I’m standing in front of a jewellery store cabinet full to the brim with earrings, necklaces and rings. I scan its contents until I spot what I’m looking for: an engagement ring. Pear-shaped, with tiny diamonds on the outside and a morganite stone in the centre.
Initially, it was the glassy pink colour that attracted me to it and when I looked into the meaning of the gemstone, I felt like it represented exactly what I needed. Morganite is connected to the soul, the heart and love. Wearing it is supposed to bring you healing energy, compassion, joy, confidence, inner strength and unconditional love.
All qualities at that point in time, I felt like I was lacking because I didn’t know exactly who I was. I’d just come out of a long-term relationship that so severely diminished my self-worth, I felt like a shadow of who I used to be. Negative self-talk filled my head and I felt worthless in almost every single way.
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It was a relationship that had started incredibly quickly, with empty gifts, endless compliments and constant admiration.
My ex told me how he felt early on and our relationship intensified quickly. Looking back, these all should have been red flags at the time but I was so swept up that I ignored the fundamental differences we had in our values.
Years into the relationship, I was so worn down and exhausted from defending what was important to me that I simply gave up.
I made excuses for him, I stopped seeing my friends and I rarely attended social events. If I did, I knew I would face a barrage of text messages asking me what I was doing, who I was with and accusing me of being unfaithful.
It was ironic because it wasn’t long before I learned of my ex’s own cheating. Yet when I confronted him, instead of an apology I had his own lies turned back on me.
I was told that I was delusional, I was called every awful name you could think of and was made to believe that I was worthless and that nobody would ever love me.
When I would fight back my ex would tell me that ending up with him showed that I was more like him than I knew. That I wasn’t honest with myself about who I really was: a fundamentally bad person.