No More Boxes

Do you ever look back and wonder how you got to be where you are, exactly the spot you sit or stand? I know, it’s a little early for an existential crisis, Raine, reel it in.

A year ago, I was just about to leave my now ex-husband. I was crying almost every single day, to the point I had a rash around both eyes. I felt defeated and, after leaving, lost. My anxiety was at an all time high with the amount of threats I was bombarded by.

When I left, I didn’t really know how to be me anymore, or who I even was. Throughout my marriage, I was made to feel small and to hide the parts of me that weren’t considered socially acceptable. I’ve always been into spirituality, dark humor, sex, and my mind doesn’t work in ways that others’ might. Until I was made to feel insecure, I didn’t feel jealousy or distrust for others. I didn’t automatically think that people were manipulating me for their own twisted needs and desires. I’m not referring to just one person in this either, but a collective.

A year later, I’m in my own apartment with my own car – and I know that might not seem like much, but it’s huge to me, because if you look back to five years ago, I was independent. Then – and this is strictly from my perspective, I won’t discount anyone else’s feelings on the matter – my freedoms were slowly, almost unnoticeably taken from me.

Talking about sex was unacceptable. Having guy friends was shady. Being on good terms with exes meant I still had feelings. If I complimented a stranger, I was “doing too much”. I had always believed in empowering women and lifting them up, even strangers, because you never know the impact of a compliment. That might be the highlight of someone’s day.

Pieces of me were trimmed away until all that was left could fit into a little box. But painful, cancerous tumors began to emerge. Anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation. I sought help, until that became a burden, and I was clouded with guilt.

I used to love sharing my thoughts and experiences with the world, because who knows how far my words could reach to someone who might need to hear my story, if not just to feel like they weren’t alone.

Now that I’m free, I’m back in the headspace of sharing parts of me that I was told to keep hidden away. I don’t think I could ever allow another person to box me in. I fought hard to get back to this place. Never again.

I know there are some who think that sharing everything gives others the opportunity to misconstrue the truth, but let’s cut the bullshit: some people are determined to make you the bad guy in their story.

If someone wants to use my past, present, and future against me, doesn’t that say more about them than it does about me?

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