This is an anonymous member of our community and she is RESILIENT.
CONTENT WARNING: The I Am Resilient Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this post and on this website will include topics that you may find difficult.
Describe the situation where you had to be resilient:
I was trapped in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic. When I finally left him I was homeless and had very little money.
Sometimes you don’t know how bad a situation is until you come out the other side of it. When I was in my early 20s, twelve years younger than him, I moved in with my new boyfriend after only knowing him for a few months. We decided that it was going to be temporary until I found a new place to call home. In hindsight, I didn’t know him well enough to move in with him and moving in together opened up a portal into hell.
Shortly after moving in with him I learned about his dark secret which was that he was an alcoholic. This was a secret that I didn’t share with anyone. I started to notice both empty bottles and full bottles of vodka stashed around the house but I tried to ignore them. Eventually, he wasn’t showing up when I needed him to and if I came home and he was drinking, he was verbally abusive.
One night he was supposed to pick me up after work because transit wouldn’t get me home and after waiting and waiting a security guard drove me home. I found him passed out on the couch, music blasting, right next to an empty bottle of vodka. I decided to sleep in the spare room and was woken up in the middle of the night to him standing over me, yelling at me, swearing and calling me terrible names.
This happened a few times and each time, the promise of sobriety was given in exchange for me staying with him. His sobriety never lasted. One night, after picking me up and being very intoxicated while driving, he put his hands on me in an aggressive way.
That was the night that I finally had the courage to leave him.
I was self-employed and working as a part-time bartender during this chapter. Since I was living in such a gloomy place, working was hard on me mentally. Sadly, when I left him my company wasn’t making enough money for me to start my life over. So, I hustled hard. I called all of the local businesses that expressed interest in working with me, convinced them to hire me and give me a deposit. I collected the deposits and found an apartment of my own. The thing was, I didn’t take possession for 3 weeks.
I reached out to a family member who wasn’t able to help me and that interaction led me to believe that no one would help me so I proceeded to figure it out on my own. The result: I couch surfed. A friend was house sitting but not staying there and every night he would let me into the house, I’d sleep on the couch and then let myself out the next morning. I’ll never forget the rough and scratchy orange couch that served as my safe place for those few weeks that I stayed there.
The day I received the keys to my new place I felt like a new person. I knew that I had just survived something traumatic and those lessons I’d carry with me for the rest of my life. I did what I had to do to survive. I did what I had to do to make myself and my business successful while starting a new era so that I could thrive.
How did you practice resilience when faced with this challenge?
I woke up every day and tried my hardest. I put on a brave face and lived my life the best I could, given the circumstances.
Please share one piece of advice for people who are going through a similar challenge
Abuse of any kind is not acceptable – emotional or physical. Do what you need to do to remove yourself from that relationship and take the time you need to heal.
Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE and thank you for being brave and sharing your journey.