Aalijah Trenshau
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"For You"

My Journey of Love and Self-Love

"Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself." —Unknown

Growing up in such a strict family who forbid me to talk to boys made me only want to talk to them even more. My dad always told me not to even breathe in the same air as them. As I grew older, I completely disobeyed him. Throughout high school I was always focused on cute guys and what they thought of me. I would text them day and night, and that was the only thing I ever worried about. Schoolwork never crossed my mind. I was always so caught up in my own fantasy that I never knew my surroundings and where I'd end up. It all started when I was head over heels for this guy who was a bit younger than I was. I didn't care about his age, all I cared about was having someone who could keep me going. The one thing I also didn't notice is that I was fangirl-ing over a guy who knew nothing of my existence. I knew I had to do everything in my way to see him and I didn't feel guilty for it at all. I moved schools and made sure I had the opportunity to at least see him once a day. Finally, school started and I couldn't wait to see him. I found out that we were in the same class and I knew God was bringing me closer to him for a reason.

I never had experience with guys before so I didn't know what to say. I was also very shy, so every class I sat there and stared at him thinking that he would get the message and make the first move. I noticed from time to time that he looked back at me and I began to think that he actually liked me back. In class while the teacher was giving lectures, I would daydream and make scenarios in my head about us. Together. Forever. I had the best imaginary relationship with him ever. It was so great that I told my friends about him.

It turned out that the one friend that I trusted ended up being the one I should've watched out for. She ended up telling him horrible things about me, which didn't end well. One day at school he saw me in the hallway and called me out. He called me a number of names, but the ones I remembered were "fat, ugly, bitch, and a hippo" and he said he was going to smack me. I was in so much shock that I couldn't even cry about it. The worst part was that this guy was so popular and everyone at school knew about it. I didn't know that she was the one behind it until I saw her hanging around him and laughing at me with him.

From that moment on I was so insecure about myself. I felt so fat and ugly, and thought no one ever wanted me. I eventually got over it and moved onto another guy. This time it was more online-based and we only talked on Snapchat. He lived half an hour away from me and we had mutual friends, which was a bit of an advantage so I knew I was talking to someone legitimate. We would talk everyday until he asked for nudes. I never sent nudes before so I was very hesitant. He told me all the things I wanted to hear like, "I'm going to be with you forever" to sweet talk me into doing it, but I knew it just wasn't right. I wanted to say no, but I couldn't. The simplest and shortest word ever, yet it couldn't come out of my mouth so I told my friend about it and she took my phone and replied to him saying no. I felt so much relief when she sent it until I received a message from him calling me ugly and stupid for not sending them to him. I was so upset. I'd been called ugly so many times that I started to believe it. I became weak and vulnerable to the point where he was controlling my actions. Every time he asked me to do something and I said no, he would call me names and tell me to "go eat a dick," and that he has a girlfriend. I later got tired of his bullshit and told him that I was done with being treated like his puppet. He called me to apologize and said he was joking and that I was his girlfriend. My dumbass fell for that shit and continued to allow him into my life. He never changed and it went on into a cycle to the point where I had enough and finally blocked him.

He was a waste of time and energy, and because the two of them, I failed three courses that semester.

I moved onto another guy who was actually decent compared to the others. The only problem was that I was so into him not knowing how he felt. I was messaging him first everyday and it got me frustrated that I was the one always initiating conversations. I finally asked him how he felt about me and he told me he wanted to be friends. At first, I was totally okay with it until I became bored and obsessed. I didn't know at the time how to approach someone I liked in the right way where I would be respectful and receive respect at the same time. I would bother him everyday just to feel like I at least got the chance to talk to him. It got so out of hand to the point that I was causing a fit for no reason at all just to get attention.

