Updated: Dec 29, 2020
When I was a child, I never really understood the meaning of love. I associated it with pleasing and satisfying someone. Due to this, while growing up, I felt like a failure who could not live up to my family and friends' expectations. I felt that if I did not make the people around me happy, they would not love me, leaving me to feel alone and hurt. Although I had a warped sense of love, this taught me to be independent, yet filled me with anxiety when I just couldn't be alone.
Since I can remember, I have been enrolled in gymnastics. When I was younger, it was like a getaway place for me, and somewhere I could focus on myself and blow off steam.
My independence helped with this as I was never the center of attention in a group, leaving me to do what I wanted. Due to this mindset, I rationalized that if I distanced myself enough from people there wasn't any way [for me] to let them down; This led me to leave my hometown for high school and apply to a school an hour away. The school was sports-focused and tough to get into.
"It's not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up."
- Abraham Lincoln
Thanks to my acceptance, I felt as though I had proven myself to my family and could now go on my day-to-day life by being independent and focusing on protecting my mental health. I was never abused as a child, nor was I neglected. In fact, I had the best parents I could ask for, they were sweet caring and always there for me. I just could not deal with letting them down.
Unfortunately for me, this streak of running away and doing everything on my own quickly came to an end. In my grade 10 year at this new school, I was sexually abused. I was so filled with emotions I had been pushing away my whole life that this quickly tore me down to a point where I questioned living, and whether love was real. I could not grasp the idea of how someone could have the heart to hurt someone in such an awful way.
I felt as though I was in the eye of a hurricane watching the life I knew fall apart around me. I felt so alone and could not bear to put such a huge burden on anyone else that I kept it to myself for weeks. I told no one until one of my close friend's mothers took me to the police station where I gave my statement and explained what had happened in the school that day.
Eventually, I broke and could no longer go on bearing such an intense secret that held so much pain. My family was beyond hurt, but to my surprise, we were able to grieve together.
We got through it together, and although it felt like I had failed them by bringing them so much pain, it brought us closer. It took a tragedy to fully allow me to understand at the age of 15 that love is not about pleasing everyone or putting on this happy act to make everyone's lives easier, but it is about being there for them.
Loving them unconditionally and going through hurricanes allows yourself and others to see that it is always worth waking up to face another day. Since then, I have grown into the person I am today, taking risks and accepting failure when it occurs.
A quote I have since lived by is "It's not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up." - Abraham Lincoln.
I am now strong enough to embark on a new journey, willing to face any adversities tied with it.
This is how Royalty Niche was born.
Maria is the owner and principal operator of Royalty Niche, a company that manufactures home and personal accessories. Royalty Niche has dedicated one of their candles and special scents to Love's Dialogue; we are happy to count them as one of our trusted partners.