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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Sep 9

You Are Worth It

Posted By iamincontrol | September 9, 2014

you are worth it
By E

My name is E, and I am a college sophomore. I decided to write a blog post after I was given the opportunity to if I felt encouraged. I thought about it for a while, convinced I wouldn’t have time or would forget, and then decided to share my story. I am not sure if my story will relate to those reading it, but if it does, I hope you feel encouraged or in some way reassured that you are not alone, there are others going through life with you, and there is always a light waiting for you at the end of whatever tunnel you are going through. I am unsure, as I begin to write, whether I am writing for solely the audience of these blogs or partly for myself. I think writing your feelings and expressing the hurts allows you to finally close chapters. So as I write this, I write for myself and I write for you: I hope in some way this can help you, a friend, or maybe myself.

I have always loved people. Pleasing people, making them smile, laugh, or just making them happy. I always had many friends. I was the “goofy friend”; I liked to eat, I liked to laugh. I was never the most popular, most pretty, or most athletic- but I loved the positive attention I got from being funny and happy. Growing up I was heavier. Never to the point where I needed to be on a diet, but “healthy,” as my mom would call my extra weight I had over the other girls and boys in my class. I was overweight until seventh grade when all of a sudden I wasn’t happy with my body. The media became more of something I paid attention to. I noticed I didn’t look like the other girls in my class, and I definitely didn’t look like any of the females glamorized on TV or magazine covers. Within about four months I lost 35 pounds. I gained more friends. I gained more attention. I gained more attention from boys- and I loved it. The only thing I wasn’t continually gaining was weight. My friends and their parents would often comment how thin I looked, asking if I was eating. Some parents even contacted my mom to make sure I was alright. Truthfully, I was much thinner, but I finally felt healthier and I was. When I started to starve myself, limiting meals and calories and busting hundreds of calories in the weight room, that is when I became obsessed with “thinness”.

I started to appreciate my appearance, as did boys. I allowed myself into many relationships. Most of them could have cared less that I had a sense of humor, that I loved dancing, or that I had feelings, really. I became a sexual object to them. Not allowing them to go too far, but farther than I had ever imagined for me. The happy, silly girl became the drastically thin, used, unhappy girl. I stayed with many boyfriends because they delivered me attention. I especially will always remember one relationship I had at the age of 13. I was in a relationship with a boy who was 17, almost 18 at the time. He gave me lots of attention, which I quickly absorbed. He would constantly offer compliments, telling me how great of a wife I could make someday. He quickly became very sexual towards me. Amidst this relationship, my father was diagnosed with stage four cancer. His health deteriorated quickly and I was often home alone or shifted from friend’s house to friend’s house while my mother traveled to appointments with him, and my brothers were never around. As I fell deeper into my relationship with this boy, I felt an urge to leave. When I told him I wanted something else from a relationship, he became verbally violent. He called me names, told me he would come and find me. He frightened me, and most importantly, I was fearful for my family and ashamed of what I had brought myself into. I lied and said I would never leave him, but I felt trapped. After a few weeks passed and I was protected from not being able to see the boy, he was put into jail for child molestation. I was able to receive a noncontact order and have never heard from him since. My father passed away at the beginning of that fall, my freshman year of high school.  Being at such a vulnerable time in my life without my dad was and still is so hard. He could not be there to counsel me in relationships and protect me in the way a father should. I promised myself I would find better; I would make a better situation for myself.

As I had promised myself I would never return to such a demeaning, deteriorating relationship I was wooed once again my junior year of high school by a charming young man who had a background similar to mine. We bonded quickly as we both had lost our fathers, but I soon learned that my then boyfriend, who seemed very confident in himself, was not so. D used his actual lack of confidence to hurt me verbally, emotionally, and physically. He would often blame me for untrue things, call me names, push me, and make me feel worthless. The blame was always mine to bear, and yet I always came back. I always apologized and begged him to allow me back into his life. D had me so convinced I needed him that I started to pull away from everyone else, just to give him my undivided attention. After multiple fights, we separated, but it took me a very long time to get over him. When you are involved in such a relationship you often feel so trapped, deep in a well without a way out, that you feel there is no possible way you could go on. There would be no feasible way to be happy, have a positive relationship, or love who you were meant to be. You believe you are alone and there is no one on your side, no one to help, and you are worthless.

Then came the summer after I finished high school, and I met my current boyfriend, T. After everything I had gone through, I was not sure about anyone. I had accumulated trust issues, particularly with males, and did not allow myself to become close with many people. As I had typically initiated attention from boys, T approached me and went well out of his way to get a simple “Hi” returned. I had never been so appreciated nor had anyone taken the time to get to know me for who I am – my likes and dislikes, my funny stories, my terrible stories. T treats me different than anyone I have ever been with, which is why our relationship is so strong. When you find someone that can love you for the way you were always meant to be, you find someone that appreciates everything about who you are. They can appreciate your flaws, mistakes, and slip ups as much as your triumphs, successes, and greatest attributes. You owe it to yourself to be with someone who sees your most flawed self as something incredibly beautiful. You owe it to yourself to believe someone when they say “You are wonderful; you have worth.”

I know my struggles have made me a stronger person: a better daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, and woman. I recognize that my faults have pushed me to achieve my greatest victories. I recognize that I am still growing. I make mistakes. I recognize that there will be more obstacles in my future to overcome. But I am beginning to love who I am. I am beginning to love life again. I am beginning to realize there are people to help me, people who WANT to help me. There are people who love me. And there are people who love you too. You are worth it. You are stronger than whatever you face if you believe you can overcome it. I am in control. You are in control.