I Was In A Horribly Dysfunctional Relationship That Almost Ruined Me

Bad relationships happen to the best of us. I never thought I would end up where I did until I was already there. I was not in a good place in my life and my dysfunctional situation fed off of my issues. This is how it very nearly sabotaged my entire sense of who I am:

  1. I cared about him way too much. I knew that he was a bad match from the beginning, but I fell for him anyway. It was supposed to be a casual thing but he wanted more. I resisted for a while but soon enough, my physical attraction to him developed into an emotional connection. I was flattered that he wanted to be with me so badly. I ended up caring about him so much that I couldn’t let go, even when I really should have.
  2. I made myself believe he loved me. His erratic and abusive behavior screamed the opposite, but I ignored all my logic and sensibility. I blamed his emotional immaturity and depression for our issues. I know that deep down, despite it all, he cared about me. I didn’t bother to remind myself that it doesn’t matter if someone cares for you or not when they treat you like crap. That’s not real love.
  3. I made excuses for him constantly. I was secretly embarrassed to tell my friends just how bad it was, so I brushed it all off like I didn’t care. If he was too drunk to function or absent yet again at a social function, I always had an excuse for it. When he got jealous for no reason, I rationalized it. I made myself a prisoner without realizing it.
  4. I clung to our few good moments. Even when it was mostly bad, I somehow only gave weight to the happy times. I would think to myself that the emotional and mental abuse wasn’t all that awful because I knew better — it was his insecurity escaping and landing on me. I knew it wasn’t personal. We had great moments, even entirely happy days. I tried to make that enough.
  5. I lost my sense of self. In worrying about him and trying to anticipate his mood swings, I stopped thinking about myself and what I needed. It was all about him and our relationship. I did not take care of myself in any way. It was a very dark time in my life. I thought I was in love, but at what cost? My well-being and my happiness were too much to sacrifice for a man who didn’t treat me well.
  6. I gave him all my energy. My entire schedule revolved around him. I knew when we could see each other and adjusted the rest of my life accordingly. There was so much drama surrounding our relationship that I was exhausted without even realizing why. He broke up with me every few weeks and I would fight tooth and nail to get him back every single time. I should’ve just let him go.
  7. I compromised my strength. I’m generally a strong and independent person, but I became a shell of myself. I was afraid to do anything that might upset him or spark a fight. I could barely speak to other men for fear that he would get unreasonably jealous. I put up with him drinking and treating me like crap because I knew he was depressed. I should’ve stood up to him instead.
  8. I bought into the drama. Instead of having some respect for myself and walking away, I let the chaos consume me. I stayed out too late, I drank too much, and I ignored my own life goals just to spend time with him. If I tried to set boundaries, he would get upset or push me away. Then, of course, I freaked out and tried to pull him in again. He said horrible stuff to me when he was drunk and I ignored it because I knew he wouldn’t remember in the morning.
  9. I blamed myself all the time. It was easier to make it my fault than to admit what was actually happening. I wasn’t strong enough, I wasn’t patient enough, I wasn’t understanding enough — the list went on and on. I became so delusional that I believed he was the only man who would ever love me the way that I am, with all my flaws and imperfections.
  10. I made everything about him. It didn’t matter what I wanted or needed. It was just about being with him and hopefully making it through without conflict. More often than not, that wasn’t possible. He would abandon me at a bar and we would fight in the street until I convinced him to calm down and go home with me. It was dysfunctional as all hell, but I had decided that I needed him. It was a huge mistake and I learned my lesson. Never again!
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.