Take Me As I Am, Or Watch Me As I Go
I was nervous when I met him. He was handsome, with a brilliant mind, and seemed extremely confident in himself. He spoke eloquently and our conversations were worldly, which I had been craving in my life.
It was interesting how low my self-esteem was when I met him. Now a couple years later, I'm able to look back at the decisions I made and it is very easy to see.
I didn't love myself.
I was insecure about my body, my appearance, my past and because he was so strong minded in what he wanted, I was scared I was never going to live up to his expectations. I legitimately ignored every red flag that appeared right from our second date all the way to the end. I ignored him putting down my past and not being interested in my self-expression. I ignored how much he judged my friends and family. I ignored how uncomfortable he made me feel in the beginning and I legitimately ignored what my needs were for a healthy relationship. I began molding myself to try and fit his expectations. Why?
I didn't love myself enough to truly appreciate my own beauty (inside and out) in this world.
It's almost as if I couldn’t believe someone so strong and beautiful could ever love me. I have never received attention from someone like him in my lifetime. Instead of holding myself on a pedestal, I held him there instead.
On top of that I never felt comfortable being myself in that relationship because I was often put down for it. From being told I wasn’t classy for making goofy faces in pictures, or being told I didn’t have a sense of humour, or that I was too messy or too clumsy. I was criticized for putting my hand on the window while driving over the train tracks for good luck, I was unable to be honest about who I truly was and I didn’t do the things I wanted with my friends because of constant judgment and fear of provoking a fight.
Judgment of drinking with friends, judgment of my family, and the list goes on. Honestly, I’m not sure there was really anything he actually liked about me, other than what I believe my life path is and my beauty. The craziest thing was that I tried to mold myself to fit his expectations of what he needed in the relationship, which meant I was no longer speaking or being truthful of how I wanted to live my life. Basically, we weren’t compatible and his severe insecurities inflicted real harm to my sense of self. This isn’t to say he is a terrible person, or to tarnish his reputation. I loved him because we connected on a soul level. I fought to keep that relationship because of how deeply I believed in him. I still do believe in his good, but like clothes, if the shirt doesn’t fit, there is nothing wrong with your body, the cut just doesn’t work for you.
That relationship didn’t work for either of us.
Overall, putting blame on the other person is far from the solution. I made the choice to stay in that relationship, knowing how I was being drained. I chose to fight for it, I chose not to be myself and I take full responsibility for what I have control over. I chose to ignore my heart, which by the end was screaming to get out. I chose not to respect myself. I rationalized and made excuses for him and his behaviour.
I did not love myself enough to stay true to myself.
To be fair, I know I was far from perfect in that relationship. I know that my actions also hurt him as well. He could legitimately write just as compelling of an article about his side of the story. But it’s like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. One of them sings, “Go Love Yourself” and the other sings “Same Old Love.” Neither is right or wrong and the two people drained each other. It's the same story in my life; two great people were not compatible with each other. Two great people had enough.
We had beautiful moments though and there were many times where he went out of his way to be there for me, to love and nurture my path and want the best for me. He truly did see my beauty inside and out and he wanted it to work as well. Our personalities didn't click and we were too different to make it last. Opposites may attract, but it doesn't actually make the foundation for a solid relationship.
By the end, I hit rock bottom.
My ego loved it. The beauty, the fighting, the turmoil, the sadness, my ego loved every second of it.
After months I was done with fighting for the relationship. I was so drained from trying to fix something that would never work. I was trying so hard to show how much I cared and was never appreciated for what I was offering. I tried to help him see light in the darkness. I gave him everything I could. I eventually cut my friends and family out of life. I gave him all the amount of time I could, but it wasn't enough.
Everyday there was something new and it would last for days and sometimes weeks. Before important events I was told that he wasn’t sure he could see a future with me. Every time I tried to speak my truth, I was shut down for it to the point that people who cared about me saw how deeply the relationship was draining me. To be fair, I know the people who loved him, were thinking and saying the same about me.
