There is a saying I once heard that is extremely powerful. “Looking from the outside in, you can never understand it. Standing on the inside looking out you can never explain it.” This has really resonated with me and I carry it with me daily.
You truly can’t understand someone else’s life. It is also extremely hard to explain what your life is like. This is why we need to understand this saying to understand each other. Sometimes as humans we can’t see things. We miss things that are right in front of us. Others can see it but we can’t. My Best friend’s relationship with her boyfriend was just like this.
It started out like any other relationship. She met him when she was 16. They fell in love too fast, like most teenagers do. If I wanted to hangout with her I had to be the third wheel. We couldn’t have girl’s night out or even go see a movie without him. He never let her out of his sight. At first I thought it was endearing, then I started to question his intensity.
She believed that they were so deeply in love that it was ok, how could I not believe the same thing? She spent so many nights together that he just moved in. She was 18, I was worried it was too soon. No matter what I said I couldn’t get through to her. She believed it was true love.
The first time I saw it I didn’t believe it. I was horrified and shocked at the same time. We were painting our nails in her room when he came home from a night out with the boys. I can’t remember what they started to fight about I only remember the fight itself. I have never seen anything so intense before. They fought with a passion you wouldn’t believe. Both of their eyes were fierce as they yelled at the top of their lungs. The harshest words were exchanged. I wanted to intervene but I was scared.
At almost the same height as him my best friend got very close to her boyfriend’s face. I guess he didn’t like the invasion of his space or maybe that’s what I wanted to believe. He put his hands to her chest and pushed with all of his force. She reeled back and fell into the wall. I screamed and jumped up from the floor. “This needs to stop,” I screamed.
He walked out of the room as I helped her up from the floor. “Has he done this before,” I ask her. She averts my gaze and asks me if I want to go get something to eat at the local diner. To this day I regret it but I let the question go.
I only saw it one more time. They were fighting again and he pinned her to the wall by grabbing her by her neck. I screamed for him to stop and eventually he did. Out of breath she told him to leave her house. But I knew this had to stop.
We got into the car and just drove. Finally we stopped in a parking lot and I demanded to hear the story. Drugs, pills, dealing, and death filled this boy’s life. He didn’t know how to handle his anger and pain. So he self medicated with whatever he could.
She loved him. What could she do? She felt so powerless when it came to him. He was her first love, how could she abandon someone who already has so much pain in his life? I agreed with everything but I told her it was time to walk away.
She didn’t leave him that night. It took her a lot longer than I liked but she finally did. She is so much happier now and I love having my best friend back. She is the life of the party now. He dulled the sparkle from her eyes but now it is back. She is the best version of herself and she never needed a guy to give that to her. She pulled herself out of the darkness and I am so proud of her for that.
He never deserved her and now she can finally see that. She taught me such an important lesson about love. Passion, no matter how strong it is, it is never enough if the man doesn’t respect you. I learned that love and respect are not the same thing. There is a fine line that separates the two, but love without respect is not worth it.
Sometimes it is do hard to see that. This is what you learn from the outside looking in.