On the eve of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month, we salute Brittaney Shane, who realized that her ex-boyfriend had been emotionally abusive to her and found the strength to love herself again.
Her story has been going viral on Facebook after she wrote this compelling post:
You always told me I didn’t look good with long hair and that you preferred girls with short hair. So I kept my hair cut above my shoulders at all times. You laughed at me and told me I looked ridiculous when I dyed my hair red when we were together. So a week later I dyed it back blonde.
You would always point out if I was wearing too much makeup. (Winged eyeliner and mascara most of the time) So I just stopped wearing it. You told me tattoos and piercings were tacky and ugly. And would try to take out my belly button ring every time you saw it. So I took out my piercings and didn’t get any more tattoos.
You pointed out my stretch marks every chance you got. So I did my best to keep them hidden.
You pointed out every time I looked like I had gained weight. So I started eating less every day.
You pointed out every single flaw I had. So I lost every bit of confidence I had.
I did everything I could to be what you wanted. I did everything you told me to do. It still wasn’t good enough. You left me for a younger prettier girl. Someone you could mold and shape into what you wanted. Like you tried to do with me. And up until a few months ago I blamed myself for everything that happened. You blamed me too.
But finally I started to see the truth.
You weren’t out of my league. I was out of yours. I wasn’t the one who wasn’t good enough for you. You were the one who wasn’t good enough for me. You couldn’t accept me for who I was. When I took you the way you were.
So now here I am a few months later. My hair is past my shoulders. My hair is bright red. I’ve got a new tattoo. New piercings. Started wearing makeup again. I eat whatever I want whenever I want and weigh 135 pounds. I still have my stretch marks.
And I’ve finally gotten my confidence back. I finally see myself looking back at me when I look in the mirror. It’s so hard for me to come out about this and admit that I became so vulnerable because of one guy. Something I always said would never happen. It’s humiliating to even think about how low I got. But what gives me the guts to come out about this is the fact that I overcame it and I’m finally back to who I really am.” *
The first early warning sign of teen dating abuse is “telling you what to do or how to act.” This is exactly what Brittaney’s boyfriend was doing. He wasn’t just criticizing her for her choices or giving his opinion, he was trying to control how she looked by tearing down her confidence. Luckily, he left her before the abuse escalated (and it always escalates). Brittaney’s story confirms that teen dating abuse is still prevalent, but it can be prevented and overcome. Learn about the early warning signs of teen dating abuse by clicking here and share them with your friends.