His name was Chris. Almost everything about him was a lie, down to the spelling of his name. This is something I would soon be accustomed to, because liars have always been like catnip to me.

I didn't want to break up with him, but my mother knew it was for the best. He had held my hand through the darkest depths of my drug addiction and pulled me down even further. Past rock bottom. But he was the love of my petty teenage life.

Obviously my world was very small at the time. I had my boyfriend, who did copious amounts of meth with me and had gotten me arrested multiple times. I had him and my crystal savior. Both were a means of escape for me. Both made me beautiful. Made me skinny. Made me worthy.

When I ended it, it felt like half of my soul disintegrated. And it did. He was all I had in my little drug addled world.

I cried for two weeks straight. 

I'd lay there, fetal position, clutching my chest and stomach as if it helped keep my organs in place, wailing like I have never experienced before. I needed him to feel alive. He was my everything.

Now I will say, though the obvious now was not so then, that I knew he had cheated on me multiple times. I knew he used me. I knew he left me after stealing my car and getting it impounded that time we tried to rob a craft store. I knew he threatened me with the pistol in his closet. And I know the sex that we had was not always consensual. But from my perspective, from someone desperate for the words "I love you," well, he was everything I could have asked for. 

In these moments after our breakup, I thought I would never love again. I thought he was it for me, and that I lost my one chance at happiness. For some reason, his emotional and physical abuse made him my Prince Charming. In fact, he gave me everything I thought I deserved. He fit my perception of myself like a missing puzzle piece. His dysfunction was my glove. 

It's strange to think that at seventeen your chances of love have flown out the window. But I had lived many lives before I graduated high school. I had seen more than some would in their entire lives. And I had all of the self loathing to prove it.

At this point, I made a promise to myself that I would find love again. But not for myself. I had to get a boyfriend before he got a girlfriend. I had to prove, out of spite in his direction, that I was worthy of love. But that would only be proven if I won the race. And at that point, the only way I knew how to get a man to love me was to be sexually available and emotionally unstable.

So I picked myself up off my bedroom floor with a new game plan for self worth. Sex was my ticket to love. And love was my ticket to happiness.