Let's face it, we've all been there. We have all been with or had something with someone who made us just feel utterly horrible about ourselves. Whether it be our emotions, our bodies... the list goes on. Toxicity in young relationships is sadly a common norm in our society. That being said, it has started a wave of people dropping the dead weight of a partner they dated and learning to love themselves instead. This is exactly what happened to me this year.

Last Christmas, I ended a relationship with a guy I'd been dating for over a year. Things moved quickly, we spent nearly every day with each other before moving in together. When we'd been dating for about 7 months, I moved into his new apartment with him and some of his friends. We had our moments, and I knew that we weren't really happy, but I thought we were moving in the right direction. Things continued to get worse with every day. The comments continued to happen, and hearing, "What are you wearing?!" and "You really want to do your makeup like that? Can't you just be normal?" along with being compared to other girls constantly, can weigh on you much more than you realize at the time.

Along with the physical comments, there were also many comparisons to other people who 'had their life more together' or, my favorite was the comparisons to his friends and exes making it seem like they had a better personality or were just overall a more deserving of air human. After months of being treated like a child, told I had no right to feel or process the emotions I had in pretty much any situation, and finding out that people who he talked to every day had no idea I even existed; that certainly makes someone feel special; I knew it had to be over. At the end of it all, it wouldn't have mattered if he'd taken everything back because the damage was done and I knew only I could build myself back up.

Since then, in the past six months, I have not only learned to love myself, I've learned to love my body, too. I have gained 15 pounds of pure happiness. I have taken my life back, and I never second guess an outfit choice, or bold makeup look. I walk into every day proudly, confidently, and truly; honestly the most me I can be. I guess I could say I'm grateful for what I have been through because it has helped me become the woman I am now, and I've even gained people I will forever be grateful for in my life. But, to my asshole ex, fuck off; I'm a damn queen that you hid in a dusty busted box in the back of the garage when I should've been on a throne for the whole kingdom to see.