Never Lose Yourself in Someone Else

For the longest time, I didn’t respect myself. I lied to myself and used distractions to convince myself I was okay. It has taken me a long time to admit to all this, but I am at a point in my life where I am finally comfortable with myself. I learned to love myself, and I know what I deserve. I did not deserve what the second boy put me through sophomore year, but I want to admit that I made many mistakes during that time as well. I wonder what would have happened if I chose a different path; but you cannot change the past, only the future. 

My “non-relationship” was one of the most complicated situations I have ever been in.  It was pretty similar to my situation freshman year where I caught feelings for the guy and he took advantage of that. Well, that’s exactly what this second guy did to me sophomore year. After the first night we hooked up, I was already attached. I loved the way he laughed with me, I loved the way he kissed me, I loved the way he held me, and I loved the way we slept together. At the time, I was looking for attention from a guy and a boyfriend and I believe that is why I became attached so quickly. I felt such a strong connection after the first night and the morning after that, I had already decided I wanted to see him again. So me being confident, I texted him. And I was delighted to find out that he wanted to hangout again as well. Seeing his name pop up on my phone screen gave me butterflies. He made me excited; a feeling that I hadn’t experienced with a boy in a while. From the very beginning I got ahead of myself. But there was a red flag from day one that I ignored. In the beginning, he only texted me after nights out, and I always went. In my head I felt special that he was texting me and not bringing someone else home those nights because that meant he was thinking about me. This went on for the first month of us hooking up; and then we started hanging out during the week as well. And even then I will admit, I initiated most of it. 

The more we hung-out, the more attached I became; not only to him but to his friends. Since I was going over to his house a lot, his roommates became some of my best friends. I tend to have a lot of guy friends because growing up I was so used to being around guys my age due to having a twin brother. It sorta made me feel more at home going over to their house. As time went on though, we started fighting more. This was because I knew he was still hooking up with other girls when I wasn’t there and that killed me. He had already told me that he wasn’t looking for a relationship multiple times, but the way he acted in person with me made me think the opposite. It always felt like we were actually together when we hung out. He wasn’t really afraid of showing PDA in front of his friends as if I was his. That made me feel special. 

December eventually rolled around with winter break tagging along. He lived in Virginia and I lived in New York, so I was anxious that he would use that as an excuse to stop talking. But break came around and to my surprise he started facetime me every few nights. We would talk on the phone for hours late into the night about basically nothing. But it made me happy that he thought about me; that is until I found out that every time he FaceTimed me, he was on Xanax and drunk. 

At the end of the break, I visited my roommate in Northern Virginia because we went to a concert in D.C. He lived 15 minutes from my roommate so I ended up seeing him one night. Of course when I saw him though he wasn’t sober. He told me that him and his friends had just done cocaine. When he told me I was upset. I just never understood why he always had to be on some type of drug to have fun. But again, I just ignored it because I was receiving the validation I thought I needed by him wanting to see me. At the end of the night we were alone talking in his car and he started to have a mini panic attack from the amount of cocaine that he had done. I sat there with him and calmed him down. And then we started talking and of course I brought up “us.” I asked him if I meant anything to him; I asked him if he liked me the way I liked him. He said yes to everything and he told me he cared about me. In my head I believed him because he spent the break talking to me and even saw me during it. To me, that meant everything. 

When we got back to school and spring semester began, nothing had changed. We were hanging out when we could and I was sleeping there most weekends. Then I started to become really upset. I knew he was sleeping with other people because he had told me he would be the second time we hung out; I felt so naive. Every time I would bring up the idea of actually being together he would shut it down completely and say something to make me feel like what he was doing was okay. His manipulative words worked well on me and he knew that. There were a few weeks at a time where I would cut him off after either fighting with him or watching him kiss other girls and during those weeks I would hook up with other people. When I was living through it, in my head it was never out of spite. I was having fun just like he was. But when I would start sleeping over his house again, I would always start to feel the guilt. But why? He never seemed to care about my actions even though he knew about them. However, I still felt uneasy about hooking up with other people. And I think it was because of how often I thought about him. It was such a complicated situation because I knew he never felt bad about getting with other people when I did. In the end I was never truly happy. He was all I wanted.

As the months went on, my cravings for him got stronger and I found myself thinking about him and only him. After another three weeks of cutting him off, I let him back in. There was one week in particular where I felt like things were actually working out. He had texted me saying how much he missed me and he wanted to see me. I was out and drunk and of course gave in. I went over to his house. We talked and he told me he didn’t know why, but he wanted to see me and he missed me. He didn’t like that I hadn’t spoken to him for those three weeks. 

