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The Ugly Truth

Note: Audio transcript will be available soon

It can be painful accepting something that we wish wasn't true. Some may find themselves rejecting the truth in their mind, trying to protect themselves from a truth that is too difficult to accept at the moment. It's a defense mechanism created to avoid anxiety, the pain of grief, and unpleasant feelings.

Denial can cause us to reject reality, while entertaining false expectations. False hope is expecting something that will most likely never happen. This can keep us from moving forward and leaves us stagnant. Hope is a great thing, when applied to situations correctly. It can give us the strength to endure and grow resilient. But the danger of false hope is it leaves us stuck with this fantasy, or idea, that will never come to pass. We deceive ourselves, hiding from the truth, and refuse to acknowledge the reality of the situation.

I was in a relationship for several years. I loved this person with all my heart. Yet, the love that I had for this person blinded me from seeing just how toxic they were for me.

I had allowed myself to believe that we were meant to be together and because of that, I put up with the things he said and did to me.

At one point, we had separated and he moved out. But, we continued to see each other. We did things as a family. The kids and I would spend holidays with him in his apartment. But whenever we were together, he seemed to always make me feel bad. He would criticize me or nitpick at everything I did or said and we argued a lot. There were rarely any happy moments between us, but I still held on because I had this hope that he would change and once he changed, we would be the loving family I always envisioned. And it seemed that he would string me along, giving me a false sense of hope. He would be loving and kind one moment, and the next, this mean and cruel person who could cut me to the core. It did a lot of damage to my self-esteem.

When I discovered, at one of the worst moments of my life, that he was seeing someone else. I was devastated. It was such a shock. I was so hurt and I felt like when I needed him the most, he abandoned me. I received two hard blows back-to-back and found myself in such a depression. This led to my seeking comfort through a bible study group, which caused more damage than good for reasons I really won't go into right now, and I ended up being hospitalized.

Coming to the reality that he did not love me the way I loved him was painful. Once the blindfold was removed and I came to see the reality of how he did not ever really care about me hurt like hell.

I had lost my identity when I was with him. A major part of my identity was found in him. My worth was dependent upon his love for me, so when he ended up with someone else, I found myself feeling like I was worthless.

When he first came into my life, he was such a romantic. He literally wooed me. But there were red flags that I never noticed because I didn't want to. This was my first real relationship. I was 21 when I first met him. He was 10 years older than I. I found him to be someone who I felt safe with. He would buy me jewelry, send me flowers, send me these romantic messages, and was very affectionate. He made me feel special in a way I never had before. I felt truly loved for the first time in my entire life.

At one point he completely stopped speaking to me without any reason at all, and came back into my life two years later, wooing me all over again. I had never gotten over the heartache the first time he left me so to have him back in my life again was like a dream come true. This time, he moved in with me several months later.

After he moved in, the trouble began. I had started working at my first job after completing school as a medical assistant in a clinical trials facility. I loved that job. A couple months later, he downloaded a spy app on my phone that was completely hidden in the background, somehow, because he thought I was cheating on him. It was about 5 months before I even realized that he thought I was cheating. I discovered the spy app because I checked his phone. He had the ability to record me no matter what I was doing, my phone conversations and private conversations I had with my mom or sister. Conversations I wish he never heard. He was able to track where I went, he was able to gain access to every website I went on, and obtain my login and passwords. I felt so violated.

When the accusations came out about me cheating, he showed me recorded conversations that he had of me while I was at work. One of those records was of the staff having lunch together. At one point I was drinking a beverage and he accussed me of kissing someone in that audio. The reality of just how much he violated my privacy hit me so hard at one point that I smacked him. I felt so hurt and betrayed. And he became physical in return.

Yet, I had this desperate need to prove to him that I did not cheat on him and that I love him. I took a lie detector test that I passed just to prove to him that I would never cheat on him. He had such a low opinion of me and I found myself wanting to please him. Wanting to rise to his expectations of how I should be. Yet no matter what I did, it was never good enough. I was never good enough. He preferred women who did their hair and nails, who wore dresses and heels. I was a sneakers and hoodie kind of girl. He wanted a woman who was affectionate, I wasn't very affectionate. I found myself feeling this pressure to be someone I wasn't and it was making me feel anxious around him. It seemed like the more he wanted me to do what he wanted, the harder it was to do it and that caused him to criticize me even more. I was miserable and unhappy. Even after he left me, I found myself thinking constantly that it was probably because I wasn't pretty enough. I became overly self-conscious and had this self-loathing complex. I began to hate myself. I also found myself angry once the love blinders came off and I saw the extent of how badly he mistreated me. I was so angry towards him and I would literally struggle in my soul not to hate him. Forgiveness was hard and its still something I struggle with. I find myself having to forgive him constantly whenever a memory comes up. It also isn't easy when you have a child with the person. I think the pain goes deeper when someone causes you to fall in love with them, when they show you this beautiful love that is not even real, only to disappoint you. That is a horrible manipulation of someone's emotions.

But, there is good that came out of this, besides my son. The pain I endured from this caused me to turn to the Lord. And He has been helping me to know my worth and find who I am again.

Our identity can never be found in another person. Our worth should never be measured by another person's approval or acceptance. God sees us as we are. The good, the bad, and the ugly and He does not wait until we are deserving or worthy to come to Him, because Christ did all the work for us. With Him we can just be. We are free to be ourselves, to share everything with Him, and let Him just soothe away the pain, the insecurities, and allow His love to wash it all away. We can be honest with Him. We can be open even with the ugly truths we hide away. He sees it all anyways. But He wants us to learn to have a relationship with Him and see that we can approach Him and lay it all bare. His love does not condemn, but it encourages, it strengthens, it supports, and most of all, it heals.

And it is this same love that gives us the courage to face the reality of our situations because He gives us a better hope. This kind of hope helps us move foreword so that we do not remain stuck.

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