Hurt. Confused. Lonely. Scared. Numb. Depressed. The list could go on and on when examining the emotions I felt from my past relationship. I can remember my mind spinning, constantly questioning if my relationship with my then-husband would ever get better if I could change him. If I am truly honest, the abuse that I endured brought me to a breaking point. The pain and fear of the unknown paralyzed me. A person could only take so much. Love should add, not take away. You shouldn’t have to fear every daily interaction with your spouse. You shouldn’t be made to feel insecure, unworthy, or in a constant state of worry because your partner threatens to leave or hurt you if you leave them.
If any of this resonates with you, I am here to tell you that I have been exactly where you are and to reinforce the truth that it won’t always be this way. I don’t like focusing too much on the specifics of the abuse I endured because I like to look at the beautiful life I have now — writing this to you. Fast forward to today and I am remarried to the most amazing man, that constantly strives to create a beautiful, healthy, God-honoring marriage. This transition didn’t magically happen overnight. In the end, this new life ultimately took FOUR years to find and accept. My hope is that some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way will help to provide some light and perspective to anyone who needs to hear it.
Lesson One: Acknowledge the darkness to find your light
At its lowest point, I remember hearing a friend say, “Brittany if you don’t get out, you’re going to die.” Talk about shaking you to your core. Accepting the darkness that surrounded me helped to re-spark a hidden light that I thought had been lost. I found the strength to file for divorce and to get away. But the darkness still existed. For two years, the daily depression I felt was too much to handle. There were moments that stole my breath and days that I struggled to get out of the bed. I needed to learn to love Brittany again. Acknowledging the darkness helped me to ultimately find hope for better days ahead through faith and perseverance. Slowly, my hope helped to find the good. And with the good, I found light.
Lesson Two: Embrace the awesome you, to love the one you deserve
After two years, I eventually began to thrive in my independence. It was powerful. I came to realize that life as an independent, fierce, adult woman was awesome. I learned how to live alone, go to the movies alone, and eat alone. Most importantly, I learned how to be silent in my own presence and ENJOY it. We spend so much time trying to stay so busy in an effort to drown out whatever is eating us alive. I needed this period to embrace the natural woman I was designed to be. Eventually, I began to realize that by working so hard on ME, I was healing myself from the inside out, learning to love myself a little more each day. I faced my demons head on and came out on top. Maybe this was the version of me that could love someone I truly deserved.
Lesson Three: Trust your light, and allow your walls to fall
It was then that I realized I was no longer going to let my past control my future. As a Christian woman, my light has always been my faith. I prayed long and hard to help break down the barriers of my past and move towards the life I truly wanted and deserved. I needed to allow my walls to fall. The time came when I realized I was ready to put myself out there. I went on dates and nothing happened. Nothing! It was as if I was being punished for finally finding my worth, punished with a sense of nothing. I decided that if I was meant to be single, I would simply need to embrace it and be thankful. This acceptance helped me to trust my light, my faith. I changed my prayers and started praying fervently for my future husband, for the man who would add value to me, not take it away. I prayed for the man who would challenge me to be a better version of myself and to love me the way that would make God smile.
Lesson Four: All things work for the good
In October 2017 my husband came into my life. My world was rocked. Without any question or ounce of uncertainty, I was able to understand what all the pain, hardship, and struggle had been in pursuit of. For the first time in my life, I found out what a healthy relationship looked and felt like. My pain and darkness helped me to find my independence, strength, worth, and inner light. In many ways, it prepared me for what I deserved. From day one, my now-husband pursued me from the very first conversation. He honored my morals and values and truly made me feel as if I was the most cherished person on the planet. He loves me the way a man should love a woman. It took me a while to fully comprehend “what a healthy relationship” looked like, but all things work for the good.
Each day I meet different women who are suffering just as I was, women who are longing to hear they are not alone, women who are dying to be heard and seen. Here is the truth — you can turn your life around. You too can have a happy ending. You are worth loving. Even when you feel shattered and surrounded by darkness, hold on to hope and continue to push forward, find your inner light. The same power that you give to lies, you can now give to the truth. Dig deep and start looking towards a future of celebration — of your story, of what you’ve overcome, of your ability to use your story to help other women overcome, too!
Written by: Brittany York, a Kentucky girl born and raised, now currently living with her husband in the beautiful Bay Area of California. Brittany is very passionate about helping women find hope again. She works with women who are in toxic relationships and helps them rediscover their self worth so they can enjoy living a fulfilled life!