Before I elaborate on this, allow me to back track a couple of months...
It was the beginning of July when my relationship with my boyfriend of two years, Clark, had taken a turn for the worst. Clark and I had been off and on for several months throughout sophomore year. He was in Connecticut and I was here in State College. Maintaining a long-distance relationship was a real challenge. This summer, I decided to stay in the Happy Valley and pursue an internship along with a variety of jobs while he accepted work in Washington, D.C. The few months we could actually spend together, we were going to be apart. Clark and I had come to an agreement that we would visit one another and make it work; however, this is far from what occurred.
Clark moved down to D.C. and began ignoring my texts messages, phone calls, and e-mails. After weeks of trying to get in touch with him, he sent me a text saying that he wanted this Washington experience to be strictly his. I was not to visit as he was busy doing his own thing and not interested in sharing this amazing experience with me. I was heartbroken and could not understand what I had done to cause this sort of response from him. Following that text, he continued to ignore any sort of contact I attempted to make with him. Then, one day I noticed in my "recent news" on Facebook, that one of our mutual friends had posted pictures from a trip they took to D.C. to visit him. As I looked at a group of people, who I thought were my good friends from high school, I began to cry realizing that I was literally not a part of the picture anymore. He welcomed them with open arms, but refused to see me.
Now I am about to share a piece of the story in which my actions were disrespectful and in no way right, but it is the truth and must be said for the story to make sense. After viewing the pictures online, I happened to go onto Clark's e-mail. When we were dating we exchanged passwords and would often look up things for one another, etc. Unlike me, Clark had not changed the password to his e-mail and I began to skim through the subject lines in his inbox. I noticed one from a girl named Sloane who had been tagged in a few of the pictures. It had already been read so I wrongfully opened it once more. The e-mail had been forwarded to Clark from her and was a letter to her parents from the beginning of June that was pleading for their approval. She professed her love for Clark and remarked how they had such wonderful conversations about everything and anything and took wonderful daytrips to so many places throughout the city. Now, she wanted to move in with him. Suddenly, everything became clear to me. Clark had been ignoring me and pushing me away because he was falling in love and living with another young woman.
I was absolutely livid and so hurt that he could do something like this without talking to me and providing some sort of explanation. My best friend and my lover was now a cheating, lying, ignorant fool. Yet at the time, I saw this string of occurrences as entirely my fault. I constantly wondered what had changed about me that he caused him to no longer love me. I questioned every flattering remark he ever made to me and truly believed that because he was not interested in me/in love with me, I had done something terribly wrong and had become a nobody. More then anything, I wanted him back. Despite the pain he had caused, I dreamt of him looking into my eyes and telling me everything was going to be alright and that I would forever be his. I coped with these feelings through eating and extreme isolation. I did not want to socilaize, I stopped my fantastic fitness rourtine, I threw my nutrition regimen out the window, and I began too bury my feelings of rejection and inadequacy with food, tears, bitterness, sadness, frustration, and anger.
A few weeks passed and I felt so lonely and unwanted. I longed for that warm inner feeling of knowing someone admired you, looked to you, and loved you. This led me to lean on guys that were not relationship worthy, but rather what I like to think of as rebounds. They served as a distraction for a short time yet they did not fill the void Clark created. After giving up on guys, I decided to look towards animals for companionship. I applied and was accepted to foster a dog from PAWS and bought some fish as well. Now my house was occupied by a small terrier named Lulu, a goldfish named Larry, and an algae eater named Louie; however, the hole in my heart, the uneasiness in my soul, still existed.
As I walked through Target and picked up that doggy T-shirt that read "Better Than a Boyfriend," my immediate reaction was to purchase it for my foster dog Lulu as "it was so true." However, when I came home and put it on her (although she was adorable), I realized the saying was total bs. The only thing better than a boyfriend would be the feeling of being totally independent and confident in myself. I aspire to be a woman who can hold her head high without the need for reassurance and opinions from everyone around her. That abundant amount of self-esteem and self-pride is what will eventually fill the void Clark created through his toxic and destructive behaviors. I need to teach myself that I am worthy of love and respect and do not deserve to take such abuse from any man. People that treat me in such a way as Clark did are simply proving that they never really loved me in the first place, right?