To The Guy Who Helped Me Love Myself

'I'm sorry I compelled you to love me more because I couldn't love myself.'

I grew up believing I wasn't good enough for anything. I was always being compared to one of my siblings in terms of skill, looks, personality, and attitude, and I never really got the family's praise and approval. It was no different in school. There was always a better student. Someone smarter, kinder, prettier, braver, funnier, more creative, so on and so forth.

It's no surprise that I learned to hate myself. I've worked hard to get good grades and later on to get promoted. To be friendly. I've gone out of my comfort zones just to learn more and to reach out to other people.

While those things should have been good enough as they are, I wasn't contented. How could I be, when I've spent years comparing myself with other people and competing with them?

Sure, I did things because they were the right thing to do, but there was a part of me that wanted recognition, to be number 1. I saw the vanity and selfishness in that, and in turn I hated myself and made a cycle out of it.

When you came along, things were no different. I wanted to be prettier and more awesome than your girl friends. It's funny that I've become your girlfriendthe greatest label a girl in love with you could ever getbut that wasn't enough for me. Nothing seemed to have assured me. "My friends are just friends. I never saw them as anything more" comforted me only as far as you didn't hook up with them before we got together.

I still believed that there was a chance that you'd dump me in the future for any of them the day you realize how much you have in common with them or how fun they are to be with. After all, they're outgoing like you; I'm not.

"I love you just as you are" made me feel tingly inside, but it was forgotten the following day. I wanted you to say those words all the time, and when you didn't, I got angry or sad and just avoided talking to you. Because of that, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I compelled you to love me more because I couldn't love myself. I'm sorry I was too busy wanting to be loved more and more that I forgot to think of you and how I could love YOU more. Here's another funny thing: I wanted to have you in my life for good, but my behavior didn't show it at all.

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So thank you for losing your patience one night and telling me I was going too far with all the comparing and my insecurities. Thank you for telling me that you felt insulted whenever I feared you'd pick a hotter or more successful girl over me, implying that I'd found you superficial. Thank you for insisting again, this time in your frustration, that I already am beautiful, that I'm good enough and didn't have to prove anything to you or to anybody. If you hadn't gotten angry at me I don't think I would've been able to snap out of all my madness. I don't know how or why your anger made me realize that I'm okay just as I am, but it did. It must've been the sincerity I heard in your tone or in your heavy breathing, or the sincerity I felt in how fiercely you glared at me because I couldn't see what you saw in me and that broke you.

Since that time you got mad at me, I've felt like a new person even if I didn't really change my looks (I still dress simply). Realizing that I'm good enough as I am has made it so much easier for me to love you, to work, and to be around other people without reservations.

I can't be any happier or more thankful that my insecure and self-conscious days are over, and that I can now keep living life without feeling shackled.

Thanks again for loving me for the both of us back then. I'll never forget that great deed, and the honesty you've poured on me that gave me new eyes to see myself.

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