As time goes on the question that echoes in my mind is: "why?" Why did I let someone who was so undeserving have my love, time, and affection?
We all like to think that we have what it takes to mend the damage someone carries, but the fact of the matter is we don't. Hurt people, hurt people – and it was only when I tried to heal a bruised heart mine became the one in trouble. When you're young, vulnerable and under someone's spell you don't realize that you shouldn't have to rip yourself apart to keep someone else whole. I was scared of losing someone I didn't really have and I thought it was better to have someone halfway than not at all.
The irony of it all is that I grew up in a healthy environment. I have two parents who love my sister, each other, and myself unconditionally. They practice the same values they preach, some of which being loyalty, forgiveness, and how important it is to love each other despite the flaws that consume us. Those values were engraved so deep in my heart and soul I couldn't recognize when enough was enough or when to pull back and that just because I displayed these traits didn't mean they would be reciprocated. It took me a while to figure out I had to draw the line of determination from desperation.
It was a bittersweet realization when I looked up from my treacherous journey only to see it led me to a dead end, but I have never felt so liberated.
There's no denying I came out of the storm a different person and most definitely with a different heart. There were so many important lessons learned, both good and bad but the one thing that's for certain is it took me getting lost to find myself. You don't fully understand what you deserve until you experience something you don't. I learned the importance of self-worth and how crucial it is to not beat yourself up over the "coulda, shoulda, woulda's." I learned that in order to love someone, you have to start with yourself.
I know I'm not the only one who experienced this and I know I'm not the only one who wanted to figure it out on my own terms, but what I do know is that no one deserves it. I'm in my twenties now and still unsure of the actual meaning of love, but I know with absolute certainty that what I felt then was not it. I have so much growing, learning, and experiencing to do – and I fully intend on taking only those who deserve to be with me on my journey. No more and no less.
Everyone's story is different but the one thing they have in common is that we get to decide whom we share our stories with and how they make us feel. You never know which page your story will end with, so make sure it would be one you would be happy with. I urge every single one of you to rid yourself of people who do more harm than good. Life isn't forever.