Why Didn’t I Leave Sooner?
When I was 18 years old I got into a relationship just before I graduated high school. I was about to go off to college, he wasn’t coming with me but we were together for almost two years after that. I thought it was love.
But, I was wrong.
He was a jealous person and it emotionally drained me.
I couldn’t talk to any other guys without looking over my shoulder and wondering “Is he mad? Does he think we are flirting? Should I stop talking to him?” This was exhausting. It made me feel like I was constantly walking on eggshells. The relationship was toxic, but I thought it was normal.
He always made me feel like I was in the wrong-that I was the reason the relationship wasn’t going the way I wanted it to. If I hadn’t done this, if I wouldn’t have done that, if I didn’t talk to that other guy, none of this would be happening.
But I was young. I thought the jealousy was a form of love. I thought “Wow, he must really care about me and love me to want me all to himself!”
Jealousy was his way of expressing his own insecurities. His insecurities took a mental and emotional toll on me. I didn’t need that and I knew it. All focus in other aspects of my life was gone. I felt obligated to constantly assure him that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. But instead of walking out, I entertained his nonsense and stuck around for way too long. Two years that I will never get back.
Two years of him going through my phone. Two years of him calling me to make sure I was home. Two years of him getting on my Facebook going through every single message with a fine-tooth comb.
All of my friends and family were telling me “You can do so much better. You don’t need this in your life. You’re better than this. You’ve changed.”
I turned my head.
I didn’t change. They’re crazy. I was going to prove them wrong.
I thought it was all just a phase and he would change. Like the seasons, I thought the cold dark Winter would soon turn into Spring and true love would blossom.
It just kept snowing, I became numb from the cold and there was no warmth to be found.
I guess I didn’t want to see him with anyone else, that’s why I stayed.
But after nearly two years, enough was enough. I was done.
I knew I couldn’t end it with him the way I wanted to. I wanted to sit him down and calmly tell him it was over, that this isn’t how we want to live and we both knew it. I wanted to wish him the best and leave on a good note. I couldn’t with him. I knew he would’ve convinced me to stay. He would’ve guilt tripped me like he always did and I would’ve burrowed my true feelings even deeper than they already were. But it was time to put my happiness first. I was done living this way.
One night, I was at his house and instead of sleeping over like I usually did, I told him I was going to go home. I was tired, it was late and I had to work in the morning. I kissed him goodbye.
That was it. It was over.
I didn’t answer his calls after that. I didn’t respond to his texts. A clean break, with so much left unsaid but at the same time, I said all I needed to say by not saying anything at all.
I couldn’t cater to his insecurities anymore. I couldn’t entertain the idea of staying with him because I didn’t want to hurt him.
Finally, I was free.
I walked away with only one burning question and it was this:
“Why didn’t I leave sooner?”