I was young and naïve. I moved away from my hometown and comfort zone the earliest chance I had. I was always told not to stay put in the little town where I grew up, and I knew I never would be stuck there.
After graduation, I packed my bags and moved 19 hours away on my own. I tried to find a new life for myself, one more adventure-packed and spontaneous than the one I lived for the past 18 years.
I wanted to experience all that the world had to offer. I didn’t think about the consequences of being hundreds of miles away from loved ones — my support system. I had no idea I left the person I used to be back at home. I began living a life far different than the one I previously knew.
Don’t get me wrong; I was still the same me, but a part of me was missing. I wanted to be more carefree, and I wanted to experience adventure upon adventure.
I began turning into the person I imagined would make life easier, but it ended up changing me for the worse. I lost the inner-confidence and self-esteem I once so strongly embodied.
When the man I thought I was going to marry broke my heart and stayed back home, I began giving my heart away easily and to whomever seemed somewhat worthwhile. I wanted attention. I wanted to feel loved and cherished once again, but I never found the connection until I met him.
I developed new habits. I began going out to clubs and bars. It was so intriguing and new — certainly like nothing I had ever experienced before. And, then, one day, he caught my eye. I felt a strange connection in an instant, but I decided not to act on my feelings.
He was a club promoter and took me to new, extravagant places. He was in control, and I loved that I could be whoever and do whatever when I was by his side. He lived the life I thought I needed; it was captivating and exciting. After a few weeks, we began seeing each other seriously.
I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I saw the red flags, but I ignored them because the spark in his deep, intoxicating eyes drew me closer and blinded me. I fell in love with him quickly. He was far older than I was and I found it attractive.
He was a developed, mature adult. I wasn’t dealing with foolish boys my age anymore. I told myself this was normal because I was far too mature to be an 18-year-old.
I loved being mistaken for an age much older than I truly was when I went out with him; it made me feel like the alter ego I so desperately wanted to become.
He had a past, and it wasn’t hard to notice. He lived a life full of partying and surpassing the rules. He was an alcoholic and spent the majority of his life with a beer in his hand. He had been deemed a cheater, liar and manipulator by some, but by others, a smart, passionate and charismatic guy.
His peers would either label him greatly or completely negatively. I ignored the rumors and my gut instinct. I told myself I would never let him hurt me, and if anything down the road happened, I would just brush it off and move on to the next one.
Girls flocked to him everywhere he went. He conversed and made small-talk with everyone, but never failed to make sure I knew I was the only one with his attention. I adored it. I felt special when girls surrounded him and he introduced me as his “girlfriend.”
He showcased me, which I dreamed to experience for my entire life.
He cultivated me so easily. Early on, he reminded me daily I was the one with whom he would settle down. He soon started a new job in an office where he worked Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 9 pm, and quit promoting.
I viewed myself as the woman who finally changed this perplexing man. All of his words suddenly seemed so genuine, and when I finally let my guard down, she found me. She was beautiful and had an English accent.
I had heard about her before, but nothing made me question the truth behind this puzzling man with whom I had been falling deeper and deeper in love. They had an appalling and repulsive past. She repeatedly told me stories of abuse, both physical and emotional, cheating and manipulations.
He denied all allegations. I didn’t know whom to believe.
When I first met him months ago, he had scratches and bruises plastered all over his arms and face. The windshield on his car was shattered from being beaten in. When I asked, he always laughed it off and nonchalantly said, “Crazy ex-girlfriend.”
I immediately deemed this woman as bat-sh*t psychotic. How could such a small girl be capable of such immense beatings? What could he have possibly done to her to drive her to this point of pure insanity?
I ignored her messages. She harassed me and asked me daily if I was speaking with him or seeing him. I still saw him, and I blocked out everything she was telling me. But, still, I was frightened.
I viewed him in a new light. I questioned everything he said and every action he took. Eventually, I questioned him and repeated every awful thing she accused him of doing. No answers.
She was a victim of him, but still deeply in love with him. She made lies up to ruin our relationship, and they worked. I believe her stories, but to this day, have no proof behind her claims.
The truth is, we all want to be the one to change a man, and we all need to give up believing this is possible. A man is who he is, regardless of what he says. It is the actions we need to be drawn to, not the false words that never come to life. Do not strive to change anyone.
I eventually found myself again. I walked away from the emotional disaster I was caught in-between. I walked away from a relationship that made my heart anxious from the beginning and from a man I knew I could never trust.
He is a womanizer, and it won’t take him long until he strikes again. He may have loved me, but he will love the next girl who comes along, too.
She will hear the same sappy words he feeds women, like a broken record.