A friend recently asked me if I felt like a victim because my exboyfriend had left me so many years ago.
Answer of my 26-year-old-self:
Hell, yes! He left me via text message after ten years of our relationship, on my birthday. Who would not feel like a victim after being treated in such an inconsiderate way? What could I have done?
I don’t think so. I could have looked more closely at our relationship, at the facts. I could have been honest to myself and noted that I had not been happy in a while. I could have made the effort to actually ask myself what made me happy. The answer would have been: staying with him does not.
However, the woman I was then chose not to look closely. She was not honest with herself and she did not ask herself the right questions. So she stayed, and kept the status quo.
This conversation kind of stuck with me…
Looking back, I still do not feel like I was a victim of him, hurt as though I was,- if anything, I was a victim of my own beliefs. I believed you could find your true love at 16 and stay together forever, and I believed he was that true love. So I kind of looked at him through that lense… Can you blame yourself for what you believed in when you were younger?
Sure, you can. I could, and did. For months I wondered what I had missed, when I should have known we were done, why he did what he did…
And then I realised it is not the point. What I had actually missed is being myself in a relationship. And I could finally breathe again. What I should have known is it was ok to be alone if that meant being yourself and happy. There was nothing to be scared of. What I should have done is thank him for what he did – for setting me free.