…To All the Nice Guys (& Girls)

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Photo: “We are Scientists” by Stuart1000

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-EC

to him

Every once in a while, I am contacted by a man from my past. Despite my best efforts to leave this person behind, I am still affected. How disappointing. Instead of jumping back into an endless argument, I have always chosen not to respond – until now. The last time he contacted me, it was through the Contact Me portion of this website. Congratulations sir, you’ve found me, and after all this time, I was rattled by your message. I will address you now.

Dear you know who you are:

After it was all over, I tried to be your friend – against my better judgment. But the truth is that I never wanted to be your friend at all; I wanted you to love me. I hadn’t fully accepted things between us; I hadn’t acknowledged or understood what had happened. I still believed that if I could just prove myself to you, maybe you would love me.

By the time you and I met, I had already developed a deep hatred of myself. This had nothing to do with you. You certainly didn’t help things, but the problem was there well before.

From the moment we got together, I lied. About everything. I never gave you the opportunity to learn anything real or concrete about me, because my underlying belief was that I was not good enough for your love. How could I show myself to you when I was so certain I would be rejected. And I was at first, which only made me need your approval more. I became a person that you might want to spend time with, and it worked for a little bit.

Then you became mean. Not just mean but also cruel. A healthy person would have walked away at this point. Instead, I willingly accepted that your cruelty was entirely my doing, and I worked tirelessly trying to please you. Only it wasn’t my fault, I realize now, because you were just as damaged as I was. Hurt people hurt people, and you were hurting too.

The longer we stayed together, the worse we both became. I became weak and desperate. You became angry and violent. I am not an idiot, but I was doing my best impression of one. I don’t believe that you’re actually a heartless asshole, but your portrayal of one was impeccable.

I am not hurting anymore, nor do I hate myself. I have no impulse to hurt you, or anyone else for that matter. You did not deserve my lies and I am sorry for them. I did not deserve your anger or your violence, but I forgive you for them.

I am thankful that I met you though. 2011 was easily the worst year of my life. It was also the most important. It was the year I was knocked flat on my ass and forced to take a long hard look at myself. It was the year that ultimately forced me to stop.

You didn’t understand when I abruptly stopped trying to be your friend, when I cut off all contact. My attempt at an explanation was inadequate because I didn’t know why yet either. I just knew I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed to figure myself out and I was finally taking the time to. It has taken years of hard work, but I know exactly who I am and I love everything I have found. I am a beautiful, strong, and kind woman who is worthy of love. I don’t need to lie anymore; I accept my truth, including my past.

-EC