He pulled me in and kissed me but I stopped him at first. I told him that I couldn’t keep going through this same cycle. With tears in my eyes, I explained to him that my feelings for him were too strong and I couldn’t deal with him not committing to me. We kept going back and forth but eventually I couldn’t help myself and I continued kissing him. As we would kiss, he would pause every few minutes and say “fuck.”  He did this about three times and every time I asked why he kept saying this and he would respond by kissing me more. I assumed that he was realizing that he was actually catching feelings for me because that is how he made it seem. This “non-relationship” finally felt like it was going somewhere.

That week was amazing. I slept over three days in a row and it had felt like maybe something had changed in him. The weekend came along and that Friday night my sorority and his fraternity were having a party together. His friends and my friends drank together before the party at one of his friends houses. At this pregame, he looked at me and said, “promise you won’t be mad,” and of course I responded with why would I be mad, and he said, “because I took a little bit of Xanax.” Right then and there I knew the night would be a terrible one; I felt it in my gut. Everytime he did this drug and drank with it he turned into a different person; he treated me terribly, and of course I was right. We got to the party and I immediately saw him kissing girls in my sorority—literally directly in front of my face like he didn’t even know I was there. In reality, he didn’t actually know because of course he was blacked out, but that was not an excuse anymore. I was so upset, but I still wanted to have a good night so I kept my distance from him. I was talking and dancing with his roommates because they were my friends too. I was having fun trying to ignore it.

Eventually they wanted to leave and go back to their house to hangout and they asked me if I wanted to come. I went because in my head I had slept there the past three nights so what is the big deal if I went back with his roommates. We left without him because we couldn’t find him so we all assumed he left. As I was hanging out with his roommates, he walked in, and right behind him was another girl. Now I know he didn’t know I was there, but it still felt like I had the right to be. The second he saw me he started texting me saying he’s sorry. He stared at me not knowing what to do and I could clearly tell how messed up he was. I was in shock; I just sat there on the bed staring across the room. I froze and simply didn’t know what to do. I was so angry with him that I wasn’t even upset. I was just so mad. You would think he would have wanted to talk to me but instead, he left the room and went into his own with the girl. 

At the point I was so upset. I cried to his roommate about it and he comforted me. His roommate and I had become really good friends because we also had a class together. We were both drunk and talking and then out of nowhere he kissed me. In that moment I was so vulnerable and insecure that the attention from his roommate made me feel amazing in the moment. We kept kissing but I slowly stopped it and we just went to bed. I left early the next morning feeling so ashamed. This was not the type of person I am. I knew what I had done was so wrong. He had me do something I never thought I would do. I betrayed him just like he betrayed me. That is not okay. That is not how a relationship works. But I can’t even call it a relationship since we were never committed to each other and he clearly brought out the worst side of me. 

He just laughed the whole night off. He acted like he didn’t care and that made me even more upset. I later found out that he knew everything I had done even during the times we weren’t talking. One night we had a terrible fight that ended it all. He listed everything I had done even when we weren’t talking. The whole year he acted like he cared about nothing and that everything was okay. But in the end he did care. He manipulated me into thinking that everything I did made him not want to date me; in reality, he just wasn’t ready to commit and led me to do these things. He slut shamed me and said that it was not okay for me to be doing the same thing he was doing. He was the largest hypocrite I had ever met and in that moment I realized there was truly nothing about him that I desired out of a boyfriend. The way he thought about girls was not okay. And during this fight, I finally had closure. I came to the realization that I didn’t deserve this. No one deserves to be treated this way. 

Single women are free to do whatever they want to do. If a woman wants to have a one night stand, there is nothing wrong with that; just like there is nothing wrong with men having one night stands. I want to talk about this double standard that women can’t enjoy sex just as much as men do. Men can have copious amounts of it but when a woman has sex with two or three men in a short time period, she’s a hoe. We’re taught that we’re not allowed to like sex and it’s promiscuous to do so so then we begin to internalize that and feel bad about ourselves afterwards. This just is not the truth. If you are a single women and enjoy sex, do not feel bad about having it. It is a natural human desire and if men can have a lot of it so can women. 

I let myself be treated this way because I wanted a boyfriend so badly that it blinded me. I thought because I had been single my whole life that something was wrong with me and finding someone would give me the validation I needed. I even thought I loved this person. But it is so clear now that it was all lust. I let the lust blind me and change me into a person that I did not recognize. Something had to change. And after that night, I began the very long process of getting over him, moving on and finding myself again. Never lose yourself in someone else because who you are is just as important. 


By Hannah Sternberg

Hannah is a rising Senior at James Madison University majoring in the School of Media Arts and Design with a concentration of Broadcast Journalism. She works for her schools weekly newscast called Breeze TV as a reporter in training and this year will become a full time reporter. Her dream is to become a reporter but she also enjoys the entertainment production industry. One of her favorite things to do to relieve stress is dancing. 

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.