“It hurts to let go, but sometimes it hurts more to hold on.” ~Unknown

When we’re deep into something it’s hard to see clearly and to hear advice from others. It’s hard to focus on a solution when we are consumed with the problem.

It’s the difference between playing and watching a game of chess. It’s so much easier to see checkmate when you’re not the one playing the game.

That’s what happened to me for the last five years.

I spent every breathing moment consumed with a man, unable to listen to those who watched me struggle. I spent five years doing everything I could to try to force a man to love me, and in the process I forgot how to love myself.

For five years I chased. I begged. I cried. Nothing seemed to work. He would come around when he wanted sex but would push me away when he got his fix. It was a never-ending cycle of depression and humiliation.

I destroyed my reputation and slaughtered my dignity with my crazy behavior, and I still couldn’t understand why he would treat me with such little care. But how could he not? I treated myself with so little love and respect, why would he treat me any different?

Still, I couldn’t stop. I was afraid that if I did he would forget me. For five years I lived in fear of losing someone I deeply loved but never really had in the first place.

And then I got pregnant, in the midst of the chaos and passion that was our on-and-off relationship.

Everyone around me pressured me to have an abortion. I knew they were worried about me, but it just wasn’t for me. I don’t know if it was because I was carrying a child from a man I had loved for so long or if it was guilt, but I just knew I had to keep our son.

And even though my ex’s only consistency in life was his pattern of not raising his children, I blindly believed he would raise our child. While everyone told me he was going to bail again, I vouched for him. Ibroke off friendships and I fought with those who dared to accuse his character.

I was wrong.

From the moment I told him, he made it clear that he wasn’t going to come through for me. He hurt me during the most vulnerable time in my life. Then months later he told me he loved me.

We did this back and forth game throughout my entire pregnancy. It felt like an eternal emotional tug of war. It was draining. It was humiliating. It was hurtful. But every time he left I chased him because it was the only thing I knew how to do.

I chased him out of fear.

I chased him for me.

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About The Author

Brisa Pinho is a project manager, aspiring writer, and single mother of a baby boy. She lives in Los Angeles and when she is not changing diapers and putting out temper tantrums, she is drinking wine and over-analyzing her life. She can found at www.singlemomoutloud.com, where she shares the joys and desperation of single life and motherhood.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I question how she could know he is committed to the new woman. I think that would still be a part of beating herself up, thinking she was not good enough, yet someone is. One of the best things we can do is try to understand where someone else is coming from, see their hurts that are buried, yet surface in this way. I love someone that says he can never love me, nor anyone else. I have listened to his story and looked beyond my pain, to understand his. I am grateful that we still enjoy time together, even though our story is not what I had hoped for. Perhaps the ending will be better than either of us ever imagined. we are not at the end of the book yet.

  2. There are some parts of the article on which I would have a different perspective but there is no denial of the fact that if you do not respect and love yourself, expecting others to do so is more like a fantasy. And above all love cannot be forced onto someone. Emotional blackmail may hold for a while maybe even years but then where is the unconditional love ??

  3. Knowing when to let go or how long to hold on is difficult decision. This is because in each relationship, the situation is different so for every new love, we are back to square one – learning…experimenting. Then again, that's what love is all about, isn't it?

  4. What's waisted time for one is a significant part of another's journey because there is still a very important lesson to be learned there. Hanging on to something or someone is but the catalyst for the learning that is necessary for positive change. It's this change that will lead to honestly letting go in heart, spirit, mind, body and soul, pointing the way to sweet freedom at long last.