I thought I had found the love of my life. He didn’t come in the package I expected. Didn’t have the qualities I needed, but he was there. He showed up. He showed up in a time of my life when no one else decided to.
I admired his consistency. Every morning I received a “good morning” call. At lunch, his messages were right on time. He never missed a beat.
But his words never matched his actions. He told me he had big dreams. He said he valued family. He said he didn’t understand how men mistreated women, and he pretended cheating was absurd.
I thought he respected and cared about me, but I quickly learned differently. It was never about me. It was all about what he could get from me.
Then, periodically, he began calling me out of my name. He always gave me an ultimatum.
I was stuck. I got trapped in his scheme. He made it impossible for me to leave. He placed me in situations where I had to choose to be devalued in private or risk being humiliated in public.
So I stayed. I stayed because I was scared. I was scared because I got so entangled with him that I forgot what it was like being alone. I was depressed, but having him by my side was my norm. I was mentally suffocating, but I could not face looking at myself in the mirror alone. I could not bear staring into my big brown eyes.
But I learned, and I will tell you as I tell myself.
Never date someone who pretends to love you. Don’t sit around waiting for them to change, even if leaving will cause you temporary pain. In time, you will heal.
You have big dreams and desires. People with low-self-esteem will try to normalize and minimize your uniqueness. They will make you seem small, ugly, and insignificant.
You are big, bold, and beautiful, and your life has purpose.