I Am My Own Worst Enemy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     It all started when my girlfriend, whom I shall call “Sally,” decided it would be great if she invited herself to my house after school. Well, I didn’t want her to come over, but in our relationship, it was always her way or the highway. So I nodded and walked to class, mad that she had invited herself over and even madder that I let it happen.

I was watching TV at my house when she walked in through the garage, said hello and sat next to me. We talked about nothing, then slowly fell silent as we watched TV. I thought everything was fine and dandy but I guess she wanted something to complain about: one of my friends or that class that was boring or that soccer practice was bad - the usual crap she whined about.

Since I hadn’t or didn’t want to notice her whining, she started crying. I hadn’t said anything mean, or acted mean, but still she started crying. When that caught my attention, she started yelling about how badly I treated her.

I was tired and decided that enough was enough so I started talking to her in a calm and respectful manner, quite different from the tone and volume she was using with me. The conversation raged back and forth until finally I had said everything I was going to say and she had yelled herself out.

When she returned from drying her eyes, she thought all was forgiven but my blood was still boiling and sweet talking was not going to get her out of this one. She kept telling me how much she cared about me but all I could think about was how much I wanted to get away from her. I wanted to be released from the leash she had me on since the beginning of our relationship, but I knew the only way to do that was to break up with her.

I had allowed that leash to be put on; I had allowed her to control my every move; I had allowed myself to lose control. The results of this subordination had been the shunning of my friends and family, people I’ve cared about for longer than I’ve known Sally.

I hated how I felt; I hated how I acted and how my friends who had been so close were now so distant. I still can’t believe I did this for a person who claimed to have strong feelings for me and yet was so immature, self-centered, controlling and wrong for me. I can’t believe I let her get so close that she virtually controlled my every move and thought. I had let her in. I had lowered my defenses to a point where she had a grip on me and wasn’t letting go.

She toyed with my emotions. She played down my needs, and eventually I couldn’t even spend a night with friends without being yelled at. I feel like I had two voices in my head, one weak and one strong. The weak one usually had control since I am a cautious, timid person. When the strong voice took over, it was hard to stop it from making decisions and bold statements. I guess I let my weak voice talk me into letting her drive me around. After all, we were going out and I did care for her, so I didn’t realize that she was controlling. I realized that the strong voice was locked so deep in the back of my mind that it would have taken a miracle to get it out.

The fact that I turn into a total softy when children and girls cry didn’t help either. Sally knew this, and knew that no matter how angry I was, all she had to do was cry and I would immediately listen to the weak voice and be a caring gentleman. She wanted everything for herself and if she didn’t get what she wanted, she would complain and cry and yell. This was the biggest force behind me realizing that she was, in fact, very childish and controlling.

I didn’t see her immaturity at first, and even when I did, I dismissed it. Finally a family member told me straight-out how immature she was.

I’m not saying Sally is a bad person, but she is pretty mean a lot of the time. She hates everyone who holds a different opinion since she thinks she is always right. I guess that’s why I finally had enough.

Our paths split about a week after that day at my house. As much as she wanted, or still wants, to walk the path of life next to me, I think it’s time she realizes that we are two different people on two different paths. I need to be strong even in the face of my main weakness - her crying. I must continue to be strong so she doesn’t pull me back into her fold. So far I’ve managed because of my preoccupation with football and school.

If I don’t fill the hole that she left in my heart and my life quickly, I will run the risk of being tempted by her again. I don’t want that to happen, but the weak voice in my head would probably give in eventually and resubmit to her and her leash. I’m working hard to bring my friends back but it is going to be slow and difficult to re-assimilate into their lives. I hope I will eventually find the light at the end of the tunnel.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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