At age 17, I met the love of my life. At age 18, I was in a relationship with him. By age 19, we had broken up twice and tried to move on. At age 20, I was moving across the country to live with him. At age 21, I was driving back home because I had left him. At age 22, I finally changed my number and lost all toxic contact with him.
There he went, it was over. You’re lucky if a passionate love comes once, right? How dare I expect it to come again. I blew it, I lost it. I had love, but I left it.
Today, as I write this, I realize, maybe it wasn’t love. First, let me say that yes, I did actually love him. I care about him very deeply and probably always will. But maybe I had confused toxic love with the “real thing.”
The only time he ever made me feel safe was when he was calming me down out of an anxiety attack that he had started. He didn’t make me feel loved or wanted, I was never undoubtably his only girl. Every day I wondered who he was hiding in that phone he never let me see. Then, I found out. I stayed with him for months after that.
I did however feel comfort, but it wasn’t good comfort. It was normal. I grew up with an emotionally abusive mother. I found myself in an emotionally abusive relationship. Why did I stay so long? Because it was comfortable, it was normal, it was all I had known.
I would like to say that while in fact both of those relationships were emotionally abusive, that does not mean they did it on purpose. That is something I will never know.
Now, as I sit here with my fur baby in my lap, I begin to realize that I’m getting my second chance. Well, maybe that’s not the right way to put it. I’m getting another chance? No, I’m being shown reality. Yes, I’m being shown reality.
I’m surrounded by a mess. My shirt has a stain on it, I haven’t brushed my hair, and my patio is basically one giant ash tray. But there’s a man out there who’s thinking of me in the way I wish I could see myself. He smiles when he’s with me, he doesn’t look at the mess with disgust, he looks at me with pleasure.
It’s too soon to tell where this is going, it’s too soon to tell if this is going to be something more. But God, do I hope it turns out for the best.
I’m being shown reality, and it’s not at all dark or mean. Yes, it’s a little scary. Yes, I’m terrified because I’m uncomfortable. But at the same time, I’m completely comfortable. I genuinely smile again, I laugh without worrying what my crooked teeth look like. I look into his eyes and I feel peace. This is reality, it’s not all hatred and pain.
For those of you who have suffered as I have, who have been made to feel worthless by the people we love, have hope. You are not your abuse. You are not the nasty things people have said and done to you. In reality, you’re beautiful and deserving of happiness. We all truly are.
Hang in there, keep fighting to find that confidence and joy within yourself. Know that it doesn’t have to come from another person. But also know, it’s okay to allow someone to make you happy. It’s okay to allow someone close again. It’s okay to trust someone new. Not everyone has an evil plan to use and abuse you. Not everyone is full of hatred. Sometimes, you just got to wait for the person that shows you reality. And I’m thankful to have a couple people that do.
My Grandma, she checks in on my daily.
My best friend, she is my soul mate.
My best friend since kindergarten, she is my sister.
The guy that makes me smile, well, he makes me smile.