Haley s Story

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"When I was two years old, my dad passed away unexpectedly. He was, from what I've heard since I can't remember him, the best thing to happen to my family. All the joy in my family went with him when he left us.

 

Not too long after, my mom remarried a man who abused me sexually, physically, and emotionally from the time I was 7 until the time I was 10. My mom didn't know, of course, and wouldn't find out until she went through a journal of mine when I was 13 years old. By that time, they were long-divorced and he was far out of the picture. Lots of things followed: cutting, suicidal thoughts, depression, etc.

 

I never really learned how to have healthy relationships with the people in my life, and I never learned to love myself. I dated a guy for three years and was engaged to him for one year, but I had to end it. I didn't fully understand why at the time, but looking back now I realize how co-dependent we were, and I know that ending it was the right thing to do. He just recently got a girlfriend, though, so it's been hard not to go back to the dark places that I've fought so hard to get out of.

 

I've tried so hard to love myself more and to do the things that make me happy, but it's just hard to try and see yourself in the same kind of light that you see other people in. I've harbored a lot of guilt throughout my life, and this situation has been no different. I blame myself for everything that went wrong in that relationship, even though in my head, I know I shouldn't.

 

I've been thinking, though, that maybe my choosing to end that relationship and give us each a shot at a normal, healthy relationship, even if it's with someone else, isn't something to be ashamed of, and certainly not something to hate myself for. If anything, I think it's a victory over my past- over all the unhealthy relationships I was exposed to and involved in as a child/teenager.

 

There are days where the loneliness, guilt, and desire to get rid of myself permanently is absolutely suffocating, and I'm not going to lie to you: I miss my best friend. But on top of redeeming a horrible past that I didn't even create, I think I'm also learning what it looks like to love someone selflessly. I think that having the opportunity to love selflessly, when most of the love I've experienced in my life has been selfish, is something incredible all on its own. So I have hope."

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