This was me last August.
Only a few weeks prior the man I loved discarded me for a 19 year old stripper he had been grooming for the past several months.
I have nothing against strippers or being 19 but being left for a girl half my age (I’d also like to note she was half his age as well) and a stripper no less was soul crushing.
I had known he had been cheating on me but I’m not a quitter and I loved him, his 2 children and his family so much.
I wasn’t ready to give that all up.
He refused to stop cheating and told me I just had to learn to deal with it.
I internalized my pain and blamed myself for his behavior.
I remember thinking that if I was enough he wouldn’t need to cheat on me.
If I was younger and more attractive he would want me.
I couldn’t change my age or my appearance so I just kept doing everything I could think of to gain his love and approval.
No matter what I did for him it was never enough.
I was emotional and mentally depleted.
I had nothing left to give him.
During that time I had been focusing the majority of my energy on him that I spent little time taking care of myself.
I had almost completely stopped eating with the exception of a hard boiled egg in the morning and a granola bar here or there throughout the day.
I remember one evening he was getting dinner together for his kids.
He made venison brats which I’m not a fan of.
I told him no thanks I don’t like venison.
He replied by saying they aren’t venison have a bite, again I said no thank you.
After his kids finish their meal he praised them on being his little venison eaters.
I called him out on it and said he lied to me.
His response was well I want you to eat.
I immediately responded in my head…if you wanted me to eat you would stop cheating on me and causing me pain.
That’s when I knew he really didn’t care that he was hurting me and that our relationship was never going to work.
I was down to 97 lbs and had all I could do to get through each day but it wasn’t over yet.
The grand finale occurred on July 8th 2018.
We were 2 days from leaving for a vacation to Cancun that we had planned back in February (before I knew he was cheating).
We were sitting on the couch while the kids napped and he calmly told me he was done with me.
He couldn’t stand how much his cheating bothered me.
He explained there is no such thing as cheating it’s just free love.
I was in complete and utter shock.
I couldn’t believe the words coming from his mouth and how easy and unapologetic he was in saying them.
I was heart broken.
As my one year anniversary approaches I cringe looking back at my former self.
How could I have been so stupid to love someone who hurt me in such a deep and personal way.
Since then I’ve been in therapy, seen a dietician, went on my own vacation to Cancun and built a strong support system of friends and family.
I’m proud to say this is me today.
Sometimes losing yourself is the best way to find out what you’re really made of.
If you are going through a similar situation please know you are enough.
You always have been and you always will be.