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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Boys, Break-ups, and Beautiful You

Books over boys, that's what I always say.

Yet, when it comes to boys, I lose my love for books. I cannot share the two. It's one over the other, and sadly one gets swindled in the end.

Usually, it's the boys.

Recently, I had gone through a very hard break-up. Not because my heart was devastated and I could not go on without him by my side. No. It was hard because I lost myself in the process. Not going to sugar coat anything, it was a bad relationship. One that I knew from the beginning, but pushed aside for the sake of the silver-lining.

No one wants to admit to their relationship being a bust. I definitely did not want to admit to the time and effort and money put into the relationship being a waste. After all that I gave. All the phone calls, traveling, tears, and energy to save one person's well-being and struggle to help stabilize a positive state of mind . . . No one wants to admit that they were being abused. Emotionally drained, verbally altered. But that is what I was. Love was substituted in for control. Control of the relationship, of my life from across the sea. I was being manipulated, controlled, and, sadly, emotionally and verbally abused by a boy whom I thought that I was in love with.

Love does not equate to tears. Love does not equate to minutes or months or years. To sexual partners. To gifts given, or money spent. To domination. To jealousy. To acknowledging their failures repeatedly. Love does not equate to one side.

Love is being able to trust and respect your partner. Love means wanting your partner to succeed. To pick them up when they're down. To realizing that you are two people that make two better people when together. Love comes in tiers. Love branches out, like a pair of lungs. You need those multiple branches to survive.

Love is not what I was in. It was a facet of love. It was a facade. Translated wrong.

I was trapped in a glass hallway. Running on a treadmill to nowhere. The world around me continued to zoom past me: school, friends, my own dreams and aspirations. This guy was trying to take hold of all of those things, tie them up, and shove them in a closet so that the only thing my life revolved around was him. This was love, to him. This was torture for me. But I put up with it.

Why? I'm sure you're asking why I would. I am a strong, communicative woman. I know what I want, and I know how to express my feelings. I'm not one to back myself into a corner. Well, the answer is that I care too much. And this guy knew how to hone in on that aspect of me and exploit it. Taking my compassion for granted. Manipulate my caring and use it to his advantage. To stop me from hanging out with my friends. To keep me from breaking up with him. Scaring me into staying.

This is immaturity at its finest.
This is manipulation at its finest.
This is ABUSE.

I know that I am not the only person to have gone through this in relationships. We read about relationships from the books we read, from the people we meet. About boys, break-ups, and the beautiful you. Well, I lost that beautiful me because of a boy. Something I hate that I let happen. I am not one to wallow in regrets, but I regret the length I let that storm brew on for.

I lost myself. My love for reading. For writing stories. I had a hole in myself that I couldn't fill. People and objects and comfort foods and alcohol were not helping. I needed to wait it out, and let that part of myself regenerate. Like a bone on the path to mending. So I put myself in a cast of work and Netflix, music and graduation, friends and family. I had an addiction to attention because of all that I had given this one boy, and all that I received in return. It took a while to understand that I did not need a spotlight on myself. I could enjoy a beach day by myself, or relaxing in a lawn chair with a good book. Or taking a long train ride to the City, sipping bubble tea on 7th Ave.

I lost myself, but I found it again in the trees and sun and showers. I found myself in the ink on pages and the smiles on the faces of friends and family. I am reading again, trying to branch out from Young Adult because I feel that that chapter of my life is coming to a close.  I am writing more and more everyday. Whether it be my novel-in-progress or excerpts of poetry or themes that are prevalent in my life. I feel more like me everyday.

I want to write more essays and journal entries rather than just book reviews on the blog. And if I do review, I want to make them short, sweet, and to the point. I have big ideas that I want to put into action. There are so many changes I want to make, and here is a good start.

Books over boys, I will always say.

Because I welcome the tears and heartbreak that books give me. The change in myself over the course of reading. I love books. I love reading. I love myself. And that's really what matters at the end of the day. Loving yourself. Your beautiful self. Because break-ups suck ass. Son't let them stop yourself from reminding you that you are beautiful through all the pain. That pain will pass. That you may lose a part of yourself, but you will never lose that beauty. Enjoy the little things, but always remember the big thing--that's you.

It has been two months since I ended the relationship. One of the hardest, scariest things I have ever done in my life. Never have I wanted a break-up to be hard or least of all, scary. I should not be in fear of my well-being or the well-being of another when it comes to ending a relationship. Nor should you, or the people you care about.

But if you or someone you know is going through an abusive relationship or showing signs, please talk to them. Talk to yourself. Because it is easy to shake the thought out of your head. To dismiss the ludicrous nature of thought that something like that would ever happen to you. I had the signs in front of my face (quite literally with domestic abuse posters put up all over my college poster boards). I was my own worst enemy. It doesn't hurt to talk. Even if it's someone over the phone that you do not know. Talking always helps. I am always here to talk, too. It doesn't hurt to even look at these websites below, either. <3

http://www.thehotline.org/
https://www.dosomething.org/us/about/hotline-list
http://www.teensagainstabuse.org/index.php?q=hotlines
http://ncdsv.org/ncd_linkshotlines.html