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It’s your 27th birthday today. All day today, everything I signed and dated put knots in my stomach.

This is the first time in three years that I am not bending to your will.

The first birthday of yours that we spent together was the first time I felt truly afraid of you. It was the first time you made it entirely clear what you were capable of and willing to do to me.

I was to start my first post-college job that day. The night before you got drunk. You were throwing things, making degrading jokes, grabbing at me and my clothes, and cutting me down to size. You made it clear that I was worthless and that the job I was to start as a social worker was pointless.

That I had no worth…to society or to you.

After you destroyed our living room and kitchen, you began throwing beer cans and blasting your racist music. You kept me awake until three in the morning with the noise. Besides, I was too afraid to sleep and leave you unattended in the house. You came upstairs and realized that I was still awake. I tried to explain to you that I needed to sleep which you thought that was funny. You said that I had kept you up many a night when you had to work and that I would be fine.

You then proceeded to “do” what you wanted. After my first day, I came home and surprised you with a cake and a card. You thought they were both bullshit. You wanted booze instead. You did not ask about my day. Instead, you sent me a text in the middle of the day to pick up alcohol for you.

Now we’re done. So entirely done. And I still have moments where I feel worthless, useless, and unable to ever love or be loved again. I don’t trust men. I don’t like being touched. I have a hard time eating, sleeping is impossible, and romance makes me so angry.

My emotions are raw and I feel like I’m trying to swim out of the center of a lake. I can see myself on the shore but it takes one stroke at a time to get there.

Now you’ve moved on to another woman. I’m relieved that it’s no longer me that is the center of your “affections.” I’m hurt that it was so easy for you to move on when I’m stuck. I still hurt and rage and ache.

I didn’t expect today to be so hard. After all, it’s YOUR day, not mine. But I’m proud because I made it through. I’ll keep swimming back to myself and away from the sinking pit that you pulled me into.

I’ll find myself.

I will heal.