I Was Never Given An Example Of A Healthy Relationship, And Now I Have A Distorted View Of Love

I Was Never Given An Example Of A Healthy Relationship, And Now I Have A Distorted View Of Love

How am I supposed to know how a relationship works?

Growing up, I never had a good example of what love was. My parents had an incredibly rocky marriage and it made it really hard for me to understand how a relationship is supposed to function. Thus, as a child, I turned to movies and T.V. shows to show me what love was supposed to look like.

I came up with this ideal version of what a relationship was supposed to be in my head and I considered that version perfect. My vision included getting surprised with gifts every week and being given flowers on every date. I thought it meant romantic dinners every other Saturday and never having to be away from your partner for too long. I thought it meant my partner understanding every aspect of who I am and me being able to easily empathize with them.

I thought the right relationship was ideal and problem free.

I know I sound like one of those overly romantic girls right now, but when you grow up watching two people like my parents act towards each other, it really confuses you on what love is and how it is displayed between two people. For me, watching the couples in movies have their happily ever after made me feel like there was some hope left for love in this world.

As I got older, my version of what a relationship is definitely became more realistic, but a small part of me held onto the version I came up with when I was a little kid. And by held, I mean still holds on to.

Recently, I have come to an understanding with myself that I hold unusually high expectations within my current relationship. It sucks because I know exactly why I think the way I do but have no idea how to stop myself from having these expectations. On an even more personal note, it sucks that I have to deal with the repercussions of my parent’s relationship with my own even though I’m now 20 years old and a sophomore in college.

I guess I write to show that I know deep down inside I have a lot of unresolved feelings toward not only my parents but the effect that their relationship has had on me. I am well aware that those feelings will take time, maybe years, to work through because childhood trauma is not something that can be overcome with a couple therapy sessions. However, I am committed to not allowing some of the things that I have gone through in my past to affect the wonderful relationship I have now.

It’s really hard for me to write about this because it acknowledges the fact that I am coping with the events of my past; these events which I so deeply want to shove in a corner of my life and never look back on. However, I know that is not healthy and won’t help me or my relationship in the long run.

I guess I am writing this article mostly for myself, but I hope that if you are reading this and you too have things from your past that are potentially unresolved, that you take the time to do some soul searching. Growing from your past is never an easy thing to do, but hopefully it will provide you with some clarity in your life. At least for right now, a little clarity is what I am looking for.

Cover Image Credit: FairUseImages

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Batter Up

Because someone needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat a woman.


I have this memory from when I was younger,

I must have been six, maybe seven? An age

When you can remember, but not quite

Understand. I remember the landline

Ringing sometime in the middle

Of the night in my grandmother's small,

But adequate house. I had been sleeping,

Tucked under a shield of satin covers,

My grandmother next to me, blanketless,

And stiff, on the very edge of the queen mattress

Like she was anticipating some sort of disaster.

It wasn't the phone that pulled me from my sleep,

It was my grandmother's instant jerk, her eyes

Flipping open quicker than a light switch,

The mattress springing back up, adjusting

To the new lightness as she fled the room. My waking

Was soft like a song. Slow and humane.

My eyes adjusting to the dark, my ears absorbing the ringing,

My mind reminding itself that I was at my grandmother's house.

Then, the ringing stopped;

Abrupt, like a disarmed fire alarm.

It was just a drill, I thought.

But, then I heard the mumbling

From behind the door, panicked mumbling.

Rapid, like gunfire. My grandmother's Rs

Rolling down the hallway and under the door crack.

She only spoke Spanish when she was angry.

The call ended, my grandmother returned to the room,

Wrapped me in a blanket, and carried me into the night.

She buckled me into the backseat of her Toyota and said,

We were going to Auntie Mandy's house because someone

Needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat

A woman.

When we arrived at the house, we found the front door

Wide open, the house lights spilling out onto the porch.

A truck, I had seen once before, was parked a foot away

From the front door, aggressive. The truck had trampled

Over the dandelions and daisies, which lay wounded

In the front yard. A scene that begged for investigation.

My grandmother told me to stay put in my seat.

I watched as she walked to the back of the car, her normally pretty

Face turned straight, looked masculine. I watched as she pulled

Something wooden out of her trunk, then in her feline walk,

Approached the house. She turned to me, and I saw the

Baseball bat, immense in her female hands.

I slouched in my seat, the window above my head.

I never saw her go into the house.

I don't remember how long I sat,

Until the red and blue lights came.

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