I've loved and lost and as we all know it's better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all.
Have I ever truly loved?
Couple of days ago I was watching some standup comedians and one of them said something that stayed with me: "we never learned how to love ourselves, so we employ people to do it for us"
The day before this, someone popped the question "How much did you spend on a gift for your boyfriend?" And I was ashamed as fuuuuck because I’ve spent a ton of money on my ex. Not only on presents but on him, on his wellbeing on his life, on our life. So, I wrote down the highest number and kept reading the comments and what I saw was that I wasn't the only one who had done that.
Did I truly love him? Yes, I believe I did!
Did I love him honestly and in a right way? I believe I didn't.
I've never felt love, growing up, I’ve never been hugged and was never told “I love you” or “well done”. But my mistakes have always been acknowledged and the main subject for having the shit kicked out of me was “WE BUY YOU SHIT SO YOU OWE US YOUR LOVE” and what my wee, child brain registered was that if you buy someone something it means you love them so I bought and I was shocked when he didn't love me back. And I got frustrated and I worked harder, and I bought more, and I got into debt and I bought more, and I couldn't afford to buy a bottle of water at one point because I kept all my money for when we've gone out so that I can buy shit to MAKE him love me. And he didn’t, and I got even more frustrated and I hated me for not making more money and I struggled, and I cried, and I worked and cried while working and I sabotaged my work with depression and frustration. And I loved him even more and I gave everything until there was nothing else to give and I lost my job because of the frustration and the depression and now I truly had NOTHING else to give.
I began being so cheap with myself and my needs that he started to hate me for that. He was annoyed that I wouldn’t buy myself a $10 shirt, he had no clue that those $10 were going to serve me well next week when that movie was coming out. He was ashamed when we went to the movies and I said that we already have 3D glasses (the ones I kept from the movie before). I felt his cringing next to me when I said that, but I kept on pretending that everything it’s okay and that recycling is my nature.
I remember buying a mascara, a $5 mascara and feeling guilty all the way home because those were $5 I could’ve bought him something.
I don’t want you all to think that I’m holding a candle for this man. I was literally crumbling before him and, when we’ve gone to the seaside with the money that I was supposed to keep for the dark days that were laying ahead of me, had I just been laid off, he said, “I thought you’d be more fun.” and “I’ve worked hard all year, this is my time to relax, please, don’t go being depressed in my vacation”. I had planned a nice trip. I did really want to get out, but I wanted to go away, far away, I wanted to see things I didn’t see, I wanted to be in a train and talk to people but instead he wanted to go to the seaside and “maybe go to my sister later.”
Spoiler alert! He never intended for me to meet his sister, that meant me, actually, having an impact on his life and that wasn’t the case.
Instead we’ve spent 4 luxurious days in Vama Veche, throwing my money at god knows what and listening to him complaining that I didn’t agree he’ll buy an inflatable kayak with 80% of the money we’ve allocated for our vacation.
At this point he was no longer my friend or my boyfriend or an empathic human being, he was a spoiled child, whose privileges were being taken away. Had I still had my job, I would’ve bought him the kayak without a shadow of a doubt.
He cared for me but not enough to put up with my “..or worse” side of “for better or worse.”
And that was my worst. My depression spiraled me into physically harming myself. I’ve begun cutting, again, I’ve hit myself several times. And when I say hit myself, I mean that I was feeling so guilty and so angry at myself for not being lovable to this man, despite every sacrifice that I was making, that I used to slap my own face. And I’m not joking.
I’ve threatened suicide, I’ve cried and kicked and begged. I promised to be good, I’ve said “I’m sorry” until I was blue in the face and I was sorry. I was sorry because I was feeling like I was losing the battle, I was sorry because I couldn’t do more. I was sorry for being such a loser, for not being able to sell a kidney to buy him that kayak. Because I was taught that if you buy shit for the people you love, they must love you back and if they don’t it means you haven’t bought enough.
At one point, he was telling me a story about a friend of his, whose wife bought him an apartment in Paris and one week, I remember, for an entire week, I’ve looked up properties in Paris. I didn’t know how I was going to do this, but it had to be done. I know how much he loved Paris and how much he wanted to just have a way to stay in Paris for longer than a city-break and I wanted to buy a house anyway… Instead of Bucharest I’ll just choose Paris.
It is clear at this point that he was never going to love me. He recognized the affection and cared for me, maybe, he understood the comfort that I provided and was not willing to give that up, definitely, but he never did love me.
I broke contact soon after the seaside trip when I realized that this situation of me breaking my back for a love, I’ll never be able to gain, was, in fact, going to kill me. I’ve had help in this endeavor and I’ll forever remember the words of my psychiatrist “Why do you keep insisting? Can’t you see that you’re not being let in? You’re trying for three years.”
Not a week later I really needed him. I felt more desperate than I’ve ever felt, an interview was laying ahead of me and felt stressed the fuck out. This was my way out; this interview was the end of all my problems and I wanted to get it so bad. It was moving me to another country, thus giving him space and the opportunity to miss me, it was giving me a ton of money thus giving me the chance to actually buy that fucking apartment in Paris and a little perk for myself, I was going to see a lot of the world, if not all of it.
So, I called him and told him I needed him, and he couldn’t be bothered. At that point, he was already seeing someone else. But he really wanted us to be friends, I was his best friend, according to him. I called this so-called best friend of mine and I said I need you, I need you now, I feel like I’m crumbling, I’m not mentally stable and I need to go out and have a beer and talk to you to bring myself down to earth, to see my goals again. But he was too busy spending time with someone he’d met a month ago. She wasn’t depressed, she wasn’t needy, she didn’t slap her own face.
So, I texted one more person; my therapist:
“I’m going to kill myself, I can’t do this anymore.”
And I got up on the rooftop of my building and just as I was ready to make the leap my phone rang. It was my therapist. She told me that I had existed before this man and I will continue to do so after he’s gone. She convinced me to go to the interview and after that to take a BlaBlaCar and join my parents to the seaside.
I did. I went back inside, and I called my mother and I cried and asked her why and cried some more. I got maybe two hours of sleep that night and black eyed and all I went to the interview. I didn’t pass, of course but I did go to the seaside afterwards and I existed without him and sometimes I still do. I remember the love a bared for him and I exist for a solid moment there, I exist without him.
I’ve started writing this because I’ve wanted to say that love cannot be bought, and the moral should’ve been that I’m not saying do not buy shit for the people you love, all I’m saying is: what do you want to achieve by buying that?
But I ended up telling you the story of how I hit rock bottom and how I’m starting to climb back up.
Whatever you’re going through there’s someone else who had already been there. Whatever you’re going through there’s someone else who had it worse.
WHATEVER YOU’RE GOING THOUGH YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE!