As Christina revealed to all of us last week, she’s gone through some drastic changes in her personal life over the past month or so. I’ve been here to personally witness all of the transitions that she’s made going from an LA girl running her business, to moving her life to Houston to build a relationship, becoming a girlfriend, homeowner, fiancé and eventually almost a mother before everything came to an abrupt end. It’s without a doubt easy to understand why she’d want to keep all that she went through to herself, and as difficult as it is to relive the past year and a half of her life, I’m so grateful she understands the importance of sharing her story in hopes to not only raise awareness regarding unhealthy relationships, but most importantly to inspire another young lady who is potentially going through the same thing and may not have the courage that it takes to walk away.
In the beginning, what were things like? Can you tell us about how you two met and what the original dynamic of your relationship was? What were some of the things that made it easy to fall for him?
In the beginning of our relationship, things were exciting as ever. I was in a place where I needed what he offered and I felt like I was making the right decisions because it was “ok’d” by God. That reason was for a reason other than what I understood at that time. We moved so fast because it felt comfortable and we both wanted the same thing. He was so charismatic, had his career together, ambitious, competitive and he was so fine!
You decided to move back to your hometown, Houston Texas to make things work a few months into your relationship. What prompted the move and what sacrifices did you have to make in order to be with him?
Man. Before I moved back to Houston I had everything I needed in life plus everything I could buy. I was so unhappy, though, because I wanted a relationship. I wanted it so bad that I was willing to gamble with everything I had built. At the time, however, my mother was bouncing in and out of sickness and so was my step father so I wanted to be closer to them as well.
Did you realize you were taking a huge risk by leaving your life in LA behind? Would you do it again?
I would never sacrifice everything I built to be with someone else. I didn’t realize my risks but I walked blindly into it because of the things he promised to me. I had so much hope (just as I do in a lot of things) and that made me fearless.
After moving home, you two purchased a house together. You’d found someone you were crazy about, fallen in love and now had a home. Did you feel you were living in a fairy tale?
I definitely didn’t feel like I was living in a fairytale because once we moved together I began to see the real deal in him. He and his immediate family would demean me because I wasn’t a housekeeper (to their standards). I was more of a money maker, go getter and hustler so I didn’t have time to stay at home all day and clean up. This made it hell to live in that house.
What red flags came up early on in your relationship that you feel like you ignored?
The first red flag was his anger outburst a few months into our relationship. I didn’t think it would be a normal occurance so I let it slide. After that, it worsened of course and after every outburst there was growth which made me believe that he was getting better as a man. This was only a cover up for what the real issue was though. Once again my hope in him masked the dangerous truth.
Your relationship eventually began to take a toll on your business, your personal relationships with friends and family and how you felt about yourself. Talk about the things that suffered because you put your relationship first.
Even though I was close to home, I wasn’t able to live freely. I could rarely see my friends without an argument, he rarely let my mother come over because in the beginning of our relationship she let him know that he wasn’t accepted for his behavior. We argued so much about my friends and family because he was so disrespectful. I couldn’t post freely on social media without an argument. Keep in mind it was and continues to be my livelihood. If my picture was too “sexy” then he would say the strangest things like, “I see you out here showin’ your pussy.” Now that I look back at the situation I think, “IT’S MY BODY. I’LL SHOW IT IF I WANT!” Aside from all that, my self esteem was shattered.
About a year into your relationship, you two got engaged. Did you feel that it was fate, or a quick fix for the issues you all were having?
I felt like he truly changed when he asked me to be his wife. Before that, we had broken up and I had even moved out of the house and the trip we went on was an apology trip. The things he promised intrigued me to keep trying for the relationship.
All of your moments weren’t horrible and there were obvious things about your relationship that made you love him. What were some of the positives that overpowered the negative?
He was just like me business wise and that was attractive. I appreciated his willingness to try to be better whenever I had a problem with something and I loved the image of perfection that we had from the outside looking in. It was something I wanted but on the inside it was the total opposite.
Relationships consist of compromising, which you did a lot of. At what point did you begin to feel uncomfortable with the balance in your relationship?
When he was mean and had outbursts I realized how fucked up our relationship was. If every issue he had was taken away, we would be the perfect couple. I would be so head over hills in love and it would show. Before me he could talk to women however he wanted to and he tried to do that to me. I quickly told him it wouldn’t work for me. That’s when I realized the imbalance but I ignored it.
What was the difference between what we all know the road-bumps every relationship has and what you were experiencing with him?
When road bumps occur, the ability to actually change for the better is most important. He didn’t possess this quality in the areas that were detrimental to our success. Verbal abuse is never okay but he was used to it. Being mean and evil to people isn’t the way to live but he was used to treating people that way. The way he treated his friends and family were all questionable and the things that he said had me frustrated because I didn’t treat people that way.
