My sophomore year, I began dating the sweetest boy I had ever met. He gave me the most wonderful gifts, and told me the most wonderful things. It was bliss. It was my first love. I never thought anything could ever bring so much joy into my life. Not long after, I found sadness I never knew existed. He suddenly began scolding me and threatening to break up with me, for things I never knew would have mattered to him. Joking around with guy friends, even those who happen to be gay, drove him mad. Kissing a “boo boo” on a friends hand, who even asked him to kiss it first, was like I committed treason on our relationship. He would grow so angry at me for the most ridiculous things imaginable. The worst part is, I let him. I was so stupidly in love that I fought hard against these threats, and somehow wanted more than anything to continue dating him. In March, while I was out of town for spring break, he broke up with me.
You’d think that would be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Just because our status as boyfriend and girlfriend was over, didn’t mean his abuse was. Actually, it meant that it would get much much worse. I’d often get calls from him saying, “Just imagine. We’d probably be off together somewhere right now if it weren’t for you breaking my heart.” I’d also be frequently told that I ruined his life, or at least his junior year of high school. I was completely convinced of all of this. I didn’t deserve to date him, I was so lucky to have gotten him at all. I was just some whore — or tramp as he preferred to call me — who ruined his life. This period of after-breakup abuse lasted about 7 months. Now, when I’ve talked to him, he’s even admitted that he said those things to make sure that I’d never love anyone else. He was the most selfish and self-centered person I’ve ever come across. I kick myself almost every day for being naive enough to fall for all of this.
I hope so much that he never does that to any girl ever again. No one deserves to be treated this way. I’m flabbergasted that I truly believed that I was a terrible person who didn’t deserve him, or even to live. He doesn’t deserve me. I am much too good for him, and much too good for any guy that would ever do this to a girl. Sometimes I wish that he would just vanish, or that he never came in to my life, but honestly, I wouldn’t be who I am with out him. I’ve come out of that mess with a lesson learned, and surprisingly, with confidence. I know better now; I am not that girl he made me thought I was. I believe that you should never let anyone bring you down.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.