No Love Like Genuine Self Love

I was a survivor of domestic violence – I was physically abused by my ex whenever we had fights or arguments.

What’s actually interesting is how I viewed that situation. I thought it was normal because I grew up in a culture where women always obeyed men, and that overall men are always correct because they are (usually) the head of the household. This idea is a default in my religion. I was schooled in a religious institution for most of my life, hence this conditioning was hardwired.

I get into fights with my ex because I voice out my opinions. Whenever I do that I get slapped or punched. Throughout the years I thought this was okay, this was good enough and I was living my best years because I had a stable job and a steady partner. What more could I ask for as a woman? Yet deep down, I know something was very wrong.

The turning point for me was when I got hospitalized because we got into a really big fight. I started fighting back. I got bruises all over. My body had injuries and I got severe urinary tract infection. Even after being admitted in the hospital, we reconciled. We ended up going home together. And when we got home, I was still doing ALL the chores and he was playing with his phone. This was the normal everyday scenario.

The ‘great realization’ for me occurred when I was cooking and doing the laundry at the same time. It suddenly hit me like a rock. I remember just breaking down into tears, and confronting myself that this situation was wrong. I was responsible for hitting rock bottom. I was responsible for it all because I allowed him to take advantage of me. I wasn’t really paying attention to myself, my needs and my rights. I wasn’t open to change the conditioning I grew up in. That random day woke me up from this self-imposed misery. So the very same day I broke up with him.

Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. Like most survivors who go through denial, we still tried to make it work with hope within me that he will change. Guess what? He did not. He never will. I guess I just needed that confirmation for myself and give it another go before letting go for good. The lessons will keep resurfacing until finally learned. So for the last time, I found the courage to walk away. I was so terrified to end it because I thought I wasn’t beautiful nor brave enough to actually bounce back from this and find another life partner.

I guess the moral of my story is to tune into self love and reflect deeply what my values really are. To pay attention to my own thoughts and emotions, and not block them out because of what disguises itself to be “love”. Genuine love is grounded in trust and respect not fear and control.

It is equally important to pay attention to red flags. These red flags and signs don’t lie. It is easier for our own minds to play tricks and justify these unacceptable actions.

Fast forward to present day, I am currently single and savouring every moment of it. Glad to say that I have experienced some positive changes in my career and am still pushing through to achieve my life goals. I’ve also travelled 10 countries and experienced my 1st winter since I moved on from that relationship. I am now living in Bangkok for 3 years and I can finally say that I am happy and I am free.

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