This one is lengthy....
Day Eight: Someone who made your life hell
I've already mentioned one person, but who wants to talk about him again? The one who really pops into mind that treated me terribly was my first "real" boyfriend. I was in high school and was definitely young and stupid. I knew I shouldn't have dated this guy, but frankly, I was tired of him bothering me about it so I said yes. I suppose his stalkerish behaviors prior to dating should have warned me, and I guess they did because I didn't want to be alone with him at first, but like I said - young and stupid. For awhile, it was okay. I liked the attention and the serious relationship was something new to me. There were a lot of things I didn't like about him and at times I found him to be pretty scary. The honeymoon was over after about six months. He was very possessive. I "had" to break ties with most of my friends, especially the male friends. I did things I did not want to do just to keep the peace between us. He threatened me. He threatened my family. He blamed me for everything (really? it's my fault you got caught speeding?). He cheated on me. He wouldn't "allow" me to break up with him. He insulted me. He convinced me that I wasn't worthy of anyone and that I was lucky to have him. He told everyone else I was worthless. This went on for two years. I tried to end things and he'd threaten things that scared me to death, so I stayed. My friends were concerned for me. My parents hated him. I never told anyone about the way he really was because I was afraid of retaliation. And my teenage pride wouldn't allow me to admit that my parents were right. He ended up breaking with me and oddly enough, I was devastated. My psyche was so screwed up at that point that I didn't know what I would do without him, even if I was miserable. Of course, this misery didn't last long. I realized I was so much happier without him and I could have fun again. He continued to make my life hell, though. He threatened the guys I dated afterward, he stalked me, he said horrible things about me to get people not to ask me out and taunted me every now and then. This would go on until well after I graduated high school and until I finally moved out of the town we lived in. While this happened a million years ago, I can see where it shaped a lot of my personality and attitude today. I still avoid conflict in order to keep things peaceful. I still have very low self-worth. I still feel like everything bad that happens is my fault. It set me up to accept a lot of crap from relationships in the years following. But in some ways, I wonder if it made me stronger. I can take a lot. That doesn't mean I should, but when I have to, I can. I wish I would have never given in to dating him, but I can certainly say I learned a lot.
Day Nine: Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted
This is actually something that has been bothering me for a few months. My senior year of high school, I ran around with a group of four other girls. I had been friends with all of them for years, but we just bonded and stuck together that year for some reason. There was one in particular that I was closest to. I think we may have had the most in common and we had the same mindset at time when the rest of the group didn't. When we all went on vacations, she and I would split off sometimes and do our own thing. She was a great friend and we had a lot of fun. She and two of the other girls went to a different college than I did. Friendships wavered, relationships waned, that's just how things go after high school. She and I stayed in touch, though. My sophomore year of college, I had to have brain surgery. She drove the almost two hours to come see me in the hospital, which meant so much to me. I didn't have many visitors and I felt like my local friends were too busy to deal with me. I was really touched that she took the time to see me. We were pretty close through college. I went to her graduation. Then we ended up living in the same city and we worked in the same field. We even worked for the same company once. The last few years, she pretty much stopped talking to me. At first she said she was just dealing with a lot - and she was - and was self-isolating. But more time went on and it was obvious I was cut out of her life. It really hurt and I didn't understand it. Well she joined up on Facebook recently and I friended her...and she denied me. She's friends with just about everyone else from our high school, but she won't connect with me. I still don't understand. To absolutely want nothing to do with me, I feel like I had to have done something to offend her. For the life of me, I cannot come up with anything. There was never a falling out and I can't think of anything malicious I did. Drifting apart happens, but to sever ties completely is something else. I'd love to be able to share my life with her right now and I'd love to hear about her marriage and her children. I treasured her as a friend and it hurts to not have her in my life. It hurts even more because I don't know why.