Natalie Solis shares her story on Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Jaelyn Delos Reyes

Solis talks about the struggles she experienced after breaking up with her toxic ex-boyfriend for Domestic Violence awareness month.

Jaelyn Delos Reyes, Community Editor

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month, victims can use this time to share and inspire their stories with others, to heal and open up to someone about their traumatic experience.

Natalie Solis, Cerritos College Kinesiology major student and Cal State Long Beach Psychology major student, shared her experience as a victim of a toxic relationship and explained her growth from it.

“It was just a lot of gaslighting and manipulation with him,” Solis said, “Every time he would do something that I did not like, he would manipulate me by reversing the situation on me for something I did in the past.”

“He hit me by accident. He just blamed his anger on it than himself. At that time, I was apologizing for him doing that to me, so he can not get angry and get even more mad,” Solis said.

Solis met her toxic ex during the pandemic while at work.

“I was gaining weight after high school and he was already a personal trainer and we would have the same shifts,” said the Cerritos College student, “So our relationship was the gym.”

Solis and her ex would go to the gym after work and both of them had a 5 month friendship before they started dating. Solis said, “So our relationship was the gym.”

Solis noticed the changes in her ex when he started being abusive.

“In the beginning, I ignored the red flags because I already fell in love with him before he fell in love with me. So I feel like after he was crying about how much he missed his ex, I knew he was changing.”

Solis said that when they broke up she hated him, but as time went on she learned to forgive him and is now working on forgiving herself for gaslighting her own self.

Solis talked about the negative effects that she went through after her toxic relationship with her ex.

“I feel like now, just 5 months after, I look at every sign in a toxic way,” she said, “One thing that just bothers me, I kinda just ignore it now.”

“I feel like now I’m very insecure about my work ethics now. I’m more in my head,” said the psychology student, “I overthink about every situation.”

“I push people away now and I don’t like to communicate ’cause when I would always communicate with him, he would never listen to me. He would just ignore my emotions and feelings.”

Solis talks about struggles to talk with her friends and family and started isolating herself and saying that she started to self-sabotage everything.

She gaslights herself into thinking that she isn’t enough and that she gaslights herself thinking she was the problem in her past relationship.

“I gaslight myself thinking ‘It’s my fault he cheated. I should’ve been the person he really wanted to be with. I should’ve trained more at the gym. I should’ve ate healthier,'” the Kinesiology student emphasized.

Solis said that he took power over her and she had gotten used to that, especially with the expectations of herself.

Although she had gone through a tough relationship, she started healing and learning the positive effects from her toxic ex.

“I feel like I became very grounded after the relationship,” Solis said, “I don’t put up with anyone anymore. I feel like before I would try to fix people, but now I don’t even care to try.”

“I put work and school first now. I know what body goals I want for myself during my gym journey. Just getting closer with my family again and making new friendships.”

Solis added, “I’m eating better now. Before I would eat fast food and I would throw it up just because he would tell me that I was getting fat.”

“I feel like I would change being friends with him and me trying to fix his emotions and his childhood. I feel like that’s not healthy in a friendship or relationship,” Solis said.

Solis admitted that he taught her to be more strong-minded and that she didn’t regret being with him because she has learned more from being broken up with him rather than being with him.

Solis said that sharing stories about their experience can open up and embrace what other victims have been through and that everyone has to go through an obstacle to grow as a person.