My series of letters returns with a letter that is difficult to read, but imagine living it? I hope writing it was in some way healing and that you know how brave and strong you are.
“This year in September 2017 will mark 7 years since I plucked up the courage to finally end things with us, somehow in the chaos of the 4 years leading up to that moment I found that one shred of strength I had left, to walk in and say I can’t do this anymore. This time it was different though, I felt it in my bones, this time there would be no going back and while I was absolutely terrified I was also so relieved, a sigh of relief that I no longer had to pretend. The pretending wore me out the most.
From the moment we met it was never meant to be, it was under the wrong circumstances but we were young and fearless. We were spontaneous and took off to the other side of the world a few months later, what was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime was in fact one of the darkest times if my life. You turned me from a determined, fiesty 21 year old into a quivering wreck, afraid to push my thoughts and feelings because I was wrong, no matter what. It was always my fault, if I had just stayed quiet and done as you thought was best then everything would’ve been fine. You wouldn’t have punched me in the thigh so hard that I limped for days with welts from the force making my leg swell up. I wouldn’t have had to lie to my parents with some story about getting over excited on a bouncy castle after a few drinks and ending up with a black eye when in reality you had punched me. I lied to my girlfriends about the black bruises on my arm saying I’d walked into the door, I convinced them for a while I think. My male friends not so much, they saw right through my lies and when we would get chatting on a night out I would listen to them tell me I deserved better but they didn’t know what they were on about, you were my better, after the asshole before you anyway.
You were so confident in my never going near anyone else, that in turn took my own confidence away and I started to believe that there was no way I could cope without you, but you, you’d do just fine without me and that made me weak, you made me weak.
We would break up, you would always make me be the one to say we were done and then you would use it against me in the weeks after, when you would text me and wear me down, convince me that we could’ve made it work but tough it was me that walked away, and each and every time I would be the one begging for us to give it another go, to put a label on us again, in a relationship. You relished that part, me craving for direction, an answer from you as to what we were, you would keep me hanging though, you knew what you were doing. You always made me look like the baddie to everyone else, I know your friends thought I was nuts, I don’t blame them, I felt like I was losing my mind so I can only imagine how I appeared to them on the outside.
That time you nearly broke my ankle when I tried to leave, the only time you ever physically stopped me from leaving and only because a male friend of mine, who you didn’t like, was waiting outside to take me home but you said “If you walk out of here now, don’t think I’ll ever forgive you” and it stopped me there and then, I couldn’t risk that, sure I was nothing without you. Every other time you would let me walk because you knew all I wanted was for you to care enough to stop me from going.
In Melbourne when you lost it and flipped the bed that I was lying on over and sent me flying to the ground, I stayed on the floor for ages and didn’t move because I physically couldn’t but you left me there, didn’t see if I was ok. I wanted to run, each and every time, I wanted to walk into the nearest guards station every time you hurt me but I couldn’t.
I never would’ve and you knew that because I was all about keeping our business between us and there was no way I would have ever wanted my family to know about this, I was the daughter that had her shit together, I couldn’t burden them with this. I couldn’t face the embarrassment or the pity that would come with spilling the beans on what was really going on.
That point in Australia when I decided to leave, it was fight or flight, as I sat on the veranda of our shitty little house share with the acid loving hippy, the worlds most beautiful beach a stones throw away, I had a decision to make – I was going to end my life there and then or I was going to somehow find my strength to leave and I did. I rang home and without asking questions, they got me on a flight the next day, they never did ask questions, as long as I was home and safe. Of course that was only the beginning, you would hold that over me for the remainder of our relationship, that I left you behind with nothing.
I don’t know why September 2010 was different but it was. You did try all of your usual tricks, guilt trips, reminiscing, all mind games but something changed inside me that day, in fact we were supposed to be going to the cinema and as I drove to your flat I knew it was going to be over soon. I know you didn’t believe me that I was serious, you pursued me for months after trying to break me down as usual, even as you were getting with your current girlfriend, the girl you are now engaged to, thinking I didn’t know, that was an eye opener more than anything else because I didn’t feel jealous of her, I felt pity for you. You didn’t stop there, sure we buried the hatchet a year later, mostly because I had buried all of our badness into a very deep place in my mind and for a while we forged some kind of friendship although it was all fake. You spent most of that time trying to get me to relive our past with rose tinted glasses on, despite you being in your current relationship. You so very nearly reeled me back in to but 2 paths presented themselves to me at that time and I am so glad I was able to see clearly and go down the other way, just like Robert Frost.
Baby and engagement came for me and you still insisted on speaking about our past, how you weren’t sure how to handle those things happening in my life. You began fading from my life, oh you kept your presence there, messaging, asking my opinion on important things in your life, discussing your girlfriend and the direction the relationship was heading in etc, still trying to keep some sort of hook in me, in my life but I cared less and less about what you had to say and you were finally becoming just another ex boyfriend.
A while back I found a journal of the years we were together and it transported me right back, everything came to the surface again. It made for a very sad read, of course I couldn’t see it at the time. I realised I hadn’t dealt with everything properly and maybe I never will but I need to say it out loud, because I still won’t ever divulge this to my family, I couldn’t put them through it and sometimes I’d love to speak out, help even one person who might be in the same situation but I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to discuss this with anyone but here I can. Here I can say it out loud, in the hope that you might read it someday and know it’s you and finally realise what you did to me –
You abused me. Physically with violence leaving bruises and cuts, mentally with your mind games and emotionally with making me feel like I’d failed our relationship. I’ve struggled with sexually because I couldn’t bring myself to admit that your “if you loved me you would” was tantamount to forcing me into something I didn’t want to do. You took away what were supposed to be the most carefree years of my life and you broke me. You pushed me to the brink where I thought I’d be better off dead than to have to go through another day feeling like I wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone least of all you. You have a habit of forgetting the bad bits, ah they were only a small part of it you would say, they weren’t, they were all of it.
I’ll never forget that time of my life but I am not one for regrets and always try to take a positive from everything. It took a while but I found my way back, back to the strong and determined woman I was meant to be and 7 years later I can finally put all of this back into the box I’d tried to lock it into all those years ago and be happy that I have finally made that decision and deleted you from my life. ”
photo credit: donovanbeeson via photopin cc
If you have a letter you wish to write, please contact me here or by using the contact me link on my blog. For details of my “Series of Letters” and to read other letters click here.