» 7 – to your ex
  • 7 – to your ex

    Apr 20th • Posted in love, personal, writing

    Trigger Warning: I write a lot about an emotionally abusive relationship in this post.

    To an ex,

    to-your-ex

    Life is strange. But I am so happy that you were never mine. There was a moment in time where I was wrapped up in you, despite how wrong for me you were. It has been two years and I finally know and have the love that I deserved all along. When I take a look at my Timehop and see the inklings of the start of one of the most emotionally abusive relationships I’ve ever been in, I try to take stock of the amazing relationships I have in my life– despite there being so far and few in between at the moment. (To those people, I apologise for not keeping up with you, and not trying my best to maintain contact. Life is hard at the moment. Writing letters like this keep the negative vibes and feelings away. I’m OK I promise. This will be addressed later.) I often look at the words I wrote back then and am stunned to find how willing I was to give myself up to someone who didn’t respect me from the start.

    I know better now.

    It’s odd to think that I had come out of this period of self-loathing and self-doubt from an on and off “loveish-interest” to one of self-discovery and self-love/self-care– only to fall back into the insecurities of being with someone who doesn’t at all give a shit. Deep down, I am sure you are a good person. There are inklings of this funny, smart person that I caught glimpses of during our first weeks together– I probably wouldn’t have agreed to go out with you again if there hadn’t been– but I realise that I hardly knew you during the time we spent together.

    I will be honest with you– I have struggled, and continue to struggle, with coming to terms of the nature of our relationship, and the fact that it was an emotionally abusive one. But I can’t help at look at lists like this, and note that more than half (if not all) were indicative of the time we spent together. It wasn’t like I didn’t know you were terrible for me– I just chose not to walk away. I’m not sure if it was out of loneliness and familiarity, or if I was just that dumb to stay. It’s hard for me to even write this because I still have this mentality where I blame myself for all the mistakes I made in our relationship. When I found out you were seriously dating someone else not even a month or so after our relationship ended, I freaked out because I was so shocked that I had not been good enough to receive the treatment your new (and current) girlfriend was receiving.

    To be fair to you, the warning signs had been there for awhile. I should have walked away. The affectionate holding hands, and linking pinkies in public turned into walking side by side– my empty hand grasping for yours. When I questioned why, you would respond with a cold, “Because I don’t like PDA.” I stayed, and I felt the hand that tried to grasp yours radiate in shame and guilt. You showed up four hours late for a date and got furious when I didn’t answer my phone (because it was on silent) and left you out in the rain for ten minutes when you finally did decide to show up. I stayed, let you in and let you eat the Thai food delivery that I ordered later than when you said you’d show up around “6-ish” and arrived earlier than you did. You invalidated my feelings constantly when I tried to figure out where we stood and why I was upset with you, claiming that I was clingy and that “labels were stupid anyway, don’t be a crazy jealous bitch about it.” I stayed, even though the only words out of my mouth the entire time I went home was “I fucking hate him. I hate him.”

    But I don’t, and I’m sure I never will. But I definitely don’t love you and the way you treated me. I don’t ever want to be in a position where I’m left vulnerable and insecure because of someone’s manipulative, emotionally abusive bullshit ever again. I really couldn’t tell you why I stayed, and I have no clue why you stuck around for so long either– especially when midway through, you just kept flinging all this disrespectful behaviour at me. There are a lot of things that I’m not mentioning on this blog right now but I should stop this letter before I get angry. Angry about the things you did, the emotions you caused, and the pain that I went through dating you and dealing with the aftermath. I am not sorry it ended, but I am sorry I was upset about it. I am sorry that I allowed myself to cry over someone who did those terrible things to me, and I am sorry for the person you are with now– for not knowing about the awful, manipulative things you caused. It is odd to look back at someone you loved and not realised that the things that they did were red flags and major warning signs to walk away. Maybe it’s because being with someone you like blinds you to their flaws and their actions– or maybe it’s because I didn’t love myself enough to realise I wasn’t being treated the way I deserved. Whatever the causes were, the facts remain the same: We were not meant to be in any form. You were never the right person for me, and I was never the right person for you. You made that abundantly clear to me when you left silently, and I received a one-word text as your goodbye.

    While some of this letter fell to the wayside– I want to thank you for giving me the strength to love myself and to appreciate the good things and people in my life when and while I have them. Things like this only make you stronger at the end. Maybe they make a person angerier or more cynical– but they teach a person that it’s OK to break down, clean up the pieces, and rebuild and grow into someone stronger. True, I’ve held onto a lot of the broken pieces– but I like to keep them as a reminder of what not to go back to. I walk down the road of nostalgia often because I like mapping where I’ve been and want to look forward to where I’m heading without falling into the same patterns and pitfalls. So while you may never actually know about the pain you caused– it doesn’t matter anymore. I hope you’re not making the same mistakes with your current girlfriend, and I sure am happy that I am with someone who treats me better than you ever did.

    All the bullshit you put me through brought me to where I am today– so I forgive you.

    I am hoping that this letter finally rids me of all the pent-up aggression I’ve held in. But other than that, I forgive you and I’m happy things turned out the way it did.

    But I cannot forget this quote that sums up the time we spent together:

    Promise me you’ll never apologize,
    Because even though you got blood on their shirt
    They’re the ones that shot you

    • I escaped an abusive relationship as well and I always get those “I should have left sooner” thoughts because I knew what was happening was very much not okay but he had me convinced (because I suffer from anxiety &depression) that no one else would ever want to “deal with me”. But at the same time, had I left before I did, I may not have met the man of my dreams when I did. So it’s mostly about seeing the beauty that came out of the pain.

      • Alyssa, I am glad to hear that I am not alone in my experience. Abusive relationships are so hard to deal with because you generally don’t realise you’re in them until you’re out of them! I’m trying to come to terms with what happened because I realised a lot more happened than I was aware of at the time– but I’m slowly letting go of all the emotional baggage that I carry from this relationship. And of course, I am always more appreciative of the beautiful things that stem from the ugliness and pain :) I, too, would not have found the right person for me if it were not for this ugly period in my life.