Friday, August 24, 2012



Young girls require a certain amount of attention at home. It has been said that "a girl's first love should be her father." I completely agree with this. The examples of love a girl sees in her home are what mold her relationships outside of the home.

When I was a teenager, my parents weren't always able to give me the amount of attention I was seeking. My Mom struggled with alcoholism, and my Dad was often distracted with taking care of my mom along with his own depression. There were even a few months that my mom was in jail. Those were the slowest, coldest, and darkest months I remember ever having to get through. I do not blame my parents at all for being distracted. The issues that our family had were not simple, they were not the usual. My parents did the best they could at the time, and still managed better than most! They instilled a sense of the love that God has for me into me from a young age. That's something that has stuck with me, and has gotten me through so much.

That being said, I consider this dynamic at home to be the main reason I went off searching for attention outside of my family. The attention I was looking for embodied itself in the form of a young and rebellious boy named Bob.

I started dating Bob at fifteen years old, and didn't completely end our relationship until I was eighteen. He had family problems and addictions of his own. It is slightly odd that I would go out and find an addict to spend my time with after spending so much time with an addict at home who caused me so much grief. The reason for that, I've found, is the fact that people attract what they know and what they're accustomed to. I was accustomed to being very co-dependent and taking care of people who had unhealthy habits and were therefore unable to take care of themselves. I didn't really know anything else. I hadn't seen an example of a healthy relationship, and therefore didn't know how to build or maintain a healthy relationship.

Bob lied. He lied a lot. He told me he had quit smoking cigarettes when we started dating. Then I would hear from other people that they had seen him smoking just a few days ago! He told me he had never done certain drugs. Then other people would accidentally mention that he had, in fact, done those drugs. And he had done them recently. I never knew what to believe. After talking to these people, I would be full of anger and feelings of betrayal and complete heart-break. Then I would go confront Bob, and he would turn it all around on me. He said I didn't trust him. I shouldn't believe these people. He promised, he promised. Every conversation we had about these things left me so confused, and feeling guilty for reasons I couldn't even understand.

Seeing an example in my own home of what substances and addictions can do to you and your family was enough for me to know not to participate in these things. I would not let my life spiral out of my own control. Looking back on the things I went through and the negative influences that surrounded me, it's a wonder I got through it without giving in. I know that I was able to get through it because of my relationship with God.

After two long years of struggling in my relationship, of breaking up only to get back together again and again, I came to a breaking point. I was so exhausted. I was unhappy. I had been unhappy for so long that I didn't even know how miserable I really was! It got the point where I started lying to Bob myself in order to get out of spending time with him. I would say I had to help my parents with something or that I had a lot of homework or just about anything I could to get out of seeing him. Aren't you supposed to want to see your own boyfriend?

I finally talked to my mom about what I was doing, how it all felt so wrong, how confused I was. She told me I was avoiding the issue, that I needed to tell him how I felt, and right now. I called Bob, and put him on speaker so that my mom could hear and understand the way he talked to me. The way he would twist the things I said and turned them back around on me. The way he manipulated me into staying with him. All of these things I found so hard to explain that I was finally ready to share and rid myself of.

While he talked, I put the phone on mute while my mom told me what to say. My mom really became a savior in this moment. I explained to him that I was sorry I hadn't had the courage to say this to him before, but I was very unhappy with him. I told him how I was avoiding him and that I didn't think our relationship was good for us anymore. He became so angry with me, and I just wanted it to stop! There were parts in the conversation that I wanted to give up and agree with him. But my mom held my hand and helped me learn, for the first time, how to stand my ground. This was the moment I remember vividly, where I finally felt how liberating it is to speak! To have an opinion! It was a feeling I hadn't known for years, and I refused to let go of it again.

My mom found a good counselor who I saw for a few months. This is where I learned so much about myself. I came to the realization that I wasn't quiet or shy like I always thought - I was in fact very opinionated and almost too argumentative at times! I had my own views on things that I learned to share and stand by. I learned that I could be happy with others as well as on my own. Most of all, I figured out who I really was through my relationship with God. I was his daughter, his precious daughter who he had created and loves more than I could even comprehend. He was there the whole time, guiding me and keeping me from harm. I then gained an understanding that, no matter what happened, no matter what state my parents were in, no matter what a boy thought of me, no matter if I had friends to spend my Friday night with or not, I had God. I was his girl. And that was comfort and strength enough for anything.

Bob assumed that this was another one of my half hearted break-ups, and that I would be back to him soon. He would call after me telling him not to. He would come up to me at our place of work and ask if I realized I hadn't talked to him in two weeks. Before this point in my life, I would have buckled under this pressure. I would have yielded to him, to avoid the conflict, to keep him happy. But I had learned to be assertive, that it was okay to walk away if I needed to. He eventually got the idea. And I was able to move on.

I am now married to the love of my life. He loves and cherishes me in a way I never thought possible. He exceeded any and all expectations I had for a man, and I can honestly say I know without a doubt he would do anything to make me happy. And make me happy he does. It was quite a struggle getting here, even after all I had learned with Bob. I still had tendencies to be co-dependent, and didn't trust men easily. But with prayer and countless good talks with my mom, I got here. And it's such a good life, I almost can't believe that it's mine.

Unique challenges make for unique individuals. In times of difficult trials, we tend to wonder why we have to go through these hard things. We get overwhelmed and start doubting that life will ever treat us nicely again. It's as if a cloud has come and completely enveloped us in darkness and confusion that we can't see a way out of! This makes it seem almost impossible to even think a positive thought. But next time you're feeling like this - almost paralyzed with grief and frustration - just remember that these experiences are molding you into a stronger and more experienced individual. These challenges are the things that you will look back on and feel grateful for, because they made you who you are.

No comments:

Post a Comment