And… the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the other winner of the writing contest: Tessa Schneider with “A Different Kind of Heartbreak!”
This piece is hauntingly beautiful and felt all too real while I was reading it. I love examining the connections between people and things that are seemingly ordinary. Tessa is able to write this experience in a way that can connect anyone and everyone.
Congratulations, Tessa, and get ready for a prize coming your way!
Enjoy her piece below.
a different kind of heartbreak
We always read posts & essays & blogs about girls getting their hearts broken. The boy they loved tore their heart out, and they are empty. But I would like to bring attention to another story. The story of the girl who had to break up with her boyfriend. Of the girl who had to break her own heart. Being in a relationship with another is much more than just loving them. Love doesn't make relationships strong, it only makes them worth the pain. But there can come a point when the pain you are experiencing and piling onto your significant other becomes too much.
Since kindergarten, I've been categorized as a leader. "She's so independent," my teachers would tell my mom at parent-teacher conferences. My friends would describe me as confident- all about self love and not afraid to speak my mind.
I get lost trying to describe myself.
I can't help but feel that the person people perceive me to be is not who I truly am, yet I myself have no idea who I truly am.
I have not been single for more than 3 months since May of 5th grade. I am currently about to enter 12th grade. That is 6 years of boyfriends. Six years of having someone next to me, boosting my self-esteem, making me feel pretty & smart & worth something. The problem with becoming a teenager during those years is that I built my happiness upon those relationships. I built my confidence with the constant compliment base and an attention roof.
The consequences of this didn't appear until high school, until I started dating him.
THE sweetest, most polite, kind, down to earth, and caring person I have ever known. His one downfall is that he is always late... We were best friends in 8th grade and on into high school. During all that time, he had also had a crush on me. I battled with my feelings, not sure if we should be together. I did not want to risk losing our pun-and-laughter-filled friendship. It was not until January of freshman year that I realized we should be together. Leaving school one night after our respective basketball practices, I asked, "hey, do you wanna like date?" He responded with a "what?" And then a "um YEAH." Our interaction was wrapped up with a thumbs up from 50 feet apart.
Since that moment we have spent a lot of time together. Luckily, we have done a great job managing our love life with our other relationships- we did not spend an unhealthy amount of time together. We loved (and still love) each other. We became attached. I leaned on him. I leaned on him to make me happy. Feeling loved makes me happy. Being in love makes me happy. And I did not have any problems with that until recently. My mood has always gone slightly up and down. October of 2016 I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. With anxiety, comes depressive symptoms as well, and I found it harder and harder to be happy. With this, I found every time I struggled, as did our relationship. I would sit with him, hearing him tell me how special I was to him, about how much he loved me, and somehow I would still feel empty. I would suffer an anxiety attack on his shoulder, frozen, unable to speak. He would rub my back and kiss me on the forehead, and I would still not feel loved.
Every once in a while, I would reach out to him, to let him know how I was feeling, but I always found myself questioning what I was complaining about. The problem was not that he was doing the wrong thing- because I don't even know what the right thing to do for a girlfriend with is anxiety is, how the fuck would he? He loved me, shouldn't that be enough?
When I was on an "up", when I was good, our relationship was unbelievable. The moments of true happiness I have experienced with that boy are ones I can't imagine will be matched again in this lifetime.
But what about the inevitable "downs"? What about the shaking crying in bed, texting him, telling him he doesn't love me, he doesn't know how to deal with my mental health? Ignoring him because my mouth is frozen? Making him feel inadequate? Letting myself feel fucked up and worthless?
Maybe there are better people out there for us, people we know truly love us & make us even happier than we have been. If there are, then our breakup was for the best. If there are not, I truly believe life will bring us back together. Things that are meant to happen, do.
For now, however, the goal is NOT to find someone else to love me, but rather (however cliche it sounds) to learn to love myself. I need to learn to independently make myself happy and confident before I can be with someone else.
The challenge that lies ahead is one of the hardest I have ever had to face. As I write this, I have never felt more alone. The one person I felt held me in highest regard is no longer mine. The person I would normally rely on to cheer me up and make me feel whole again is gone. I know I know I can still reach out to him, but it is not the same. I just ended our relationship, I am not going to go complain to him about how unhappy I am and expect him to comfort me. I will learn to make myself whole.
I will learn to make myself whole.
Comment on my Instagram or let me know in the contact section if I should host another one of these contests! I loved doing this and reading all of the submissions. Thank you to everyone who participated!