The Man who Broke me & The Man who Built me Back Up Again

by - August 03, 2018

Hi! Welcome to Lattes and Life Lessons, a blog all about my struggles (and progress) with anxiety, insomnia, and depression; my everyday life-in-general that is filled with craziness and so much more! My name is Chantel, and I am a twenty-something-year-old from a small town in BC, Canada. I am a bonus mom to a wonderful seven-year-old boy and a fur mom to a crazy, [almost] three-year-old Husky/Pyrenees cross.

I'll just leave it at that because you can find all the information you need to know in the About section. With that being said, allow me to tell you how a total wreck like myself, stuck in a nightmare, turned into a semi-functional human being (and bonus mom!), found an amazing blessing (or maybe he found me). 

Four years ago, I was in a very bad place in my life; I was an unemployed, semi-alcoholic, high-school drop-out, who was in a toxic relationship with a guy eleven years older than myself (for privacy-rights purposes, I will call him Mark). Mark was extremely dangerous; he was manipulative, controlling, and spiteful; and although I knew this, I stayed with him, simply for the fact that I had nowhere else to go. Literally.

I was stuck in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship that I desperately wanted out of, for six months, but thankfully, Mark was taken into police custody February 14th, 2014 (not by my doing, nor am I saying why) and I was finally free... yet happy was not the word I would use for what I felt in that moment. Because I had nowhere to go, and I had no job, I grew very dependent on Mark.

After a panic attack, I picked myself up from my bedroom floor, took what money I could find, and went to my local bar (because alcohol solves everything, right?). There, I met the man who saved me from it all. Though we both didn't know it at the time; it took another two months before we finally started dating. Four months after Mark got taken into police custody, my, now other-half, Charles, asked me to move in with him so I could leave the place I had found with a few other people. Three months after I moved in with Charles, he told me he loved me for the first time and we started planning our future.

I don't want to sound like a cliche, but Charles saved me from so many things that were evil in my life; because of Charles, I am back in school; because of Charles, I got a job (although it didn't work out); because of Charles, I no longer depend on alcohol and sleeping pills to numb my pain; and because of Charles, my panic attacks and depressive episodes are not as frequent as they used to be. Not only did he save me from an abusive and toxic relationship, but he is still saving me from myself.

Charles encourages me to go after my dreams, he supports me in everything that I do and is the most generous, kindest, hardworking man I have ever met. He gave me so much good that is now in my life; I will always be grateful for him, no matter what may happen in the future (because no one can see the future, haha). He is the reason why I am the strong, determined, independent woman I am today. He is the reason for making my future possible, and he is the reason I see life differently. I love this man, and I will always, always be thankful for him blessing my life.

What I learned in these four years:

If you are in a relationship with someone, and you want out, but you "can't" leave because they are threatening to hurt themselves in some way, don't stay with them, call someone and report it. They (and whatever they may or may not do to you, someone else, or even to themselves) are not your responsibility. Please do not allow them to manipulate you into staying... 

If you are unemployed, and/or if you have no place to stay, there are resources to help you. Please reach out. I know exactly how it feels to struggle. I wish I knew about these resources sooner.

Be honest. Not just with other people, but with yourself, as well. Don't hold anything back, open up and let everything out. It'll only create more damage by holding in all of that toxicity.

Remember, what you're going through, you do not have to go through it alone. There are so many places you can go to talk and to seek help. I am also here if you need someone to speak with, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me, I'm happy to help in any way I can.
To be clear, Charles gave me love, patience, kindness, safety, and understanding. He's the reason I have confidence and showed me how to love myself; when I say "Charles gave me so much," I am not talking about materialistic things because I worked hard for the things that I have, he gave me (or should I say "unlocked") all of the qualities that I love about myself. And that is what I will always be grateful for.

Disclaimer: I am not saying you need to find a guy in order to find yourself, love yourself, or to build confidence and independence. Please do not depend on others to make you happy. Know your self-worth; love yourself, and depend on you, but also don't be afraid of accepting help from those who are genuine and want to see you succeed in your self-development. Xo
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  1. Chantel, This post is an inspiration to me. I have a daughter that has gone through this same thing and is just now realizing her full potential as an independent woman.
    Take care

    1. Thank you for commenting, Lynn xo

      It is definitely difficult knowing your loved one is going through something horrible with their "partner." My family, especially my mother, begged and begged for me to leave my ex. Her cries of relief and joy once she knew I was "free" was both heartbreaking and warming. Knowing I was hurting her and making her constantly worry for my safety and well-being by staying in such an abusive and toxic relationship with someone so dangerous and deranged, tore me apart. Although I wish I didn't go through any of that, I am grateful as well, otherwise I wouldn't be who I am today! Xo

  2. This post hit home with me. The same thing happened to me and this is so inspirational! Thanks for sharing.

    xo, L |

    1. I'm sorry to hear that, Leanna! No one should ever have to through such terrible relationshipsXo If only people were kind and respected one another... Just imagine how the world would be and how safe and secure ones relationship would be as well!

  3. Congratulations on becoming such a strong human being who has gone through so much and come out the other side better. Lots of love to you for surviving that.

  4. I am so glad you found love again and even happier that you found the love within yourself to allow something worthy to be in your life. Sending you positive vibes beautiful x

  5. I'm so sorry you went through that rough patch but you seem to be doing wonderfully now! Awesome advice and inspiration for those who might be in similar, seemingly dead-end situations.

  6. I admire you for writing so openly about what you went through and I am so glad you found the courage in yourself to change your situation. I am quite a bit older than you but have daughters around your age and it grips my heart to read your story. Although Charles has helped you, you still have found the strength within yourself to make changes. Well done and wish you all the best for the future.

  7. The outcome to your story is amazing! Good for you for making the most out of your situation and coming out on top! It's inspiring. I think it's great that you're sharing your story and giving those in similar situations hope.

  8. This is so inspirational. I felt your strength while reading.Unfortunately, thete ate many women in toxic relationships. It's easy for people to say get out. But I know that while you are in it, it is so hard. I'm glad that you got out.