Even though I’d rather forget, I still remember my first unhealthy and toxic relationship. I fell in love at summer camp. I was 15. In between long days of activities with campers he and I would exchange glances and smiles at the lake or during dinner. It wasn’t long before he asked me out.
The first time he yelled at me I freaked out.
The first time he pushed me I wondered what I did wrong.
I spent the majority of that summer catering to someone who didn’t view me as special. He held no place for me in his heart, but told me he loved me. I allowed myself to be manipulated, I allowed him to treat me like just someone. It’s no surprise we never talked again after that summer.
That relationship started a pattern of engaging in unhealthy relationships. I blamed it on not having a father around; I needed a man around to love me, because I didn’t feel it at home. I felt incredibly stuck in my small town. I had no supervision and I craved something more. Something tangible, something that could fill my heart up. I didn’t want to feel empty anymore. You’d think after that summer of love I would have learned my lesson, I would have thought more of myself than to get involved with men who just tossed me aside. I only knew my daughter’s father a couple of months before I became pregnant.
I’m a lover—as much as it hurts, I give love a chance over and over. It’s a risk, but I can’t help it. The rush, the excitement, the acceptance – I crave it. I need it. I’ve been searching for something, and in the process I’ve gotten my heart stepped on and tossed aside. Sometimes I wonder if it still beats.
Most recently I entertained someone who I wasn’t planning on inviting into my heart. But his smile…it got me. What started out as innocent flirting quickly developed into something more, something passionate, and I didn’t want to stop the roller coaster ride. I was used to the uncertainness and feeling unfulfilled, so his unwillingness to take our situation to the next level only heightened my desire for him.
When he told me he loved me I was in shock – his actions didn’t support it, but I was ecstatic hoping finally we could move forward together. I became slightly obsessed with our unhealthy relationship – we went through some hard times and he wasn’t there to support me. It didn’t seem like he cared that I was hurting. He said he did, but where was he when things got rough? This destructive pattern continued, my friends saw how miserable I was, told me I deserved better. But I didn’t think so. I felt like I got exactly what I deserved.
Read the rest of [Learning To Let Go] Removing Yourself from Unhealthy Relationships over on The Young Mommy Life.