I AM FREE!!!

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This is hands down one of the most vulnerable blogs I have posted about myself and my experiences to date but there’s been a fire burning in my belly for a while now and I just really feel I need to write about this and hopefully help anyone who has or is going through a similar thing.

It’s hard to know where to actually begin because this has been such a long journey in the making.

I’ll go from the beginning. 2013. It was only a few months after my dad had passed away, I was coping reasonably well and I decided to move back to my childhood church. That was my first mistake. If I hadn’t of done that, the rest wouldn’t have followed, but it did.

He was a close friend growing up so naturally we clicked after many years of not seeing each other. We started to hang out more and more and eventually began to date. At the time he was everything I wanted and more, I thought I was going to marry this boy. He cared for me and showed me “love”. It was about 7 or 8 months into the relationship and I thought everything was going wonderful but looking back now I realise how unhealthily attached I became to this boy and how toxic our relationship really was. There was a certain experience that happened that I won’t go into but since then everything changed between him and I. I began to notice a huge shift in myself, I wasn’t Bethany anymore. He became very controlling and manipulative of me. He wanted all of my attention and at the time I thought I “loved” him so I dropped everything for him. I became more and more anxious around him and he knew it. A coping mechanism I sub consciously started doing was twirling my hair, he picked up on that and hated it. Every time he caught me doing it he would hit my hand away from my head and scream “STOP DOING THAT!”. He didn’t want me near my friends and it got to the point where he didn’t want me near my family either. We fought all the time. He used to man handle me and say awful, hurtful things to me. He always put down. I remember sitting down numerous times and just thinking.. How and when did this happen? He changed and I feel stuck.

I dealt with it because I was hopeful things would change.. but after this next experience I knew there was no going back.

It was a Sunday morning and at the time he was living with me. I was in my room and he was in his. I wanted space because we had just had a stupid fight, because that’s all we seemed to do. I remember as clear as day I was cuddled up in my bed looking at my phone and he came running up the hallway, grabbed my blanket, snatched my phone out of my hand and took them to his room and hid them. I was already worked up from the fight earlier so as calmly as I could I asked for my things back. “NO” he yelled. “Your not getting these back”. I continued to ask him and he wouldn’t budge. We bickered. Up until this It was no different to any other fight we would have but then what happened next was a complete shock to my system. He raised his hand and slapped me across the face. I held my left cheek and demanded him to give me back my phone. (I later worked out, he took my phone so I couldn’t contact anyone, he knew what he was going to do). I locked myself in my room and called my mum distressed saying “He hit me, he hit me!”. She told me 5 minutes before receiving my phone call God showed her a picture of me in hospital and he called her saying he had beaten me up.

It didn’t end there though, I stayed in that relationship for another few months. I stayed out of fear. I didn’t want him to hit me again, I didn’t know how he’d react if I left. I was scared to be alone with him so at every chance I got I made out hang outs public.

Those months went by and then one day it was over. We were over. I cried and cried. I cried tears of absolute joy because I WAS FREE. I AM FREE. I no longer had to be mis treated by this monster of a boy again. I call him a boy because he doesn’t deserve the respect of being called a man. A man doesn’t treat a woman the way he treated me.

As happy as I was that our relationship was over I was left very, very broken. I didn’t know who I was or what to do with myself. My anxiety was the worst it’s ever been. So I took a step. I went to a Phycologist. I didn’t realise how messed up my life had been for the past year and a half. It wasn’t until I was describing all of these fucked up experiences with him that my Phycologist looked at me and told me I was in a domestic violence relationship. It hit me. I had been abused – Physically, mentally and emotionally. This took a huge toll on me. I questioned my self worth, my beauty and my womanhood!! How dare another human being pick me at my lowest most vulnerable state of loosing my father then doing what he did to me? That’s not fair! That’s not okay with me!

Slowly but surely I began to find my healing! I found it through talking about it, through writing, through friends, though the ocean, through positivity, through my family, through exercise but mostly through my incredible Jesus. He gave me courage to find myself again. A new me. A better me.

