Stronger Without Them

My ultimate vice is a good f**k boy who’s going to treat me like shit when I know I deserve better. I love then picking myself up and going for someone who has lower self-esteem than I do. It’s a deadly cycle that I have found myself repeating for quite sometime now. But for almost a year, I have given myself some time to think, and have realized why I love it so much.

I like to blame it all on my first boyfriend, because it was such an emotional rollercoaster with him, and it lasted for so long. We first started dating when I was 13; I know it’s young, but it was a whirlwind of emotions. Being around him was the ultimate high. He would tell me how much he loved me, give me constant attention—but then break up with me for random reasons, many of which were lies. My favorite one by far was that he was in the Witness Protection Program and was going to be transferred to a different location. That was one of the extreme cases, but still. I remember him texting me saying that he was going to run away in the middle of the night and that I should go with him. Because I loved him so much, I packed a bag and was planning on leaving. The plan was that he would steal his sister’s car, we’d take our debit cards and withdraw all funds and see how far we can get before creating a new life. I’ll say it again: WE WERE 13.

Obviously, that never happened, but with him I felt like I would do anything. We had our lows, too, and they were LOW. Multiple times he threatened to commit suicide for different reasons. I’d sneak out to meet him or he’d sneak in (sorry, Mom). The “final” straw was during the summer going into my freshman year, when I got a call saying that he was pronounced dead because of heart murmur he had. I remember calling EVERYONE, crying my eyes out, asking what they knew. We, as an 8th grade class, were planning a vigil at our local park when two days before I got a call from his “dad” saying he was alive and there wasn’t any more he could say. That conversation lasted 30 seconds. A few hours later, he called explaining what has happened. He gave me some B.S. story and I called everyone saying that he was alive, and blah, blah, blah.

Well, being dead for a few days raised questions. As I started talking to other people, I realized he had changed the story several times, which is how I figured out he had lied about the whole thing. Everyone was pissed, obviously, and I remember at freshman orientation, he was the last one to walk in and the entire gymnasium fell silent. Dead silent. You could slice the tension in the room. One of my friends even said, “I’m going to beat his ass.”

He had a grip on my life for most of high school. Every time I would get involved with another guy, he’d sly his way back into mine. He always knew what to say to make me do whatever he wanted, no matter who got hurt, and because of him I almost ruined friendships. Every relationship is a lesson, and with him I learned not to trust so easily and to never let a guy come between me and my friends.

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A small apology to the boys I’ve hurt.

During my senior year, I had my second boyfriend. It was very short-lived, but an important part of this cycle. We only dated four months but I knew he was getting feelings, especially because he had just gotten expelled for fighting over me. A girl was talking badly about me, so he called her a “dumb c**t,” and her boyfriend got mad. Regardless, I still broke up with him over text saying, “It’s not you it’s me, let’s just be friends.” I avoided his calls for at least a day after that text. I still feel bad about that.

For the past four years, college has been an endless cycle of me continuously going for guys that I know for a fact are going to treat me like shit. When they do I find someone who has even lower self-esteem than I do, I make him feel special, and then I crush his heart. These relationships don’t last longer than a month because it’s exhausting pretending to be that into someone. I have caught myself talking to nice guys and thinking, “He’s too nice, that’ll be easy to manipulate.” I have also found myself in situations with guys who are literally psycho and try to tell me how I should dress, when I should speak, who I can be friends with, and even leaving me at a random guy’s apartment in Charleston because he didn’t think we were an item, so I wasn’t his responsibility. These are extreme cases but they have taught to never let anyone too close, to look out for Numero Uno (me), and that I choose to never let a guy tell me what to do.

It’s been almost a year. I have officially given up on f**k boys and have not been a f**k girl to anyone. I am starting to realize the awful pattern that it has started, and realize the many reasons why I do it. Commitment scares the actual shit out of me. I’m not actually sure if I believe in love because I haven’t seen a true long-lasting relationship. My father just got married at 55 to his FIRST wife, and that gives me a small hope, because he’s more afraid of commitment that I am. I love them together, they work well for each other, and I know in my dad’s unemotional way, he truly loves her.

My mom has had numerous boyfriends in her life and I have seen her cry numerous times over heartbreak. I realize that I am way too protective of her, so that any time she is talking to someone, I instinctively don’t like them. I have seen her cry and bend over backwards for guys who don’t deserve her. This also ties into the reason why I have vowed to never cry over spilled milk or allow someone to have that much hold on my life.

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The value of self worth and self love

I’m still figuring some things out, and hashing out some personal demons I have. But for the most part, I would say that every woman, and man,  deserves better. Raise your standards, because you are worth more. Never EVER settle for anything less than you deserve, it will end terribly and you will be left wondering why you even wasted your time with such a complete blight. I know I’m scared of commitment, and my fear has led me to choose guys I know have the same issues as I do. It’s now the Year of Me—to be selfish and focus on my goals and what I want to accomplish. If someone comes along who wants to attempt to be a part of my life, then good luck. But I am not going out of my way to be manipulated or manipulate anyone else.

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