A Healthy Love After Abuse

Lynda Claire
7 min readOct 2, 2022
Photo by luizclas: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silhouette-of-kissing-couple-556662/

When I first left my last relationship I thought I would never date again let alone now be engaged to someone I can say without a single doubt in my mind is the love of my life. I was so scared to let my guards down, to open up my heart and anxious that someone wouldn’t have the patience to love me while I was learning how to be loved. So many times I have been triggered since being in this relationship, in ways I didn’t see coming sometimes, in ways I thought I wouldn’t be. I still carry shame for the damage that I allowed another person to do to me. For believing that is what I deserved from someone. For thinking that lowly of myself. Shame that I strayed so far from my values just to try and make another person happy. Suffocating myself and giving until I was this person I didn’t even recognise.

The woman I was a year ago feels like someone I used to know a long time ago. A hazy dream of a movie I once watched. Maybe this detachment is normal as a way to move on from the abuse. Maybe it’s showing how much I have healed to get to the point where the word healthy doesn’t feel foreign to me anymore. The woman I was is someone I want to wrap my arms around and remind her that real men do not treat women like that and that while your heart is beautiful in the love it wants to give, that this isn’t love. That relationship wasn’t in any respect love. I thought it was at the time. I truly did think I loved but I can see the entire time I was just giving and gradually being erased with each word he spoke or thing he did to hurt me. It was the height of a toxic relationship. It was so far from being love that I don’t even know now what I would call the emotions I felt towards him. I think mostly just this intense desire to be loved, wanted, needed and seen. To fill in all the parts of me I had removed through my own lack of self worth and that I had allowed others to remove too.

I wonder now when the triggers will stop. Bit by bit they are as this beautiful man before me reacts with laughter to situations where I tense and expect anger. Where he wraps his arms around me and tells me I’m safe and then shows me in so many ways that he will protect my heart. He is so patient as I talk about the things that have caused my walls to shoot up, for me to withdraw and want to shut down. He pulls me close and he reminds me he loves me. He listens to what I need and…

Lynda Claire

Seeking those moments of magic and trying to capture them with words. Exploring my depths. Living on an island at the bottom of the world.