When I was 16, I lived with my parents, and despite the fight I put up, I didn’t control much of my life. I wasn’t in charge of the makeup I owned, the clothing I wore, the people I was friends with, or what I said to people, as is the trouble of being the daughter of a narcissistic mother. I realized that I could control how I wore my makeup, and I babysat to earn the money to buy my clothing. I managed to keep the extend of my friendships hidden from my mother.

There was one boy, with whom I found myself completely in love; let’s call him “JP”. When JP and I first met, I was head over heels. He was the first person who saw me through the face my mother made me wear. He loved far to easily, I thought, but that was fine with me, as I did as well. We were together for roughly 4 months before I broke things off. I needed space to figure out my options, as my parents were moving, and I saw their move as my escape. I left home, and made my way from there. A bit over a year later, he and I got back together, and from there we were together for nearly three years.

Now, I warn you, this story doesn’t have much of a happy ending, if you’re looking for one in the style of a fairytale, but I’m happy now, so I’d call that something…

During our three years, I noticed little things, and they slowly built up until I broke. I was told to change myself, even by his parents, yet I was met with an unwillingness to change on their part. I fought a war I was never going to win. Emotional manipulation was also present, and I was unaware of it for a long time. Now, I’m not completely innocent, as my eagerness to please people is a fault of my own, though I feel it was definitely taken advantage of. I thought I loved him.

I’m telling you this, because I want you to know, you matter more than he does. Love yourself, and never put their emotional wellbeing before your own.

A week after I broke it off, I found myself back to normal. I recognized myself again. Now, as myself, I have found someone. We click. I’m happy.

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