To The Toxic Relationship I Was Afraid To Let Go Of

To The Toxic Relationship I Was Afraid To Let Go Of

To my younger self... I'm sorry.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Thought Catalog

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

I know he must have been a handful growing up, and she deserves a million thank you's from me.
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I’m proud to say that I am one of the lucky ones. Although he isn’t perfect (and I’m glad he isn’t and I don’t want him to be), I’ve found a guy I never want to let go of. But no matter how charismatic and wonderful I think he is, I owe it all to the woman who raised him. I know he must have been a handful growing up, and she deserves a million thank you's from me.

Thank you for teaching him respect—not just towards women, but to anyone and everyone he encounters. Listening to him address strangers with “ma’am” and “sir” melts my heart just as much as him holding the door open for me at the restaurant or complimenting me with “beautiful” instead of “hot”.

Thank you for teaching him how to treat a woman. You and I both know that he puts up a front of being tough but he is honestly the biggest teddy bear anyone could ever meet. He has the biggest heart, and despite the many silly arguments he and I may have, not a day goes by that he doesn’t make me feel loved or special.

Thank you for raising him in Christ. Being with someone who shares the same love I have for Jesus is one of the greatest blessings. I’ll forever cherish sitting together in the church pew on Sunday mornings and our deep conversations about why God created the stars.

Thank for teaching him how to do laundry. I think you’ve saved me in the long run.

Thank you for teaching him the value of hard work. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone with as much perseverance, drive, and dedication before, especially when it comes to washing the dishes.

Thank you for sitting through all those rainy football games. Thank you for giving up your weekends to watch basketball. Thank you for travelling hours to support his baseball career. Although I am most certainly not as much of a sports fanatic as he is, it’s nice being able to watch and learn about his passions, as well as hearing stories from his "glory days".

But most of all, thank you for allowing me to date him and always making me feel like a part of your family. You are one of the sweetest women I know, and you have raised a once in a lifetime kind of son.

I know to you, he will always be the messy little boy who loves to fish and catch baseballs, and I want you to know that I love him with all of my heart, and because of you, I have found someone I wish to love for the rest of my life. I only hope to do as great of a job of loving and caring for him as you have done for his whole life.

Cover Image Credit: Ashlie Lamb

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Sorry Guys, But The Way Things Are Going, A Career Will Beat Love Any Day

Remind yourself that you are in control of your own feelings, your thoughts, and your life.

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It all began with a couple of sentences. Professor spoke, "To overcome self-doubt; what are we afraid of, who are we afraid of, why can't we own that experience, and what are you supposed to choose. Work or love?"

Initially, when I was writing this, I was in a very dark place. I was at a school I had no interest in being at because I did not care enough to tend for my high school grades. I was unhappy and upset so looking back at my original answer to the question, it may slightly vary as I sit here writing it now. I am finally at peace with myself and found a happy medium.

Personally, I am afraid of love. How do you know when you've found the right one? For years I thought my parents' love was everlasting. Always seeing divorced families and thinking wow, I really do feel bad, but that will never be me in that position. Here we are 18 going on 19 years of living with both my parents and the tension in the household has never been higher.

In fact, it rises by the minute if they happen to even glance at each other. This entire mess occurred because of this so-called "love." I hate to see my dear mother cry, and I've never seen my father cry, yet here he is breaking down right in front of my eyes. I try to blur it out, create an alternate reality, pretend this is not actually occurring.

It's too much for me to bear the thought of my mom, the woman who brought me to this world, living overseas and only being able to see her twice a year. After 18 years of living with both my parents, it's going to come to an end. But I guess that's just life, and it goes on.

Not only does this happen to adults, but the young adults get a taste of this early in life as well. The whole concept of boyfriend and girlfriend could be considered a miniature marriage. I too have encountered deep sorrow over a male. In this generation, chivalry is six feet under, everything is through technology, no one genuinely cares for anyone but themselves.

Everything has become sexualized. Women are objectified and used. That. Is. All. Girls are being used time and time again for their bodies, but no one stops to admire a beautiful mind, an intelligent mind. I would say that I'm not afraid of anyone, but I'm afraid for myself.

I don't want to be used, I don't want to be heartbroken, I most certainly do not want to end up in my parents' position.

I just want a genuine connection with someone. At this point in my life, if it were up to me to choose between work or love, I would say work. I have such an amazing opportunity in my hands right now. As a full-time student, how I do now will completely decide my future.

A career will beat love any day. If I am an established middle-aged woman who loves her job, I will take that over any relationship. Success is in the near future if I take advantage of the situation I'm in now. A boyfriend will not help me reach my future endeavors, only I can help myself to do that.

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