The (REAL) Bad Boy - A Dating Series

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I was different from everyone else. Not different in a bad or weird way, just different. I always tried to fit in and wear the popular clothing brands, play all the sports possible, go to parties, and be friends with the popular kids but no matter how hard I tried I never felt good enough. I never felt like I fit in or felt like they were really my friends. I tell you this because it took me until the age of 25 to really figure out my "why". Why was I trying to so hard to fit in and be popular when I was made to stand out?! Once I had that ah-ha moment, I realized that my calling in life is to help girls know their value and teach them that it's okay to be different and to embrace their differences. I actually had known that being different was part of my purpose, but I never knew how to use that part of me for the good of others. It took me going through the things you are about to read in this series in order for me to fulfill my purpose.

This part of my life might make you question my thought process because most people will read this and be like, "What the hell is wrong with you?" Knowing that is how you are likely to react, I need you to know two other things before we continue on with this series. First of all, remember in the last series when I said that I had begun losing my relationship with God? Well, that will be evident this go round and basically, that relationship is non-existent during this entire part of the series. Secondly, as you read through the next few posts in this series, I want you to put yourself in my shoes. Think of when you first meet a guy and you are crazy about him! The butterflies in your stomach don't go away and you want to spend every second of every day with him and you think he's the best thing on the planet. You know he has flaws but your willing to look past those flaws because you want to be the one to help him through his struggles. If you can remember those key points you MIGHT be able to understand this relationship.

With those points in mind, let's continue...

If you followed along with the first part of this series you know that I had a really hard time when Chance and I broke up. I never wanted to go through that experience again so I stayed single for a while, like a year and a half after we broke up. I didn't go on any dates, never asked friends to hook me up with a guy...nothing. I wanted to experience college, make new friends, enjoy our beautiful college campus, float the river every weekend,  drink all the drinks, and go to all the parties so that's exactly what I did. Maybe I fell off the deep end for a while, but hey I had A LOT of fun. I never got into trouble (thank you, Jesus!) and now I have memories that will last a lifetime with some amazing people that are still good friends with me even years later. 

After that little spurt of wanting to live my best life, all of a sudden I began to see the following - friends getting into serious relationships, friends getting engaged, or friends having kids. This triggered something within me that made me believe that I was ready for a boyfriend and NEEDED a boyfriend. Sassy mama, if you are reading this and you are single just know YOU DO NOT, I repeat, YOU DO NOT NEED A BOYFRIEND TO BE COMPLETE! Also, if you learn nothing else from this story I'm going to shout this lesson from the rooftop...DO NOT COMPARE SOMEONE ELSE'S CURRENT SITUATION TO YOURS!!

Sister, right now, yes RIGHT NOW I want you to pause from reading this and grab a notepad because I have so many lessons for you from just this one relationship of mine. Hopefully your response is "You got it, dude!" (That's a Full House reference if you didn't know that.)

This urge to have a bf was crazy and without even thinking about how stupid that thought was I PURSUED IT!! Like, what? I was clearly in a state of comparison and feeling sorry for myself and I had no business getting into a relationship with that mindset but like Selena says, "the heart wants what it wants." Along with that mindset, I had this notion that there wasn't a single guy on campus that was a "good guy" - LOL - so I signed up on a dating website - LOL again! I don't remember what it was called but in hindsight, I wonder why my confidence was so low that I thought I wasn't a good enough catch in real life? I mean #humblebrag but I think that I'm a decent looking human being, and although my personality is a bit spicy sometimes, I've got corny jokes, a great family, fun sense of adventure, good hair, and a positive attitude that I bring to the table so... I'd rate myself like a seven on the chick chart. Also, there were plenty of guys on campus so it doesn't make any sense why I thought I couldn't find ONE guy. Geez, I was so dumb and had such little confidence in myself, like that's REALLY sad. 

Not long after being on the site I met Daniel. What stood out to me was his profile picture, I mean duh that's the first thing you see. It was just him casually sitting in a chair in his military uniform, but yet the smirk on his face was mysterious and intriguing. My low self-esteem self said, "Yep, I want to date him" and that was that. We started messaging back and forth, he picked me up for our first date and we had a great time. The THIRD LESSON - if you meet someone online, DO NOT let them pick you up at your house. What kind of idiot does that you ask? Me, that's who. I could slap myself for being that incredibly stupid. Thankfully he wasn't an ax murderer, but by the end of it all, I realized he was much worse than that.

He was an abuser. 

It pains me to write that word actually. It also mesmerizes me that I was "THAT GIRL". The girl who came from a good home with loving parents who taught me right from wrong. The girl who grew up in church with a heart ON FIRE for God when she was younger. The girl who had street smarts and was independent and had a good heart. The girl who knew what she wanted in life. Somehow this girl ended up in an emotionally abusive relationship within a very short time.

 It pains me to admit that I was "that girl", but I'm thankful it was me. If it wasn't me, then it might have been you. If it wasn't me, I wouldn't be able to share this story. If it wasn't me, I'm not sure I'd have the confidence I have today. If it wasn't me, then who would it be?

 I didn't realize that this was an emotionally abusive relationship until after we broke up, but now that I can digest what actually happened I'm kind of traumatized by it. I suffer from anxiety, which is something I've never experienced before this person. It's hard for me to let down my walls and trust people, even if that person is my husband. (Y'all admitting this and writing these words make me cringe.) Someone can raise their voice and I will cower down so fast because of my experience. I’ve gone to therapy to help work through these things but sometimes I just think it takes a lot of prayer and time to get over certain situations.

I want this to be very clear - I didn’t share this post to make you feel sorry for me. I'm sharing this part of my life so that you can learn the signs of emotional abuse for yourself, or for a friend, or for your mom, or for your sister. Emotional abuse isn't easily noticed by others that are not a part of the relationship and the person being abused might not even realize that's what is actually going on - helloooo, that was me! I'm telling you this so that you NEVER have to go through what I did.

Like I said earlier, if it wasn't me, then who? I'm happy I was the one to go through this and not you, but one person in an abusive relationship is enough, actually that's more than enough. This is where I spread awareness on this topic and where I want it to stop. So please, please share this story because this is my purpose but it can't be fulfilled without your help of sharing this story.

*I've linked several sites in the last few paragraphs that give examples of what emotional abuse is. The links can help you better understand what this form of abuse is so that you are able to recognize this silent beast and hopefully help someone else.*