Unhealthy Relationships: The Collection

IN THE WORKS

“The Fair”

Q: What were the signs in the relationship that made you realize it became unhealthy?

A: She wouldn’t respect my emotions and was emotionally abusive at times.

Q: Did you ever try to convince yourself that you were overthinking that it was unhealthy?

A: Yes, I was thinking more so that my gut instincts were wrong. And love was something to work for.

Q: Did the relationship ever make you feel like harming yourself and/or others?

A: It made me want to harm anyone who I felt like was hitting on her. [There was] jealousy because she likes attention.

Q: What did you learn after leaving that relationship?

A: Your own happiness and growth is important and should be prioritized first. And if someone doesn’t care about you, let them go.

Q: What advice would you give to someone that is in an unhealthy relationship?

A: If you both want it to work then you really have to understand each other and take the time to figure out if the relationship is fixable or if it’s better to go your separate ways. And if it’s meant to work out it will work itself out with effort.

Q: How long did the relationship last?

A: The relationship had two lifetimes. We talked in high school for like 10 months, then in college for a year and a half.


“Curbside Violet”

Q: What were the signs in the relationship that made you realize it became unhealthy?

A: I didn’t realize the first signs until everyday I would wake up and ask myself, “what could possibly happen today, what’s the first fight going to be about? What am I going to do wrong?” I didn’t think anything of it at first until I started getting anxiety and getting worried about why we weren’t arguing or fighting about something pointless. It just became a habit.

Q: Did you ever try to convince yourself that you were overthinking that it was unhealthy?

A: I didn’t think about myself overthinking during the whole relationship. I would wonder what’s going to go wrong next, because it all happened so quickly. And I used work as a distraction. I got myself working 55-60 hours a week to avoid being home and dealing with it since we lived together. Now it’s affecting me a lot and my current relationships. I realized how much I let go over my head and I’m trying to do the opposite which could be considered as as unhealthy habit developing.

Q: Did the relationship ever make you feel like harming yourself and/or others?

A: The relationship didn’t make me feel like I was harming myself at the moment, it all felt difficult but that’s what I always imagined a relationship being like so I didn’t look or think about anything past that. Now that I am out of it, I feel very damaged; I’m still trying to fix my emotions and insecurities over it.

Q: What did you learn after leaving that relationship?

A: I learned that no matter what at the end of the day, you need to make yourself happy and worry about yourself. No one is ever worth sacrificing your freedom for, and if they are then it shouldn’t feel any different. I learned to never rush into it and take your time because you never really know someone so be aware enough of what they might be like if you’re around them 24/7. I learned to surround yourself [with] people who you want to be like and not what you look down upon. Most importantly, look at someone’s parents with a little more attention because often times they reflect who you’re seeing. If you’re dating someone whose parents and siblings are drug addicts, you’re probably dating a drug addict.

Q: What advice would you give to someone that is in an unhealthy relationship?

A:  It’s hard to think about yourself first in an unhealthy/abusive relationship, but at the end of the day you come first. You can’t always fix someone, but you can fix yourself after they broke you.

Q: How long did the relationship last?

A: It lasted 8 months. We lived with each other because I was pressured into moving in and was forced into building a home.


“Rural King”

Q: What were the signs in the relationship that made you realize it became unhealthy?

A: He started to grab my arms when he would get mad. At first I didn’t think much of it and then it started leaving bruises and he would yell in my face. He would also text me and if I didn’t answer in like 3-5 mins he would call me a million times and drive by the school to make sure I wasn’t lying about being at cheer or soccer practice.

Q: Did you ever try to convince yourself that you were overthinking that it was unhealthy?

A: All the time. He was my first everything and my family loved him. He was a totally different person around them.

Q: Did the relationship ever make you feel like harming yourself and/or others?

A: No. Never.

Q: What did you learn after leaving that relationship?

A: I learned that I don’t deserve to be treated that way, no one does. And that just because he was my first love, didn’t mean he was going to be my last. I can also read men a lot better.

Q: What advice would you give to someone that is in an unhealthy relationship?

A: Trying to salvage something with someone who doesn’t care enough to treat you right will never be worth it. “I love you” doesn’t mean anything if they don’t prove it.

Q: How long did the relationship last?

A: 6.5 years.


“Scenic Drive”

Q: What were the signs in the relationship that made you realize it became unhealthy?

A: The constant arguing. It turned sour so quick. Partly my fault for the fights, but I just got so frustrated.

Q: Did you ever try to convince yourself that you were overthinking that it was unhealthy?

A: I didn’t realize it was unhealthy until a couple of days ago to be completely honest. I was so caught up in trying to fix things that I didn’t realize it was so toxic. I didn’t see what it was doing to me; what it did to me.

Q: Did the relationship ever make you feel like harming yourself and/or others?

A: I never really had thoughts like that during the relationship. It was more after. I was devastated and tired of feeling broken, but I snapped out of that shit so quick.

Q: What did you learn after leaving that relationship?

A: You can’t force things that life is suppose to nurture. You can’t force maturity, you can’t force someone to make you a priority, and you can’t force someone to change things that they’ve been doing for years. All of that has to come from them, with their willingness. And I guess that you shouldn’t lose yourself completely in someone because once they’re gone it’s so much harder to pick up the pieces also that it’s okay to put yourself before other people sometimes.

