Hey there, Mr. Once Upon A Time, long time no talk!
We actually haven’t talked since right after we broke up. Which I’m more than fine with, but there’s a lot that I’ve held in these past few years after our breakup that I’ve always wanted to get off my chest.
I can remember the day we broke up so vividly. I was sitting on the floor, numb. Not even crying because I didn’t have it in me anymore. And you were yelling. Like always. Yelling and telling me how terrible of a person I was, how much your family hated me, that you regretted the fact that we had ever even dated. And the problem is that I believed you. I believed every. single. lying. word.
You see, all of this started way before that night, didn’t it? You hid your true colors so unbelievably well. When we first met you were so happy, and easy going. Your laughter was infectious! I had never met someone that I had so much fun with or laughed so hard with over absolutely nothing. Someone who really wanted to be with me. It felt so good.
But, soon, I started to notice small things. I couldn’t be sure if I was building them up in my head or not. Tiny little things that I could hear you whisper under your breath, no longer laughing at my jokes, in fact blatantly telling me I was stupid for finding things funny. They took me so off guard that I couldn’t remember if this was just starting or if you had been like that from the beginning and I had just overlooked it. Then I started to think that I was the problem. That somehow by thinking something was funny, or wanting to listen to music I was the bad person.
I specifically remember the night I broke. We had been in an argument, a small one really compared to some of our others, but you didn’t really seem to get over it by the time we went to bed. And as I was laying there, watching a movie by myself because you were already asleep, I started to cry. I don’t know where it came from or why, but I felt so insanely lost. I must have been crying harder than I thought because it woke you up and that’s when you started to yell at me. Really yell, for the first time.
I was devastated and at a loss. Was I really being that terrible? What could I do to make it better? How could I ease your pain? How could I make you happy?
You had done such a good job of cultivating me over the past couple months that I instantly came to your defense. While you were red in the face and screaming about how I was weak, how I was a waste, how I was a cry baby, I was defending the horrible things you were saying to me in my head. Because you had already convinced me that I was all of these things, and that if I left no one else would love me.
By making me second guess myself so much in the months leading up to this you had made me forget that I was a person too. That what I wanted mattered.
I used to see girls in relationships with guys like you and oh my god did I judge them. How were they not strong enough to walk away? How could they not see what a giant ass hat their boyfriends were? Well, I guess the joke was on me. Because I ended up getting it back ten fold.
And it just kept getting worse and worse. Remember when my grandma was in a car accident and you yelled at me in the car on the way to the hospital? I do. Remember when I was trying so hard to keep it together in front of you so I went to the bathroom to cry and you busted the door down to yell at me? I do. Remember all the times you made me feel like nothing, like I wasn’t worth anything, that my feelings, my emotions, my wants, dreams, aspirations and everything about me didn’t matter? Because I do. I remember all of it.
And I forgive you.
I forgive you for me and I forgave you a long time ago. Because I can’t hold onto it and let you have that power over me. I will never forget it though. The way you treated me taught me so much about myself and how I deserve to be treated. Recovering from the verbal abuse that you put me through was hard. All of the strength and the good qualities that I had built prior to being with you were completely demolished by the things that you did to me, the things that you said to me.
We always hear about “sticks and stones” and that you should never let words affect you, but it’s different when it’s coming from someone you love. And, despite everything, I did love you.
I used to rationalize the things that you said to me by telling myself it wasn’t that bad. That you never hit me so it wasn’t really abuse. I constantly told myself that I was overreacting, that you were just stressed and scared because of the way your previous marriage ended. I realized pretty soon after we called it quits that that was a crock of shit.
I hope that you never again speak to any woman the way you spoke to me. That you never make them feel that they’re nothing. But, with men like you that’s rarely the case. It’ll never be a lesson that you learn, how to accept the love that someone is willing to give you and not respond with hate. I hope, for your sake, that I am wrong.
Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple years it’s that everyone deserves love. Everyone is worthy of love. And the only way to react to hate is to respond with love.
I let you break me. I stepped aside and let you ruin everything that I had built for myself up until that point. Walking away from you and the relationship was both the hardest and the best thing I’ve ever done. It took so long to repair the damage that you caused and I refuse to ever go back to that place. The way you treated me helped me learn that I deserve to be put first, I deserve to be validated, and I deserve to be respected. Everyone does.
I learned that the way that you treated me was a reflection of you, not of me. That you had so much doubt in yourself that you couldn’t help but push that onto the one person who supported you regardless of the issue.
I’m sorry that you were so full of hate that you didn’t know how to react to love. I’m sorry that you were so unhappy. I’m sorry that I didn’t leave sooner. But, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that I’ve promised myself that I’ll never be that sorry again.