I’m going to be honest—I didn’t want to write this. It’s something I try not to talk about too much because I have spent so much time talking about it. But they say the best stories are the ones you don’t want to tell. I believe when you put things in writing, it makes them official. I want to officially rid myself of this situation so here I am, writing about something personal and important to me.
Over the past few months, I have learned the importance of self-love and self-care. Taking the time to learn what truly makes me happy and who truly brings me happiness has helped me learn what I value and what I need in my life going forward.
I was in a “situationship” that altered my perspective on almost everything. I was talked down to, told I didn’t matter, and shown that my presence was not appreciated. I started to believe these things and put all of my effort into trying to change this person’s opinion of me. I started to do things out of character to please someone who couldn’t care less about what I was doing—or so he said.
My family, my friends, and my teachers started to notice a drastic change in my behavior. The 3.8 GPA student started missing class, turned in assignments late, was easily distracted, didn't pay attention to her surroundings or care about anything around her. I started consistently showing up to work late (something I previously hadn't done for an entire year).
All that mattered to me was him and making him happy. Some people say that it's good that I wanted to make him happy. But I was giving and giving and getting very little in return. No significant other should be such a focal point in your life that when they aren’t around, nothing else matters. Especially when that person treats you horribly.
Of course, my loved ones tried talking to me but I shut them down. “No, you’re crazy. It’s not like that at all,” I would tell them, convinced that it was them getting in the way of my happiness and not him. People would always say, “Just leave!”
If I could have “just left” I would have the first time I was admitted as an inpatient at a mental hospital for 72 hours. Or when I was lying in a hospital bed getting stiches to a ten centimeter laceration.
“I just get so mad when you act like you don’t care,” he said trying to justify what just happened, seemingly forgetting that he consistently told me not care or that he didn’t care. As twisted as it sounds, I was addicted to him and how he made me feel. I got used to how I was treated and was convinced that I needed it.
He told me things that made me feel good but would show the exact opposite. I wanted so badly for him to show me that I actually mattered. But he didn't and, somewhere along the way, I lost myself.
I was so consumed in shrinking this disparity that I became someone I wasn’t. I would threaten to leave, say I didn’t care. I knew I didn’t mean it. He would say was, “Leave, no one is keeping you here. Bye.”
I had every reason to leave but chose not to. Or when I did leave, I would come running back.
I ruined my relationship with my mom and my best friend trying to salvage something that wasn’t meant to be. All my friends and I would talk about was what was happening in my life, not because it was cute or funny, but because it was so messed up and no one knew why I continued to let it happen.
But he wasn't the only one making mistakes. I would make baseless accusations, hang out with people that would disrespect him, and lie about things that didn’t matter. But that doesn’t justify what he did to me or how he made me feel. He could have easily left just as he told me to, but he forgave me and stayed. And then continued to treat me the same way. And I allowed it to happen.
I don’t want to make him seem like a bad person because he’s not. I did care about him and we shared many good memories, along with the bad. This isn’t about how bad he was to me, but about how I was so blinded by him that I refused to see reality. I lost myself. He didn’t make me do that, I did that.
He isn’t a bad person. And I am not either—despite the mistakes we made. We were bad for each other. We brought out the absolute worst in each other. I had every reason to see what type of person he really was and I turned the other cheek to it.
So, what now? We no longer communicate. I took the time away from him to reflect on what really matters to me and to realize where I truly want to be in life.
I made a vow to never be so consumed by someone else again. I promised that I would love myself, flaws and all. I promised to repair all my broken relationships with my friends and family.
So far it’s working. I’m definitely in a better place.
I learned to be okay with being alone. I've learned to love being by myself and to only surround myself with people who love me as much as I now love myself.