I realized that I wasn't successful with it, so I decided that I needed to get his attention somehow. I had a guy friend who was into music and wanted to do a music video for a cover. He asked me to be in his music video and that was my opportunity to show him that I was "hot stuff." The music video came out and more people viewed it than I expected. People tagged their friends and shared it all over social media, and I thought it was a good thing until I found out why they did all that. Someone told me that everyone was laughing at me and calling me his "video hoe." I felt so embarrassed. I asked him to take it down, but he wouldn't. My crush saw the video and it changed his perspective on me. From then on, school went horrible and I was known as a hoe and everyone made rumours that I slept with my friend who I made the video with. It wasn't true.

My dad somehow found the video and that's when everything changed. My dad went to school and talked to the principal. The principal forced him to take it down and that's what he did. At that point, I just wished that it was deleted from everybody's brain, too. My reputation was ruined. I thought my life was over and I had suicidal thoughts. My dad was ready to move me from that school, but I didn't want to go because it meant that I wasn't going to see my crush anymore.

Time went by and I remembered how my crush smokes weed. I thought it was better that I should do things to please him, so I found another guy friend who hooked me up with some. He was way older than me, but I didn't care. I kept smoking weed and posting it so he would see. It was worthless because it never changed anything. He still wouldn't talk to me. I put myself in a situation I didn't want to be in the first place. I thought we were friends, but I guess he didn't feel the same either. Everything went well and I was high as fuck until he started hugging me. He ended up taking my first kiss. It was so gross, I wanted to throw up. This guy was in his 20s and I was only 16. I wanted my first kiss to be with someone who I actually liked. I ended up having a bad trip and called 911 and my parents found out. That was the worst time of my entire life. My parents knew that I'd changed since I moved to this school so they moved me one more time. I was so upset about it, but little did I know it was all I needed. Going to this school ruined me. Because of my trip, I had so many panic attacks that it became a part of me. For two months straight, I was having three episodes of panic attacks a day. The relationship between me and my parents broke into pieces. I also had a short relationship that didn't work out because he wanted it on the down low.

Moving to my last school, it went better and I was able to pick myself back up. I stayed away from guys and focused on myself. I still had issues with anxiety, but I found strategies on how to deal with it.

Although I was at a different school, the friends I had at the other school turned their backs on me because me and this one girl had beef. I thought they didn't care about it, but they did. They asked me to hang and I was down. Little did I know it was a trap and they lured me down to get in a fight with someone. The worst part was that they were the ones filming and posting it. Thats when I knew I couldn't be friends with just anyone.

Time went by and I did what everyone thought I would never do: Graduate high school.

Once I finished high school, anxiety came back again to haunt me. I felt free, but lost. I was so happy to be done with school, but at the same time, I didn't know what was next for me. I didn't know what I wanted to do in the future. I decided to take a break from everything and started working full-time in the fall until I knew what I wanted to do.

I also glowed up, worked out, and lost a lot of weight. People complimented me for it and I noticed a lot of guys liking me.

Along the lines, I met another guy. This time I was more careful not to appear obsessed so I don't ruin anything between us. I learned my lesson from the past. He knew me for a long time and I knew this guy was the one. We connected so perfectly, until he asked for nudes... seriously? Out of everything I have to offer? I felt bad and didn't want to lose him so I ended up doing it anyway. I didn't want to, but I knew I had to do everything in my way to keep him.

Things didn't really workout so I decided to talk to his ex-friend. He ended up wanting to date me. I was totally down for it. Just to get back at the guy I liked before. It ended up backfiring at me because I ended up catching real feelings for him, while his feelings for me were starting to die down. He stopped putting in the effort for me, and I was starting to feel lonely. We knew it wasn't working out so we broke up. My heart was actually broken until I realized how ugly he was.

I later went back to the other guy. We talked shit about my ex because we both hated him. It went from talking shit about him to an affair, but we didn't like each other. I mean he didn't like me... but I kinda liked him again. I thought this shit was real because he "came back to me," so I said fuck it, I met up with him, and things got freaky. I ended up doing something I thought I'd never do. I gave him head. It was the first time that I had ever done anything like that and I felt so guilty. I still regret it to this day.

After that, he hadn't talked to me since, but we're still cool and I wish him the best. Just as long as he is nowhere near me cause of how embarrassed I felt about what happened.