The evening of the break-up
In the blog post you wrote that opened up about your breakup, you mentioned some of the biggest issues in your relationship which were aggression, insecurity, immaturity, trust issues, controlling ways and jealousy, but very few people knew exactly what was really going on. Did you feel the need to mask those things in order to protect him?
I felt like we were working towards him being delivered from his issues so I felt the need to be quiet and to wait it out. He always told me not to tell our issues to people as well and it made sense. Looking back, I wouldn’t change that I hid it because I wasn’t ready to leave the relationship. I would have looked ignorant if I kept telling my business and going back to him.
He became very controlling. Him and his career came first, his wants, his family. Also controlling how you promoted your business, the time you spent with friends. Did it become difficult to remind yourself of your worth during the length of your relationship?
I knew my worth but I put him first. I believed in him and I was so hopeful that he would change for the better. I argued a lot with him because I knew my worth. I would literally fight for it so much that I would be exhausted by the end of the day from arguing and exerting energy towards our issues and his issues. I often tried to make my office my positive place and told everyone who walked in it to be positive or leave.
Before the abuse became physical, there was several instances of emotional and verbal abuse. Were you ever afraid that things would get physical?
I never in 100 years could guess that he would have become abusive. When it happened, I was in shock. I had to ask myself if it really happened. I had to ask his assistant if it really happened. I had to ask him if it really happened. I was in disbelief and I was terrified at the same time. Right before it happened I told him that he was going to ruin himself.
You found out you were pregnant, how did you feel? Was it planned, were you frightened, was there excitement, was it made out of love?
We planned the pregnancy and when the test was positive I was happy, but scared. I began mentally preparing for it and I told my mother and of course friends and family. We both were happy about it but things went downhill once I began experiencing normal first trimester symptoms. He stressed me out, he wasn’t understanding, he was angry, upset, disliked that I was tired as hell and I couldn’t confide in him. When I heard the heartbeat at the doctors office I cried because I had never heard anything like it. When the nurse left he was angry and asked why I was crying. His inability to have a heart in certain situations was horrible. I felt alone and like I was doing it all alone.
As women we naturally want to keep things in order and keep our relationships in tact. It’s difficult to expose the harsh realities of the situations we’re often in. Did what people thought of you stop you from walking away?
I knew I had to walk away for ME. If anyone had a different opinion I blocked them from my life. It was that easy. I’m stubborn when my mind, body and soul are connected and I knew immediately what needed to be done. People will be people and they will have opinions but we have to always do what’s best for us.
The night of the incident that caused your split, tell us what happened.
The night of the incident he became extremely belligerent and unable to identify with why he was even angry in the first place. He was rambling and making accusations and we began to argue. When I stopped arguing it made him even angrier. By the time we reached home he was screaming in my ear. His assistant finally spoke up but did nothing else to help me. When he got out the car to take my wallet, keys and phone I tried to stop him which led to him punching me in the face. He also burst my lip which drew blood. After the incident he felt no remorse and was even still angry.
You had to pick up what you could and relocate back to Los Angeles in less than 24 hours. Describe the shock and difficulty that accompanied that decision.
When I woke up in the morning I was so numb that I was wandering around the house not knowing what to do. I left the house with no intentions of coming back but also no plan. I left with my wallet, keys and phone. That’s it. I called my sister and we bought a flight for 6 pm. At 3 pm I went back to the house with police and friends and grabbed everything important that I could fit in my car. From there I went to the airport and never returned. It was the hardest thing I’ve done but I didn’t feel it because I put aside all my emotions.
What’s been the most difficult part of your healing process since moving back to LA?
Having to end my pregnancy was the hardest thing to heal from because I had a connection with my kid and even named “her”. I’m still dealing with emotions from it. Everything else is just there lingering in the air for now. I will deal with it just how I know… prayer has been my best friend and God has been my everything through this.
How has starting all over again made you feel? Empty or invincible?
I felt empty in the beginning because I literally lost everything I had except my life and immediate important things but now I feel invincible and like I need to speak up and be the person God put me here to be. I know there’s a female out there who needs me and it’s been my passion to motivate and encourage women because we are not treated well on this earth. Woman is strong and woman needs to know that.
What do you want women to take from what you’ve gone through?
I want my situation to help women understand how powerful they are. We don’t need to depend on a man because sometimes they have their best interest at heart. We love hard and we fall harder but when we get back up it’s gonna be a problem for everyone who’s involved.
Christina and I have been friends for almost a decade and she’s without a doubt the definition of resilient. I’ve watched her overcome things that would’ve broken anyone else so it’s no surprise to me that she’s now back, better than ever. No one wants to see someone they care about go through heartbreak or the pain of loss, but I will say I’m so happy that she’s moving forward. Her willingness to be transparent about her experience is so valuable because these are real life issues that women are living through daily behind closed doors. Let this be a lesson to the many women out there who are feeling alone in what they’re experiencing in their relationship; if it costs you your peace, it’s too expensive.