind, and they will never get bored of you. They will not silence you when you are speaking about your passions, and they won’t make you feel like you are stupid for dreaming so big. Abusers force you to live how they want you to so they can get what they want from you. If you love someone, you want what is best for them, not what is only best for you.
Finding real love after being surrounded by abuse will remind you of what it feels like to be comfortable. You won’t be constantly walking on eggshells and waiting for the next time your abuser blows up at you. You won’t dread being physical with them, because for once, someone will care about your needs, too. You won’t just be there for someone else’s use anymore. You will love and be loved in return, like you always should have been. They will understand your anxiety and why your bed doesn’t really feel like it is yours anymore. They will not only say the right things, but they will mean them. They will remind you of who you were before your abuser tried to take all of that away from you. They will always be there to support you every step of the way.
When you fall in love again after you have been in an abusive relationship, your instinct might be to run. But this time, you won’t have to. No relationship will ever be perfect, but when you are with someone who truly loves you, an argument will not turn into a battle. An argument with someone you love is a discussion. It will begin, and it will end, and neither of you will come out of it destroyed. Being in a healthy relationship does not mean that you will be in a relationship that is free of conflict. It means that you will be able to confront your problems, solve them, and move forward in the way that you both deserve. You will not be belittled or shamed. You will not be ghosted or left on read. You will be heard. You will be understood. You will be loved.
You will finally realize that you are worthy of the love you have always given to everyone else and never gotten back in return. When you fall in love again after you have been in an abusive relationship, you will finally understand how deserving you are of the beautiful life you have always wanted.
Please do not be afraid to let this love in. It is out there waiting for you.