How do you get over abuse? Over the past two years I have known what it is like to be sexually and mentally abused. How do you even begin to have a pure and healthy relationship after that? There are times when I don’t even think I know how to love someone anymore. I can love the innocent children I play with at church. I can love my brother and my little sister fearlessly. I love my parents more than I let on. And I love my best friend for being there longer than any other friend. But loving a man? After men have hurt me and imprinted a permanent bruise on my bone and spirit? How do I do that? I am still broken. I struggle with feeling unworthy of love. I feel like I am damaged because of someone else’s evil. I am paying for the sins of another person. Of another person, not even a man because a man would never put his hand on a woman. The person I’m with now says he can handle my fears of being hurt and is here to show me what it is like to be treated right. But how can he? He is barely a man. He doesn’t know my heart. And for some reason every time I try to share it I choke on my own truth. What I would say to him: you are probably not the man I will marry. And yet I still want to be with you. You curse so much and I cringe every time. You don’t love God or know him like I do. My relationship with him is a priority to me. Without him I fall apart. He is the only solid constant in my world. He has rescued me time and time again from death, metaphorically and literally. I am set apart. The calling on my life is greater than most. I have been called since I was a kid to minister to other people. And I need a man who will walk with me in that calling. The reason I look to the side before sex is because I know it’s wrong and I am regretting it before it begins. And I wish I could say no but for some reason that right still feels stolen from me. When I almost left you and you cried just know my heart broke too. But one day I know I’m going to have to actually break it again. But in a perfect world where you seeked God and knew him I’d let myself love you. And I’d let you show me what it is like to be with someone who truly cared and wanted me for more than my body. I would say goodnight to you at the door and you would save up to take me out and we would talk at dinner instead of you looking at your phone. My expectations would not be destroyed on Valentine’s Day or my birthday because you would be there with flowers waiting to watch something innocent like Lady and the Tramp(even though I know you would want to watch something else). In a perfect world I would look you in the eyes when you speak softly to me because I wouldn’t be afraid to feel. But it’s not a perfect world. And one day I will have to say goodbye to you too, ending up right where I started.