What Doesn’t Kill Me

Alecia Kennedy
5 min readDec 23, 2022

Makes me indestructible

Photo by Bas van den Eijkhof on Unsplash

In the past few months I’ve noticed a profound change in myself. I feel as though somehow I’ve been transformed. I don’t remember ever feeling this powerful, independent, or emotionally strong. I feel as though all the so-called negative experiences of my life have somehow burned away the excess and left nothing but the real me. The indestructible me.

Let me explain.

I’ve written on this platform about my history with abusive men. I married my very first boyfriend in high school and he turned out to be abusive in every way. He trained me to walk on eggshells in his presence, he taught me that the telling the truth wasn’t safe, being myself wasn’t acceptable, and that my happiness meant nothing. He tried to break me down mentally, emotionally, and physically. But instead of breaking me, he created a monster. I was determined to escape, to graduate from college, to succeed when he told me I couldn’t. I was a very honest person who learned to lie to survive.

When I finally found the courage to leave that relationship, I was strong but also very damaged. And I was bitter. I couldn’t trust anyone, not even myself. Especially not myself — after all, I had chosen such a manipulative, horrible person to marry. After several years of dating not good enough boys during my twenties, I finally found someone that I allowed to break down my walls just a bit. I softened my heart for him and he betrayed me. That relationship almost destroyed me in a different way than my first marriage. I didn’t emerge stronger. I felt weak and vulnerable for a long time after that relationship, like a hermit crab without a shell.

As I slowly came back to life after a year-long depression, I resigned myself to remaining single. But that was the problem — I didn’t enthusiastically embrace my situation — I resigned myself to my fate. I wasn’t unhappy but I wasn’t really fulfilled either. I still dated. I had a good job. I was living in a new city. I felt recovered if not strong. I had accepted my life.

It was during that time that I met my second husband. He seemed different than the people I had been dating. He was kinder. He was polite. He made me laugh. We had an instant chemistry and a whirlwind romance. We moved in together after four months and were married in just…

Alecia Kennedy