I would cry every night, hoping to get out of this awful place, but not knowing the right way to break free.
I moved back home, feeling like I had lost everything. We were living together, and he shared such a special part of himself with me—his daughter—so I wanted to stay home and be a part of her life.
Everything is unequivocally about me right now—and it's glorious. My friends often note that they can see that the assertive, self-assured Nicole returning.
It was the third year of the relationship when everything went wrong. My friends laughed at first, but they quickly realized I was dead serious.
We both lied to each other a lot, our drinking habits got out of control, and he even cheated on me. This was for my own good; I had a list of goals for my career my personal life that I wanted to achieve.
Articulating these benchmarks has been transformative to my life.
At the brutal end of a three-year relationship with the person I thought would be the love of my life, I hit rock bottom.I had left my career as a freelance fashion merchandiser to be a stay-at-home stepmother to his then 2-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. My friends wondered who this meek, timid girl was, and where the no-nonsense, take-charge Nicole was.The smallest argument between us would end in fits of rage. The decision to move toward my own personal goals—and away from whatever would have me—came after a few months of going on a series of let-down job interviews and lackluster dates. For me, getting rid of the distractions of casual dating and hooking up was the only way to meet both these ends. By the time I reached 31, I wanted to have established myself professionally, financially, and emotionally.The relationship was violent, toxic, and completely unhealthy. Since the opportunities being presented to me were just so sub-par, I decided to take a stand: I simply wouldn't participate until conditions improved, whether that was in my personal or professional life. This included cutting out dating and relationships altogether. I wanted to be in a steady career, preparing to purchase my own home, and be comfortable putting myself first after backburnering my needs for so long.
I come home every night, hop in a hot, relaxing shower and curl up with my Netflix, content to start all over again tomorrow.
I'm not concerned about anyone texting me back or if they like me or if we're just friends or whatever.