Maybe it’s because I was brainwashed for over a year. I thought I was happy. I thought everything was great, perfect, as it should be. I learned to understand the verbal abuse, the yelling, the mental abuse, the neglect. But, here I am, a month later, somehow feeling guilty. Perhaps it’s just loneliness. I walked about four miles at the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI., under the cloudy, somber, Sunday sky. Everything on my iPod played depressing music. Music to start over, new, making me think about break-ups and such. I haven’t really thought about the entire situation at hand until today. I felt free, but at the same time, alone. I guess I miss the company of having someone, even when they deliberately bring you down. I know I didn’t deserve what I went through, the events, the death, the challenges I’ve struggled to overcome. It wasn’t until I took off my rose-colored glasses and saw things for how they really where. How frightened I was to be with someone who spoke to me the way he did. How he put his hands on me. How he yelled at me, degraded me. How toxic everything was from the beginning to end. Then why do I feel so guilty now? Why is it hard to show emotion for myself? Why is it so difficult to shed a tear when I’m so broken inside? I’m scared I won’t find someone. Someone I won’t fear. Someone that respects me, appreciates me. Someone that spoils me, surprises me. Someone that’s faithful, loyal, that I can see a future with. Someone that meets my standards. Higher standards. I’m just, overall, scared.