Scars make you stronger

12:57 AM

Today I have been feeling just a little bit sentimental. It may be because lately all my e-mails have been related to advice about relationships. Some of these stories breaks my heart so much, especially when I read how young you all are and how much you have already had to go through. All of you sounds so beautiful, inside and out and it breaks my heart when you guys blame yourselves or say you aren't good enough. No one should ever tell you that. Those words but like daggers in a persons heart and stick with them forever.

But I understand where some of you come from, I was once that girl and sometimes I still find myself struggling to be strong.

I met this guy from a job, he was a former employee so he'd often visit and chat with other employees and sticked around to have breaks with them. Usually he would be around when I had breaks so naturally we would talk.

He was different than most guys I had met. He was cute- but cute seemed too kiddie to describe him. His look, attitude, entire presence really was very mature. He seemed to know so much about life and we carried these deep conversations that I could not have with most guys. He also had this edge to him that intrigued me entirely, I felt like I was always on my toes with him.

We constantly texted each other, secret phone calls, little dates here and there when we could. Everything about us was a secret. At first it was exciting, like having a separate life from my normal one. It was like a game and it became easy to lie and put a mask on to the people I loved the most. The lies seemed to come out so effortless and even if I did feel guilty I would tell myself I wasn't hurting anyone by lying, it was okay. But it wasn't. Right then I should have questioned by he wanted to keep everything so hushed, I should have seen the warning signals, but I was too blind and naive.

You see my friends are gorgeous. I mean these girls have everything a guy could want and they all look a bit older than me. Even now, I'm graduated, in university, i'm legal too but I still look like I could be in grade 11 at least. I always thought my friends could get guys easily. They carried this confidence and sass and knew what to say and how to look. They could grab any guys attention. Sometimes they may have not seen it, but I always did. Then there was me- young, quiet, mousy little girl who let everyone else take the lead because I was too afraid to.

But here was this guy who made me feel like I was thee most gorgeous person in the world, who loved all my little flaws that I had come to hate about myself, who made me feel like I wasn't just a little girl- I was someone who's opinion mattered. I held onto this attention so much because I wasn't used to it and was afraid I would never receive it again.

Grade 11 was a rocky year for me. I had liked so many guys before him and was constantly let down. My final breaking point was when a guy had asked me out and then took it back. I had convinced myself that this was it, we would date and be so cute for each other and I would have what all my other friends had.

I had one boyfriend. Just one, and even he didn't last long. And there was my two best friends, having boyfriends after boyfriends, getting to learn all these new things about themselves and relationships. And then there was me, pretending to be content with my single life, throwing myself at any attention I did get and then letting myself down because apparently I read into things too much. I finally felt like it was time to let go of boys. Clearly I was not created to be girlfriend material, becoming a nun wouldn't be so bad, or gerbils-I could have those to love and comfort and watch re-runs of csi miami with.

And then he came along, perfect timing too. He changed my mind about all this, I felt like the gods were finally answering my prayers. And things were good. But as mentioned before I have a little habit of always becoming really good friends with the guys I used to like. I just get along with guys naturally, I was always "just friends" with guys.

He didn't like it. He told me he felt threatened by them, that they would tear us apart. Of course I kept trying to insist that it would never happen, they could never like me but for his sake I started to pull away. In fact I started to pull away from everyone.

My mom and I were constantly at each others throats, her yelling at me that I was changing and I was starting to not care about my own life. My dad just stopped trying, left things with my mom to deal with which created even more stress. I felt like somedays I didn't fit in with my friends, that maybe they just felt bad for me and stuck around. I found it easier to just pretend like things were okay, say things people wanted to hear and if anyone asked me if I was okay to always say yes.

But later I learned that these were never my thoughts, they were thoughts he had planted in my head. He would tell me how amazing I was one minute then the next tell me that I was worth nothing, that nobody really cared for me, they just felt bad, that no one understood me only he did. Then things would get worse and he would blame me for fights, tell me that I was worthless, lucky to be even "dating" a guy like him. I held on to every word he would tell me, I believed every word because at the end of every fight he would apologize and tell me how much I meant to him and at the time I thought that was all that mattered.

Eventually things escalated into an ending I thought I would never see. I've always read about these kind of things and would shake my head at these girls for letting a guy do that to her, but there I was in the same situation and I couldn't seem to escape because I didn't want to.

I walked around with a heavy heart believing that I wasn't good enough, just meant for destruction. Hearing it from a boy who apparently I meant the world to, a mother who shouted words out of anger because she was frustrated, and even friends who I thought cared, I caved. I became bitter and pushed people out of my life especially my one best friend because she always seemed to know something was not right.

The end of our relationship became my turning point. Somedays I find myself looking back and crying because I was so weak. I let someone manipulate me and play with me like a toy. I was so desperate.

The final climax of the relationship was the one of the hardest days I had to face. Even to this day I carry that scar.

Only two people knew about that day at the time because I was talking to them when it happened. They wanted to help me, they insisted it wasn't my fault but I couldn't see it. I was too scared. I made them keep my secret and insist that I would be okay, I was tough.

But a piece of me died that day. I blamed myself for everything and often dreamt about running away. I constantly tortured myself by wondering what I could have done to change things. I let the hurt completely consume me until I was finally forced to go to therapy. My parents thought I was going to learn self motivation and regain some confidence, but instead I spent the hour crying and getting mad at myself for letting him go because I didn't deserve anyone else.

Eventually I was able to see how wrong both him and I were. I slowly began to gain my own strength and stand on my own two feet. I no longer blame myself and fully believe that no one deserves to be treated that way. I stayed away from relationships for almost 2 years trying to fix my own heart. Even when I started dating my current boyfriend I was afraid and built these walls.

But he has tried so hard to help me and show me how wonderful I am and I could not be more grateful. And eventually I did open up to my friends and they were actually so supportive. My parents still don't know and I'm not sure this is one story I can ever really share with them for personal reasons.

I will admit that I found myself a few times still letting him back into my life but as I grew stronger he became less apparent. In fact, it had been more than a year since I had last seen him. I did meet up with him for coffee during this year, but it was mostly for curiosity sake, to know if he ever felt sorry for what he did and if he really has tried to change as he so often insisted. Unfortunately he still believes that I deserved it, but I was okay with that because I am strong enough to know that I did deserve better.

So please don't ever blame yourselves or believe that what you have done in the past has lead up to some final decision created by them because they thought you deserved it. It's not up to someone else to decide. And you are all so young, there will be so many other relationships to come, some good and some bad. You just need to pick yourself up, take the new lessons learnt, and move on.

Most importantly, learn to forgive yourself, because if you can't then you will never learn how to forgive others.

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