It’s been over a year, and I’ve known it all along, I think, but only now am I coming to terms with it. I was hurt very badly when I was with Tyler. I was damaged. I was told every day that something about me was ugly, that I needed to change it. I was told that I needed to change. And that instilled in me the thought that I’m not good enough. He didn’t like my hair, and he would point out in other girls what he liked. He didn’t like my clothes, he didn’t like my *grades*, he made to-do lists of things I needed to change so I could be what *he* wanted. And whenever I asked him why he wanted to change me into someone else, he insisted that he didn’t, and that he’d change. He never did. And every day I tried to change, to make him happy. He made me feel like I was ugly, stupid, worthless. That I don’t deserve anything good.
I thought I had overcome this fear, among the others that surfaced during that time, but I have only succeeded in burying them. No one has ever let me talk to them about this, I’ve kept it all to myself because I’m afraid to be a burden. At some level, a level that I tried to bury, too, I’ve still got the mindset that I’m not good enough. I know I’m good enough. But I still behave in a way that reflects my fear.
I’m cautious about asking Tom if I can see him. I’m cautious about everything. Not nearly as much as I used to be. I’m still afraid, a little, when Tom says he wants to marry me, because everyone – every single boyfriend I have ever had – has said it. From the first day, I knew Tom was different. I’m blessed to have him, and I do deserve him. I’ve never been so happy. I just wish I could get over these fears. The first time Tom saw me cry, the only time, was when Drew told me that Tom basically cares only about sex and degrades me. I was afraid to let him see me cry. Tyler used to get mad at me for crying, and since I did it every night for a year and a half, I am afraid to reveal my vulnerability to people. I went downstairs, and Tom came down a few minutes later and held me, and I explained to him through my tears – which I tried very hard to stop – that I’m afraid. Of being used.
Tyler used me. For a year and a half. I was terrified of going through that again, especially with Tom, because I love him so much. I feel so strongly about him. I want the things he says about our future to come true, so I was frightened. And he assured me that he loves me, not all the superficial things, he loves all of me, and that he doesn’t want anything about me to change. I think that was the night I really realized how important he is to me. How happy he makes me. Every single day he tells me he loves me, or points out something he loves about me. It’s helping me to feel better. Everything I had once been afraid of saying or doing – when I was afraid of being me – I can do now. I can be me. I’m still afraid that he’ll think I’m not pretty or that I’m stupid but he really loves me. He wants to marry me. We haven’t talked about it much because we’re young but he… I don’t even know how to explain it. I am so happy with him, happier than I’ve ever been. I’m me. I love being me. And I have someone who loves who I am. And I love him back.
I’m so thankful to have Tom. Every day, he amazes me. The other night, when I was sick with a fever, he picked me up and he said “Don’t worry. If your fever comes back, I’ll take care of you, baby.” I think that was another hard-hitting thing he’s said. Besides “I love you for you”, it was “I’ll take care of you.” No one takes care of me. My father has, of course, but he hasn’t been around 24/7 since the divorce. He tries to be. I know he’s always available, but the living arrangement makes that difficult. And our like temperaments also make it a little hard. I’m just so happy that someone who loves me is SHOWING it. Someone so important to me. I have two people now, that truly love me, and aren’t afraid of it. Two people that are my biggest fans.
I will overcome these fears.
I have never deserved anything more than I deserve my happiness.
I owe it to myself, and to Tom.