What It’s Like to Suffocate


“It is both a blessing
And a curse
To feel everything
So very deeply.”

-David Jones

I want to be raw, I want to be authentic and I want to be real.

I have wanted to open up for a long time but there is always something stopping me. Whether its the thought in my own head that I will be considered weak, that I will be looked at as seeking attention, that I am trying to bash someone or just me not being able to put my jumbled thoughts and feelings into words. There are a lot of things that have stopped me but I think its time to share my experience.

They always say “misery loves company” so if my words and experiences can help someone heal, or even help someone feel less alone, I think its worth any consequence coming my way.

I fell in love with what I thought was the man of my dreams when I was just 19. He was funny, brilliantly smart, edgy, passionate, and fascinating. Someone who really wanted to defy the odds and raise a middle finger to the social norms. A man I would never be allowed to date by my parents standards and maybe thats what drew me to him. The beginning was a whirlwind of feelings and within months I was in way too deep to look back. When you’re in love, especially for the first time, its hard to see clearly. Everything is so hazy and you can’t decide what is right vs wrong. You miss the red flags, you excuse all bad behavior, you look the other way. You convince yourself that things will get better, that he will change, that he will love you as you love him one day soon.

There were numerous events that should have made me walk away but I stayed. I loved him and I was determined to work things out but things continued to get worse and worse.

I had known for a very, very long time that this relationship was toxic. There was no doubt about that, but it only really hit home when I was sorting through my broken pieces after it was all over and I was left there, alone, to decipher what had happened throughout the three years.

For three long years I held my breath, I was too afraid to stand up for myself and I let him walk all over me. He tore me away from my friends, he killed my self esteem, and he broke my spirit. Every fight we had, he had a tricky way of making me feel bad about what is happening and I ended up being the bad person.

I think there is nothing worse than feeling empty, lonely and mentally abused in a relationship that had every opportunity to always be filled with love and compassion. For a long time I felt not good enough and his actions always proved that theory right.

It’s really hard to explain what suffocating feels like, it’s almost like the worst episode of anxiety that you can imagine, but feeling it every day. Even now thinking back to all of this, months later, I feel myself running out of breath, thinking how I could let that go on for so long. I mean it wasn’t always like this. We shared so many beautiful moments, so much laughter and happy days. We really did at one point love each other but at some point it turned, and it turned quick. He had bigger demons to fight but during it all I was dragged down by them too.

I honestly am not trying to make him seem like a bad person, because he’s not and most of the things he did, were not done intentionally to hurt me. To this day I love him and will always care about him but I think its just the fact that he was very, very selfish. He was living for himself and not for us, which in the end is really what killed us.

It’s quite interesting to have something shatter when you aren’t quite ready for it to end, no matter how stressful and heartbreaking it was to stay in it. That last half of a year we were together, I cried a couple times a week and it was starting to feel like normalcy to me…don’t ever think that is okay… The night that everything went down, when I found all evidence to my worst nightmare, I can honestly say I felt suffocated, more than usual. I felt like my heart fell out of my body and I was in actual physical pain. I couldn’t breathe, talk or even move. Paralyzed I sat there, staring at the words as the tears flooded my face. Even thinking about it now completely takes me back to that moment in time.


There are so many women in abusive relationships. Whether it is physical or verbal, both are traumatizing.

I personally know how extremely hard it is to break the cycle, to get out, to feel like you will never be loved again or to feel like you will never be able to love again, BUT it is POSSIBLE.

More often than not, you love the person more than you love yourself and you will do anything to help them get out of the dark hole while in the meantime you are being broken down into nothing but scars, anxiety, self loathing and loneliness.

But sometimes you have to do what is best for you. It will never be a fairy tale or the perfect love story. You cannot save them. They can only save themselves. It will continue happening till you are left with nothing.

Leave it while you can. Leave it while there is something left of you. You can do it. You deserve unconditional love, safety, respect, and warmth.

You know people continuously walk in and out of your life and each one really teaches you something. Whether its how to be patient, how to be carefree, how to make decisions on a whim, how to make bad decisions, how to apologize, how to be crazy, how to be selfish, how to put yourself first, how to be selfless, how to care, how to love, how to hate, how to heal, how to be a good friend, how to give up, how to rise above, how to be the greatest version of yourself or how to be the worst version of yourself. As bad or as good as some of the things you learn may be, they all shape you. They all make you, YOU.

Be gentle, be kind, be loving, be selfless and most importantly grow and reinvent yourself. Don’t ever become the victim and use your experiences as a jumping board into greatness.

XOXO, Rutele.