Whether it’s the shows we watch or the outcomes of our early-childhood crushes, they all influence how we grow and develop–and even how we see ourselves. So what happens when everything you’re exposed to sends the same message: you’re not good enough. Well, as Adam proves in his own story, we eventually begin to believe it. And somewhere along the line, instead of experiencing love, we continue to believe we aren’t worthy and we become content with simply loving through everyone else.
Growing up, I used to hate being affiliated with being a male because on the LifeTime TV network, every single male was causing the most harm to everyone. I remember in kindergarten feeling that since a lot of women didn’t deserve the type of treatment they received, I wasn’t worthy or good enough.
In the second grade, I had my first crush. There was a girl I really liked after seeing her in this beautiful dress on picture day. I’d known her for a year or two but didn’t pay attention until then. I fell for her instantly, but I kept my mouth shut. I let those feelings fester for two years. In fourth grade, she called me up one day and asked if I wanted to be her boyfriend. I was shocked because I thought it was all a joke.
What made me even more nervous was that her brother wanted to talk to me. He asked if I wanted to be with her or not–yes or no. And when I said yes, he said then we were together from that point on. Later, I eventually got her a mood ring when I visited San Francisco. The next day, we called each other again and said Merry Christmas. At that point, we both said we had something to tell each other. I told her that I had a ring for her. She ended up saying that she didn’t want to be with me.
That’s where I thought I belonged, helping others, not being in a relationship myself. I didn’t think I had anything to offer. And the more people said I did have something to offer, the less I believed them.
Believe it or not, that hurt me. I took it pretty well and told her it was okay. But I bawled my eyes out. After that, I didn’t date anyone for the next five years. So, I started living through other people’s relationships, such as my friends who didn’t know how to approach someone. I would help build them up.
I did a project with a friend in 7th grade to see how well it worked. I eventually apologized to the couple later, but I ended up getting two of my friends who didn’t have any interest in each other, to start dating for at least two months. They were so shy that they ended up breaking up.
But that’s where I thought I belonged, helping others, not being in a relationship myself. I didn’t think I had anything to offer. And the more people said I did have something to offer, the less I believed them. I felt relationships weren’t for me because I didn’t see why anyone would be attracted to me. So, that’s how things were until I finally made it to high school.