When I first met him, I was in one of the worst periods of my life. I knew I was broken beyond repair, and I was scared that he would not love me for the mess I was. But he never judged me. He simply opened his arms wider and hugged me tighter. He never saw me the way I saw myself, and instead, he convinced me I was someone worth loving. That I had good qualities inside of me, that I wasn’t a failure or a mess, and that I had achievements to be proud of. He saw something in me I never saw in myself, and he never judged the way I battered and tore away at my own self-esteem.
Living with an inferiority complex is more than difficult. It’s the constant thoughts in your head whispering, “You’re not good enough.” But he silenced those thoughts by fully accepting the way I was and the way I saw myself. I was never clingy or needy in his eyes; instead, he saw goodness in me. He chose to see kindness, compassion, and empathy instead of the negative qualities I hated. And I could come to him for anything because he was noncritical of my flaws and he never tried to change a damn thing. He unconditionally loved me for who I was, and not who he wanted me to be.
That’s the meaning of love. When you see someone in a vulnerable state, when their eyes are cast downwards from being ashamed of who they are, that’s when you love them harder. When I am embarrassed of simply being myself, he quietly mumbles to me, “I love you for you.” The soothing, comforting, and calming feelings I get from his words and my memories with him are what keeps me going on the hard days.
I’m working on self-love right now. I’m dedicating time every day to self-love and self-care. It’s a work-in-progress, and I’m definitely not a perfect masterpiece, but he loved me despite that. Despite my imperfections, he demonstrated complete acceptance. I will never forget how he made me feel because he taught me how to love myself. That it’s okay to be vulnerable, open up about your worst parts to somebody, and not feel the need to be ashamed or embarrassed. That it’s okay to love yourself and have someone love you.
The biggest regret in my life is bringing him down with me. I couldn’t imagine the weight he had to carry, having to constantly support, reassure, and comfort me. He could have been so much happier with someone else that was more emotionally mature and stable. And yet at one point, we still chose each other. But I do feel so much guilt for putting him through everything he did not deserve, for making him feel burdened by my problems. He had the potential to be and do anything in this world, and in some ways, I dragged him down.
I tried so hard to give him the world because I knew he deserved so much more than what I could offer, and yet, he still chose to love me despite the mess I was.