July 6, 2020

How Gaslighting Nearly Broke me (& Why it Made me Stronger).


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If I could do it all over again, my first thought would be to avoid the brokenness.

I would wade through the waters with more care. I would think more about how my decisions felt disjointed from who I truly am. 

Of course, now, it’s easy to sit back and remember a shadowy past—see it with razor-sharp clarity.

But I still remember that girl from a few years ago. I know she was barely surviving—hating who she was and wanting to drink it all away, but too scared to drink and get “fat.”

I remember that desperate need for perfection (which was always so far away). 

I know we have all been there, or are still, deep in a cavern of despair and self-loathing. 

Why don’t we wear our beasts upon our heads like festive furs for the world to see?

Because once we have been decorated in our own depravity,

something lovely emerges,

and it is ours to keep.

I went into it all thinking that I was strong. I was the girl who held the wilderness in her eyes, the girl with an electric heart. And it’s absolutely terrifying to think about how easily I was shaken from that place. 

I went from a place of loving who I was and then suddenly developed a f*cked up need to tame myself. Tame my tongue, my ideas, my waistline, my hair. I had to be “effortlessly beautiful,” but I no longer felt beautiful at all. I had to be the “chill girlfriend” and eat burgers and drink margaritas, but also make sure my thighs never touched. 

So I ran. And ran. And ran. I ran every damn day. I was being “healthy” and living the “fit-life,” but what I was really doing was running away from myself—and I kept running. I would run miles and miles each week to earn my badge of “chill.” I so badly wanted to shed the “crazy” untamed parts of myself. I had been broken, like a f*cking racehorse. 

I was caught in this weird world I had never been in before. I was relentlessly gaslighted, and my sharp tongue only made matters worse. There would be times when my true self would claw her way through, and that’s when I was shut down even harder. It’s like the core of my being was trying to break out, but then I would feel even more unworthy because it was met with such disdain.

I was my own worst nightmare. I was the girl with sand in her hair. I was an outrageous fire, but they wanted a candle. So I tried to be a candle. 

I hated myself for shrinking so small, but I hated myself more for never fitting into the cage they wanted to put me in.

I knew I was being emotionally torn apart, it was a crazy mind f*ck, but I wanted the prize so badly. I was in too deep. I had to achieve that fickle little thing called perfection. Because then maybe I would be good enough in their eyes.

Yes, I remember that heart-crushed girl—the reckless, loud-mouthed, messy-haired girl. 

I wish I could take away all her pain, and yes, looking back on it now, it would be easy to say I want to erase it all. 

But you know what? I don’t.

Because I have walked through the fires of my own personal hell, and I have forged a stronger woman.

I will never try to fit into smaller jeans. I will never wish I had glossy, straight hair or a more docile demeanor.

I am a rough, powerful, chaotic hurricane of a woman.

And it is no longer my job to shelter you from the storm.

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