Remember the guy that I was smoking weed and in a music video for? He came back into my life, too. He saw how good I was doing and wanted to be a part of my life again after calling me "creepy and annoying."

I started volunteering for a crisis line in April to help me get into a program, and it helped me cope better when I was helping others who go through the same things.

I had a break from guys, but that doesn't mean that I still didn't have feelings for him. Seven months later (in July) when I was turning 19, family came to my town for a wedding and it helped me to forget about him. It was the perfect excuse. Once that was over, I was depressed again and started thinking about him again. Replaying what happened, the last time I saw him. I was always the type to get over someone by rebounds. So that's how I got over him, by a rebound. I didn't go looking out for this rebound. This rebound found me. He sent me a message one day and told me how pretty I was and that he wanted to marry me. Guess what my dumbass did AGAIN... FALL FOR THAT SHIT! He asked to hangout, saying that he was going to pick me up from home. I was so down for it, but then he said he wasn't able to because his parents took the car he was going to use. I was desperate to find someone who could get the previous guy out of my mind. So I offered to pick him up from his house before I went to dinner with my friend. We made out and he made me do what I promised myself I would never do again: Give him some damn head. I said no at first. Yay, I said no... but then comes all the emotionally blackmailing me. The "No, baby, I will always love you and I'm gonna make you my girl... just give me head... pleeeaaasee." My stupid ass, AGAIN, gave head. But this time, I stopped myself. I thought to myself hell no... what the fuck am I doing? I just broke the promise I made to myself eight months ago. So I stopped giving him head and dropped him off at home. On the way to dinner with my friends, I stopped by at a sport check to gargle water and try to spit out whatever he left in my mouth. I stared in the mirror and CRIED my eyes out. I knew it was time for change and that this was going to be the last time I ever gave head. I came home one day only to find out that he knew my brother and told him everything. My brother then told my mom who told my sister. I successfully denied it, but now I know better.

Going through that, my dumbass needed another rebound. I created Tinder and found someone else. This guy was way more mature than the rest. He was in Uni, he's older than I am, and he actually has a car! He took me on a date and I didn't have to pay like I did for all those other guys.

Things didn't go very well with him in the end, but it was okay because he told me the truth about how he felt. Even the guys who we think are so perfect for us, and we think are sooo mature, are still not going to end up being the one. And that's okay.

After him, I went searching again. I know, you're probably thinking, "When is this girl going to get to the point?" This was where everything changed for me.

At this point, I was already in the middle of upgrading, so I was not worried about guys as much. I just wanted someone to be there on the side. I went on Tinder again only to find my coworker. Things got a little kinky and my stupid ass caught feelings... yes, AGAIN. I was now finally looking forward to work because he was there. Things happened and we drifted apart. He unfriended me on Snapchat. We haven't talked since then. Every time we'd see each other, we acted like strangers. I was pretty upset about it, but later I didn't care. He stopped showing up to work for a while and I forgot about my feelings for him. This one was a complete success because not only had I gotten over him, but I did it without a rebound!

For months and months, I have now finally become free and let go of having feelings for guys. I realized why my parents never wanted me to talk to guys. I wished I understood why so I wouldn't have had to go through those experiences.

If it weren't for what I went through, I wouldn't have learned to this day that I really didn't need any of these guys. I started my journey on self-care. I finally was able to say '"For You" every time I did something. I was always one to do favours for others or go out of my way for them without thinking about myself.

Taking care of yourself is far beyond taking yourself on dates or buying gifts for yourself. It's about drawing the line with what you are comfortable with. I learned that I don't need these boys who are using me in order to make myself less "bored," and actually do things that are beneficial for me. Self-love is saying "no" to a guy who's asking you for nudes when you know deep down that you don't want to. Self-love is understanding that not everyone is going to like you the way you like them. Self-love is learning that people can insult you as much as they want, but if YOU know it's not true, then it doesn't matter. Self-love is understanding that I don't need to change myself or my beliefs for a guy.

I hope whoever is reading this can benefit and learn from my mistakes.

Thank you. <3

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