Two years ago today, my life changed forever. It’s not something I talk about very often – or at all, actually – it isn’t the easiest subject; but, on 21st November 2009, I left a violent and controlling relationship. I gathered my then 18 month old son, and as much of my belongings as I could fit into my sister’s car and on that cold November night, I started my new life.
The weeks and months leading up to this moment were hell; the weeks and months following weren’t much better. I had naively thought that leaving would be the end of it, when it was really only the start. It was difficult on many levels. There were practical things to deal with but these gave way to emotional strains. It was still a break-up no matter who initiated it or why and it took time to deal with that.
The stress took its toll on my health, I lost weight and suffered migraines and debilitating panic attacks – even something as trivial as popping out to fetch milk seemed impossible on some days.
Fast-forward two years and things are much better. Of course, things aren’t perfect – things never are, but they are better. Two years ago, I couldn’t have even imagined I would be where I am now. I wouldn’t have even dared to dream it. I have one and a half novels, I’m working on my degree, I have a boyfriend who genuinely cares about me and a perfect three year-old. I have control over my own life and I have freedom.
Everything I went through was worth it. I have no idea what things would be like if I hadn’t left, who can possibly know what might have happened. I shudder to think at how it could have ended.
I urge anyone going through similar to leave and to keep on going. It does get better, no matter how much you doubt it now.It isn’t easy, but it is definitely worth it.
I think it was Churchill who once said “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” and those words could not be truer.