I feel like every person has that one ex, the one you should have seen coming miles away as bad news. The ex that entered your life as calm, cool breeze but left leaving your life looking like a tornado had stormed through. Leaving it unrecognizable. I'm sure that some would wish that that relationship had never happened. That they would trade it in a heartbeat for a less volatile relationship. I've never felt that way. I've never regretted the worst boyfriend I ever had, I'm thankful for him because it taught me invaluable lessons, one that I never would have learned on my own...
I was 15 when I met him, but my parents wouldn't let me call him my official 'boyfriend' until I was 16. Of course we had been using those titles for months already thinking we were being sneaky, but looking back I'm sure my parents knew or assumed. He was 18, tall, and made my heart skip a beat when I saw him. We would stay up all night talking on the phone (that my parents certainly never knew) and only saw each other at church. I was young and in love and slowly let him influence all aspects of my life. Our conversations changed from him asking me how my day went to interrogating me on who I talked to. Did I talk to boys at my school? Was my shirt too revealing? (He thought the picture up above was inappropriate) Did I talk to my sister? Yes, he didn't want me talking to my own sister that I shared a room with.
I lost friends and the trust of my parents. I began lying about everything. I was miserable, but I was in love, I thought that was how it went.
It took my mother telling me she wished I would go live with my dad in Florida that suddenly woke me up. I realized I was not in a healthy place at all and decided to end it with him. To be safe, I chose to break up with him in a public place but that didn't stop him from stalking me the rest of the night. He began calling my house repeatedly and hanging up if I wasn't the one answering the line. He stopped by my high school's administration office and left an eight page letter for me, begging to get back with him. He left glow-in-the-dark stars to stick on my ceiling as a way for me to 'remember our love.' It was certifiable. My family had no choice but to threaten a restraining order.
Eventually the harassment tailed off, but a year of my life was wasted because of it. It took even longer to rebuild myself from all the damage it had done. I never regained a lot of friendships I had lost because of it. Once it was finally over, I swore to myself that I would never let a man take control of my life again. No one would tell me how to live or how to dress. I would never let a man so negatively influence my friendships. I wouldn't change myself for anyone.
It is those promises to myself that stand out when I think back to that relationship more than ten years ago. I feel so fortunate to have learned such an important lesson when I was so young. I'm even more thankful for the fact that I have kept true to my word.
I'm curious, what's a lesson you learned from a hard relationship that you will always hold on to?
I'm a twenty-something mama who honestly has no clue what I want to do in life at the moment. For the longest time that scared me but now I embracing it and documenting it here.