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you loved me more than I loved myself

Updated: Jan 3

“No matter how much someone else loves you or you love other people, if you don’t love yourself then it can never be enough.”

Shannon Kaiser

 

Hi friends! This last week I’ve had some experiences that have prompted the subject of this post. You always hear about how relationships are hard when one of the partners doesn’t love themselves. Like, “you need to love yourself before you can love someone else”. It really can affect the relationship when this happens. There are insecurities that lead to constant reassurances, underlying issues that lead to unnecessary fights, and one person not feeling they deserve the love the other is trying to give them. It can be a very draining and exhaustive situation on both ends and I was in one of them for almost eight years.

I’ve discussed in previous posts how sometimes our anxiety can become so great that it brings really dark days. Days where you don’t feel that things will get better, where you just want to sit in a corner and cry, or maybe have a glass of wine or two. These are also days where we may not love ourselves as much as we should. We can get pretty down on ourselves when we have anxiety, because we don’t always understand what’s happening and wonder why we can’t just control it and have a normal life. There was a time a few years back where I was at one of my lowest points and that’s when I met him. Let me share my story.

When I was about 18 years old, I met a boy who was new to my little, small town. He was cute, funny, and a little bit cocky (he would admit that himself). At the same time I met him, I was going through a lot mentally. It was about a year and a half after I started having panic attacks and was diagnosed with anxiety, so it was still relatively newer to me. I had also just found out my dad was diagnosed with cancer, so I was a bundle of different emotions. We started dating a few months after I met him and continued dating off and on for the next eight years or so. My friends and family didn’t understand why we kept going back to each other when we would break up. And honestly, we probably didn’t understand it either. Looking back, I think it had a lot to do with how he loved me.


You see, when I was growing up, I felt very out of place. I think it had a lot to do with just being a shy, nervous kid, but I always felt like I was annoying everyone around me. I had a lot of insecurities. I always compared myself to others. Basically, I just wasn’t happy with myself. It got worse when I got diagnosed with anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I had wonderful family and friends who loved me, but I just questioned everything, because I didn’t love myself.

After we met at 18 and our relationship grew, so did our love for each other. Actually, we were each other’s first loves. We just clicked. That’s really the only way I can describe it. We were totally comfortable around each other. When we spent time together, we were like two best friends. But the most important thing to me was how he made me feel so loved when we were together. The way he looked at me like I was the only girl in the world, the way he listened to me when I needed to vent, the way he held my knee while driving like it was an instinct, the way he wanted to spend time with me when he could. There were so many ways he made me feel so loved and I held on to that feeling for years. Being a girl who grew up self-conscious and then had a boy that made her feel anything but that was hard to give up. It was like a high for me, having someone treat me the way he did. The best way I could explain it is that I felt desired and I had never felt that way before. He loved me when I didn’t love myself.


Although, it was a great feeling being loved the way I was, my insecurities still lingered. I still didn’t understand why he wanted to be with me and that led to him trying to reassure me. Especially when it was related to my anxiety. I always wondered why he put up with all my quirks and issues and he would say “nothing like that would make me want to leave”. He never got upset with my insecurities, but I feel that can put a strain on a relationship. I think I realized that, although he was never upset with me needing reassurance, I was. I wanted to be the kind of girl who knew her worth and didn’t need someone to tell her. That’s the importance of learning to love yourself in a relationship. It makes the relationship a lot easier when someone explains why they love you and it’s all the same things you love about yourself. Otherwise, when they tell you those reasons, you brush them off and don’t believe them. How could that not cause tension in a relationship?


you said I was beautiful

cheeks turning red as I blushed

it was a foreign concept to me


your compliments made me uncomfortable

never wanting to believe them

I thought you just wanted me to be happy


it took me too long to realize

that those were things I wasn’t use to

because I never told them to myself


loving myself should be second nature

something I do everyday

not something you had to remind me of


I want to love myself as much as you do


Eight years later, we are no longer together and it’s probably for the best. We still have an immense care for each other, but we both know that in a relationship, we just don’t work. Our reasons for not being together are not solely due to my insecurities back then, but they were an important thing for me to look back on and understand. Over the years, I started to learn more and more about myself and tried to ‘reprocess’ things from my past to make more sense of them and our relationship was one of them. I kept wondering why we kept going back to each other and why we kept trying to make it work when we both knew we just didn’t. Ultimately, the way he loved me was a big reason I held onto him. Along with the love I did feel for him, as well. Having anxiety as bad as I did back then and having someone still love me through all of it was huge for me, even if others around me didn’t understand it. And honestly, back then I probably didn’t understand that was the reason either.


I can’t emphasize how important it is for us to love ourselves. We deserve the love that we give other people. It took me too long to realize that, and honestly, most days I am still needing to remind myself of that. Everyone is beautiful and unique in their own way and deserves to be loved, and that starts with ourselves. Thank you for continuing on this journey with me. Stay tuned, friends.


Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/s/photos/

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