I spent countless nights crying…replaying every situation, every conversation in my head…over and over and over again. Those nights turned into days, which turned into weeks, then months…that lead to years of me asking God, “why can’t I get over this?” Why does my first heartbreak that happened during my teenage years still play such a huge role in my twenties?
Why does it seem that every time I make steps to let go and move forward, I find myself triggered by something or someone that takes me back to that place of pain?
It just never made sense to me…until now.
My hurt comes from a deeper place than just a little high school “situation” gone wrong. For the first time, I realize that I lost more than just a guy…I lost a huge part of myself.
When I was a pre-teen in middle school, I began to battle with low self-esteem, not having the best relationship with my dad, and of course, the normal changes young people go through at that time. Since then, I have never truly been comfortable with who I am…
Coming into high school, I found what I thought was the remedy to all my problems…boys. I was this insecure, awkward little girl who thrived on the attention I received from the boys around me. I longed for male companionship because, in my mind, their approval and affection were all I needed to fill this emptiness that I felt inside.
(Now realistically, a lot of teenage girls go through this, but a lot of times, we just move on and never address the effect it has on our adult life. Some women can go through life and not think twice about it, but a lot of us can’t…)
The problematic part of my high school journey that has poured into my interactions with men now is that at such a young age, I experienced how it felt to be emotionally abused and controlled by someone who I felt was superior to me…all because I thought I loved him. I allowed myself to be constantly disrespected to the point that I began to blame myself for it.
I thought that it was normal and it would be something that I would just have to deal with in any future relationship. I even thought it was “cute” for a guy to have aggressive behavior, not knowing that this was unhealthy…even for a teenage boy. Now, I wasn’t completely naive; I knew right from wrong, and I knew that I should have avoided him altogether. I just chose to ignore the red flags so that I could keep him around. I even got to the point where I accepted being the weekend to his 9-5…
It took me awhile to realize that we meshed together so perfectly at that time because brokenness attracts brokenness. I accepted who he was and held on to the fact that he had “potential” because I thought I related to him so well. I wanted that love and attention from a guy that I felt I was missing out on. I wanted to feel beautiful and wanted by a guy because I couldn’t find any love within for myself. (I am not being hard on my younger self because I was just growing and learning…that’s life.)
I was simply a young girl looking for a guy to fill the void that only God can fill.
This hurt followed me into college. Instead of choosing to heal in a healthy way, I chose to get into other dead end “situations” that only caused this hole in my heart to get bigger and deeper. People make jokes about “looking for love in all of the wrong places,” but that’s the best way I can describe that time in my life.
It never dawned on me that I was digging myself deeper into a pit of unhealthy interactions with the opposite sex, extremely low self-esteem, poor mental health and almost no self-value. I put too much energy into masking my pain and not enough energy into actually dealing with it.
I made no time for my healing. I made no time for my needs. I made no time for ME. Mainly because I didn’t know exactly what I needed. So, I just kept seeking God as I’ve always been taught to do. He recently revealed to me (like literally last week) that I need to stop trying to heal from the surface. He is showing me that I need to start from the very beginning of it all so that I can fully heal.
When you’re on a journey to heal completely, don’t overlook that childhood or teenage heartbreak just because you were “young.” Hurt is HURT, whether you are 13 or 30.
Much like me, if you dig deep enough you will find that all of your issues may align with one another - kind of like a domino effect that you never really pay attention to until you analyze your life's circumstances.
God also reminded me that healing takes time. To be honest, it’s a process that will never stop because life will bring new pains; however, allowing God to take you on a journey of dealing with ALL of your hurt equips you to deal with future hurt in a healthier way.
I'm not sure what's next for me when it comes to love and life in general, but I am confident that I am moving in the right direction to be free from my past. God's guidance is transitioning me into a season of deliverance. I am also making more time for me; to learn, to grow, to heal.