Three years ago, I moved across the world to pursue my passion and live out my dreams. I always wanted to move abroad to study and work in fashion. Life seemed to unfold beautifully as I met him a few months in — charming, funny and full of adventure. We were always on the same page — career, marriage, kids and wanting the most from life. We could overcome anything and as he said best, we were a team.

A mere five weeks after proposing, I went home to visit family, not knowing he was planning his great escape. I received an insincere text message to let me know it was over, he was moving out and on. I flew back across the world to try and salvage things. At our final encounter, he was so empty, showed zero remorse or feeling and even managed to blame me. How could he be so cold after all the things he said when proposing? After all the honest and open conversations we had over the course of our relationship?

I spent weeks hanging onto any bit of hope until the truth finally came into place. He had been cheating for months and was now living with her. The very thing he blamed me for — not trusting him — was right all along. With research, I gained understanding and everything clicked. I discovered his true self — a textbook narcissist.

More importantly, I discovered the beauty in people and in life. The beauty in me

I moved back home to start anew. With all the strength I have I’m learning to love myself, and for the first time ever, set boundaries. The stark realization our relationship was an illusion has been tough, but taught me a fruitful lesson in trusting my intuition (I truly always felt something was off) and putting myself first. Never again will I allow for my identity to be worn down, or my heart and mind be manipulated with. 

Every day presents a set of challenges but overall I choose to heal and grow from this. I have been gifted with the help and support of so many friends, family, healers and resources that assure my heart and mind that everything will be ok. We are not alone in our struggles, and our circumstances never define us. We should never feel embarrassed or scared to show our scars. To those reading this, repeat after me: you are smart, strong, beautiful, kind and you deserve a full life. It is never too late to rewrite your story.