The Lies and the Truths

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This is just one example of the sad and honestly pathetic conversations I would have with my so called “ex.” As I read these texts now, I can see right through them, clearly. He would manipulate me in every which way; he would tell me how much he cared about me and how he wanted to see me. In reality, all those times he “missed me,” he missed having sex with me and that is all. He knew how deeply I felt about him because I would tell him every time I was with him. I couldn’t help myself and I never knew why. He used his knowledge of my feelings for him as his way in every time. One of the many times he “won” me back was after three weeks of me cutting him off. I hadn’t seen, texted, called, or snap chatted him for a full 3 weeks. And for me, that was unheard of. I was so proud of myself at the time—another red flag that should have made me want to end it. But of course the weekend came along, and after another night out with my girlfriends, distracting myself and trying to move on, I got a text from him. He asked me to come to his party so that we could talk. My head was telling me no and to stay with my friends but every bone in my body wanted to see him. For some reason I felt that I needed to see the guy that refused to commit to me because he wanted to live out his college years kissing as many girls as possible. I used to think that me being at his parties would stop him from doing that. I learned quickly that was not the case. In reality, there was nothing appealing about him; but I convinced myself that there was. His looks and his fun energy is what I was attracted to and that caused me to ignore every red flag that was waving directly in front of my face.Despite all the pain and suffering he put me through, I still craved his presence and his touch. 

So, I had to convince my friend to come with me to his party. I promised her I was only going to talk to him and leave. It took me a while to get her to come with me because she didn’t agree with my decision to see him; but I explained that it will make me happy. She reluctantly agreed and came with me. I hated the fact that I had to convince my friends to even see him but at the time, all I could think about was seeing him.  I promised her I was only going to talk to him and leave. Well, of course that was not what happened. I went home with him that night. When my friends found out that I had spent the night with him, they were so angry with me. They of course reminded me of how poorly he treats me and made sure I knew what I was getting myself back into. Again, I knew it was wrong but I was doing what made me happy. He promised me that our time apart made him realize how much he cared about me and that night it felt like I was finally getting what I wanted. We went and got food (only our second date technically) and it felt like we were floating on clouds.

That very next weekend, he took a Xanax, blacked out, and made out with multiple girls in front of my face. Again. It felt like someone had taken a knife and stabbed me directly through my heart. I was tired, upset, heartbroken, but I was angry more than anything. Even though he still hadn’t officially committed to me, for some reason I thought this time would be different; he made me believe it would be by his smooth manipulative words. It was certainly not. 

It’s weird because as it was happening, I knew that being with him wasn’t right. I would even sometimes sneak around and lie to my friends about where I was, when I was with him. If he would stay the night at my house, I would make sure to wake up early to drive him home just so my roommates wouldn’t know. I knew it was wrong. So why did I keep doing it? Why would I keep going right back to him even when I knew how wrong it was? Everything he did and said should have made me turn away; but he always convinced me that I was in the wrong. I was so blinded by the lust that I convinced myself I loved him. I had never been with someone that made me feel so comfortable. I always felt like I could be myself around him because he accepted everything about me. He accepted the fact that I enjoyed dancing for more than just pleasure. He understood why I almost chose dance as a career. But he also helped me to stay on the path I chose. I let the way he made me feel, the lust, affection and attention he gave me blind my morals. To me it was more than just sex. I made decisions that I would not have made if I would have just realized he was treating me like a doll. He enjoyed his time with me but I realized we mostly hung out at night. And we mostly hung out in his room. I would not have hooked up with those other guys if he would have just committed to me. I would not have hooked up with those other guys if he didn’t make me feel revengeful.

Sometimes every bone in your body will tell that you want something you shouldn’t. Don’t ever let that control your decisions. I regret the amount of times I let him take advantage of me. I regret the amount of times I would defend his actions to my friends. If you ever find yourself making decisions about your life based on someone else – especially when that someone else clearly doesn’t think the same as you do – then take a second and rethink your actions. Rethink who you’re spending your time with. And rethink why you are doing the things you are doing. Look at your situation from a third person point of view. If what was happening to you happened to your friend, what advice would you give them? Would you tell them to stay? Or to run? If it doesn’t feel right, then make a change. It took me making the same mistakes multiple times to learn to give up. Don’t let a toxic situation last that long. 

Listen to the truths, not the lies.

 


By Hannah Sternberg

Hannah is a rising Senior at James Madison University majoring in the School of Media Arts and Design with a concentration of Broadcast Journalism. She works for her schools weekly newscast called Breeze TV as a reporter in training and this year will become a full time reporter. Her dream is to become a reporter but she also enjoys the entertainment production industry. One of her favorite things to do to relieve stress is dancing. 

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