I never thought the day would come when I would write about this. If you had told me even just a week ago that I would be sitting here writing this today, I would have thought you were crazy.
I’ve been in a string of toxic relationships. One when I was 15 that I talk about all the time on my show (which I will talk more about at the end), one when I was 18 and was engaged to, and the one that I’ve been on and off with for the past five years.
The one that just ended permanently on Wednesday.
I met this guy when the youth group at my former church went to Arkansas on a mission trip. There he was. He was tall, handsome, and had those deep blue eyes that you could swear see straight into your soul. Oh, that boy was hard to resist. He was totally open and honest about his past, which I loved. I told him some of my deepest, darkest secrets because I felt like I could trust him. I barely knew this guy, but before I knew it, I was telling him things I had never told anybody else.
He asked me to be his girlfriend the same day we met. I had felt myself falling for him long before he asked, so of course, I said yes. I was over the moon. Here was the guy that everybody wanted, and he had asked me, the girl that nobody paid attention to. The invisible girl. That shot my self-esteem way up.
The week ended way too soon. Every single time I had to part from him, it was depressing. I was addicted to this guy. Every part of my being told me he was the one. You can imagine how hard it was for me when I had to part from him for the last time when the week was over.
We had plans after he finished his first year of school. So many plans… He was going to move to Texas and be with me after the first year.
Well…things didn’t exactly turn out as planned.
About a month into the relationship, I was told that he was cheating on me. By his ex-girlfriend. I didn’t believe her, because he was telling me otherwise. Who did she think I was going to believe? Her or him? Of course I chose my boyfriend. He would never do that to me. Never.
The relationship ended after four and a half months. He was, in fact, cheating me. I was devastated. I was hurt. I was angry. I felt like I would never be okay again.
We stayed friends on Facebook. Why, I don’t know, but we did. There would be times when I couldn’t stand him, and there would be times when he couldn’t stand me. I would have other boyfriends, and he would have other girlfriends. Even when I couldn’t stand him, there was some part of me that told me I still loved him…and that was the part that made it so hard for me to see pictures with other girls.
This went on for a while. Then he would break up with them and come running to me. “I still love you. I still want to be with you.” There would be times when I was with a guy and told him no, but more often than not, I would be available and easily take him back. Every single time I ended up being burned. I was cheated on once again.
People would ask me, “Why do you still talk to him? Why do you still care? Why don’t you just cut off all contact with him?” It just wasn’t that simple. He was addictive. There was just something about him that I couldn’t get enough of.
Finally, in January of 2014, when we split up once again, I told myself to take a year off of dating. I made sure to stick with that commitment. I needed to focus on myself, because I had just become way too dependent on being in a relationship. He tried to get in contact with me whenever he and another girl split up throughout that year, but I made sure to stay strong. It wasn’t always easy, but I did it.
In July of 2015, we started talking again. I told him that I was tired of the games, and we can talk about dating, but we are not actually getting together until he comes and visits. It wasn’t easy to reject him like that, but I was able to. We lost contact before he came to visit, and I found out why: As it turns out, he had another girlfriend. Yet another crash and burn moment for me.
I thought at that point I was done with him. I thought for sure I would never hear from him again. Nope. Not a chance. In December of 2015, he contacted me again, and all of my feelings came flooding back. I told him the same rules apply. If he really wants to date, he is going to come to Texas and ask me to be his girlfriend, but it wasn’t allowed on the first time. We needed to go on an actual date.
He came…a time or two, but he never did ask. I was on a guest on a show shortly before I started my own, and I talked about him as, “The guy I’m talking to.” He was upset about that. “Why didn’t you say boyfriend? You should have said boyfriend. We’re practically dating.” I told him my reasons and he said he understood…even if he was disappointed. He passed it off as having a crappy week, which I totally believed, because my week hadn’t been the best, either.
We go on talking, and we joke about dating, and I would teasingly tell him that he needs to come and ask me to be his girlfriend. He kept saying he would try.
Suddenly, there would be a week or two that we go without talking. I asked him about that, and he said he was just busy with work. I bought that…for a while. He’s a truck driver. Of course he’s going to be busy.
I have this app called “Who Deleted Me?” Wednesday evening comes, and I get a notification from that app… This guy that I had been talking to again had deleted me off of Facebook.
It seems silly that this would spark something so huge, but really, it did. I looked closer at his Facebook profile picture, and it was him with this girl…and a picture of a sonogram. That’s right, his girlfriend is expecting a baby. Needless to say, I was devastated yet again.
I talked to a friend about this, but then something happened in that short conversation. I felt a surge of motivation to get him out of my life completely. I realized all of the signs that I had just passed by the last five years, and I was more than happy to block him on all social media accounts, something I had never done before.
I thought I would feel awful the next morning, but no, I felt amazing. I felt better than I had in a long time, if ever. If he wants to have a baby with someone else, so be it. He’s out of my life permanently. I tell me reflection, “I love you,” every single time I look in the mirror now, and gosh darn it, I mean it! It’s such an amazing feeling, and I love it. My self-esteem has never been higher! He’s out of my life permanently now, and this time, I know that for sure.
I’ve told a few people about my experience, and a couple of them have thought it was strange that realizing he’s going to have a kid with someone else is what pushed me to get rid of him permanently. The truth is, it wasn’t that. It was realizing all the signs and realizing that I would be so much better without him in it.
I can try to deny it, but my heart has been given to him for five long years, and I finally took it back. This is what freedom feels like, and I absolutely love it.
Am I saying that I’ll never have a bad day again? No, of course not. I’ll have bad days, bad moments, whatever you want to call it. Everybody does, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But what I do know is that I’m prepared to combat those bad moments with a high self-esteem and my head held higher than it’s ever been before.
I’m a work in progress, and I always will be one. This week just happened to shoot me further in my journey than I ever have been before.
Check out the latest episode of my show, Work In Progress with Courtney Killian! I record every Monday at 7:30PM CST. I hope to see you there!