For me, I became acutely aware of my tendency to compare when I discovered that my boyfriend had cheated on me. I saw it coming as the signs were crystal clear. Cancelled dates, missed phone calls and hurried messages. I was a ball of insecurity, feeling completely abandoned and like I wasn’t good enough. The discovery came after weeks of this MIA game.
“I am working late”
“I am very sick.”
“I am really tired.”
Feeding me excuse after excuse and pushing me further away.
The undoing was a hickey. After weeks of avoiding me, I went over to his house. Only to discover a situation I never want to experience again. Hurt and confused, I demanded to know the name of the girl.
I spent hours looking at her photos and comparing myself to her.
What does she have that I don’t?
Why can’t I have boobs like that, lips like that etc?
These questions plagued me day and night. I was taking his actions personally. Of course it didn’t help that he continued to scream at me, “It is all your fault. If only you were more (insert quality)”.
I buried my heartbreak deep inside and I devoted all of my time and energy into him.
“I can’t leave him”, my mind said. “He needs my help”.
At the time, he was struggling with a few demons and addictive behaviors of his own. I felt like his actions were a cry for help. I forgave and I gave all that I had in helping to build him up.
The longer I stayed loyal and by his side the more things were revealed about his indiscretions.
He explained. I forgave.
An extremely toxic, unhealthy and unstable relationship was created.
I felt powerless. He had emotionally beaten all of my confidence and self-esteem and I had attached my entire self-identity to him. If he wanted a girl that acted and looked a certain way, I became it. With no sense of self, I was moulded to the person he truly desired to be with. I was not me nor was I happy. I had, however, convinced myself that I was in love and he was worth it. Totally oblivious to the mind games he was playing with me.I was doing things I didn’t believe in, acting in ways that weren’t true to me and saying things that were not conducive to what I truly valued. Gone was the strong, independent woman replaced with a needy, co-dependent girl reliant upon a guy to keep her propped up. It all came to a head after years of struggling.
I received a text that he had met someone with whom he was madly in love with. He told me I was too difficult to love and it was all so hard. I was already struggling with the loss of my sister so his sudden departure from my life had crushed me. I had no sense of self identity other than being by his side. I crumbled. I literally felt like I was nothing, I didn’t matter and I wasn’t worthy of living. Walking around empty inside and feeling completely numb. After all that time, energy and emotion, he had left me, so what was I?
Looking back, I did die. The false persona I had created to stay in his life died that day.From the ashes of that girl was born a fiercely strong woman who takes no bullshit. Click To Tweet
I used this as an opportunity to completely rebuild myself. This time not from a place of fear or of losing the love of someone, but from authenticity. From love. Many, many months were spent alone trying to figure out who I really am at the core of my being. What did I like to do? What made me happy? I took a course in self-worth and I attended a retreat which gave me a new level of self-awareness. All for the purpose of uncovering the real me. It was hard and there were plenty of trying moments as I tried to re-learn how to use my voice but I wouldn’t change a single thing.
In fact, I thank the universe every day that he left. I don’t believe that I would have ever found the strength to stand up for myself. The greatest gift he ever gave to me was his absence.
I share my story as a symbol of hope for anyone struggling.
Leaving a toxic relationship may seem like the hardest thing in the world however the payoff is massive.
The reward of finding yourself again, of coming home to the person you are is beautiful. As you step out of the river of denial, be prepared for a barrage of emotion. Surround yourself with positive, understanding and loving support. Fill the hole with all the things you love to do and pamper yourself.Know that you are innately worthy because you are human and you deserve only the best, real, truest form of love not the mirage of toxicity.