Because They Said They Loved Me: I Let Them Define My Worth

As I sit and look at the title, I am overwhelmed with emotions: anger, sadness, disbelief, and a whole lotta truth. I let them define my worth. I allowed them to take control over my life. How? Why?

I spend a lot of time thinking about those questions. I never saw myself in these situations and neither did anyone else. I had strong opinions, a sharp mind, and an independent spirit. But before I knew it, I was left with a broken spirit, mixed opinions, and an anxious and uncertain mind. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

It was the deepest, darkest secret I kept. And this wasn’t about any particular situation/relationship as much as it was my relationship with men. It ran deep and dark, and I never realized the impact it had on myself and on my self-worth.

In these depths of despair, I couldn’t see a way out of this cycle. It seemed anywhere I turned pushed me further and further away from getting to a safe place physically, mentally, and emotionally. I looked around and within and realized that my self-worth had been damaged long before I even realized it was possible. This made me really question myself.

Was it me? Was this normal behavior, and I was the one in the wrong? I knew deep down inside that wasn’t the case, but I was stuck in quicksand being guided by those who kept my head above, but my feet locked in.

I kept busy with school and helping others because I couldn’t help myself and I never wanted people to feel alone and like me. I kept up the smiles and laughter, but I was hurting so bad. Part of me thought that this was normal. This was all I knew and saw. But nothing about this was normal no matter how many people tried to justify it. Nothing about my self-worth, relationships, and life were normal.

I constantly blamed my anxiety. But when I take a more in-depth look, I allowed my anxiety to be a scapegoat for their inability to truly love me, and for me to love myself.

As I sat there, and realized all of this and its consequences, I just wanted to continue to abuse myself, abuse my body. The irony in that statement, and the sadness when I think about it sends goosebumps up my arm. How was I going to break this cycle, this avalanche effect?

Everyone and no one around me could understand what I chose to not disclose or disclose without detail. I knew I was alone in this battle. This was because only I could make amends with myself. I had to choose to forgive myself and work my butt off to not hate myself.

It’s like starting over again. Some days are unbearable. Some days are just painful. Some days I see the beauty in the little things that I used to overlook. I see a new strength in my weakness, a healthy pride in my humility, and perseverance in every step I make. This journey in the end is about loving myself so much, so relentlessly, that because they said they love me doesn’t take away from the love that I already have for myself. And hopefully, their love adds to my complete self.

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