Our entire relationship was based around ego. A dear friend and mentor of mine who was very awareof the depth of problems in the relationship read me the riot act. He told me he would never talk to me about the relationship again because it had been months and instead of getting better, it was the worst he had ever seen me. I was low, energetically drained, depleted, sad, and no longer the happy person I am naturally.
“Maddie, if a man doesn’t like you for you, he’s got to go.”
What a simple, yet profound message, a truth bomb that slapped me across the face and woke me up. There is absolutely nothing wrong with who I am and I shouldn't have to change myself drastically to meet the expectations of a man. This isn’t to say you don’t adapt to another's needs in a relationship, but if you have to completely make yourself over, it is not worth the heartache.
My new favourite mantra “Take me as I am, or watch me as I go” was born. I took my mentor seriously. I wasn't going to waste a single second of my life not being in my power and owning the amazing person I am. I am no longer going to be in a relationship where I'm not able to be myself entirely and not be appreciated for all the love I give.
Why was I fighting for someone who couldn’t see a future with me? Why was I wasting my precious time in a relationship that wasn’t bringing me joy? Why was I holding on to the fear (FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL) of letting him go? My ego was playing a very strong role, but my soul was even stronger. I stepped into my power and I finally showed myself respect and said enough.
After it was all over, I knew those judgments were a reflection on how he felt about himself and not a reflection of who I am. I didn’t take his judgments with me from that relationship.
I did something else instead, I loved myself more.
I'm intelligent, beautiful, fun, outgoing, successful, and driven. I'm messy, clumsy, and can rock a Montreal Canadians toque with a neon yellow Batman shirt and still look sexy. I'm kind, caring, and compassionate and I truly devote my life to trying to make others happy and empower them to be able to love themselves fully.
I'm wise (not cocky) and I'm able to say this about myself. Coming to terms with your brilliance is empowering and if you were to see me in person, you would understand that I'm very humble in who I am. It was almost miraculous how I stepped into my power after the relationship. I'll never regret the heartache I went through, because it was part of my journey to get to where I am. I'm as strong now and more confident in what I want/can achieve in life because of that experience that is now just a story. I was meant to go through everything in order to truly appreciate my values and what I expect for myself in a relationship.
I love myself.
I don't need a man’s approval to be me, because the right man will love me fully, flaws and all and will not put me down constantly or want me to change. He'll appreciate the greatness I am and what I have to offer. He'll enhance my already wonderful life I have created for myself, instead of complete it. I'm not looking for my other half, because I'm whole and I'm wonderful. I'm worthy of being loved unconditionally, but it starts with the love I have for myself and knowing whole-heartedly, I'm worthy of what I desire in life.
My energy and light is back and brighter than ever and I'm ready to take on the world in this new found confidence.
You know in your heart if something is working or not. Be kind to yourself because you are in the perfect place to have the experiences you need in order to get to where you truly desire. The important thing is to recognize your situation, and really look at it from a higher perspective.
Let it be and love yourself.
Trust yourself. In the end your heart will tell you if you're unhappy, and sometimes we feel as if relationships are supposed to be hard. Sometimes they may need some work and I'm in no way preaching about giving up, but you know deep inside if it is fixable or not. But when you treat each other like the enemy…it’s a good sign to let go.
The more you’re secure with yourself, the less you look to a relationship to create that security for you. If you feel that your relationship is depleting your energy, you'll be a stronger person for taking control of that situation and leaving it. There are a billion men or women out there that you could potentially meet. The universe always provides infinite possibilities, let go of the fear because it’s no longer serving you.
The only things you can control are yourself, your thoughts, and your actions. If you’re expecting someone to change drastically for you, ask yourself “Is it really worth it or is there someone out there who may be more compatible with who I am.” Try and let go of any expectations and recognize that your partner is not the enemy. If you’re truly unhappy, you’re the only person who has the ability to change it.
In the end your happiness is most important.
It begins with the amount of love you have for yourself.
Madelyn Wilkinson | Staff Writer