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Here’s To Every Woman Out There Who Once Lost Her Soul To A Toxic Man


Have you ever loved a man so strongly, madly, unconditionally and naively that you gave up everything you once were just because you were convinced that you are the only thing he ever desired?

Have you ever lost yourself in a love that turned up to be just a beautiful illusion in your pretty little head?

Well, I did.

I took the wrong turn and got myself stranded in the darkest maze. The endless labyrinth of manipulation. The ominous and misty forests of deception.

I really trusted him, you know?

He convinced me that I am everything he ever dreamt of and even more. He had his way with me. Because with every word that came out of his mouth, with every mesmerizing look in his eyes, he made me fall deeply, madly and naively in love with him.

He promised to conquer the world for me. He promised the sky and the stars. And I believed. But, I was a fool in love. Because he made me trust him and hope for a happily-ever-after, just so he could betray me.

He made me feel safe around him.

I really believed that he could be the one. The one who would be that safe, comfortable nook where I can finally find my shelter. But little did I know, it was all just a cheap ploy to get my shield down.

And once I did let my guard down, everything I once knew and believed in came crashing down on me. He attacked me in the most brutal and merciless way.

Everything he knew about me, every feeling I exposed in front of him, he used it against me.

Everything I ever gave to him, he shattered in front of my eyes. He ripped my soul open, took my beating heart out of my chest and destroyed it.

And, for so long I desperately struggled to find my way out of there. But in there, it felt like time ceased to exist. What seemed like an eternity, was only a minute.

My heart ached with pain, my feet hurt from running and my soul bled from disappointment, but somehow after an eternity of pain and suffering, I saw the light.

I freed myself. I managed to pull myself up. I found the exit door. I left him for good. And I felt liberating.

I finally felt my own skin, my own heartbeat, my own life force. I remembered what it means to feel. But, it wasn’t the same.

I wasn’t the person I once were.  

A part of me was lost somewhere deep inside his ego. Never to be found again.

And so, it began. After him, it all felt like a slippery slope.

Grief and sorrow became my life companions. Happiness was just the usual, worn-out, fairytale story that mommies used to tell kids before they go to sleep.

All the while, the memories in my head stung like angry bees. And the emotions inside my soul felt like reality is hammering nails against my heart.

For a long time, I wondered if I’d be able to find joy in life once again. I wondered if I’d be strong enough to love again.  I wondered if I’d ever find my purpose in life after everything I went through.

Because I was never like this. I used to be a woman who strongly believed in the good in people.  A person who truly believed in a possible Utopia. A human being who always chose to stay on the bright side of life.

And now, it all felt like a bad dream, like a scary nightmare in which you are constantly falling into an endless abyss of darkness.

I no longer knew who I am or what I deserve from life. I had no memory of my life and everything that I once held dear.

I lost myself completely.

I fell in love with a man who wasn’t capable of loving any human being except himself.

But, right then and there, out of nowhere something wonderful happened.

Reality came like a tornado and struck me in the worst way possible, but it was finally here.

I decided that I’m not going to let him defeat me. I’m not going to let the memory of that horrible man kill my dreams.

And I finally realized that even though it’s over and it hurts so bad, even though I survived hell with this person, and even though I experienced the most gut-wrenching and dangerous relationship in my life, the only way I can overcome this pain is by learning to bear it on my own shoulders.

And so, I did.

I found a tiny piece of strength inside of me. I faced my trauma and I released myself.

So, I say here’s to all of you vulnerable, strong, beautiful, inspiring and brave women.

You’ve felt what pain is, you’ve experienced the darkest side of love, you’ve been crushed, yet reborn from the ashes.

We may have been through hell, but we’ve made it!

Image:Marat Safin

Stephanie Reeds