How Social Media Distorts our Perception of Real Relationships
It’s been a few weeks since I released my “Addicted to you” blog post. And in those weeks I have been going back and forth on what my next post should entail.
Should it be about a specific event that happened? Or about the tactics my ex used to manipulate me? Or even another overall view of my toxic relationship? Or should it be more about me or about him?
These are the questions that have been floating around in my head constantly and I’ve honestly written pages and pages on each topic. But I was still torn on what I should post.
I’ve been constantly writing and then immediately deleting everything because what I’m trying to express is extremely hard to articulate in a coherent manner, since well, my relationship wasn’t really easy to understand.
But since I’ve been thinking about this a lot I realized that more negative memories from my past are starting to resurface. It’s honestly insane how our true memories can be so distorted by either the sheer power of us wanting to believe something different happened or by the manipulation of another changing our memories.
After the realization that most of my memories of my first love are not as they seem, the more I realized how much power he had over me.
The one thing that you think that someone can’t take away from you are your memories. But that is in fact a lie. They can be taken away and they can be manipulated.
I’m not just a victim of my memories being manipulated but I also actively participated in deceiving all of my friends and family as to what was actually occurring in my relationship.
For the most part, I did this somewhat unconsciously since most people don’t like to actively air out their dirty laundry and I was no different. I chose to only show the world the “good” that was happening in my relationship, even if most of it was fabricated.
Social media is such a huge part of peoples lives in this day and age. People use social media for all sorts of things. Like staying connected with friends and family, sharing their experiences and even promoting themselves.
I’m not going to lie, I was once obsessed with how I looked on social media. And to be completely honest I still somewhat am.
That being said, I only let the world see what I wanted them to see.
Most of my posts on social media were all about the fun things I was doing or how amazing my ex-boyfriend was. But honestly most of them were fabricated.
Social media distorts the way we see real relationships because of people like me who claim to have the perfect relationship even though it’s the furthest thing from the truth.
Due to “social media relationships” young adults are expecting to be whisked off their feet at every turn in a relationship and that’s not the way it is in reality.
People fight. They have disagreements. They go through some tough shit together. But do you ever see that displayed on social media? No.
My past relationship was a whirlwind. That’s the best word to describe it because there were some really good times but there was also some deep, dark times that no one should ever go through.
And I lied a lot on social media. I claimed that our relationship was all sunshine and roses all the time! And it wasn’t.
We fought probably 90% of the time an the other 10% was us trying to make up for our dysfunctional relationship by ignoring our arguments without working them out or finding a resolution and playing “house”.
So everything all my friends and family saw on social media was pretty much a lie.
I loved my ex. More than he probably ever loved me. But the wonderful things I constantly said about him all over social media also came with him throwing tantrums, talking to other girls constantly, belittling me and countless other unthinkable things. But I never told anyone those things. Not only was I embarrassed but I also felt like I somewhat deserved the torture because I had such low self-esteem and he used that against me.
I went through all of my social media accounts and pulled some photos that I posted about my ex. And for the first time I’m going to be brutally honest about what was actually going on during the time I posted each of these photos.
(But like I said above, my memory regarding most of these events is a little distorted so I might not recall everything that was going on.)
My ex and I had been officially dating for about a month and we were already falling in love. I decided to take him to my cousins wedding as my date so he could meet my family. Everything was going good until it wasn’t.
He was obviously nervous to meet most of my family so both of us had one or two drinks during the reception. (We both were only 18 at the time but since we were at a family members house my mom allowed us to have a drink.)
But I quickly noticed that he soon was very intoxicated. He was slurring his words and was visibly drunk.
I had only seen him drink one or two drinks. But then I found out that he had been sneaking drinks when my family wasn’t looking. This should have been the first warning sign, but what can I say. I was infatuated with him so I left it slide with little to no resistance.
This was our one year anniversary. We both had Disney passes and went about two times per week.
He took me to Ariels Grotto in California Adventure because he knew Ariel was my favorite Disney princess. He bought me a really heartfelt gift that anniversary—it was a 20th century antique typewriter key encased in a silver pendant.
This was probably one of the only truly happy memories I have of us.
This text was sent to me about a year and a half into our relationship. To be honest I’m not exactly sure what occurred before this message was sent.
But I was used to receiving messages like this typically about a day after we would have a huge blow out. He’d also try to save his ass and get back on my good side again by making me feel like the only girl in the world and like he truly did love me. This was his m.o.
The saddest part of it all? I fell for it every time.
This photo was taken at his dads house. The only time we ever went over there was to get shit faced. And this time was no different.
We were sober when the photo was taken but that evening we were both pretty intoxicated.
My favorite thing about this photo is that I refer to him as my best friend. He was my best friend because I had abandoned all of my other friends just to be with him. I was addicted to being around him and with him at all times and most of my friends had had enough of it. And I don’t blame them one bit for that.
Thankfully, I have repaired my relationship with them all now.
We were visiting my grandma who lives up north. To be completely honest this was a nice trip for both of us. I remember us getting along really well the whole time and it actually felt like a real and true relationship for once.
This photo honestly terrifies me now. The reason being, he would make similar faces when he was having delusions. (He used to hear and see things that weren’t there a lot of the time.)
He acted as if he was possessed and would growl and say vial things. So this photo just brings up some of the most emotionally draining and terrifying events that had ever happened to me.
I attended my colleges play because I was writing a piece on it for the newspaper. I bought two tickets, one for me and one for my ex. He decided last minute that he wasn’t going to go with me, so I ended up attending it alone.
The reason this photo makes me so sad now is because when he told me he wasn’t going to go with me it crushed me. I had always shown interest in his passions like music so when he told me he wasn’t going that meant that he wasn’t interested in my passion for writing. And this picture was me trying to show the public that I was happy, when I really wasn’t.
We were at Disneyland again in this photo. He was pretty deeply into his alcoholism and drug abuse at this point but I was obviously naive and ignorant about it.
And as you can see by the comments, people believed our false happiness.
This photo was taken right before we broke up for good.
I had driven down to San Clemente where he was in rehab. We had the whole day planned full of exploring, shopping, eating and catching up.
I’m not sure if it was this day or another day I went down there to visit with him but I found out he was talking to other girls.
We were laying down next to each other after just making what I assumed to be love, when he went to the bathroom and his phone buzzed. I looked over at it and noticed he had a text from one of our old coworkers. I opened it and discovered that he was asking her for photos and telling her how beautiful she was. He was sending these text pretty much at the same time he was telling me how after rehab he was going to get a job, save his money and propose to me. He was even telling my mother this as he was flirting with this girl.
I was so extremely devastated because I was still sticking by his side even though he had put me through hell and back and was attending rehab. Most girlfriends would have dropped their boyfriends way before it ever came to this, but not me.
Another thing, the caption on the photo pictured above has since been edited but before it had something to do with how much I loved him and how wonderful that day had been for me to finally see him clean and sober for the first time in what felt like forever.
Needless to say, not everything you see on social media is real.