I’ve come to realise though, this all comes back to him and his insecurities. NOT ME!!! I went through a stage of being so scared of boys and what they would do to me or have the potential to do to me but that’s not a way of living. It’s about 3 and a half years on now and I have met some of the most incredible, gentle, caring and humble men ever and every time I meet a good one my soul is refreshed because I know the good ones outweigh the bad.

I now know and have learnt exactly what I want and exactly what I deserve!!! I am content, I am courageous and I AM FREE!

By Bethany Calverley.

 

Experience, Learn & Grow!

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I’ve been busy taking some time out to do a lot of personal growth. It hasn’t been a matter of feeling un inspired, it’s been quite the opposite actually.

These last few months have honestly been life changing. Since the last time I wrote a blog post I have met so many incredible people which have empowered, challenged, hurt, loved and inspired me. A few life lessons I have come away with are:

Learn from your experiences – Every single human being in this world has faced both good and bad experiences. For me personally this year has bought its ups and also it’s downs but the main thing I have taken away from each individual experience is to have an open mind and embrace everything from different perspectives but also for what it is. We are constantly growing, learning and changing in life and if you can try your best to take away the positives from the hard things your facing you can have the power to bring happiness to an awful situation. I can 100% guarantee there is always at least one good thing in painful experiences, you might not see it or feel it in the midst but over time you’ll be able to look back and realise simple blessings in disguise.

Just do it – We all have a goal or dream that seems so far out of our reach yet the yearning in your heart for it becomes stronger. Dream it, Chase it, DO IT! I have learnt so much about myself these last few months, one of the main things is that I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to and so can you!!! I’ve had a dream of heading to a third world county to be a part of some sort of mission trip since forever. This year I looked at what I’m passionate about and I booked a trip to Cambodia an Thailand. Sometimes we just need to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones to completely embrace our dreams. Am I prepared to go overseas? Nope. Will I ever be completely prepared? Nope!!! I’m nervous, petrified and excited and I know that this trip is going to be life changing, not only for myself but also for others. Make your dreams a reality and JUST DO IT. I know and have seen first hand how quickly someones life can be gone, it’s too short to sit a round in the same boring routine. Push yourself and challenge yourself to do and be more!

Open your heart again – Let’s talk about heart break. We’ve all been there and every break up is different but in the end we all get the same result of our comfy being gone and feeling a little lost with a sickening feeling in our bellies and physical pain in our hearts. It sucks but as weird and as stupid as this sounds I am actually so damn grateful for every single one of my breakups, every single fight, every hurt, every tear and every inch of pain I have felt. I am thankful because as much as the process of a break up hurts (and boy oh boy does it hurt) they help make you who you are. There is just something different about experiencing a breakup and the healing process from this takes time. Again everyone is different for some it may take a few months and for others it may take a year or even more. Always be mindful when you are in your healing process that you are able to set the pace, you are able to establish your own personal growth and you get to start over as many times as you need. There is someone out there for everyone, know your full worth and don’t settle for less than what you deserve. There are so many wonderful people to keep your heart closed off, take risks for love and don’t fill your head with what ifs!!!

Do things that make you happy – I actually don’t think I can stress this point enough. We have one life on earth, Please make it wonderful. Spend your days doing things that fill your heart with an unexplainable, contageous joy. Don’t make excuses like your too busy. You should never be too busy to fit stuff in that you love to do. If you aren’t content in your job, in your relationship, in your life then take steps forward to change it and to break vicious cycles. We all need to find our clarity and find our happy and a lot of the time this comes from doing simple little things that we enjoy. I believe we should take an hour out of our day to embrace our strengths and try new things or continue to grow and challenge ourselves in things we already love doing.

Surround yourself with beautiful people – This last point is closest to my heart right now. I am so so blessed to share the friendships/relationships I do with the people in my world. I have realised that I have a really special bunch of friends, people I can be myself around, cry with, laugh with, adventure with and do life with! I have had my fair share of awful and toxic friends which makes me even more appreciative of the people that i am close with now. Your vibe attracts your tribe. I have really made a conscious effort to surround myself with people that challenge me, love me and help me become a better person. Each person in my life plays a different role and each one inspires me in a different way. Surround yourself with people that make an effort for you and accept you for the person you are.

By Bethany Calverley.