taylor swift inspired me

10 Nov

dear all,

over the past two (wonderful) weeks, i have been listening to the new taylor swift album, 1989, on repeat (for once i’ve celebrated in my commute!); and listening to her words of empowerment and heartache and moving on have inspired me to write a list of a few things i’ve learned in past relationships. not always have i been on relationship cloud-nine, and i’d like to share some experiences so those girls and guys trapped in toxic, sad relationships can see it for what it is, and leave (and then listen to 1989 on repeat, belting the lyrics).

so now we will use the years of 2004-2011 to teach us:

1. say no to jealousy

jealousy is toxic and sad and can become simply terrifying. i think that everyone dabbles with it at times, but through maturity, trust, and communication can glide past it. but with some people this just isn’t a choice. i was in one relationship which i should have known was doomed from the first few months. i remember our first halloween together i borrowed a cowboy hat from a friend and wore a plaid dress (since he was a self-proclaimed cowboy) to gain more of his admiration. unfortunately, instead of meeting me after dinner to see my costume, he had gone to the bar and didn’t see me until after he was drunk (we will cover this trait in a moment). and when he came to visit me, he became so upset that i borrowed a hat from a boy, that when i watched him walk away from my room, he threw the glass pitcher he had won at the bar on the ground, shattering it, and stormed away. this happened in month three of the twenty months we were together. and of course, it only got worse. in a school where i was frequently the only girl in my classes, he would grow into a rage when i would announce i had a new project group… where there were no other girls. if i didn’t respond back to a text immediately, the world would end. i remember the first christmas during the time we were dating, i was out playing in the snow (yes, i am a child) with my brother for hours, and of course didn’t have my phone on me. when i came back to my phone, i had some serious damage control to do. but y’all get the drift. before i knew it, i was being told to unfriend/block people (guys) on facebook. AND THEN, just about a year in, he cheats on me while in israel. i had become so conditioned to thinking everything was my fault that instead of leaving him like i should have, i gave him another chance (i honestly didn’t think i had a choice). the kicker? scarcely a month later, he seized my phone and saw i was texting a boy that was a friend and made me feel like the worst person in the world. the jealousy got to the point where he would hit the bed/sofa on either side of me when he was mad at me for some reason or another. i know that if he hadn’t ended things, those fists would have eventually ended up on me. i was lucky he broke up with me, because i had been conditioned to believe that i was in the wrong and i deserved the way i was being treated. NEWS FLASH: if you aren’t being treated with respect, you need to get out and get out immediately.

2. say no to substance abuse

as i alluded to above, said jealous bf was at that time in his life very familiar with alcohol. i hope that he’s changed, because his love affair with alcohol truly hurt me and left a lasting emotional impact. it’s awful to feel someone falling further and further away from you as they swallow more and more alcohol. in hindsight, i have come to believe his drinking increased during the course of our relationship because he wanted to forget that he was dating me. in fact, when he finally broke up with me, he did so very drunk and said some things i’d rather not repeat on the internet. he would become mean and uncaring and frankly embarrassing when in public and behind closed doors. i remember on the eve of my 21st birthday, when i was finally able to drink with him in the light of day, i had arranged a very special night in a fancy new york city hotel (which i paid completely for – also, no surprise there). while i sipped a chocolate martini (happy birthday, me!), he was drowning himself right beside me – and instead of talking with me, he was making conversation with some stranger at the bar. eventually we retired to the room, and instead of fun and champagne like i had planned, he immediately passed out. i went, sat in the shower, and cried for hours. i kept hoping he would come and comfort me like in the movies. but that didn’t happen. that never happened. every time i cried, because his drunken self would pass out and leave me all alone in some hotel room i had paid for, he would tell me i needed to grow up. i kept thinking he would grow out of it, since i knew he was miserable at school, but i’m glad i didn’t stick around to find out.

3. say no to old flames

the first boy that i kissed, i was immediately convinced i would be with him forever, even though two months later, i moved away to the netherlands. our 16 year old selves weren’t able to keep a long distance relationship going for very long, which is totally understandable, but its fall out was painful. we didn’t speak for many years until after the above alluded to relationship ended. and we came into each other’s lives with a bright burst of excitement. was it meant to be? was this it? well it turns out, as he had been dishonest to me before, he was dishonest to me again. and it took his actual girlfriend to break the news to me that he was double crossing, and had been with her the whole time. face palm.

4. say no to control

you are a free man or woman. you are not owned by any person. i suppose this sort of ties in with jealousy, but i’m still not sure. all i know, is i’ve never felt smaller than when i was told to “put on a longer dress” or told i shouldn’t wear such a revealing bikini. was i trying to get the attention of others through my clothes? awful. get out of that relationship.

i’m not proud of how i let myself be treated in the past, but i hope that no one else lingers in relationships where they aren’t able to be their unfettered self or aren’t full of joy and love. i swear there is more out there than just existing in a relationship where you aren’t happy or aren’t being respected. t swift knows all about that! just look at her!

shakeitofftaylor1

anyway, all of the things i’ve described are far away in my past and i have come to terms with them. i’m in a very happy and healthy relationship now, and a lot of that i attribute to knowing what “right” looks like in a relationship.

so break up with that jerk, you deserve it!

xoxo,
annie

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3 Responses to “taylor swift inspired me”

  1. Kimberly Cale November 11, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    Thankful to TS for the inspiration and so excited for “tomorrow” for sure! I love you! <3

  2. Kelley January 6, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    Love these sentiments. So proud of this wisdom and your candor and bravery in sharing it! ….but no, I’m still not a T-swift convert. ;)

    • Anastasia Kristina January 6, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

      kelley thanks :) you’re so sweet, and it’s ok – you don’t have to convert!! i love you the way you are!

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