Daily Share: This story controls my life!

I have been reading TDL for about 6 months now.  It has been a huge help to me since I just graduated College this past May.  I have never written in though, until today.  I have been so angry with this guy, and I knew it’s because it stems from a situation I had 8 years ago.

Freshman year of High School, this sophomore guy asked me out.  I was such an innocent and insecure girl desperately seeking validation from anyone other than myself, that I jumped at the opportunity to be “seen” with someone older and really cute with really cute friends because then maybe that made me a person worthy of love.

It being high school, we never really talked, but we would hold hands at school and that was about it. Then after a quick sequence of events he broke up with me about 2 weeks later in front of all of his friends at the Varsity Boys Basketball game.  During halftime, which meant I had to walk to my seat in front of everyone in the gym with tears stains all down my face.  I have yet to forget that visual and it brings tears to my eyes thinking about the embarrassment I felt.  Two days later his friend started talking to me about what a loser that guy was.  Then he asked me out.  Again, gained validation of being chosen from a new guy.  He picks me up for the movie date with my ex boyfriend in the car.  I slowly put together that this was all a joke.  They spread rumors about sexual situations that never happened that got around the entire school.  Little, innocent, insecure, freshman me, had senior girls calling me a slut.  It was awful.

From that point on every “good-looking” guy would never be able to like me because there would always be a joke behind it-I went into (and am still in) protection mode.  I, to this day, cannot walk past a group of guys without holding my breath, praying I don’t hear a laugh (because it will be they are laughing at me) hoping I go either totally unnoticed or the opposite that they think I am gorgeous-giving me validation- but leaving it at that.

Now I am almost 23, I am working on building my life the way I want it.  Feeling great, and then recently, this good-looking guy comes into my life.  I still have no idea if we are future relationship material or just friends.  But every time he doesn’t call, or is talking to one of his guy friends on the phone while I am there.  I go back to high school.  I go back to- “he could never like me, what are his real motives?”  I don’t really even care if we end up dating or not. But I woke up so angry this morning and then read the title of today’s TDL and knew that almost 9 years later, it is time I find some way to move on.  Some way to accept the past and find peace in that it’s okay I got hurt, and that I don’t have to hate those guys because now I can really start to find my “I am, and have ALWAYS been enough strength, which was what I lacked 9 years ago and have yet to ever find.

Thanks for listening.


TDL Reader

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  • Dee

    My heart breaks for you. You did not deserve to be treated that way. I too had a mean guy say untrue things about me and now all the girls, girls who don’t even know me and have never even tried to know me, believing his bs. So, what do we do. I’m not even sure. 

    I have surrounded myself with amazing people who love me for me. I try to give new people the chance, an opportunity to screw up, before I worry. But it’s still hard and my heart still hurts and I feel stupid for even caring. 

    I know this for sure, that to love greatly, you have to open yourself up to be hurt deeply. You got through hs…you survived that messed up mess and you will be able to survive any thing else thrown at you. Give the new boy a chance and trust that you can handle whatever comes.

  • Keri

    I am sooo sorry you had to experience that in high school, i was extremely bullied when I was in school and sometimes find myself in the situation you do going back to high school and what the bullies did but thankfully I have great friends who kick me out of it. 

    I think the only way to get past the hurt that the bullies did to us in High School is to open ourselves up to new people believing that the universe won’t let that kind of hurt happen again and not to paint everyone with the same brush. I say give the new guy a chance and don’t over think it let the universe’s plan whether it be for a friendship or for more than that unfold. 

  • WH3

    Thank you … for being strong enough to share your story and for great awareness of your early trauma … heal the trauma, heal the little girl in us all. Today I am working very hard on “I alone can feed the hunger inside me” by this I mean the need for validation from others that can run my life … it takes the form of seeking male approval, shopping, eating and so much more. Knowing you are beautiful is the result of really knowing yourself – good and bad. Today I know I am beautiful and that helps me walk past that group of men and not even notice them. That is my growth, not getting nervous as I walk closer, wondering if they are looking, whether  they will say something, what if they don’t, what if they …and on and on. I know I’m present and grounded when they don’t matter.  I am 42 … you looking and working on this now could save you years of troubled relationships and depression. Keep it up. 😉  

  • Love

    Send you lots of love.

  • Lboog1

    This was very inspiring, especially  “I am, and have ALWAYS been enough strength”…! This was everything!!

  • Nona

    9 years later – it’s time to drop the protection mode.
     Change your past by giving it a different meaning and accepting that this young, sensitive, inexperienced girl you were back then,  has now gotten wiser and stronger. What she perceived to be a hurtful experience was actually an act of emotional immaturity and attempt to be impressive and momentous via inconsiderate  and ill-advised behavior./ I am referring  to those guys you went out with/. I don’t know if you were searching for validation, but they were definitely in great need of it! Forgive them. Let go of the anger or you will remain its hostage and will keep punishing yourself and others while in “protection” mode. You should only let painful past define you if you had derived wisdom from it.Tell yourself a new story, something like: ” Those boys were so hesitant to be themselves and show emotions and vulnerability, that they pretended to be playing a game and put everything in a funny context… Some clowns..:))” Forgive them for being unkind and infantile… And forgive yourself for having anger, fears and hesitations. Go back to your high school memories with a smile and understanding. Revoke the “protection mode” and you will stop feeling the pain from withholding love.Remember, “our hearts are meant to be broken to open up.” /no arguing with Buddha:)/Now, go get pretty, be your beautiful, vibrant self, and call that cute guy… And when you get together, you can tell him a funny story from high school about a bunch of wanna-be-comedians who tried, but never made it to the category of “sweethearts”.. Have fun, and love, love, love.. Daily ! :))

