Reflections on relationships and love

By Abigail Chaff

Abigail Chaff

When you are in your early twenties, relationships can often be fleeting. You are always meeting new people. In the rush of college, it can seem difficult to keep something steady. But every once in a great while you can stumble into true love.

The first second we locked eyes I knew I loved him. I never really gave much thought to the idea of love at first sight. And it wasn’t until shortly after the lightning struck that I really knew what had happened. Something in me sprang to life.

He called it rocking chair love. We each found the person we could grow old with. I should have married him the first day we met. I knew then that I would love him forever. Those feelings hold true to this day.

Now, there were problems. Even in the glow of the honeymoon phase, there were some major issues that we had to deal with. Our relationship didn’t exactly fit into the mold of societal norms.

But we didn’t care. We wanted to fight against it all and prove everyone wrong. We wanted to show that love could conquer it all. Our highs were astronomical, and then there were the lows.

The trouble in relationships is that you have to love yourself before you love someone else. But often people go into a relationship hoping – either consciously or not – that the other person can love them enough for the both of you; but it doesn’t really work that way.

I’m the type of person who doesn’t think I deserve love or nice things. Too many bad things have happened in my life for me to believe in fate. For a bright shining second I thought maybe I was wrong: I found the most wonderful, beautiful man on this planet. And he loved me.

Surely this is what I’ve been waiting for. It was like Mother Earth found my check list of a perfect man and gave him to me to make my life worth living. And then that little ache in the pit of my stomach started to keep me up again at night.

There were many things that came into play, but when you get down to it, it was all my fault. Admitting that you have a problem can be one of the hardest things in a person’s life to accomplish. Acceptance is the first step, after all.

You can try to avoid it and reason it all away, but sooner or later every action, every step you make, will be a lie. The word addiction starts bouncing off the walls in your brain and that little voice in the back of your head starts screaming and you can’t turn down the sound.

Everyone wants to help. But eventually, if you don’t help yourself, they won’t care either. He tried to be there; he gave me so much rope I was able to secure quite a lovely noose with it.

And that was it. It was all over. I passed out and never called, and he decided that would be the last night he was going to stay up late and worry about me.

The kind of pain that comes from losing a love is the kind of pain there are no words for. You cry so hard you have no more tears: So you scream so loud you lose your voice. Then the silence sets in. And with it, comes the chill of knowing there is not a thing to do to make this right. It’s over, and it’s all your fault.

A few months into our relationship, I had his dental imprint tattooed on my leg. It is a piece of him: like his finger print forever touching my life. Some may think I should start to think of a cover-up, but I will never hide it. I will wear it proudly as proof that such an amazing man once loved me.

When true love finds you, and I promise you it will, do not be too scared to let it in. Do not turn it away with pride. And don’t be stupid enough to lose it. You may think right now you’re too young to think about being with someone forever, or that you’re too old to find a life partner at this stage. True love will find you when it’s time, and when you need it most. Listen to your heart – as cheesy as that may sound – and not your head.

This is my way of being held accountable: of telling the world that I need help. And that I will love him forever. Face your demons and don’t make someone else hold up the mirror for you. I want everyone understand that I am sharing this story in hopes of encouraging others to share theirs as well.