It was just like the movies. We met during a friend's wedding and fell in love. He was nothing like the guys I had ever met before. He was kind and humble and true to himself. Although his family was an affluent one, he just wasn't the kind to ever show off. He was everything I had ever wanted in a partner and he said I was the kind of girl he had waited for his whole life! Before we knew it, we were madly in love and planning a future together.
Akshay was an extremely loving, caring and understanding guy. He was supportive of my dreams and aspirations and always encouraged me to be myself. Although we were clearly very different in the way we were as people, he never let that come in the way. I was a bubbly girl, full of life, talking to strangers and making friends with everyone I met! I always wore my heart on my sleeve and spoke my mind, letting nothing stop me or my joyful spirit! He, on the other hand was a little shy, reserved and the kind to only speak when spoken to.
As the months passed, we only grew closer. He would often talk about marriage and a future together and I was only falling deeper and deeper in love with him with every passing day. I felt safe with him somehow. Safer than I had ever felt. I believed in my heart with certainty that he was in fact the one for me. Little did I know that things were soon going to change.
The initial months of our relationship were beautiful. We were two equal partners, happy with each other. We encouraged each other, praised each other and did things small and big to make each other happy. I didn’t quite understand when things began to go wrong and I began to lose myself.
A few months into the relationship I began to understand his world a little better. Where he came from, what his ideals and values were. How he thought. I began to understand that he wasn’t the person I had thought he was at all.
He needed me to change and mould myself to be in this relationship with him. You see, his family wouldn’t have been happy with me just the way I was. Or so he made me feel. I couldn’t be a righteous, confident, self-made woman if I wanted to be with him. Women in his world, he said, were supposed to be good wives. And that was it.
I suppose I can look back now and think what I did next was perhaps silly, but back then, I was just in love and willing to do anything to make it work with him. And so, I began to change myself. Slowly I lost everything that my friends, my family and I myself loved about me. From being a go-getter, an achiever and someone who always stood out, I began to run away from people and from popularity. Everyone had always admired my way of being able to make friends with just anyone and everyone. But that was what I was running away from now. I wanted to get away from everything that made me stand out.
I was going against everything that I believed in and giving up everything that I loved. I couldn’t understand why I was letting this happen. But I was. I would cry when I saw my friends and cry myself to sleep at night. I was unhappy with myself, but still trying to be happy with him. My love for him had exceeded my love for myself.
Time went by, and so did our relationship. I continued to live in my little bubble and still thought he was the best guy I had ever met. I forgave him for everything he did. Including cheating on me. Yes, that was how blinded I was by my love for him. He apologised and cried and told me he would never let it happen again and I believed him. Of course, I realised later how wrong I actually was. I saw only what I wanted to see in him. Heard only what I wanted to hear. Such is the power of love, I suppose.
I was not very long ago a strong woman who always stood up for herself. How had I let this happen to me? Questions and realisation soon began to flood my mind and I knew it was time to do something.
He was never going to stand up for me as I had been hoping for almost 2 years now. The turning point for me came when I started to hear from people close to him that he was saying all sorts of things about me to his family. He had been telling me that he always spoke well of me and really wanted his family to like me. It turned out that the situation was completely the opposite. His family and friends had liked me until he decided to speak ill of me. Why he did that, I’m yet to understand. He had always told me that he wasn't ready to introduce me to his whole family because he didn’t think that his parents liked me very much. He told me they were “different” and that I just wouldn’t fit in. In reality, it was him who was perhaps not ready yet.
I confronted him and ended things with him soon after. But there was something that still haunted me. Kept me from falling asleep peacefully at night. Even though I had hardly met his family, I had gotten to know them a little bit through him and the interactions we'd had at social gatherings. I was always fond of them and got the impression that they were fond of me too. I didn’t want them to think of me the way he had portrayed me. Although this relationship with him was over for good, I realised it was important for me to clear my name too. I needed to end this chapter once and for all.
It was sometime in April. It had been almost five months since our break-up. I mustered up the courage to call up his mother and tell her everything. Every single thing about the way he had treated me, the things he had told me, the promises he made and never kept. She was horrified and seemed to have had no idea about any of this. She told me the things he had said about me because of which the entire family was actually completely opposed to the idea of me becoming a part of the family in the first place. I was shocked. Never did I think that Akshay, the guy I had once so admired and looked up to would ever speak about me in this manner. But speaking to his mother was the best decision that I made. It gave me the closure that I really needed.
I put the phone down, and with that act finished that chapter for good. I have not looked and will never look back in the direction that got me to compromise on the person that I am. I gave up my values, my confidence, my goals and everything that was important to me to be with someone who never deserved it.
It has been more than a year since all of this happened and there is no doubt that I am back to being my happy-go-lucky self once again. I do the things that I love and make me happy and choose to only keep those in my life who truly appreciate me for who I am. I am stronger and wiser than I was before, and even though I thought it would never be possible, I am happier than I have ever been! I found myself once again when I chose to let go of someone who made me forget how to love myself.
Even though I stayed with him through everything, all the lies and deceit, and chose to ignore it, I always knew in my heart what the truth was. I didn’t listen to my heart soon enough, but I do hope that other girls find the strength to walk away before they lose themselves in a love that isn’t meant for them. Having your heart broken by another person will never compare to the pain you will feel when you lose yourself. When love doesn't make you grow or make you a better person, have the courage to walk away. It will only pave the way for better things in life!
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