I went through a rough path in my life where I didn’t love myself. The love I was seeking was nonexistent because I didn’t love myself first and foremost. It all started when I was in high school. I had very low self-esteem but I hid it very well. I will encourage my friends and showed them all the attention to deflect what I lacked for myself. I didn’t see this as an issue until I fell in love for the first time or so I thought.
My high school boyfriend became the love of my life, my first heart ache, first time every having a child with, and dealing with death all at once. Allow me to explain. I fell in love with him at first sight! I saw him from across the room and felt an emotion I never ever felt before so I believed it was love! He loved me ever so much. This I knew for a fact because we were inseparable. He was two grades ahead of me but after he graduated, he made it his duty to pick me up from school and take me home. Our dates was amazing and he never let me miss curfew ever! There was one problem: he was an addict! I never saw any signs or symptoms of this fact until I got pregnant.
When we found out we were expecting we were happy and excited! He even proposed to me! Our family was a bit shocked or upset but he had a great job and I was an honor student on the National Honors Society. To fast forward to my third trimester, we got into a huge fight. He was drunk and I was living with him at the time and threatened to leave him and move back home. He threatened me back by saying he will harm himself if I left. I was pretty much use to him stating that because he always did when we fought. However this time it was different. He told me the manner he was going to do it. He proceeded to pull out drug paraphernalia and for the first time I felt portrayed and hurt.
I was so angry that I tried to take them away from him when he hit me. When he hit me, I lost all level headedness and started fighting him. Yes I was pregnant and my due date was rapidly approaching but I was in danger and so was my unborn child. I had to fight to stay alive for the both of us. Fast forward again, I pressed charges and during his third week of incarceration, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. At this moment every wall I build up came crashing down because I had a precious life to love and that will always love me so I had to get it together and start changing me!
For the first year of my son’s life, I developed a new-found love for myself. I got to know me on a level that showed how courageous I was and how strong I was for going through everything I went through and lived to fight another day! I am a survivor and victorious! My ex at this time was looking at parole soon and with my new-found love myself, I learned to forgive. I forgave him but I was still mad at him. When he came out, he decided to leave the state to get his life together to be a better father to our son. Everything was going good until a month after our son’s 2nd birthday.
When our son turned two, he was around and we celebrated his 2nd birthday together as a family. (Note: while he was away in another state, he had a good job and was paying child support for our son and was an active father from a distance.) I received a call from my son’s father mom that he (my ex) was dead! She had to ID his body at the county morgue. All the love I had built up crumbled like rubble. I lost so much love for myself and for others because the only person that I ever loved and shared a child with is gone forever. I fell into such a deep depression that it took me years to get over and love again.
As you can see, I was in and out of love with myself. For years after his death, I felt like my love died with him but then looking into our son’s eyes, I knew I could not lose the love I have for myself because if I did, I would be losing my son. That was something I would never do! Somehow, someway I pulled myself together and began saying positive affirmations to myself and it has been working! Fast forward again for the very last time, I promise, it has been almost 12 years later since he died and I am still madly in love with myself more than I ever been before. I also have loved again, got engaged, and have another child, a daughter who constantly reminds me of my strengths for overcoming my obstacles throughout my life! If I can survive teen pregnancy, physical abuse, and the death of someone I love, then I can survive anything and still love me!