  • anon

    All you have to do to move on is find a rock solid way to validate yourself. Then it will no longer matter if anyone triggers your bad memories… then you will start walking down the street with such strut and swagger that people will turn heads wondering what your secret is. You can reinvent yourself. Find a new story to tell yourself. Make the process fun. Find an icon or film character or someone you look up to as a role model for confidence and independence. Make a list of all the things you admire in yourself and all the things you admire in others and work on adopting these qualities. When you decide that you have had enough of the suffering that you are now experiencing, you will most likely reach a point where things are so bad with it or with life that you just can’t possibly care about it any more! Well this happened to me. I snapped out of being the ‘bullied girl at school’ and turned into the coolest girl in college over the course of about two weeks. It can be done. I looked up to female role models who for me epitomized not giving a f— what anyone else thought. For me it was a female rock star. It may even be a famous man with this quality you can emulate? The point is to take the power back. You’ve recognized that you have messed up thinking around this particular area. My experience tells me that counselling isn’t always the solution (but it might be for you- I don’t know you)… I find that replacing the old story with a new one will help. You’ve attempted to do this before by finding that one guy who will cure you of this self-image. That could work, but has proven in your case to make you too vulnerable to the wrong men. What you need is to gain your inner feminine strength and identity independently from a man and then to pick and choose and find a worthy man to share your wonderful confident self with. Easier said than done. I am working on the same thing… but it’s working and I’m getting there. Online dating profiles can be a tool for validation without the mess. Get the compliments and don’t date anyone off them… too risky for someone like you right now. That would be a compromise between doing it for yourself (the ideal strategy) and opening yourself up to real life men (riskier until you have the self confidence and esteem to handle any rejections that every dater gets before meeting the one). Good luck and good love.

  • anon

    In your story you were cute or you wouldn’t have been asked out. The guy dumped you for no real reason, that is just what guys that age do- go out with a cute girl like you to prove they can attract someone. Then they move on. Boys that age like to do everything the same as each other and often fantasize about their friend’s girlfriends. So his friend asked you out to prove that he was just as attractive to a cute girl like you as his friend was. Boys can be competitive. But your ex-boyfriend was insecure and could not possibly allow his friend to go further with him than he had done or he would have lost the attractiveness competition with his friend. So one friend convinced the other to get you to go out with him ‘as a joke’ because that’s the only way his friend would not have marked his territory about it. Your ex boyfriend was in the car to make sure it was a joke and he wasn’t being played by his friend. In fact it is possible his friend was jealous because he wanted to be with you the cute girl himself and so he could have put you down to your ex and convinced you to break up. People sometimes do this sort of thing when jealous. So then they pick you up and they really are not thinking about your feelings at all in this situation. To them it is a funny plan and all about the dynamic of their friendship and their male status in the group or to each other. So that explains why they then went on to brag about sexual things that (didn’t) happen between the three of you to the people at your school. They were using you to validate themselves. Because just like you at the time they were young and insecure and weren’t sure anyone fancied them. They just did it in what seemed like a hostile way (and it definitely was) but this was due to their immature selfishness and because it was all about their status as boys and nothing to do with you. You were used. You wanted to use them too (in a very sweet and harmless way). You got hurt. And they didn’t. And that was so unfair. And painful. And humiliating. But then you have to remember that they chose you to make themselves look good because you were CUTE. So there is your validation. The other thing is that the older girls in your school, the ones the same age as these guys were all competing for these guys. And as far as they were concerned, you won that competition and proved yourself to be better and more attractive than them. This made them jealous. They were also insecure and probably worried that if you really had done all these sexual things with those guys, then all the guys would expect them to do the same things just to compete. They were probably angry that you set that standard for them so they called you a slut, out of insecure jealousy. They were all wrong and you were the one who suffered as a result. The guys made the older girls feel insecure when they said those things about you and that probably made the older girls easier to seduce because they felt they had to try harder to win the attention of the boys their age. I just thought that if you had a clear picture of what was motivating everyone involved, then perhaps it will make you see that as painful as the experience was, it was very validating on one level. It wouldn’t have happened if you were not cute. Those guys were horrible to you, but it wasn’t your fault and it doesn’t have to happen again. Only insecure guys do that and if you focus on finding a secure adult man, you will never ever have anything even remotely like that happen again. Oh and another thing… guys will often laugh in public places to draw attention to themselves- it’s body language. Often it is showing the world how funny (therefore attractive) they are. Women do the same… start laughing in more high pitched tones when attractive men are around. Start noticing that when you walk around and see if it puts a more realistic spin on your experience. See things for how they really are. Your experience was completely real by the way… it just wasn’t the whole story and the real problem was that the people didn’t think about you or your feelings enough… not that they thought badly of you. Be around more thoughtful considerate people and that won’t ever be a problem again either. Sorry it happened to you though all the same… sounds painful.