Q: What advice would you give to someone that is in an unhealthy relationship?

A: I believe in soulmates or at least I used to. I guess I can say I believe in love now because I see it all around me. So it would be if you really love the person try to make it work. Don’t half ass it but don’t keep watering a plant that’s dead, for the sake of your own sanity and for the sake of your best interests. Because feeling broken is the worst. Realize when it’s time to let go.

Q: How long did the relationship last?

A: It lasted 6 months. It would’ve lasted longer but I was never met halfway for fixing things.


“Burger King”

Q: What were the signs in the relationship that made you realize it became unhealthy?

A: The way he would verbally abuse me, make any excuse to get into an argument, make any excuse to get into an argument, my family being distant because of him, and the girl list goes on.

Q: Did you ever try to convince yourself that you were overthinking that it was unhealthy?

A: Always, which is why I stayed in the relationship. I always felt like it was myself who did something wrong so that’s why I always oversaw everything.

Q: Did the relationship ever make you feel like harming yourself and/or others?

A: No.

Q: What did you learn after leaving that relationship?

A: To not blame myself for others’ actions, to always listen to your gut instincts, and if your own family/friends see what we’re blinded to see because of this thing called ‘love’ to always take it into consideration because I hate to admit it but my parents/grandparents warned me.

Q: What advice would you give to someone that is in an unhealthy relationship?

A: Honestly I feel like no matter what advice you give somebody who is in an unhealthy relationship, they won’t listen until they’re ready to open their eyes and are fed up with their situation. I’m saying this because I myself was like that and because I’ve tried giving advice to friends and I see myself innocently blinded and doubting that they may be right.

Q: How long did the relationship last?

A: 6 years.


 

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How do you survive being in love with someone who disregards your flaws?

Not that he accepts it

He just acts like it isn’t there

He pushes you to do things you are uncomfortable doing

He doesn’t care about your wrists

He wants to see you succeed

So he pushes you

He pushes you to overcome your over-dramatic meltdown before attending a crowd

He pushes you to open up to him even when your heart and throat are both swollen from opening up

He pushes you to speak when you are spoken to even when there is nothing left to say

He pushes you to lock eyes with others because he is comfortable so you should be too

He pushes you to listen better, so his shouts can be heard

He pushes you to be all that you could be, but aren’t

Because he disregards

Your fears

Your heartache

Your shakiness

Your cuts

Your bruises

Your anxiety

Your depression

You

How do you survive?

Eventually

You don’t

Can I just vent?

I’ve read somewhere that people with anxiety are assholes.

I’ve suffered with anxiety for years. All those years, I felt like it was fake because I diagnosed myself. It wasn’t until meeting a counselor for the first time at 18 years old that I realized I’ve lived with anxiety for half of my living life at that point. When my counselor told me I had PTSD, I almost felt shocked to hear the news. First I have anxiety, then I have to deal with all the stages of grief, then I have to try to find a way to not react to a trigger that has been my very own trigger FOR HALF OF MY LIVING LIFE!

Even though people don’t know who I am, or what I have gone through, or what I am currently dealing with, I feel as though it is written all over my face. When I see faces, strangers or not, I can’t help but to seem bashful, or rather uninterested. I don’t know how to make conversation. What am I supposed to talk about? How absolutely freaking lost I am in this world? How I don’t understand who I am or what I am meant to do with my life? I hate being asked how I am doing, or what I plan on doing with my life, or literally anything that has to do with me or with life. I TRULY DON’T FREAKING KNOW! I don’t mean to be an asshole. I don’t even realize that I am being an asshole. I don’t really know how to be with people. It has been 2 years since my last meeting with my counselor and I haven’t even accomplished passing the first stage of grief! How the hell am I supposed to be expected to be INTERESTED and OUTGOING and JUST THE MOST FUN, AMAZING, ENERGETIC person you know?! I don’t know..

What the hell do I even know?

My Dearest 16-Year-Old Self,

My Dearest 16-Year-Old Self,

You are an emotional wreck. It isn’t a dream. By now, you’ve survived the longest, most embarrassing, and most traumatic part of your first 20 years of life. You’ve been standing strong since you were 9 years old. In the next four years of your life, you’ll learn that it gets better. Then worse. Then better. Then worse. It is a never-ending cycle. You are thinking that physical abuse is a million times worse than emotional abuse. It isn’t. You’ll learn that they have the same exact effect in your mental state. The person you fear the most will become scarier, but don’t worry, he will remain further than ever. You will think you’ve fallen in love, but don’t be fooled. These men will only teach you about emotional abuse. Although they won’t be physical with you, they know just how to get to your brain.. and your heart. It will hurt deeply, but you will get through it. Sometimes you will want to break down and that is perfectly fine. Don’t worry, nobody is watching. Nobody cares to know that you’ve cried yourself to sleep. Nobody sees the pain you wear every single day. Don’t be ashamed of being hurt. Embrace it. You wake up every single day with a broken heart and you walk around with nightmares on your mind. It is okay. It will get better, like I said. It may get worse, but it will get better again. You’ll continue this cycle until you decide you are done. Your never-ending cycle of pain and heartache will end when you decide it will end. Always remember, wherever your life takes you is wherever you decide to go. – “Wherever you go, there you are.”

 

Yours truly,

Your 20-Year-Old Self