From that

horrific September night

 forward I allowed men to have complete ownership over my body. After all, that's all I was good for. While some people may be relationship addicts, defining themselves by who they are dating, I wasn't even given that privilege… I came to terms with the reality of being everyone's second choice. No one wanted to date me, I was simply the late night phone call, an object to be desired… and object to be had. And what I realized was the sooner I accepted that as my reality, the less pain I would feel.

So I built a brick wall around my heart, and numbed myself to the agony of my destructive self worth. I had lost respect for myself, so how could I expect anyone else to treat me otherwise?

That is until I met the man who I would later marry. When I met him, I finally was someone's first choice. For the first time ever someone wanted me. It shocked my system to finally feel wanted, wanted for something other than my body. So I allowed him to slowly take down the brick wall around my heart, and I regretfully allowed him in. What I didn't realize was I was giving him ultimate ownership the day I said "I do".

Up until that point he had been respectful of me physically, and made me feel as if I was becoming whole again. But that didn't last long.

Throughout our 3.5 years of marriage, many nights I would wake up to him forcing himself on me. By the time I would wake up and recognize what was happening, it would be too late. He didn't care if I begged 

him to stop

 I was expected to comply. I would be lectured about what it meant to be a submissive wife, and how I wasn't being a good wife if I didn't submit to him in every aspect of life. As the months and years passed I began to believe all the lies he told me. I would work so hard, and become so consumed with being a "good wife" that I sacrificed all of myself. When he would get angry I would question what I had done wrong. 

Several months prior to leaving him, I remember waking up and feeling like I couldn't breathe. He had gotten drunk that night while I was at work, and by the time I had gotten home he could barely put two words together. As usual he made me fix him dinner, and I complied in order to keep the peace. I had to work early in the morning so I fell asleep shortly after dinner. 

But that didn't last long...

I woke up gasping for breath, and when my eyes finally adjusted to the darkness of the night I realized that he was forcing himself on me again… But this time was different. His intoxicated state meant that his body was dead weight on mine, 205lbs of crushing weight were coming down on top of me. I begged him to get off of me, trying to shove his body away from me. But I couldn't muster the strength. My body was suffocating under his control, and the aroma of alcohol only made it more difficult to breathe. I was trapped by the only man who had ever made me feel like I was worthy of being someone's number one. My body went limp, and I stopped fighting. All strength, both physically and emotionally, had escaped me. In that moment my mind was filled with those all too familiar thoughts telling me that this was all I would ever be. Lies telling me that even my own husband saw me as an object. That I wasn't meant for more than this. In that moment I fell right back into the same pain that I felt 4 years prior. I went numb, and began building up the brick wall around my heart again. The tears began to stream down my face. The one person that I should've been closest to was the same person hurting me the most. The man who claimed he loved me was hurting me the same as the stranger did that one September night. As I finally escaped his grasp and he fell asleep, I became consumed with misery. My body began to shake, and the tears wouldn't stop. I laid there all night in fear of what would happen if he woke up and saw the emotion pouring out of me. By the time I saw the sunlight creep through the room, I knew I had to push all the pain aside and continue the motions of this emotionless life in order to stay alive. I got up far before his eyes would ever see the light of day, and I left for work. As I pulled out of the driveway that morning it was as if I was able to breathe finally, yet instead of crying I spent my 40 minute commute convincing myself that it was my fault. I convinced myself I was too emotional, just as he had always said, and I convinced myself to push my emotions aside and pull on a tough exterior so that I would be a better wife to him. For a sociopath, emotions are foreign. So I became emotionless to cope with the misery I was prisoner to. This was my life… This was my reality.

But over the past year God has taught me a very different reality. As I often get so caught up in always being second choice, second best, and never being worthy of real love… God has taught me that I am His daughter, created in His image, and I am His number one. We are all His number one. I needed to stop seeking that love and acceptance from man, because we are human and we fail. None of us are perfect. And once I stop seeking acceptance of flawed hearts and minds, and start accepting God's love… I will find myself being defined by who God has created me to be instead of who man desires me to be. That is the powerful truth in my life. I am broken, I am tough, I am stubborn, and I have found myself hardened in heart… But God is healing me, softening my tough edges, breaking down anything in my life that doesn't glorify Him, and most importantly He is breaking my heart. He has taken my hardened, saddened heart and broken it so that the pieces may come together again in His perfect way. I am a work in progress, but I know that God is the perfect Creator and He will finish the work He has started in me.