A topic I have avoided for almost two years.
The title of this piece is something I thought I would never say in my lifetime. It is a topic that still stings my heart every time I think about it. Relationships are never easy and something I have come to realize is that they are a two-way street. Some people are like vultures; you can give everything you have to them and they still aren’t satisfied until every last bit of your soul has been drained.
When I was 18, I fell in love for the first time. His name warmed my heart and I felt my stomach do cartwheels every time I saw him. He was like a breath of fresh air on a spring day and for the first time in my life, I saw stars in my eyes.
Love is such a scary thing. To have a person mean that much to you is nerve wrecking. While we have family and friends that we love, falling in love with a significant other is like adding gasoline to a fire; it is mesmerizing, beautiful, and dangerous all at once.
The breakup and the following months afterwards felt like the cold wind biting your face. The manipulation, mental and emotional games, and lies continued even months after the relationship had ended. I was his distraction; his second choice when he had no one else to fall to. And the saddest part is, I let him. I was still in love with him and somewhere deep down I thought the boy I once fell in love with was still there. Oh, but did little naïve me get a shock for a lifetime.
For almost a year and a half, I allowed myself to be his crutch. However, the favor was never returned. I was always there for him. I would drop everything to talk to him. I would walk across campus in the freezing cold when he was upset and needed a shoulder to cry on. I soon realized that he only contacted me when it was at his convenience.
I would text him in a panic during an anxiety attack, begging for him to help. I would receive one of two responses.
Read at 11:23pm
As the days grew longer and time seemed to slip through my fingers, I had finally realized I had wasted more than enough time on him. He made me feel worthless, small, and unlovable. I sat there wondering what I did wrong and what I could’ve done to change his mind. I looked at every part of myself and picked it apart until I had nothing left to scrutinize. I was left alone to pick up the pieces of myself and find a way to put it all back together. And with time, I did. The honeymoon vision glazed over my eyes soon faded away and I got to see the real him; the person I refused to believe was actually him. How could someone who I thought was so thoughtful and pure turn out to be so manipulative and self-centered? The answer to that question is still unknown to me.
While the experience was something I would never wish to go through again, it made me independent and wiser. But most of all, it made me love myself. Not once in my 20 years of life had I stopped to appreciate and love myself for who I am. I thought loving someone else unconditionally was the solution to it all. But, it took someone with a cold heart to make me realize the kindness in mine. I thank him now, as I now know I deserve so much better than I give myself credit for. I deserve to receive the love I give. I am allowed to put myself first over others. It’s a simple statement, but a true one.
So, thank you for making me realize that I was the best thing you never had.