Growing up I watched my mom deal with low self-esteem issues and I believe because of that, she didn’t teach me to love myself. I don’t blame her or resent her for it because my grandma didn’t teach her that either. Many of the women in my family feel this way and end up in relationships with people who don’t value them. I was once one of these women.
Almost two years ago, I decided to leave the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. We had been together for almost six years, I can’t describe the love I felt for him. It was one of the most difficult decisions of my life to leave him and in the first few months I questioned if I had done the right thing, it turns out I did. I was with someone who would constantly remind me of all my flaws and why no one would ever want to deal with someone like me. Someone who used my father’s abandonment against me. Someone who felt so low about himself that he projected those feelings to me. Someone who betrayed my trust countless times and would find ways to make me stay. Someone who didn’t respect me or value me, and I stayed because I truly felt that I would never be good enough for anyone else, I hated myself, I was afraid to be alone.
During my entire relationship, I focused on him so much that I lost sense of who I was and why I deserved to be loved too. Everything I did was for him and supposedly for us. It took some time but after a while I realized this wasn’t healthy. Heartbreak is never easy, but because of this heartbreak, I learned to love, value, and respect myself. People have mentioned that I even look happier. I take care of myself now, I do things that make me happy and I don’t tolerate what’s not good for me anymore. It’s difficult to love yourself but ever since I started that journey, things have improved. I even got the guts to travel alone, it was incredible. I feel like I can do anything, I feel free.
Learning to love myself has been a journey, and it’s definitely not over, I don’t think it ever will be, but it’s worth it. For anyone who’s reading this, I hope you know or one day know that you deserve your love first, happiness comes from within you, and you’re in charge of how others treat you. Thank you for letting me share this story.