What do you think I am addicted to? Drugs? Alcohol? If only it was that easy to explain. I am an addiction for pain. Not physical pain either, I’m not talking about self-harm here. The pain I am talking about is emotional and mental. I am addicted to putting myself in situations that I know will torment my mind. 

I am not the only one either, I know there are those of you out there who do this. We do this is different ways. Me? It is relationships. I would find myself being attracted to the kinds of people I know would hurt me. There are so many examples of this I could give, but I want to tell you about Jason. 

Jason and I had a casual thing going. We were not boyfriend – girlfriend, it was a purely physical relationship, and those are okay. But with the dark place I was in; It wasn’t. He would deliberately play mind games with me, knowing full well how ill I was. He would tell me he hated me, that he doesn’t want me, that I was a stupid little girl, and he was wasting his time on me. One time he said this over the phone and I hung up, because I couldn’t take it. He called me back and told me to get myself together, that I know he was playing mind games with me. 

We were lying in bed, just talking, and he brought up my self-harm scars, which were a day or two fresh. He said; 

“Why do you do that to yourself, you know they are ugly to look at, to feel. You know people will find you ugly because they are ugly.”

Without saying a word, I got up and ran to the bathroom, and I broke down. He followed me, demanding to be let it. He said that if I don’t stop acting like a child, he would drive me to the train station. I lived in a rural town at the time, and there would have been no trains, so said that he would have to drive me home. He said he didn’t care, and that if I didn’t calm down, then I would have to leave. I was 21, vulnerable, and hurting, and this full-grown man, who had triggered this, knowing that this would be my reaction, was still willing to kick me out. In the end I calmed down. That was the last time I saw him. 

The point I’m trying to make here, is that even though now I am in a stable relationship with an amazing man who loves and cares for me; this relationship, this interaction with Jason still left me with scars. He left me with insecurities, because what he said almost confirmed my fears, that I was ugly, and that my scars make me ugly.

The sad thing is, this isn’t the only example. There are multiple. And after each one, I never learnt my worth, never thought that I deserved better than that. I constantly kept finding relationships that would hurt me, because that is all I had ever known. All I had known was how to be hurt, how to be treated like a subhuman, and how to be manipulated. 

I guess now you could say I am in recovery. I don’t find the need to seek destructive relationships out, and I’m learning that I am better than that. The emotional wounds left over are starting to heal, but only very slowly. With a lot of time and patience from my partner, I am recovering. But sometimes its hard, believing that you are damaged beyond repair. But no-one, is damaged beyond repair; time, love, and patience, can heal every wound, no matter how deep.