How My Toxic Relationship And A New Eating Disorder Went Hand-In-Hand

by Sarah Kate

Breakups tend to go one of two ways.

They're either remotely okay or just really f*cking terrible.

Mine, unfortunately, was the latter.

He hurt me in a way I never thought I’d be able to recover from.

We were together for four years, when we really shouldn’t have been.

It was emotionally and mentally draining.

This typical unhealthy relationship was wrapped up in a world of young love and wide-eyed fantasies.

Little by little, he had me doubting his intentions, flirting with other girls, including ex-girlfriends.

Why didn’t I dump his ass straight away, you ask?

I was an idiot; I was a young, foolish idiot and I thought I had found love.

Love is a truly powerful emotion, and it prevented me from seeing past his charming façade.

I was swimming in a pool of passion and piety, and I was drowning myself at the same time.

I didn’t question him, and I started questioning myself instead.

What was I doing wrong? Why wasn’t I enough for him? What did the other girls have that I didn’t?

These questions brought back familiar thoughts I had previously overcome and put to bed.

Soon, they came crawling back, gnawing at the surface of my self-esteem.

They manifested throughout my head once again.

I was losing myself to self-doubt and disquietude.

I was obviously the reason why he felt the need to go off and flirt (or do whatever) with these other girls.

It was now my time to do something about it, something that made me lose sight of myself, my morals, my values and what was actually important, me.

Don’t get me wrong; I confronted him about it, but he insisted it was nothing.

He said they were “just friends.”

He agreed that if it was upsetting me, he would stop, but that didn’t last long at all.

As soon as I had turned my back, he was at it again.

My infatuation with him mystified the truth, and it was brushed under the carpet, like every other problem we had.

I began to pick out what was wrong with me.

What could I change? Simple: my appearance.

I would change how my legs, my arms, my stomach and everything else looked.

Soon after, I started eating less and exercising more.

If I lost a few pounds, he might stop hurting me.

I was killing myself for someone who was draining my soul.

As the years went on, more girls came to the surface.

Some were the same, some were different and I continued on this path of self-destruction.

With every pound I lost, I lost a piece of myself, too. I wasn’t who I used to be anymore.

I became depressed and felt more unwanted than I ever felt before.

I lost sight of what mattered to me. Everything was about him now.

However, this didn’t stop me; it spurred me on even more.

I was feeding my eating disorder with my self-loathing.

What was the point in living anymore?

A number of concerned friends and family members came to me, asking if everything was alright, but none of them were him.

He was the one person I wanted to notice what was going on.

Only after I had been in the hospital did he realize something was up. Even then, he didn’t want to visit me. He wanted to go out drinking instead.

That alone should've been evidence enough that my well-being wasn’t nearly as important as his social life.

I soon grew tired of his unavailability and his lack of interest in my life. Nothing else mattered to him except him.

Yet, everyone saw him as the nice guy, the guy you could bring home to your parents.

You know that quote from "To Kill A Mocking Bird," when Miss Maudie is trying to explain Boo Radley to Scout?

The things that happen to people we never really know. What happens in houses behind closed doors, what secrets.

That’s exactly how I felt when anyone praised him for being such a great human being.

None of them knew about what was really going on: the arguments, the snide comments he threw at me and the copious amounts of cruel digs he managed to fit into my daily life.

This included comments on what I wore, and the people I spoke to and my job.

It even got the point where he wouldn’t even be happy for my successes or my achievements.

When people put you down enough, you start to believe it. I thought I deserved this.

I even remember the very words he said to me once I found out I got a new job.

I was ecstatic when I told him, yet his response was, “Why did they pick you?”

Nothing seemed good enough for him.

I wasn’t good enough for him. I was beneath him.

One day, as I sat in front of my mirror, applying that routine mask to hide the truth from everyone around me, I realized I was done.

I had enough.

I was finished with this emotional breakdown that was causing me to spiral into a dark abyss.

I was losing sight of what was important in life and what was important to me.

I couldn’t do this to myself anymore.

I was beyond miserable, and no amount of weight-loss was improving my mood.

Nothing was changing except me, in the worst way possible.

I had harmed my mind and my body enough at this stage, and I was tired.

We tried to resolve things. I sat him down and explained how unhappy I was.

To my surprise, he took it badly.

He became upset, and he explained he hadn’t realized what was actually going on.

So, what did I do? I gave it another f*cking go.

And not even three weeks after that, he dumped me.

He told me he wasn’t happy anymore, and he then proceeded to blame me for everything stressful in his life.

To say he sh*t on me is an understatement, and it completely destroyed me for about two weeks.

I was so in love with the idea of being in love, I completely forgot what love was.

But my family taught me what compassion was once again.

They were the ones who picked up the pieces.

One second, I was somewhat together, but the next, my best friend found me in tears in the shower.

I don’t even remember being taken out of the shower and sat on the bed, wrapped in a towel while she cradled me until I stopped shaking.

I thought my world had just caved in on me, crushing every fragment of my being and destroying me from the inside out.

We were together so long, I didn’t know how to feel without him.

But, I was finally free from my self-inflicted torment.

That brutally demoniac breakup was the wake-up call I needed.

That relationship taught me to never doubt myself, and to never let anyone treat me as if he's better than me.

I kept my emotions locked up in a glass bottle, and didn’t reopen it until that relationship ended.

I know most of you may be thinking, "Why did she do that to herself? Why did she let him treat her the way she did? How did she do it?"

To be honest, looking back on it all now, I really have no f*cking idea.

But, I know for a fact it will never happen again.

To all of the people who feel like they’re being mistreated and not shown the respect they deserve: Walk away.

You don’t have to explain yourself; just get out of there.

I’ve been happier in this past year than I was during those four whole years.

I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, physically and mentally.

I’m back to my healthy self: the self I was before I let someone else dictate what my life should be like.