Friday, August 15, 2014

Coming Clean...And Starting Over

This may be a long one... but it's a necessary one.

As some of you may know, I recently moved back to New Hampshire from Los Angeles. I broke my ankle in December and came back to recuperate. I didn't know I was going to stay. I didn't know what I really needed most in the world was to be surrounded by family. I didn't know how much of myself I had lost out in California and just how miserable I had become. But the thing about family is, well....they tell it like it is. And for a while I didn't want to hear it. They think they brainwashed me, but I know the truth. I came to terms with my life as it was- the lies I had been feeding myself for a long time- and I allowed myself to see a future in which I was happy. And it included very few things that were currently in my life at the time I moved home.

Before I begin, I'd like to add a disclaimer:
I will not use any party's names within my blog.
I do not wish to make anyone's lives more difficult or make anyone feel as though I'm bashing him/her.
But these things need to be said. Because they are my truth, and it is time to come clean.

My relationship with the person that for a while I really thought I would end up with has ended. It's still rather fresh, but it was coming for so long that in some ways it feels like its been over forever. In the beginning, it was wonderful. He was wonderful. We were great together. Maybe there were some warning signs right off the bat but I didn't see them. Almost half of the 3 years we spent together was spent in some sort of turmoil. I'm pretty easy to please. I don't ask for much. What do I want in a relationship? Someone who loves me. Someone who is caring, compassionate, sexy, driven. Someone who wants the same things I do. (Wanna check out my other blog about re-entering the dating world? Just started it but it should provide some laughs!

Anyway, I don't think the above qualities (and maybe a few more) are asking too much of anyone. I don't need expensive things. I don't need to be driven around in nice cars. I like cheap dates. Sometimes I even like to pay. I know who I am and I know I make a pretty good girlfriend. I'm easy to love. However, at some point throughout the relationship I became more and more convinced that I wasn't so easy to love. That I always had to do more and that whatever I was doing was not enough.  I ask myself now why at any point within that last year and half I couldn't just break it off right then and there. Because I was not being treated well. I was made to feel that if I left, I was unloveable. It wasn't said in so many words but I was so beat down on a consistent basis that my self-confidence took a nosedive. I truly feel (and though he would vehemently disagree) that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. I've never been in a physically abusive relationship (thank gosh) but the manipulation I dealt with (and didn't quite even realize at the time) was absolutely too much. I don't wish the way I felt on my worst enemies. Granted during the last year and a half of our relationship I was working at two jobs that made me miserable. But he was doing very little to try and turn my outlook around and increase my happiness. When everything else sucks, the people you love and come home to at the end of the day should bring you up, not push you down. This was not the case. It took months of therapy and a kiss from someone new to be able to really recognize what was happening and how much I needed to let go of what I thought I wanted.

I was told not to wear certain colors, patterns and textures of clothes. Anytime I brought up putting my nose ring back in I got the cold shoulder. When I brought up how I was feeling, I was called crazy and emotional. I was told that it seemed like I was always on my period. I was made to feel that my past sexual experiences were dirty and bad and I constantly had to explain my past choices. Three consecutive birthdays were almost ruined. I resented my family. I was pulled away from things I loved. I was made to feel like an ignorant, non-educated woman. I was always being told the best way to do things in the most condescending way. I was made to question who I am to the very core of my being.

I went from living with my boyfriend, to being broken up with on the way to the airport before a much-needed vacation (but not being able to truly let go, because I was told "If you stop speaking to me, we'll have no chance of ever getting back together again"), doing long-distance while technically not together, being told that my normal feelings were not justified, and essentially being told that when we were back in the same city that he probably wouldn't have much time to see me. I had to ask him to tell me he loved me. At one point I was on suicide watch from 1000+ miles away.

The entire second half of our relationship, my family tried to tell me just how much shit I was in. I either didn't see it or didn't want to see it. Probably a combination of the two. He hated my family. He pushed me away from them, in the sense that he continued to treat me with less than I deserved and my family knew all along it just wasn't right. And I was trying so hard to give him the benefit of the doubt and see past the bullshit that I would just get upset when they tried to show me what was really happening. I didn't realize just how bad everything had gotten. I had gained A LOT of weight and I looked terrible. I couldn't fit into 97% of the clothes in my closet and I rotated between a few choice outfits. I've always hid my weight well, but there was no hiding it anymore. And I was so lost that I don't even think I realized just HOW bad it had gotten.

While I was in LA, I got into debt. Several credit cards worth of debt. It started innocently, a nail polish here and a dinner out there. And then it got bad very fast and I couldn't pull myself out of it. It was this thing, always hanging over my head. And for what? So I could have some "things?" I guess I thought I needed things to make me happy since I wasn't finding happiness anywhere else. I wasn't playing music. I was too miserable. I was lying so much to myself I didn't even know where to start when I would write. And then if I did write something, I would cry. Listening to music in the car. Any sad songs and I would cry. And I never knew why. I didn't tell my mom about the debt, but I was working like a crazy person and didn't even have a day off. She decided to help me out for several months, sending me some money with the notion that it would be for basic necessary expenses and that it would enable me to have time to really pursue my music. What did I do? I used the money for the credit cards. And I didn't even do a good job, because you know I kept using the card. Maybe not as much as I had been, but my head was so f'ed up with everything and I was so miserable and down so low, in so deep that I was drowning and I didn't even know it. It took many long nights and knock-down drag-out fights between me and my family for me to even start earning back their trust. It took them a while to bring me into the fold again. I screwed up. Majorly. And it's honestly a miracle that things ended up the way they did, and that I am sitting here early on a Saturday morning writing this to you, in the state that I'm in.

I've made a boatload of mistakes. I'm 26-years-old and I feel like I've already lived a full life. But I also feel like I have such an exciting life ahead of me. I still have so many things to figure out but I really feel like I'm on the right path. I've lost over 35 pounds since I've been home. I still have some work to do, and I need to get back to strength training (Michelle Obama arms, here I come!) but I feel and look so much better. I feel sexy again. I feel like me again! I'm busy, working three jobs to pay for the moving expenses of getting my things back from LA, but I'm happy again. I'd love to be dating and I need to be playing and writing more but I've come leaps and bounds from where I was. I think Boston is in my future. I've written so many great new songs since coming home (I played a little solo show for my mom and made her cry- like sobbing cry!) and I'm actually at the point where I can say that something I've written is good and that when people ask me if I'm a good singer, I can say yes in a way that's confident but humble at the same time. I have new friends from three great jobs and I'm re-learning about me. I'm not settling for anything less than I deserve in all areas of my life. And I'm willing to work hard and be patient until what I deserve comes along. I'm falling in love with myself, and for right now that's enough for me.