Trauma haunts us in many ways, shapes, and forms. It pulls us back into an unbearable darkness that oftentimes seems endless.

I’ve been very open about my darkness, but what I haven’t spoken out about is my healthy relationships, especially the one with my boyfriend. He is kind and patient, along with everything I’ve ever imagined.

Despite it being a dream come true, I find myself, in our relationship, repeating my old, hurt patterns. The kind of patterns that push others away before they can do any damage to me.

I am in no way a licensed professional, and everything I say should be taken into account with that in mind. As a victim blooming into a survivor, these are some obstacles I have come to figure out that you may find yourself in.

  1. When you find yourself feeling as if you annoy or bother your significant other simply by existing, remind yourself that this too shall pass. Anxiety is the fear of being rejected by others and often taunts us with lies. Try doing simple math equations. It’s more difficult to think irrationally when you’re forcing rational and inarguably true thoughts.
  2. You may often find yourself in a position as if you are gesturing one hand in front to stop and another hand ushering to come closer. I’ve learned this is a normal stance on life for people who have lived through the abandonment of any sort. Just as leaving something as it is getting good, due to fear of the next step is one that will cause pain. In this situation,  I’ve learned trust in my partner and reminding myself that I am worthy of a happiness over and over snaps me out of the spiral. So does reminding myself of happy moments with my significant other, and asking myself if I’d ever regret them. The answer is always no.
  3. Stop finding reasons to leave, because you will find them. That includes getting mad at the little things. Instead, ask yourself, “Am I even happier with my partner than I am on my own?” If yes, think of all that you would be missing if you cut him or her off.

Love does, in fact, take courage. That being said, be proud of yourself. Through all moments that you have endured pain and suffering, that may inherently turn into reasons not to love, you’ve stepped forward and tried. Sometimes it takes falling down eight times, then dragging yourself across the floor to get up the ninth. Keep getting up. You are worthy of joy and one day it won’t be so hard to embrace.