A Letter to My Ex

I started this out originally with “I don’t hate you,” but upon further reflection, I absolutely do hate you. I have tried so hard to be indifferent, but I can’t sit back and act like you don’t deserve to be hated. I spent 4 years of my life on you and you destroyed me. Now I know it isn’t fair to put all the blame on you, I know my explosive emotional lability did not help anything. For that I take responsibility, but I don’t take responsibility for anything else.

When you smacked me, hunted me down on campus, and I had to hide in a random bathroom from you and your anger just because your best friend told me he was going to rape me, I went back to you. When you repeatedly told me you were embarrassed by me because I was sexually assaulted and you did not want to go out in public with me in high school or college for that reason, I stayed with you. When you hit me for inviting you over and my family was there, I stayed. But when you told me that the college sexual assault was my fault, I couldn’t stay anymore. The problem was (and still is) that I wanted to stay. Despite everything you had done to me, all the emotional hurt and damage, I wanted to be with you forever. It’s taken me almost a year of not seeing you to realize how absurd that is. Had you not gotten a girl friend, had you not been separated from me by miles and miles, this cycle would have continued. And that’s what bothers me the most. But, I finally have the rose colored glasses off.

For four years, I listened to your digust of me and I believed it. Because I was so depressed in high school, I drank quite a bit and you blamed me for all the guys who took advantage of me knowing that prior to having met me. You told me you couldn’t sleep at night knowing I was known as easy and as a whore. You told me it was eating you to your soul. If we hung out and you didn’t make me cry, I would think something was wrong. Even though you were my first real boyfriend, I should have known all this was wrong. I should have known when you told me you wouldn’t go to prom with me or take you to yours. I should have known when you did take me, but didn’t once dance with me or acknowledge me. I should have known when you cheated on me because it, and I quote, made you “feel better about all the guys I had been with,” so it was “good for the relationship.”

What made me stay was the connection we had. I thought you knew me to my soul. We explored every dark, painful corner and we talked about it, worked through it. After being depressed for so long, you simultaneously brought me out of it and pushed me back into it. I cannot thank you enough for the part of our connection that pulled me out of depression. I got to know myself through you. But now I look at you as just a sounding board, nothing more. You were a forum where I could learn about myself and what it meant to be depressed in a world that didn’t quite accept that yet. I needed someone, anyone to listen to me and go on that journey with me, as I didn’t have the strength to go alone.

However, I cannot keep acting like that connection made everything else worth it– it was not. The emotional problems I have now because of you and because I stayed are not worth it. I keep trying to justify your behavior and I have to stop trying. My self esteem is non-existent, my social anxiety is in part due to you, maybe even part of the exacerbation of my BPD. My college experience, in part, was horrible because of you. I can’t leave my apartment or walk on campus without constantly scanning the area for you. The instant I see you I start to have a panic attack and I turn running in tears. I have nightmares worse than any childhood fear of monsters; I fear you and everything you are. You are my monster.

The part of you that constantly put me down and judged me is part of me now. It echoes painfully in my skull. The echoes keep me from loving someone else, from letting myself be vulnerable. They keep me from being who I am and who I want to be.

But I stayed for four long years, and that’s what keeps me up at night.