Monsters From The Past

*For privacy purposes, the names of this story have been changed

In South Central Los Angeles, it was a hot sunny day when a 19-year-old young woman walked out of a neighborhood fast food place with a friend. As they stepped out onto the sidewalk, a tall African American male who had to be at least 6’2 walked past the woman. He caught *Lisa’s eye immediately. This man was not only tall and well-built, but he looked clean and well dressed. The cap he wore had his name embroidered across the front *Sam. As Lisa looked up into this man’s chocolate brown eyes, she thought he looked like Denzel Washington. Lisa and her friend proceeded to walk away from the fast-food place, but the door opened behind them, and Sam stepped back out. He gave Lisa a crooked smile that made Lisa’s heart skip a beat. He asked for Lisa’s phone number, and of course, she gave it to him. That choice altered the course of Lisa’s life for years.

Sam was not a consistent person in Lisa’s life immediately. He played cat and mouse game with her for years. Offering her crumbs of affection and thoughts of a life filled with adventure, security, and shrouded with love. Eventually, Lisa thought she gained access to Sam’s heart, but he trapped her in his web of lies. The man was a monster. He isolated her from her family and friends; he mentally and physically abused her. Several times Lisa thought she would die, not only because of being strangled to the point of losing consciousness but because of the look of hate radiating from Sam’s eyes.

Fear and embarrassment kept Lisa from seeking help and telling people what was happening to her. She felt that people would say things like “If the guy is abusing you just leave” “What did you do to make him so mad” “Sam is a good guy; you are making all this up”. Instead, Lisa endured the abuse until finally one day she prayed and simply told God she could not take it anymore and needed God to take Sam out of her life. Guess what? He did it. It was not abrupt like Sam was struck down by lightening or dropped dead on the spot. Lisa would have been okay with that. Suddenly Sam decided that he did not want Lisa in his life anymore. She did not have what it took to help him make it to the next level in his life. He was condescending and using his words to tear her down like always but this time instead of it crushing Lisa and prompting her to want to beg or try to “do better” she breathed a sigh of relief and knew God answered Lisa’s prayer.

Was the breakup easy for Lisa? No, the dysfunctional relationship had been like a drug for Lisa, so she went through emotional withdrawals. It would be nice to say Lisa lived happily ever after, but that is not the case. She went from one bad relationship to another. Are you wondering if things for Lisa ever changed for the better?

Yes, it did! I am Lisa, and this story was not fiction. It is something that happened to me a long time ago. Why am I bringing this up today? Well, this past week, Sam found me on social media and reached out to me. I did not respond to him but blocked him instead. The old damaged me would have considered talking to him thinking perhaps he has changed for the better and this time around things could be good between us. If I am in a better stage of life, he must be as well. However, I am not that person anymore. It does not matter if he changed or not, I would never go backwards. My life is successful, and I am happy. I have no intention of allowing monsters from my past reentering my life ever again.

I hope that my willingness to share this story will help others make the same choices in their lives. Do not allow the monsters of your past to try and crush the promises of your future.

Take care,

Melinda B

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