Sometimes People Leave You Because They Hate Themselves

Sometimes people leave you, not because they don’t want you, but because they want to punish themselves.

They’re feeling shitty about themselves. Their life seems to fall apart. It doesn’t align with being loved; it works better with being alone. So they push you away to fulfill that narrative of themselves. It’s actually comforting. For a moment, they don’t have to try anymore. They can give up on everything because “I’m alone and unloveable anyway.” Cognitive dissonance can f*ck right off.

Sometimes people leave you because they hate themselves. But you could argue that they probably don’t want you enough to stay either.

I think that’s true.

When an idea enters their head that you’re not the one for them, they will find a way to leave you. But they can’t rationalise it, so they tell you it’s them, not you. They probably believe it themselves. “I’m a terrible person. You deserve better,” they insist while you’re left with hurt and confusion.

I’ve been on both sides.

I’ve been that person who hated herself so much that she denied love and rejected people who she knew cared about her. It’s possible. Your own despair can eat you alive and blind you from anything good in your life. You can’t even fight for yourself, let alone someone you just met.

I’m happily engaged now, but it doesn’t magically make my childhood traumas and depression disappear — they still creep up on me now and again. I would feel down, and I would want to be alone during that moment.

But I see the differences between me then and me now. It reminds me of the cliche piece of advice that if they wanted to, they would, and in this case, “they” was me.

I never wanted anyone enough to put up the fight with myself.

When my demon knocked on my door, I simply followed it; I didn’t resist it.

But now, I could feel myself being pulled back to where the sun shines. I become aware that I have something to lose, something really good, and I don’t want to lose it. I know I want it. So I tell my partner the truth. I let him in. I accept his comfort and love. I loosen myself in his arms.

See, when people leave you and tell you they hate themselves, it’s not like it changes anything.

It could be true or not. And they’re still gone.

After all, you don’t need to ask why people leave you — they have decided to exit your life and so they shouldn’t be part of your focus anymore. When someone leaves you because they hate themselves, I know you might feel bad for them, but it’s not your job to make them fall in love with themselves again — or with you, for that matter. It’s not your responsibility to prove to them that you’re useful and worth fighting for.

You might choose to offer them your grace, patience, and kindness while they’re dealing with their issues. But it’s still on them to get themselves together and show you that they’re available and ready for a full-time relationship with you. It’s their task.

You can support them, but you can’t do their task for them. You have your tasks to do, too — and your dignity to keep, especially when you haven’t known them long. You can’t put your life on hold for someone who doesn’t want to or can’t be in it.

When people leave you because they hate themselves, try to resist the urge to fix them or the guilt of giving up on them and something that seems to have potential. “Potential” is not enough; reality is what matters. It’s okay to move on.

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