Relationships are complicated. Having a mental illness, any mental illness makes relationships more complicated. My first marriage was wrought with problems. It was the definition of a toxic relationship. I was too young to know myself, really excited that someone wanted to be with me, really excited that someone wanted to objectify me, and too stupid to know the difference. On top of all that I was dealing with my mental illness by leaving my awesome therapist, moving three hours away, and trying to use St.Johns wort to battle my OCD. Apparently he had read somewhere that St. Johns wort could cure me. And worse yet I believed him. I am highly surprised that I did not have some kind of overdose after taking thirty tablets a day. I lost weight like he wanted, grew my hair out like he wanted, and dressed like he wanted. Unbeknownst to me he was slowly stripping away my ability to say no. I lost little bits of my self a piece at a time until I was someone I no longer recognized. I was a puppet and he the almighty puppet master. I had ceased to be me and became some sort of a stepford wife. He manipulated everything I said and did and then managed to make me feel guilty about it. Worse yet, my OCD kicked in. I was convinced I was not good or pretty enough to keep him. Real or imagined I accused him of cheating on me. How could anyone love me? I was damaged, ugly, stupid, and codependent. I could no longer stand up for myself. Which makes total sense because there was no longer any self to stand up for. Since there was no real me left he fell out of love with me. I was thrown away like a piece of garbage. Not only was I devastated, I had to take stock in what was left of my broken life. No friends, family too far away, no money or home, and most of all no idea who I was supposed to be now. I was hollow inside. I believed as a lot of mentally ill people do, that I was unlovable, undesirable, and worthless. Loving me was too hard for anyone. I was too damaged. Who would want someone like this, like me? I needed change. I moved out of state,got a new therapist, cloaked myself with the love of my family, and flushed the St. Johns wort down the toilet.
It took over a year to get reacquainted with who Nelly was. What I liked, what I desired. I had to learn to love myself or at the very least learn to accept myself. I had to relearn my worth. I needed to understand that I am not unlovable,ugly,or stupid. That I actually have opinions. Strong opinions and it is ok to voice them. I can say no anytime I don't like something., because I am a person. Every person has the right to feel, to trust in themselves, and to believe in their own personal worth. No one should ever strip you of these rights and you should never willingly let them. I met and am now happily married to a wonderful man. I am a testament to the fact you can find real love. You can be loved and accept that love, but you have to love yourself first. You have to accept yourself and all of your faults. Wear them like a badge of honor. They are your battle scars. Testaments of the wars you have gone through in life. Things that have changed you into the person you are now. They remind you that you are strong, you are worthy, and you are beautiful in your own skin. We are all walking wounded trying to go on with our lives. We are all damaged in some form.No one is perfect. No one is worthless, and no one is unlovable.